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Sony Fanboy FUD

Filed under: Electronics — Jared @ 2:32 pm

Much has been made recently of the Playstation 3’s (in)ability to scale HD content. I’ll just point you of ArsTechnica’s coverage of both its Gaming and BluRay scaling issues. The issue is as follows (from what I have read):

The PS3 seems to have no ability to up-or-downscale the content it outputs within HD resolutions. For games produced in 720p (apparently many of the launch titles), this means it will not upscale to 1080i if that is what your TV supports, it will instead downscale to 480p. If you play a BluRay title shot in 1080i or p, the player will output it either at 1080i/p or 480p. Newer TV’s can handle this: they will take in whatever resolution you feed them, and scale it to the TV output. Older TV’s aren’t so lucky. MANY TV’s will only take in EITHER 720p or 1080i, as is the case with mine. In fact, when I was TV shopping at the beginning of the year, I was unable to find an affordable TV of large size that would take both in. Mine happens to do 1080i, which would leave me out in the cold for playing games.

The reaction from Sony Fanboys on this has been amazing. The thing to keep in mind: I chose to buy the TV I bought at the beginning of ’06, knowing that if I hooked up an Xbox, Xbox360, HD cable box, or up-converting DVD player, I would be able to tell it to output at 1080i and it would scale anything that wasn’t. And I’ll tell you honestly: both 720p and 1080i cable are beautiful, and I doubt you could tell me which is which. I decided that rather than buy a 42″ screen with all of the fancy inputs (which I wouldn’t need, because the various boxes I would plug in would have scalers, because they all do) or buy a slightly more limited 52″ screen for the same money, or the fancy 52″ for $500 more. 52″ was the right size for my living room, so I bought the cheaper 52″ and it looks beautiful. But now I won’t even have the OPTION of buying a PS3 without risking that it looks like crap. The reaction of the fanboys has been something like the quote below (off of the Ars discussion forums for the PS3 review, emphasis mine):

Sony has no reason to care, because it’s not Sony’s fault that some TV doesn’t support 720p. It’s the TV manufacturer’s fault, as I’ve said time and time again. If you bought an LCD for your PC that didn’t do scaling and complained when you couldn’t run it in anything other than 1280×1024, would it be the video card manufacturer’s fault? Really it’s funny that most people aren’t having this issue. There are basically two scenarios where somebody doesn’t have a TV that supports 720p: 1) you bought a TV without enough research or 2) you were an early adopter, and if you could afford an HDTV then, you can easily afford a replacement.

This is a level of either ignorance or arrogance that I find unimaginable. First, Sony has every reason to care: they are in the business of selling consoles. MOST of the HDTV’s sold early on, and many of those sold till recently, either do 720p or 1080i, and mass-market CE devices such as DVD players and Xboxes seem to get it right: in order to appeal to the widest audience, you strap in one of those little scalers so that your device works with EVERYTHING. Second, to suggest that ANYONE have to replace their $1k+ HDTV sets to accomadate Sony is crazy, and ignores the way the real world works: The TV’s were here first, and the CE devices need to adapt to the situation in the marketplace to which they are trying to sell. It is my understanding that the vast majority of CRT RPTV’s will be affected by this; I know mine is, and I bet most of my friends that have HDTV’s will be too. Third, Sony is not on its own in the market, they compete with Microsoft and Nintendo. The Xbox360 has a scaler in it, and will output whatever you tell it to (AFAIK). This is the standard behaviour.

I think I feel better now. But I really want this to stop – Sony has made a very bad play here. Maybe there really aren’t that many of us affected by this, but I will tell you one thing: There is 0% chance I will buy a PS3 unless this is resolved. Before, there was at least a small chance I would buy one in the next few years.

Xbox and Wii ho!



Solving Poverty

Filed under: Economics, Politics — Jared @ 1:39 pm

I think Matt and I have come up with a pretty good solution for poverty – and one that’ll make him happy because we get to rid ourselves of the minimum wage. Matt, correct any mistakes I make:

We institute a publicly-funded job training program. The program is paid for by the state. It is an ITT-Tech style program (and probably makes use of pre-existing job training colleges, although we didn’t hash out those kinds of details) and prepares people for specific careers, like A/C repair, medical assistant, ect. We’ve all heard the commercials. At my insistance, anyone who is currently working full time to support themselves will be paid the hourly wage they are currently making for the hours they spend in school (instead of at work, theoretically). Eventually, most people have a skill more valuable than “Burger Flipper”, and the minimum wage is made obsolete.

What do you say? Spong/Rice for office in 2008?


The Last Funny “Your Mom” Joke

Filed under: Copyright — Jared @ 10:05 pm

Apparently, by putting this image on my blog, the ESA might send me a takedown letter. It worked for Kotaku, so why not me? It’d be neat to get a letter from an ESA lawyer – maybe it’d make me famous!

Earlier this week the Entertainment Software Association sicced their lawyers on us. Demanding that we take down the post about the shirt, calling it an advertisement and saying that the shirt would create consumer confusion and a “substantial likelihood that the ESRB certification marks will face tarnishment and dilution.”

OK, so they were confused. So we wrote back to point out that the post was in fact editorial content and not an ad and that we have nothing to do with the shirt. Problem solved.


The ESA responded demanding that we remove the post, image and links and prove we had done sone within three days.

Our response: Go to hell. Sure, it was much more eloquently stated, but the fact is that the ESA can’t control editorial content of a website. As a matter of fact, they probably can’t stop the shirt seller either, since the creation is so obviously a parody.

Yaay for scare tactics! Next time though, they should try to have at least a toe or two to stand on.



Filed under: Politics — Jared @ 2:00 pm

This is just special (via Wonkette):


Sad Politics, Gawker Humor

Filed under: Politics — Jared @ 2:53 pm

Hadn’t started reading Wonkette till recently; glad I did, cause it’s funny. Like this gem:

 Please Keep the Gay Child Predators In Congress!

My kind of humor I suppose.


Why We Look Stupid

Filed under: Politics — Jared @ 1:26 pm

It’s easy to understand why our culture and policy look stupid: Our most visible spokesman is a moron. Not news, but still true (via ThinkingLiberal):

“A free Iraq will mean a peaceful world. And it’s very important for us to stay the course, and we will stay the course.” – George Bush, Statement – July 2003

“And, yet, we must stay the course, because the end result is in our nation’s interest.” – George Bush, Address to the Nation – April 2004

“We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq.” – George Bush, Crawford TX – August 2005

“We will stay the course, we will help this young Iraqi democracy succeed, and victory in Iraq will be a major ideological triumph in the struggle of the 21st century.” – George Bush, Salt Lake City – August 2006

“It’s never been a stay the course strategy.” – White House Statement, October 22nd 2006

I still wouldn’t want to live anywhere else (yet), but I think we look stupid; why shouldn’t the world?


Anti-Telemarketing Counterscript

Filed under: Consumer Activism — Jared @ 12:56 pm

I got a link to this from a comment over at Slashdot – it is a work of pure genius. I might just print out a few copies and leave them by the phone, if it weren’t for the fact that we have yet to get any significant unsolicited telephone calls.  If we start to, maybe I will.

Anti-Telemarketing EGBG Counterscript

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