Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bright future for Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 leads the console hardware race with an installed base of 22 million as of September 2008 that should reach 25 million sometime this month.

In addition to leading the hardware race, the Xbox 360 leads the way in third-party game sales, meaning that, aside from Microsoft-published first-party titles, more games are sold for the Xbox 360 than third-party titles for Nintendo's Wii or Sony's Playstation 3. This is important because it shows publishers of third-party games which console will provide the greatest return on their game development dollar.

An article in today's ars technica has great graphs that show this obvious advantage over the course of this year to-date. The number of third-party games in the top 10 for sales numbers each month over the past 10 months for the Xbox 360 exceeds the number of games in the top 10 for the Wii by over 6 times and the PS3 by over 2 times.

With the recent price cuts for the Xbox 360 bringing the base model to the magic $199 price point, the sales trends are sure to continue, with more non-gaming consumers willing to buy.

The release of Microsoft's "New Xbox Experience" this week on November 19 should help to broaden the appeal of the Xbox 360 beyond regular gamers. This update to the dashboard interface will have happy avatars, more community features and games, and the integration of Netflix downloaded movies, bringing the Xbox 360 much closer to the general-purpose set-top box that will appeal to media content companies as well as more general media consumers, not just gamers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Artie Lange on Conan tonight, NPR's Fresh Air today, 11/11

I neglected to mention Artie's appearance on Letterman last Friday mainly to preserve the gravitas of my posts on the week's election events, but also because Gears of War 2 released on Friday and, after picking it up on the way home from work I immediately began playing it and forgot all about posting on my blog.

Tonight Artie will be appearing on Conan, so be sure to catch or record it if you're interested.

*UPDATE* I forgot that Artie was also interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. I caught the tail end of the interview just now. He is promoting his new book, Too Fat To Fish, and recounts some of the stories from his life. The interviewer, Terry Gross, is always thoroughly prepared for her interviews, and with Artie you can see that she is also a fan. The full interview is online here after 3p EST.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope begins to return

A few quotes, one I read and one I heard today, have softened my anger about the passing of proposition 8. The first is one I read on John Scalzi's blog today, speaking of a long and difficult struggle:
"Re: Proposition 8 and the other anti-same-sex marriages initiatives on the ballots, which passed in their respective states: I am disappointed, of course. I had hoped voters, particularly in California, would have had better moral sense. But as I mentioned to someone else earlier today, the struggle against bigotry is long and difficult, and the fact of the matter is we’re in the middle of this particular struggle, and it will take years to see it through, as has every struggle against bigotry here in the US. I’m willing to invest the time."
This will indeed be a long struggle. It will take time, and judging from the demonstrations and actions I have read about and seen today that large groups of Californians are taking part in to protest proposition 8's passage, I have no doubt we as citizens will endure the struggle and eventually prevail.

The second is a quote I heard on tonight's News Hour with Jim Lehrer, said by an individual who was interviewed on the street about what the election of Barack Obama means to him. The imagery just struck me:
"Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run."

I don't know if we can

I am sad and dismayed this morning to see that the majority of voters in California appear to have chosen to incorporate discrimination and bigotry into the state's constitution with the passage of proposition 8 (Wikipedia entry). At this moment the results are not official, but with 95% of precincts reporting, proposition 8 is passing with 52% approval.

If it ultimately passes, proposition 8 will cast a dark, ugly shadow across the positive change embodied in Barack Obama. How is it that a state which voted for such fundamental change with Barack Obama can also embrace fear and ignorance to regress to the days of 19th century anti-miscegenation laws?

Those who think they are "protecting marriage" by supporting proposition 8 have done quite the opposite. Discrimination and bigotry against a minority group in our society undermines that society and its institutions, of which marriage is one. If passed, proposition 8 will turn the institution of marriage into a tool of "straight supremacy," something proposition 8 supporters can point to and say "marriage is ours" and that gays and lesbians are not equal under the law.

This is a terrible message to send to children and young people.

The contradiction inherent in electing a black president while simultaneously choosing to enact law to discriminate against a minority group is mind-blowing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Polling place update

I arrived at my polling place about ten minutes before seven, and waited in line behind maybe seven or eight people. Once the polling place opened I was able to finish voting by about 7:15.

By the time I finished the line was out the door and on the sidewalk, maybe 40 people. It's going to be a busy day, people, but get out there and vote!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Please vote

Please, everyone, remember to vote tomorrow.

Get up early, take time off of work, come home late, but whatever you do, please vote.