More Musings – The Hillary vs. Barack War & Movie Downloads Coming Soon?

Stop calling me Osama...

Democratic Party Commits Suicide

I thought it was bad a few weeks ago, but lately the contest between Clinton and Obama has sunk to new depths.

They continue to battle, back and forth, doing serious damage to each other. All while McCain and the republicans sit happily on the sidelines, biding their time.

It seemed clear – at least until a few weeks ago – that Obama was the best nominee, the one who had the best chance of winning the general election.
Now, that appears in doubt, with McCain gaining in the polls. All due to Clinton’s machinations and smears.

This whole thing is just flat wrong. Politics is a team sport, such as it is. And politicians are supposed to be team players.

But what it looks like right now, is that Hillary Clinton figures that if she can’t be the democratic nominee, then nobody will.

Talk about bad attitudes. I mean I always thought Hillary was okay. I liked her politics as well or perhaps even better than her husband’s. But what we’ve got here is that she’s essentially throwing the election to the republicans because she can’t be the nominee. She’s engineering a republican win. Handing the election to McCain.

The arrogance of it all!

I suppose some of the blame should properly be passed to the undeclared super delegates, as well. No one has stepped in to break the fight up. And they could have ended it easily by declaring – and didn’t.

All this collective stupidity just knocks me out. The demo’s ship is sinking, going down fast, but they’re all still running around fighting about who the captain is gonna be! Insane.

I really wanted to see a democratic victory in 2008. After all this, I’m wondering if I really even want to be identified with a bunch of retards like these people.

Maybe I’ll vote for Nader? Hmmm…. Now there’s a thought!

Movie Downloads Are the Killer App for the Internet

There was a good discussion over on AV Science Forums a few days ago on whether downloads would ever replace Blu-Ray discs. All the Blu-Ray people were talking as if BR was the be-all end-all format. “We’ll never ever need anything else!”


I disagree. I see movies online as the “killer app” everyone’s been waiting for, for the internet.

Downloads are where we’re gonna end up. We’re moving in that direction right now. It’s just a mater of time. It WILL happen.

The only real limiting factor is bandwidth.

The length of time it takes for movie downloads to become the primary method for home viewing is wholly dependant on how long it takes ISPs to roll-out faster speeds.

Right now, with 8 mb/s downloads as the fastest average downstream speed in the US, who wants to wait over 11 hours to get your 40 GB HD movie? That’s certainly not something I want.

But in Hong Kong right now, that same download takes just 5 minutes! In Japan and Korea, you can download that 40 GB movie in less than an hour. Right now.

Hong Kong has symmetrical GB Ethernet available which sells for the equivalent of around $215 US a month. In Japan and Korea, you can get 100 MB for around $30-40 US per month.

And here we are in the US with our paltry 6-8 mb/s! Ghastly! The US is a cultural backwater. A Third-World Nation!

It won’t stay that way long. Verizon is building out its FIOS. Comcast is moving to DOCSIS 3.0. Lots of good things are happening in the bandwidth world.
The latest buzz is that Comcast will be rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 this coming year (in select markets), with speeds in the 30-50 mb/s range. Verizon will match that, of course, as will Qwest and AT&T and all the others.

That’s nowhere near what they’ve got in Asia, but it’s a start and it gets us farther down the road to where we need to be. How long till we get those GB speeds they already have in Hong Kong? Hopefully less than 10 years.

Probably not more.

Blockbuster and Hollywood Video and the others know this. They’re already positioning themselves for the new market. I read a speech given by the President of Blockbuster where he predicted downloads coming into their own right with the next five years.

It’s just a matter of time.

Video downloads will predominate as soon as they’re as easy and convenient and cheap as conventional rentals/sales. You go browse online through Blockbuster’s catalog (or Netflix), select the movie you want to watch, click “buy”, then go pop some popcorn. You come back and watch it on your HDTV.
So how much bandwidth do we need for it to take off?

I would think the time limit for a download would be somewhere in the range of 10-15 minutes for people to widely accept it (everyone wants immediate gratification – it can’t take as much time as going to the store, or it won’t work).

That may be implemented by offering SD downloads initially (at say 6-8 GB each). SD video looks pretty awful good, and 8 GB only takes 22 minutes to download at 100 mb/s. That’s close to being workable.

How am I gonna watch ‘em?

Easy! The movies will be delivered to your “entertainment multi-media” device. Current PS3 and X-Box 360 devices have this capability already (although not enough storage to really work). NextGen consoles will have much larger storage capacity and will be able to fully implement movie downloads.

It’s just a matter of time.