Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Attempt at Record Bittorrent Swarm Size

A record attempt has been started invoving bittorrent, to see just how many seeds can be on one torrent. The current record for simultanious seeds on a torrent is around 124,000, set for an episode of Heroes. The attempt uses a small image file for the contents, and already has a decent number of seeds.

Hulu Announces "Hulu+", Back-Pedals on HTML5

It was going to happen sometime, and it happened today. Hulu announced their subscription service.

Despite the worries of some people though, it's not going to replace the currently free service, but will be an addition. The promo video (which wordpress won't let me post here but can be watched at this link)  talks about three main areas, accessability/devices, content, and quality.

Monday, June 28, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 25-27 2010

 As the first half of the year finishes, it's yet again Toy Story in the lead. In ten days it's notched up an extremely impressive $225Million+ and is about to surpass Shrek. If nothing else, it certainly proves that people will pay for a movie they want to see. Newcomers Grown Ups and Knight & Day - the two major releases of the weekend - couldn't stand up to the children's favourite. K+D did especially badly considering it's headline stars, Cruise and Diaz, although that can be attributed to a complex film (a result of the deveflopment hell it was spawned in) with no clear direction in the advertising.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why VHS didn't kill the Movie Theatre

If you're a teenager or older, you'll almost certainly have first-hand experience with VCRs and video tapes. If you don't remember them, they're big things that have been replaced by DVR's, but which you could buy movies on, like with DVDs. They were in most peoples homes throughout the late 80s and the 90s. Yet they were nearly wrestled out of peoples hands around thirty years ago, because of the fear of an industry. Let's first look back at the late 70s to understand why.

In the late 70s there was a kerfuffle between Sony, and the movie studios. It concerned the BetaMax VCR Sony made (and to a lesser extent the JVC/Phillips VHS system). There were concerns that with these machines, people would undermine advertising (argument A), making the amount that could be charged for them drop, reducing funding for TV stations and networks. It would also mean that movies played on TV would have to cost more for the stations, because people will record them, and keep them, and watch them instead of, say, going to the cinema (Argument B). There were also concerns that since the recorders were mostly made outside the US, the importation of them would hurt the balance of payments (Argument C). Also, making movies is a risky business, and the government should do all it can to make it easier to be profitable (Argument D).  It was nicely summed up by Jack Valenti (head of the MPAA) in his testimony in front of Congress in 1982.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Followup on "ARGH!!! Andrew the Moron."

Back in March, there was a consultation to be made on the Joint Strategic Plan on Copyright Enforcement. I wrote a very nice response for it, and then sent a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT one by accident (hence the topic). I noticed it 4 days later, and sent an email explaining, and giving the corrected version.

The  responses are now on the web, here.

My response is not there. Either one.  A bit disappointing really. Make that VERY disappointing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 18-20 2010

Another weekend, another new film at number 1. As expected, Toy Story has shot to the top, marking yet another weekend headed by a 3d film. It's also one of the strongest weekends for any film (yet again dispelling the myth about 'cams killing the industry', since one was released Saturday lunchtime) this year. It also means that in three days, Toy Story grossed more than last weeks top film (this weeks runner-up) Karate Kid has managed in ten. Even more impressive when the lack of weekend pressure on kids films (as US schools are out for summer, so attendances during the week are up) are taken into consideration.

Monday, June 14, 2010

HOTlanta, and LiverCOOL

Over the last few weeks a number of UK friends have been commenting on the hot weather in the UK. They really don't have much on the UK. A point that was made clear today as we get the first Heat Advisory for the year. The UK has NOTHING on this baby!

US Box Office Estimates June 11-13 2010

After 3 weeks on top, Shrek's finally kicked off the top spot, with the help of some martial arts and an intercontinental star. The remake of the Karate Kid showed a clean pair of heels with a clear dominance in takings. Heavily-hyped 80's TV show remake A-Team did less well, hindered in part the lack of the iconic Mr T in even a cameo role.

Monday, June 7, 2010

US Box Office Estimates June 4-6 2010

A low weekend take, as Shrek leads the tables for a third weekend, making 15 of the years 23 weekends dominated by a 3D film (marked with 3D) - there's a lesson there for Hollywood, wonder if they can understand it. It's also a weekend filled with sequels, with 4 in the top 10 (Greek is a sequel of 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall) - possibly why the weekend has been weak, despite four new films in the top 10.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

UK Cost-Sharing Consultation Farce, and Response

Another day, another consultation response.

This 'consultation' from the BIS focuses on the "cost sharing" aspects of the Digital Retardation Economy Act. As usual, the document will be published by the BIS in due course, but I prefer to publish it myself, ahead of time - I have no reason to hide my answers away, or bury them with 'trade secrets' because they're just plain honest facts and data. Alas, as has happened with previous consultations, the facts will be ignored in favour of projections, estimations, and allegations (or as a phrase made popular by Mark Twain put it, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics")

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Some Browser Benchmarks

To some people, I'm known as being a bit of a browser snob. I've been an Opera fan for many years, and one of the things I like to do, is poke a little fun at Firefox fans.

There are many claims made about Firefox, four are made right on
Meet the World’s Best Browser
With security, stability, speed and much more, Firefox is made for the way you use the Web.
If only it were true. Security and Stability I will come to later, but it's the issue of speed that will be addressed this time. I usually use a combination of Chrome and Opera.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Some Teleidoscope Fun

After a little personal misfortune, I was going through old stuff, and found a cheap plastic Teleidoscope. It used a neat little multifaceted lens, and I took some pictures of various items using my cellphone camera (an LG Vx9100) which was about the same size as the eyepiece opening.

US Box Office Estimates May 28-31 2010

4 Day weekend Special

As the US Memorial Day holiday takes place Monday, this edition covers a four day period, instead of the usual 3-day. To 'celebrate' two heavily promoted films hit the cinemas (although Sex+the City actually came out on Thursday, rather than the traditional Friday)