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Netflix via Wii

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Tomorrow, Friday the 26th of March, Netflix will deliver a disc to many of its customers that will allow a subscriber with a Nintendo Wii to stream Netflix online content straight to their TV via that Wii.

thanks to coryhanson.net for the image

With 12 million US subscribers and over 20 million Wii owners, I'm betting there's quite a bit of overlap in those populations. I'm going to conservatively guess that there are 1 million people in the US that own both Wiis and subscribe to Netflix. If just 10% of those people planned ahead and want to be able to stream video, that's 100,000 people who, tomorrow, will want to be streaming videos from Netflix servers.

Of note, "users will need at least 1Mbps to watch films", according to this Ars Technica article.

A little quick math tells me that there could be a spike in demand coming soon, to the tune of 100 Gbps. That's a hell of a lot of demand.

So you heard it here first. Like all new services, it's going to be beset by issues for the next couple of weeks. It sounds awesome, and I'm sure once demand evens out it will be, but the initial burst of interest is going to make the experience suck. Mark my words!

Being Counted

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I got my Census 2010 form in the mail. I was super-excited, until I realized that I wasn't going to get the neat-o long form and got stuck with the short form, instead. Yes, the boring, short, uninteresting, 10-question short form.

thanks to United Families International for the image of Census 2010

Please note that it's currently March 16th. So when I'm reading question 1 which says "How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1st, 2010?", I can't answer that. IT'S IN THE FUTURE! I DON'T KNOW THE FUTURE!!! (And, incidentally, I approve of the use of the Oxford comma. Thanks, guys!)

Also, why do they ask both my age and date of birth? If I give them my data of birth, they can easily derive my age as of April 1st, 2010 (April Fool's Day?). However, if I fill out the form and give my age, as of today (it doesn't ask "age as of April 1st", then I could be possibly introducing errors into their data if my birthday falls between now and April 1st, as is likely with roughly 4% of the population.

So I've already found a problem with 20% of the questions. Still, I'm excited to fill it out and take my part in the decennial Constitutional enumeration.

Movie Review: Dead Snow

Sunday, March 07, 2010
I was unable to see the movie Dead Snow on its initial release because I'm pretty sure it didn't play in the Portland area, though its awesome trailer put it on my must-see list. Thankfully, Netflix delivers.

The movie starts with your typical horror background: a bunch of Norwegian medical students leave cell phone range and hike/snowmobile into a remote cabin to play in the snow. While there, they hear a story from a slightly-crazy local about the Nazi atrocities that occurred at the end of World War II. Then then discover a trunk of stolen Nazi gold t in the cabin, and proceed to get slaughtered by Nazi zombies.

Dead Snow movie poster... thanks to IWatchStuff.com

While the film probably won't win many awards, it was a downright fun gore-fest with many important lessons in it, such as "don't sneak up behind your friend and grab them when they're in the middle of a nice zombie-killing streak." OF course, the most important lesson of all is, "don't steal stolen gold from dead Nazis".

Do I recommend this movie? Oh heck yes. It has all the pieces of an awesome film and it pretty much delivers. If zombies are your thing, don't miss this film.

A Lesson Taught; A Lesson Learned?

Friday, March 05, 2010
I'd like to welcome a particular woman to Portland.

Now, I'm not sure what this particular woman's name is, and I'm not even sure that - at this point - I could even pick her up out of a lineup. But I do know that she happens to drive a dark maroon Toyota Prius with California plates.

Speaking of cars, I'd like to talk to her (and to the world) in general about blinkers. You know, turn signals? The lever that we who drive on the right-hand side of the road have sticking out of the left side of our steering wheels? These are really useful for communicating intentions.

The fender bender

For instance, and I'm speaking (typing?) of a complete hypothetical here, but let's imagine a scenario where you wanted to make a U-turn in the middle of a busy street in downtown Portland. What would happen if you decided to start this maneuver with a non-signalled right-hand turn? What if you then decided to complete the move with a non-signalled U-turn?

I'd hit you. That's what, hypothetically, would happen. I'm not going to say I'd hit you hard - I'd leave quite a bit of my tires on the road in my attempt to stop and swerve. But in this hypothetical situation, there would be a (minor) collision.

So the lesson here is that, when you come to Portland, you can expect people to be nice (like me), reasonably agreeable (like me), and, like me, not expecting strange driving behavior.

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