Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks


TorrentSpy fighting the MPAA!

Posted by todd at 2:17 PM on March 29, 2006

TorrentSpy a torrent search engine who is in takedown war with the MPAA is not laying down, they are fighting back and I think they have a pretty good chance of getting the case dismissed. TorrentSpy is nothing more than a Torrent Search engine. They don’t create torrents they only track them. If you read the motion you will understand that they have some legal precedence on this one and are likening themselves to Google.

The recent Supreme Court decision handed down on Grokster may end up being their deciding factor depending on how the judge interperts the higher court ruling. The MPAA has been getting sites taken down with their broad interpertation of that same ruling. We shall see where this leads but it is a good battle. [Neowin]

Could your cable company become your DVR?

Posted by todd at 2:17 PM on March 27, 2006

Cablevision Systems is set to unveil a test that will allow consumers to time shift TV programming with their regular set top boxes. Instead of having a DVR in the home, you will now be able to use the Cable Companies infrastructure as your DVR. According to the linked article all of the functions you normally have now with your DVR can be duplicated at the head end. This is a interesting development and could be the basis of the ultimate paradigm in that we could go to content on demand for everything we watch.

“The technology for what Cablevision calls its “remote storage digital video recorder” (RS-DVR) “is here today, and in Cablevision’s case, we can use it to put DVR functionality in more than 2 million digital cable homes instantaneously, without ever rolling a truck or swapping out a set-top box,” COO Tom Rutledge says in a statement.”

If they don’t get sued by the networks this could potentially be a win for those of us concerned about Fair Use. [USA Today]

Broadcast Flag praised in Senate Hearing!

Posted by geeknews at 12:47 AM on January 25, 2006

These Senators that are on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in large part do not get it.They had a lot of wool pulled over the eyes today. I am sure the Motion Picture Industry is happy that their lobbyist and campaign contribution dollars are getting a lot of bang for the buck.

I am so sick and tired of having to deal with legislation that is focused on restricting what you can do with media that you pay for. Fair Use to the movie industry is making you pay for the same media multiple times. The American public is on the verge of having multiple pieces of legislation moved on that will forever change the way you are able to view, record and save media. FOREVER!

Act now! [ArsTechnica]

Senator Inouye Democrat Hawaii supports the Broadcast Flag

Posted by geeknews at 12:24 AM on January 25, 2006

I normally do not talk politics in this blog, but I have to call my Senator to the table. I have received a number of e-mails tonight from Hawaii residents all saying that they saw the Senator on C-Span supporting this horrendous legislation.

He is obviously out of touch with what is happening in the Technology Sector it is obvious that his age is affecting his better judgment, definitely time for him to go to pasture and let someone younger and more up to speed on these types of issues. The Senator has obviously spent to much time in Washington and is no longer in touch with the general population. If you are a Hawaii Resident, you need to call the Senator and tell him you are opposed to the Broadcast Flag legislation.

Please call the Senators Office and tell them you oppose the Broadcast Flag Legislation 202-224-3934 his Fax number is 202-224-6747

MPAA cannot abide by it’s own Copyright rhetoric

Posted by todd at 2:53 PM on January 24, 2006

In the second most hypocritical thing I have seen in recent weeks the MPAA has admitted to copyright violation by copying movies. This is the same organization that wants you thrown in jail for creating a backup copy of media that you have purchased. Absolute HYPOCRITES I think they should sue themselves and then have to publicly tell how much money they are going to give back to the director.

Congress better realize that even the MPAA cannot operate fairly with all of the crazy rules in place. As I said in my Podcast last night you better pay attention to what these fools are trying to get your congressional representatives to push through as a new law that will remove all of your fair use rights. [Arstechnica]

RIAA and MPAA want to freeze the progress of consumer electronics!

Posted by todd at 3:11 AM on January 23, 2006

Don’t believe that their are all kinds of sinister acts happening now. Well you need to wake the heck up and listen to some of the stuff I have been talking about. If the following two articles don’t make you sit up and get very angry then I will ask you to comment on why not. Read and pay close attention to what is being attempted. [ArsTechnica] [EFF]

This will be a topic for tonights podcast where I am going to have a few things to say!

Movie released on DVD same day it is to Theaters causes firestorm

Posted by geeknews at 3:25 PM on January 20, 2006

Many of you may have already heard that the movie the “Bubble” was released on DVD the same day it was made available to Movie Theaters and and some of the theaters are refusing to run the movie and are crying like children who have spilled their milk.

Guess what get used to it! I applaud Magic Pictures for doing it, here is why. I am a dad, I have 4 kids and they love to go to the movies. Have you loaded the kids up with the Wife drove to the movies and then instead of pulling a $20.00 bill out of your pocket to pay for the entrance fee you have to break your credit card out and pay $42.00 to $50.00 for the experience of being entertained in a theater.

Guess what lets take that $50.00 ticket minus $19.95 for the DVD price that leaves me with $30.00 multiple that by 17 which is the number of movies we went to last year $510.00 which if you multiply by three years you end up with enough money to pay for a pretty decent flat screen TV. I already have a surround sound system and I have popcorn in the cabinet that cost .99 cents and all the beer, softdrinks and nice sofa to cozy up to the wife too.

For me I would be a idiot to go to the theater with the kids. Sure it’s fun to take the wife off to “R” movie of a huge blockbuster that is best seen on a big screen but for the kids and their movies they like. The $19.95 DVD or Netflix makes the money in my wallet go a lot farther.

There only chance to survive is to give me a DVD when I pay for my $50.00 worth of tickets so I can at least get a little more bang for my buck when I go to the movies. [Mark Cuban]

BitTorrent creator to help stop Downloads of Movies!

Posted by geeknews at 12:04 PM on November 23, 2005

Do I sense a war brewing. Their are going to be a lot of pissed of people if they cannot download the last episode of lost or a syndicated television show. Think about this for a second, when I was living overseas the television selections was horrendous, you had this pathetic star network and a bunch of third rate crap stations. TV was horrible. My time overseas also broke me of my habit of watching to much TV because the majority of it was terrible. But for those that are living as expats the ability to get cool shows via BitTorrent is awesome. Now I understand the studios have a issue with this and I understand that they don’t want people sharing movies. So here is a idea.

The studios need to realize their audience is global and unless all of the people on the globe can go to new movies or pay for them online when they are released the horns come out and people go and download the shows and movies so they can see it instead of having to wait 6 months to year before something is released in their home country. News travels the globe in microseconds not weeks and people are dialed in to what is happening on a global scale. If the MPAA and the studios would figure this out instead of using their old techniques old media distribution which encourages people to download the content on the net. [The Register]

Hollywood Studios Fair Use Public Enemy Number One

Posted by geeknews at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2005

I hate to say it but here we go again. Hollywood has fielded some new legislation that makes the broadcast flag initiative look insignificant. From BoingBoing I read the following and my jaw hit the floor

“Under a new proposed Analog Hole bill, it will be illegal to make anything capable of digitizing video unless it either has all its outputs approved by the Hollywood studios, or is closed-source, proprietary and tamper-resistant. The idea is to make it impossible to create an MPEG from a video signal unless Hollywood approves it. ”

The details of what the want are beyond shocking they are Anti American, Anti Business, Anti Technology and all about control. The MPAA wants to control you, what you watch, what you record and what you backup in such a controlled way that the American public will likely have to spend billions of dollars to access and copy materials they have already paid for.

I agree with the BoingBoing article that any legislature that moves on this is an idiot. Only a lawyer firms who are getting paid millions by the MPAA could have thought up this monster. [BoingBoing]

Would you Pay $17.00 for a Video on Demand

Posted by geeknews at 12:31 PM on October 11, 2005

There is a catch to that question. What if you paid that $17.00 and then several days later received the DVD of the movie you just watched. Personally I don’t think the model will work and here is why. Usually the only DVD’s I buy is if I have already watched a movie and thought it so good that I wanted to add it to my movie collection. I do not go out and buy a DVD off the shelf without having seen the movie already.

But I may be persuaded to buy the DVD if the price was much lower, having a family living in Hawaii, and dealing with $3.55 a gallon gasoline we have to smart in our expenditures. So when I buy a DVD I usually end up digging around in the Walmart clearance crate for DVD’s that have been marked down to $5.00 lets be realistic if people stopped buying DVD’s at these ridiculous prices we could force the industry to lower the price and guess what more of us would buy DVD’s. [www.videobusiness.com]