One of my favorite zombie movies is Revenge Of The Zombies, made in 1943. It stars John Carradine as the mad scientist and Gale Storm as the female ingénue. It’s not a great movie, in fact it’s not even a very good one, but it has an ending that still disturbs me to this day. John Carradine has turned his beautiful wife into a zombie. He’s also trying to breed a race of zombies for Hitler. But his wife still has some free will. She takes control of the growing army of zombies (well, only four or five) and they take Carradine down to the spooky swamp, where she faces him, holds him by the shoulders so he can’t escape, and they both sink down into the quicksand. He struggles, she doesn’t. The rest of the zombies sink down with them. What’s disturbing about this ending is the thought that if zombies never die, then they’re all still down there, waiting, brooding…and maybe some night will come oozing and squelching out of the swamp…?
It seemed like Netflix had it all not all that long ago. A thriving DVD-by-mail rental business, a streaming service that grew more popular than movie studios anticipated, and for the most part, happy subscribers. All that was before Netflix shot itself in the foot with a laser guided cannon, and it's been hopping awkwardly ever since. Watching Netflix stumble around isn't the kind of thing that leads to investor confidence, nor is warning that the worst might be yet to come.
With Netflix’s 21.5 million streaming subscribers set to lose access to Starz’s content in February 2012, everyone has been left wondering what comes next. The company’s content catalog currently includes hundreds of movies from Sony and Walt Disney, including several original programs such as “Spartacus” and “Boss”. Will the company retreat back to the safety of established cable networks? According to Starz President Chris Albrecht they still have a bright future ahead of them online, but will soon be going direct to customers with an HBO Go-like application for phones, tablets, and other popular streaming platforms.
When you look around and see the competition jacking up prices, the temptation must be to follow suit, because that's what all the movie rental companies are doing. Netflix started this craptacular trend, and while subscribers were still raging on message boards, RedBox went and slipped in a price a increase of its own, albeit a comparatively minor one. Now it's BlockBuster's turn, and come November 8, you could pay as much as $4 for a rental at one of those familiar blue Kiosks.
Fun Fact: Most people would rather watch a movie than go to work... unless of course watching movies is one of your job functions, in which case you might be happier reading a book--It’s a strange world out there. Unfortunately, the majority of we worker bees aren’t able to take in a flick while on the clock, forced instead to keep our eyes on spreadsheets, assembly lines and work orders. Don’t fret: Hollywood’s just a set of headphones away, thanks to Listen to a Movie, our Cool Site of the Week.
You may remember our previous assortment of geek heroes. A fine gathering of geeky go-getters, indeed. But in the wide whacky world of TV and movies, the nerd well runs deep and your suggestions as to who was left off the initial list were noted. So why not go back for another bucketful of geeky goodness?
In true Hollywood fashion we've one-upped ourselves—literally. So, in this blockbuster sequel to our previous gallery, we bring you not 15, but 16 more of the greatest geek heroes to ever grace the screen.
In what was largely overshadowed by the intense backlash over Netflix's ill-fated decision to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental business into Qwikster is that you'd be able to rent videogames in addition to DVDs and Blu-ray movies. It was to be an upgrade option similar to the one for Blu-ray, except you'd be able to rent Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 games. Did Netflix nix those plans when it axed Qwikster?
Reed Hastings isn't infallible, we know this by now. As CEO of Netflix, he's been brilliant in growing his company into a premier streaming service, and spectacularly flawed in underestimating the fallout from customers over hefty price increases and major business model changes. But on that latter part, Mr. Hastings is anything but oblivious, at least after the fact, and has repeatedly owned up to the bad vibes directed at Netflix.
Hollywood has always had a way with the OSes and UIs it shows on the big screen. Sometimes they're so far-fetched, all you can do is laugh, other times they're eerily accurate portrayals of future technology, and then there are the few that just make you jealous with envy. Here are a few of our favorites that Hollywood has given use, but give us some slack on what constitutes an OS or UI...Hollywood isn't always clear about that. Be sure to add your own in the comments, too.
Last month’s release of Chrome 14 brought along with it Native Client (NaCl) support, paving the way for the execution of native C code within the browser. Native Client is meant to turn the browser into a playing ground for serious 3D games and powerful apps. That said, there haven’t been any real signs of that transformation in the few weeks (a seriously long time in Chrome years) since Chrome 14’s launch. But a new development might just help expedite the whole process.