Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why There Is No Hulu In Canada

Bookmark and Share
One sign of how far the world wide web has revolutionized our lives in just 20 years is the popularity of A joint venture between Fox and NBC where these old media TV networks put shows online. For those who forget to record favorite TV shows can watch online. As popular as hulu is with American web surfers, it's only available to Americans.

Despite demand from Canadians, those in charge of still will not make their service available North of 49th. Many of the shows produced by NBC and Fox that are carried on Hulu are also carried on Canadian networks, those Canadian networks also bought up the Canadian online distribution rights to these shows. Global TV makes some shows available to be watched online only the most recent episodes are available. Global doesn't have an archive of eposodes that Hulu does have.

CTV one the other hand has made absolutely no effort to provide online access to the shows they carry. BitTorrent is the only option for Canadians who need online access to shows they carry. CTV may carry a lot of programming from ABC and CBS who have been sluggish on putting TV shows online.

Internet Service Providers claim that putting Network TV online stresses their networks, but it should be known that Bell Canada one of Canada's largest ISP's is a minority stakeholder in CTV Globemedia.

Hulu is an excellent example of how copyright holders putting legitimate access to content gives a better alternative to piracy. I say that Global and CTV should let the American parent networks take care of the online content distribution so that Hulu can be made available to Canadians. Maybe CTV and Global can work together just like NBC and Fox work together. Could that work, given the mindset of Canadian broadcasting executives, maybe not. has already been registred by a domain squatter.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Proposed New Zealand Copyright Reform Killed

Bookmark and Share
Proposed changes to copyright law in New Zealand that could have seen people get knocked offline if they were suspected of using peer to peer networks has been officially killed. The proposed change was withdrawn because negotiations between motion picture and recoding industries and Internet service providers failed to come up with an implementation plan. TelestrClear, one of the largest ISP, in Kiwi-Land stated from the onset that they were not going to sign on

Major corporations had also express concern that entire corporations would have Internet service cut off because of the actions of one employee. Concerns were even expressed from the public sector especially from the education sector concerned that if students try downloading songs or movies then the entire school would be disconnected from the Internet. This attempt at "reforming" copyright ignited public outrage due to the fact that the motion picture and recording companies didn't need proof, those who were suspected of violating copyright could have got their Internet service cut off.

This has to be one of the biggest knee jerk attempts to protect the interests of the entertainment industry. There are others around the world that are going to be debated and some will become law. There may be a need to modernize copyright laws that were passed in the days when the publishing industry tried to get photocopiers banned from public libraries. Heavy handed approaches won't work.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Could Apple Be The Next Powerhouse in the Gaming Industry?

Bookmark and Share
In the thirty or so years that the personal computer industry gaming companies haven't exactly flocked to Macintosh platform opting instead for the masses of PC users. It has only been after the introduction of the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch that there is more development of game software for Apple hardware than ever before.

According to a CNET report Apple has filed for a patent for a motion sensitive remote control for a future Apple TV that would work much like the Nintendo's Wii Remote. In the patent filing the Apple TV would have access to the Apple iTunes App store. Apple may not be anything that could directly take on the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 yet, but the potential is there to have Games that would work on portable platform (iPhone/iPod Touch) a console platform (Apple TV) and a computer platform (OS/X based Macs). While currently PC gamers insist that PC's are superior to Consoles and console gamers debate the other side, Apple unifies the gaming world.

If this is from the mind of Steve Jobs, then it would come from little surprise to many Apple fans, but if this is from the post Jobs brain trust currently temporarly running Apple then maybe the post Jobs era will be as good as it's ever been

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New iPod Shuffle Means New Trouble For Buyers

Bookmark and Share
Apple has just made their first product announcement in the Steve Jobs isn't sick, we don't do trade shows era. Apple has announced a new 4GB iPod shuffle to replace the 2 GB model. The new shuffle won't look like shuffles as they've been since their initial introduction. The control buttons are not on the iPod itself, but on the cable for the iconic white earbuds.

This of course means that the only replacement earphones that will work with the new shuffle that Apple makes for the new shuffle. This sends a bad signal to all those companies that make accessories for iPods.

Then there is the decision to dump the 2GB shuffle instead of the 1GB model. Although I can personally testify that most iPod Shuffle purchases are the 1 GB model, I'm sure that Apple wouldn't want to tick off anybody who purchased a 1GB iPod shuffle by discontinuing it and making the 2GB the new entry level. 1 GB music players are pretty long in the tooth even the cheapest MP3 players are starting at 2 GB. If this is what Apple product launches are going to be like in the post Steve Jobs era, don't expect anything insanely great to come in the near future.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bell Buys 'The Source' With A Good Reason

Bookmark and Share
The recent announcement from Bell Canada would be buying retail electronics chain 'The Source' from the now defunct Circuit City for a price that has not been disclosed, has many speculating that it has more to do than selling Bell services but more like quashing the competition. Currently The Source sells Rogers cell phone service and digital cable boxes as well as StarChoice satellite TV systems.

This approach may work well East of Lake of the Woods but for those areas in Western Canada where there is no Bell Mobility cell phone service, what if any cell phone service will available at the Source? It would be a very cold day in you-know-where when a Bell owned 'The Source' stores sells Telus Mobility service. It would most likely that service for cell phones sold at 'The Source' would be provided by half owned by Bell, Virgin Mobile.

There isn't too many acquisitions in the corporate world that happen without some kind of hidden motive, and this just happens to be one of them simply because Bell's motive is anything but hidden.

Blog Archive