"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Linkfest - End of House, Kodak

Kodak Shuttering Camera Business
It is a true end of an era as Eastman Kodak Co have announced plans to focus on printers and to close its camera business. This is significant because Kodak not only invented the handheld camera, but is essentially synonymous with photography with its long history in photography going back to 1889. The movie business was built with the help of Kodak. It is hard to find a film that doesn't mentioned Kodak in the credits since for decades their cameras and film was used for creating movies and TV shows. The end came simply because Kodak just did not respond to the move to digital cameras and equipment fast enough, trying to force old style cameras on a population that had moved past them. By the time they made the transition, it was over as the competition had already started to dominate the market. Chances are the company is doomed as people just don't think "printers" when it comes to Kodak.

BitTorrent Piracy, No Effect on US Box Office
A new study from the University of Minnesota and Wellesley College has determined that there is no evidence that Bit Torrent hurts the box office (new movie releases at theaters) in the United States. It does have an impact on International box office but that is more due because of the often months delay between a premiere in the US vs. other territories. The MPAA assumes that every copy downloaded is a lost ticket sale but common sense should tell you that isn't the case. Chances are if someone is willing to download a movie with often crappy sound, jumping camera and other degraded quality, then they had no intention of ever going to see the movie. Chances are if not available to download, they just wouldn't see it. Now this is not a defense of piracy but just pointing out that the millions of dollars spent to fight it, the wiliness to override the first admen dent with acts like SOPA, are just wasted efforts that continued to be justified with bad math.

House Ending After 8 Years
One of the (once) best TV shows on TV is calling it quits, making the announcement in time so they can write a proper finale. The decision was made after Fox and Universal could not come to agreement on the financials of the show. Fox wanted to pay less due to declining ratings but since the cost of the show (due to ever increasing actor salaries) was going up. Net result is parties couldn't make a decision so the show’s producers pulled the trigger rather than risk a cancellation too late to make a proper finale. House introduced the usually more entertaining "a$@hole" character that says what they think but few have pulled off in the effort to copycat. The formula of unknown disease, guess wrong 3 times then House being inspired by similar real world analogy to realize the answer was tired at this point and probably a wise decision to go out while audiences still have good feelings about the show.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston
Today will be the televised burial of drug addict Whitney Houston who died Saturday at the age of 48 due to drowning. While the blood results are not back, the assumption is she overdosed on drugs (possibly legal ones), causing her to lose consciousness in her hotel bathroom tub and drown. Houston, from the mid-80s to mid-90s, had a dream career with a string of hits including "How Will I Know" and "I Will Always Love You" from The Bodyguard. Sadly, after hooking up with husband Bobby Brown, she started on a drug induced decline that she never recovered from. A sad waste of talent. No telling what she might have accomplished for music in those wasted 15 years. Let's just hope her children buck the trend and do not follow in their parents' footsteps. Hopefully she now has the peace the drugs didn't provide.

Super Mario Bros Crossover 2
Hit the link for a web based game that lets you play different eras of Mario Bros games using a wide variety of NES classic characters with their classic sounds and abilities. Worth taking a few minutes to check out.

Political Update
I like to write about politics but really nothing much has changed. The pundits are hoping for a dog fight between Mitt Romney and the current "not Romney" candidate which is Rick "I hate the gays, birth control, and women" Santorum. If the pattern holds, his "lead" in the primary will end in approximately 2 more weeks and all the "not Romney" candidates have about 6 weeks of explosive growth, then people (pundits forget this is a nation of moderates) realize they are too extreme for them and move back to the more centrist candidate (aka Romney). While this delays the Romney vs. Obama stage of the Presidential campaign, it still remains inevitable. Personally I like the idea of Santorum vs. Obama just for the amusing theatre it will provide. Other than that we have the continued drama of Republicans trying to end unions, birth control, and voting rights that have been going on for the last few years. Basically GOP wants big government deciding what you can and cannot do in your private lives while pretending to be for small government.

1st Minute of James Bond at Once
An amusing video that presents the first minute of all 22 James Bond films at once in grid form. Not sure why, I just found it amusing.

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