Tag Archives: Netflix

Moon Shine

I wish we were talking about that home brew alcohol, but we are not, this is about Amazon Luna and their counterpart Google Stadia. Now, I am telling you this from all kinds of selected sources, I did not play either myself, I feel that this is not as important as the setting round it. The first thing that I have to say right now is that I am pretty amazed with the second wave quality that Amazon Luna offers, from the early Alpha stage that some reported on as well as the second wave that several subscribed to, Amazon Luna is way over and well above standards (to a larger degree). I would think that Google Stadia had the upper hand, but that is not the case, they are surprisingly even, yes Google Stadia has an advantage, the load times of games is decently faster than Luna, but the rest, whilst in the game they were on par and that is a surprise I initially did not see coming. Yet overall they both fail in other ways. They are both relying on Ubisoft to bring the great titles, yet that is the largest danger when we see the stage that Ubisoft provided for and at this point, there is not a whole lot of faith that they will be around by the end of 2022 (they did this to themselves). 

My issue is with the Amazon 4K gaming promise. You see my YouTube has all kinds of lag and latency issues when I go above 1080p, so does Netflix, I do not even bother with 4K, merely because of congestion. That is not a setting that everyone faces, yet they will when larger cities get over 100K users streaming gaming via their internet, it is almost unavoidable, the infrastructure is at present too weak. Yet in 2-3 years if 5G comes through to a much larger extent and a much better bandwidth and speed, yes, it would work without hesitation. Most rural places will have this issue off the bat, so France and Germany can pretty much forget about it outside of their really big cities and I wonder if Spain, Italy, Greece and a few other nations are ready for that level of congestion. It makes both Google Stadia and Amazon Luna a USA Big city setting, OK, I exaggerate, yet in all I am not that far off. 

There is a second setting, each system is missing out on exclusive titles, it worked for Nintendo, It worked for Playstation and even Xbox, the exclusive titles have always pushed platform and neither has an overwhelming set of exclusives, which is a shame, yet that might be become the hunting ground in 2022-2023, yet not for now and some of the critics they all seem to agree, Luna is for now seemingly the winner. I agree with their assessment. Google is not showing skin in the game, no commitment, if they stop, the user is in nowhere land and there is no indication that Google is committed, that signal is more clear with Amazon, even as load times are not as fast as with Google, that might merely be a temporary delay, in all I personally had expected more from Google, so to see Amazon win this was a bit of a surprise, and if Amazon has its own share of exclusives, the streaming service might become set and match for Amazon, but let’s be clear, it is too early for that verdict at present. 

It is however a thing of the future, 5G will make it clear and when your local internet provider is upgraded to something serious, it will be a real horserace and to be honest, Amazon is doing a lot better then expected with its stallion Luna, it is close to equal to Google, a level of equality I had not expected, so as I personally see, the one having the more and the better exclusives will win the race, they both have Ubisoft games, so that is not an overwhelming advantage, just like the previous war, the exclusives set the race when the hardware is too close an equal, a stage we saw between Xbox360 vs PS3 and again Xbox One vs PS4, yes personally I see the Sony sides to be superior on a few sides, but for the gamer that was not clear and from that point of view they were close, and in both cases the stage of exclusive games made Sony a winner, a war that Google vs Amazon will see soon enough and whilst we see a level of melancholy with Sonic and other older games, it is the exclusive games that will give a system the game, set and match signal, and I wonder if Google is willing to commit to that, that was voiced by a few critics and I see their point of view, I am not sure if I completely agree, but their points were valid, I reckon that by the end of Q1 2022 the stage will be decently clear, at that point the people will more strongly commit to the
Moon, or to the stage, will I? Not sure, I am happy with my PS5 and in this the exclusives will push me in one direction or the other, as will it be with other gamers as well. 

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Panem et circenses

Yes, this setting is as old as the hills, the Italian hills mind you. We get this view from Decimus Junius Juvenalis who had a view on life and society 1800-1900 years ago that seems to reflect on the now. His view reflected on superficial appeasement, a stage we have been in for around 20-30 years. We (a collection of nations) became nanny states, but the politicians have no way to deal with the impact of the cost of living in that way. So whilst we might notice that politicians are here to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace, even as most comprehend that Donald Trump is merely the latest version of bad management, he is not alone, this is happening all over Europe as well, and to some extent the media is playing along as long as their owners get a slice of that pie, or is that pizza?

No matter how we tell ourselves it is, we created this stage by letting a few loose cannons set expenditure without accountability. So when I see ‘The only answer: squeeze the super-rich’, I wonder if he has any clue on how deranged that path of thinking truly is. In this, I have to take caution. I might not agree with Simon Jenkins, yet he is entitled to his view. I feel that it is unacceptable to merely bash the man with a dictionary. So as we see the full title ‘Covid has made inequality even worse. The only answer: squeeze the super-rich’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/news/commentisfree/2021/jan/26/covid-inequality-worse-squeeze-super-rich), it is the by-line that matters. Here we see “It’s not right that the world’s 10 richest people have amassed £400bn since the start of the pandemic while billions struggle”, in this he might not be wrong, but does he have a case? Consider that COVID was not any person’s fault, it merely was, we had the Spanish flu 100 years ago, we have COVID now and these 10 people are not to blame, whilst the politicians made the people lazy and content with bread and games (McDonalds & Netflix), some went out and did something, they had made solutions that applied to isolation and they got to cash in. My IP would have been great, yet it was never designed for that, I looked at the plans for Neom City (Saudi Arabia) and came up with the solution, all whilst I also designed an additional system to optionally limit cyber crimes, and if it is not sold soon, I will make it Public Domain and let the hungry feast on that free IP and ruffle a few feathers along the way. 

So when I saw ‘squeeze the super-rich’, all whilst politicians are largely to blame as they refused to overhaul tax laws for 20-30 years, and even make more essential adjustments to tax write offs in the last 10 years, you see where I found the snare of the loom of discord in the writing of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. So when I see “it is hard to quarrel with the report’s conclusion that current economic policies have enabled “a super-rich elite to amass wealth in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, while billions of people are struggling to make ends meet””, all whilst the Great Depression is the stage we face, can anyone help me remember who set the stage of the the 47-storey Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that opened in 1931 at a cost of $42 million ($600 million today)? The rich had a really good life then and some truck out, greed driven and losing their fortune as the depression hit America, 70 years ago, so how was that solved? Well, we got rid of plenty of people by setting the stage towards WW2, we look at people like J. Paul Getty and Barbara Hutton, but we fail to notice the mess that politicians allowed to happen in the first place, so how will it end now? We might blame that list of 10, but what happens when I get lucky (you gotta get lucky sometimes), will it be my fault, or was my crime to innovate what people forgot about and I got to cash in? Most of us, we all catered to some politicians by accepting the Hamburger and watch Netflix (or Disney Plus), I wonder if anyone on the lit of 10 had any time to watch Netflix, to get the hamburger (the second most likely yes). There is a saying that I saw a few years back: “behind every successful man or woman is a deactivated Facebook account”. There is a ring of truth there and it sets the stage of emotional flames on social media, so whilst we drown in those messages and responses, we forgot to look at the ball and watch someone else take it to success. It is the impact of bread and circuses and even as there is some acceptance on the view of Simon Jenkins, he is seemingly ignoring the bread and circuses stage that has been going on for 20 years, even if one of the ten is paying for the circus, there is a stage where we see that politicians failed its population close to completely, as I see it, it is time to ask the hard questions, but that is a stage that politicians dread, so they will appeal to the media to set all kinds of talks that are about emotion and less about fact, or sales deals for vaccines where the EU relies on the word ‘hope’ and not on the clear contract that needed to be there (see yesterday’s article for details). 

The stage of Panem et circenses will come to a halt soon enough, because the governments of a whole list of nations are out of money, they all owe the banks and the list of 10, who can now set a very different agenda, you are either a consumer, and enabler or useless. If you fall into category 3 hard times are ahead, hard times unlike you ever faced because governments will no longer be able to assist you. It is the price of a nanny state, it’s good going until the invoice is due, at which point the people behind that push are gone, gone like snowflakes in a heatwave. So whilst Jenkins gives us “it is for governments to track down and police those who, far from not paying enough tax, pay little or none at all. They grow rich by keeping their wealth offshore and refusing to contribute to treasuries from which they and their families draw a lifetime of benefit. The billions of dollars in the world’s protected tax havens”, I merely wonder if he comprehends the setting that these tax havens and tax options exist because politicians refused to take care of business in the last 20 years, the stage that they all avoid is that these super rich people did not break any laws, their accountants saw options, their accountants used options that governments allowed to happen. All whilst they now flame Google on news, in a stage that this is to aid a few Murdoch type of people, all whilst the tax overhaul would have helped all, you did realise this, did you not? And when Google does go, as I stated days ago, small business will suffer to a much larger degree than they ever thought possible, and why? All because papers are no longer dependent on news, they are dependent on their advertisers, a stage of what I personally see as filtered content (instead of news) has a much larger impact, the people are seeing this too and they resort to apps by Al Jazeera, BBC, the Guardian et al. And the people are also realising that the politicians are part of the problem, not part of the solution, but so far there is no real solution, yet in my view, the first part of a solution is seeing that you have a problem and as I personally see it those relying on Panem et circenses are a massive problem. In the year that we had COVID, I designed the foundation of 5G IP, the setting for almost a dozen video games, 2 movies and a TV series. Now, I need to find a way to sell it in a trustworthy way (or make it public domain), because that stage too is still thwart with dangers, enablers look in two ways, those they enable so that they are enabled and those they serve enabling them to the position that they are in now and in all this, the laws and politicians have set a stage that is unequal, but not in the way Simon Jenkins sees it it is inequality to further those in key positions. These so called friends of the media and politicians who offer you a golden deal, yet they will never deliver, they merely apologise for setting the wrong stage due to miscommunication from your side and then walk off with your idea. 

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Perspective

We all need it, you, me and all around us, it is essential to set a stage where we are able to set dimensionality of what we know, what we think we know and how it relates to everything around us. There are to benefits, the first is the ‘blinker’ effect. In the old days (and ever today) horses were given blinkers as to not get alarmed by what was happening around them, we too need blinkers. If we take in everything around us we might get anxiety. Now, we do not need actual blinkers, we day dream, we focus, we set the view to what we (at times) need to see. Some focus too much and get this tunnel view where the larger image would have been useful, but that is not always the case, it is at times arbitrary.

How about an example. There is talk of Google search leaving Australia, so here we see ‘A Google exit could open door for publisher deals with smaller players: ACCC’, a quote by Competition tsar Rod Sims, my somewhat less diplomatic view is “Is this Sims out of his fucking mind?”, you see the media has almost no credibility left, if you need an example of that, consider the news (by Dutch NOS) on December 25th (at https://nos.nl/artikel/2362024-leids-onderzoek-veel-gebruikte-sneltest-minder-betrouwbaar-dan-gedacht.html), I wrote about it in ‘The lull of writing’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/12/28/the-lull-of-writing/), in that time, which media format gave us any information? In light of todays news (at https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/what-we-know-about-the-new-zealand-northland-case-20210125-p56wre.html) a month after the Dutch situation we are given all kinds of filtered information, including a new South African version, with the added “but there’s no evidence to suggest an increase in disease severity or fatality rates”, and there we have it, no mention of ‘False Negatives’ at all, something that was out for a month from reliable sources mind you. In addition, we see the NewScientist giving us ‘Covid-19 news: UK variant may be 30 per cent more deadly’ (at https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237475-covid-19-news-uk-variant-may-be-30-per-cent-more-deadly) and here I accept that one source does not validate the second part, yet Sky News gives us that it ‘may be’ more deadly, which indicates that there is no proof, and other sources do not gives us anything, not even any form of opposition of the two elements, which could be valid, but the news is no longer about informing us, but giving us filtered information (which is their shareholders, stake holders and advertisers version of censorship), as such are we confronted by censorship or scenesoreship? I let you decide, yet the stage that the media gives us in opposition to Google, all whilst they have little to no credibility at present (well most of them anyway) leaves us out in the open wondering why we pay for that level of news anyway, are the shareholders and advertisers not paying them? So whilst Bloomberg gives us ‘Australia Says ‘Inevitable’ Google Will Have to Pay for News’ (at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-01-24/australia-says-inevitable-google-others-have-to-pay-for-news) people like Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg better realise that they are now walking with a target on their backs, you see, they might hide behind “it’s “inevitable” that Google and other tech behemoths will have to eventually pay for using media content”, all whilst that pussy refused (read: was unable) to overhaul tax laws, tax laws that impact all (including Apple, Netflix and Amazon), and in that setting, we will hold HIM accountable for filtered content, all whilst these news players give us links on Twitter, Facebook and Google Search that leads to advertisements to pay for reading their news, these advertisements are in the news sections, so where do we get OUR money back? So whilst we see “Frydenberg said Australia could either be a “world leader” in pushing for the code or wait to follow others in passing similar legislation”, or Australia becomes option 3, namely irrelevant. A nation with 25 million people is not that relevant, especially when it is as isolated as Australia is. And in that light, when Google moves out, what will Australia do when it realises that there are cogs to digital advertisement and commerce falls down and down, rely on the yellow pages, or a yellow solution (Chinese e-advertisement options). The news dug its own hole, it catered to Murdoch frenzy who pushed towards glossy pages, which is nice in the UK where there are 25 different newspapers on every corner, that is not the setting in Australia, so when the Australian Epoch Times overtakes any of the Australian papers, I will be howling with laughter, these people dug their own graves, relying on entertainment TV (channel 7, channel 9) to give us the filtered information (read: Australian news) all whilst the people were never considered in the first place. 

Now, there will be peope out there that my perspective is wrong, and I am fine with that, so the best thing to do is to investigate, the news that BBC, Reuters and Al Jazeera gives all, whilst we take a look at local newspapers and see what information is missing, as well as from their online versions. I saw the start well before 2012, but in November 2012 the news agents filtered out what gamers needed to know, there we see the larger issue. Trivialising a setting with ‘there is a memo’ whilst the terms of service are a legal setting between consumer and industrial, the memo was not, any meeting could destroy the memo, it could not diminish any agreed terms of service and 30 million gamers were about to get hit, the filtered information bringers left that out, and they have been leaving things out for a decade, the ‘False Negative’ issue as reported  by Frits Rosendaal from the Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) gave us this a month ago, and it impacts a lot more people than 30 million people, so where was this news? If you do not read Dutch you might not know this and you all needed to know this, which is opposing the view of Shareholders, stake holders and advertisers. So why do we pay for filtered information?

It is a stage of perspective, I will let you decide whether a false negative in a corona viral issue could affect you, your mum or nana. Have a great day.

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Choice, can you choose?

Yes, we have that. Can we choose, can we not? It is not really our fault, until there was streaming we had it all (to some degree) and now, in the streaming universe, can we actually make that decision? Netflix, Disney Plus, Apple TV, Google TV, Sony Core, Canal Plus, HBO, Stan, if we chose them all, we are looking at around $100 per month, the bulk of all people cannot afford that, so they must chose. In that setting it pretty much sets the global population to Netflix and/or Disney Plus. That was before the price hike, there is every indication that we alternate the subscription or choose one, optionally two out of the eight. In all this Google TV is the odd duck,. It is a pricey $65 a month, making it immediately unaffordable for a lot of people at present, yet for that price you get 65 channels including CNN, ESPN and Nickelodeon. It basically becomes a global contender to Canal Plus and that is not all. If Google takes the quick road as Sky Channel did around 1989 in the Netherlands, they could get a much better solution. The Dutch (read: Rotterdam) were all charged via their energy bill but for a mere $5 a month, but that gave the people 12 channels overnight, and when you hand the solution over to a million subscribers you have wiggle space. Yet in that setting where will Netflix, Disney Plus and the others fall? It could change streaming overnight and the partnership that Google TV has with Sony implies that Google TV will be in too many houses with a Sony TV soon enough. So as 2021 will shake the streaming industry to its foundation, I wonder what will happen to Netflix at that point as it has invested well over $100 billion in its services. This is by no setting the end of Netflix, it’s pricing is affordable as long as there is one and Netflix does have a lot more, but what happens when Disney Strikes a deal with Google TV as well? That is a setting that Netflix is not ready for and they do not have the capital to change the venue as they currently have it. 

I cannot give you answers, I d not have any, but there is clarity that there will be a larger first strike streaming war, and as I see it, Stan does not have much of a chance to survive it, Canal Plus will take a massive hit as well, they have the benefit that they are cheaper, but only half the amount of channels, when they add the 5 movie channels the price is almost even. Yes, I reckon that 2021 will be a slaughterfest on streaming players and there is no real winner in sight, or perhaps better stated, there are too many unknown variables for me at present too make a definite conclusion, but when we see that the largest part of 300 million Americans cannot meet their payments, add to that 700 million Europeans, 68 million Brits and 1 billion Indians, we can safely assume that there will be a slaughterfest, with Netflix and Disney Plus being the most likely survivors, but this is set on shaky grounds, there is a lot that can happen, but the union of Google TV and Sony Core gives us the stage that there will be wounded all over this battlefield, and as I see it, a stage with original materials is needed, for me it means that someone might take a liking to 2 movies, and optionally 2 TV series as well, for me it does not matter, I am focussed on my 5G IP. Yet I reckon that even there there will be streaming intersections on nearly every level and as such Google TV has the option to have a cheap solution for those who cannot afford the full price, but that comes with advertisements. An affordable streaming stage with advertisements, a stage where the value of a player like Google could optionally skyrocket, but to what level remains a mystery for now. 

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Lessons to be learned

We all have our flings, a lot of ladies still have an ongoing fling with ‘Sex and the City’, Whilst the man cannot help themselves but to run to the nearest cinema when they see the calling card ‘007’ (also known as 003.5 when he was young). Loads of people (myself included) were nuts about Star Trek, many were Babylon 5 fans (me too) and a lot of us could not wait for what would come after Star Wars. Some franchises get to us and they capture us. The same for the Marvel characters. But over the years I learned that a binge fetish comes with an attached version of digital tummy bounce. Too much, even of a good thing is not always good. I know, I had my events, there was the evening with two T-bone steaks (1.2 Kg beef in total), there was the 6 mango pancakes occasion when having Yum Cha in Chinatown, there was the case of me and the 11 turkey tandoori drumsticks in Stockholm and the less said about me and a two litre jar of custard the better.  This happens with movies and TV series too. During the lockdown I had a binge with 19 seasons of Midsomer Murders, Star Wars 1-9 (plus Rogue One), NCIS season 1 through 15, as well as a revisit on Blu ray of ALL Marvel movies. 

They tend to weigh on us, it is like we accept the universe we watch, but we also understand that what we see is not real, for some reason the borders face during a binge, have you never noticed that? So when I saw ‘Disney ramps up Star Wars and Marvel franchises’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55269531), I had my concerns. Now, for those who love the binge, who love their passion of Star Wars, Marvel or Disney, I am fine with that, I wish you all the best (and loads of happy fun), yet the article gives us two parts.

The first is “it also announced price increases from February next year”, OK, £7.99 per month might not seem a big deal, but with unemployment the way it is, it will make a lot of people unhappy. Australia gives us $8.99AUD per month (or $89.99 per year) which is interesting as it implies that for a year, you get 2 months for free, it would make the stage more interesting, but overall, it implies that Australia is getting Disney Plus almost 50% cheaper than the UK (which translates to $14.04 per month), as such in this global age, a lot of people will not be happy. This was merely an observation, not a stage of discussion.

The second part is seen with “Disney said that it planned to offer 10 new TV series in its Marvel and Star Wars franchises over the next few years”, and yes, we have an issue with ‘over the next few years’, which is blatantly inaccurate. The hype creators gave us WandaVision, Loki, Hawkeye, WhatIf, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel 2, Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, as well as several movies (at least one title confirmed for 2022) as well as “roughly 10 Star Wars series are coming to Disney Plus, but it also gave some early details about a few of those series and other Star Wars projects”, which the Verge (at https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/10/22167976/disney-investor-day-2020-biggest-announcements-plus-marvel-star-wars-pixar-animation) gives us. 

We want to make it bout the money, but we need to look at the fact that a lot of people get to enjoy well over a dozen series in a setting that they LIKE, all whilst the US produced over 500 series last year that most of us (non-Americans) will not get to see. So is the stage of £2 (per month) really a lot? No, but it is the £7.99 (£80, or £96) a year that matters. You see, we all see the full time incomes, but there are plenty on £13,803 for part-time roles, which is not a lot, especially when the bills are paid.

Yet this is NOT about the money, consider the annual cost and consider the focal point of Disney Plus. There is off-course more to Disney Plus, but to have such a driven focal point can slap back to the owners. Yes, they are and should be proud of what they offer, but like gaming, we might have a favourite game, but at times we want something else and there are alternatives, but there is the snag for Disney, if the people turn away from Disney too often, someone will figure out to be a paying member two months a year and catch up on those months. What will Disney do, turn these paying customers away? 

The stage of annual fees versus returning fees will soon become a much more focussed debate and a focal point for revenue investigators all over, because it is not merely Disney that faces this consideration. In this, I have nothing against Stan, HBO, Netflix, Disney Plus, or Apple TV, but the people in a much larger setting have limited funds, they could consider one, some might consider a second one, but that is pretty much it, the quality of life in most of the Commonwealth and the EU is not in a good place. So whilst some are fighting over the pie, the consumer is considering another buffet

MonthChannel
JanuaryNetflix
FebruaryApple TV
MarchDisney Plus
April
MayNetflix
JuneApple TV
JulyDisney Plus
August
September
OctoberNetflix
NovemberApple TV
DecemberDisney Plus

In this setting we see three months a year, some might go for to month a year and optionally safe a little money, in that setting both Disney and Netflix will enter a tunnel of massive problems, their stage is not fitting the cost endured, you cannot make a case of $15,000,000,000 of costs a year and people merely coming for two months a year, the system will collapse and that is what Disney faces too. The people are lacking cash and optionally bandwidth too.

Do you think they will waste time on too much monthly fees, or will they wisen up and binge when they can, let’s not forget these executives promoted bingeing when it suited their needs, now it will not, and the spreadsheet deck that they hold does not permit the thought I am voicing here.

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Tripped by a thought

Yup, this happens. We watch things, we read things and it mixes into an idea. The first element in this was the movie Kingdom of Heaven (by Ridley Scott). I love this movie, for some reason it feels more real than any of the other movies that are founded on the crusades are. There are a few other reasons, there is always a good reason to watch any movie with Orlando Bloom and Alexander Siddig and the fact that it also had Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and several others did not hurt that cause either. I was struck by the charisma that Ghassan Massoud brought to the screen in Kingdom of Heaven. That movie is pretty much forever in the back of my mind. The second element was something I read. The quote “An ifrit can further be bound to a sorcerer, if summoned”, as well as “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it”, this struck a chord as it is the only reference I have seen at present where Christian faith and Islamic faith crosses (perhaps there are more). But it got me thinking. What happens if an Afreet, a dweller of the sands is confronted by the invasion armies of the west? The Crusaders, the Templars, the Teutons, and some of these organisations still exist today. So what happens when an Afreet goes on a quest to understand the enemy of its sands? The idea is not entirely new, the Afreet made an appearance in True Blood and in American gods, but in both cases it is less seen from the view of the Afreet, and as a demon they are part immortal, or at least can exist for thousands of years, anyone with that level of timespan has a different view on matters. As such the Afreet can be in the past and the present giving us a very different stage.

We have been so obsessed with the western folklore, that we forget that there is a large area of folklore that has almost never been tapped into and when we consider that Netflix is present in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, I wonder why we get this oversight. Of course they can also go for the other movie I came up with ‘How to kill a politician’ which optionally might be a big hit in the Islamic world, it might not be something that a person like Geert Wilders likes, but it is a door he opened himself and France added spice to that soup. 

All options I did in mere hours, as such I wonder what is keeping some so called creators in creating actual new stuff (instead of a new version of old stuff). It is as I personally see it the difference between iterative and innovative. A stage that America is shifting in, they are moving more and more towards iterative because they can no longer find the innovative people. A sad state of affairs as I personally see it.

Is it me? Am I tripped by a thought, or am I seeing it correctly that we are missing out on true innovation in both movies and TV series? I am not ignoring the stage where we are told that there are “In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532”, I am not doubting that, I am merely noticing that other places in the world, these series are missing, or not shown. And to be honest, I have my doubt on all 532 series being actual innovative series. There is nothing wrong with iterative series, but they are a prolongation of something else. Another CSI, another NCIS, another Star Trek, another Superman. I will agree that there are plenty of fans for them, but at times we need to offer something so new people gasp at the notion of difference. I get the setting that this does not always ends up being positive (Firefly, Dollhouse) but they were true innovations, they were different and they have scores of fans, but it was not meant to be. I get it and perhaps my ideas will never become reality either, but I remain innovative in my thinking, it did lead to several 5G IP parts and I expect a few more in the coming year. 

Yet in this I do not pursue a path, I let it was over me just like the Afreet did, just like the soon to be dead politician (in the Movie) and the stage of being between two universes (Keno Diastima), a stage I found in mere hours, yes I agree they are not finished, yet I did most of the work by myself in mere hours. So I wonder what others are capable of making, even if we do not see these results on Netflix, Stan, Youtube or TV. I wonder what became of the 532 series, because so far what we get to see is “Find Out Which Series Will Return for Another Season”, a stage that we accept, but there is more then returning series, they are an accepted and essential part of TV (and streaming), but where is all the new stuff? 

It is a thought that is tripping me and making me trip (to coin a phrase).

And all this is happening whilst I am trying to find a new and original way of levelling up a character in the RPG I have been writing about. We tend to see RPG’s in missions, kills and achievements. I want the levelling to be different, but I am still seeking a way, perhaps I will return to the mission stage of levelling up, but I am trying to avoid it, an RPG can only stand on its feet when it offers more and different stages, not merely more of the same, we have all seen that and as such I am considering other methods, yet the thought of how is not clicking into the frame of mind and the frame of gaming, yet I hope that to be a temporary thing for now.

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What was the past

It is something we all face, we see what we had and we miss it. Consider NCIS, an awesome series, and when we were introduced to Agent Fornell, I remembered Joe Spano, he was young innocent, wearing a bowtie and being the psychiatrist at Hill Street blues station. I miss that series at times. I know time moves on and we got Blue Bloods now, yet Hill Street Blues struck a chord in 1981, others did less so, it is hard to explain, because it sounds negative on the series that are out now, but the reality is that something got lost in TV series in the last 10 years. There are series that spring outside the equation, series like NCIS, the Magicians, Lucifer, Fortitude, American Horror Story, but the equation is very unbalanced. When you are trying to figure out how that happened, do not worry, it is simple. In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532. It is almost 450% up from 1981. Hollywood is so much towards creating amount and less about creating quality, which is why the series I mentioned and a few more stand out. I keep n hearing mentions of Game of Thrones, but not much more, one show takes the cake and that used to be different. Discussions were going on regarding Hill Street Blues, Dallas, Dynasty, Bergerac, Tatort, and a few more. Yet nowadays, the amount of series crossing our eyes increases, yet it seems that nothing between the ear sticks. That tends to be quality, not quantity. There is a reason why a series like NCIS has been around for 18 seasons. Yet at times I still think of the old Hill Street blues station. And each nation had its own quality shows. Germany brought us Tatort and Derrick, the UK gave us Bergerac, the Avengers, Hammer house of horrors, and the list from other nations goes on. But now it seemingly needs to be American, whilst overall (with a few exceptions) the quality is not fantastic, not bad, just not great. And I do believe it is not the cast, not the team and not the writers. It seems to be the pressures to create on too limited a schedule with repetitive ideas again and again.

Why is that?
It is no secret, Hollywood is all about return on investment, but that circle becomes virtual and fictive when quality goes down. There is a need to make money and we get that, I am not against the idea of making money, but what do you think when 2019 had 532 series, all needing originality, all needing ideas and only so many writers with actual original ideas around. It didn’t require rocket science, it was a simple equation. So how long does it take for the Hollywoodians to figure out that there is a limit to quality series that can be produced? You might think that I am talking out of my (non-mouth), but the setting of Netflix handing over $18 billion in the last year for IP should get us to ask questions. Netflix’s 2019 costs to buy, produce and license content will be $15 billion. And when you considered they made a little over $20 billion in 2019, it seems that I am wrong, but am I? Consider how long this pattern can continue? No one denies that you have to spend to make money. Yet, how is the equation correct? And 

Netflix is merely one of several stations, so when this model implodes, we will see Netflix, HBO, Stan, Apple, Amazon and Disney, all spending billions, all whilst the people will have to make choices and we get that, as such some will survive, some will not, we all get that. Yet at that point, what happens to HBO, Stan, Disney, Apple, Amazon and Netflix? Where will you be? 

Differential
I need to set a separation here, we have the money side and the creation side. Yet the money side  will hinder, impair, and optionally drive the creation side, even though the negative sides are only looked at after things go wrong. I believe that continuation can only exist if the quality is of the highest caliber and I personally believe that this is not possible when you create 532 series in a year. At some point something has to give and that is before we consider that there are really good series out there and no one denies that they are good. Yet consider that in 2009 Joss Whedon created an amazing series called the Dollhouse, not merely a good series, it set the tone on serious matters and was cut off after two seasons. He also lost the tone on Firefly, yet that one is still around, after 17 years, now seen as a cult classic. Out of the 532 series, what else will we lose out on, because they are the silent victims, scrapped because the moment was wrong, the analyst did not get what mattered and as such the makers lose out. This setting is important, because with 532 titles that group will increase, too little time, too much to miss out on.

Creation cut short for reasons not within the stage of an audience. Streaming makes this a much smaller factor, but it still will not make it zero. Yes streaming will be important to give good series a larger chance, but in all that the numbers are not adding up, not when you consider what Netflix as one provider sets their cost at and all the other streamers with their own costs as well. Soon it will change again, yet not for the reasons you considered before. You see streamers have one larger station, and internet congestion will hit them too, especially in light of the issues hitting the internet. And we will see places all over the world get a earful of fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), and int he end we will rely on all kind of matters, but we forgot that streaming is not alone, there are PC’s for gaming, there are computers for FaceTime, there are computers for work from home, gamers and now with PS5 and the new Xbox it will increase, there are ‘digital editions’ consoles without 4K drives and they all have to download. And they will need to do so a lot more than before on the Xbox One and PS4. The stage is not on the gamers, but we have already seen the news on YouTube and Netflix throttling down, so how can the growth rate continue when the internet is clearly becoming the weakest chain in that link? In March the Guardian reported ‘Disney+ streaming service to launch in UK with lower bandwidth’, so there you are, your new 4K TV so that you can admire Baby Yoda in the Mandalorian, and the service can merely give you 1080 resolution. That is the reality and it is not getting any better until 2023, so can you consider the issues that streaming has and cannot deliver? It is not merely the amount of series, it is the stage where we cannot see their full potential and the UK is not alone, these elements are showing up all over the Commonwealth, al over the EU and the US is also not absent of issues. It was a stage I saw coming in 2018, yet they all declared me a fool, now they say it is a complex issue. Well it is not, it is the issue that was clearly out in the open, ignored by too many. Even now we see the blame game continue n other fields, how long has the PS5 been sold out? How long did we know that this was a setting of hundreds of thousands per nation and we get ‘The UK’s biggest game retailer blames PS5 size for launch delivery delays’, really? The size was known for months, the amount of systems were known for months. Too many people are reacting at the 11th hour, in systems, on the internet and with the ISP’s. Who will they blame when streaming is cut down again? When do the people get the next news from ISP’s that there are issues? Oh, wait, that moment passed already. When we are treated to “Possibly the most common form of buffering occurs when your internet speed is too slow to download the amount of data needed”, as well as “You need at least 25 Mbps for 4K streaming video on your computer or Ultra HD enabled devices”, yet on a global scale and especially outside of metropolitan area that issue is becoming an issue in streaming. So as Net Neutrality is back on the political table in the US, it becomes a massively larger issue to face. This all is not the fault of the streamers, lets be clear about that part, they are a factor, but not the cause, like the blame game couriers, here the ISP’s should have been ready to a much larger degree and we cannot blame them for the covid lockdowns, yet the setting of bandwidth limits has been known for some time, at least a year and that was also out in the open, as such the stage we see will be a larger issue and that I merely a fraction of the station that I see, the math does not add up, it was clear for a much longer time and so far too many parties are aligned to ignore that part. We see solution A, option B and everyone dances around the overwhelming lack of bandwidth.

Consider that Saudi Arabia has a 5G internet that is 750% faster than anything the US has, did anyone consider the weird setting in that regard? And the interesting part is that no one is asking the questions that matters, how come that Saudi Arabia of all places has an internet is so much faster? It is a much larger setting and the people are seemingly kept blind, which is fine by me, but when you lose out on HD episodes of NCIS, American Horror Show season 10, Superman & Lois (2021), or A Discovery of Witches season 2 (2021)? When the throttling continues or increases, what happens to streaming? What happens to net neutrality? Did anyone consider that part of the equation when they saw the $15,000,000,000 bill that Netflix had for 2019? There was a reason why sacking Huawei was a really bad idea and others will soon catch up on that idea. I have no issues with an alternative being found, but none have the capabilities at present and they are unlikely to have them until 2022, should you doubt that? Take a look at how abysmal the USA has its 5G at present, look at how fast streaming is in rural USA, you see the US is a lot more than the 25 large cities and plenty of people live outside these places, should they not be able to stream at the max? When we see that discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, as is the streaming of rural versus metropolitans discrimination or not? Consider that for a moment. So let’s not wait until the 11th hour, let’s make sure that the right people look to the right places quickly, the term sooner rather than later cannot apply, we are already 2 years too late for that. It is the technology side, with the finance and creativity, too many forgot about the technology side of it and now it starts calling foul, it cannot deliver more.

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Cursed by choice

It is a setting some will remember, some fondly, some less so. It is a state where you have too much options. Let me try to explain this, for example, your iPod you find after a year and you see hundreds of songs you have not heard for some time, but you cannot decide, or perhaps a choice of 5 RPG games and you have select one to play. The inability to seek between good options if you want.

It is a setting the reflects on to situations. The first is the one, the only, the musk (Elon to insiders). BBC reports “Tesla’s share price surged about 14% in New York following the news it was being added to the index. Given Mr Musk’s 20% stake in Tesla his net worth rose to $117.5bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has jumped $90bn this year as Tesla’s share price has continued to rise”, I look at the setting differently, some say he has the Midas gene, he can anything he touches to gold, I reckon like Steve Jobs and a few others, he has the ability to turn generic outliers into commercial successes. We can go from the fact he knows what is useful, we can go with he knows where to push, who to push and how much to push. We can look at it in different ways, but in basic “Tesla’s share price surged about 14% in New York following the news it was being added to the index. Given Mr Musk’s 20% stake in Tesla his net worth rose to $117.5bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His wealth has jumped $90bn this year as Tesla’s share price has continued to rise”, and that is before he realises (perhaps he already knows) that he is optionally sitting on an additional $1.2 trillion (meaning $1,200 billion) and the wired has seemingly no caught on, I had a few ideas in support of that, but the IP is already his, so why bother, he will figure it out. And that is before he goes to space, there he might make a few coins more. 

It is one setting and the opposing view is seen when we look at the lovely youthful youngling known as Taylor Swift. That BBC view (at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-54969396) gives us “Writing on Twitter Swift said it was “the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge””, here we want to answer in anger, yet the article also gives us “Swift signed a deal with record label Big Machine in 2004 granting them ownership of the master recordings to her first six albums in exchange for a cash advance to kick-start her career”, as such if there is no clause with a mandatory first option to buy back, I wonder if Scooter Braun did anything wrong. The news gives us that she signed over ownership on her first 6 albums, so I understand that she is not happy, but did Scooter do anything wrong? She is not the first, I learned a lot later in life that Paul McCartney has lost ownership of Beatles songs. I actually never knew that. And he is not alone, as such, and especially as we know and have seen that Taylor is very intelligent, why she learned her lesson the hard way. As one is cursed by many options, the other one was forced by a lack of options. The most dangerous part in all this is doing something expecting them to act in another, when we see “US entertainment magazine Variety first reported on Monday that Braun had sold the rights – known as masters – to an investment fund. It said the deal is thought to be worth more than $300 million (£227m)”, I wonder how much the songs were bought for, as such still, one third of a billion is a whole lot of money, I would not sell my IP for that (I would set it to a percentage of the patent value), yet overall I could be tempted. And there is a setting switch, it is about awareness, how many people in the music industry have a real grasp of IP and what it is worth nowadays. Games, movie, TV series, they are all in need of music and there is so much one can compose, it was perhaps one of Ubisoft most brilliant moments in all this, get well known songs or well known artists to support the IP, Imagine Dragons is perhaps one of the more known artists, it propelled the game, not merely the graphics, the music was a large part of it and Ubisoft was exceedingly clever there, they might not own the IP, but they knew a good deal when it was there and musicians need to catch up, especially in this age of Netflix and streaming. Now this is not an attack on Taylor Swift, this might have been her only option, yet the stage remains, what kind of legal advice did she get? I do not know, I am merely asking. So when I see (according to the BBC) “When his company, Ithaca Holdings, paid $300m to acquire Swift’s former record label last year, Swift saw it as an act of aggression that “stripped me of my life’s work”. She accused Braun – who also manages Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato – of “incessant, manipulative bullying”” we see a lot of emotion, but the stage is did Scooter Braun do anything wrong or illegal? We might say immoral and unethical but neither is a crime according to law and that is the setting we need to see and perhaps Taylor should have appealed to Elon Musk who has well over 3,000 times what she apparently needed, it is merely food for thought, although, I reckon that Elon gets a dozen of these attempts to contact an hour, and optionally when he figures out where his optional missing $1.2T is even more.

Such is life!
There are two groups cursed by choice, one group has too many, the other has (far) too few. Which one do you belong in? And what makes you think that you are in one or the other, because that contemplation tends to be a solution in itself at times.

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Filed under Finance, Law, Science

Have at it

I just had an idea, it happens, we all do. It happens whilst I was watching the Downton Abbey movie, for some reason my mind wandered about time travel, the time travel stories we have seen in the cinema, the TV series and the stage of altering the past, yet what if this was different (it always is), I remembered a line in some Star Trek novel giving us “How can we set any station to something that never happened?”, or something of the sort. It gave me another notion, one I am not exploring in the story I was writing, so I am putting it here. What if aliens came to alter history, our history, not to do us harm, but to prevent us from harming them. Consider that we find the setting to dimensional travel (which is done by altering the vibration speed of the electron), it would allow us to see another dimension, this is not new, It has been done before. Yet what happens when we visit an alternative universe where we embraced MASER technology and during the 70’s we used masers to carpet area’s, that technology was not in our reality, so as it comes here, we see a much more powerful and less peace driven people use it as a weapon. When that time is changed, the victims of a maser mine take matters into their hands and decide on a timeline change, one that stops the dimension gap from being explored. So we get in the first  setting an alien invasion, in the second setting our technological advancement in the form leading to invention that were never ours and the stage that we have to be stopped, so how to go about it?

It was  simple application of drive, fears and expectations to set the brief in motion. Ah well, feel free to tinker with it. In light of what is written here, it takes some work, a lot more than the field I designed when I set towards meeting nowhere where we see 8 couples meeting on some kind of a station and no-one has a clue why they are here, or where they are. A setting that has us wondering the bottom of the sea and the vastness of space, so far I have the setting up to the cliffhanger of season 3, but I will admit that season three is still empty. Like season 1 where I set the option of what they did not see coming (and I know what is on the other end), so as they are in a stage where they are on a third between here and the sombrero universe, they went into season 2 and ending the season we see the second way station which is a lot larger and a lot closer to the sombrero universe. A vast connection of what might be, and why not?

So as we look into the IP I casually throw away (mostly undone IP), I see another setting of where we are, we are in a stage of ideas that are flowing over us like a waterfall (it is in my case), I would gladly hand that part over for some sleep, yet there is still the other part, how can we create original IP? Even as Netflix is throwing $17 billion this year alone at new series and the continuation of existing series. I am wondering if there is anything truly original left? When we see the old series and the originality that the set as well as the foundation for other series, I merely wonder, is there anything left? It makes sense for others to grasp at what DC and Marvel have and soon other comics will find their materials in a much stronger movie setting, but that is for another day. For now I need to ponder on original choices, even as my idea seems original, it is founded on the original story RendezVous with Rama, I openly admit that and even as I made a lot of it original, there is a link because my work is an homage to the original thinker Arthur C. Clarke. It is not always good what we make, but when we see the errors we design, we also tend to see around them, or to improve upon them, at least I expect that is what most of us tends to do, the rest? That is up to them.

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A,B,C,…..D?

We all have ways to promote the thinking pattern within ourselves, we all have our way to get about it, I am no exception. Yet, today is a weird day, I am overwhelmed with a thought and a sensation from the 60s. I was a wee young lad (a little piss ant is more like it), I was never a saint, especially when I was young. And in all this we all had our own ways to deal with ourselves, again, I am not exception. 

The sensation that bugs me today is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while. It is like a nuisance that keeps on bugging me and I do not exactly know why. It is a drink, in the Netherlands it was for a small time (in the 60s) decently wanted. The bottle was long and slim, with a light blue lid, it contained some form of a tangerine drink. That drink has been on my mind for a while now, and I miss it, but until recently it’s been nagging me and I do not know why. I looked up a few things and I noticed that there is no decent tangerine liquor. The drink I used to have was a lemonade, basically tangerine juice, settled with a third ingredient like water, still water. So why was it on my mind so strongly?

I had been considering a lot more from that era, mostly TV series, it was all before the house of Pong set up its shrine (a manhunter New York joke). And then it hit me, it was 1968, the Dutch TV series ‘De Fabeltjeskrant’ created by Leen Valkenier started, the UK got it later titled ‘The Daily Fable’, the setting had connections to the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, Aesop, and others. No matter how simple it was then, it was close to unequalled until it ended in 1989 after well over 1600 episodes, a gem too many had forgotten about, The adventures narrated by Mr Owl, with Miss Stork, 

Mr. Cunningham the Fox, Mr. Crow, Boris the Wolf, Bert and Fred Beaver, Zippy the Hare,Shelly the Tortoise, Miss Ant, Gerald the Pigeon, Milord the Horse, Harold the, George the Guinea Pig in the British version, Mumbles the Mole, Myra the Hamster, Greta the Cow, and Zaza the Zebra. There were more characters, but I stopped watching when I grew a little older, yet consider the simple fact that this series ran for over 1600 episodes and consider all the old tales as well as the tales of Grimm and others, what a treasure trove it could be, even today, we are all looking at the hi-tech series, but there is a reason that Tim Burton struck gold with the Nightmare before Christmas, stop motion animation is still an art that can move all the senses we have and we forgot about that tiny detail. We seemingly forgot about the situation where what was is still good, but how to embrace it? The fair part is that children do not mind, they embrace the story, the interactions, the inclusion, it is the inclusion that tends to take the cake, but it is merely one of a few factors and to be around for 22 years, that matters, that shows that you have a winner. So can it be relaunched? That is the question we need to face. E can remaster it, it can be remade, but in the same way? It is like the original Mass Effect, these gems are close to timeless, in 15 years when we have the Playstation 6 and the Zbox (or XboxX), a game like Mass Effect will still have a value that equals its weight in gold, so TV series too will have their moment and the IP and its owner sees a new life where none was expected. It is the showing of a real visionary, a game like Mass Effect (the original trilogy) is truly one of those. 

So whilst my mind focussed on a tangerine smell and a faint taste of what was, the reason was lingering in the back of my mind and the Daily Fable is not the only thing from those days. Netflix is investing a little over $17 billion in this year alone, but on how much actual IP? What if a fraction could get them several series that could give them a much larger offering of series? As the workflow comes back (after another lockdown), we see that there is a need for materials that will be there for the younger and the not so young viewers. 

It is about series, games, streaming and non streaming. It is all directed via IP, but it is not the only option, there is a whole league of games that lost their IP protection years ago, the same for TV series and the clever mind is one that looks in the past and find the troves most forgot about.  A setting we need to take another look at. So consider on what Netflix is spending and then add the billions that DisneyPlus is spending and see what some can get at a mere farthing per pound, a setting too enticing to ignore, but the will be the name of the game soon enough. 

It links to an old joke, what is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant? A zookeeper has a $10 note and hands you 10 $1 coins, an accountant squeezes the $10 note until it gives up 11 $1 coins. We can laugh at the or realise that the Netflix has an optional $1,700,000,000 around, all because not the right accountant took a look at the $10 notes. We can laugh at the joke, or we can consider that there are parts none of them looked at, why is that? Or better stated, where are the gemstones? You already saw one, let me give you one more, it was a Swedish series called ‘Den vita stenen’, a series based on a 1965 award winning book. In a collection of nations, a mere 2 options and that is before you realise that France, Germany, Norway, Estonia, Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. They all have the gemstones no-one noticed or they forgot the impact they had focussing on a local market tends to have that impact and the time goes short, soon more than one will catch on and when they get it done it will be too late for them.

Such is life, as such, did you get to point D? If so, is it a square, a rectangle, a trapezium or a parallelogram? All options and none are the same.

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