Archive for March 2010

 
 

Amazon Reviews

There’s been some talk across the blogosphere lately of reviews of product packaging over the products, themselves. People post negative reviews of a book on Amazon, for example, because there’s not a digital version of it available, as well.

Check this review out, of the forthcoming Blu Ray release of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy:

Some confusion among other reviewers that somehow we’re obligated to post a five star recommendation for the movie.

I don’t know which is worse, though: those other reviewers, or this guy’s logic.

The fact is, the disc hasn’t been released yet. I don’t know why Amazon even allows reviews to be posted of material that can’t be seen yet.

[...] This product is being created FOR NO OTHER REASON than to dupe people into buying this movie twice…again. Those of us who were huge fans bought the original DVDs of the theatrical releases. THEN the studio FINALLY released the extended editions, even though they could have released both at the same time.

Whoa whoa whoa. This guy is either stupid or ignorant. I’m not sure which.

First, no, the special edition DVDs could NOT have been released three or four months after the theatrical run. There were often hundreds of special effects shots added to the movie, not to mention additional scoring. Then, there were the two bonus discs worth of materials added to those special edition presentations. That stuff doesn’t happen overnight.

Second, every fan KNEW that there was a special edition coming out for Christmas at the time the regular edition came out months sooner. And if they didn’t know that about the first movie, certainly they were clued in for movies 2 and 3.

Third, I bet there are some people for whom the “shorter” 3 hour movies are more than enough.

Now that Blu Ray has won the High Def battle, the studios are salivating at screwing us all again the same way!

They won’t be screwing me. I’m not buying this Blu Ray set. I have the DVDs and they’ll do. Someday, they’ll release the four hour versions of the movies that I’ll never have the time to watch, and I’ll screw myself by buying them again. I’m sure they’ll look and sound AWESOME in my home theater.

Please do not let them get away with pretending that Blu Ray can’t hold both versions on one disc–it certainly can! A simple menu option would let you watch the Extended Edition when you have time, or Theatrical Edition when you don’t.

Yes, “seamless branching” is a technique that was very popular in the DVD world and worked every time they tried it. Wait, no, nobody ever went for it. It’s about as useful as BD-Live, honestly.

Look, I don’t know why they can’t release the special editions of the movies on Blu Ray right now. It is silly. But I’m mature enough to wait for the special editions, should I choose to ever watch these movies again. In the meantime, there are dozens of other movies that I can buy and watch. I don’t need to start a campaign on Amazon to “sink” a Blu Ray before it’s released.

He’s ALREADY DONE THE WORK–just copy what he did for the regular DVDs onto a new Blu Ray master!

It’s not always that simple. It’s not always a matter of pushing the up-res button on a computer and spitting out a perfect Blu Ray disc.

I don’t know why I’m trying to reason with this reviewer. He doesn’t care, and likely won’t ever read this. Even if he did, it’s tough to talk a man out of a jihad he’s started.

I’d like to rent one of those LOTR Blu Ray discs someday, though, just to see how they look and sound at the higher resolution and bit rate. Barring some insanely good sale on them, I’ll be passing.

New Photoshop Content Aware Fill

The ramifications on this are insane.

Photoshop Content Aware Fill

Three Things Failed Idol Contestants Say

Three are three tell-tale signs that an Idol contestant picked the wrong song.  They’ll say one or more of the following things to Ryan Seacrest:   • I knew that song already. • I love that song. • I had fun.   When a contestant uses all three, they’re done.

Bonus points if the judges start their critiques with “You look great.” 

Play along at home next week.    

Blockbusted

The Blockbuster down the street from me is closing.  The sign outside the store says, “This Location Only!”   Funny; that’s the same thing the other three Blockbusters I’ve seen close in the area in the last six months or so have said.   At what point do they just admit that their business model is toast?  The video rental store made sense when it was VHS only and rental stores had exclusives for a long time.  (Well, you as the consumer could buy the movie right away if you REALLY wanted to pay $80 or more for it.)  But once that barrier disappeared — I think it did with DVDs, but don’t quote me on that — the rental store lost its major weapon.  And with cheap DVDs available quickly and DVRs able to record high def movies off cable to view anytime and now those $1 rental Red Boxes and all the on-line options — well, Blockbuster doesn’t need to exist. It’s convenient sometimes, but not often.  Why bother?   It’s somewhat sad to see another Real World community site disappear. Welcome to the future, though.    

AI9 – Round of 12

It’s Rolling Stones Week! I guess that’s good for some.

Chris Daughtry II isn’t bad, but horribly shy/awkward

Bucky II should get out from behind the guitar.

David Archuleta II/Kevin Covais II was too weak, not “vulnerable.”

Adam Lambert II’s screaming is fast becoming cliché, though it did make we want to go play “Paint It Black” on Guitar Hero again. It’s one of my favorite GH songs.

Ruben II sounds better than Ruben I and is ten times more mobile than the original was in Season Two.

Amy Adams II is going to wind up just like Amy Adams I – voted out quickly. (I think Allison Iraheta is still the only successful redheaded contestant in the series, and they do try to prop one up there every year.)

I did actually like the odd reggae remix that Jon Peter Lewis II did with his song. But, then, I’m not a Rolling Stones fan to begin with, per se, so I’m open to radical reinterpretations.

It’s too bad John Stevens II got eliminated last week…

Dear Photography Podcasters

If your next guest is either Syl Arena or David Du Chemin, you’re not trying hard enough.

Nothing against either gentleman, who both have books to plug, but I could give their interviews for them by now, if you’d like. (I can explain second curtain sync by heart now, thanks to Arena.) They pop up in my podcatcher constantly.

That said, I really really want Arena’s Speedliting book to come out, stat.

My First Amazon Purchase

Just discovered this weekend that Amazon has a complete history of everything you’ve ever purchased available for your perusal. Go to Your Account –> Your Orders and then choose the year from the dropdown box just above and to the left of your most recent orders.

Turns out my first Amazon purchase was September 7, 1998.  I bought two things:

I had gotten my DVD player a couple months earlier, so this would have been one of my earliest movie purchases.  Back then, DVDs weren’t a dime a dozen.  This one cost $20.99. Today, it’s available for $12.49. For goodness sake, the Blu Ray for this movie is less than $15.

What can I say, I’m part tech geek. This $42.95 book promised to discuss the format and the processing in detail. I was very curious about it at the time.  I remember carrying this book out of the office one day, when one of the Veeps at the company I worked for (he’s very smart) looked at the book and said, “I didn’t think they were all that mystifying.”

Total price: $68.84

That’s right: There was no free shipping on orders more than $25 back then, let alone Amazon Prime.

The Next Generation of Fashion

Spotted this on eBay tonight:

Looks like Captain Picard and friends were 20 years ahead of schedule...

Looks like Captain Picard and friends were 20 years ahead of schedule...