Monday, April 30, 2012

Paw de deux

Henri, the existential French cat.

Bemoaning the banality of his existence.

Father Vader

Cute comic panel with Luke as the son and Darth as the dad.

[3 more coming]

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Things I learned this week 29 Apr 2012

  • Philips introduced a 10 watt LED bulb to replace a 60 watt incandescent bulb. It'll last 30,000 hours - which is 20 years when used four hours a day. It should yield energy savings of $165 over its lifetime.
  • Walmart has more employees than the population of Houston and is the largest priate employer in the US and Mexico.
  • Billionaire entrepreneurs are now looking to mine asteroids for valuable minerals.
  • The new plastic $20 bill could be out by the end of 2012.
  • New Zealand thinks it can curb teen smoking by increasing packs of cigarettes to $100 by 2020.
  • One World Trade Center will probably pass the height of the Empire State Building next week.
  • If you bothered to read every privacy policy you encounter on a daily basis, it would take you 250 hours per year, or about 30 work days.
  • Mayors from Vancouver, Burnaby, North Vancouver City, Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby, Lake Country and Metchosin call on the BC government to regulate and tax marijuana as part of a strategy to end gang violence and make communities safer.
  • Vatican ATMs offered Latin as a language choice.

Texting the alien #18


Wildlife overpass

In the 1990s, the government decided that there were too many animals dying trying to cross the Trans Canada in Banff National Park. So they built overpasses just for the wildlife to cross the highway. Some folks thought that was a dumb idea, but since 1996, more than 200,000 wolves, bears and cougars have done so.

In this photo from Highwaywilding.org, a lynx is captured by a motion-sensitive camera overlooking one of these highway overpasses.

Dance like nobody's watching - mall edition

Remember the girl dancing in the laundromat? Now she's dancing at the mall.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Texting the alien #17


You can't deny it

I'm at a bit of a loss to explain something that has finally reared its head in Canada - at least where I live.

It appears that there are an alarming number of people who actually believe with their hearts that climate change is still up for debate. The last time I checked, climate change is an accepted theory supported by a lot of proven data. The world's climate is definitely changing and it is definitely lining up with changes in greenhouse gases. The changes in greenhouse gases in turn are definitely being affected by humankind.

So if climate change deniers would like to explain to me exactly what's still up for debate here, I am most interested to know the details. I speak to people who side with the leader of the Wildrose party, that it's still unsettled science, and I ask for what they're basing this opinion on and they cannot tell me. But they are steadfast in their belief that this is an unproven theory. When you beg people like this for any kind of justification for their stance, they begin reminding everyone that we still have winter, we still get snowstorms, the earth's climate has always been changing, and so on. Which just goes to prove they haven't actually read the material on climate change because the agreed upon models all indicate that climate change will not do away with winter, or snow. What it will lead to is increases in extreme weather. More storms, worse storms, longer droughts, wilder swings in seasonal temperatures. Bizarre changes in the jet stream. Melting polar ice. All of which have come true.

What irks me is that (IMHO) the main reason people argue against climate change is because they don't support the measures we need to take to reduce its impact and prevent it from getting worse. Which means producing less greenhouse gases. Which means burning less fossil fuels. Which means changing our lifestyles. It's really no different than a smoker saying "the jury is still out on whether smoking causes cancer." No it isn't. Smoking definitely causes cancer. Just being around smoking even causes cancer. Which basically means that your inability and unwillingness to change your lifestyle for the better is ruining my future and a lot of other peoples' futures. There's a word for that. Selfish.

100,000 page views

I'd say this is a milestone. Thank you readers......

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Texting the alien #16


Breakfasts from around the world

Here they are: Breakfasts from around the world.

The one that appeals the most to me is the English breakfast. The Hawaiian breakfast would be a nice switch too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Texting the alien #15


Are you dreaming? Yes, yes I am....

I had a dream last night where Allison Redford (our Premier) did something very unusual (but not unprecedented - in the context of global politics) and chose Raj Sherman (the Liberal leader) to be the Health and Wellness minister and Danielle Smith (the Wildrose party leader) was appointed Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal relations Minister. The point being that Redford was giving these folks a chance to put their money where their mouth is and make a contribution to the never-ending PC dynasty.

Karl's Alberta election analysis

So, contrary to what many pundits were predicting, the Wild Rose did not form the next government. But it was close in places. In ten ridings, the PC only beat out the Wildrose by around 500 votes. A full 34% of those that voted endorsed Wildrose. The Wildrose ridings are exclusively in the south part of Alberta, which makes me think this was mainly about the promise of land owner's rights. Liberal and NDP presence was concentrated in Calgary and Edmonton. Period.

I think the strategic vote was out in full force on Monday night and this is basically what quelled the Wildrose uprising. I am certain that if you could poll all of the voters who picked PC, a significant portion were Liberal supporters who decided that a PC vote was the only way to stop Wildrose from forming government.

It's too bad in a way, because pundits will point to the low 10% support of the Liberals as a sign that they're insignificant as a party in Alberta. I would offer that had everyone voted exactly according to the party that best represents their values and priorities, the seat numbers would have been more like PC 41; WRP 22; LIB 20; and NDP 4. This would have actually created a PC minority, something I think many people agree they would deserve. It would also have created a rather unique situation in Alberta that has never existed before. Two parties on opposite ends of the political spectrum would hold the balance of power between them. This would force everyone to cooperate for a change. The PC government would have to adopt some Liberal suggestions and Wildrose suggestions too. A situation that I think is much more progressive than the situation that was created instead. We'll hear a lot of pandering to the electorate about how they heard the message and then it will end up being same-old, same-old.

Which to me, means that if PC doesn't smarten up, the next government will be a Wildrose minority, because unfortunately, there are too many Albertans with the attitude "I will never vote Liberal after what they did to us 32 years ago". To which I have a few words in response. Get over it. Also, wrong group of Liberals, dumbass. Also, thanks for depriving me of my chance at a free university education. Bastards!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Venn venn

Never the Venn shall meet.

Texting the alien #14


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Things I learned this week 22 Apr 2012

  • The Canadian Mint is making a glow-in-the-dark quarter featuring a dinosaur. It will cost $30.
  • Studies confirm that fracking causes earthquakes.
  • According to some politicians in Alberta, climate change is still being debated.
  • The Alberta Liberal Party wants to phase out university tuition through higher taxes for rich people.
  • Transparent Reference XL speaker cables go for the low price of $12,000.
  • Because of new, stricter Canadian car seat standards, it is now illegal to re-sell a car seat made before Jan 2012.
  • In Antarctica, the wind chill can reach -121C (as recorded by Ranulph Fiennes).
  • Ye is meant to be pronounced the. The 'y' is the letter that was chosen to replace the letter thorn that began the words 'the', 'that' etc. The letter thorn looked close enough to a Y in the German type font.
  • In the 1970’s there were about 40 refineries across Canada. There are 19 today.

Bon Iver

I don't know what rock I've been hiding under, but I turn around one day and discover Bon Iver. Specifically, I was made aware of this 25 minute long studio recording session, with vocal duties shared by both Justin Vernon and Sean Carey. If you can hack it out, the cover of I Can't Make You Love Me at around the 8:00 mark is worth the wait. Not that the other songs in the set are bad either.

Texting the alien #13


The Practical Lexicon - episode 8

In this episode, Bernie and I talk about our favourite iPhone apps.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The van sessions

Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers cover that Hall & Oates number, I Can't Go For That.

Texting the alien #12


Friday, April 20, 2012

Meat overload

We're very fortunate to have a gourmet restaurant in our neighbourhood (Notable) and we went for supper. Darlene always goes on about their prime rib, but I'm not really a prime rib person. She said "Get the end piece like I do, it's great". So I did. Oh my goodness is that tasty - especially from a place like Notable. But it was so much meat. Holy cow (pun intended). When the server came by to ask how things were, this is what I said:

"You know how if parents wanted to get their kid disinterested in smoking, they'd sit the kid down and make them smoke a whole pack of cigarettes without stopping? Well, if this meal makes me not want to eat beef again, I'll be very upset." We all laughed. But seriously, it was a lot of meat. And it was very good.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

10 word movie review - I am Number 4

If you're extraterrestrial, you'll have superpowers and others hunting you.

Texting the alien #11


Blue eyes

I wasn't at all prepared for the soundtrack that would be playing along to this video clip, even though I had a pretty good idea what I'd be seeing.

If you're not smiling by the end of this video, you may be dead.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Texting the alien #10


The original rules of basketball

In December of 1891, after being asked to invent a new indoor game for his students during the winter months, a Canadian teacher named James Naismith wrote the following 13-point list of rules and attached it to the wall of a gym at the Y.M.C.A. Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts. The game he had invented was basketball.

Basket. Ball.

The ball to be an ordinary Association foot ball.

1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.

2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands (never with the fist).

3. A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a good speed.

4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it.

5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute allowed.

6. A foul is striking at the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5.

7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for the opponents (consecutive means without the opponents in the meantime making a foul).

8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from the grounds into the basket and stays there, providing those defending the goal do not touch or disturb the goal. If the ball rests on the edges and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal.

9. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field, and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The thrower in is allowed five seconds, if he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.

10. The umpire shall be judge of the men, and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made. He shall have power to disqualify men according to Rule 5.

11. The referee shall be judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made, and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.

12. The time shall be two fifteen minute halves, with five minutes rest between.

13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winners. In case of a draw the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

First draft of Basket Ball rules. Hung in the gym that the boys might learn the rules - Dec 1891

Nice microwave label


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Texting the alien #9


A Dilbert that didn't make it

It's not that bad.... In fact, it's quite funny.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Texting the alien #8


"Swing and a miss!"

Hilarious Kinect commercial for a Star Wars game.

Sometimes, 14 equals 12


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Things I learned this week 15 Apr 2012

  • SOPA may be dead, but the MPAA boss is quietly working on a sequel.
  • ACTA may be bad enough. Watch for TPP.
  • Microsoft just bought the patents to Netscape from AOL. Wow.
  • The original Pledge of Allegiance written in 1892 did not include the words 'under God'. Congress added that in 1954.
  • The defacto motto of the US in 1782 was 'E. Pluribus Unum' (Out of many, one). Congress shanged it to 'In God we trust' in 1956.
  • Humans used fire 1,000,000 years ago.
  • Facebook bought Instagram. Instagram users are not overly impressed.
  • In 1992, they almost built a full-sized replica of the starship Enterprise in downtown Las Vegas.
  • Pizza Hut will now have a hotdog filled crust. Just what we need.
  • A major gasoline retailer is guilty of price fixing. Say it isn't so.... [sarcasm]
  • A new Foxconn assembly line worker in Shenzhen making iPads makes $14 per day.
  • Rick Santorum signed Up his 3 Year Old daughter for a lifetime NRA membership.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Texting the alien #7


Who is Clive?

A new burger joint is coming to Calgary.

[drool]

Watch this space.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Texting the alien #6


Counterproductive.....

Not such a good idea upon reflection...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Texting the alien #5


Cities matter...

Before you vote in the Alberta election, you might want to see the answers the various parties supplied to key questions the Mayor of Calgary had for them.

Adventures in Blu-ray part two

In part one, I told the tale of how I thought my Sony Blu-ray player was sub-par and maybe there was a better player out there that would solve a couple of play-ability issues I had. Long story short - A new player ended up being even worse.

So now we have a lingering issue. I have a rather extensive DVD and Blu-ray movie collection. So far, I have very few if any play-ability issues with this collection - a much better situation than with my previous (older and cheaper) Sony Blu-ray player. But I do have one problem. With one very specific movie.

The movie in question is Disney's The Muppets, on Blu-ray. I bought it and watched it - once. Then, my grand-daughter got bored (she's not even 4 - her attention span is very short) and I turned the movie off mid-movie. Ejected the disc and put it away. That was the last time I have been able to watch The Muppets on my Blu-ray player.

Once Olivia resumed interest in the movie (same day), I turned the player back on and re-loaded the disc. I got through the Disney splash screen, the Disney animated splash screen, then the screen announcing that you could skip the previews by pressing the Top Menu button. And that's as far as I get. The next thing I see is black screen. Forever. Pressing a button doesn't help - I've tried them all. A button press either does nothing, or produces the annoying and totally useless 'This operation is currently prohibited for this disc' message. That's it. I tried everything. Disabling BD-Live, disabling the screen saver, disconnecting from the internet, checking for firmware updates. Nothing works. I can no longer play this movie.

I returned the movie to Amazon, thinking maybe, just maybe the disc is defective. I doubt it, because the movie plays fine on a Samsung Blu-ray player. But, I'm trying to cover all the bases. I get a replacement disc from Amazon and it has the exact same problem in the exact same spot. The movie is un-watchable.

I called Sony. Waste of time. They asked me to do all the things I had already tried and of course nothing works. They did offer up one thing to try that raised an eyebrow - they wanted me to try playing the movie with a USB thumb drive connected to the player's USB port. They claim that some movies may not play correctly if there is no flash drive in the USB port. I was ready to call bullshit on that - I've never had to put a USB drive to watch any movie - ever. But hey, I'm willing to try anything. It doesn't make any difference at all. Sony have no other suggestions except to blame the disc. It's not the freaking disc.

It's the DRM (Digital Rights Management). I guaran-fracking-tee it. If it wasn't for HDCP and AACS and BD+ and BD-ROM Mark and CSS and Macrovision and... and... and... these discs would probably work just fine. What I find humourous if not outright disgusting about this movie situation, is that had I downloaded a pirate copy of The Muppets and played it from an external hard drive:
  • I wouldn't be having any play-ability issues;
  • I'd be able to skip through (or outright delete) all the previews if they weren't deleted already;
  • All the User Operation Prohibitions would be gone;
  • I'd be able to make a backup copy of the movie;
  • I'd be able to convert the movie to a version playable on my iPad or iPhone.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Texting the alien #4


Fumblerules of Grammar

From 1979, New York Times columnist William Safire's list - Fumblerules of Grammar. Rules of writing, all of which are humorously self-contradictory.

Remember to never split an infinitive.
A preposition is something never to end a sentence with.
The passive voice should never be used.
Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
Don't use no double negatives.
Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't.
Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed.
Do not put statements in the negative form.
Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
No sentence fragments.
Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
A writer must not shift your point of view.
Eschew dialect, irregardless.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction.
Don't overuse exclamation marks!!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
Hyphenate between sy-llables and avoid un-necessary hyphens.
Write all adverbial forms correct.
Don't use contractions in formal writing.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
Always pick on the correct idiom.
"Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'"
The adverb always follows the verb.
Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They're old hat; seek viable alternatives.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Employ the vernacular.
Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
Contractions aren't necessary.
Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
One should never generalize.
Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
Be more or less specific.
Understatement is always best.
One-word sentences? Eliminate.
Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
Who needs rhetorical questions?
Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with a point

Awkward superhero III


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So true, eh?

I thought this was pretty funny until I realized that this is exactly what I go through.

Not so funny anymore.

Why Facebook etc. should NOT be blocked at work

Some corporations are convinced that allowing employees to get on Facebook etc. would affect their bottom line. They block chat, tweets, and all other social networking to make sure workers are doing only what they're paid to do. There can be a backlash from that.

Morale - People want to work for companies that are cool. When employees actually enjoy working for a company, they do their best work. Morale is a huge aspect of the business world, but few owners and managers seem to get it. Low morale among the workers leads to contempt, contempt leads to disloyalty. Disloyalty leads to attrition.

Reputation - Reputation is everything in business. And in this day of instant gratification and notification, finding yourself with a falling reputation is little more than a disgruntled employee away. Giving them tiny crumbs (like social media access) will help.

Communication - Whether it’s internal or external, is key to business success. One of the fastest and most used means of communication today is social networking. It’s just about the most immediate form of communication there is. Your employees may be communicating with the outside world, but many of those people are consumers and possible clients.

Free advertising - Social networking brings free advertising. Hop onto this bandwagon. Getting on board early shows the public that you are an agile, aware company. Allowing your employees to take advantage of social networking also shows you care about them.

Collaboration - Social networking facilitates collaboration internally, but it also lets users collaborate with the entire world. When workers are stuck on an idea, they call out to their network to get answers, just like they did in school. It’s free and it’s fast.

Social research - You need your finger on the pulse of society. You can get this with your employees on social networking sites. In fact, you’ll have instant access to the court of public opinion even as it evolves in front of you. This is another (free) way to expand your company’s reach.

Skill building - Your company and its employees need to know how to use social networking effectively. Why? Because our society is on a collision course with an even further embedding of social media into our lives. You want your company and your employees at the forefront of that trend. At some point, your employees may have to use social networking to market and sell your product. Allowing them to use it on a daily basis now will ensure that they’re social media savvy, without the need for training.

Transparency - The world wants transparency. Allowing your employees to participate in social networking illustrates to your employees’ social circle that you mean business when it comes to employee retention and happiness. If they see a company deliberately squelching the employee voice and hiding behind the walls of security and information blocking, there can be a backlash. Transparency can go a long way toward boosting customer loyalty as well as your customers’ faith in you as a business within the community.

PR - Blocking social media may unleash PR problems. The effects of blocking social media will trickle down to the public — quickly. And although you might not think so, this can quickly snowball into a PR nightmare, especially as more and more young employees — who depend upon social networking — join the workforce.

Networking - You want your company to network. You want your employees to network. You want your employees to know what other companies are doing and to be in touch with the heartbeat of your market. What better way to accomplish this than with social networking? Yes, they can network with email, but not on as grand a scale.

For most managers and executives, the bottom line will yank the rug out from under these reasons. But times are changing and it’s certainly best to keep up rather than scramble to bridge gaps and fill holes. Try allowing social networking in your company — even if only experimentally. See how it affects performance and morale and then decide whether it’s a perk worth keeping.

More of the new $50

Here is a shot of the back of the bill.

Texting the alien #3


Monday, April 09, 2012

New 50 #3

I love the colours they used in the hologram. This is the view from the other side.

Some history of cocaine, opium, heroin and other junk

There was a time when mothers gave their babies opium, people bought hallucinogens at the local bar, and anxious patriots sent hypodermic needles and cocaine to soldiers as a present. It was called The Great Binge, and it's probably wrong to feel sad that it's over.

Texting the alien #2


New fifty #2

Here's another shot of our new $50. Check out that hologram. Yes, that is a transparent section of the bill.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Things I learned this last 2 weeks 8 Apr 2012 (sick the week before edition)

  • Paramount actually intended to resurrect Start Trek as a revived TV series in the mid 1970s. Star Wars' success changed their mind to make movies instead.
  • In Sweden, most public buses don't accept cash; many things are paid by text message. Some businesses don't accept cash, and some bank offices have stopped handling cash altogether. Bills and coins represent only 3% of Sweden's economy.
  • Michael Keaton started his career on Mr. Rogers’ Neighbourhood, where he worked as a puppeteer in 1975.
  • Quebec City is building a hockey arena suitable for an NHL team this year. Hey Phoenix!
  • Zooey Deschanel's mother, Mary Jo, played on the TV series Twin Peaks.
  • At warp one, we could get to Jupiter in 32 minutes. Uranus in 2.4 hours.
  • The Russians impacted a probe (Luna 2) on the moon in September 1959. This was the first craft to reach the moon.
  • A Toronto City Council committee asked a fully clothed stripper to dance (fully clothed) to give them an idea what goes on in Toronto strip clubs. Ummm.....
  • Uranus is bigger than I thought it was. Yes...... I had to.....
  • Virgin Boy Eggs, eggs soaked in the urine of boys under 10 years old, collected from primary schools around town, are a delicacy in the city of Dongyang, China.
  • The first Italian-style pizzeria opened in New York City in 1905.
  • The French used to mix wine with their drinking water to purify it (kill the bacteria).
  • Mattel is making a bald Barbie for cancer patients in 2013.

Happy Easter 2012


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Canada's new $50 bill

I think our new plastic currency is beautiful. I'll be posting some shots I took of the new $50 bill over the next few days.

Awkward superhero 2


Texting the alien (debut)

I was inspired to try a new series. Any and all feedback is welcome.

The premise? An alien randomly picks me and starts to text me. I call it: 'Texting the alien'.

Adventures in Blu-ray

Like seriously, media giants, WTF is going on with the shit media player devices you guys are making?

A couple of years ago, I owned one of the first generation Blu-ray players to come out from Sony. Great picture and sound, no streaming services to speak of (naturally - it was early in the evolution of Blu-ray). Unfortunately, it was very finicky about playing certain discs. I had the most God awful time getting it to play every Blu-Ray disc in my collection without some kind of issue. My friends chided me about owning a Sony machine and I brushed them off. I'd owned Sony stuff all my life without issue, but I had to admit that things were not as rosy as they used to be. I decided that perhaps after allowing Blu-ray technology to evolve a little, if I bought a slightly higher end Sony player, I would get better results. The reviews I was reading had me convinced. So I bought a newer, better player. Well, for the most part, things were better. No disc issues (at first). Streaming ability.

Then trouble in paradise. I'm watching a Blu-ray, pause it, come back and the screen saver is on. I can't get out of screen saver mode! Pause, play, FFW, stop - nothing works. Every time I have to pause a Blu-ray, I may as well start the movie over. Seriously? This is where we are with player technology? Sony? Then I'm re-watching a movie this week and I can't get the player to get past the ads, even though I'd been previously watching the movie before. I give up.

Read some more reviews, head to the store and buy an even more expensive Samsung Blu-ray player. It's supposed to be the cat's ass. IT'S EVEN WORSE! It froze during setup. It froze again during updates. I began to wonder if the batteries for the remote were dead. Nope. Front panel frozen too. The online video streaming menu options are horrendously slow. I'm watching Netflix and the streaming starts to slow down during a particular program (no fault of the player). I try to pause the show to give the player a chance to buffer some programming and the delays from my remote control button action is unbelievable. I'm getting really mad and try to stop the show. It keeps playing. I press stop again. Still playing. I try to get out of the Netflix app. Still playing. I touch the power button. Still playing. The player is going into shutdown mode (based on the front panel lights) and I'm still watching Netflix.

I pack up the Samsung player and bring it back to the store. I'm actually better off with the cheaper Sony. At least it works most of the time and plays Netflix well. I guess my life will now include dealing with disc playback issues from time to time. Although I have no proof, I am quite willing to bet the underlying cause.

DRM.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Awkward superhero