If you're feeling good about the market, you're not alone. Take my hand as we go over some of this week's more uplifting headlines.
1. Microsoft Kinects the dots
Maybe gamers aren't so lazy after all. Microsoft
Kinect is a hit, and the $150 accessory isn't just for gaming and fitness programs. Microsoft announced this week that couch potatoes will be able to use gestures and voice prompts to control streaming through Netflix
I wonder if you blurt out "Will Ferrell" or "Nicolas Cage" whether it'll just stop playing the flick, saving you the streaming experience of what will likely be a dud of a movie. I wonder if Kinect knows if you and yours begin making out during a romantic comedy.
Let's leave Big Brother out of this. Microsoft's Kinect is 8 million gamers strong, and the home theater possibilities are just beginning.
2. The new "easy" button
Speaking of Netflix, the flick flicker is making sure that the remote controls for several new TV and Web-tethered Blu-ray players come with a Netflix button for one-click access to the service's streaming library.
It's a brilliant move on Netflix's part. How likely are you to quit Netflix when you'll have that colorful reminder every time you're changing channels? Those who aren't active members may be tempted to check it out.
Lower churn? New subscriber acquisitions? Netflix can't lose.
3. The big screen keeps getting bigger
There's life after Avatar for IMAX
It may have been a ho-hum year at the multiplex for traditional screenings, but it was an entirely different story for super-sized IMAX showings. The exhibitor's best friend generated ticket sales of $546 million for its digitally remastered screenings of current Hollywood releases in 2010, more than double the $271 million it scored at the box office a year earlier.
A day after announcing its stellar ticket sales, IMAX inked a deal with Cinemark
4. A small step for Manchester
Sirius XM Radio
Obviously, there was a strong bullish sentiment building behind the heavily shorted shares. This was probably more the result of a short squeeze than stateside fans loving soccer play-by-play on the radio. However, let's not dismiss the Manchester United deal entirely.
The club does have global appeal, and it's also yet another deal that Sirius XM is making sure also includes access to mobile streaming. There seems to be a big push by Sirius XM to get its premium streaming apps off the ground, especially now that Howard Stern is finally available that way.
5. Honeycomb's got big, big bite
It's a pretty snazzy tablet, complete with two cameras (including a rear-facing one that shoots HD video). It will hit the market this quarter through Verizon Wireless, which can be upgraded to its 4G LTE network next quarter.
Speed? Specs? The ball's in your court, iPad 2.
Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Google and IMAX are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. Netflix is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is an optimist at every turn. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Netflix. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.