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The End of Channel-Surfing?

TV static is mostly gone. So is the original meaning of the phrase "don't touch that dial." And channel-surfing is the next TV-related activity heading toward obsolescence.

This means no stumbling across the middle of The Shawshank Redemption when it's broadcast on TBS.

If you have TiVo or a DVR, you enjoy the ability to watch your favorite shows when you want to watch them—essentially, you are the network executive of your own TV channel, picking and choosing what show comes on next.

A couple years ago, Apple launched a product that it hoped would do to TV what the iPod did to music. But Apple TV suffered from lackluster sales and very little buzz, and the computer company has reportedly decided to rebrand and relaunch the product as iTV. iTV's goal will be the same: to deliver a shakeup to the boob tube like the recent tech-related shakeups delivered to the music, book and film industries. iTV bridges the gap between your computer and your TV set—so you don't have to watch all those sitcom episodes and downloaded movies on a tiny computer screen.

Netflix already offers a product that can stream movies and TV shows from its online library straight to your computer.

If you have one of these things, you've probably noticed how your TV habits have shifted. You're no longer looking for something to watch; you're watching things you've already found. And that means that channel-surfing has gone the way of adjusting the rabbit ears to get a better signal.


THE WEEK ON THE RANGE

The political desk started listing the many reasons you should not vote for Republican Andrew Thomas in the GOP primary for Arizona Attorney General; noted that U.S. Sen. John McCain has now spent close to $20 million on his campaign to annihilate J.D. Hayworth; and dished on Maricopa County congressional candidate Ben Quayle's links to thedirty.com, a quasi-porno-gossip website that originally focused on the Scottsdale club scene. Did the former vice president's son really post belittling assessments of Scottsdale women under the handle of Brock Landers? OMG!

Outside of the TMZ beat, we continued following the Congressional District 8 race between Republicans Jonathan Paton and Jesse Kelly (more on that here); noted that Republican Doug Ducey, the multimillionaire who wants to be Arizona's next treasurer, couldn't keep track of his own accounts well enough to pay the taxes on his $1.4 million home; and filled you in about a new poll showing that 44 percent of Democrats still didn't know anything about the four Arizona Democrats running for U.S. Senate.

BTW: The political coverage ramps up in the run-up to Election Day on Tuesday, Aug. 24, so stop by often—and don't even think about missing our primary-night coverage, with up-to-the-minute results, interviews, photos and more.

But we digress. The Range also told you to check out the Cele Peterson tribute at the Fox Tucson Theatre at Second Saturdays Downtown; previewed the Mission Creeps' benefit at Preen for Project Close-Knit; and encouraged you to see The Eating Disorder Talent Show at Live Theatre Workshop.

On the Chow beat: We pointed you toward Feast's blog, where you can follow the midtown bistro's progress toward the opening of a new location. We worked up an appetite reading about it and popped into Feast's current location, where Doug Levy told us he's on target to open the new location in late September.


COMMENT OF THE WEEK

"I'll pass, but thanks for asking."

—Barbara Hanson, via Facebook, regarding "Trace Adkins Tells Crowd to 'Blow' Him If They Don't Like Sheriff Joe Arpaio" (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch, Aug. 9).


BEST OF WWW

Do you like alcohol and Tucson? Well, there's an app for that—more precisely, our app. This week, the Tucson Weekly is launching our very own guide to the city's happy hours. Head to happyhours.tucsonweekly.com from your computer; hh.tucsonweekly.com from your mobile device; or download the GoTime Happy Hours app to your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone to find the town's happy-hour-offering watering holes and eateries. What's best is, if you need a cheap drink RIGHT NOW, the app will tell you what happy hours are taking place RIGHT NOW. We heartily, *hic*, endorse it.

More by Nick Smith

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