Right now there is a renaissance in digital goods fulfillment options, with plenty of startups hoping to get the long-tail microtransaction stuff going in their favor. Some of them are oriented more towards music, while others are oriented more towards eBooks or other sorts of things. Here's a quick comparison of a few of them (Bandcamp, CDBaby, Gumroad, and Simple Goods) for those who might be interested in such a thing.
April 27, 2013
January 21, 2013
I sent this letter to Fred Siebert and Pen Ward last night. I haven't gotten a response yet, but I will keep people updated if I do.
I have two questions, one of which I'm sure you've gotten a lot and one of which I'm not so sure but it wouldn't surprise me if you have:
1) Will Adventure Time ever be coming out on Blu-Ray?
2) Given the fact that the television distributors (such as Comcast) are terrible in general and the various Internet TV services (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) aren't really that much better when it comes to providing a decent selection of content at a fair cost in a way that actually supports the creators, my means of acquiring Adventure Time while still supporting it has been to buy a season pass of the SD version from Amazon while still continuing to torrent the HD versions, because in that way I have a much better viewing experience with less hassle, and I'm still sending some money you guys' way (without incurring the added infrastructure costs that supposedly justify the outrageous per-episode price of the HD versions). However, I suspect that most of that money is still going to the distributors of the show who, despite helping it to be seen, have absolutely nothing to do with the creation of it and are really only the fossilized relics that are leftover from a bygone era. So, given that, can I just send you guys some money to directly thank you for making such an amazing show and, conscience clear, continue to receive the show via bittorrent?
It really seems like a win-win for everyone that matters in this equation.
September 15, 2012
I used to love watching Food Network, because there were a bunch of cooking shows in which you could learn techniques and how to use ingredients and just plain simple/fast/easy/whatever recipes. Then I didn't have cable for a while, and now I have it again (provided by the temporary apartment I'm in), and good golly it's changed a lot.
Now it's nothing but terrible reality shows where cooks have to make food out of ridiculous ingredients, reality shows where failing restaurants are being refurbished on a shoestring budget, reality shows where failing restaurants' clueless owners are shown how terrible their employees are, and gross food-related travel shows where we get to see all the terrible bad-for-you food that you can buy from truck stops and deep-fryer-heavy diners and whatever. Oh, and there's still Iron Chef America which is at least halfway decent.
But still. Whatever happened to Food Networks shows being about food? Did they just decide that nobody actually cares about cooking, or did all of their actual cooks get sick of things and quit?
From what I can find online, all of their classic cooking shows are still available on the Cooking channel, which is a premium-rate channel (i.e. you're going to pay $100/month for the privilege of watching it).
Oh well. The cooking shows on PBS have always been way better, anyway.
September 9, 2012
I don't think there's any point in going into the individual things about "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" (Doctor Who) that bug me, because either you were also bugged by them or you thought it was a pretty good episode.
I just want to mention, though, that one thing that the classic series did really well was to keep the universe feeling very big by making the individual stories stay pretty small. Even the larger arcs still kept the stories small without having this endless fractal sprawl-upon-sprawl of pulling in dozens of timeframes and callbacks to previous episodes and sprawly arcs.
September 2, 2012
June 4, 2012
September 14, 2011
After going disc-only on Netflix I decided to go ahead and turn Blu-Ray discs back on, since a significant portion of my queue is actually in that format now. I have very quickly learned to loathe Blu-Ray's advanced "features," which are of course being used for nothing but advertising now.
For example, in Where the Wild Things Are, there are about 15 minutes of unskippable, un-fast-forwardable trailers for other movies. Any attempts at getting out of those and into the movie are met with the trailers being completely restarted from the beginning. (This may have also been because it was the "rental edition" of the movie, which had no extra features.)
Next, The Blues Brothers opens up directly to the main menu — which doesn't load until it downloads a bunch of content from BD Live. All ads, of course. Until that happens, you're stuck with a repeating montage of the key scenes from the film. At least on my BD player it's possible to get past this by pressing "disc skip," but then as soon as the BD Live content finishes loading, it boots you back into the main menu. Absolutely irritating, and completely pointless. The BD Live content it was waiting for wasn't even anything related to the movie — it was all banner ads for other things coming out on Blu-Ray.
As always, piracy is the more consumer-friendly option.
July 18, 2011
The MPAA and RIAA are at it again. Here is the letter I am sending via that page's form:
I am a constituent and I urge you to reject S. 978, "A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright".
This bill is overly-broad and only serves to further cater to the monopolistic practices of the big media cartels who operate as part of the RIAA and MPAA. It further erodes the rights of artists set forth under the fair use doctrine, and provides a chilling effect on free expression and active participation in common culture. It does not protect the interests of the RIAA or MPAA, and will only be used to criminalize everyday activities.
Further, given that RIAA members have copyrights on specific renditions of silence and other fundamental sounds, as well as songs containing every word known to every language, it is likely that they could use this to stifle creative free expression even from those who aren't infringing on the bill, simply because any new song written by a non-member could be shown to be infringing on SOME property. Or are the courts capable of determining whether the two-second silent pause in any random YouTube video originated from track 65 of Blur's "Modern Life is Rubbish?" Could any use of the word "bird" be construed as infringing on the composition rights to about half of the early Beatles catalog?
I urge you to reconsider this bill, and all others like it.
March 17, 2011
A few years ago I did the music, sound effects, and some of the voice acting on a little animation called "Pirate Scum" by my friend Patrick. For those in or near San Francisco, it's going to be showing at the Peaches Christ Film Festival on April 15, 2011, and Patrick, Mo (main voice talent, best known as the voice of Erin Esurance) and I will (probably) all be there too.
February 19, 2011
For some reason a lot of people care deeply about what the actual lyrics are to the theme song of Spliced!, especially a couple of words which are rattled off fairly quickly and seem like they might be out-of-place in a kids' show (but of course, Spliced isn't a kids' show).
On a tiny little island
In the ocean called Pacific
There's a mixed-up group of creatures
Who are really quite horrific
Stitched together with whatever crap was
Found or could be grabbed,
Re-invented in the bowels of a lab.
Spliced! They have all been spliced;
Half baked and diced
By some crazy doctor (Spliced!)
Who went vamoose
And now you'll pay the price; They have all:
Bits of human, chunks of lab mouse
Swap the hind legs for an udder
Splice a parakeet with donkey feet
And season it with butter.
It's no ordinary island, do we have to say it twice,
It's no ordinary island 'cause they're spliced, spliced, spliced!
December 14, 2010
November 10, 2010
November 5, 2010
October 15, 2010
I absolutely hate MotionFlow, and always turn it off whenever I can. Since it also increases lag, "game mode" generally disables it, so it might not be so bad if I play it through my PS3 — although the PS3 is also significantly louder than the dedicated Blu-Ray player. It merits further experimentation, at least.
Fortunately, there is a way to turn it off: put the system into "theater" mode, and then the sickeningly-smooth 240Hz drops down to the 24Hz that it should be. Unfortunately, that also does a lot of other things to the image, like making it a bit darker (I guess you're expected to have your lights off) and so on, and also screws with the sound (putting it into some sort of "cinema audio" mode). BUT: game mode also turns off MotionFlow (to decrease input lag) and also keeps the nice wide image dynamic range.
It's a bit annoying how I seem to have to fiddle with things more to undo all the "OMG WOW" features that are turned on by default though. Oh man I wish I had a lawn to tell people to get off of right about now.
October 12, 2010
I just want to be able to press "menu" and get right to the movie's menu, or better yet, just go straight to the movie, since it's not like Blu-Ray movies need any configuration most of the time (since it's not like the bad old days of DVD where the player didn't know what audio format to use or whatever, and some things were set up with the assumption that peoples' players didn't know how to downconvert 5.1 to 2.0 or whatever).
This is one of those things where it's gotten worse as the studios have gotten more format-savvy, and of course there's a visual aid. (Except it's even more ludicrous than that because the Blu-Ray ad is telling us how much better Blu-Ray is than DVD, which is why I have it on Blu-Ray already.)
October 5, 2010
September 23, 2010
- The Big Bang Theory
- Hell's Kitchen (and all the other Gordon Ramsay folderol)
- Shit My Dad Says
August 3, 2010
So really, when there's a scene from the perspective of someone who is without the translation conceit, it seems like everyone should just sound like squealing, growling, baby babble, and the like.
June 6, 2010
August 6, 2009
Thanks again for submitting your work for the Cartoon Art Museum’s Monsters of Webcomics Virtual Gallery.I am pleased as well! My stuff will be in a museum! I think this is only the second time this has happened.
I’m pleased to say that your work has been selected for inclusion in our exhibition, and will be featured in the Virtual Gallery along with a wide array of webcomics from around the globe. This historic exhibition will include over 100 artists, making this one of the largest exhibitions in the Cartoon Art Museum’s 24-year history, and we’re thankful for your participation.