Featured Essays

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tablet PCs - The Next Generation of Mobile Computers

Tablet PCs - The Next Generation of Mobile Computers

Make your predictions now, techies.  How long until laptops are completely phased out by tablet PCs?

It might be way too early to claim all laptops are obsolete, but there is certainly an expanding market for tablet computers in recent times.  According to the Olswang Convergence Survey 2011, around 5% of Americans own a tablet computer of some kind.  The increased usage and demand for this product is generated by the iPad launch in 2010 (and in typical Apple fashion, they released the enhanced iPad 2 model just one year later).  Not to be outperformed by the big almighty Apple company, a total of 14 different brands of tablet PCs were released during 2011, while at least 6 more brands will join the market within the upcoming months.

By the economic laws of supply and demand, there has to be a sizable amount of consumer demand to correspond with the upsurge in supply.  This article will explore the pros and cons of tablet PCs in contrast to desktops and laptop computers.  There will also be an in-depth price and brand comparison between the many models that have been recently released.  Which tablet PC is right for you?

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Era of TV Talent Competitions – One Winner, Many Fading Stars

The Era of TV Talent Competitions - One Winner, Many Fading Stars

Nobody can stop the American Idol juggernaut.

When the notorious judge Simon Cowell announced his departure in 2010, many dissenters thought this would finally spell the doom for American Idol.  Instead, the talent show remains prominent in its viewership entering into the tenth season.  Currently the most watched program on TV, this musical competition generates over twenty million viewers each week, while completely abolishing the competition in televised ratings.  Even if American Idol was long past its prime, there were no signs of fatigue or declining popularity as shown in the numbers.  It remains a top performing television program throughout the past ten years.

In fact, the format of a televised talent show seems to be regurgitating in recent marketability.  This April will see the debut of The Voice, yet another music competition to hit the North American broadcasts.  The show stands out with some star-studded names in its judging panel, such as Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera, along with country singer Blake Shelton, music producer Cee Lo Green, and late-night television personality Carson Daly as the host.  Later in September, Simon Cowell is back on television, and he will be introducing X-Factor to the U.S. with an astounding $5 million cash prize.  As such, if the current American Idol series leaves you unsatisfied, keep in mind there are plenty of similar alternatives within the upcoming television season.

The talent shows may be watched by many during the time of airing, but the popularity does not sustain after the competition is over.  More often than not, the winner fades into obscurity once the spotlight is taken away and the fifteen minutes of fame are gone forever.  This trend is increasingly true with the recent Idol champions, as they achieve less and less success in the music industry.  Take the latest winner, Lee DeWyze, had embarrassingly low sales for his debut album.  To put it into perspective, he was outsold by Rebecca Black of Friday notoriety!  Even less could be spoken about those who failed to win the ultimate title, other than a few rare and unusual exceptions with extraordinary circumstances.

If these talent shows do not produce a marketable and successful winner, does this not undermine the overall purpose of the competition?  And if so, why are these programs still so popular in the demand and supply markets?  This article will analyze the appeal of these televised talent competitions, and explore the aftermath of the participants after their fifteen minutes of fame are over.

What happens to the many fading stars in the boulevard of broken dreams?