This. It helps immensely helped with keeping my sleep cycle consistent. There's also Lux for Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vito.lux&hl=en) which was very helpful too
All these words are used to describe Hollywood's Windowing System (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_distribution). The industry has long established these release windows prior to digital distribution, which has become a new window outside of the traditional theater, physical media, and premium cable windows. It allows the industry to milk each distribution for all its worth and, simultaneously, put expectations in consumers' minds about different ways to consume movies.
With everything going digital these windows are shrinking (and somewhat merging into each other), however both the industry's & consumers' habits are slower to change than technological progress. Witness the kerfuffle with Netflix trying to break apart its digital & DVD offerings.
It sounds like Kurt Sutter has not thought about the economics of his industry. There is more media (tv shows, movies, albums, etc.) than ever before in human history. The tools to create and distribute are cheaper than they have ever been. At the same time, the amount of time people have to consume media has either stayed the same or shrank, if one considers other new forms of media created over the last few decades. The laws of supply & demand dictate than an ever-increasing supply with shrinking (or stagnant) demand leads to cheaper prices.
Google has no effect on these forces at work. It is a value added service that sits on top of the content ocean of the web. Even if it tried to be the right hand arm of US copyright enforcement, it couldn't stop people who have more time than money on hand (a big contributor to piracy demand) or the economics of piracy hubs. Where there is infringing copyright accessible through Google, it has mechanisms (e.g. YouTube Content ID, DMCA takedowns, etc.) in place to take it down. I don't see what else Mr Sutter expects from Google other than to be scapegoat for piracy on the web.
Don't hate the playa, hate the game.
Feedly seems to be the best alternative if you've become accustomed to using Google Reader. It synchronizes itself with Google Reader (or it will until July). It even has some the same keyboard shortcuts. Transitioning is seamless; it uses Google's OAuth to gain access to your Google account and pull in all your feeds & tags.
It looks like the app is a little slow right now as they are dealing with the surge in demand.
I've been hearing for years that Microsoft is moving to a subscription model for all its software products. I'm still not buying that this is the heart of any strategy.
Perhaps I can see a complete subscription model working in the Enterprise segment, but the consumer segment? I don't see it. I don't doubt that MS plans on building out services that they hope to attract subscription revenue. They have XBox Live and it's working pretty well. After that, what else is there? They have Office 365 which is competitive but I'm sure it doesn't make up for the revenue lost on traditional Office licenses. Windows? Forget it. I don't see the average consumer getting on board with a subscription tied to the computer unless the computer is subsidized to a free price point. SkyDrive? That's another crowded market with Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, etc. Azure? Amazon, Google, Rackspace...I don't think there's any web service that MS can offer that would be a "sneak attack."
Nope, MS is a behemoth company. As such, it's doing many different things at the same time just like Google & Apple. It has web services like Google. It has hardware like Apple. And all of them are vying to be the center of everyone's computing ecosystem to the point that the barrier of exiting is nearly insurmountable. It's that simple.
MS wants to be on the Desktop, in the cloud, on your mobile device, in your living room, and on your tablet. The question is if they can pull all their disparate teams together to provide something that excels in what Apple & Google has already done.
OS X has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.
Long way to go for what, market share?
It's pretty clear what Apple's strategy is: sell devices at premium prices to people who value simplicity, stability and reliability over an abundant one-size-fits-all feature set. All they have to do is make quality products and convince the consumer it's worth their premium price. They've done it with the iPhone/iPad thanks to the lower price points and carrier subsidies. The introduction of the Surface shows that MS fears that Apple has already done it for the desktop/workstation computer.
As nice a product as the Surface looks to be, I think Metro's hybrid desktop/tablet interface (another abundant one-size-fits-all feature set) is just going to confuse many customers and push them toward alternative tablets or desktops depending on their use case.
I thought most people know whether or not they have a Facebook account.
Steven Levy's In the Plex has a great quote about Google's prospectus and it's aspirational language:
Meanwhile the Securities and Exchange Commission was unimpressed by the charms of Page's "Owner's Manual." "Please revise or delete the statements about providing 'a great service to the world', 'to do things that matter', 'greater positive impact on the world, don't be evil', and 'making the world a better place,'" they wrote. (Google would not revise the letter.)
Everything I've read and heard from the Google founders indicates to me that money, in many ways, is a means to an end of bigger goals. Certainly money is driving factor - Page has referenced Tesla, who died in poverty despite his great contributions to the world, as an example of what he doesn't want to see happen with Google - but there are lot of things Google wouldn't be doing if it was a purely profit motivated enterprise.
I would be much more skeptical of Google once the founder's are no longer at the helm. That's when companies start to mutate in profit creation beasts that have no relation to what its founders originally set out to do (e.g. Disney).
I'm not sure what the OP is referring to about Picasa, but he is definitely on the mark about Chrome. Maybe you haven't noticed IE9's or FF4's UI; both have taken cues from Chrome's original design (tabs on top, pinning tabs, etc). Chrome has also started a browser arms race in terms of performance. The browser is rapidly acquiring market share; at the current rate of growth, it looks like it will overtake FF in the next year or two (http://www.thechromesource.com/tag/chrome-market-share-2011/).
...guess what's going to happen? You're going to be *the target* to hit for spam. That's the way spam works, volume. Email, Altavista, Google...it doesn't matter what the target it is, as long as it nets you the biggest audience. Additionally, every article I see that complains about Google search spam never uses any good examples.
"Anecdotally, my personal search results have also been noticeably worse lately. As part of Christmas shopping for my wife, I searched for 'iPhone 4 case' in Google. I had to give up completely on the first two pages of search results as utterly useless, and searched Amazon instead."
Hmm, I googled iPhone 4 case. 3rd link...shopping results for iPhone 4 cases which has a huge list of different types of cases, places I can get them, local retailer locations, and so on. How is that "utterly useless?"
If you read just one thing over the holiday break, make sure it's Peter Gutmann's cost analysis of Windows Vista, here. It's an eye opening 20 minutes. Gutmann describes in great detail the various measures Microsoft has taken to lock down Windows on behalf of Hollywood. This isn't a comprehensive look at all of Vista's DRM — Gutmann barely touches on Microsoft's new activation framework; (this is beyond the scope of his enquiry.) In order to playback HD-DVD and BluRay content, Microsoft agreed to degrade video and audio functionality in Windows. Gutmann points out that when "premium" content is being played, component video — YPbPr — and S/PDIF interfaces are disabled. Third party hardware that fails to obey these orders may have it's "certified" status revoked by Microsoft — leaving the user with minimal (eg VGA) functionality. With the introduction of tilt bits, all of the designed-in resilience is gone. Every little (normally unnoticeable) glitch is suddenly surfaced because it could be a sign of a hack attack. The effect that this will have on system reliability should require no further explanation. In short, the Vista specifications explicitly cripple the PC.