Everybody Loses: The Week In Tech

on Friday, Jul. 29th

To win the Game of Buzz, you have to play. Then sometimes, everybody loses. Welcome to the first all-losers edition of the Game of Buzz.


  • NETFLIX: There’s screwing up, and then there’s Netflix. The recent price hike has pissed off their user base. Even if it has generated more comedy material than actual results… wait, what’s that? Disappointing second quarter profits meant a 5% drop in stock price? A report says that 2.5 million subscribers will quit? An industry analyst estimates a subscriber turnover of 6.5 million? Whoa! They better hope they can get some content deals in place to justify their herding of the user base towards streaming. Of course, that’s assuming that the telcos don’t clamp down on the bandwidth caps so hard that streaming isn’t sexy anymore.How much is a Blockbuster membership again?
  • AIRBNB: You have to love the naivete of early adopters sometime. I mean the idea of Airbnb, a service that helps people sublet their homes as vacation rentals, sounds great. No, wait. It sounds ridiculous. Crazy even, as one woman learned when her apartment was totally trashed by the renter while said tenant wrote her cheery emails about how awesome her pad was. Dr. Gonzo is alive and well it seems. Now can we stop using the internet to let strangers into our lives without any kind of social vetting?
  • NINTENDO: When Crazy Eddie slashes prices we all laugh and say “That’s just Crazy Eddie”. When Nintendo slashes $80 off the price of  their brand new handheld 3D console we say “There goes the handheld industry”. Really, what was Nintendo thinking when they put out the 3DS at the $250 price point? Now, with mounting pressure from the iPad (EA announced that  the the Apple tablet is their fastest growing platform) and the imminent release of Sony’s PSP Vita, Nintendo is desperate to avoid another disappointing sales quarter.These guys take their business seriously. In America a CEO would have looked at the problem and decided that he needed a pay raise in order to raise his self-esteem and thus prove to Wall St. that his company was worth investing in. Nintendo’s CEO looked the problem right in the eye and took a 50% pay cut.

    That’s a bit of Japanese culture we need to import ASAP.


Augmented Reality: German Firm Shows Off Touch Based UI

We seem to be on a collision course with wearable computing.



Will VR’s Killer App Make You Sick?

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera has a close-in look at the design philosophy going into Eve: Valkyrie, the “killer app” for virtual reality systems.

Image: Rachel I. Berman (Alice); Publicity image by Darial Sneed for Then She Fell.

Immersive Cinema And The Age of Voxelpunk

In the wake of the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR the issue of the future of virtual reality beyond games has stepped into the media spotlight.


Tribeca’s Storyscapes Returns For An Epic Second Year

The Tribeca Film Festival leapt into the vanguard of transmedia art last year with the inaugural edition of Storyscapes, an event led by TriBeCa’s Director of Digital Initiatives Ingrid Kopp.


Simple Machine Announces Micro-Festival Grants

We’ve been keeping up with Simple Machine, the independent film curation tool for festival and art house programmers, since running across their booth at South By Southwest last year.