Strange New World: Picks of the Week

Spring is in the air. Birds. Sunshine. Fresh air. It is the perfect time here in the strange new world of technology to stay inside and catch up on the latest in TV and games.

The big, sloppy, wonderful Web video service YouTube has decided the world is ready for the YouTube Awards: The Tubbies? The Ubyies? The Youbbies? Who knows. Also, life as we know it will change forever this summer when video mega hit Rock Band comes out for the Wii. Mark our words: There will be a pro air guitar, Rock Band circuit by the holidays.

And "South Park" is back from Web oblivion. Not only is every episode available online for free, but media monster Viacom (Comedy Central's parent company) had no choice but to split the gross with creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, putting the two on equal fiscal footing with Sumner Redstone, who owns the whole dang business.


Not bad for two dopes who make stuff with scissors and paper.

Here are our picks for top tech stories of the week.

The YouTube Awards

We thought awards show season was over and had moved on into March Madness. But it turns out there was one more big awards fest to round out the year: the YouTube awards.

YouTube viewers voted on the best clips of the year in a wide variety of categories ranging from "Adorable" and "Creative" to "Sports" and "Series." The winners are not exactly Academy Award material, but some of the work is pretty spiffy.

Our favorite? The winner in the "Eyewitness" category, called "Battle at Kruger." It is an amazing clip captured in a South African national park, where a pride of lions is stalking a herd of buffalo; they then attack and wrestle a baby buffalo down into a nearby watering hole. Then a crocodile jumps out of the water and a tug of war between these predators ensues, but there is a crazy surprise ending. It is kind of like "Nature" meets "300" meets "West Side Story."

Let the Air Guitar Games Begin

June 22 will go down in history as the day that launched a thousand musical journeys and turned ordinary people into rock gods. Rock Band is coming to the Nintendo Wii. And baby, air guitar will never be the same.

MTV Games and Harmonix announced that their mega hit for the PlayStation 2, 3 and Xbox 360 will come to the interactive gaming platform bundled with drums, a microphone and wireless guitar peripheral. This is like the perfect storm of dorkitude: The hottest game console and the hottest game are finally coming together. Hmm, we wonder if there will be any special song content on this version of the game. "Wii are the Champions"? Or perhaps "Wii are the World"? Maybe Wii should stop with the bad jokes.

Free South Park!

In an announcement that has probably doomed the spring semester for college kids around the country, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have founded South Park Digital Studios and placed every South Park episode online. And -- oh yes -- it's free. The guys have worked out a deal with Comedy Central and will split all the ad revenue 50-50.

If this works out, who knows, this might be the future of TV. If not, it will definitely be cool while it lasts.

Jonathan Blum and Dan Evans co-host "Strange New World," a weekly syndicated radio show. Blum hosts the blog and Evans is a features editor at PC Magazine.