Archive for October 6th, 2005

OSS funny stuff

You know, if you place your mouse on top of a Gnome menu item (e.g. on top of the “Text Editor”), a tooltip appears that tells you what this program does (e.g. “edit text files”). The whole purpose of this tooltip is to make new unexperienced users feel better and make the system more usable.

Well, after installing gFTP tonight, I was stumbled over their choice of tooltip text: “Multithreaded ftp client.”

Yes, this information is very important for all new users. It’s multithreaded! Hurrah!

Star Trek Idea

Most of you know that Star Trek became big when the internet boomed in 1996. Before that time, Star Trek’s success was so-so (and it was a disaster in the ’60s in terms of popularity). ST is somehow ‘compatible’ with how the internet works and there is proof for it in the sheer number of fans that got the ‘bug’ through the net.

So, I was thinking… Do you remember the Flash Gordon short episodes showing at the US cinemas in the 1930s before the main movie?

What if Viacom/Paramount was producing a new Star Trek series, but instead of being created for the TV, it was created for the Internet? A downloadable 10-15 minute h.264 video at good VGA resolution (that’s between 50-70 MBs per weekly episode when h.264 is used). Take it even further and have only Apple distribute this via iTunes every week (and have Apple pay for the bandwidth). Price, about $3 per episode if in iTunes, and completely free if is distributed via StarTrek.com (in which case the ads in the webpage should pay for the costs).

Everyone in the industry agrees that the Star Trek franchise needs to either take a rest or take a different direction. However, its fanatic fans need more and Paramount could provide this “experiement” that would answer not only questions to the viability of internet TV, but the future of Star Trek too (and Star Trek makes a great choice for such an experiement for more than one reasons).

I personally prefer the Startrek.com solution rather than iTunes (free, downloadable), but I would have some requirements: don’t even think mess up with the timeline and universe of the original StarTreks. It should be as accurate to the timeline as TNG, VOY and DS9 were amongst them. It should also be of good quality, like a real TV show, not soap-like crap.

If the episodes are created in a way to complete in 4-parts (for example “the borg encounter, Part 1/4” etc) it would mean that only 13 1-hour full episodes per year would need to be shot, which is cheaper than a full tv series shoot. Also, by making them always complete in 4 parts, they are DVD and TV-ready. Countries like Greece or Turkey where the vast majority of people are still on dial-up they would need to buy the TV rights of the series and broadcast them instead of the people actually downloading them manually. So no matter what, Paramount has a winner.

Another idea that I wrote some time ago is a new TV series about the ST: Starfleet Academy.