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The ''buy or steal'' debate resurfaces...

Over at Chizumatic Steven has brought up the fansub debate once again.
In a nutshell, he hates 'em. In the past it was 'because of the long lead time between Japanese and US releases we fansubbers are providing a service by bringing a title to US fans long before they could get it legitimately' (occasionally it's the only way a title becomes available at all).
Supposedly when a title does 'go legit' it disappears from 'the fansub community'.
But the truth is once a title appears on Bittorent, forget it, it's pretty much there forever. If you want to verify that for yourself just punch the name of a popular series into the search box of a torrent tracker. Chances are you'll find an active share (or several).
The only thing that stops it is torrent death (no one seeding a whole copy for an extended period of time). In other words it reaches the saturation point among the pirates.
Now I can't call myself 'mr. pure' here, because while review sites are helpful, the reviewer's tastes may not be mine (and vice-versa). Usually I DL a series (or an ep or two), watch about 10 minutes of the first episode and base my decision to buy (or not) from there. If I luck out and find a sample on Ifilm or YouTube I'll preview it there and not even bother to DL it.
As a rule of thumb if I were to place an order for DVDs and launch a torrent for the same thing most likely the delivery of the DVDs will happen before the torrent finishes.
It's also likely the reason that things have become rather stagnant in Anime lately, the studios are puzzled as what to do next.
IMHO they've grossly overpriced their (Japanese) home market. That's why if they attempt simultaneous Japan/US release at similar prices the US market will likely reject it.
As Robert notes; ''The business practices at work here taken as a whole are sound, yet terribly flawed.'' and I agree. The Japanese studios have painted themselves into a corner here, if they were to adopt the US movie industry model (domestic release first, worldwide distribution in relatively short order at approximately the same price) they would have to cut the domestic price to the US market price. Becuase typically they make a single episode to pitch the project based on the potential revenues first on Japanese TV then Japanese DVD sales (premium price) then international (discounted price) DVD sales the whole budget structure changes dramatically. Stuff that would get 'green-lighted' under the current structure might not under an international DVD release/pricing structure.
Another issue is culture clash. Usually a minor issue, there are times when it can be a significant problem. By adopting an 'international' distribution model Anime would have to be tailored to be acceptable to a worldwide audience.
A prime example is Kiddy Grade, if the studio had thought of the non-Japanese market it would have either not been made at all or it would have been made with Eclair as an adult character. Mind you, that would not have not been much of an improvement. It would have still been a stupid story poorly told.
I've already proven that Popotan had to be 'edited for international distribution' (to avoid running afoul of laws outside of Japan). How this would change Anime I cannot speculate.
From Steven's post:
So what are the choices for the studios? Let's look at them:

1. Release DVDs close to simultaneously in Japan and North America. The problem is that this will undercut the Japanese business, because Japanese fans will start importing region 1 DVDs, paying $10 per episode instead of more than $25. Or if they try to charge Americans something like what they currently charge in Japan, titles will flop. No one here is going to pay $50 for a 2-episode DVD. (Bandai is about to prove that.)

2. Release DVDs in North America after a long delay. But as the fansubbers get more efficient and the fansubbing processing and distribution bandwidth grows fatter and fatter, there's a real concern that by the time DVDs are released here a large percentage of the potential customer base will already have the show and won't buy.

3. Kiss off the North American market entirely. But they can't do that; it's already worth too much for them, even with the problems.
I hate to say it but I think #3 is the more likely scenario. The Japanese studios will cater to their domestic market and any sales internationally are merely 'icing on the cake'.
Steven says ''But they can't do that'', I say ''that's pretty much what they ARE doing, like it or not!''. It's a facet of Japanese culture, if they can market their products internationally they will. Note the fact you can now buy Pocky at Wal-Mart (I can). The truth is Japan is a very insular culture that deals with the rest of the world on it's own terms. Always has.
The concept of a professional baseball game ending with a tied score is 'foreign' to Americans. Even when nightfall (the Chicago Cubs before lights were installed) or weather intervened the game would be resumed at a later time.
In Japanese pro ball regular season games that are tied at the end of the 9th inning (or are called off due to weather) END TIED. They deal with the rest of the world on their own terms.
I RESPECT THAT...

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posted by YIH @ 11:17 PM on Sunday, June 17, 2007
                      

Yeah, I know...

I have no problem saying Pokemon the cartoon sucks. Nor do I care about the card game.
That said I can't say I hate Pokemon completely, I love the GameBoy RPG's.
I've played 'em all from Red/Blue/Yellow to the newest release; Diamond/Pearl.
My opinion so far, better (non-battle) graphics than Ruby/Sapphire. I also like the REintroduction of 'real-time'. GameBoy Color has a real-time clock, something that Nintendo decided they didn't need to include in GameBoy Advance.
So far all I've done is set up my avatar and established my default pokemon. I was hoping the first battle would be slightly challenging, but not is the case. A few attacks and it's over. I can understand making the first battle easy, BUT THAT WAS BRAINDEAD!!!
Now to go catch some pokemon to set up a starter team...

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posted by YIH @ 8:00 AM on Saturday, June 16, 2007
                      

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends...

Remember ''The NEW browser wars'' (IE 7 vs. Firefox 2.0 vs. Opera 9.2)?
Well, The Ipod Company now officially has a dog in this fight. Safari 3.0 Beta for windoze XP/Vista.
Just DL'd it. At the next reboot I'll install it.
UPDATE: Installed and given a qwik once over. It's beta for sure, can't set a homepage (it defaults to apple.com) doesn't block popups/popunders and has rendering issues.
It ignores css width settings so it thinks this blog is 'wider' that it actually is. Only a minor demerit. I should be able to fix it when I have time to. The Ipod Company touts the speed in page rendering compared to IE or Firefox and that's true, it renders pages faster than either IE or Firefox.
I took note that The Ipod Company did not compare Safari to Opera. Nor should they, Opera is better at both page rendering and speed compared to Safari.
I do give The Ipod Company credit for not forcing iTunes or Quicktime on me in order to try out Safari. Perhaps The Ipod Company has learned its lesson.
More Here...

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posted by YIH @ 2:32 AM on Tuesday, June 12, 2007
                      

OK, this is creepy...


What is this? A video display designed to be placed within 1 inch of the surface of the human eye.
It's supposed to simulate a 30 inch display at 3 meters (roughly 7 ft.).
I have no way to test it myself so I don't know if it works as claimed.
Assuming it does, this is actually not a good thing. I can picture someone using this behind the wheel.
Watching, say, last night's episode of ''24'' on the commute to work for example. If you think driving and talking on the phone is a problem, just wait.
Yes, your computer can deal with multiple things at once (multitasking) but the human mind doesn't work that way. It focuses on a main task and gives the rest short shrift.
That's fine if you ignore the radio to focus on driving. It's dangerous to focus on the phone (or TV show) and ignore driving...

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posted by YIH @ 2:09 PM on Sunday, June 10, 2007
                      

Proof of the coming Apocolypse...

Did you know that ''Tamagotchi The Movie'' is coming just in time for Christmas '07? Me neither.
Can't say I'm surprised, Pokemon, that god-awful cartoon (calling it Anime is an insult to even really bad Anime) was turned into several feature-length films.
And NO, I've never seen any of them, nor would I want to.

How Tamagochi will be turned into anything even remotely watchable as a movie I cannot fathom...

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posted by YIH @ 12:29 PM on Saturday, June 2, 2007
                      

''We are not amused''...

Just when you thought so-called ''performance art'' could get much stranger along comes someone to prove you wrong:
Artist eats corgi in royal fox protest stunt
And the guy is British! Did he go to a Chinese restraunt for the recipe?
Money quote time:
McGowan said the dog, which died at a breeding farm, tasted "really, really disgusting," and added that [Yoko] Ono "looked a bit strange" as she also tasted the dog.
Dude, she's always looked a bit strange. But it's her concept of ''music'' that's ''really, really disgusting''...

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posted by YIH @ 12:57 AM on Thursday, May 31, 2007
                      

Like we don't have enough problems...

Popped over to The Register to see what's up lately and found this: Florida battles rats the size of cats. Talking about Gambian Pouched Rats. They were imported to be sold as pets.
NIIIIICE, Like we don't have enough rats here already! Uncle Sam did get off his duff and banned further importation of them thankfully! (did I mention they spread monkeypox?)
Not seen any here, they're down in The Keys (so far). But like the walking catfish, trust me, they'll spread. BTW, walking catfish ARE here, and yes, they CAN breathe air. So it's not enough to merely catch them to kill 'em you have to snuff them after you land 'em! (and they don't taste any different than any other wild catfish)
Figured I'd better know what they look like when they start showing up here:

They're big ugly suckers aren't they? So what will I do when they start showing up here? Same as any other rat, pop a clip of ratshot into the 'ol .22 and pop 'em of course.
Then I clicked on the Comments link in the article and saw some rather interesting ones.
Like this:
dinner-based solution to rat problem...
By Gerald
Posted Friday 25th May 2007 15:10 GMT

Curious, I googled for a picture of one of these rats - one of the first pictures was this one:

http://www.grist.org/etc/gristlist/2007/01/12/cuy-asado_180.jpg

yum! and a leg for everyone at Christmas...

Gerald Morgan

MD

ReadyPeople IT Recruitment

(having some rare Friday-PM downtime!)
Probably tastes like squirrel, tough and gamey.
And found some rather unsettling ones like this:
Moral dilemma
By Mike Richards
Posted Friday 25th May 2007 15:29 GMT

We can only save one - but which one? Giant plague-ridden marsupial rats from Gambia (a story for which the world is not yet prepared) or the bug-infested, torrid, swampy, banana republic known as Florida?

Nuke it from orbit - it's the only way to be sure.
HA, HA, HA, very funny dude. Tell me, where does the UK launch IT'S spacecraft from?
Ooooh sorry, I forgot. The UK doesn't do that sort of thing. But that's OK, we do.
And this one:
But Then Again!
By heystoopid
Posted Saturday 26th May 2007 08:33 GMT

But then again ! , it's only Florida , and who gives a rats breakfast about them weirdo's that live there!

But when global warming finally kicks in , the conveyer belt dies and the seas rise seven metres or so , end of problem! , as most of what is Florida today will be under water!

As Nelson would say Ha! Ha!
The poster's name 'heystoopid' and his spelling of 'weirdo's' says it all.
UPDATE: http://www.theregister.co.uk/ hails from Britain and does like to bash FL whenever it can. But guess who's eagerly buying real estate here?
I guess Paul Revere was right...

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posted by YIH @ 6:01 AM on Saturday, May 26, 2007