Category Archives: Web/Technology

Halo 3 Launches Amid Rave Reviews

halo 3In just a few minutes Halo 3 launches to the masses in packed electronics and gaming stores across the country.  It’s expected to be the biggest video game launch in history with expected sales of 200 million just in the first day alone.  Yowza!! Halo 3 may just give Microsoft (MSFT) another leg up on Sony (SNE) in the gaming wars as Halo 3 will only be available on the Xbox 360 and launches amid rave reviews., an aggegrator of reviews of games, movies, music, tv shows and books rates Halo 3 a 96 out of 100.

A few reviews:

"It’s solid gameplay, immense replayability, online functionality and incredible production values will ensure its place in video game history, and it is, without a doubt, a satisfying and fulfilling close to the beloved trilogy" – GamePro

"The Forge is a gargantuan achievement that puts game design in the hands of players, daring you to be creative and invent a Halo 3 multiplayer experience all your own. Of course, the multiplayer is every bit as astonishing as it has been in past iterations and even eclipses its predecessors in many respects"  – GameSpy

"The best game yet in one of the best FPS franchises of the era. Better than either of its predecessors, Halo 3 still can’t quite escape the category of flawed masterpiece – but this time around, the flaws are so minor that even the most churlish of reviewers would be hard pressed to mark the game down. " – Eurogamer

So how to profit?  Well.. the obvious choice is Microsoft even though a huge Halo 3 success and robust XBox360 sales would still represent a small fraction of overall revenues.  The stock actually looks good at these levels and for the long term holder I don’t see any reason why a position here wouldn’t be profitable over the next few years.  Technically, I would wait for a surge above the 200 day moving average and that looks all but assured at this point.

The other obvious choice is GameStop (GME), but Halo 3 success is very much built into the stock already.  That being said, it still looks very strong technically but initiating a position up at these levels carries considerably more risk.

Microsoft may have flat out failed in a Web 2.0 initiative (hence the desperation for a piece of Facebook), but it appears to be spending its way into success in the gaming industry which will only continue to grow as games become more appealing to the masses. 

Joost Gets Sequoia, CBS, Viacom Funding; Unleashes Beta Invites

joost funding invitesI’ve written about Joost before because I thought it was a compelling application that may one day change the way we watch TV. .. oh and as a beta tester had a few invites to give out as well.  Now Joost is allowing all beta testers to invite an unlimited number of friends, so if there is anyone still left out there without an invite who wanted one just comment on this post and I’ll set you up (as long as there aren’t 100’s!). 

Joost, founded just a year and a half ago by former Skype and Kazaa founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom, appears to be on the verge of a full public launch within just a few weeks. Today, they announced a round of investments from the likes of Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, CBS and Viacom.  Said Friis “This funding represents a tremendous vote of confidence in Joosts platform. Weve carefully selected these investors from a variety of interested parties, as they are best-in-class in their respective arenas and bring unique assets to Joost that will enable us to significantly accelerate growth and development of the Company.

GigaOm offers up some interesting insight into the relationships between the investors and founders.  You might remember that Sequoia was an early investor in Google and YouTube.  With Viacom suing Google over YouTube and simultaneously investing in another free video application that aims to better control copyrighted content, the internet tv industry is really getting interesting. 

Despite the excitement over Joost and today’s announcement of funding from some prominent players, it’s not without problems.  I haven’t had a chance to use it all that much but it seems half the time I do logon, the network is unavailable.  Some critics have argued that the P2P architecture won’t provide the necessary quality.  An abundance of top quality content (which they don’t yet have) won’t matter a darn bit if the network isn’t up 99.9% of the time with high quality video.  All in all, Joost is an exciting application with impressive resources behind it, but they have a long way to go before people will be compelled to watch television programming on their monitor.  Perhaps once beta testing is over and if prime time programming from Viacom is released, my opinion will change.  For now, there are a million other things I’d rather be doing than watching Joost.

Realtime LED Dynamic Stock Ticker In Your Home!

realtime led dynamic stock ticker floorWhile surfing around last night I came across a company called Trans-Lux that pioneered dynamic stock ticker technology with the first ticker tape projection system installed at the New York Stock Exchange in 1923.  Today, they have extended their reach and provide display solutions in a number of different industries, but still offer an array of realtime led dynamic stock ticker displays for trading rooms, brokerages and banks.  After seeing some of the images, particularly the one at the left where the ticker tape meanders through the hallway into the next room (I think this is a shot of Morgan Stanley) I got to wondering if anyone has done something like this in their home!  I think if I have a large pile of cash lying around that I have no idea what to do with, then the hallway stock ticker is going to be at the top of the list.  If anyone reading this post has or know someone who has a realtime LED display in their home send me some pictures and I’ll post them.

Invites to Joost Available – Internet and TV Merge

If anyone is interested I just received 5 invitations for beta testing over at Joost, a company founded by the same tech pioneers that brought us Skype and Kazaa.  Think TV meets social networking.  I’ve had a chance to do a little testing of my own and my initial reaction is – very impressive.  Joost has signed up a few big name content providers such as MTV, Warner Bros and the Comedy Channel but in this early stage, the amount of good content is lacking.  What impressed me most is the quality and layout.  There is surprisingly little pixelation at full screen (using my comcast broadband connection).  While watching Joost TV and playing with some of the interactive features such as live chat, text messaging, ratings, etc. you can’t help get excited about the future possibilities as television melds with the internet.  Imagine sports fans from rival teams talking trash while watching the action.  There’s no word yet on when the

service is expected to be available to the public.  One big gripe – they make it incredibily difficult to get rid of the video screen!  Maybe I’m missing something but I’m fairly computer savvy and the only way I’ve figured out how to close the screen is the CTRL-ALT-DLT.  That’s one way to control the desktop.  How about a close screen button?  Anyway, If you want to check out the beta testing go ahead and send me first and last name and email address to [edited: sorry i’m all out] and I’ll get you an account.