Strange New World: Tech Picks of the Week

This week we take you on a magical 3-D thrillride through the hilarity of unplanned pregnancy set to the music of those bad boys from Boston. Confused? All will become clear after you check out the SNW Picks of the Week.

Is 3-D Back?

Quick, what do James Cameron, George Lucas and Andy Warhol have in common? They dug 3-D movies. Long viewed as a techno nonstarter by Hollywood, 3-D is making another run at legitimacy.

At the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas this week, the resurgence of 3-D, now with new technology, was the hot story. Both U2 and Hannah Montana had 3-D hits in the past year and Pace, a company that worked with James Cameron on his 3-D projects, was showing an impressive demo of diving footage, flying footage and a neat clip from the upcoming remake of "Journey to the Center of the Earth" of Brendan Fraser and family falling really, really far.

The new case for 3-D is a mixture of factors. Although it is still more expensive than traditional production, the new 3-D technology is a fraction of the cost of its predecessor. And movies are facing unprecedented challenges from video games and other entertainment. So Hollywood really has to do something.

While the news is definitely pick-worthy for this week, we will have to reserve judgment for how it fares in the future. As sophisticated as the new tools are, users must still wear glasses they receive at the theater in order to see the 3-D effects. And to be frank, the technology is just one out-of-control head lice story away from complete contempt on the part of the audience.

Yes, 3-D is cool, but is the audience ready? It is far too early to tell.

"Juno" Comes to iTunes

The Oscar Award-winning and groundbreaking film in the "unplanned pregnancy/comedy" genre was released on DVD this Tuesday, and Fox also released the film for sale on iTunes at the same time.

This is a departure from the stance that most major movie studios have taken on Internet movie releases. Apple convinced Disney (the parent company of ABC News) to play ball with them a little while back, but major studios have balked because of problems with Apple's pricing structure and the whole download-to-own issue. If this works out well for the studios, look for more new-release films on iTunes. This is a big step because, as you all know, John Law says you can't rip a DVD to your iPod yourself. If you want to rent "Juno" on iTunes, not buy it, you will have to wait until May 14.

Guitar Hero: Aerosmith

This week we got a preview of the upcoming "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith," and just like the band, it rocks. While we are pretty terrible faux-guitarists, that wasn't the game's fault, and fans of the Guitar Hero series won't be disappointed.

Contrary to what the title would lead you to believe, the game is not all Aerosmith songs. It's a 60/40 mix of their songs and others that the band picked out for the game. The levels of the game walk you through the band's career from their first gig at a regional high school to getting signed in New York and beyond.

Once you beat a level, you even get a three-minute "Behind The Music" style video. The game will be available later this summer, but you can preorder it now.

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

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