Archive for March, 2007

Gooo COUGS!

Posted: March 16, 2007 in Uncategorized
In the first half, it looked like Oral Roberts had the poise, the skillz, the momentum…the Cougs looked lost. The cougs held the lead only once…very briefly. They only scored 34% from the field in the first half. Yet the Cougars kept it close, somehow (hint: defense).
 
And with less than 10 seconds left in the first half, the Cougs were down by six points. But when the halftime buzzer rang, the Cougs were down by only two points (great play on the inbound…ya shoulda seen it).
 
The Cougs rolled with that momentum to open the second half, scoring nine unanswered points. Better than 80% from the field during the second half. And the wall came down: more than a few times, they were up by 14 points before ORU tried to knock the deficit back down. In the end, the Cougs won by 16 points…and their first March Madness win in a quarter-century. I was at WSU for that last tournament win…and I’m damn happy they finally got another.
 
Next stop: Vanderbilt. Playing them for the first time in school history. Wearing Crimson.
 
Rope-people…they’re EVERYWHERE!!!
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Idiot of the Day

Posted: March 15, 2007 in Uncategorized
The European chairman for the Blu-ray Disc Association just said today that, "Within three years, it will just be Blu-ray". He’s basically saying the DVD format will be gone.
 
DVD has been around for a LOT longer than three years…about 10 years now, I believe. Did it replace the videocassette? Nope…you can still buy and rent movies on VHS. Did it replace CD-ROM or CD-RW? Nope…you can still buy both at almost any electronics outlet. Can this moron convince the studios to stop releasing movies on DVD? Maybe…but the studios would have to be willing to take a massive financial hit.
 
Oh yeah…what about HD-DVD? It’s going to have a lifespan of less than three years? Maybe…but this moron will have to convince the studios to stop releasing movies on HD-DVD, and be willing to take another financial hit.
 
And how does he expect to win the format war, not only against HD-DVD, but against DVD as well?
 
With a game console.
 
Yeah, right…

Is suing everybody necessary?

Posted: March 13, 2007 in Uncategorized
Another day, another billion-dollar lawsuit. To be fair, almost everyone painted a target on Google’s back when the rumors began they would buy YouTube…we all knew nobody would sue YouTube unless there was some money in it, and they had no real money. It was a lesson learned (and not learned) by the RIAA when they spent a year destroying Napster and got bupkis for it (except for their record sales year…more on that later). Hmmm, now how can the RIAA get some money out of illegal trading of songs…oh yeah, demand ISPs to give up the names and mailing addresses of their customers, then blackmail those sinners for $3000 each to stay out of a potential $150K lawsuit. But Viacom threatening lawsuits against individuals won’t work at all for the Google situation.
 
Viacom paints YouTube as the online video version of the devil. CBS believes YouTube is a beneficial promotional tool, which is actually a more correct description…for example, I never watched the Colbert Report until I saw a recommended snippet on YouTube, now I watch it semi-regularly. Oops…I just realized CBS didn’t benefit from my viewership due to YouTube, it was Viacom. My bad.
 
This is basically Napster deja-vu. Here’s how it happened back then:
 
Album sales in the late-90s were in a slump, primarily because record companies thought rock (or grunge, whatever) wouldn’t be as big of sellers as "Boy Bands" and "Girl Bands"…so their money went the wrong way promoting flash-in-the-pan acts trying to find the next N’Sync or whatever. They were also actively trying to kill vinyl. Napster was a very popular song trading network, but most of the world didn’t know about it…until December of 1999 that is, when the RIAA made Napster mega-famous by leveling a lawsuit at them. Over the next 10 months you could not go for two days without hearing about the lawsuit in the news. "Free music! Wow! I’m getting broadband!" said all the little thieving munchkins. An overnight sensation that is, even today, unequaled in the Internet Age….Napster went from tens of thousands of regular users to tens of millions within a couple of months. The lawsuit was a billion-dollar advertising promotion for Napster…free of charge.
 
Then in April of 2000 the hammer fell on Microsoft: the next day of stock trading saw a massive 15% drop across the board, which analysts called "a market adjustment"…little did they know that it was only the beginning of a downward spiral. F***edcompany.com detailed chapter 11 and chapter 13 filings on a daily basis, and we watched hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. lose their jobs. The government was publicly using the word "recession" by August. Sales analysts predicted a very dismal Christmas season. And in September a federal judge ordered Napster servers to be shut down.
 
January financial reports were in the tank: every corporation was apologizing to their share holders for 2000, and blaming the recession (or the depression in the Far East) as the reason they lost their shirts that year. Then came the numbers from the main body of the recording industy: they reported a record 7% increase in revenue over the previous year, which was very close to a billion dollars more revenue than they took in for 1999. How is this possible, when every other industry bled money? That’s easy: it was Napster. People would download a crappy 128 bitrate song, and then buy an album (for fidelity, playing in their car or home stereo, etc). Every person I ever asked said they purchased music after hearing a sample on the ‘net. It was the biggest jump in yearly album sales revenue since 1981 (that’s when MTV went live, if you all remember). And 2001 saw a 6% decrease in album sales revenue over the previous year…which, of course, the recording industry blamed on song trading, but no one used Napster over that entire year, and other file trading software was too difficult to use for most people that found Napster so easy and simplistic.
 
The RIAA bit the hand that fed them.
 
Now we have Viacom. They have the opportunity to utilize YouTube to not only promote their programming, but also have a vast, untapped resource: their viewers opinion. They would know implicitly how successful a show is by the number of views of a particular snippet, and the comments would shed light on how much people liked something, giving them not just a marketing tool, but a way to anticipate what people want to see on TV…and then come up with new shows accordingly. Conversely, they would also know which shows bombed by lack of snippets, or negative feedback from viewers. And this lawsuit will give YouTube tons of free advertising, driving even millions more to their site! Think about it: Viacom knows they have lost a massive amount of their audience to the computer (gaming, web surfing, instant messaging, etc), and now they can use the computer to get some of them back.
 
But they won’t do that. They’re more interested in money in their pockets today than they are interested in their customer tomorrow. A short-term gain for a long-term loss. Good luck, Viacom! We all hope you have just as much success in your future as the RIAA!

So computers DID screw up

Posted: March 12, 2007 in Uncategorized
I made sure the time was set properly on my MCE machine this morning…but as it recorded Battlestar Galatica this evening, I noticed it was recording a different show. And I can’t set it to record the re-run at midnight, cuz it will just record the wrong show again. Plus, I realized it was going to record tomorrow night’s episode of 24 at 8PM…a show that doesn’t start until 9PM. The shows are correct, the times are detailed…it’s just that the times are incorrect.

And after watching last week’s episode of Galactica, it was pretty clear Starbuck wasn’t trying to kill herself…her hand was firmly on the ejection seat latch. And Apollo saw the Cyclon raider that couldn’t be tracked (or visually seen by anybody else) just before her Viper disintegrated. She knows she has a destiny to fulfill…she just knows something we don’t on how to fulfill it. Considering her nightmares of late, I’m thinking she knows Cylons are in her head.

Saw 300 tonight. Not much of a script. Not much of acting abilities by anybody…over the top, actually. The "King of Kings" looked like a confused transvestite. But the direction, CGI, music score, battle sequences…a movie to be seen on a very large screen, if you can handle all the gore. Hey, it’s Frank Miller, and was done well in his style, so consider yourself warned.

(C3PO voice) We’re doomed

Posted: March 9, 2007 in Uncategorized
People are fearing the upcoming Mini-Y2K event on early Sunday morning. Oh no, computers won’t know what time it is! All is lost! Here’s a hint: this time, there isn’t a battalion of gas-powered generator trailers sitting outside Building 26. So relax. Planes are NOT going to fall from the sky at 2 AM.
 
The well-preserved corpse formerly known as Eddie Van Halen is back in rehab. Well, there goes any chance of the band playing Monday at their induction into the Rock Hall of Fame. I can hear TiVos being de-programmed as I type. In related news, Britney Spears suddenly checked out of rehab again…screaming out the door…
 
The holier-than-thou former Speaker of the House, Mr. Family Values himself, Newt Gingrich, now admits he was actively cheating on his second wife while persuing the impeachment of Prez Bill for doing the same thing…the little tart was a congressional aide and 20 years younger. I suppose on the bright side, he wasn’t having an affair with a male page…at least, none that we know of yet. His first wife was his high-school geometry teacher…and she claims he was discussing divorce terms with her while she lay in a hospital bed recovering from cancer surgery. Of course, he doesn’t recall being such an ass. What a great Family Values spokesperson, huh? He’s considered a strong prospect for the 2008 presidency, but those Sourthern Baptists are going to have to swallow really hard and check their conscience at the door for him to win the red states.
 
Congress wants NASA to find space rocks that could potentially disrupt our way of life if they were to hit the planet, but NASA told them to go play with their Barbie dolls…you can’t find planet killers without funding. On the positive side, we won’t know what hit us, or when it will happen…we’ll just be vaporized in blissful ignorance.
 
Another long-time crush of mine got knocked up and is getting married: Salma Hayek. I’ll probably just pop in Desperado Saturday night and weep into a bowl of Cheetos.
 
People who can afford to buy cars I can only dream about…don’t. They drive 15-year-old pick-ups or 16-year-old Volvos. There are a few billionaires out there who need a serious reality check, folks…
 
The FBI has been found to have illegally used and abused the Patriot Act. Wow…nobody thought THIS would ever happen, DID they…? Anyone? Anyone? No?
 
Captain America has been assassinated.
 
Starbuck is dead…but I won’t actually believe it until I watch it on my MCE machine. I am being very diligent NOT to read anything else about this until I watch it tonight.
 
Pacman’s attorney says the guy is very frightened. You would be, too, if it suddenly became known you were a major druggie and had all of your guns and ammo confiscated by the cops.
 
C3PO…a standup vacuum cleaner has more optimism than that guy…