MUST WATCH TV : Recommended shows available on-demand this Week on Roku AMAZON PRIME!!!
The Roku is a streaming media device, perfect for people like myself who do not want to be enslaved to a cable company or satellite company, and locked into their (in many cases) 2 year plans.
Instead if you already have 3G or 4G broadband service, adding the Roku allows you to get streaming on-demand stations via that connection. For one low price for the hardware, and no monthly fee, With a quick setup the Roku wirelessly connects to your broadband connection and away you go.
And for those who don’t have a Roku, but would like one. I suggest the following two models:
Now to get the most out of your Roku, you’ll need to supplement your free Roku channels (some recommended ones being PBS, POPCORN FLIX, CRUNCHY ROLL, SMITHSONIAN, MIDNIGHT PULP and ON to name a few) with one of the paid services such as AMAZON PRIME or NETFLIX. You can get a year membership to either service for far less than a typical month of cable/satellite service.
Get your Amazon Prime service here:
And finally supplement your on-demand, Roku service with a quality Digital antenna to bring in the free over the air channels:
With this one, two, three punch your up front cost is more, but you’ll actually save over the cost of a year, in getting tons of content with a miniscule monthly fee when compared to cable. And the great part is you are not locked into an onerous contract as with a cable company.
Try it yourself today!!
UPDATE: Having received this one I have to update this post. It does not live up to expectations. First the pics are quite a bit larger than the actual item that feels tiny and insubstantial. And possibly I got a used, defective one but I didn’t see the solar part at all.
I figured you’d open it up and light would hit it and the hands would start rotating, and there would be a cool way to set it. Right?! I mean proper Steam Punk! Nope.
It’s just a dinky watch, with a normal battery that supposedly gets solar charged, and has a frustrating method for setting the time, and is even more frustrating trying to read the time.
A curio for its looks, but functionally it’s… hmm how do I say this nicely… not worth the money. At $10 or under it might be a cute thing to display, but as a functional watch it’s a bust.
Now possibly I got a bad one, as it has some decent reviews at the link below. But I can only go by my experience. And my experience… not good. I’m sending mine back for a refund. So DEAL OF THE DAY… retracted.
I don’t wear wrist watches. I never picked up the habit, and working with electricity it’s just one less thing I had to remove, so I got used to not wearing a wrist watch.
However pocket watches, or what the British call fob watches (fob, because that’s the name of the small pocket on vests, where the watch was meant to go) I simply cannot get enough of.
A great pocket watch is just a strong buy for me, and an especially unusual and finely crafted one… just a must have.
Enter today’s DEAL OF THE DAY:
Solar Powered Turbine Fob Watch
You can view the item here:
‘Nasty things [Orchids]! Their flesh is too much like the flesh of men, and their perfume has the rotten sweetness of corruption.’
— 1946′s THE BIG SLEEP
“When one tries to rise above Nature one’s liable to fall below it.”
— Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes in Robin Chapman’s THE CREEPING MAN
Like most people I like lists. As a writer, perhaps more than most.
Hence with everyone tossing out their best of 2011 lists I thought I would compile my own rather eclectic list. But this being a best and worst list, if you will. The main thing to note about my favorite and least favorite things of 2011, are that they are largely things made in previous years and I discovered in 2011. But that said there are some actual 2011 produced items.
Okay, onto the list:
My Best and Worst DVDs of 2011 (Best meaning I enjoy it and I’m glad I bought it, and worst meaning I disliked it, and it was a waste of money):
Day Break: The Complete Series – Taye Diggs – Dvd Set- One of the first DVD sets I purchased in 2011, and a year later still one of the best shows I saw all year. Not just one of my top ten of 2011, but one of my top ten of all time. I love this show. Have bought it as presents, and everyone I buy it for loves it. Just one of the best shows I’ve seen in years! Essential DVD. There are two versions however, make sure you get the 4 DVD BCI set, and not the poorly compressed 2 DVD set being put out by moneygrubbing scumbags like Navarre and MillCreek, it’s a crime how awful their version looks. Unfortunately the 4 DVD set appears to be super hard to find since BCI went out of business. Versions of it are not even on Amazon. This is a gorgeous looking series and deserves to be on Bluray.
The Hire BMW Films Clive Owen – BMWFilms.com Presents The Hire
Doctor Who – The Complete Third Series- This was the series at its best. The current, Matt Smith, Doctor is okay, but his companions of Amy and Rory are unwatchable. Just nail on chalkboard annoying. Very bad writing throughout, so re-watching the third season keeps me happy until Dr. Who gets good again. – Doctor Who: The Complete Third Series
Detective Story (DVD)
Takashi Miike, Media Blasters -Detective Story
The Prowler (DVD)
Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell, Katherine Warren, Emerson Treacy, Joseph Losey, VCI ENTERTAINMENT -The Prowler
Chaos Starring Jason Statham, Wesley Snipes, Ryan Phillippe, et al. (2008)
Let Me In (DVD)
Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Kodi-Smit McPhee, Matt Reeves, TCFHE/ANCHOR BAY/STARZ
Black Dynamite (DVD)
Michael Jai White, Scott Sanders – Black Dynamite [Blu-ray]
The Confessional: House of Mortal Sin (DVD)
The Confessional: House of Mortal Sin
Footprints on the Moon ( Le orme ) ( Primal Impulse ) [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import - United Kingdom ] (DVD)
Florinda Bolkan, Klaus Kinski, Ida Galli,
David Brandon, Barbara Cupisti, Robert Gligorov, Martin Philips, Michele Soavi
Undisputed II – Last Man Standing (DVD)
Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins (II), Ben Cross – Undisputed II – Last Man Standing
Rififi – Criterion Collection (DVD) – Rififi (The Criterion Collection)
Darkness (Unrated Version) (DVD)
Anna Paquin, Lena Olin, Iain Glen- The ending is a mess, but there’s enough good in this film, that’s it’s a keeper and I see myself rewatching
The Girl By the Lake (Sub) (DVD)
Toni Servillo, Valeria Golino,
The Russian Specialist (DVD)
Dolph Lundgren – The Russian Specialist
Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen – Sauna
The Killing Machine (DVD)
The Tournament (DVD)
Robert Carlyle, Kelly Hu
Mickey Hargitay, Rita Calderoni- US language version is surprisingly far superior to the Italian version, and the US dub, better acted, and just a longer, better cut of the film. – Delirium
From Within (DVD)
Steven Culp, Adam Goldberg
Fangoria Frightfest Presents – Fragile (DVD)
Calista Flockhart, Elena Anaya
Belly of the Beast (DVD)
Steven Seagal, Byron Mann, Monica Lo
Paulo Costanzo, Shea Whigham – Splinter
Fred Williamson, D’Urville Martin – Boss
Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye (DVD)
Jane Birkin, Boschetti, Bruno – Seven Deaths in the Cat’s Eye
British Horror Quadruple Feature (Frightmare / House of Whipcord / The Flesh & Blood Show / Die Screaming Marianne) (DVD)
Penny Irving, Pete Walker – British Horror Quadruple Feature (Frightmare / House of Whipcord / The Flesh & Blood Show / Die Screaming Marianne)
The Nameless (DVD)
Emma Vilarasau, Karra Elejalde, TristÃ¡n Ulloa, Toni Sevilla, Brendan Price, Jordi Dauder, NÃºria Cano, Isabel Ampudia, Carles Punyet, Aleix PuiggalÃ, Susana GarcÃa DÃez, Pep Tosar, Xavi GimÃ©nez, Jaume BalaguerÃ-
A great begining, stylish film, but like most Balaguera films falls apart at the end, becoming just inane
Watchmen (Director’s Cut + BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (DVD)
Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Malin Akerma- Don’t be fooled by the 9 million other versions, this is the version to have. And one of the few Blurays I think enough of to own. –
Tombstone – The Director’s Cut (Vista Series) (DVD)
Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer- This is the version to have, with excellent commentary – Watchmen (Director’s Cut + BD-Live) [Blu-ray]
Manhunter (Restored Director’s Cut Divimax Edition) (DVD)
William Petersen, Kim Greist- This is the version to have with excellent commentary – Manhunter (Restored Director’s Cut Divimax Edition)
Secret Agent AKA Danger Man: The Complete Collection (SLIMLINE) (DVD)
Patrick McGoohan- One of my top ten DVDs of the year – Secret Agent AKA Danger Man: The Complete Collection (Slimline Packaging)
Johnny Staccato starring John Cassavetes – 3 DVD Box Set! (DVD)
John Cassavetes – Johnny Staccato starring John Cassavetes – 3 DVD Box Set!
Farscape: The Complete Series (DVD)
Ben Browder, Claudia Black- One of my top ten DVDs of the year, The Bluray is not worth paying more for. Video Improvement by all reports is negligible.- Farscape: The Complete Series
Brotherhood of the Wolf (3 Disc Collectors Edition) (DVD)
Samuel Le Bihan, Vincent Cassel- This is the version to get! – Brotherhood of the Wolf (3 Disc Collectors Edition)
Robin of Sherwood: Set Two (DVD)
Kings – The Complete Series (DVD)
Ian McShane, Christopher Egan – Kings – The Complete Series
Justified: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Timothy Olyphant- Talk about overrated. Was bored by the whole season
Alexander the Great (DVD)
Richard Burton, Fredric March- Not a bad film, but ultimately pretty forgettable
The Philanthropist: The Complete Series (DVD)
James Purefoy- Lasted only seven episodes it’s one of my favorite television shows. Just brilliant – The Philanthropist: The Complete Series
The Well (DVD)
Richard Rober, Gwendolyn Laster
The World, the Flesh and the Devil (DVD)
Belafonte, Inger Stevens – The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Dead Man’s Shoes (DVD)
Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch
The Dark Hours (DVD)
Kate Greenhouse, Aidan Devine
Sam Peckinpah’s Legendary Westerns Collection (The Wild Bunch / Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid / Ride the High Country / The Ballad of Cable Hogue) (DVD)
Sam Peckinpah- One of my best deals of 2011. 4 Peckinpah movies, full versions with commentaries for under $15! – Sam Peckinpah’s Legendary Westerns Collection (The Wild Bunch / Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid / Ride the High Country / The Ballad of Cable Hogue)
Essie Davis, Sean Harris, Marcel Iures, Crispin Letts- This started out great but lost its way
Community: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Joel McHale, Chevy Chase- Had 2 great episodes, the others just annoyed me
Dexter: The First Season (DVD)
Michael C. Hall, Erik King- CSI meets Hannibal Leckter. Just find the main character/premise not something I want to root for support, plus find the supporting characters annoying as hell
Breaking Bad – The Complete First Season (DVD)
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul- Rarely does a show live up to its hype. Wow, was that good – Breaking Bad – The Complete First Season
Kidnapped – The Complete Series (DVD)
Jeremy Sisto, Timothy Hutton- Another brilliant show, unfairly cut short. Just when you think its losing its way in the middle, wraps up with a powerhouse couple of episodes. Plus it stars Delroy Lindo. The only reason I picked it up actually, and he’s great. Wish the DVD had commentaries, but that aside is just a must watch and must own series – Kidnapped – The Complete Series
Well that’s it for my best and worst DVDs of 2011. If intrigued by any of my recommendations please use the links as purchases through them help to fund and keep this blog going. Thanks and enjoy!
I haven’t seen this movie, but man that’s a fantastic poster. And add that to surprisingly decent reviews for what amounts to an exploitation flick, and that it’s directed by Terence Young of James Bond/DR. NO/FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE fame, and the fact you can pick up the DVD cheap, and yeah I think I’ll be adding the DVD to my shopping list (I already have the poster, it’s pretty large at 2ft by 3ft, and looks even more awesome in person).
15 April 2012: This is today’s CLASSIC POST!!
A tablet is a form factor/hybrid still very much in search of a purpose.
The IPAD has inexplicably become all the rage, but recent studies show the number one thing people do with the IPAD is play a game called Angry Birds, followed by email, followed by web browsing.
At $500 that’s a lot to pay for what amounts to a crippled laptop. I mean, you spend your money how you want to spend your money, but for me $500 for a tablet, with the limitations current tablets have, doesn’t make sense. Tablet’s currently being something that is neither quite as portable as a phone or as useful and powerful as a laptop, but some bastardized form in search of a function.
The form factor of a tablet lends itself to one attractive purpose, wherein it does something better than either a phone or a laptop, as an ebook reader. With the dimensions generally of a book, the tablet format lends itself to easy reading on the couch or in coach or business class while traveling.
The ability to easily read books or magazines or comics, when carrying multiple real books would not be as convenient is a real selling point. As a traveler I can appreciate this purpose, and niche, that the tablet format can fill better than squinting at a tiny phone screen, or lugging around a laptop.
So at its heart the central selling feature of the tablet format, 7″-10″ screen, is easy, book like reading. That said a tablet is not an ebook. A true ebook uses eink, and while monochrome is supposedly easier reading than the LCD format (The eye strain argument. I’ve worked on both, and for myself find the difference negligible. I’m used to LCD screens, and just adjust the brightness to a comfortable range, and for me what you gain in color, offsets whatever you may lose in sharpness with eink), and is far better on power usage, lasting weeks on a single charge as opposed to hours for a LCD screen.
So if you just want an Ebook reader, you can get decent ones between $80 to $250. Generally speaking the big thing to look for regarding ebooks is does it play epub files (which is the standard and pretty awesome format used by libraries and bookstores, as well as free online repositories etc), pdfs (which we’re all familiar with, and many magazines come as), and text (which again is supported by many free sites).
So when looking at Ebooks such as the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, the Kindle by virtue of being the defacto standard of the world’s largest book and shopping site, gives it a massive edge just in terms of prevalence and ease of adopt-ability. Add to that Amazon having the lowest price, and all things being equal why would you not buy the Kindle?
Well here’s the problem, and here is where Amazon for me, shoots themselves in the foot. All things are not equal. Amazon did not trust themselves to create a quality ereader, and didn’t trust you the consumer enough to give you choice. A common problem with business in the 21st century, they don’t want to earn your business, they want to own your business, they want to enslave you. What do I mean by this? Amazon decides to not support on their Kindle Ereader the defacto standard of Epub, and instead creates a new proprietary format, AZW.
You’re already inclined to buy the effing electronic book from Amazon, that should have been win enough for them, but no, they basically want you to buy the book and read it on their device. It’s like me buying a book from a physical store, and then the cashier telling me you can only read the book in the store.
If I have a hundred ebook readers, consider them different rooms in my house, I should be able to read my ebook I bought from Amazon in any damn room I feel like. The purpose of a locked down AZW ebook format is to keep you from having digitally, the same rights you have in the real, physical world.
That’s the problem corporations have in the 21st century, they want a certainty on your actions, that they never had previously, and to do this they are willing to criminalize anything they cannot control, and for me I don’t respond well to you trying to own me. You don’t get to be sure, you get to make a product, you get to sell a product, and you get paid for a product, and you get to deal with wrong doing if it happens, but you don’t get to treat me like a criminal before a crime, which is what all these companies, movies, music, media conglomerates are doing.
You have customers you treat em with respect. And if it turns out a customer bought your book and is running off a printing press in his basement and is selling copies, you prosecute him. What you don’t do is treat all your customers like criminals, because of the one criminal you may have to deal with.
That’s the 21st century mindset between devices like the Kindle, that I was all for buying, $90 Ereader?? Cool? Wait, I can’t read Epubs on it? Wait I can’t transfer easily AZW files to other devices? Wait so I’m paying you $90 for a reader, that is basically a jail cell for books I buy from you but don’t really own, and that are locked down with DRM? I’m paying you like $90 to treat me like a criminal in other words? And Kindle Fire is just as crappy and locked down.
Well to that I say, eff you very much Amazon. I’ll stick to just getting real books from you, get my ebooks somewhere else, and look for an Ereader that will let me play my purchased or free ebooks as I see fit. So to the Amazon VP who brainstormed their Kindle/lock-down/AZW/slap customers in the face policy…
You’re making money, but you could have made more, if you feared less.
or in other words…
Shove the Kindle where the sun don’t shine and set it on fire.
Why don’t I tell you how I really feel?
And this comes from someone who does business with Amazon and likes buying print books from them. But ebooks? No I’m not doing their DRM nonsense.
Anyhow, so once that decision was made regarding the cheap Kindle not being for me, I decided if I was going to pay anywhere near $200 for something to read ebooks, then I should get something that would handle all my reading needs. Including comics, magazines.
So that meant color, and that meant LCD screens, and that meant Tablets.
Now I knew looking at tablets, specifically the Ipad, that there was no way on earth this was something I was going to pay anywhere near $500 for. $500 for what amounted to a stopgap technology, a glorified ereader, or a crippled laptop if you will. And researching Tablets I saw Apple Ipad was infected with the same disease/mentality as Amazon’s Kindle in essence it’s designed to treat you like a criminal before crime.
What do I mean? No USB ports. No HDMI ports, No SD support. Things have to be transferred to and from the Ipad via the Matrix GateKeepers of Itunes. Cloud Computing in other words. Cloud Computing is the 21st century re-purposing of the 20th century thin client/server model, but pushed from corporate America to the masses.
In a word… Cloud Computing sucks! Cloud Computing is you trusting your information to companies that don’t trust you.
How on earth does that make sense to you?
Cloud Computing is the move to eradicate the hard-drive for the individual, the idea of private storage. Eff that! I’ll hold onto my hard-drive.
It’s that level of utter control of everything you do with the device, this Draconian iron fist, that I’m just not effing having. I’m just not going to 1/ to be treated that way and 2/for what amounts to a severely crippled device. And I’m definitely not paying anything over $250 for a bloody tablet.
And at $250, at $200, at $150, at $100, I still wouldn’t pay for the effing Ipad. No USB, no HDMI, no SD support, beautiful screen or no, it’s a paper weight to me without those ports.
And Apple’s tendency to treat customers either like children or criminals extends to their corporate mentality. Morally the company is doing some really immoral stuff in regards to software patents and stifling innovation. If Apple has its way there will be no alternative to Apple’s high-priced crippled devices. So people should really think twice before supporting them, because they definitely don’t have supporting you… in mind.
So what would I buy in tablets? I’m liking the Android tablets, and I think the Toshiba Thrive and Asus Transformer, are great Ipad killers. Offering all the useful things the Ipad doesn’t.
Unfortunately while not as expensive as the over-priced crap that is the Ipad, they are still expensive and above my $250 Tablet limit. However going used I can get an Ipad Killer, that meets all my needs and then some, chief among them, bringing it all home, ebook reading.
So my choice for the recommended Tablet this holiday season?
From France the feature rich ARCHOS 101 10.1″ Tablet. And while the latest version is generation 9, and generation 10 is on the horizon, generation 8 which you can get used blows away any Ipad in terms of versatility and usability. Now, it doesn’t offer 3G, but Wi-fi is all I need. Plus if you do need anywhere support you can always tether to your smartphone or use your USB aircard with a cradlepoint. All cheap, easy alternatives to spending hundreds more just to get a built in 3G/4G connection.
All in all, by the time I’ve done the learning curve, and outgrown (if I do) this Archos 101 G8. the used Thrive or the used Achos G10 will be available in my price range of $250. A lot of people buy above what they’ll use, and by the time they master it the next new thing is out, that’s why it saves to not be an early adopter.
If more people did this, ignoring or waiting for prices to drop, manufacturers would be forced to stop this overpricing of tablets.
So that’s it kids, a month or so of research distilled to my choice of the best buy for a tablet this holiday season.
Here’s one link:
With a little searching you can pick up an Archos 101 16GB G8 for under $200. And out the box it comes with the Alkido Ereader installed. One of the selling points for me, along with tons of other reasons, including the built in stand.
Well that’s it folks.
Okay so the holidays are right around the corner, and no doubt you’re looking for great gift ideas to give the loved and liked ones in your life, as well as to give yourself.
So without further ado today’s recommended, the-artist-among-you-would-love, item, is REBUS by James Jean.
REBUS, his newest, latest, and arguably most comprehensive art book, is a sumptuous tome. It had me at the red gilded pages, and sewn binding. Take a gander.
Just released the book is already almost out of print. But check the link below for any available copies, or news of a new printing.