It is not surprising the film industry is showing strain while trying to compete with the fast nature of the growing copyright infringers. You need only look up the wiki on the term ‘torrent’ to find how and why digital movie promotions and direct to DVD patterns are changing. While stealing a movie is illegal, I would like to take one second and say I do not condone it. I simply want to shed light on my growing apathy for ‘actual’ DVD’s and other media that is used to package film, music and documentaries.
I remember growing up and perusing my parents collections of VHS tapes and grabbing the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” video and watching it a hundred times. I also remember feeling that my parents collection of VHS was a pile of accumulated movies that were more “badges” of ownership than a library worth having. As the years went on, VHS tapes grew and so did my parents collection. Hundreds of movie titles stacked on shelves. Nothing impressive. It was normal to ‘buy’ the latest movie or to get a few on your birthday, holiday or gift bag. The VHS was a popular gift item as everyone likes to watch movies.
This was all fine until the birth of the DVD.
In 1995, a conglomeration of major companies decided to revolutionize the medium for feeding movies to masses and thus rendering my parents collection archaic and obsolete. The DVD was better quality. It was smaller and could even double as a storage medium. The next few years, as the hype AND price died down, the DVD found success. Movie goes began buying them in bulk and hoarding collections which set next to the VHS collections. The biggest attribute (and ultimate doom) of the DVD is that today it can be duplicated with ease and very quickly. Industry did too good of a job creating a cheap and easy medium.
Well, unless you are the faithful VHS guru, you probably know where this story is going. VHS cassettes are now rare (and not the good kind) and DVDs have taken over as the shelf stuffer. But is this smart? Will the next, albeit Blu-Ray, technology push DVD away from the front and center shelf position only to be hurried out the door in a “blowout” sale?
I believe this to be a resounding “Who cares?” Stop collecting DVDs/Blu-Rays immediately. If you want to buy a DVD for sentimental value then do it. Vinyl records still exist for this purpose. Do not waste your money on a DVD when you could find the same library on markets like Video On Demand or online rental sites like NetFlix and Zune. In most cases, you can buy the digital version and move on.
I would much rather have more space in my local Barnes & Nobles walls dedicated to one-click media downloads then $5 sell-outs (which I see everywhere). I will predict this same deprecated model for Blu-Ray as well. Collect at your own risk. At this rate, in less than 5 years all media will be streamed and your “digital” collection will be posted on your favorite social site instead of your bookshelves.
Posted by Lucas Shaffer
As I sent my wife a text who is at home with our baby, I noticed something I hadn’t seen before. A message total that was decreasing on the total amount every text I made. After further review, I found that Google is now making the SMS quota visible to the user to try and throttle the use of this majestic tool.
This is a strange new “visible” addition to the SMS interface that I have grown to love. Especially, when #4 of the Gmail Help documentation states very clearly that, “Messages sent or received to/from phones in North America don’t have a quota.” There is a slight possbility the Gmail Help is out of date OR Google has made a new policy change and shifted to help throttle back SMS carrier bandwidth. Do you have any ideas why this would be necessary?
Upon further review of this SMS throttle mechanism, I found that you are given 50 SMS texts from the Gmail interface (unless in North America). One text takes away from this total and once you reach “0″ you must wait 24 hours until you are renewed back to 50. If and only if your text is replied to decides on whether or not you can continue to SMS with this person. When they reply, your quota increases by 5. Of course, you can only have a maximum of 50 texts in the quota at one time.
They also mention how to cheat the system of course, “you can always send an SMS to your own phone, and then reply to that message multiple times.” So, what’s the big deal anyway? Hmmmm…
There is the slight possibility that I missed this in the beginning as well, but I don’t think so. I believe this used to have a “character counter” for alerting the user how much they have left; much like the twitter tools we use everyday.
Seems so long ago that 140 character communication was useful, now I text from computers and tweet from my phone.
Posted by Lucas Shaffer
In the world of quip communication and information abundance, Fiverr.com has found a way to maximize your cash. Users of Fiverr can post services to the world where for a not-to-shabby $5 you can get everything from motivational words, website help and even lyrics to a song.
How exciting is this? Well, I have been a member for 48 hours and I am already finding interesting things to try and tap into this “quip” commerce arena. I am merely offering services that I would find interesting and fun. Find my gigs here: http://www.fiverr.com/users/lucaslshaffer
Choosing to play, errr…make money, is easy. Set up an account and create a service you think may be worth$5. Of course, you can create a high value item such as “being a personal assistant for 1 hour” and “recording a voice-over message for phone service” or you can offer something fun like “sing Happy Birthday in Hebrew to anyone”. It’s obvious I believe this to be a great idea and will follow this to the fullest.
What do you think about adding $5 jobs to the marketplace? Can someone make a living off this type of micro-commerce? I think its a novel addition to the realm of fast communication and as the dust settle this could easily become the niche market for the mundane task we deal with everyday. I mean, who REALLY wants to take the time to write a resume when some someone would do it for $5. Get ready for a micro-economic shift. 140 characters last year, 500 pennies today.
What would you do for $5?
Here are some “important” bullet points from Fiverr.com your should know first.
Posted by Lucas Shaffer
- You need to be a Registered Fiverr user to sell and buy. Registration is free.
- Services that are offered by sellers on Fiverr are called “Gigs”.
- Gig prices are fixed at $5.
- For each of your gigs that was ordered and delivered, your net share is $4.
- Sellers and buyers identity is anonymous. Do not request or provide emails to users on the site
- Sellers may not accept payments from Fiverr buyers outside of Fiverr (directly through PayPal or any other service)
- Posting of adult, illegal, copyright protected, violent, nonsense or other improper material on the site is strictly prohibited
- Content on the site is moderated. Users posting, messaging or suggesting any of the above prohibited subjects will get their account blocked permanently
- When buyers order one of your gigs, they will be required to pay for the gig in advance.
- When a buyer orders one of your gigs, you will be notified and asked to Accept or Reject the order. Rejecting an order should only be used when you will not be able to perform your offering on time. If you are away and cannot handle orders, it is good idea to suspend your gigs from your “My Store” control panel.
- During your work, you are required to use only Fiverr’s internal mail system to pass material from and to your buyer. Using the Fiverr mail system protects the seller’s and buyer’s privacy. Never ask a buyer to switch to third party email.
- Purchase of gigs from Fiverr can be done using your PayPal or credit card (credit card purchases are handled by PayPal as well).
- You can cancel your order at any time until the seller Accepts your order. Once the seller accepts your order you will not be able to cancel it.
- Sellers have the option to reject an order if they can’t handle it on time. If for any reason your order gets rejected, your $5 will be placed in your Fiverr balance and will be available to you for purchasing other gigs on Fiverr.
I am aware of the many facets of engine crunching search crawlers that chew up websites to find helpful items to gauge in search rankings. I know that devising an expansive table structure over and over on a site can cause the search engine to miss the important details that may, or may not, help others locate you.
Ok Mr. SEO, I got it.
What I find myself doing, in most cases, is spending lots of time “charting” box sizes of smaller sprites like common containers. Especially, the tedious act of measuring pixel lengths of margins, the area padding, the setting up for dynamic data by adjusting the max-width/min-width and the wonderful world of absolute positioning. I ‘absolutely’ hate absolute positioning. I can work with fixed, no problem.
So in lieu of taking the time to build these little machines of CSS nirvana, I just plop in a table. Just a small one; maybe 1 row and 3 columns. I can still add the class properties to the CSS to keep the code clean but the inherited functionality of the table cell has always been more responsive than the anarchy of div tag properties. I celebrate anyone who has mastered the ‘ultimate’ container code. They are always different and require every pixel to be accounted for. If you have a snippet that is useful in ALL situations, please pass it along!
Please don’t get me wrong. I build robust CSS pages all the time. I love the usefulness of maintaining an entire site with one linked stylesheet. Genius!
When it comes to small containers on my sites where alignment within and with other containers is important, I jump straight to <table> and don’t look back. With the new standards being developed every year and the ever ‘evolving’ page rank algorithms that change the face of SEO constantly, I am sure my little table will taste just fine for the crawlers.
Posted by Lucas Shaffer