Blog posting: Summer 2010 recap/M.I.A. WTF edition

Well, fancy seeing you here again.

About a month ago, I was channel surfing, which for me consists of going between CBC, NBC, FOX, CW and PBS – the channels I get in HD over the air from the states, when I stumbled on David Letterman introducing M.I.A. and her performance of “Born Free.” The performance, which you can see embedded below, was perhaps the most outrageous performance I’ve ever seen on network TV. I can distinctly remember saying to myself “What the f*** was that?” when it was over. For those of you who don’t watch Letterman, you’re probably unaware that the show’s musical guests are varied & generally awesome. When I go on YouTube, it’s usually to look at one of two things: Videos of the Montreal Expos, or Late Show with David Letterman musical performances.

So a couple of nights ago, surfing YouTube via the site’s excellent mobile web app, I decided to re-watch that month-old M.I.A. performance, primarily because Letterman’s reaction at the end is priceless. And as I re-watched the video, I heard it in my headphones. Exactly what I was thinking one month ago. At about 4:15 of the video, a man in the audience yells out “WHAT THE F*** WAS THAT?”

It’s clearly audible, just pay attention as Letterman walks out to M.I.A.:

If you made it through the entire video without skipping to 4:15, I commend you. Actually, after the third time, the song does grow on you!

For some reason, that video pretty much sums up Summer 2010. I spent it teaching at Concordia, doing the weekly segment on CTV, working on my tennis game and trying to enjoy the great weather. The iPhone 4 has come, and I have bought it. As the summer winds down, the blog will start back up. I’m posting this to get back in the swing of things.

What’s on the agenda for the blog? Well, along with the iPhone 4, I currently have in my possession Canada’s best Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant. Next week, I’ll post a head-to-head battle between the best of the best, iPhone & Android.

HD Television

How to watch CBS, NBC, FOX, & PBS in HD for free

The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien (I'm with Coco) in glorious free over-the-air (OTA) HD.

A while back, I wrote about what a mess it is getting HD programming in Montreal. It’s either very expensive (Bell and Shaw Direct) or almost non-existent (Videotron). The local options are so bad that I came very close to going grey-market by paying for DirecTV with the help of a friend with a US address. While the costs are similar to what you would pay with a Canadian cable or satellite company, the amount of quality HD channels available with DirecTV provides much more value.

At the end of the day I decided that my television viewing habits didn’t warrant the big up-front and long-term costs associated with any satellite option. While I love TV, I just don’t watch enough of it to warrant an $80-a-month subscription. I’d much rather spend a fraction that cash for unlimited internet on a mobile device (iPad, anyone?) and figure out a cheap solution for a little TV watching now and then.