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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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this is just to say that add to cart should not end in tears
children of dune - leto 1
The longer I'm online, the more irritable I get with DRM and with pretty much everyone who deals with selling digital content, and my irritability grows larger the more I use actualfax money for it and don't pirate, which is weird, because when I was unemployed and welfare-esque, I didn't care, as the internet is for pirating.

It's like a weird inverse Streisand Effect; the stupider DRM restrictions get, the less interested I am in buying it. The longer it takes to get to the actual movie on my bluray, the more firmware upgrades I have to deal with, the fact it's to the point where I've become semi-tech support to do simple shit like play a bluray for family and family friends, the fact iTunes has a goddamn five computer restriction on some of my music, and did I mention the unskippable nightmare of playing a bluray movie when your remote control is being a bitch? Or having to suddenly firmware update that takes for-fucking-ever....and we won't even go into the fuck-upedness of region restrictions and grey market buying because then I wonder if every single person in the entertainment industry is just stupid or stuck in the fifties or five years old with a three year old's understanding of how the universe works.

Open letter to Every Person Who Makes Buying Movies, Music, and Any Digital Content a Losing Proposition;

Let me tell you what is not fun: learning the slow and horrifying way to compile binaries by command line in goddamn linux--LINUX OF THE MY GOD THEY CALL THESE USER GUIDES?--with minimal inline comments and some not in English and hard code hex codes so I could watch my own legally bought blurays. Because the firmware was being a bitch and I hit my limit on staring hatefully at my bluray player while it refused to play anything. We won't talk about having to grab the experimental version of Handbrake that required new and exciting educational opportunities in how to make Linux not crash when the nightly build breaks something important in the OS; we will talk about being really excited when I could configure it using an actual interface. With my mouse.

(Command line: whoo boy does that improve your spelling in sheer terror of what you might accidentally tell your computer to do.)

Let me tell you what was fun: watching my movie afterward with a sense of bitter satisfaction uninterrupted and in 1080i. It made my goddamn week.

Let me tell you what's expensive: hard drives that can hold bluray movies at 40G a pop. Baby, I am running out of SATA ports to add more TB hard drives. And possibly out of sanity when I start wondering if it would really be like, incredibly crazy to build a second server for load balancing (and um, because okay, that's so much fun: I want to have a server building party and invite everyone to bring their parts and have chips and salsa and cupcakes and bandaids and silver nitrate for the totally not going to happen electrical burns).

Let me tell you what sucks: could have torrented that shit for free instead of paying for the privilege of being so frustrated I crashed my server twice (Handbrake's nightly builds redefine unstable) and get my content from people who do this much better than I do and are magic with compression codes. As they probably know what the hell they're doing.

Let me tell you about me: I am your demographic. I spend ridiculous amounts of money on movies and music and I own a fourteen year old who isn't any cheaper. I am lazy and given a choice I like clicking "Add to Cart" rather than spend a month I will never get back with Dev C++ learning to compile and install binary libraries and parsing XML (Parsing. XML. Just. God.) to watch something I bought.

Let me tell you one last thing: what you are doing is really improving my programming. From the current status of torrenting, I'd say a generation could also thank you for that.

I'm lazy. Please stop making me educate myself.



...it's only overreacting when you've tried to update the firmware less than five times. What I'm saying is, Samsung, you are so close to getting a firmly-written letter.

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/84361.html. | You can reply here or there. | comments

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DRM is SO FUCKING FAILY. I understand where they're coming from but they are doing it so, so wrong. SO WRONG.

Sorry, that was possibly a less than helpful comment. But I just spent an hour assembling the perfect mix for a road-trip CD, and then another hour trying to figure out which (legally. fucking. bought.) song on it had a DRM restriction that made it impossible for the CD to burn.

When DRM makes it difficult-to-impossible to use legally acquired possessions, and the illegally acquired ones remove all the stupid hoops DRM puts in your way? IT IS QUITE THE DE-INCENTIVE TO BUY THINGS THE 'LEGAL' WAY, LET ME TELL YOU.

When Napster first came out, I said, "Make it easier for me to buy than to pirate, and I'll buy. Happily." STILL APPLIES, MUSIC INDUSTRY. A buck for a song? Sure! A buck for a song that I can only play on certain players or computers and sometimes not even then? NOT SO APPEALING.

Amazon is perfectly happy for me to buy a CD from them all the way from New Zealand- they are so happy they give me a free MP3 download!

And then they tell me because I'm outside the US I can't use it. #$@%!!!!

Or there will be something available on US Itunes but not NZ.

And then they wonder why people who are perfectly *willing* to pay give up and just download anyway!

(Is it obvious some version of this has happened to me everyday this week?)


Did you see the new Amazon Cloud storage thing? Iv'e been trying to see if that could be an international workaround, though I assume you'd still need a US-looking address.

I know there are some political reasons why people are against Amazon.com, but their mp3s are DRM free. Also, it only took one call to tech support to set up Amazon Instant Video on my mom's Tivo (which looks great on an HD set, btw, and does NOT use 40 gigs).

The slightly sad thing is that I never owned a blue ray player, and unless I get one for free with a computer at some point in the future (which happens, btw, if you buy Sony laptops on occasion, though I by no means suggest you should buy Sony laptops), I will probably never upgrade.

Between Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu, my physical media renting days are pretty much over.

If you have a desktop, a basic bluray player is ridiculously cheap. Mine was something like 49.99 and I bought one for my mom as well. I basically use it to backup my blurays so I don't know how well it plays per se, but my rips were flawless. *g*

Also, btw, you should totally switch to Mac, it's a unix based operating system so you can go into command line if you need to, but you usually don't need to.

Command line is fun!

(I spent some time a few weeks ago pre-sorting Mid-Level-to-Senior Unix SysAdmin applicants for a job - some had barely any command-line skills. That made my brain explode with WTF? I don't know how they could even get the balls to apply for a Senior(ish) SysAdmin job)

I really wonder how many people are like you (and me) trying so hard to be good little monkeys and pirating out of frustration. You'd think the content people would get that and not make it so hard for me to give them money. Jeebus.

linkspam took a long walk

User cofax7 referenced to your post from linkspam took a long walk saying: [...] has strong words for vendors who make it harder to buy something legally than it is to torrent it [...]

I want to be a good person. I want to be a responsible consumer even. I know that these things are not made for free. I am honestly willing to pay. But they make it so damn hard sometimes.

(Came from a link on flist.)

1. Your subject cracks me up
2. Word. They're punishing their customers, and I'm boggled they think that's a viable way to go about a business.

Both Disney DVDs we rented kept freezing because they're so bogged down with copy protection (and the store guy told us it's not an uncommon occurrence with Disney movies) and the Disney soundtrack I bought won't run on my computer at all so I can't digitize it - can't even play it. As a result, from now on I sure as hell won't rent or buy any future Disney movie, not when they're less frustrating alternatives.
(here via cofax)

Regional lockouts infuriate me the most. Hello, it's 2011. I'm aware that the UK and Canada exist. I'm not waiting 6 months to a year for crappy, censored version of a show on BBCAmerica (if even that).

Samsung. I fucking hate Samsung. They can't even make a phone UI that doesn't suck.

I've had no technical issues like this, although I would be filled with horror if I did. But I did want to buy (note that word) the DVD set of The Invisible Man. Amazon, the only reputable source I could find, refused to sell it to me because I had an out of the USA address. Yes, I'm sure that someone, somewhere, is going to make a million bucks out of the region 4 rights to a ten year old cult TV show.

In the end I got my hands on it, because thanks to the internet I have friends in the US. Who'd a thunk? It's a different issue to the one you describe here, but the principle is the same. It would have been so much easier to torrent, or to get friends to pirate their own older, non-protected DVDs.

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