Monday Links

Here’s what I read or watched over my second cup of coffee this morning:

  • Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, not content to release his latest installment of the Spy Kids franchise in 3D, is going into the fourth dimension….with what he calls “Aromascope.” Basically, moviegoers will be provided with a series of numbered scratch-and-sniff cards that correspond with specific scenes in the movie. Of course, incorporating scent with movies isn’t entirely new, with Smell-O-Vision dating back to 1960 and John Waters using Odorama for Polyester. The Los Angeles Times has a brief interview with Rodriguez in which he tries to argue that Aromascope will enhance the moviegoing experience.
  • TV set-top boxes are huge energy hogs, according to the New York Times, mostly because many of these boxes are powered on 24/7, even when people aren’t watching.
  • The streaming rental service Zediva continues to test the limits of copyright law. Citing the First Sale Doctrine, Zediva has argued that once they purchase a copy of a DVD, they have the right to rent it out, in their case, renting it via streaming video. The First Sale Doctrine is what permits rental services such as Blockbuster, Netflix, and Redbox to rent physical copies of a DVD or video, but streaming quite obviously blurs this line, given that Zediva’s customers never actually take physical possession of the video being “rented.” Will be interesting to see how this case plays out.
  • Something to keep an eye on: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has been added to the board of directors for Facebook.
  • With Hulu up for sale, there has been quite a bit of discussion about potential changes to the service. New Tee Vee (citing the LA Times) reports that Hulu may soon be expected to verify that users of the free service are cable subscribers before they can watch recent episodes of current TV shows. David Poland suspects that Hulu will be a difficult sell. Amanda Natividad offers a useful timeline of the history of Hulu.

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