2010.12.31

Respectably Devious

19.59.29 - Mark

Last night I sat down to watch Scott Pilgrim Vs The World on DVD though Netflix. An enjoyable visual overload with a good bit of humor, and as it finished I'm glad I received it on DVD, because after all DVDs come with Extra Features and with a movie like this, I was anxious to see what treasures this DVD came with. After the credits ran (no I didn't skip the credits) and the standard DVD Publisher logo (in this case Deluxe Digital Studios) aired it moved right into the Extra Features menu.

As I clicked into the Deleted Scenes I was delighted that this standard DVD came backed with extras, rather than the somewhat common practice of "Deluxe" editions where all these extras were burned onto a separate DVD. With Netflix, it's easy enough to rent out both discs, but for the right movies you don't want to wait or gamble on the value of those assorted extras.

So as I turned off the commentary and moved onto "Play All." I clicked, but video did not play. In it's place a notice that said that as a Rental DVD, all the extras were disabled, and to access them I would need to buy a DVD or Blu-Ray copy. A second attempt produced the same result. The first though I had was another strike against the consumers the producers depend on.

I've felt for a long time that DVD productions tend to treat the honest consumers, buyers and renters, as criminals-to-be with Region Codes, forced viewings of FBI Anti-Piracy Warnings, or even MPAA's own Anti-Piracy ads. Things so easily bypassed you never see on stolen versions, only the legal copies. I understand the threat the corporations are attempting to prevent, but as an honest consumer we hope for at least a little trust and respect. While these has been an issue since VHS cassettes were the Big New Thing, to the way it's dealt with on DVDs, Blu-Ray, or the next generation of physical media for video distribution we'll probably see in 10 years, it's going to get worse, not better.

After further thought however, I came around. In this case, I'm not being treated as a criminal, yes the FBI warning as usual, but none of the MPAA anti-piracy ads. Upon taking a second look they were not secretive about the rental status. Well labeled on the disc, and on loading made it clear that those extra features were disabled. In the pre-movie trailers the distributer, Universal Pictures, placed an ad about the benefits of the different medias, even covered the ways you can get those extras from the different technologies. While it remained a bit of a slap in the face, it's actually rather good marketing.

They show us the menu, give an idea of what we'd receive. It's no different than receiving the desert menus after finishing dinner at a decent restaurant. The balanced combination makes it all pretty clever, and I'll admit I'll a bit tempted to buy it rather than rent it again. While I may not enjoy the well advertised movie deserts if I pay for the privileges, I think in the end it's a respectable tactic. Don't label consumers as threats, respect the consumer's choices but offer rewards for moving to a higher tier. If the content is valuable enough, the companies get to charge multiple times with no (or at least minimal) bad feelings.

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Weekly Metapost : 2010.12.24 - 2010.12.31

03.00.02 - Mark

Weekly Metapost from December 24th, 2010 to December 31st, 2010

Eye Candy [list of other movies]

The Expendables (2010) Rated 4.0 stars for The Expendables (2010)

Food for Thought [other noteworthy books]

Ender's Game (Paperback) Rated 5.0 stars for Ender's Game (Paperback)

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2010.12.24

Weekly Metapost : 2010.12.17 - 2010.12.24

03.00.02 - Mark

Weekly Metapost from December 17th, 2010 to December 24th, 2010

Elsewhere Online [collection of past links]

http://cleardarksky.com/csk/
Tagged : astronomy forecasts night photography resources sky tools weather

Want to know what sky you'll see tomorrow? This site does a great job of roviding sky forecast information. While it's geared for astronomers, I find I extremely useful when planning some night photography.

http://www.bridgecitytools.com/Products/Jointmaker+/Jointmaker+Pro+v2
Tagged : amazing lust MAKE saw shock tools woodworking

This looks like a truely amazing tool setup, a quiet, high precision, manually powered saw setup that I could see as an amazing item for my little workshop. Just look at the video demo to see what this can do. I was sold right up until I saw the price for the thing, at which point my jaw literally dropped -much more and I would have dislocated my own jaw. I'd love this thing, but I don't do enough wood work to justify that sort of cost. [via MAKE Blog]

Food for Thought [other noteworthy books]

Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits (Paperback) Rated 5.0 stars for Ex Machina Vol. 10: Term Limits (Paperback)

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2010.12.17

Weekly Metapost : 2010.12.10 - 2010.12.17

03.00.01 - Mark

Weekly Metapost from December 10th, 2010 to December 17th, 2010

Elsewhere Online [collection of past links]

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/james-burke-connections/
Tagged : Connections history James Burke science technology videos youtube

Years ago I loved James Burke's articles on connecting past discovery to modern inventions. I even played the Connections video game. However for some reason I never really say the TV series. Maybe missed the time they aired. In any case, it's cool to discover that they're available on YouTube so as I get time I'm sure I'll be watching them. This is a nice list of the episodes and while it's not as nice as Hulu or Netflix streaming, it's simple enough to use. [via AdaFruit]

Eye Candy [list of other movies]

Cloverfield (2008) Rated 4.0 stars for Cloverfield (2008)
Capricorn One (1978) Rated 4.0 stars for Capricorn One (1978)

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2010.12.10

Weekly Metapost : 2010.12.03 - 2010.12.10

03.00.02 - Mark

Weekly Metapost from December 3rd, 2010 to December 10th, 2010

Elsewhere Online [collection of past links]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ5p9WttVhE
Tagged : Acme cartoons funny Roadrunner video Wiley E. Coyote youtube

A live action version of a Wiley E. Coyote vs Roadrunner cartoon. Well done, and a blast to watch. [via AppleGeeks]

Eye Candy [list of other movies]

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010) Rated 4.5 stars for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)

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2010.12.03

Weekly Metapost : 2010.11.26 - 2010.12.03

03.00.01 - Mark

Weekly Metapost from November 26th, 2010 to December 3rd, 2010

Elsewhere Online [collection of past links]

http://37signals.com/svn/posts/2666-the-story-of-polaroid-inventor-edwin-land-one-of-steve-jobs-biggest-heroes
Tagged : 37signals articles cameras Edwin Land photography polarizers Polaroid technology

I've been a photo geek for years, shooting point and shoots since before I can remember, and now make the occassional buck selling a print or working a shooting gig. While I've never really been a polaroid guy, I apperciate the tech, and I decided to read this article. Only then did I learn how much Edwin Land's work has changed my life. This is a great started, but I've got a lot to learn about this man. [via adafruit]

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