NBC to Cancel "The Office"
This really sucks, NBC is canceling The Office
due to [really] low ratings
. I have no idea why one of the funniest shows is getting such low ratings.
I don't totally blame NBC for the decision to cancel, the show is under performing. But I think networks need to really get behind shows. I have heard that when starting a business you need to expect to loose money the first several years. Networks should understand that some shows need a little more than 6 episodes to get attention.
Another new show this season is Jake In Progress
and as far as I know it's aired the same number of weeks as The Office, but has had 13 episodes already (airing two a night each week). I have no idea how well it is doing rating wise (looking up that info isn't a specialty of mine), but it is quite possible that airing these extra episodes will allow viewers (I almost called them "users" (I am a true geek)) to make stronger connections with characters in a shorter time frame.
It will be interesting to see how TV networks will try and capture viewers in the future.
I feel somewhat bad myself, I love The Office and have talked about the show with family and friends and encouraged them to watch it, but yet I have only seen 1 episode on TV during it's original airtime, the rest of the season I watched after downloading the shows off the Internet on my own schedule.
Am I hurting the ratings by this practice? Does me watching a show actually help? What about when I watch one show via my cable box but record another with my VCR? Do they both get credit?
I wonder when TV networks will start watching Internet downloads to help gauge what is popular (if they aren't already). It was like 6 (or more) years ago when the music industry really started paying attention and using download statistics to pick the next singles from albums for airplay. Hopefully TV will catch up.
I would love to say that DVD sales might bring back The Office for more episodes to be made, but with only 6 episode under their belts they would need a lot of extras to make it worth a purchase.
If you have missed out and you want to partake of the comedy goodness of The Office, it's not too late, the entire season (yes, all 6 episodes) can be downloaded via BitTorrent
thanks to a wonderful BT site for TV shows, #BT - EFnet
. If you only are willing to give the show one chance, download episode #104 "The Alliance".
Mozilla Firefox to improve pop-up blocking, or add it now
recently reported that Firefox
is improving it's pop-up blocking by defaulting options to not allow plug-ins like Macromedia Flash or Java to launch pop-ups. This change is coming after more and more advertisers are using plug-ins to launch unrequested pop-ups.
Apparently its harder to distinguish events that take place within a plug-in because the plug-in is a completely separate program running within the space of the browser - and the plug-in may not communicate back to the browser whats taking place within the plug-in. So Firefox can't tell if a new window launched from within a plug-in was requested or not.
The Firefox developers are definitely concerned about this situation, they don't want you to not get your requested pop-ups (this is a really annoying situation if you are ever put in it), so they are working on finding a solid solution before implementing it into the browser for public consumption.
If you want to be ahead of the pack, you can currently download an extension released by the Firefox team that will block all pop-ups (and pop-unders) from plug-ins aptly named "Pop-ups Must Die!
" Be warned however that this is a test and as of current this may break requested pop-ups from plug-ins as well. But there is a work around, you just have to white-list the web site and it will be allowed access to spawn pop-ups.
I am currently having one problem though. On my Mac running Firefox 1.0.2 and with the Pop-ups Must Die! extension I get warned that a pop-up was blocked and I am given the option to allow the pop-up or white-list the web site. But on my Windows also running Firefox 1.0.2 with the extension installed on the same page I do not get the warning. So be prepared for possible buggy results while this is a work in progress for the Firefox team.
You can follow along in Mozilla employee Asa Dotzler's blog here
Worst Day of the Year on the Internets
Your not supposed to believe everything you read on the internet, but on April Fools you can't even trust news worthy sites like Slashdot
and it's down right annoying.
I wouldn't normally complain but I got burned twice today.
The worst offence was when Andy linked
to a new Foo Fighters' single, "In Your Honor" posted at stereogum.com
. I fell hard thinking this was a really going to be a new song. Turns out to total prank with a horrible song to boot (I have no idea who the real artist is). I was all excited as I downloaded it, labeled it, and sorted the MP3 into my music/artist folder, then when I loaded it up it was utter crap, and after 10 seconds of disbelief it hit me that I had been played.
My second burn was no where near as bad, but Fark linked
to Nasa's astronomy photo of the day
which boasted of Water on Mars, and yes I thought this was plausible. Luckily this was funny enough that it didn't hurt so bad that I was once again played as a fool.
A mini burn was on Slashdot when a story
reported that Microsoft was porting SQL Server to other operating systems
. This seemed likely enough, there could be a large market for MS if they supported operating systems that are more popular in the server market. But luckily the brief of the article mentioned that the Xbox was also going to run SQL Server and saved me from wasting my time and following the news story any further.
Aside from being burned I just hated see all fake stories crowding up the sites I visit regularly. Here are some totally ridiculous ones:
The pranks were not limited to web sites alone. When logging into Steam to play Counter-Strike:Source the in game a news window popped up with an update of supposed changes made to the game to make it more realistic. The April Fools change log can be found posted on Steam's web site here
I did however enjoy some great pranks pulled by Google and ThinkGeek which annually do something for April 1st
and you can basically assume they have something up their sleeves.
- Google Gulp - a line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty. [via]
Note: Check out the extensive FAQ, and last year Google was hiring people to work on the moon.
- iCopulate - Apple iPod accessory to transfer files directly between 2 iPods. [via]
Note: Last year ThinkGeek was selling an Infinite Power Generator that gathered energy from the atmosphere.
Then on top of all this, some real things happened today:
If you want to see all the pranks recorded on the web today, check out the huge list available at urgo.org