TWC Primetime on Demand — Not Quite So

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Time Warner Cable makes a claim that their Primetime on Demand channel are “Your Shows, Your Way”.  However, lately this is just not the case at all.  Since I usually watch the X Factor on this channel, I was rather surprised that one day I saw the 2 recent episodes of  the X Factor on the listing one day and not even 24 hours later, both episodes were gone from the list.  This meant that the shows were only on the channel for less than 48 hours.  Why is that many of the series on this channel can stay on the listings sometimes for weeks or even months and this show is eliminated in less than 48 hours?

The first week the shows remained at least through the weekend whereas week #2 only lasted through mid Saturday afternoon.  TWC should standardize how long the show will be on the channel or else not even bother airing it in the first place.  This should go for all their shows not just X Factor.  Also, isn’t it about time that the CW channel was also added to the on Demand lineup?  They are the last remaining holdout and it bothers me that they don’t offer it for that channel.  Then again, most of the CW lineup is not the greatest anyway.  However, I do have high hopes that “Arrow” works out for them and not be some long, drawn out, going nowhere show like “Smallville” ended up being.

Its time that TWC get on the stick and shoot for the proverbial bulls eye as well.

X Factor and Idol – One Winner and One Big Loser

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Last week’s X Factor started off much stronger than last year’s premiere.  After Rachel Crow’s strong showing at the start of last year, I quickly got bored with the show and actually fell asleep while watching the show.  I blame boring judges and boring acts that made this happen.  After Rachel was dismissed from the show, I completely lost interest in the show.

What a difference a year makes!  Welcome to the Britney and Demi show!  This was all about them and did it ever show!  Between Britney being creeped out not once but twice, I really felt sorry for her.  For Demi, the story was much different.  With Jillian Jensen’s strongly emotional performance (if you didn’t cry, you are NOT HUMAN!), Demi’s showing of her love for her onstage continued a very emotional scene which showed both of their strengths.  Who knew that a Disney girl could get that emotional?  Big Surprise there!

The downside of this show was that Simon acted like a giddy little girl as opposed to his ever hating self and poor L.A. Reid hardly even got any airtime whatsoever.  This show was truly about the girls and it showed.  Maybe the guys will get their chance this week or maybe not.  Only time can tell.  So far, this show is off to a very strong start despite losing in the ratings to “The Voice”.

Speaking of singing competitions, American Idol has finalized their lame judges crew for the new season.  Only Randy Jackson has survived once again for its 12th year.  Joining him this year is over-the-top diva Mariah Carey, Mr. Nicole Kidman (Keith Urban), and fake boobed, fake hair, fake voice of Nicki Minaj.  All I can say is “Seriously, Are you kidding me?”  I think Idol has finally ran out of people and digging to the bottom of the pit.  From one survey I read, 96% of people were not happy with this crew.  Even U.S. Congress gets a better approval rating than this!  I really think Idol is in BIG TROUBLE for next season and should rethink their judges before the series begins next year.  I would recommend it.  Until then, we have plenty of other singing contests out there.

Strike or Riot – Not Good for U.S. Either Way

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Last week brought discourse in this country and across the world.

Sadly, the world is rioting over presumably a film trailer on YouTube that portrays Mohammed in a bad way.  To make matters worse, the White House has requested that Google remove the offending video from their site and have refused to do so.  Since when is it ok for a  company to refuse what the White House requested.  Certainly Google thinks its large enough to do whatever it wants and won’t have the government tell them otherwise.  However, Google should comply just for the sake of the lives lost and to prevent more lost.  Apparently, Google thinks their own way and thus don’t care about society or what anybody else thinks.  This is one of those incidents where a company is way too big for its britches.

On the other hand, in Chicago, other rich fat cats namely the teachers’ union are demanding even more pay and wants to eliminate merit evaluations.  The problem with this is that all these teachers want their big money with NO accountability.  Since when is it ok to work at a job and suck at it and take home over $70,000 a year.  To add insult to injury is that many of these same people are probably building up a huge pension which will probably bankrupt the city.  Other towns have already claimed bankruptcy, why not Chicago?  The lack of accountability just proves just how bad unions have taken advantage of cities.  I say fire these teachers and hire those that have been unemployed for a long time in the state.  Certainly, they may work for a lot less and may not even be unionized.

It should be obvious that both local and national government is now out of hand.  Cities can’t control the citizens of their areas and U.S. embassies are being attacked without any help from the countries in which they are located.  Is there a solution to any of this?  Honestly, yes.  It is the squashing of unions and big businesses.  Ironically, these are also the two major groups behind most political Super PAC groups.  Coincidence, I really doubt it.  Maybe all this is to undermine the Democratic Presidency and Democrats in general.  We will know in a few short weeks if all this was successful.

 

Nickelodeon Scraps Line-Up — Now What?

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If you were going to remodel your house, I highly doubt that you would bulldoze down every other house on the street to do so.  However, this is exactly what Nick is doing with its Saturday night line-up.

Of course it should be common knowledge now that iCarly will see its last episode this November.  What has not been know is that Nick’s ratings have been down over 16% this year alone forcing the channel to do some other “remodeling” as well.  Two of Nicks other popular shows are being cancelled.  One I believe is not unexpected, the other was a little more of a surprise.

First on the chopping block is “How to Rock”.  Seriously I am not surprised about this one.  Three reasons lead me to this conclusion:

  1. It was downright boring.  These characters were so stereotyped that I could scream.  The dumb blonde, the rebel girl who hates the new girl, the stupid boys and the always cheerful girl.  The story lines were just as boring as the characters themselves.
  2. Non-white character led shows fail to make the grade on Nick.  Sadly, the proof of that lies in the way that “True Jackson VP” was treated during its Nick run.  The show had an ungracious cancellation that wasn’t even mentioned as a cancellation and during many of the weeks it’s aired, it was rarely promoted as airing a new episode.  The same could also be said about “Supah Ninjas”, whose future also seems to be up in the air even though rumors of a second season were mentioned several months ago, but nothing concrete has been heard from the show since.
  3. The show is too similar to Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm”.  The type of characters are too much of the same types, but the Disney show is much more entertaining.

The other show seeing the axe is “Victorious”.  I have a few different reasons why this show is being canned:

  1. The star, Victoria Justice, is just way too busy with too many other projects.
  2. The show’s comedy wasn’t relatable to children.  With references to such thing as Elvis, the tv show  “Dating Game”, and the tv show “Match Game“.  References to 1970’s pop culture may interest adults, but is way over the heads of the kids in the audience.
  3. The show became too adult with its situations.  As with #2, much of the humor could only be related to the adult audience.  This was also a problem with “True Jackson” as it got caught up in fashion lingo through many of its episodes, therefore making it much less easy to follow and less enjoyable.
  4. The characters were always angry at each other.  Is anger funny?  I think not given the current situation in the world.  It’s odd that after 3 seasons that this show has generated so much yelling and anger between characters.  If I want yelling and anger, I will watch one of the cable news shows.

Rumors have also been circulating that Nick wants to also cancel the show “Big Time Rush” as well, thus making a clean sweep of its entire primetime lineup.  Certainly if this happened, I believe that fans would be leaving Nickelodeon in droves and possibly never returning again.

So what does Nick plan to put in its place?  Apparently, to start, a new version reboot of the worn out “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles“.  Sad to say, if this is there best offering then Nick is REALLY in trouble and certainly will lose a lot of viewers.  Hopefully, Nick doesn’t load their schedule with tons of “SpongeBob” and lame shows like the WALL-E wannabe show “Robot and Monster”.  Nick can’t live off animated series alone as they tried this a long time ago and it didn’t work.  You can’t resurrect the past and you can’t rebuild what has been destroyed.  We should all take this as a warning that Nick is in trouble.

 

Debt $16 Trillion – Why We Should Be Happy?

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You owe the U.S. government over $50,000.  Congratulations, U.S. taxpayer, this is your share of the huge debt that now burdens the economy and probably will never get paid off.

Let’s just ask Romney to put it on his Black American Express card.  Chances are he will have it paid off in 30 days.  This is the kind of impression one should get from a guy who is wishy-washy on everything anyway.

Let’s keep going in the right direction — support Democrats and get Congress working again!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Change to My Twitter Account

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Effective immediately, I have changed my Twitter account to protect my tweets. The reason for this is that there has been some harassing to me from people that I do not follow. Therefore, for my protection and the safety of other followers of mine, I have had no choice but to protect my tweets.

Please be advised that I will still accept anybody who wishes to follow me by approving them and I will block anybody who shows any harassment to me. I have ZERO tolerance to people who harass me at all. Thank you for your understanding and please continue following.

Compression and Defragmentation — Just What TWC DVRs Need

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A couple of weeks ago, I received a comment from a person wondering why their DVR was using significant amount of space when using HD recordings.  It dawned on me a couple of days ago that what the DVRs really needed was compression and fragmentation software inside them.

Simply put, a DVR is nothing but a dumb computer without a keyboard or mouse.  However, these “computers” are in fact one-trick ponies meant to do one thing and that is to record shows (and obviously play them back and manage them).  It’s obvious as with computers that deleting shows off the machine’s hard drive creates a lot of fragmentation and thus needs to be optimized by defragging the drive.  Without defragging, the space on the drive is so segmented that to the navigator software, it appears that more space actually is used then really is.  A good defragging of the hard drive occasionally would optimize the drive to store more and stop “Disk Full” errors.

The other thing that the DVRs could use is compression software.  Anybody who had a computer in the early 1990’s may be familiar with products like Microsoft  DoubleSpace or Stac ElectronicsStacker program.  Both of these programs did essentially the same thing: compress the hard drive.  Unfortunately, the biggest problem with both of these programs was that they made wild claims about the amount of compression ranging anywhere from 0% (no compression) to around 80% (full compression depending on content).  The best level I ever got for compression with either of these programs was around 15% way below the claims made by either company.  Compression also caused the computers to sometimes run very slow depending on content which added to the problems that these programs had.  Eventually, as hard drives got larger and cheaper (somewhat), the need for these programs disappeared.  However, the need for these programs are more important now especially given the limited capacity of most DVRs.

It is highly unlikely that we will ever see either of these technologies installed as part of the software on the DVRs from any company anytime in the future despite being desperately needed and in my opinion a strong requirement.  Until companies like Time Warner Cable employs REAL programmers who can do more than draw fancy ugly screens, speed and efficiency will continue to be an issue with the DVRs.