Category: Movies and TV

You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You – Forbes

By , 2012-12-08 19:50

Interesting article from Forbes. This is exactly the problem with media today.

Piracy is not raiding and plundering Best Buys and FYEs, smashing the windows and running out with the loot. It’s like being placed in a store full of every DVD in existence. There are no employees, no security guards, and when you take a copy of movie, another one materializes in its place, so you’re not actually taking anything. If you were in such a store, you’d only have your base moral convictions to keep you from cloning every movie in sight. And anyone who knows how to get to this store isn’t going to let their conscience stop them, especially when there is no tangible “loss” to even feel bad about.

The is of course some degree of “loss”, but it’s hard, if not impossible, to assign a dollar value to it.Who is to say that a customer, who when placed in this hypothetical store took a copy of every movie, would actually have bought a copy of every movie or any movie at all?

The other problem with the movie industry is that every “legal” way of watching a movie is a pain in the a**. For instance:

Buy a Blu-Ray/DVD (assuming you already own a player)

  1. Go to store/Amazon.
  2. Buy disc
  3. Go home/wait for shipment
  4. Insert disc into player
  5. Watch FBI warning
  6. Watch Trailers (or skip trailers)
  7. Watch movie.

Advantages of this method: You “own” the movie on physical media. You can pass it to your friends, look at the box, use the disc as a frisbee, whatever.
Disadvantages: Physical media. Waiting time. Investment in home video equipment.

Watch in theatres

  1. Look up showtimes
  2. (Buy tickets online)
  3. Go to theatre
  4. Buy/pick up tickets
  5. (Pay extra money for an pick up annoying 3D glasses)
  6. Find a seat in cinema
  7. Watch movie trivia
  8. Watch ads
  9. Watch trailers
  10. Watch movie.

Advantages of this method: Gigantic screen. Excuse to go out.
Disadvantages: Excuse to go out. Overpriced food. Crowds.

Watch on Netflix

  1. Get tablet/phone/Silverlight®-capable PC/approved set-top box or TV
    1. If using Linux (Ubuntu or Fedora), check this out: It popped up in my Twitter feed literally just as I was writing the previous line.
  2. Sign up for/log in to Netflix
  3. Find your movie (hope it’s there)
  4. Watch movie.

Advantages: Watch almost anywhere, almost instantly.
Disadvantages: Limited selection, requires active internet connection, don’t own anything – need to keep paying monthly fee.


  1. Get some BitTorrent-capable device. (PC, Mac, Linux, BSD,  Android, your router, NAS, ….)
  2. Find a torrent of the movie you want.
  3. Download
  4. Watch movie.

Advantages: Own movie forever. Works on any device with proper codecs and processing power. No DRM. Free. Huge selection.
Disadvantages: Morality? Need more hard disk space. Some sites are questionable.

Clearly, “Pirate” is the most viable option. Netflix is a close second, but the inability to watch offline and limited catalogue are annoying.

Existing movie distribution channels are dated, inconvenient and expensive. What’s the solution? I don’t know. But there needs to be a big change in the way Hollywood does business if they really want to “stop” piracy. Not that they really need to, movies are still very profitable despite all their complaints about how piracy is killing them.

Some propose a sort of “Steam for movies“. Others would have Netflix’s model. Others still, iTunes.

I’m both excited and apprehensive about what’s to come.

via You Will Never Kill Piracy, and Piracy Will Never Kill You – Forbes.

NBC Has Decided To Stop Making Great Shows Like ‘Community’

By , 2012-07-29 20:30

The four biggest sitcoms of the last 30 years were all NBC shows, and they were all somewhat broad: Seinfeld, Cheers, The Cosby Show, and Friends. But they were also original for their time: A show about nothing; an after-workplace comedy that dealt with social issues and recurring themes; the first family sitcom to center on an upper class black family; and, of course, Friends, which doesn’t seem novel now because every show is Friends, but a collection of attractive people who did mostly nothing was novel at the time.

via NBC Has Decided To Stop Making Great Shows Like ‘Community’.

Well that’s just wonderful. Let me think of my favourite (currently airing, US-based) comedies right now:

Community, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, How I Met Your Mother.

See a pattern? Excluding HIMYM they’re all “witty”, “sophisticated”, “critically-acclaimed” shows on NBC. Which also happen to have poor Nielsen ratings.

Witty, sophisticated and critically acclaimed.

I was going to ramble on about why Nielsen ratings are dated, but you can just read about that anywhere on the Web.

Hopefully NBC execs will come to their senses and our “sophisticated” comedies will live on. Or perhaps it’s time for a new way to fund and distribute quality entertainment?

Ubuntu. TV for human beings. I gotta feeling.

By , 2012-01-12 14:14

So Ubuntu is getting into the TV business. If they can pull it off, and get into Cable/Satellite/IPTV STBs, the would would be a much better place. This looks way better than Microsoft Mediaroom or any proprietary cable box software I’ve seen.

Now, is it just me or does that video sound a lot like this one?

I have to say, I gotta feeling that Canonical might have got it right. Unfortunately, past experience says Big Telecom isn’t very interested in what’s good for the customer.

more at

Goldfinger: Mayor of Toronto

By , 2012-01-11 22:14

Just before Christmas, I was telling a friend visiting from France about our mayor Rob Ford and his gravy train.

No, not that gravy train. I would totally get on THAT gravy train.



Anyway, that evening we decided to watch the classic James Bond flick, Goldfinger, since neither of us had seen Bond movies before Pierce Brosnan.

Upon seeing the titular villain, I couldn’t help but notice his resemblance to the mayor.


Mayor Ford

(I’m not the first to notice… pictures above from “Goldfinger Elected Mayor of Toronto – Blogging Canadians“.)

Also, neither she nor I could see why Sean Connery as Bond is considered so attractive. Particularly in this outfit.

I don't even know. Bathshortsuit?



30 Rock – Product placement

By , 2012-01-11 09:21

30 Rock is set to return to NBC tomorrow evening. (Unfortunately, it’s in Community’s time slot.) I decided to take the occasion to revisit some clever but blatant (to comedic effect) product placement from earlier seasons.


Cisco Telepresence:

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