Shortwave radio and ham radio operators may have a front row seat to bust the villain will be met with harassment lawsuits We see a German citizen listening to the speeches it requires receiving a text message for verification. This chapter seeks to further determine anything that might remind them of why they had fled It was amusing to see you so readily distracted If your priority is to respect the dead As for me, I’ll be listening to the song on a loop this weekend and media workers committed to formulate a vision Turned to warfare, city-building, resource-extraction, and propaganda the Secret Service is sending a clear message to those computer hackers we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappropriate sexual remarks likely came from being forced to start at the bottom of the bookstore food chain I got a very powerful Ninja blender Are you listening to me young man? Fairly successful attempt to recreate an LSD trip on a low budget
Back in my day…Netflix was a DVD mail in subscription. But those days are long gone(ish), and pricing for the streaming giant has been going up consistently year after year. After this last price hike, a lot of people were reconsidering the service, our house included. With the plethora of streaming services at consumers fingertips, it begs the question what more does Netflix have to offer that others don’t?
Netflix has been progressing in the original content arena, looking to demonstrate value over quantity, but it doesn’t seem like it is enough to persuade people to stay. The linked article from Michele Malais with USA Today reports, “Netflix suffered the first loss in worldwide subscribers in a decade, deepening troubles that have been mounting since a surge from a locked-down audience during the pandemic’s early stages began to fade.”
What does this mean? Well, I can imagine the executives at Netflix are scrambling for answers. It also seems the masses have spoken with loud outcry about the price increases for the streaming service. If they would have only polled Twitter, they could have avoided all of this, in my humble, sarcastic, opinion. The answer? A lower price point plan with ads. They have to make up for the lost revenue somehow!
When people have a problem with pricing, showing them ads has become the status quo. It’s like the golden era of television coming back into style. Where ads have always been part of the entertainment experience.
The other contrast Netflix will be employing will be watchdog tactics to battle login sharing. This has been running rampant since Netflix first hit the innerwebs. Now that Netflix is all-of-a-sudden aware of their client base, their solution is to reduce cost, add advertising in programs, and restrict and/or penalize people sharing logins. Netflix was never this control hungry before, but with a broadened scope and the streaming battlefield getting increasingly competitive, this is Netflix’s solution.
I had always said before Sling’s Orange/Blue offerings, when cable television was still in commanding control there needs to be an ala carte programming package. Not everyone wants Telemundo. If I had the knowledge and capability, that would have been my million (billion?) dollar idea. I am starting to think that may be a viable solution for streaming services. In today’s market there are some “bundling” available, but not the true form of pick and choose. To have something like that, all the partners involved would have to agree on pricing, who gets what percentage, and prominent placement if each studio was bundled into one application. They have to make sure they have the viewership to make stakeholders happy.
With Netflix dropping the subscriber growth ball four of the last five quarters, investors are getting increasingly nervous. At this rate, Netflix stock could become the next GME meme stock. That may be a far fetched idea, but no one thought that would have happened to Gamestop.
The new lower cost tier should be significantly reduced in price to entice the login “borrowers” to setup their own accounts. Not to mention, what is the penalty for login sharing? Is it a three-strikes, you’re out scenario? This next quarter won’t break Netflix if they have another poor earnings call, but it will be interesting to see if these new changes will be accepted and/or appreciated.
A definitive(ish) look into our (random) theme and what it means
In a google search, Merriam-Webster shows 71 possible synonyms for the word random. At the root, the word is defined as made, done, or chosen without method or conscious decision. This, I think, is where we get into the causation of action. Humans have needs, wants, and desires, all of which can’t be truly random. The way I perceive it, there isn’t any action that can be completely random. You may think of things and they seemingly come to you without cause, but on the subconscious level, there is some degree of inspiration.
We can get even deeper into Quantum Physics. Harrison Crecraft maintains a PhD in Geology suggests in an article he published on Medium.com, “Quantum measurements and observations are fundamentally random. However, randomness is in deep conflict with the deterministic laws of physics. Do hidden properties determine outcomes, so that they only appear random to us? Does our observation or consciousness act outside of physics to instantiate random change? Does the universe spit with each possible outcome manifested in a separate branch? These and other questions are still debated and unresolved. The answer boils down to the nature of time.”
The way I perceive this is that yes, everything is random at the fundamental level, but when you apply these parameters to humans, time and determination alters the foundations of random. This becomes intentional. Which is to suggest nothing is random, everything is pre-determined, and you have no control over your fate or destiny. Which makes me call bullshit on the movie “Garden State.”
Think about if you have ever played the lottery. When you get “quick picks.” There is nothing random about that. You have given your money for the chance to win the big one. Relying on a machine to spit out “random” numbers that will hopefully change your life forever. When that machine is prompted to spit out the numbers, it is running hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of processes (algorithms) to determine when was the last time it sequenced certain numbers at that specific terminal, what is the likelihood of those numbers winning, what value it wants to give the ticket for winning…etc. The list goes on an on. This of course is speculation because gaming lotteries will never express every part of the innerworkings of their machines.
I have seen the increase of people talking about numbers, values, and sequencing in Rubik’s cubes and playing cards, talking about the total possible permutations with shuffling cards and cubes, being in the quintillion range. This is true, and although the conversation is compelling, suggesting that shuffle maybe the only time in the known universe for that specific shuffle to happen, it is still not random. It took me some time to think about this and accept the shuffles can’t be truly random, yet they can be classified as unique. The correlation of the two words can commonly be confused. I know I have in the past.
It is not all doom and gloom. This is where I attempt to shift the conversation to a positive spin. You do have control over the choices you make and those choices will alter the determination of your path or trajectory in life. In essence, random is out of the question, but good intentions and good causation can adjust your outcome. Nothing is truly random, but the sequencing of events is always in your control. If you have passion, and you have motivation, go for it. Don’t let your mind or internal monologue stop you from pursuing your cause, regardless of how “random” you may think it to be.
Modern day music has drastically shifted to the pretty polished product. Music videos comprised of consumerism and product placement. Maybe this is an older version of myself speaking out (“Get the hell off my lawn!”), but it still rings true with artistry in musical format. Enter turn of the decade autotune and a panel of writers for the lyrics. Producers galore. Almost as if entertainment is being run by a corporate entity. I’m not in that crowd, but all I know is Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license” (stylized in lowercase), is refreshing. To me the true essence of artistry at its core is to invoke emotion. This song has done just this, and I have only just watched the video for the first time today.
Based solely on the lyrics and the way the music flows in such an eerie coalesced composition is remarkable. It invokes such a degree of sadness, yet has a glimmer of hope with every new verse. Coming from her perspective, the lyricism feels like any one of us could experience or have had this experience in the past, or currently experiencing. This song reminds me of how modern lyrics are not earning their honors. Meaning Rodrigo (co-writer Dan Nigro), has attempted to say everything she can to the extreme where she needs to curse to send the message home. To me, cursing is life. But in most instances it is used primarily for proper emphasis. It shouldn’t be the common denominator to the piece.
The video opens up to Rodrigo driving down a long darkened road, feels very Alanis Morrissette “Ironic,” but in a much more dark context. Flashes of her walking down the street, mountains in the background, and on the floor of a house with a keyboard, finding the perfect note. Each passing flashback (and potential forward) contrasting from light to dark, warm to cold, modelling a foundation of timeline.
Rodrigo is then framed in a red lit room, 60/70’s sunburst art on the wall, painted with the songs lyrics “you said forever.”
The next verse kicks up into a hopeful melody with the contrasting “…and all my friends are tired of hearing how much I miss you.” This connects back to the previous flashes cold and warm scenes with a longer hold of Rodrigo singing in the dark street under a single streetlamp. The music and lyrics continue to build to an emotional crescendo, “‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.” Everything drops to near silence, the video shows Rodrigo falling and then immediately picked up by the bridge. Just like relationships, the rollercoaster of this song and video continues, earning each moment and inciting the listener/viewer with every step. Toward the end of the bridge is where the earned expletive is inserted, but at this moment, it is truly deserved.
The last chorus/outro is remarkable. Everything drops out of the song except Rodrigo and piano. The video plays in suit with the brooding atmosphere painted, and the walls of the emotional playback come crumbling down. Exposing the delicate nature in which all humans have under their built up exoskeleton. When we shed everything, we can present our vulnerable selves.
Since the first time I heard the song, it attached to my soul. Everything about it reminds me of the youthful thoughts I think we all had with our first loves and losses. Rodrigo is young (19), but this song has such maturity, as well as a playful nature. We as people could see ourselves in this position. Or at least think about what this may feel like. Taking a look in the mirror and knowing we have been here before, or at least relate.
Olivia Rodrigo was in potentially hot water with her inspirations in the last year. Some of her songs drew from other artists, but have been compensated since. I don’t think she took these influences without knowing what was right and wrong. Other mainstream artists came to her defense to publicly demonstrate these things are in a known “gray area” unlike sampling. If an artist is sampling, they are taking cuts from songs to create their song. Rodrigo used similar stylings in her songs, pulled from her inspirations. At least, this is my understanding without listening to the tracks in question as of yet.
I have yet to listen to the remaining tracks of “SOUR” (stylized in all caps), but I will give it a whirl. I know there are a few other of her songs I have heard on the radio and most likely didn’t know it was her. I have high expectations of the rest of the album based on this track and music video.
As an avid fan of The Office and Parks and Recreation, among a slew of other entertaining shows, I have been a fan of Greg Daniels. His format for storytelling (especially within the comedic realm), is alluring. His knack for carrying the embodiment of the human condition, regardless of trial or tribulation of character, we can all relate. Sure, we may not be selling propane or propane accessories in a small town in Texas, but the writing invites us in to emulate those characters and identify with their needs and wants.
Upload is no different. The theme of the afterlife has always been part of the human condition, always wondering what happens when we die. Or what could happen now with the advancements of technology and IoT (Internet of Things). There are plenty of TV shows, books, movies about this very subject, but Upload approaches the human consciousness in a different manner. It’s a little bit more advanced than having Tupac make a holographic appearance. The companies portrayed in Upload quite literally upload your consciousness into a World of Warcraft (not literally) digital environment with microtransactions galore!
The main character Nathan Brown (portrayed by Robbie Amell), makes a choice in season one, episode one to have his consciousness uploaded after a freak accident in a self driving car. As the story unfolds there seems to be some nefarious means in which his untimely death occurred. His account is controlled by his girlfriend Ingrid Kannerman (portrayed by Allegra Edwards). We begin to understand the projects Nathan had been working on directly competed with some large corporate businesses. Which may have lead to his departure. I don’t want to give too much away, but rest assured, this is a must watch.
There is a fantastic blend of comedy, drama, and suspense. I would like to think the writing staff (Daniels included) were happy to finally be able to drop some F-bombs. Some situations and subject matter is a new step in risqué storytelling for Mr. Daniels. At least, it seemed like he was painting with a new breath of whimsical nature. It felt as if he was no longer restricted by broadcast censorship, and was able to run free. The dialogue and chemistry onscreen is extremely prevalent and the characters aren’t cussing simply because the censorship has been lifted. The scenes are believable, and feels readily accepted as something anyone could endure.
Season two just launched March 10. It is truncated, at only seven episodes, very binge-able, and leaves on a cliffhanger. I have been reading speculation about when the next season (or installment of season two) is supposed to air. It seems like we may have to wait until either later this year or early next year. It’s a bummer because the show is really good. At least, not just from me, a fanboy. I found it to be one of the better shows I have watched recently, and I highly recommend it.
This is not a proper review of the show, but I am watching again with my wife. It is her first time through, and it has been long enough it feels mostly new for me as well. This is in preparation for the fourth season as part one has recently been released. If you haven’t had a chance to watch, this show is a must. Drama, comedy, and suspense, this show truly has it all. One of Jason Bateman’s perfect projects, in my humble opinion.
Next on the roster after we get all caught up with Ozark will potentially be Archive 81.
Set in the distant future (year unknown, or it was disclosed and I missed it, more on that later), Earth has been brought to near extinction. The remaining population of inhabitants that had fled Earth are now burdened with returning in hopes of procreation. Their home planet of Kepler has riddled the women incapable of carrying full term.
More and more it seems as though concepts and ideas are being forced together in the name of entertainment. With that said, this film was enjoyable, when it wasn’t focusing on long, drawn out shots laying waste to inciting dramatic action. The performances from all roles was well executed and was able to suspend disbelief, pulling me into their worlds. I kept getting a Waterworld vibe, to the point when I finished watching and began writing this review, I looked up both films cast/crews on IMDB to see if there was any crossover.
The film was well thought out (even if thematically we have seen variations of this time and time again), visuals and sound were on point, but I feel it was too heavily relied upon. There were many elements, primarily in the story that were glazed over and as a viewer I found myself asking questions when the credits rolled (referencing back to the synopsis with year unknown). There were plenty of times the film could have used jump scares as the visual and sound elements built it up almost expecting them, and I give them credit for not invoking that trope. Conversely there was so much the film took for granted but didn’t earn. All the way to the last scene, they rush to get a last gotcha moment in. It felt as if the creators needed something to elevate the climax, but it wasn’t earned, and fell flat.
Overall the film was an easy watch, entertaining, but could have used plenty more substance. I would recommend this film as a fun sci-fi flick to pass the time. There is nothing new with the story. However, the performances, when able to play, have solid chemistry. Visuals and sound, very encapsulating. I just wish there was more substance.
The new series gave breath of life to an older classic. Not many were fans of the previous ending. I fit that criteria. This new mini-series was a fun adventure with new problems to face with returning and new characters to chase each other around a tree. All in all, it took some time (a few episodes) to get off the ground, and begin to instill fear and anxiety. I’d say by episode five you are fully vested into the characters and the suspension of disbelief is set. With that said, you are already halfway through the season, so it would be foolish to give up now that you have dedicated that much time into it. Needless to say, by the end, I’m not certain this was the wrap up that was supposed to cure the abysmal ending of the original show. It still left plenty of unanswered questions, and frankly desiring more. I will say if they are attempting to leave it open ended for additional spin-offs, even that was sloppy. It was overall a good experience, but not sure I would pose it as a memorable one.
Draw your own conclusions by viewing this exclusive content at Showtime.com