Why Vista’s DRM is bad for you…

Forbes published this article, which is a good read on the motivations behind the recent DRM initiatives inside Windows Vista. Bruce Schneier is probably correct on most of this, which, in deed, paint’s a dark future for consumers. It’s going to be interesting to see who will win in this clash of cultures: The ReMix generation vs. the ageing Dinosaurs of traditional Media (and i count Microsoft fairly in the ageing Dinosaur camp – their intention is to win by helping the Dinosaurs win…).

Published in: on February 13, 2007 at 11:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie: Final Fantasy VII

Advent Children is a CGI movie, and the 2nd from Square. I enjoyed the first movie they made, and found that one to be a very intelligent and interesting SciFi movie. Sadly, Advent Children is a movie only suitable for hardcore Final Fantasy (the game) fans. Endless battles, that you can only comprehend if you ever played the game, and lot’s of loose story ends that, again, only make sense in the game contents. It’s great in terms of animation, picture quality, but in terms of suitability for the not video game crowd it’s a 1 out of 5. Not recommended.

Published in: on October 24, 2006 at 1:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Audio filters

I finally decided to buy 2 powerline filters (Direct Audio AF1 MKII), mainly because I do sometimes get audio dropouts, mainly in 5.1 soundtracks, and it was suggested to me that this could be due to noise in the powerlines. Having protection for my equipment is never a bad thing, as that replacement would be a lot more expensive than to replace a filter or a fuse, and as I do have quiet a mess behind the amplifier this was a good opportunity to clean up.

First of all, after installing them, I listened to the latest Diana Krall album. I plugged the amplifier into the normal outlet, listened to a few songs. Then i plugged the amplifier into the filter, listened again. Repeated the whole thing. I got my 11 year old daughter to sit with me and verify. I then switched to David Munyon and repeated this.

All i can say is, man, that is the best 100$ i spend on HiFi equipment in along time. The sound, and my daughter agrees, is much warmer, Diana Krall sounds like she is 10 inch taler, David Munyons baritone was even more bone-tingling, if that is even possible.

Is this for everyone? No clue. As my regular HiFi dealer told me, the effect depends a lot on the fluctuations of your power lines in the first place. For me, this was well worth the money. Adding the 2nd Filter to the DVD player added a bit more, but that was barely noticeable. Switching between just the DVD and just the Amplifier, the effect was better with just the Amplifier using a filter.

Published in: on October 20, 2006 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

My Arcam DV27 is broken again

After spending 2 months in repair and finally got it’s drive unit repaired, i have it back now. DVDs now work, but CDs don’t. So i can look forward to sending it back to England again.

Never. Ever. Again am i going to buy so called UK craftsmanship. Give me a good japanese quality control any time over this.

Published in: on October 10, 2006 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Veronica Mars: Season 2

arrived this morning (ordered by Amazon.com this time, and DHL dutyfully did it’s work, so I did not have to drive 50miles to pick it up at Customs…).

This in turn, if the reviews are any indication, predicts a sleepless week in Wermelskirchen. The first season as of the “i can’t stop watching” kind, from all I heard, the 2nd season is supposed to be as good, if not better…

Oh well, there are times in your life where you just have to stand up to the pressure and sleep during office hours…. 🙂

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Published in: on September 11, 2006 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Movie: Ultraviolett

I went to see Ultraviolett on March, 3rd in a decent theater close to Broadway, NYC. That was a big big blunder. I would have left after 45min, when it was clear the movie is not going to be any better, but the theater was pretty full, and i consider it in-polite to disturb so many people – especially if they are all going “Hey dude, that’s soooo cool.. they are dead, man….”.

The movie features:

a) bad acting. I mean really bad acting. Electra should get an Oscar compared to this.
b) bad screenplay, bad script, bad dialogues… it’s just an endless series of “what were they thinking”
c) bad special effects. The movie seems to take pleasure in letting you know that it is a bluescreen movie – you can see the flickering around the characters all the time

Probably the worst movie i have seen in the last 10 years.

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Published in: on March 7, 2006 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  

TV: Veronica Mars

Based on a recommendation by Dave from Blogography, I bought the first season. This is the best stuff i have seen on TV since WestWing. Very good cast, believable acting, good story line with nice twists. Highly recommended.

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Published in: on January 22, 2006 at 2:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Google Video…

is, like, hmm… a disaster?

I hate the US ignorance of the rest of the world in general, but the BETA versions of Google, Yahoo and others always exclude everyone. I am used to that. That does not even bother me anymore.

But…

Google.Video really is going the extra step to piss me off. You can go there, with your Mac, and watch previews of NBA videos and other commercial videos. i can not buy them on my mac, and i can understand that…

Then i search for free things. There are lot’s of user submissions, things without copyright etc…

I can NOT preview them on the Mac.
I can NOT preview them in my country in the first place.

Why is FREE stuff banned from being distributed freely? I am not even blaming Google (they are probably just protecting they corporate asses from being sued), or maybe i should blame them because they made a mistake.

The end result though is another completely useless Google Beta if you actually live in the another part of the world.

Add to this the fact that i just tried to buy an album from Matthew Ebel (great artist), who is independent, and the independent music store is in the US, and it would cost 7$ to get a 10$ CD to me, the future of democratic content distribution seems to be very far away indeed.

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Published in: on January 10, 2006 at 12:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Movie: The gangs of New York

I finally was to see The Gangs of New York by Martin Scorsese. I had that lying in the drawer for a long time, but somehow was never in the mood to see it.

This was a worthwhile movie. Daniel Day-Lewis gave a great performance as the butcher, and, as with most Scrosese movies, the pictures were just breathtaking on the big screen. I just wish they would have found a better actor for the main part – i just can not bring myself to like Leonardo or at least objectively admire his work. He is just not good enough to overcome this prejudice i have with him.

Nethertheless, a worthwhile addition to my movie collection.

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Published in: on December 20, 2005 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Music: Kate Bush – Aerial

I just got that one today. The first album from her for twelve years, if i am not mistaken. If you ever liked the style, even remotely, you owe it to you to buy this (or at least listen to it once or twice). This is one of the very best pieces of art i had the pleasure to put into my CD player for a very long time. Fantastic songs, i especially like Pi.

Highly, highly recommended.

Published in: on November 9, 2005 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment