Thursday, May 20, 2010

Funny pic

With our 3rd little one on the way, I couldn't resist sharing this great pic.


Back in January, I recommended the Hurt Locker as a good movie to see (if you like war flicks).  The big news recently is that the director believes that people "stole" from him by downloading the movie, and plans to actually sue these people for their illicit downloads.

I'm no fan of piracy.  My personal philosophy is that I pay for something, or I find legitimately free alternatives (like OpenOffice or Google Docs).  Especially as a software developer, I believe that you should not get something for nothing.  But I'm also not likely to pay for the same thing twice - why should I have to re-buy the DVD when I have the VHS?  Why re-buy the e-book when I have the hardcover?  Big Content has this view that we should have to pay over and over for the same stuff due to their planned obsolescence.  You are not 'entitled' to get money for your product, just like we aren't 'entitled' to get your product for free.

But I digress.  Back on topic - I can't see how this action will help Voltage Pictures in the long run.  Suing their customer base - people we can reasonably assume are interested in their product - can only hurt them.  There's no guarentee that the people who watched this online would have been paying customers.  There's no guarantee that the people they're suing are the ones that actually downloaded the movie.

Now, the Hurt Locker is only a single-viewing flick for sure.  Once you've watched it once, you probably won't care to see it in a theater or buy the DVD even though it's a really good flick.  So I do have to concede the point that they probably lost some money from piracy.  However, go after the sites and products that allow piracy to happen, not after your own customers.  It's just bad business.

I've not downloaded the movie, nor do I intend to - in fact, I watched the Hurt Locker for the full price of umpteen-bazillian-dollars at a local theater on an evening out with a buddy.  The problem for Voltage Pictures is that this lawsuit alienates their customer base - even the ones who did nothing wrong.  I'm much less likely to watch another of their flicks now when I know that they're employing these tactics against regular folks.

The way to stop piracy is at the source, not by extorting people.  The irony of the situation is that the producers of the movie are being sued themselves for having 'stole' the story from the life of a soldier.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just one more reason...

I don't know why these drive me so crazy, but they do! One lousy moment in your cup, followed by thousands of years in a landfill. It completely ruins my morning when I can't tell them to skip it in time.  I cringe when I think of the thousands of customers who get these useless things stuck in their cups daily.  I literally drive 10 feet from the pickup window and chuck the blasted thing out my window towards the trash.  Bah*.

The infamous Starbucks Swizzle Stick 

*My wife has warned me about my blog posts that end in "Bah".  It's a definite symptom of blog snarkiness.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Rube Goldberg meets Google

Wow! Kudos to Google.


The other night I had the bright idea to talk to Caleb about what super-powers he really has (meaning none-at-all).  I was hoping we could have a conversation slightly grounded in the real world.  In other words - I wanted to make it clear that little boys do not really posses any of the following:
  • elite Jedi skills
  • the ability to fly
  • the speed to run faster than bullets
  • the ability to stop bad guys
  • stealth like a ninja
But Caleb would have none of it.  He insists that he can do all this and more.  And, having realized the error of my ways, I had to relent and hug and kiss my little super hero goodnight.  Now in the news today, a real life Spiderman foils a crime and I am left with the distinct feeling of having become Peter Banning from the movie Hook - as if I have somehow forgotten Neverland in my quest to help Caleb get about the business of growing up.  Youth and its innocence may well be the greatest superpower of all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

40 years ago today

40 years ago today, Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder lost their lives at Kent State.  9 others were wounded.  There's a really informative podcast on the shooting here.  Only 2 of the 4 victims were protesters - the other two were just bystanders walking to class.  The closest victim to the shooters (Miller) was 265 feet away, which if you think of a football field, that's just over 88 yards.  None were armed.  The day before the massacre Governor Rhodes proclaimed that the protesters were "the worst type of people that we harbor in America". He now has a building named after him in downtown Columbus.  I'm not often ashamed to be from the Buckeye state, but today is one day when I really and truly am.  God rest their souls.