links for 2009-10-06

  • I only watch a handful of the 200+ DirecTV channels I pay for. To see whether I could survive without the pricey service, I simply went without it. I soon wondered why we all don't just turn off traditional TV. As illustrated in a few of our surveys, many of you have already made the jump, catching fresh TV via broadband instead of actual channels or even DVR. But the vast majority of us are still watching TV the old fashioned way—paying for packages from cable or satellite providers. But from what I've seen in my own house lately, I suspect that it won't be long before this practice is as archaic as owning a landline. Many of you refuse to pay for a phone twice, so why are you paying for two or three different ways to see your favorite TV shows? There are, of course, drawbacks to a life without a broadcaster-friendly set-top box, so I spent a month trying to find out whether or not these drawbacks were significant enough to justify the huge additional cost.
  • The official release of Windows 7 is only a few weeks away, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably asking yourself what effect this will have on your lives. Will the gates of Heaven open up and a consort of large breasted angels descend to guide you into computing heaven? Or will it be more of a low key affair, maybe involving the cast of Friends and a degrading video? So I decided to apply my powerful brain to the problem, and find out what Windows 7 would mean for you, the average user. With only pre-release versions and betas available for download, to get a copy of the actual release version, I had to turn to eBay, where leaked copies have shown up recently. $150 and two days later, a package of bubble wrapped, technological delights arrived on my doorstep. I giddily tore open the packaging to reveal the contents.
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