It is becoming all too common an occurrence for blockbuster movies to release their initial trailers online only these days. It seems like the Internet revolution has finally begun to take over cinema. I am convinced that in the near future films will be simultaneously released in theaters and online but I guess that is a topic for another day. Today Fox released the trailer for their upcoming X-men film, and while I found it to be quite underwhelming, it doesn’t change the fact that more and more film makers are putting their initial trailers on the Internet for fans to get excited about. I was always used to catching the premiere of a trailer during the viewing of another blockbuster, and I always felt as though tying anticipated trailers to a current release helped drive ticket sales, but I guess the numbers just didn’t stack up. With sites like YouTube, it was becoming impossible for companies to keep their trailers from being leaked, so now it seems they are willing to post them directly to the source. By releasing trailers online, these film makers are not only controlling the hype around their film, but also creating extra publicity via social media. It is clear that the Internet has had a huge effect on media consumption in general, and as we shift to a more web based society, I expect to see much less of the old guard techniques in advertising and much more web only productions.
Today marks the launch day for the new iPhone 6s, and along with it has come a new revision of iOS. iOS 9 has been out for a week, and today Apple decided to release fixes for the issues users have been having while using the software with update 9.0.1. The most interesting feature Apple has introduced for the new iOS is the ability to block content on the Safari browser. With the content blockers, users are able to block ads, media, and pictures while surfing the web. These content blockers lead to a faster, less cluttered, and less intrusive use of the browser. I have been using content blockers on my computer for years, so I am extremely welcoming of their addition to my mobile platform, however I fear the effect it can have on the Internet and ad revenue for companies that rely on it. I have to admit, web ads are extremely annoying, and mobile ads have become incredibly intrusive, but now that we can block them, companies will have to find new ways to make the money they will be losing. I don’t want to sound like I am the baron of bad news, but mobile content blockers could signal the end of the Internet as we know it. Many websites are no longer offering a mobile version, as they would rather push their free, yet ad supported app onto consumers. With these apps, companies can continue to get their precious ad revenue, while bringing their content directly to the consumer with constant and somewhat annoying notifications. I am not exactly a fan of loading my phone up with apps that I would only use twice a week, and I detest the idea of an app overload my phone with notifications, so if this is going to be the trend for mobile web, I will likely be spending much less time on the Internet in the near future.
Communication has come a very long way over the past few centuries. What was once considered unimaginable is now the norm, and connections that many dreamed of are now being harnessed in the hands of infants. When Alexander Graham Bell and the other early telecommunication inventors thought up the telephone, they just wanted an effective way of relaying a spoken message, and now their work is part of a massive infrastructure that they would have never fathomed. There was once a time when the most effective way of communicating aside from interpersonal, was via carrier pigeon, and now we are able to easily link with people across the world with video messages. I once worked in the telecommunications industry so I am well aware of how quickly we can go from one huge advancement to another, and communication seems to be getting wider and more advanced than ever at an incredibly fast rate. The best way for me to illustrate the great advancements we have seen in the past few years is through my own experience. My parents have been out of the country for a little while, and thanks to the great advancements in telecommunications worldwide, I have been able to speak with them clearly, and at will. Recent advancements in cellular and digital communications have made talking to somebody who is 5200 miles and an ocean away seem as simple as calling a next door neighbor. We have definitely gone a long way since the first telephone, and there seems to be no stopping the rate of growth communication technology is seeing. At this point in time it would be ridiculous for me to speculate on what the future holds for communication, but with the speed of technological advancements, I would not be surprised to see my wildest dreams outdone by an unbelievable reality in the near future.
Video games have definitely advanced since my youth, what was once a tiny man running on a screen with the ability to jump at the press of a button, has evolved into massive worlds with realistic looking characters who can be controlled to do just about anything. If somebody would have told me that one day I would be able to look at a game and not be able to differentiate the real from the fake, I would have said they were insane, but today’s gaming systems have shown the full power these developers now harness. I decided to try out the Xbox One this weekend, since I was once a big time gaming fan and I never actually played this now two year old system. At first glance this system looks like gaming has taken a step back, it is massive, like old school VCR massive, and honestly just based on the weight of the system I think they could have trimmed 30% off of the size. Once the console is turned on and after the somewhat lengthy setup, it is clear that it is no machine of the past. The Xbox One has the capabilities that were dreamed of in the past, and the processing power to do even more than it currently does, I never thought a video game system would ever reach the versatility of a computer but Microsoft basically nailed it with this one. The functionality of the system is great, but as with any platform, they live or die with software. The games on the Xbox One are exactly as expected, mildly entertaining and generic gameplay wise, but graphically stellar. It is almost impossible for developers to create a truly entertaining experience these days when they are so enamored with making a visual masterpiece. I have to say the thing I miss most about video games is how creative and entertaining they once were, but perhaps I am just getting old. I have to give the Xbox One a great rating as an entertainment device, but if you are not a “gamer,” save your money, it just doesn’t seem to be a must own device for an individual merely searching for a living room media center.