The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

The state of TV

| November 30, 2009

So, Liz and I were really jonesing for a TiVo HD… and then all the interesting shows went off the air. Let’s run down the list:

  • Battlestar Galactica: Done (and the ending sucked)
  • Monk: Finishing up
  • Sarah Connor Chronicles: Canceled
  • Firefly: Canceled (years ago, and I’m still sore about it)
  • Dollhouse: Canceled

So, what does that leave?

  • Big Bang Theory
  • Good Eats
  • Psych
  • Iron Chef America
  • No Reservations

And, let’s be honest: do eny of those shows really benefit from HD? I don’t really think so.

So, we ordered a Refurb Blu-Ray player which can stream Netflix.

My first thought on this was that TiVo’s revenue stream was going to be negatively impacted by this dearth of decent shows. I mean, once you have reasonable market saturation, your continued revenue is based on replacement (which is bad if too many things break) and upgrades. The upgrades go away if no one cares. Of course, this is wrong – they have a subscription model, which means they have a continued revenue stream unless people actually cancel their TiVo subscription – and the above shows are worth that…

Edit: Liz says that TiVo’s subscription rates are actually down to about 2004 levels. Between people streaming content and Cable DVR’s, they’re apparently eating into their subscriber base pretty heavily.

So, I guess I’m just full of it…


| November 19, 2009

  • Back from Carnage. Great con. Played in:

    • The Unexplained. Lots of fun. Bought it.
    • Heavy Gear Blitz. Decent, but likely won’t pick up yet another minis game. I’m not going to say it’s better or worse than Battletech – just different. Battletech is shoot, shoot, shoot, now you’re in arm’s reach, and you beat the crap out of each other. Heavy Gear is more shooting and less melee.
    • Battlestar Galactica Board Game Great game. Very dynamic.
  • Been sick with the seasonal flu. Got better. Mostly. Have this nagging cough which is bothering me. But, feeling a little better each day.

  • A guy emailed me asking about his website. WTF? Well, apparently there is another Matt Caron, who owns, and this guy was looking for web design. Of course, I go look at the site, and I’m like “gack! You need a website redesign, so instead of just doing it, you put up a witty placeholder?” So unprofessional. I didn’t even do that when I redesigned this site, and it’s just a hobby/personal site, not something for a business. But, this ia one of the problems with the state of the industry today. Surprising that anything works.

  • A friend sent me this very amusing video clip.

Humans innnnn spaaaaace…

| November 1, 2009

So, I’ve started to read The Foundation Trilogy, and it has me thinking about:

  • Traveller
  • Alternity
  • Full Thrust

(Primarily the last one).

Full Thrust is a very good space combat game, and the rules are available for free from Ground Zero Games website.

The main issue with them is that the rules are spread across 4 books, and later books replace rules in earlier books, so it’s pretty hard to learn to play just from books and playing – you kind of need someone to teach you.

A couple of years ago, the thought briefly crossed my mind to do a revised compilation of the rules (with GZG’s permission), but it appears that someone beat me too it, and good for him!

Anyway, I’m also thinking of a Transhuman Space / Traveller / Alternity: Star Drive game, likely using Savage Worlds rules and exploring the worlds a bit.

Of course, there’s also Eclipse Phase, which I’m still reading.