Alessar’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jun 15th, 2012 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Definitely wasn't needed

    We need a special office of "This patent was stupid and should never been issued" that has the power to simply void these bullshit things.
  • May 31st, 2012 @ 10:22am

    Buying = Patronage

    This week I found out that the Legend of Korra (sequel to the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender) was available for purchase on Amazon's instant video service. I don't have cable. I certainly am tech-savvy enough to download any TV show I want. However, I have a job and I am perfectly willing to pay for the content I want. In my mind, it is much like the classic concept of patronage of an artist. In this case, I had expected to wait until the show was on DVD but with the show on that service (and streamable to my TV via my PS3 or my Roku box) I don't see any reason to wait. I bought one episode to see if I'd like it as much as the previous series; then I bought a season pass for the rest of the series. Now, Nick can factor my immediate purchase along with the cable broadcast ratings when they decide if they want to order additional episodes. I'm paying for what I want, and voting on what I want more of. If HBO would let me give them money for immediate access to Game of Thrones, I'd do that too instead of waiting for the Blu-Ray a year later.
  • Mar 19th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    I met a patent examiner once

    There was a guy I played an online game with once. His mental processes were quite atypical. Somehow anal-retentive and clueless at the same time, with little or no common sense. Not quite the same as some people I've known with Aspberger's; but really just in his own world. Anyway, I asked what he did one day and found out he was a patent examiner and then it all made sense.
  • Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:39pm


    I think the only time unauthorized online distribution of a film actually impacted movie box office significantly was the Wolverine movie. When it was leaked in an unfinished form, the studio was quick to assert it was far from finished and lacked most SFX. However, what the leak actually accomplished was letting people know how back the story was and therefore some people who would have ignored bad reviews and saw it on opening night actually held back. I'm sure some went anyway for the SFX. But, I think this is really just tantamount to a movie reviewer breaking an embargo and warning people in advance that a new release is horrible.
  • Jan 31st, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Savvy Artists

    Just once I'd like an artist to issue a press release: "We have heard that such-and-such candidate is using our song as part of their campaigning. We just want to make it clear that the use of the song is under the auspices of the standard blanket licensing system that lets music be played at public events, and should not be considered an endorsement by us.
  • Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Make It an Opportunity

    Instead of whining that people want to comparison shop, the local bookstores should turn this event into an opportunity. Amazon is offering $5 off for using their ap? How about on Saturday the local bookshops give customers a $5 off coupon good that day only? Promote their customer service; have refreshments for the holiday shoppers. Emphasize that if you buy local, you can carry it out the door today with no shopping hassle. Maybe do some free gift wrap or have a local charity wrapping presents for donations. Offer services.

    I was recently in a local bookstore killing time, and someone came in looking for the first book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The employee provided half-assed service, they didn't actually have the book in stock despite what their store computer said. The customer said she wanted something to read so all they offered was to special order the book. There was no attempt to offer a suggestion of something else good to read ... I used to manage a Waldenbooks 15 years ago, I know what I'm talking about.
  • Jul 1st, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm really tired of rulings made based on technological incompetence.
  • Jun 29th, 2011 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: be fair

    In Michigan we can pay use tax as an estimate. Purchases above a certain amount, I think it was $1,000 this year, need to be specifically addressed. So if you buy a PC online you have to pull out your receipt and pay actual tax on it, but if you bought a bunch of assorted stuff on Amazon you can just pay an estimate. I think it added maybe $20 to my state taxes this year.
  • Jun 24th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    Re: Digital Blasphemy

    In this particular case I think it's a huge stretch. It's a very generic composition and if the book was copying from digital blasphemy, I'd think the picture would be *better*.

    On a side note, I once pointed out to Vlad of Vladstudio, who has the same type of business as Digital Blasphemy, that one of his most iconic wallpapers was clearly visible on the computers of the TV show Dollhouse. His response: Cool!
  • Apr 13th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: fair use?

    Don't call it fair use; call it what it is: appropriate consumer usage of their purchased digital property.
  • Sep 9th, 2010 @ 12:07pm

    Not copy protection!

    These are not anti-copy statements, these are theft deterrents.

    "Should anyone by craft of any device whatever abstract this book from this place..."

    In context, abstract is a verb; it means 'take away' not "a short, precise summary."

    In other words, these are prohibitions from stealing books from libraries. I thought modern librarians were people I didn't want to mess with. Who knew their medieval counterparts would damn people to hell for stealing tomes?
  • Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    TV on TV

    "Of course, the real fear is that if people start doing this, the cable and satellite companies might start losing business, meaning that they'll pay a lot less to NBC to carry their shows."

    Yeah I have a news flash for the corporate overlords. I get my high-def TV off the air. Yes. I use broadcast. Well except for Fox, the local affiliate did something odd and now I can't get it at all. So I have to watch Fox shows online; but if they make it hard, then I just don't bother. There's lots of alternatives.

    Realistically, if they'd let me play hulu on my ps3 again - and it wasn't *great* before but it was watchable, pixelated SD quality - they'd gain the value of showing me ads. If they don't, they're just getting nothing. Meanwhile, I have Netflix and through them, Starz.
  • Nov 4th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Lily Shot Herself in the Foot

    I was slightly familiar with Lily Allen from her tabloid exploits, so I was surprised when I heard her single The Fear on the radio and really liked it. I bought that track from Amazon mp3 after previewing the album there and deciding it was a 1-hit wonder deal for me.

    Later on this summer, remixer Dr. Rosen Rosen released a remixed version of her album. The ENTIRE album. Apparently Lily Allen had made all her tracks available for remixers and mashup-makers and he went whole hog.

    I loved it.

    What he did with her album was brilliant and I listened to it again and again. It made me want to compare his mixes to the real thing, and made me think that the short preview clips on the mp3 store were inadequate to appreciate them. I figured even if I didn't like anything on the official record except the single (the one track I felt he didn't improve on) I was not really out anything. I was enjoying the alternate version.

    I was just waiting for payday and then Lily spoke out and it soured me so much that she lost that sale. Heck, I'm not even enjoying the Dr. Rosen Rosen remix because she's damaged her image to me so much.

    So, even if Lily Allen is more of a (as they used to call them) "studio musician" as compared to a live or touring musician, she has every opportunity to drive sales and be creative. Online downloading is really not about piracy, except in the case of poor college students who don't have the bucks; and that's nothing new, back in the day people just used to copy each others' cassettes. Downloading is mostly about sampling and ease of access.
  • Oct 1st, 2009 @ 8:22am

    She's Way Ahead of You

    Ms. Day and her castmates have already played WoW with donators from the first season. They formed a guild and invited their supporters to it and played with them for a bit.

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