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mikevx

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  • Jul 9th, 2020 @ 3:20pm

    I managed to duck some streaming monitoring.

    Not surprising that some of the new services are trying to both avoid paying money to Roku and Amazon and data-mine the daylights out of their "customers". Even Amazon realizes that Roku rules the roost on streaming, with Prime Video being available on Roku units.

    Slightly off target, but I figure some on this thread might be interested.

    I managed to find a 49.5 inch TV, with 4 HDMI ports, and NO network connectivity.

    No apps apart from the user interface.

    I connected it to a Roku. There is a Kodi box for playing video files over my network, a region-free blu-ray player, a RetroFreak and a PS Classic. I know that's one more device than ports, switches are wonderful things.

    The big point being, this TV can't spy on me. I don't have to worry about software updates bricking the unit., or killing functions on the TV. The Roku is another story, but at least it can't report my other devices program viewing back to the mother ship like most smart TVs can.

    So as not to be tagged as a spammer, I'll just give you the name and model. The unit is an Element E4AA50N-G. I'll leave it to anyone interested to find the on-line dealer who can sell you one.

    I got an upgraded Roku to be able to do 4K, and, to my irritation, it default added most of the large paid streaming apps that I had deleted off my old unit, plus a few that didn't exist way back when. A few minutes to get rid of, but decidedly unsubtle.

  • Jul 4th, 2020 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Grabbing a library before they burn Alexandr

    Windows drivers come and go, Linux drivers accumulate.

  • Feb 13th, 2020 @ 7:35pm

    Hey, Mycroft! Whats' the weather like?

    A bit of drift: I have one of the Mark I Mycroft units, it arrived in a box labeled "Prototype". I have it controlling my house lights by acting as a voice proxy to an OpenHAB controller. It also makes for a smart alarm clock that I can ask to go off at specific times or offsets into the future. It has this nifty retro-robot look with two rings of LEDs for "eyes" and an LED grid for information display (Weather icons, data or time) and "mouth" movements when speaking. It is not on a par with Echo or Home devices, but it works if you keep it's limits in mind.

    Less drift: The voice parsing is a bit slow, but for the most part, it works. I just asked it "Who is Christine McGlade?", it paused for nearly 20 seconds before coming back with the answer that she is a Canadian media executive who used to host "You Can't Do That on Television."

    "Hey, Mycroft! Sue the socks off of Turney LLP."

  • Jan 13th, 2020 @ 7:33pm

    The movie industry has been feeling this for years.

    The steady churn of remakes/reboots/sequels in the motion picture industry (sometimes "motion putrid" seems more appropriate) owes a fair bit to this same effect. It is safer to remake/mutate something you already own rather than risk getting sued because someone once had an idea that came within screaming distance of yours.

  • Dec 12th, 2019 @ 4:09pm

    Not surprised at the stupid there.

    I tried to order something from those lackwits, and the screw-up was severe. Suffice it to say that I consider sites using Teespring for sales to be making false claims about having stuff for sale.

    StackSocial is no better. I tried to order some things, they would not process my payment and would not tell me why. They suggested using PayPal. "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid."

    How does Techdirt make any money off these morons?

  • Nov 8th, 2019 @ 8:16pm

    Is there a point to streaming...?

    Between the fragmentation and importing most of the worst habits of broadcast and cable, is there any reason to bother with streaming?

    In the apparently unlikely event that more than one streaming service can manage not to overload the screen with overlay crap and and ads (even if it is an ad for other programming on the service, an ad is an ad, and I will not pay for that sort of mistreatment), it is unlikely that any non-specialty service will have enough programming of interest to be worth it. I am looking into one service that may have its act together. The only one I have heard of that does. Given the price, I hope they allow multiple streams and aren't on the "password sharing" bandwagon that providers run down account splitting with. We'll see.

  • Oct 21st, 2019 @ 7:05pm

    Hollywood is killing theaters...

    For the most part, going to the theater has become a miserable experience. Psychotically overpriced concession stands insure that I just do without munchies. Still-frame ads running on the screen anytime the motion systems are idle. Ads of various sorts for several minutes before they get to the movie I've come to see.

    This is why I only go to the theater when friends want to go there. I never go on my own anymore and I never suggest going.

    I get my movies and TV shows on little silver discs. Most streaming services have picked up many of the excremental habits that drove me away from broadcast and cable TV and therefore are failures as far as I am concerned.

    Who do you root for when both parties to the fight deserve to lose?

  • Oct 8th, 2019 @ 4:11am

    Odd routing.

    I suspect that my Garmin device does not always plot the shortest route. It sometimes takes paths that only make sense if it is trying to send me past businesses. At times of night when those businesses are closed, it sends me down slightly different routes that, amazingly, pass businesses that are open late or all night. If all the systems do this, it could definitely cause sub-optimal routing.

    I can't be sure this is really happening, but it would explain the sometimes daft routing decisions the devices makes.

  • Sep 23rd, 2019 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Strange..

    All US states require a rear plate. 31 states require a front plate. (Search engines are handy.)

    The same "Full-faith-and-credit" laws that allow you to drive anywhere in the US with your state-issued driver license apply to cars, if your car meets the standards of your home state, you cannot legally be be cited for failing to meet the standards of another state. If cited, politely point out that your state has no such requirement, and if the officer insists, don't argue further, just collect the ticket and have it dismissed later.

  • Sep 19th, 2019 @ 4:34pm

    Some of the major reasons to use streaming are going away.

    Netflix was more likely looking when it had lots of movies and shows. Now all the companies are trying to splinter off their own services. For me, at least, this will not work.

    For me, streaming would work better if services were created for classes/types/genres of programming. A Science Fiction/Fantasy channel for things like Lost in Space, Stranger Things, Dark Crystal, Good Omens, and the like. Sports streams for the sports fans. Streams for classic movie buffs. The Anime channels are doing this in a more sensible way.

    I am not going to subscribe to your CBS/NBC/ABC stream, period. I will subscribe to an absolute maximum of 4 services under the present stratospheric pricing models. Give up on the insanity of your own service for all your program mix, and make shows to place on appropriately-themed streaming services.

    Also, they need to stop importing all the terrible habits that drove me off broadcast and cable. I never used cable guide channels because they insisted on putting video on them. Pluto TV does this, and Netflix is terrible.

    Mangling credits also keeps me away. Netflix shrinks them and makes you take action to read them. If the credits are timed just so, it is not possible to read some of them because if you back up far enough to see then, the shrinkage triggers again. Amazon has an obnoxious "Next episode" countdown at the and of series installments. They've gotten worse. A friend was showing me "Good Omens", and the lackwits are putting ads for their other shows on before the requested program starts.

    I will not pay for this kind of abuse. There is no value in streaming services for me if they just do the same old rubbish that sent me away from the older systems.

    Customer experience is a thing, and it seems that unofficial means have the edge there.

  • Aug 23rd, 2019 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Unattended Cooking can be Dangerous

    So according to these guys I should throw out my slow cooker and eat out most of the time.

    The whole point of the slow cooker is so that I can cook large quantities of food with a minimum of interaction time with it. My routine is to load the cooker up, turn it on, then either go to bed, and things cook while I sleep, or go to work, and I have a nice hot dinner waiting when I get home and I can stuff the rest of the weeks meals into freezer bags either way.

    I'm not a candidate for Master Chef. I resent the time it takes to pour cereal into a bowl. Being table to spend an hour on a weeks worth of food, then microwave it one meal at a time as needed is a wonderful thing. But to follow the advice of FDNY while using a slow cooker would mean hanging around the kitchen for eight to ten hours, thus defeating the whole purpose of having the thing.

    On the tech angle, while my cooker uses digital tech, is has no connectivity other than a 120VAC cord. The interface is 3 buttons and 8 LEDs. No matter what I set it for, it will shut off after 14 hours.

    Low tech by todays standards, but it works for me.

  • Jul 19th, 2019 @ 7:15am

    The rise had to stop eventually

    Fragmentation and silos are going to be an increasing problem in this space. The potential value of Netflix as a streaming service has been dropping like the proverbial rock lately, and that doesn't even factor in the other ways they are limiting their market.

    I am one of those people for whom logos, credit squeezing, and other picture abuses are not tolerable. The habit of starting a video stream if you take more than 3 seconds to read a program description is irritating also. I tried Netflix on a free trial, and that was good because the interface and behavior were so annoying that there is no content good enough to pay for under those conditions. Most of the services appear to be bringing in all the bad habits that drove me off broadcast and cable into the streaming arena, as well as inventing new ones. (I'm looking at you, Netflix, with your logo-over-paused-program and auto-starting video while I'm reading a description.)

    Based on what some friends have shown me, the only subscription service that I would consider usable is Crunchyroll. And that assumes that it behaves on my model of Roku the way it did on his. Time to see if they have a free trial.

  • Jun 13th, 2019 @ 8:30pm

    One more time...

    I've said this before, and, despite getting chewed on by telecom shills, I'll say it again.

    The only legitimate business model for being an ISP is selling unlimited connections. The only volume limiter should be the speed of the connections.

    Do not take more customers than you can handle on a perpetual saturation basis. If you can handle 1000 customers with saturated connections, do not accept customer 1001.

    In terms of volume, todays "data hogs" are tomorrows "carrier pigeons are more than fast enough" dataphobes.

    One of the problems with the issue is that it is not ethically possible to be an ISP and anything else. Since there is nothing in existence any more that is not in some way tied to the internet, it is a conflict of interest for an ISP to be anything other than a dedicated ISP that does nothing else. "Daves corner store and ISP service" would be in conflict because Dave would have incentive to favor his corner store in some ways.

    The current service model is a mess.

  • Apr 29th, 2019 @ 5:47pm

    Copyright duration and such.

    The system needs revision. Copyright should not be automatic. Registration should be required. A system of registries should be created, Small fees charged would support the registries. Any term over 14 years should be right out.

    An absolute requirement of registration should be depositing with the registry a suitable-for-distribution electronic copy of the registered work, which the registry is to make available to the public on expiration of the registration term. Text works would be simple, plain text or open formats lke ODT, audio and video works would be provided in high-resolution patent-free formats.

    Registries would need to keep records, cross-filed with all other registries, of copyrights registered. The cross-filing would be to prevent record falsification by the use of registry-managed time-stamps. Records would be time-stamped on arrival from other registries. Too large a difference spells trouble.

    There are lots of fiddly issues that would need to be addressed, but the basics listed here would be a good start.

  • Apr 8th, 2019 @ 7:18pm

    Streaming has been a poor experience for me.

    I've tested the two big services, Amazon was largely OK except for committing one of the sins that drove me away from broadcast and cable, rubbish over the credits..

    Netflix, however, is masterwork of annoyance, doing all but one of the things that bothered me about broadcast and cable, and doing some new ones of their own.

    All of these annoyances are showstoppers, any one of them is enough for me to cancel service, thus, the trials for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix were terminated as they count as failures.

    I assume that most people have more tolerance for this kind of trashy behavior than I do, because I left free/cable services because of stupidity like corrupted credits, ads for other shows, video playing while trying to search or use a guide, and a few other irritants. I'm not paying to be treated that badly.

    Seriously, how screwed up is it when unauthorized access methods sound like the superior user experience?

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 4:25pm

    Copyright seems much more likea problem than a solution.

    Setting aside the issue of copies, the primary use of copyright has become the suppression of creativity of the many in the name of profit for a few, as the article gives an example of.

    Another recent example: I had been enjoying Lucas the Spider, and the three parts that managed to get out of Daddy Spider, which I found an amusing spin-off that was going I-don’t-know-where. And now, thanks to asshattery on the part of the creator of Lucas the Spider, I never will find out where Daddy Spider might have gone. This is just one in an innumerable quantity of creative works lost to a system that was ostensibly meant to increase the quantity of human culture. The practical upshot of this is that, on top of the loss of the Daddy Spider story, my enthusiasm for Lucas the Spider has disintegrated. I will hold this against whatever company releases the TV show, if it actually gets that far.

    The “derivative works” portion of copyright law is counter to human culture. Our legends and folk tales evolved by people inventing stories, then others embellishing them or putting completely different spins on them. This is how human culture operates. This is how human culture has operated since we evolved enough intelligence to have culture. This is how our brains are wired. Copyright actually represents an immense impediment to the creative process.

    The number of distinct completely original ideas is vanishingly small. Almost all creative works through human history are derivatives of prior works. This is why they are relevant and interesting. Truly original ideas are slightly rarer than hens teeth, and even then will only be an element added to prior works, in either a general or specific sense.

    For story telling, the modern manifestation of the legend/folktale process is called fan fiction. People with a creative itch to tell a story get ideas based on existing stories, and write/record them. These usually go in a different direction than the original, but sometimes are just similar stories with new elements. Some of these stories end up being better than the original material. In some cases I find interesting fan fiction, and when I backtrack to the “original” work, it turns out to be so dreadful that I cannot figure out how someone could stand to watch/read/listen long enough to have a better (sometimes a much better) treatment of the material. In other cases, fan fiction or other creative transformations have led me back to interesting material I would otherwise never have known about. One example of the latter was an AMV that led me to an interest in a Swedish singer and an anime about a duck, a dance student, and a magic princess, and that’s just one character.

    Both the article and the example I listed above are clear examples of stifled creativity. I could go on, but I have neither the lifespan, nor Techdirt anything like the required storage space, to list even a fraction of the losses.
  • Sep 6th, 2018 @ 7:12pm

    There is a trend here...

    I don't know why anybody would be surprised at this...

    {Insert country music here}
    "'cause United breaks their app"
  • Sep 4th, 2018 @ 5:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    I've never had a vendor fight so hard to not be paid. Do you actually make money off these people?
  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Typo patrol

    Given that one listed homonym is actually not really one (hear/hear), it sounds like someone applauding a point. Perhaps (hear/here) would work better.

    Even accidental approval should be avoided hear. :-)
  • Sep 9th, 2015 @ 8:06pm

    Re: XKCD ref.

    A small boulder won't be able to attempt to control the vehicle if external overrides are used. The operator of the vehicle should be able to ignore any external order, regardless of the "originating authority", otherwise an autonomous vehicle becomes the most effective murder weapon/kidnap aid in the history of history.

    AVs are one place where the use of closed-source proprietary systems should be an automatic life sentence.

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