Monday, October 31, 2011

Greed In 2D

So I finally got the 3D TV I wanted for so long. It's fantastic - except for the lack of content. DirecTV has several channels dedicated to 3D content and I've been enjoying some of the nature and space documentaries. But I want to see some of the fantastic 3D movies that have been in the theaters over the last several years.

Sorry. Those are not available. I've searched all the streaming services that my TV connects to (including Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster, and Vudu) but there are only a handful of 3D movies. And those that are available are to "Own" not to rent. I refuse to pay $25 for a streamed movie! Especially when the service it is streamed on may not be in business another month.

So what's the deal? The deal is that there is no deal. It seems that there are a lot of debates going on over digital media rights and who owns what and what they want to let out and who can show it and what can be charged and bla bla bla! I just want to watch Avatar in 3D in my home - is that too much to ask? The movie is two years old already and still no streaming service has it for rent.

Greed. Here I am willing to pay for streaming movies and there are none available. This is not the free market. If there is a demand there should be a product available. Clearly there is a demand - yet there is no product. They would rather I not watch their movie? Why bother making it?!

So I went back to watching content already included with my DirecTV subscription. They lost my sale - I hope they are happy. I'm not. I waited a long time for my 3D TV. How long do I have to wait to be able to enjoy it?

Minced Words

Here is a topic that is, perhaps, a bit TMI for my mostly political blog. But it's funny and fits into the theme of my blog under "also some light hearted commentary...."

I frequent an adult gay Internet meeting site - it's an international site and I've virtually "met" some interesting people from all over the world. Since this site is international, many profiles are written in another language. No worries - Google Chrome browser offers to translate them for me. That's where the fun starts. I guess Google has some difficulties translating adult words or concepts - making for some very entertaining profiles.

You could say something gets lost in translation. I would argue something is gained in translation - and that is a good chuckle.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Obstructionists Confess

Myself and other bloggers and even some prominent politicians have accused the GOP and especially the Tea Party of purposefully blocking efforts by Democrats to fix the economy so that President Obama will fail. Senator McConnell has already admitted this as his primary goal and now we have a blog article on the Tea Party Nation website that also admits to this. Here is a short excerpt:

I, an American small business owner, part of the class that produces the vast majority of real, wealth producing jobs in this country, hereby resolve that I will not hire a single person until this war against business and my country is stopped.

I hereby declare that my job creation potential is now ceased.

“I’m on strike!”

How patriotic! You might also be interested to read the associated comments from other Tea Party Nation members who have their own versions of ways to obstruct the successful recovery of our economy. Nice.

Thankfully, these people do not have the same power as the Tea Party obstructionists in Washington. That's because they are under the false notion that only Republicans are job creators. Democrats are business owners too and we will be happy to hire workers to do the jobs these people are choosing not to do. And, we will do so while paying our fair share of taxes without complaining. That's how we roll.

If we all worked together and really tried to get things fixed in this country we actually might get something done. Fighting those who's primary goal is the failure of our economy makes things a lot harder - but not to worry, we Democrats know how to do it and we will manage without you. If you won't hire - we will. So thanks for those extra job opportunities that will help us get America back to work.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Conservatives - No Compassion for Those Less Fortunate

The Occupy protest movements across the nation and the world are growing daily. Today I read an article in USA Today that some protesters that have set up camps in city parks are now offering food, shelter and medical treatment for local homeless people. These protesters understand and are showing that they have compassion for these homeless people - even when it is difficult and possibly dangerous. Many homeless people are homeless because they are mentally unstable or have uncontrollable addictions that require medical attention. Others are veterans who returned from the horrors of war damaged and unstable. Still others have lost their homes to the housing bubble bust, lost jobs or other sad circumstances. The protesters understand and want to help - but not everyone does.

Take a moment to read the article that explains the situation - then take another moment and read the sad comments associated with the article. The commenters are typical GOP - Tea Party folks who have no compassion for those less fortunate. You can tell they are right wing voters by the way they use the word "Liberal" as if it were a bad word. It's not a bad word at all - look it up. I have repeatedly called the GOP un-compassionate in this blog and I think it is important to show an article like this every once in a while to prove that I am not just making baseless claims. These people are truly selfish and heartless. It is their greed that have kept these protesters out in the cold for over a month now.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Blame Yourself!

Presidential candidate Herman Cain says if you are unemployed or poor - you have no one to blame but yourself. I couldn't agree more.

  • Shame on you for putting blind faith in the unrealistic concept of the free market.
  • Shame on you for thinking your hard earned degree was worth something.
  • Shame on you for thinking the corporation you work for cares about you.
  • Shame on you for working extra hours on a fixed salary to help your company succeed.
  • Shame on you for thinking your efforts would be rewarded.
  • Shame on you for believing anything would "trickle down"
  • Shame on you for thinking experience was valuable.
  • Same on you for depending on health insurance benefits that were used to lure you in.
  • Shame on you for accepting a cost of living increase that eventually made you over priced.
  • Shame on you for thinking you were anything but a number.

Oh - and by the way - Shame on you for using your own vehicle and gas to deliver pizzas for $2.00 an hour plus tips. Herman Cain could have easily delivered them all himself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Occupy America

The Public is Revolting.

It's about time.

Change is finally here.

Monday, October 03, 2011

3D - Not Just A Fad This Time

Back in March 2010 I wrote an article on 3D TV technology - or lack of it. In the article I couldn't figure out why special expensive glasses would be needed to view 3D content on a normal TV. I have since found out they are not really needed - but much preferred! I'll tell you why, but first a quick history on how someone as broke as me ends up buying a shiny new TV.

I blame Netflix for my 3D TV - but not because they have any 3D content - in fact they don't have ANY now since they don't do disk delivery. I was so mad at their recent price increases that I decided to end my long time business with them. I asked myself what were my options and decided to check out Pay Per View (PPV) on DirecTV. My research revealed that not only do they have 3D PPV movies - they actually have three channels dedicated to 24 hour 3D programming! Now I was very interested in upgrading my aging Tube TV to HD with 3D - except for the added costs for HD equipment. A quick call to DirecTV revealed that not only would they get me an HD DVR for free (with a new contract - grrrr!) but they would also give me a discount on the HD service for a year as a loyal customer. At this point I decided I couldn't afford NOT to get a new TV! A beer at a bar costs $6 here - it won't take long to pay for my quality entertainment by staying at home. So, after extensive shopping I finally settled on a Vizio 42" 3D HDTV. It's fantastic! I waited over a month to write this article because I wanted to see if still enjoyed it as much after a while. I still do - very much.

Now, back to the technology. It is true that you don't need expensive electronic glasses to see 3D content on a normal TV - even an old tube TV. You can use the old two color glasses if the picture displayed is in that format. But I discovered why the electronic glasses are needed - clarity! Red-Blue glasses not only reduce the light getting to your eyes but they can also distort the picture. My awesome Vizio TV has active shutter glasses that alternately open and close each eye to match the picture on the TV. Doing this cuts your image quality in half - but thankfully the Vizio TV is a 480hz set instead of the normal 240hz that most HD TVs in this price range have. That means that even in 3D you get a real HD picture. The TV even boosts the brightness of the picture to make up for the light loss created by the glasses when viewing 3D content. The result is amazingly clear 3D picture quality. I love it!

So is 3D just a fad? After all, it's not new - 3D imaging has been around for a very long time. What's changed?. Actually several things have changed that I think will make 3D something that will stick around for a while. The technology to produce 3D movies is very inexpensive now - you can even get an inexpensive personal camera or cell phone that will shoot 3D content. Plus the movie studios have embraced the movement bringing some amazing content to the big screen. All those should eventually end up being available for home viewing just as easily as HD content already is. Plus, there is a wealth of recently passed Imax documentaries, sports content and even concerts currently available on DirecTV on those three dedicated channels. DirecTV is the first to offer dedicated content but I'm sure the other providers will follow soon. But the biggest factor isn't here yet but will be soon - TV's that don't require glasses!

Now that I've enjoyed 3D TV for a while, I find myself watching my normal network shows and thinking "this would be great in 3D!" I don't think it will be long before every show is broadcast in 3D and 2D simultaneously - much the same way they are currently broadcasting in HD and normal definition . I'm looking forward to seeing all my favorite shows in 3D!

Now, if only I could find ANY company that would stream Avatar in 3D -but no! You notice above I said those great 3D movies SHOULD make it to our homes, but once again, consumers are stuck in the middle of stupid legal battles and contracts over content - a subject for another article.