Netflix Original Series: Dark – Season Two

Okay, it’s a german original production, so the tone and story production isn’t quite like you’re used to from USA shows. Dark is a time travel science fiction show, set in Germany, in multiple time frames, each set 33 years apart. Multiple people travel back or forward in time, and they aren’t very kind to the inattentive viewer, they make you struggle to keep all the characters straight. It’s weird when you meet the older guy years before he disappeared. Some of them seem to understand what’s going on, and maybe it’s a german thing, but there’s a huge fatalistic attitude being shared by the whole lot. What will happen is what has always happened. Just because it’s in the future for you, doesn’t mean it wasn’t the past for the guy next to you.

Love it. Love binge watching Season two. Season One was all about three time periods. Season Two adds a fourth, and seems to imply an ongoing cycle to it all, like a never ending snake that eats itself, time after time.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

I’m really enjoying another trip down memory lane, watching the 26 episode Neon Genesis Evangelion, an iconic and classic 1995 Anime series.

I just hit episode 20 (out of 26, remember), and this is obviously the point in the series where they ran out of money. The last 4 minutes of the episode showed a static picture of an ash tray, while two of the main characters chatted. Even earlier in the episode, when Shiji has been absorbed into the Eva, they spent a whole lot of time flashing between the same short animated sequences, like they could only afford to animate half of this episode, and had to rely on reruns and static images.

Regardless, it’s worth the watch. Although, now I view this with a 2019-influenced perspective, I can see how misogynistic the series can be. Only the one male character can do such a good job, the two female Eva pilots failed miserably.

TV isn’t really about to get more expensive, for everyone

I just read an article that claimed TV is about to get way more expensive. But I disagree. Ten years ago, video content providers were happy licensing their content to broadcast TV channels, or pay networks, like HBO or Netflix, because really, that’s all there was.

Then Netflix got really, really popular, viewers started cutting the cord, dumping cable or satellite TV, because nobody feels like cable TV is worth $150 per month. Now, all the TV companies are afraid their broadcast TV properties are losing viewers, and cable company revenues are dropping, because of all the cord cutting, so suddenly they all decided to go it alone, each building their own separate streaming platforms.

For some stupid reason, they seem to think we’ll all be stupid enough to sign up for every one of them, and they’ll all get rich. I’m sure some people will, but I suspect most of us will only choose one or two, and just ignore the others.

And without a common platform, like broadcast TV or newspapers, how exactly will all those independent content creators advertise their new shows? I guarantee you CBS online won’t be showing ads for NBC or ABC streaming shows, They can’t trust viewers word of mouth to advertise your new wares.

I suspect quite a few of the new streaming services will fail to make enough money to stay afloat. Disney says they will only charge $7/month for their new ABC/Disney streaming service, and they bought the last bits of Hulu they didn’t own from NBC, so they’ll have tons of content. And maybe they will, but I suspect that’s just a temporary low price, and after a few years, they’ll be raising that price up to $12-18/month, just like HBO, NBC and CBS plan. And they’ll charge even more if you want the content shown without TV commercials, just like Hulu does now.

My plan is to stick with Netflix and Amazon. Most of the content I watch these days is original content created for those platforms. We never signed up for CBS All Access. I doubt we’ll be convinced to pay CBS or NBC, just for the right to view the latest Law & Order: Timbuktu series, or NCIS: Rural Indiana.

I guess they could end stopping to offer good shows on broadcast TV, abandoning it for greener pastures, but live sports still is the biggest draw on Broadcast TV. Will they try to move all Sports Broadcasts to their isolated little walled gardens? Disney/ESPN does that now, and it still doesn’t get the paid audiences that ABC Broadcast channels do for NFL games. Maybe the NFL will stop licensing it’s content to anyone else, and force all viewers to watching NFL games only on the NFL streaming channel. That definitely increase viewers on that service, but would it be enough to make up for the tens of millions TV Broadcasters are paying right now?

“May we live in interesting times”, right?

Smartphones and fitness trackers used to gauge employee performance

Yet another scary reason NOT to carry a work supplied cell phone around.

​Ordinarily, when employers wish to assess the performance of employees, they have them fill out questionnaires or take part in interviews. A new (and perhaps somewhat Orwellian) system is claimed to be more objective and thus more accurate, however, by utilizing smartphones and fitness trackers.

Source: Smartphones and fitness trackers used to gauge employee performance

Republicans Don’t Understand Democrats—And Democrats Don’t Understand Republicans

should this surprise anyone? No, but maybe it will help us realize our own weaknesses. Neither conservatives or liberals are trying to destroy this country. It’s all a ruse to keep us apart.

A new study shows Americans have little understanding of their political adversaries—and education doesn’t help.

Source: Republicans Don’t Understand Democrats—And Democrats Don’t Understand Republicans

Choosing the Wrong Lane in the Race to 5G

The US seems to be making all the wrong choices when it comes to 5G networking, for all the wrong reasons. Also, I’m one of those who thinks it will be YEARS before you and I have useful 5G phones or anything else.

All you have to do is look at AT&T, who did the exact same thing with 5G as they did with 4G – lie to their customers and try to fool them into thinking they already have the new technology, when they don’t. It’s cheaper to lie than it is to roll out all that new technology all across this great nation. MUCH cheaper.

I worked in the Cell Phone industry for 10 years, and one thing I learned, is the companies are dependent upon the radio frequencies they are assigned. The first generation cell phones use relatively low frequencies, which carry less data, but travel further, and penetrate walls and buildings much better.

Your ancient analog cell phone, or even the 2G digital phones, would work fine inside shopping malls, or high rise buildings, whereas your 4G or 5G phone most likely would not, without assistance. Now the US wants to use extremely HIGH frequencies, which other nations around the globe aren’t. The higher the freqency, the shorter the maximum distance it can travel (at the same wattage signal), and the worse it can penetrate walls and buildings. 60 GHz signals won’t even pass through a glass door, much less work in your living room. Unless you install 60 GHz 5G transceivers in every room in your house, that is. This is not the promise the carriers are making to us, is it?

Opinion: The US should be focusing on building 5G networks with mid-band spectrum, because it will support faster, cheaper, and more ubiquitous deployment.

Source: Choosing the Wrong Lane in the Race to 5G | WIRED