Wow this year has been flying and busy…so I did not have a lot of time to reflect on 2018. So I wanted to say a few words before we get out of the 1st quarter of 2019.
What a year.
Politics, war, human and civil rights conflicts. Losses both subtle and staggering. And also great achievements to balance out the bloody churning of the 24 hour news cycle.
Other places have spoken on those serious points of 2018.
I wanted to speak on mostly light, trivial, personal minutiae that for what ever reason reverberated with me. And may just reverberate with those of you who visit me.
2018 was, despite the unsteady global outlook, personally for me… a good year.
Those I hold dear were well.
And that for me is the main measure of a good year.
So onto the minutiae:
- I spent time in Connecticut in 2018, and absolutely loved it. New London, Mohegan Sun, Terrificon 2018. Just a fantastic trip with my better half. So enjoyed the trip so much, that we will be doing it again in 2019. If you are into Comic Book movies, and more importantly classic comic books, from the great Silver and Bronze Age, and their creators, this is the con for you. If you are with family that has only minimal interests in Comics, this Con is definitely for you, because it is held in a stunning Casino, so it is great shopping,, with great food. And the surrounding area is filled with great things to do with your family, from great small town window shopping, to cruises, and tours, and yes… excellent food.
- 2018 saw me transition from Fire TV back to Roku Premiere+. Which served me great all year with one little caveat.
- The Roku Premiere + while it offers improved processing speed over earlier models and a handy HDMI port, it also overs a microphone in the remote for voice control. As someone who works in tech two of the stupidest things I think you can have in your home, is a camera you can’t turn off ( or be truly certain when it is on) and a microphone that is always recording.
- Too many people place devices in their home, that a smarter, more prudent, generation would have called illegal surveillance systems (cough – XBOX – cough), but because these systems come marketed as ‘must have entertainment devices’, or ‘AI convenience devices’, too many people are swayed by the sheen rather than the substance, and blithely allow invasive tech into their home without researching that tech, or means to limit violations of same. Just like before you use a car most people pay a reliable mechanic to check out the car, and seasonally tune it up, the same minimum steps should be in place for these smart/iot devices. Have a tech set it up and secure it for you, and ensure it is safe to use. That is just smart consumerism in this day and age of identity theft, and billion dollar companies unable to keep from losing your data.
- And these are the companies you pay to put an alexa in your home. 🙂 I am not so lazy that I need an Alexa in my house, always listening to answer an inane question, or turn on a light. Such smart technology can be of use, but not when paired with an uninformed and lazy consumer.That is a recipe for your technology owning you, rather than the other way around.
- Most notably marketing. There are billions made by game/entertainment machines that has NOTHING to do with gaming. But has everything to do with selling your data to the highest bidder. A not locked down gaming machine, is indistinguishable from a state of the art bio-metric spying machine. Indistinguishable.
- I’m not saying do not have have a video game console in your house. I am saying be informed about the equipment you are putting in your house and how to limit egress by marketers, and privacy violations.
- Such as the news item a couple years back of people who bought the smart TVs, unaware that it was recording them.:)
- Smart Devices, are for smart consumers. And most consumers are not smart. I’m not being insulting, but it is a truth the marketing relies on, that people buy off of a glitzy ad, rather than research. On emotion, rather than reason. How else to explain pharmaceutical ads that sell potentially deadly products, to address the most inane issues. They rely on consumers not being smart, and wanting what is new and hip and popular. We must look at the world, with better eyes than that. All of us. Myself included feel the pull to jump aboard the band-wagon, but those are the times we have to pause, and take a step back. And really look and see where the road of good intentions… is leading you. 🙂 . It takes putting in the effort, which is contrary to the marketed status quo of, just ask your phone, or smart device to think for you.
- For the sake of entertainment this social media generation is relinquishing rights, that took much loss of blood to get. Technology can be great, if you take the time to hold manufacturers accountable, and make the technology truly a tool that you use, rather than visa-versa.
- All this to say, I swapped out my mic enabled remote for my Roku for a model without a mic. I do not want to talk to machines. I don’t really want machines talking to me. 🙂 And no, I don’t have a smart phone. I work with smart phones, tablets, and laptops, and desktops for a living. I do not need my phone to be a computer, I just need it to make and receive calls. 🙂
- Having set those ground rules for the Roku, and some other privacy changes enacted, the Roku Premiere + has served me well for all of 2018. And continues to do so in 2019.
Most notably Youtube, a thing I avoided like the plague in its web version (because of lack of moderation of the sewage like comments section), is one thing I am enjoying on my big screen (non-smart) tv, thanks to Roku. The ‘comments free’ Youtube Channel App, on Roku, is easily one of my most watched channels of 2018. More on this in my next installment.
And we will wrap this streaming heavy look at 2018 up with my 5 favorite Streaming Channels of 2018 from most to least watched.
Those five channels were pretty much all I watched in 2018.
Youtube I already mentioned what I watched.
As far as Amazon Prime, they have a huge selection of Big Foot, Werewolf, and other obscure horror films, which is my cup of tea. The slasher stuff I have no use for, but a good Big Foot movie, I’m there! So between many hours of movies and trailers, and their great classic and original programming (JACK RYAN season 1 was excellent) they were a solid contender for most popular streaming channel.
HULU allowed us to keep up with broadcast TV, (ex. AMERICAN NINJA) as well as original programing and classic series. Netflix ran a distant fourth for me, but did have some fun shows and movies as well.
Finally PLUTO TV scratched the itch for us when we wanted the Cable experience.
There you go guys, a streaming intensive look at 2018 from herE in the far future of 2019! 🙂