Fuck you, Hulu

Content is not available in my region.

Fuck you and your region. Typical “we are the world” US-centric bullshit.

Hulu seems to be a digital remnant of the old school network model. They’re trying to make themselves the default, easy option for US people to view US content, and thus retain their existing advertising models, by claiming to the advertisers that stuff seen on Hulu counts as much as it woulda on the networks.

I plead with content producers: disintermediate. Find another non-iTunes system that lets you collect payment directly from your patrons, and lets anyone in the world watch your shows.

Or failing that, let overseas users buy Hulu licenses – like Beeb licenses (fuck you too, BBC) – that let non-regional audiences tune in.

Geography ain’t what it used to be.

Foldershare to users: please enjoy our competitors

I just got an email from FolderShare the other day, here it is, emphasis mine:

Dear FolderShare user,

We’re contacting you to let you know what’s next for FolderShare, and to make you aware of some important changes.

In December, we plan to announce a product called Windows Live Sync. You can think of it as FolderShare 2.0. It’s going to look familiar and offer the same great features, plus:

  • More folders and files—sync up to 20 folders with 20,000 files each.
  • Integration with Windows Live ID—no more extra sign-in stuff to remember.
  • Integration with the Recycle Bin—no more separate Trash folder to fiddle with.
  • Unicode support—sync files in other languages.

A huge part of Sync’s success story depends on FolderShare users like you. When Sync releases, FolderShare goes into retirement. That means your FolderShare software will stop working and will ask you to upgrade to Sync. Once you do, Sync will automatically rebuild your personal folders. We expect a lot of new users when Sync is released, so if you can’t sign in right away, please give it a little time.

Here’s the part you need to pay attention to: Sync will not be able to rebuild your shared libraries. If you have a lot of shared libraries, you should hop over to the FolderShare website while it’s still available and copy all that information. You’ll need it to rebuild your shared libraries in Sync.

Thanks for being a FolderShare user! We’re excited about delivering an even better file-synchronization experience to customers like you. We hope you’ll come along as we move forward with Windows Live Sync.


The Windows Live Sync (formerly FolderShare) team

Don’t they have at least one spare developer who could have worked on the migration script? Imagine if, when they went from Hotmail to Live Mail, they had advised that everyone print out their emails because they won’t be migrated?


Quantum of Solace review: (just) Three Stars

I’ve been brewing over QoS for a while now, and I’m ready to render judgement.

It wasn’t a great movie. It was very nearly not even good.

Let’s see… what went wrong?

Well: Casino Royale set an impossibly high bar, is the short version.

Casino Royale delivered (for Bond) realism and authenticity in its action sequences, a compelling and mildly complex plot, interesting locations, and again, and above all, the return of some authenticity. If I had to sum up Bond 20, it would be “authentic”. A reboot in the truest sense of the word. Like Batman Begins, care was taken with the details, enough that I wasn’t immediately offended or pissed off while watching it (and having my suspension of disbelief shattered by an unrealistic stunt, or a sequence that was clearly CGI, etc, etc).

Whereas Nolan pulled off The Dark Knight with even more of what made the first movie good, reinvigorated Bond fans got the difficult second album.

Quantum of Solace relies on effects and an incomprehensible set of action-cut-sequences, in which the effects shots stand out. The moment in the boat where Olga strikes at the other man (impossible camera shot, so clearly an effect); the weird part where something got attached to another boat somehow; other impossible camera shots; implausible villain’s lair. It was damn near Roger Moore-era over-the-top-ness.

Put another way, I thought the ad for the Sony thingo at the start, where Daniel Craig was getting stoically blasted by explosions and debris, all the while trying to stare sadly at the camera, was the best action sequence in the movie. (Like the “Mad World” Gears of War ad made you wish the story in the game was actually worth a damn and had just a smidgen of poignance). But no. Yes, there was an action sequence montage to arguably inappropriate music, and while the girlie enjoyed that bit, I’ve seen it done better, and less perfunctorily.

And then, when you think things might be calming down… the MI6 computer system was one of those ridiculous Swordfish-class monstrosities. Surface multiplied with some Designers Republic offcuts. Everything seemed to beep and animate and twirl, but how much of it actually looked functional or useful to anyone? Frustration abounded. Does anyone, ever, really expect computers to be magical any more? Do they need to be?

And I felt tired. Bond being cut loose from MI6 (or was it 5?) again? Really? Is that even a plot twist any more, or did Judi Dench die ten years ago, and they’re just compositing her into the scenes with all the same lines? Maybe computers are magical.

Quantum just didn’t work as well on any level, and I’m going to argue that at the end of the day, it was largely due to the direction. The plot could have used work, but I think the disappointingly vague and overly brusque action sequences made the action less fun, and the movie as a whole felt cheap.

I’m hoping this is a momentary mis-step, and that we’ll see more of the smart, realistic Bond we got from Casino Royale, and less of a return to the special effects and plausibility nightmares of Die Another Day.

So, six out of ten. Charitably, 7, but that’s stretching the friendship. Must Do Better.

Fake Crowd Noise on Supermodel Finale?

Something completely, utterly annoying to me is the overdubbing of crowd noise.

I picked it quickly on Public Image Limited’s “live” version of Rise (on one EP or another), and watching the Make Me A Supermodel finale on 7 left me with a similar feeling.

Crowd shots showed happy clappers for the runway segment. But some signature “whooping” was happening for every person. Everyone got the same level of crowd noise. And in none of the shots did it appear that the crowd was as impassioned as the whooping might imply. They might have taken legitimate crowd noise from one segment and dropped it in elsewhere, but it’s cheating. It’s not authentic. And I’m not impressed.

So, Channel 7, shame on you. I reckon it was overdubbed, I reckon it was rorted, and I reckon it’s sad that you did that, assuming I’m right.

Armed Assault 1.08 (finally) out

Yep, it’s been three months since the last ArmA update, and we’re hoping this one fixes the crashing under Windows Vista.

I wasn’t game to try the early betas, as one of the side effects was mentioned as being a Sprocket reactivation. I’m wary enough of Sprocket without wanting to lose an activation for a weirdo beta patch, so 1.08’s the update I’m going for.

It should bring rough parity to all worldwide versions of ArmA, except where special content was created for a particular publisher. They should all be bug-compatible though!

Details and download links here: