Sunday, January 27, 2013

Technolgical Blaze of Glory

    The time has come, again to rant about the past year.  However, there are a variety of subjects  to choose from. One could go on about the current state of  the telecommunications industry, and the future on online viewing   habits and venues, to the recent  advances in television technology.
   However, there are bigger issues that need addressing. Such as Gun Control, Mental Health, and fiscal responsibility of our government, and  the like.  Its all fine and dandy to sit here in our techie towers and ponder the future of telecommunications, which is important, but in the final analysis, if the country has lost its moral compass and its roots all the technology in the world won’t get it back on the right track. It will just go down the wrong way in a technological blaze of glory, which will keep people from seeing what the real problems are.
The shooting last year , prompted me to write about my views on gun control, particularly concealed carry. I don’t belive new rules governing guns are going to solve the problem. The majority of shooting are done by people who have mental issues who were not treated properly or at all. In many cases they were dumped from one organization back and forth to another and no one took responsibility for making sure they got what they needed, either treatment that worked or locked up for both their and societal safety.  The point is everyone who has any responsibility in any level of government is too busy playing the blame game, pointing their fingers at everyone elses when the Sh**t hit the Fan, No one has gumption enough to stand up and say, he was my patient, or our department was handling him, and frankly, we screwed up, and we’re looking to see where we screwed up. No one has said anything remotely like that, nor will they, because, the would be taking responsibility for ones  own actions, or in some cases inaction.  

    This country was founded on a principle that all men are created equal, and should be given the benefit of the doubt, and along with certain other rights, such as to vote, and pursue that which give us pleasure, so long as it do no harm, to society .  When the government has become so big and complicated that many times one department doesn't know what the others are doing, there is a fundamental issue with the power structure, and  delegation of authority, and who answers to who. While it is clearly laid out in the constitution, and on the state levels, Sometimes  many things are lost in translation, and the people who are responsible, tend to forget to whom they’re ultimately responsible to, to the people who elected them to their offices. They were elected and they can be unelected just as easy. President Obama made history when was the first black president to be elected., again he made history by being reelected, what his final role in history will be remains to be seen, and will not be fully understood for decades. Just as all of our past presidents have been judged through the eyes of time and history to be kinder than  they were at the time.  One can hope history and time will be as kind to President Obama.

Looking forward to the new year, which has already started. Once again find many things to talk about. The advances in media in the last ten years or so have far outstripped sixty plus years of media that came before it. From the time in the 1950’s when color TV came on the scene and  the movie industry felt threatened, to the next generation of TV, being cable and satellite,  there really hasn’t been a fundamental change in the content itself, it was essentially still the same as it was in the 1950’s plus or minus a few little tweaks, depending on your point of view. Then the VCR came along, and that was the beginning of the changes which are still happening.   The movie industry soon embraced TV, as a way to reuse a huge backlog of movie content that had stored and monetize it and get it to still make them money, which they’re still doing, only today on a grander scale. The VCR became the DVR, Digital Video Recorder,, in which we still say we’re  “taping” a show or a movie, and there is no actual tape involved, it all ones and bytes. Of course with the surge of good relatively cheap fast broadband internet across the nation,  sites, like Hulu came along, which allowed us to stream content directly to our computers. while it wasn’t a perfect world, the content still had ads, but it was a small price to pay to be able to see free content, we wouldn’t be able to see in places we wouldn't normally see it.
After that, came Netflix, one price a month, and all the streaming you could watch. Best part no commercials. It was the right product at the right time. They were aggressive with the marketing, and making content deals to get more content as they went along, as they were doing that, they also perused the hardware side, making deals to get their software in as many  types of consumer products as possible, making it easier for the consumer to watch the content they paid for and as many platforms as possible. Since then many other players have jumped into the video streaming pool. It has become somewhat crowded. Amazon has their own streaming service, Amazon Prime, for a flat rate you get to stream a large catalog of material, however, having used it, I have to give it mixed reviews.
    To aid in the distribution of all of this video content online a number of set top boxes have come out. The best of theses is the Roku, its cheap their  cheapest box is about 50. dollars, and their most expensive is 100.00.  Theres no fee for using it. Only if you are using Netflix or other pay service, which you're paying for anyways. The best part is all of the free channels they have available .
At present they have several hundred channels which you can add, 99% of them are free,  The ones that require a fee are relatively cheap. As for subject manor, that ranges from many niche subjects such as specialized cooking to various forms of tech , to a wide range of music channels to stream almost any taste in music to you tv, and sound system, If one is is looking for a good way to supplant their cable or in a few cases eliminate it completely the Roku Box is a good candidate.

    The discussions in Washington, about both technology, and gun control, and health care, are important and far reaching. The right of a citizen to defend themselves is paramount  in the minds of many people. While I am deeply saddened by the shooting that happened last year, particularly the school shooting. I refuse to give up my right to defend myself and my family and anyone else who is in danger at a given time.  As for limiting rounds in magazines that is just a first step to working to take our guns away completely, If we give in to that, we’re saying ok, fine you have my constitutional right, even if it only a round in my magazine at a time,  I’ll remind you of it when I need it and I’m a round short to stop the situation  and people get dead because I couldn’t have the capacity magazine I needed to stop the bad guy and he killed more people.

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