MASN is the worst network ever

The MASN HD feed on Comcast in DC is simply the worst quality HD signal I’ve ever seen. I actually turned on the non-HD feed, hoping it would be better. It wasn’t. I know no one cares about the Orioles, but they’re playing the Yankees. You’d think someone in their organization would make sure the DC-area Yankee fans could watch the game in peace, and then I could benefit indirectly. At least the Orioles are winning. At least Adam Jones just hit his first career grand slam to put the O’s up, 11-0, in the sixth.

South Park shares all the episodes

New South Park site debuts, with full episode streaming – Boing Boing

Eventually every episode and clip will be available everywhere in the world. There is a tangle of contracts that Comedy Central has with different cable companies and territories that are preventing us from that right now. But hopefully it won’t be long.

This brings me back to the glory days Chuckles. Chuckles was the name of the forgotten machine on the work network that the IT team didn’t realize was unused. It had every episode of South Park through season 8, gigs of MP3s, movies, and tv shows. Whenever I was bored at work, I could just watch something. And now the creators of South Park are doing the same thing. Shocking that the show that has never been afraid of pushing the envelope (BTW, did you know that “pushing the envelope” actually refers to the flight envelope, which is “the capabilities of [an airplane] design in terms of speed and altitude”?) is also not afraid of experimenting with new business models.

This was cool until I read that

Striking writers in talks to launch Web start-ups – Los Angeles Times

“It’s in development and rapidly incubating,” said Aaron Mendelsohn, a guild board member and co-creator of the “Air Bud” movies.

Shoot, you had me until “Air Bud”.

Seriously, I think this is very cool.  If the writers can’t get what they want from Hollywood, they should remind Hollywood that their monopoly on the distribution of video entertainment is taking a big hit from the internet.

It will be very interesting when some of these writers start making real money.  It will not only strengthen their position by making them more independent, but also by demonstrating the power of the internet as a revenue stream.  If the writers can go to the studio and say, “Look at all the money our work made online.  Now do you see why we want you to pay us when we do it for you?”.

In the meantime, I eagerly await “Air Bud Online!”

I dont hold grudges. Sometimes.

Complaint Hub » Blog Archive » Miro needs your help to not suck

I really do hope the Miro project succeeds and gives us another model for distributing quality video content. But I’m not giving them money when they beg. Provide me with a service that I want, that works the way it should, and I’ll pay for it. But try to get me to donate money to a bloated piece of software that I’m not entirely sure fulfills the needs of anyone, and I’m just not interested.

Just to show that I’m not holding a grudge, I just installed Miro 1.0 on my laptop.  I’m going to wait until I at least hit 1,667 words for the day before I play with it, but I’m going to try it out.  I’ll post my thoughts when I get a chance to see how it works.

Miro needs your help to not suck

Miro needs your donations to build the future of Internet video – Boing Boing

Miro needs your donations — the project is trying to raise $50,000 to pay programmers and designers to make its player even better

I’m all about a nice, free video player that tries to get us to the next step in how we consume television and movies and whatnot.  I hate that I have to pay for hundreds of stupid channels just so I can get “The Office” and Redskins games in HD.  It’s terrible.  Why should I subsidize some niche channels that no one would pay for on their own?

But the Miro player is a piece of crap.  I’ve tried it twice, and it broke a Windows XP laptop and an Ubuntu 6.04 desktop.

And Cory Doctorow begging for money for the project is just a little bit hypocritical.  He seems to think that everything on the internet should be free, except the stuff he cares about, which should be fully financed by anyone with some spare cash.  If this project really needs $50,000 to be viable, then maybe it’s not such a friggin’ good idea, Mr. “I am a board member for the Participatory Culture Foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit that oversees production of Miro“.

I really do hope the Miro project succeeds and gives us another model for distributing quality video content.  But I’m not giving them money when they beg.  Provide me with a service that I want, that works the way it should, and I’ll pay for it.  But try to get me to donate money to a bloated piece of software that I’m not entirely sure fulfills the needs of anyone, and I’m just not interested.

Bad mood + too much tv = uncontrollable ranting

You know what I hate?  No, the other thing.  I hate Cox Communications‘ annoying mascot “Digital Max”.  I just saw a commercial that thankfully didn’t feature him about how wonderful Cox’s customer service is.  I can’t believe that’s true, but since I haven’t had to call them, I can’t really say it isn’t good.  Their prices sure aren’t very good, but neither are anyone else’s because of the barriers to competition in the cable tv market.

Anyway, for me, the best thing they could do to make me happy as a customer (Which I’ll only be until I move – I think DC is Comcast) is make a little flash game called “Dismember Digital Max” where I could choose from a variety of weapons and then chop Max up into little tiny bits.  Extra points for creatively gory animations.

It would probably be for the best if I didn’t watch any TV tonight.

I cringe at the thought

The Police reunite for Grammys –

The band, known for such hits as “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take,” has never performed at the annual telecast for the music industry’s most prestigious awards that are given by The Recording Academy.

If you add in anything from Jane’s Addiction, that’s the list of “songs I hate most in the world”.  I understand that they’ve been hugely influential and lots of people love them, but, for me, listening to Sting is about one rung up from fingernails on a chalkboard.  And one rung down from the sound of my alarm clock.

Luckily, I don’t have to watch the Grammys.

Ads for ads

The Super Bowl ads have gone too far.  It’s not enough that many people watch the game just for the ads.  Although it supports the point that Techdirt makes all the time – make ads interesting and people don’t mind watching them.  Now we have CareerBuilder advertising that they’re going in a new direction with their Super Bowl ads (I did like the monkeys.  Although I often forgot what was being advertised), and Rolling Rock pretending to apologize in advance for a commercial about men wearing thongs.

In any event, it suggests something fundamentally wrong with us as a society when we have advertisements trying to get us to watch other advertisements.  I suppose they always have to push it one step further – eventually even the most shocking thing gets to be normal, so you have to take the next step.  But this is a step that I think we all will soon be regretting.  It’s like Christmas decorations before Halloween.  They keep expanding the holiday.  And the Super Bowl is not that different.  It’s just like Christmas, except without the whole religious aspect.

The perfect commercial

There’s an Olive Garden commercial that I saw four times last night that got me thinking.  No, that commercial is not the perfect commercial.  That commercial sucks.  Although, I’m obviously not the target audience.  The commercial starts off with a woman coming into the Olive Garden saying she’s looking for her date.  She describes him as, “handsome, and his shoes are probably untied”.  At this point, off-screen a child calls, “Mom!”, and the mom and the hostess share a syrupy moment as it becomes obvious to all that the woman is having dinner with her husband and her son, and isn’t some divorced hussy on a blind date.

So, my idea starts off similarly.  It’s obviously a commercial for anti-bacterial kitchen wipes or healthy frozen dinners or something.  Just as we’re getting to the syrupy punchline moment, the director walks out yelling, “Cut!”.  The mom stops.

“This is the wrong commercial.  We shot for the female 35-55 demographic yesterday.  This is for the male 18-35!”  He says.

“Oh.”  Says the mom.  She pauses for a moment.  “Okay.  Should I take off my shirt?”

“Yes, that would be great.”  The director says.  “Someone get these kids out of here!”  He walks off screen and we see the mom start to pull her shirt over her head, and then the commercial cuts to the screen that shows the company name and website and whatnot.

The voice-over then comes on and says something like, “At blah-blah company, we know what our customers want.  And we work tirelessly to give it to you.”

This commercial has it all.  Syrup, humor, memorability, sex, self-referential “we joke about ourselves because we’re real people, just like you” stuff . . .  It’s perfect.  Someone needs to contact me about the rights to it.