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  • Aug 13th, 2020 @ 11:19am

    Normally I'm a big screen kinda guy...

    But I have ZERO intention of going back to a theatre to see a film until there's a working vaccine that will help get rid of the COVID problem once and for all. I'll keep my viewing at home for the time being, and go back to theaters when all is once again (mostly) safe. And I have a feeling even most die-hard theater fans feel the same exact way (and maybe I could have chosen a better phrase there, heh heh)

  • Jul 7th, 2020 @ 9:06am

    Maybe this would make sense

    If the USPTO allowed this if the area code were branded WITH a product, thus it would be the whole, like "414 Milwaukee", but not just the "414" - as it is, it makes absolutely no sense....and we wonder why there is so much bullshit in the world today...

  • Jun 24th, 2020 @ 12:20pm

    Wow...

    Brilliant piece, Mike! Now if we could just get it to every single politician in the Federal and State governments and make sure they actually READ it, maybe this nonsense would stop happening and we could concentrate on the same thing when it comes to copyright and such...yeah, right....but it's a nice dream....:-)

  • May 1st, 2020 @ 5:30pm

    From almost the moment it was announced...

    I have said - FREQUENTLY - that Quibi was going to be one of the biggest BOMBS ever launched in the tech world. It's bombed so bad that next week they're releasing an app for various platforms so you can watch Quibi on your TV - which goes completely AGAINST what they were trying to do. When will Katzenberg ever learn? He just can't do ANYTHING right....

  • Jan 3rd, 2020 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: OK, call me naive...

    I doubt this would have any affect on regulators' ability to serve as lobbyists in the future, nor would it cost them campaign contributions, simply because the organizations making the process mandatory would only be strengthening their own positions as well as their customers - I think it's a good political position to promote on both sides of the aisle. It's not something that would have any adverse affect on companies or consumers. But then again, the political parties involved would probably choose to subvert it and make it a ridiculous partisan issue, as they idiotically have done with net neutrality...sometimes there's no winning...

  • Jan 2nd, 2020 @ 5:12pm

    OK, call me naive...

    But wouldn't it just be much simpler if someone in government made it mandatory that the manufacture of IoT devices include a simple trigger in their initial setup program that REQUIRED consumers to make a unique password and user name all their own, instead of just including a generic set up where the password is "password" or "123" etc? It would be a simple if proven ultimately futile attempt to protect consumers - simply set up a block that consumers can't get around requiring the changes necessary for consumers to protect their devices BEFORE the device will work.

    Like I said, I know it's naive, but it MIGHT help a little...

  • Nov 6th, 2019 @ 1:03pm

    Ooh I'm Dyin.

    "This is all, of course, utter nonsense"

    Mike, Mike, Mike....you totally BLEW the perfect pun opportunity, i'm disappointed....it's not "utter nonsense" it's "UDDER nonsense"...bwaahahahha

    But seriously, it is, you'd think this guy would have given up by this point, he really should Moooove on...he's Milked it for all it's worth...he really should have hooved on out of here....I mean it's all just a load of bullshit anyway....::rimshot::

  • Oct 8th, 2019 @ 6:36pm

    I'm not usually a novice on this stuff..

    But could someone give me a legit reason WHY the "Blurred Lines" case wasn't appealed to the Supreme Court? Am I mistaken, or didn't Pharell and Thicke just roll over and accept an appellate court decision? I seem to remember that the appellate court got every aspect of that case completely BACKWARDS....but maybe it was SCOTUS and i'm just not remembering it correctly....

  • Oct 8th, 2019 @ 3:26am

    Re: What's interesting...

    I meant "One Car Underpass", widthwise, not "one way underpass", it's early...:-)

  • Oct 8th, 2019 @ 3:18am

    What's interesting...

    Is that they DON'T always take the best route either. I don't own a car, so my wife and I Uber or Lyft everywhere now because we are totally fed up with the MBTA system. Last week, I had to go to a training seminar in Waltham MA from my home on Boston's North Shore. Each of the four days, the driver took the way his app - usually Waze - told him to go. Boston's traffic is nightmarish anyway, so a lot of the time, it would avoid the congested highways, and try for local streets in the towns between my home and Waltham. One day, the app sent my driver down a one-lane residential street, through an alley at the back end of what looked like a nursing home, and through an extremely tight one way underpass.We were both laughing about it at the time, about how it went REALLY out of the way to avoid cars, and ultimately, it didn't work - there was a small line of cars trying to get through that small underpass from both sides. At other times coming home from work in Quincy, it will send drivers through the Ted Williams Tunnel, then through Logan Airport's outlying surface streets when the Parkway is jammed. Problem is, the app never sends the drivers the direct way - once you cross the Chelsea St Bridge going the surface streets, if you turn right and stay on that road, it would bring you right to where I need to go, and that road is NEVER busy except for in downtown Revere, only a few moments of traffic. Instead, the app sends you through winding surface streets, through downtown Chelsea, and back over to Route One, which is several miles out of the way. Many times if we'd just stayed on I-93 to Route One, it probably would have taken less time, even with heavy traffic. And we learned early on not to try and suggest most drivers to take certain streets, because they get irritated and keep wanting to go back to their GPS system. We find it easier to just let the drivers do the navigating, no matter how out of the way it turns out to be. Honestly, it just gets ridiculous sometimes. But it does get us where we need to go, I suppose.

  • Aug 15th, 2019 @ 11:37am

    There was actally a study...

    ...that came out about two years ago which conclusively proved that video games have zero to do with violent behavior. I know the study was done somewhere in the Nordic countries, but I haven't been able to find it online in a while - does anyone know a link where the study can be accessed, because when it comes to stuff like this latest thing, it would be very useful to trot out. ALthough with all due respect, I have to admit I don't have a problem with ESPN postponing broadcast on the tournament out of respect for a period of time that would include funerals and such, but shouldn't two weeks be plenty of time for that, not two months? It seems like far too long a period to me...but then again, it might not feel that way to the families of the victims...

  • Jul 10th, 2019 @ 4:12pm

    Well...

    Did anyone see the CBS Sunday Morning piece on "Impossible" burgers and cultured meats this past weekend? I have to be totally honest here - the people who run these two companies come across as totally arrogant, holier than thou, "We know what's best for EVERYBODY and we're going to force our way down your throats" kind of people. Both company heads are on record as saying that they're in this to drive the meat industry to it's knees, that they want to stop the whole world from ever eating meat again. No indication what they intend to do with the animals when the planet gets overrun by them. Not to mention that, as an unabashed steak lover, watching the process of both products being made does not give me an appetite to try either one of them...bleah...if interested, you can check it out at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wheres-the-beef-hamburger-patties-made-from-plants-2019-07-07/

  • Apr 4th, 2019 @ 6:24am

    The point everyone is missing..

    ...is that Spielberg isn't saying that Netflix needs to be excluded entirely, but that they need to play by the same rules. Netflix has repeatedly shown reluctance to do that. They insist on day-and-date streaming without a theatrical window in most cases. Only because Cuaron insisted on it did "Roma" get a theatrical release, and it was larger than most that Netflix does. Amazon played by the rules at first, which was hugely beneficial to "Manchester By The Sea" but they are starting to slide on that position now. Netflix has been skirting by on the rules with as few screens as possible, and while that sort of sucks, it's what many indies do as well. So that works for qualifying. And any rules change would also affect indies as well, most likely. Netflix also has a nasty habit of badmouthing the theatrical experience, which also doesn't sit well with many filmmakers or film fans, including myself. I love Netflix, but i'd prefer to see a film in a theater any day.

    As far as the DOJ's veiled threat goes, I think they're barking up a barkless tree - Netflix never releases box office numbers, so it's impossible to see how it would financially hurt them; to release such information would undercut their streaming model in a number of ways, I would bet. But the way the letter from the DOJ was worded, they've undercut their own argument - Netfilx does NOT depend on box office profits and technically earns its primary profit on each affected film as a streaming service shoulld - once a month, when subscribers pay their monthly subscription fee. So the DOJ "financially competitive" model suggested in their letter is completely moot, leaving the DOJ with absolutely nothing to stand on. If they try and sue the Academy, they're going to come away with their tails between their legs, wasting taxpayer money with an unwinnable suit, and look like the absolute idiots that they are...

    Bottom line - if it streams, and ONLY streams - it's a TV Movie, not a theatrical film, and thus is an EMMY contender, not an Oscar contender. If they put it in theaters in the qualifying run required by the Academy, it can be an Oscar contender too. It's that simple. It's completely black and white and people are too stubborn, too busy looking for the totally non-existent gray areas, to acknowledge that fact...

  • Mar 11th, 2019 @ 3:59pm

    Re: 'Look, lots of money, now won't you please go away?'

    Gotta say I wish you were right, but you're probably not. I live in Revere, and they'll do what they always do - stonewall, whine, kvetch, and spend thousands of dollars of taxpayer money only to lose the suit in the end, maybe three or four years down the road. If there's one thing this city is good at, it's stretching out court cases against it for as long as humanly possible...

  • Mar 4th, 2019 @ 1:13pm

    Wow...

    I can't believe there are so many people who just don't get it. And you cherry-picked your story, Karl - there was a clear reasoning behind it:

    Streaming =Television=Emmy

    Not terribly hard to understand. And I also don't get the disdain for seeing a film in a theater. It's a wonderful experience. Just think about it this way...if we had streaming in the 1940s or 1950s, all of the movies that are considered "classics" now, from "Cool Hand Luke" to "Cinderella" to "The African Queen" to "Midnight Cowboy" would have been just 'TV-movies"...and there's just something so wrong about that idea.

    Netflix has it's place in the industry. But Ted Sarandos' problem is that he refuses to try and play on the equal field already set up - he's determined to be a disruptor - he's determined to be the Mark Zuckerberg of the film industry, and apparently to be just as big as a dick to get there. So many people here on Techdirt have this incredible (and many ways deserved) disdain for the way Facebook and Google have taken over everything, pushing everyone else out of the way. What exactly do you think is the difference between those entities and Netflix?

    Answer - NOTHING.

    If Netflix was TRULY interested in film, they would play by the rules currently in place, and then use that foot in the door to move for more gradual changes. Instead, they come speeding through the door like a battering ram, demanding changes to the status quo that they haven't even EARNED the right to ask for, and when they don't get their way, they sulk.

    And those "release windows" everyone here seem to think are so antiquated are one of the driving factors keeping independent cinema alive today. Only an indie chain like Landmark can make money showing a film in the theater that is also available on OnDemand, and for small films, there are a lot of those today. But most arthouses are either mom and pop owned or community run, and for those theaters, the release window helps ensure that they can continue to operate. The Boston area has lost A LOT of smaller theaters over the past several years because they just can't compete with streaming - that's dozens of jobs lost, and a poorer theatrical experience.

    All Netflix has to do - as well as all the other streaming services like Amazon and upcoming Disney+ and Warner - to get in the awards game is agree to play by the rules already established - 90 day windows, legitimate week-long runs in NY and LA to Oscar-qualify (no "FourWalling"), and a modicum of respect that Netflix at least does not have for the way things are.

    As everyone here already knows, the legacy entertainment industries are some of the most antiquated business models on the planet, but in this case, where thousands of jobs in the theatrical exhibition industry could be at stake in the not too distant future, things need to move more slowly. Take a year, cut the window to 60 days and then 45 days. Paramount's experiment with "Scout's Guide To the Zombie Apocalypse" and several other titles a few years back proved that the window can be drastically cut down and both theater and studio CAN make money that way...but it's not going to happen overnight.

    And just for the record, I don't work for the film industry, but I'm a huge fan of the theatrical experience, and we work hard on our websites and podcasts to try and bring that love to others, to get them to the theater more often, to see more films. To me, the theatrical experience is special, and i'll always love it. YMMV, of course, because I know some places have only shit for theatres, or people who are shit running them. But when you find a gem of a theater, and you are in a theater full of like minded film fans watching something current unfold, or a newly remastered print of an old classic, or a Warner Brothers cartoon marathon, there's nothing that can compare to the experience...

    Just my two cents...have at it, everyone...:-)

  • Feb 11th, 2019 @ 1:30pm

    SO in other words

    So, Mike, you're saying that the EU is taking the Poison Pill "USFL Sure Deal Approach", and hoping it doesn't blow up in their face? Like this?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Football_League#USFL_v._NFL_lawsuit

    Good Luck with that...I wonder if a court would be as kind to them in the EU as they were to the USFL here after that disastrous suit? IN any case I guess we'll have to hope the EU gets as badly f**ked as the USFL did..and by their own hand too...

  • Feb 5th, 2019 @ 1:31pm

    Here's an idea..

    I know a surefire way to get these bozos to back down...

    Simply find your local EU Parliament rep and say to them...

    "You DO realize that Article 13 will officially destroy one of the most beloved spectacles in history, right? That Article 13 will make it impossible for the Eurovision Song Contest to exist? Do you want to be responsible for destroying a 64 year tradition of beloved and ballyhooed pop pablum every spring? The ESC Fan community will eat you alive, you know...after all, you've destroyed their reason for existence? "

    OK, I'm being flip, but I'm also being totally serious - it DOES make this particular show kind of impossible, because fans all over the world share the music and get people interested, and if the music can't be shared with the rest of the world for fear of reprisals, they're not going to do it anymore, and Eurovision basically will dry up and blow away without the massive fan community out there...it's grown massive in size since the internet came along, and there's no going backwards now...so maybe it's time to hit these EU ninnies where it hurts...let the fan community go after them...I GUARANTEE you Article 13 will disappear overnight if these fans realize what's at stake...and let the EU Parliament have it right between the teeth...

  • Feb 4th, 2019 @ 7:25pm

    I know this is showing my naivete on this..

    But isn't there some sort of provision in the trade area of the United Nations charter that can be used to stop this shit dead in it's tracks? I seem to remember reading a few months ago that the UN had issued some sort of edict or proclamation that they were wholly against the EU enacting either Article - so can't this mostly completely toothless organization find some balls, find a provision that they can make stick, then actually step up and block this crap?

    Like I said, i'm showing my naivete here, but there has to be some LEGAL means for stopping a small group of less than 500 people, all arrogant know it all bastards, from enacting something that will affect the entire planet and the way the internet is comprised therein...especially since it will affect the livelihood of literally MILLIONS of people...

    OK, have at it...heh heh

  • Dec 19th, 2018 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: As someone who keeps close tabs on the movie industry...

    True enough, but the fact that NATO commissioned it is still worrisome to me...I wish it had been a totally independent study to make sure it's completely without bias..
  • Dec 19th, 2018 @ 7:22am

    As someone who keeps close tabs on the movie industry...

    I think the survey is good news...IF it's accurate. And to me, it's accuracy is thrown into serious question by the fact that it was commissioned by the major theater owners group, in the way that telecom surveys funded by Verizon are questionable at best...

    It reeks of NATO trying desperately to convince people that theatres are still viable. I personally think they are, but I can say this - NONE of my friends who go to the theater on a regular basis stream all that much, most of them still use Redbox for home viewing. And the ones who stream regularly rarely if ever set foot in a multiplex, although some of our areas' smaller indie-centric theaters benefit from them more often...

    Just my 2 cents...

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