Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Who will win the DVD format war

Now we know for certain who will win the high-definition DVD format war, Blu-ray or HD-DVD.

New York Times: In Raw World of Sex Movies, High Definition Could Be a View Too Real

The article (entertaining in its own right) contains this little gem:
The pornographers’ progress with HD may also be somewhat slowed by Sony, one of the main backers of the Blu-ray high-definition disc format. Sony said last week that, in keeping with a longstanding policy, it would not mass-produce pornographic videos on behalf of the movie makers.

The decision has forced pornographers to use the competing HD-DVD format or, in some cases, to find companies other than Sony that can manufacture copies of Blu-ray movies.

The movie makers assert that it is shortsighted of Sony to snub them, given how pornography helps technologies spread.
This is exactly right on. It's like trying to build a new super-high-speed armor-plated helicopter and then refusing on principle to sell any to the Department of Defense.

Also, Blu-ray has a silly name. I believe the VHS vs. Betamax war proved that acronyms have a decisive advantage over phonemes.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Getting rid of postal mail advertising packets

Those advertising and coupon packages that fall apart in my mailbox really make me angry, especially because the packages themselves don't contain any information about how to get rid of them. When I first moved in here, I started calling the "advertise with us!" phone numbers until I reached someone with information about how to get off their lists. I had to make my request in writing by postal mail, and both of them advised that they will only honor a removal for two years!

It's been two years. Grrr.

But, good news! The two offenders that recently showed up, falling apart, in my mailbox, now accept removal requests online! Neither one of them says anything on their site about the two-year limit, but my guess is it's still in effect. They keep hoping you'll sell your house to someone who likes their crap.

As a public service, and a personal reminder for myself in two years, I present:

Remove your address from the ShopWise® mailing list

Remove your address from the ValPak mailing list

Remove your address, phone and/or email from Direct Marketing Association lists¹

¹ Don't hold your breath about spammers honoring your DMA preferences, obviously.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Most euphemistic, indeed

The American Dialect Society votes today on its 2006 Words of the Year, in a variety of categories. This nominee stands out:
waterboarding: an interrogation technique in which the subject is immobilized and doused with water to simulate drowning; reported to be used by U.S. interrogators against terrorism detainees.
So, "waterboarding" is a euphemism.

"Interrogation technique"?

"U.S. interrogators"?


Is this intentional irony, Alanis?

And don't even get me started about how NPR plays along with the administration's Newspeak.