Now This Log

« 13 June 2002 « - Back Archives Next - » 15 June 2002 »

day permlink Friday, 14 June 2002

permlink thunderous ovation

Bush urges 'culture of service' to graduates at Ohio State commencement [AP / Yahoo News]
...immediately before class members filed into the giant football stadium, an announcer instructed the crowd that all the university's speakers deserve to be treated with respect and that anyone demonstrating or heckling would be subject to expulsion and arrest. The announcer urged that Bush be greeted with a "thunderous" ovation. And he was.
Just plain interesting. permlink  

permlink Harry Potter's escaped!

If DVDs are easily copyable, one story goes, marketplace havoc will ensue. Easily-available pirated copies will decimate sales, etc. etc. Another story goes that most citizens are not thieves and will pay money for legitimate copies even if cheap or free unauthorized copies are available for very little effort.

Surprisingly, instead of guarding its prize wares as well as they can, Warner Brothers seems to be running its own empirical experiment:

Harry Potter released unprotected [New Scientist]
...This means people can go out and buy a DVD or VHS, connect the analogue output of their player to a recorder -- either analogue or digital -- and make free copies for friends.

Usually, hot new movies are protected by Macrovision, which tinkers with the analogue picture signal so that it can be viewed on a TV set but not copied.

By not protecting Harry Potter, Time Warner has saved the five US cents or so per disc or tape that Macrovision charges. Analysts suspect that Warner left the release unprotected to investigate whether this would have a significant impact on sales.
Of course, there's no control in this experiment... presumably the Potter DVD is selling like hotcakes (we already got one cheap from Amazon ourselves); how will they know if their total sales are 99% or 50% of what they would have been without Macrovision's semi-functional copy protection?

And is Potter more or less vulnerable to piracy because it's a worldwide blockbuster? I can make either argument. (People want to buy the movie and its lovely packaging because they love it so vs. everybody in the world will look high and low for cheap/free copies because they love it so.) I think whatever the result for Potter, it's going to be hard to generalize the findings to the much less popular garden-variety DVD.

But I'm glad WB is at least trying to find out some things for itself. permlink     1 comment(s)  
Most big league piracy occurs overseas, with enough equipment & savvy to overcome most copy protection. The kind of copy protection most studios are using are to prevent the "casual copier" (aka domestic consumer), of which there are so few in comparison to the market that I don't think the studios will notice one iota of difference in sales.
      ...posted by Neil on June 14, 2002 5:56 PM
Add a comment...

permlink blog is a word, six feet down

Blog is apparently being certified as a real word. May as well.

Oxford English Dictionary: Current Newsletter [via Dane Carlson]
The [North American Editorial Unit] is also working closely with the new words group in Oxford, carefully reviewing the high-profile new words that are so often of American origin, and drafting new entries for words that have come to our attention. Some of the words we have drafted in recent months include tipping point, gentleman's C, weaponize, collateral damage, blog, skeevy, and perp walk.
OK. Skeevy is new to me (haven't watched much Sopranos yet) but I know the rest. "Weaponize" shouldn't be a word, but then again I don't have a good substitute. permlink     4 comment(s)  
Wouldn't the verb "arm," as in "to furnish or equip with weapons," be an adequate substitute for 'weaponize'? Or am I missing something?
      ...posted by La Di Da on June 14, 2002 12:45 PM
I'm pretty sure it's in the sense of 'weaponized anthrax', i.e. something that isn't normally suitable as a weapon but has been modified.
      ...posted by Steve on June 14, 2002 12:51 PM
Now, see, I took that in more of a noir sense. "She was one of those women who could knock you dead with just a look. As I took a swig of my three fingers of scotch, neat, I caught her glancing my direction from across the room. A saxophone wailed in the distance and I wondered for the first -- although not the last -- time if I would wind up taking the big dirt nap by gazing into her deep blue weaponize."
      ...posted by TheBrad on June 14, 2002 3:40 PM
I've heard people use "skeevy" my whole life! At least at home, since I grew up with two Italian-American parents--all 4 grandparents from the "old country." In our family "skeevy" is a shortened version of "scivio" (ski-ve-o) which basically means "icky" "dirty"---as in that public pool, bathroom etc., is scivio! I think we are looking at some Sicilian slang--always colorful!
      ...posted by Joanne Spitz on June 19, 2002 11:45 AM
Add a comment...

« 13 June 2002 « - Back Next - » 15 June 2002 »

Home - Log - NowThis Consulting - Writing - Media - Links - About
© MCMXCVII-MMVI Steve Bogart