Happy New Year everyone !
Thank you for reading the first DVD Catalyst Newsletter of the year, Newsletter 37.
Unfortunately, not much has happened since last week. Since Christmas, my family (me included) have been dealing with the flu, and the last week, it has been stepping things up a notch, resulting in a lot of lost sleep. Iím usually the one who is the most resilient to things like the flu, so aside from working through the busiest week of the year I also ended up taking care of my family and doing the house work and all.
Not much this week. There are a couple of new tablets and devices around the corner, so it feels like the silence before the storm.
The Blackberry Playbook was put on a fire-sale this week. You can pick up any Playbook, 16GB, 32GB or 64GB for $299. An interesting tactic here, by offering all of them for the same price, but it makes you wonder if the fabled 2.0 update will ever see the light.
Aside from that, pretty much all I could find was some new laptop/tablet announcements, Ice Cream Sandwich promises for existing tablets, CES drop-outs from a few big-name companies.
DVD Catalyst News:
As mentioned above, aside from one of the busiest weeks of the year. Iíve been dealing with the flu, both of which limited my time on development.
I have been working on the MovieGallery update, which includes some modifications Iíve been working on to integrate it with the MP4 Streaming Server. Aside from that, Iíve been working on DVD Catalyst as well, including speeding up the startup time, more info in the log, as well as some additional new stuff.
Only one this week as well, Rocky Balboa.
Rocky Balboa (2007) DVD
I had someone report complications with this DVD on one of the forums I frequent, so I ordered the DVD to see if I could pinpoint the issue.
For Christmas, I asked Santa for a Kindle Touch 3G, and I guess I slipped through his list somehow, and actually found one in my stocking. Normally at nights, I watch a movie or a couple of TV shows on one of my tablets, with a Bose noise-canceling headset, but with the flu going around, closing myself off for a bit from the family didnít seem like a good option, so I have been spending some time reading instead. Last year I read one of the Hunger Games books (first one) on my NOOKcolor, and before that, I read a few of the Halo books on my iPod Touch 4. This week, Iíve been reading the Thrawn Trilogy (Star Wars) on the Kindle Touch.
Iíll probably write a review about the actual device when I have caught up on development work, but between the 3 devices, I do believe there is a market for dedicated eReader devices.
Donít get me wrong, using the NOOKcolor or iPod Touch 4 for reading is good, but on a device with a primary focus on reading, it really does make a difference. Both the NOOKcolor and the iPod Touch each have their advantages when it comes to reading, with the NOOKcolor being larger, requiring less interaction with page turns and the iPod Touch 4, while smaller, offering a calmer reading experience due to the higher density of the retina display, for both devices, the original nature of a multi-purpose device results in some shortcomings when you use them just for reading.
The e-Ink display on the Kindle Touch is slower to update, but the actual reading experience is much more like reading a book. While the page-turning might be something that reviewers would trip over regarding either speed or a slight flicker, the fact that the characters look like print rather than a collection of little dots makes the entire reading experience much nicer.
SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act.
Normally I stay away from politics and government issues all together, but I do want to briefly express my opinion on SOPA though. It is crap, and if it passes, it truly proves that the USA is not run by an elected government but by corporations and organizations that throw around enough cash around in order to get their needs taken care of.
As a software developer myself, I understand the need to do something against piracy, but the thing that many companies donít realize is that piracy will happen regardless. With media like movies and music, imposing restrictions and forcing people to continuously update their equipment in order to be able to access their purchased media, they are actually promoting piracy rather than prevent it. In numerous newsletters, I have mentioned my first example with Bluray, with a Bluray movie forcing me to update my player in order to actually be able to watch the movie. Now, aside from a hardware warranty of a year, my Bluray player also includes an unknown expiration date, because with new players coming out on a regular basis, Iím sure I will not be able to watch a new-release Bluray movie on it next year.
The problem with SOPA is that it tries to eliminate piracy while there is currently no decent model on how to actually protect the content. Regardless of it will pass or not, piracy will continue because of this broken system, and in the end, as always, it is the paying customer who ends up having to face the consequences. Just like the P2P lawsuits from a few years ago, unknowing people ending up being made an example of in court, their lives ruined because of ridiculous lawsuits. People being put in similar positions because they uploaded a clip to YouTube which happened to have half a song playing on a TV channel, and so on. The people who wrote the bill of course claim that these same people donít have to worry, and that only the ďbig onesĒ are being targeted, but the bill is written vaguely on purpose. When the big ones continue to elude them, who else would be targeted? After months of trying to get it passed, Iím quite sure they will do whatever they can to ďproveĒ they were right in an as short of time as possible.
The people behind SOPA seem to think that the internet is the blame for their loss in revenue. Maybe, just maybe, it is because they are having a hard time to actually come up with something original. With original content such as Titanic, Harry Potter, Iron Man, Avatar, Lord of the Rings etc, I believe that they have proven, even to themselves, that with original content they can actually make plenty of money, but by pumping out remake after remake, of course no-one is interested.
Well, it is not much for the first newsletter of the year. I was contemplating if I would actually write one this week, or just stay in bed and sick-out a bit, but especially the whole ordeal about SOPA is something that I needed to get out. Aside from that, I wish everyone a great week, and Iím hoping to get some actual development done this week.
Thank you for reading this weekís newsletter and see you next week,