April 2, 2014

Are You Not Getting Enough TV?

Amazon Fire TV, available now, $99.
A chart comparing the Fire TV to Roku, Apple and Chromecast prepared by Amazon, so we know it must be complete and accurate.

permalink | April 2, 2014 at 02:28 PM | Comments (1)

March 25, 2014

Graphing TV

IMDB ratings of individual episodes of Breaking Bad graphed. Other shows can be graphed too. The lowest rated episode on Breaking Bad was season3, episode 10 (8.1 stars) which is summarized like this on IMDB:

Walt is suffering from insomnia, worried about the choices he has made and the direction his life has taken. Unaware that Jesse has been skimming a bit of their product, he also worried that the numbers in his formulas don't add up and that they always seem to somewhere between 4 and 8 ounces short of what the batch should have produced. The meticulous Walt is also concerned - to the point of paranoia - when he discovers a housefly in the lab. Worried about contamination, he goes to extreme lengths to kill it. Jesse comes to his rescue in an interesting way.

Ounces? Did they ever measure their product using non-metric units?

The highest rated episode of Breaking Bad was season 5, episode 14 (a perfect 10). The plot summary:

Walt survives the gun battle in the desert but others do not. Jesse survives but Walt wants him dead and expects Todd's uncle Jack to go through with their deal. Something far worse is in store for Jesse and Walt takes the opportunity to tell him about Jane's death. Meanwhile Hank's wife Marie visits her sister Skyler at the car-wash to tell her Walt has been arrested. At Marie's insistence, Skyler tells Walt Jr. about his father's secret. By the time Skyler and Walt Jr. get home Walt is already there and wants them to pack and leave with him. He soon realizes it's all over and leaves, but takes baby Holly with him. With the police now involved, Walt makes one last phone call to Skyler.

Oh yeah, there may be spoilers here. Sorry.

The Sopranos. Boy, people did not like season 4!

permalink | March 25, 2014 at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2014

Larry Harvey on Charlie Rose

Reliable sources have told me this is an interesting interview, especially for people who have not been to Burning Man.

permalink | March 21, 2014 at 10:03 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2014

Rose McGowan In DHS

I admit I had to look her up. I don't think I've seen any of those productions in which she has appeared, except maybe Nip/Tuck, if it was the 2009 season I watched. I don't recall. But all that matters is that a lot of people love her and she recently visited Desert Hot Springs (maybe she's still here).

On Instagram:
Rose McGowanin DHS
"Desert hot springs with my spiritual brother"

On Facebook she shared a montage of scenes from her trip, including several more of the spa where she stayed, but here's the best shot of all (IYAM - if you ask me).
Rose McGown At Roses Pet Grooming
click for the whole montage.

permalink | March 14, 2014 at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2014

Busted For Cooking Meth

Los Pollos Hermanos
Daniel Kowalski of LaGrange, Illinois
, a far northern suburb of Albuquerque.

permalink | February 26, 2014 at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

Dinah Shore Estate

The Dinah Shore estate in the Las Palmas neighborhood has sold for $5,230,000 to Leonardo DiCaprio.

The 1.34 acre estate, in the heart of the fabled and celebrity-pedigreed Old Las Palmas 'hood, was custom designed as a series of glass-walled pavilions and built in the mid-1960s for the late and legendary singer/actress Dinah Shore by prominent mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler, now in his late 80s, who in his professional heyday plied his trade predominantly in and around the Palm Springs area.

She adds that all parties were required to sign confidentiality agreements.

permalink | February 26, 2014 at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

February 16, 2014

Huell Howser's 29 Palms Home For Sale

Get out your check book, it's only $395,000.

Here it is in Streetview, a photo that was appropriately taken at sunset.

permalink | February 16, 2014 at 05:26 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2014

It Gets An Emmy

There is an Emmy category called "Inexpensive Small Rugged HD Camcorders." What a surprise, GoPro won it this year. They say that in 2009, before they offered HD, their biggest retailer was a Pep Boys store not far from Universal Studios. That's how they learned the film industry was already beginning to incorporate GoPros into some of their photography.

Acceptance ceremony shot with (duh!) GoPro cameras. At 1:23 you can hear a series of beeps indicating some nearby GoPro shut down either because its card filled up or its battery ran out.

Here's a GoPro photo of the GoPro crew.

permalink | January 15, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2014

4K Streaming

An article that focuses on Netflix's plans for 4K streaming and talks to a few other people about picture quality, high-dynamic range, greater bit depth - IOW, better color and contrast along with higher resolution.

4K movies will not fit on Blu-ray, and Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer at Netflix, predicts that Blu-ray is the end of the line for plastic discs. 4K will be streamed. Period. Breaking Bad will be streamed in 4K later this year. The next season of House Of Cards will stream in 4K.

Wikipedia explains 4K.

Netflix could ship you 4K movies on a hard drive, but I guess they won't go that far.

permalink | January 11, 2014 at 07:46 AM | Comments (0)

January 6, 2014

The Breaking Bad Wire

This one is for the second season.

All five seasons here.

permalink | January 6, 2014 at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2014

Kauai To Demonstrate VP9

VP9 is, like H.264, a video codec. But VP9 comes from Google and is royalty-free. Apple Insider explains it. The plan is to use it to stream 4K videos to YouTube with less bandwidth than H.265 would require.

Bringing us to this YouTube video of Kauai which will be used as one of the demonstration videos next week at CES. It's a good video even though you can't actually see it in 4K yet. Although no GoPros were used in the photography, you do get to see a GoPro in use, so that makes this okay.

Still photos that were being shot by another photographer along on this trip can be seen here.

permalink | January 4, 2014 at 06:49 AM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2013

Restaurant Impossible

The Rude Pundit (one of my guilty pleasures) admits that one of his guilty pleasures is Restaurant Impossible and then he goes on to write about an episode "last week" (which I missed) that focused on the Georgia Boy Cafe in Maryland that is owned by two gay African-American men who have been together for some years. Rude Pundit liked the way they were presented on the show: "A damn food show was more honest and less sensationalistic and patronizing about how a nonwhite LGBT couple exists than pretty much anything the Rude Pundit's seen on American television."

permalink | November 25, 2013 at 05:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2013

A′/B′ Comparison

Again, your preference?


Or B′:

permalink | November 8, 2013 at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 7, 2013

Getting Married In Southern California?

An opportunity arises:

A Major Cable Network is currently casting eccentric, dynamic brides with dreams of having an over the top wedding. If you're a bride seeking a blingy, flashy, glitzy wedding and want your big day to mimic a Greek, Italian, Persian or Gypsy type of affair, then you are our bride!!!!

Let us help to enhance your big day and document it on television for you and your honey to remember for a lifetime! Deadline to apply is Monday, November 25th 2013.

- Must be getting married between now & Valentines' Day 2014 in the Greater Los Angeles area / Southern California.

Send an email to [email protected] with your Name, Phone Number, Photo of the engaged couple, and tell us about a little bit about yourselves!

permalink | November 7, 2013 at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2013

It is he who knocks

permalink | October 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2013

Now I Fully Comprehend

Breaking Bad explained in today's lingo. (Warning, even this might include spoilers.)

permalink | October 20, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2013

Hopkins to Cranston: "Your performance as Walter White was the best acting I have seen – ever."

Anthony Hopkins praises Bryan Cranston and everybody at Breaking Bad.

What is extraordinary, is the sheer power of everyone in the entire production. What was it? Five or six years in the making? How the producers (yourself being one of them), the writers, directors, cinematographers…. every department – casting etc. managed to keep the discipline and control from beginning to the end is (that over used word) awesome.

From what started as a black comedy, descended into a labyrinth of blood, destruction and hell. It was like a great Jacobean, Shakespearian or Greek Tragedy.

permalink | October 14, 2013 at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2013

Meanwhile in Omaha

This is fake.
Saul as Cinnabon manager

But this is real.
Cinnabon sign

Cinnabon stores in Omaha are using Breaking Bad imagery to promote themselves. They say "corporate" has approved this, so we must assume that Cinnabon has agreed to pay AMC a ton of bucks.

permalink | October 10, 2013 at 05:24 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2013

Breaking Bad Tribute

Spoiler Alert. Spoiler Alert. Spoiler Alert.

permalink | October 9, 2013 at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 7, 2013

Microsoft Found A Customer For Its Gigantic Tablets

And that customer is Fox News. They've installed 55-inch Windows touchscreen tablets for their staff to work on in the background. I'm sure there's a betting pool where people are trying to guess when all the tablets will enjoy a simultaneous BSOD.

I'm glad to see that efficiency is top priority for them. Having given their staff a huge amount of display real estate, rather than filling it up with more data they're just enlarging the fonts and photos so they can be read clearly from 20 feet away.

I am disappointed that they are sticking with traditional keyboards, circa 1990 style. Not that those aren't excellent keyboards, but an on-screen keyboard spread across that big screen would have helped their workers develop some big shoulders...or new sorts of repetitive motion injuries.

UPDATE: Another reader has pointed out that the staff still have big, standard telephones. Why not something super-Skypey on those tablets?

permalink | October 7, 2013 at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)