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Posts Tagged ‘US’

Georgia Driving

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment
Many people think of American cars, and see the General Lee, the the Mustang from the Gone in 60 Seconds or Knight Rider’s KITT. Yet the real king of the US roads, certainly in this part of the US, is the pickup truck. If only people knew how to drive one…
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Categories: Idiocracy, Misc Tags: , ,

US Pirate Parties in the News

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment
Over the last week, the Pirate Party concept has had some nice airtime in the US, specifically in the states of Oklahoma and Oregon. The latter has even gone national, via CNN.

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Look Rush, We Struck Oil

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Almost 2 weeks ago, I showed an excerpt from a Rush Limbaugh show where he talked about how they can’t find any of the oil spilt. From a single source, he went on a tirade about how the spill was overblown.

At the the top of that show, he quotes from the New York times, and follows with a little commentary of his own.

“– that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.” I told you all this on day one and certainly the first week I pointed out this is light crude, it will evaporate quickly, that it will be dispersed.

Sorry Mr Expert, but it seems you were *shock horror* Wrong Again! Who woulda thunk it? Experts are saying that the oil is on the sea bed, and at toxic levels, clearly they’re not dittoheads
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Categories: Idiocracy, politics, Rant Tags: , , ,

Rush Limbaugh – 3 Lies in 2 Minutes or Your Money Back!

August 5, 2010 1 comment

I was stuck in the car yesterday, and decided to go flicking through the radio stations. One station (which I have preset as it’s my local station for the Braves) had on the Rush Limbaugh show. I’ve heard a lot about him but never actually listened to his station raw. After 2 minutes, I had to turn it off, as I was tired of all the lies and basic errors he was passing off as ‘fact’. The specific segment of the show was about the Deepwater Horizons incident, and oil. He’s really living up to his (unofficial) sales patter, of Lies for Dumb People.
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Categories: Analysis, Idiocracy Tags: , ,

Followup on “ARGH!!! Andrew the Moron.”

June 22, 2010 5 comments

Back in March, there was a consultation to be made on the Joint Strategic Plan on Copyright Enforcement. I wrote a very nice response for it, and then sent a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT one by accident (hence the topic). I noticed it 4 days later, and sent an email explaining, and giving the corrected version.

The  responses are now on the web, here.

My response is not there. Either one.  A bit disappointing really. Make that VERY disappointing. Read more…

ARGH!!! Andrew the Moron

March 29, 2010 4 comments

There are days when you just want to curl up into a ball. Today is one of them. I realised, when going to check back over things, that rather than the document I believed I had submitted as part of the PRO IP act consultation, I had actually submitted a copy of my comments to the US trade representative. I made the same mistake on my short piece about the submission.
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Copyright Consultation Document – US Gov

March 24, 2010 1 comment

The US Government, as part of the horrible ‘PRO-IP ACT’ had an open consultation on how it could deal with enforcement of copyright. The specifics are spelt out on the consultation document.

The US Pirate Party had an rough draft of a reply and a means to submit it, if people didn’t want to write their own response, but I don’t do that sort of thing. I prefer a much more detailed (and as always, last minute) response, to try and cover the main facts. Again, I ran out of time, and just got it sent at the deadline (which was some 20 minutes ago).

So, here is the finished response, all 5 pages of it. [PDF]

UPDATE – please read here

US Box Office Top10 from 1990-2009

March 11, 2010 5 comments

Some more data for my study, on box office figures. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read here first.

Here’s the top 10 US box office film income for the years 1990 to 2009. Some of the 09 films are still playing, so that year should be taken with a pinch of salt, but at the same time, they’ll only increase, not decrease.

Year US Top 10 Box Office Total Inflation corrected US top10 Box Office Total Estimated Attendance (US Top10)
1990 $1,281,989,774 $2,112,009,512.36 305,235,660.48
1991 $1,281,989,774 $2,025,260,306.48 304,510,635.15
1992 $1,448,348,483 $2,221,393,378.83 348,999,634.46
1993 $1,534,977,118 $2,287,596,301.04 370,767,419.81
1994 $1,662,675,764 $2,416,679,889.53 407,518,569.61
1995 $1,305,208,489 $1,843,514,814.97 300,047,928.51
1996 $1,651,225,305 $2,265,055,288.07 373,580,385.75
1997 $2,097,682,163 $2,815,680,755.70 457,011,364.49
1998 $1,616,043,282 $2,134,799,579.92 344,572,128.36
1999 $2,130,720,498 $2,752,868,860.47 421,091,007.51
2000 $2,198,250,308 $2,747,812,885.00 407,838,647.12
2001 $2,325,805,315 $2,826,008,888.21 411,646,958.41
2002 $2,527,882,447 $3,023,782,831.34 435,841,801.21
2003 $2,363,209,759 $2,763,988,022.22 391,908,749.42
2004 $2,674,069,989 $3,049,110,591.79 430,607,083.57
2005 $2,415,345,520 $2,663,004,983.46 376,808,973.48
2006 $2,294,855,211 $2,451,768,387.82 350,359,574.20
2007 $2,709,809,739 $2,813,924,962.62 393,867,694.62
2008 $2,530,421,837 $2,530,421,837.00 352,426,439.69
2009 $3,206,432,180 $3,229,035,428.00 427,524,290.67

I’m sure you’ll want to know where the number come from, and it’s easy enough to explain.

  • Year – pretty self explanatory.
  • US Top 10 Box Office Total – The box office figures for the top 10 films of that year are summed. Fairly simple, and a good estimation of the popularity of the ‘big’ films. The source, as always, is BoxofficeMojo
  • Inflation corrected US top10 Box Office Total – Harder to explain, but it’s the previous column, adjusted for inflation to 2008 dollars. This gives a direct comparison. I used the Consumer Price index conversion factor published by Oregon State University. The factors are available here (pdf)
  • Estimated Attendance (US Top10) – This was derived by taking the Combined box office figures (column 2) and dividing by the average yearly cinema ticket price. The average price is published by the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and can be found here.

Now, a bunch of figures is all very well, but what does it mean? To give an illustration, The figures were plotted onto a graph.

Box Office Figures (click to enlarge)

The blue line is Top 10 combined. The purple line is the inflation-adjusted Top 10, (and are run from the LEFT y-axis) and the red line is the estimated combined attendance (based from the RIGHT Y-axis). The dotted lines for each give you some indication of how the trend is going overall.

What you can see, is that while attendance for these top-10 films are generally moving up somewhat, the income from them is increasing quite substantially. In this case, it’s a combination of ticket prices increasing at greater than inflation, along with a small, but significant general increase in the attendance figures. Box office takings are increasing, and it’s something the MPAA is at the same time issuing press releases about, while at the same time claiming poverty and forgetting about these figures.

Attack of the Porn Show

March 8, 2010 2 comments

Back in September 2007, TorrentFreak ran a piece about the porn industry deciding to take on pirates. G4TV was interested, and contacted them to see if one of their writers would like to appear on their flagship program, Attack of the Show, to talk about it. All the writers for TorrentFreak, are Europe-based, and G4 is a US channel, though, and Attack of the Show is done Live (or thereabouts). So, on September 14th, I was asked if I’d take part, representing the US Pirate Party, and I said ‘yes’.

The segment filmed, and aired Monday, September 17th, so there was little time to prepare. I’ve not been a huge follower of the porn industry, or a downloader of porn, so I had to reach out to my contacts to find out more. I was lucky, in that one acquaintance of mine from a year or two earlier, was running two porn torrent sites, and forwarded me contact details for some of their admins.

Armed with all the prep, I was told that Crawford Communications would be awaiting me, and that I would be dealing with an Anh Tran as my opponent (try looking up that name when you just get it over the phone) so that was that. Crawford’s a lovely company though, very professional, especially Jim Baxter, who was my cameraman/producer. The only downside, was they didn’t actually get G4 on their cable system!. I couldn’t even see my opponent or the show, all I could do is hear it through a single earpiece. It also meant, I had no idea how delayed things were until after the show was done, and I got to watch it later that night.

I’m in Atlanta, they’re in San Fransisco. Ahn is on set or next door – there’s no delay for him. Theres roughly 1.5 seconds delay each way for me. Thanks to some snappy decisions by the Director, it’s not obvious, but it becomes so at the end, when I’m talking over someone – it’s not intentional, it’s just hard to tell.

Anyway, tell me what you think of it in the comments.

And since I can’t seem to get it embedded here, you’ll have to go to THIS PAGE to see it.

Why the US film Industry is Going Bankrupt.

March 1, 2010 4 comments

About 2 years ago, in the January of 08, I started a little project. It was to look at the box office figures put out by the film industry, and look how p2p had impacted them. I did some initial research, which looked at US box office figures for 1996-2007.

Then, in June 07, I published an initial summery of some of my findings, with the aim that I would try and have the full study finished by the end of July 08. That (obviously) didn’t happen. A mixture of real-life pressures, and ADD kept me from finishing it (plus work on the Pirate Party US/International).

Studies like this were the reason I stepped down from Pirate Parties International. It’s only recently, now that the US Pirate Party has a full board, that I can concentrate once more upon things. So, I’ve updated the box office figures, and included 2008 and 2009 as well as 1990-95 (although some of the 09 films are still showing, so shouldn’t be taken as ‘final’).

One thing I did notice when collecting the figures, were the figures for 2005. This is the year, let’s not forget, where Hollywood claimed to lose $6.1Billion, to “Piracy” (meaning ‘copyright infringement’)

The thing is that while the box office figures for the US were down a bit, they weren’t down by much, especially not when compared to the 90s (before ‘piracy’) What’s more, while they may have lost a claimed $6.1Billion worldwide (1.3Billion of that in the US); the top ten films, of the 547 or so released that year, took in over $5.7B worldwide (and $2.4B in the US).

They never mention their income in the same press release as their claimed losses, and now you know why. They also never include the costs of the films, and there’s another reason. The top 10 in 1990 cost around $316.5Million in 1990 dollars (521.5Million in 08 dollars), which included films like Ghost, Total Recall, and Due Hard 2.

2005′s top 10 films cost a whopping $1.307 BILLION to make by contrast ($1.441Billion in 08 dollars) – 2.7x more. In fact, only two of 2005′s films cost less to make than the most expensive film (in the 1990 top ten, Die Hard 2 ($70M in 1990, $104M in 05 dollars). Those were Wedding Crashers ($40M) and Madagascar ($75M)

When you want to look at a reason Hollywood, and the MPAA feel they’re losing money, it’s the budgets that should be looked at. People are still going, but it’s the expense that drives the profits down.

Many thanks to BoxofficeMojo for lots of lovely data to work with.

Part1 – US Box Office Top10 from 1990-2009

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