Today’s Recommended Roku / Amazon Prime Selections
Roku’s AMAZON Channel details here!
Roku’s AMAZON Channel details here!
GRIMM Season 1- Surprisingly entertaining fantasy show that works in a way that other shows such as WAREHOUSE 13 do not
LIFE Season 1- A wry and off-kilter and charming and undeniably different tv drama. tinged with a whimsy and a bit of magical realism that makes it more than a simple police procedural
TOP SHOT Season 1, 2, 4- I’m not a ‘reality’ tv fan, but this history channel competition show is nothing short of fantastic. Additive and fun watching
TOP SHOT Season 3 – One competitor and the drama he introduces (the words functional psychopath come to mind) almost makes the season unwatchable. Thankfully he gets removed, and allows for an exciting season finale.
PRIMEVIL Season 1, 2
24 Season 1
24 Season 2- horrible and moronic writing and painfully contrived plot choices, and overblown performances makes this ultimately a waste of time
Recently added to the Roku platform, VIEWSTER is a Swedish run on-demand channel that presents a surprising variety of free on-demand films. With a nice helping of Indie and Documentary films you are unlikely to find on other on-demand channels, as well as classic and current films.
Some that may be of interest this week are:
THE THIRD MAN
WHEELS ON MEALS
LOVE COMES SOFTLY
EVIDENCE OF A HAUNTING- the word on this movie is the only thing interesting is the poster, but you can see it for free here and decide for yourself
THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME
HE WALKED BY NIGHT
THE AMAZING MR. X
THE RED HOUSE
THE FRAGILITY OF SECONDS
SO YOU’VE DOWNLOADED A DEMON
UNDER OUR SKIN
THE SISTERS FOUR
THE MYSTERY OF SINTRA
THE BIG COMBO
Take a gander and let me know what ones you recommend.
CRACKLE the premier channel for free on-demand movies is showing the following recommended flicks:
PUNISHER WAR ZONE Exceedingly violent straight to the point action flick. Good if not overly memorable.
KIDNAPPED is a fantastic, but short lived series, but you can watch the whole series for free here. It’s highly recommended. Once you start watching you’ll want to pick up the DVD set to have.
ANGEL OF DEATH- A modern day serial by Ed Brubaker(Comic Book/Graphic Novel writer) starring Zoe Bell, as a female assassin on the wrong side of her profession. Good and enjoyable.
ASSASSINATION GAMES – Just plain great. One of Van Dammes best movies in years.
BLOOD AND BONE- I’ve raved about this film before. One of my favorite martial arts films (I’ll put it right up there with Jet Li’s FIST OF LEGEND), because it has great martial arts, and great performances, and a great story (the last two you don’t often get in a martial arts film). An easy A+.
GAME OF DEATH- see my previous review, in short, definitely recommended Action film/thriller.
HIT LIST- Good direct to video movies and Cuba Gooding Jr don’t often go together in a sentence, however it does this time. THE HIT LIST on the surface is nothing more than a take-off on Michael Mann’s COLLATERAL, under the surface turns out to be a very good movie in its own right with solid performances by all involved. Cuba Gooding is surprisingly good here. Strongly Recommended.
It is a very low key film, that has some quirky points I have not previously seen in an action/thriller, such as an assassin possessing a well known ailment, and having to perform while dealing with said ailment.
I was quite intrigued by this film’s general quirkiness and oddness, however the real selling point for the film is the fight scenes. They are by no means plentiful but when they come they are jaw dropping. Wesley Snipes remains an awesome martial artist to watch perform and these fight scenes are particularly and literally bone-breaking, and helped by strong direction and cinematography.
And finally the story itself and performances moved at a fast clip, kept me engaged and entertained and culminated in a satisfying conclusion. Zoe Bell, Aunjanue L. Ellis, Robert Davi (A walking ‘Movie Tough Guy’ Institution with over a 120 film and TV credits to his name) and Gary Daniels (showing the impressive Kickboxing skills that made him a World Champion) deliver straight forward but compelling performances.
I like the clean, stripped to the bone efficiency of this film’s narrative. No pesky side-kick (the plodding THE CONTRACTOR comes to mind), or hackneyed back story, or awful comedy relief, or crow-barred in relationship/love-story (all of which Wesley Snipes has had to deal with, as have most action actors). The flash-back framing excepted, this film is almost in real time and is simply about a mission that goes wrong… and dealing with it.
All-in-all a tight and largely impressive 90 minutes. The fight scenes alone, put this high on the recommend list, and will keep this film one that stands up to repeated viewings. Grade: B/B+. Based on the strength of this film I’m looking forward to Snipes’ upcoming films including EXPENDABLES III! Yeah Baby!
You can try the film for free on the on-demand channel CRACKLE. Easily available if you have a Roku Digital Media receiver.
Or for the ‘I just want to buy a DVD’ demographic among you (I’m a card-carrying member :)), you go here: Game of Death [Blu-ray]!
I was quite satisfied for 10 years doing without Television as a medium, and doing DVD rentals (typically for no or low cost at the library) or DVD purchases. But more often than not just spending far more time consuming books, and audio programs, and traveling.
So I’m happy to say I am still cable bill free, however of late I’ve become aware and become a dabbler in this… Roku thing.
Most of you are probably long time adopters of Roku, but for those of you who aren’t, Roku is both a company and a product. Roku is an American based company that produces a device, not much larger than a pack of cards, that allows you to stream channels, internet based stations, offering streaming TV shows, movies, documentaries, virtually everything you can find on cable, and much you cannot, in an on demand model to make traditional cable green with envy.
In a sentence, Roku is a wi-fi device that allows you to bring internet based channels and programming, content optimized for your computer, easily to your TV.
Internet access to your favorite TV/cable show is nothing new, however the Roku’s ease in consolidating all that content in one location and bringing it all to your TV, without the need of a cable bill is nothing short of amazing.
Of course utilizing your internet bandwidth there are obvious drawbacks, such as that as a whole the quality and speed is reliant on your broadband connection, and does not match the quality of cable.
But that given, Roku picture and sound quality is surprisingly good, and far better than the embarrassment and rip-off that is free digital TV in the United States. The garbage the FCC left us with when they stole the analog waves from the American people and gave it to big business and the military.
The 2nd problem is the Roku device upon first use/registration looks to collect your credit card and personal info by default in order to activate/use the Roku device.
That is a major problem. Especially if you only intend to use the free channels it is a huge potential and unnecessary privacy and security issue, particularly in this day of rampant hacking and identity theft.
Thankfully you can bypass the requirement to give your credit card number by calling customer service direct, but it is a hassle.
But those major problems acknowledged and bypassed, for between $60 and $100 depending on model (I recommend the Roku 2 XS, I’ll give a detailed breakdown of why next column), this wireless consolidator of online digital channels that streams easily to your tv, and easily lets you add and remove channels yourself, is (as long as the free channels last) nothing short of a marvel.
So yeah, until such time as the Roku concept stops being as awesome as it currently is, I’m going to enjoy having 1000s of hours of movies and television and music at my fingertips, for $0 a month.(Just like conventional cable you can add pay premium channels if you choose, but there is so much impressive free content out there that you definitely do not have to)
So if you are currently paying over $100 for cable or direct TV and locked into a contract, as most people are, and are looking not to do that anymore, I highly recommend taking the Roku for a spin. All you need is high-speed broadband internet to make use of it.
Well hope this article helps some of you who may have been seeking more info on Roku and alternatives to conventional cable. Come back next TECH TIPS as I provide you my favorite Roku channels as well as a weekly recommendation list for this week on Roku!
See you then, and feel free to leave comments if you are already a Roku convert. I’d love to hear a list of some of your favorite things about the Roku.
Okay, That’s all for now!
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WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.
In this entertaining behind-the-scenes account, Paul Midler tells us all that is wrong with our effort to shift manufacturing to China. Now updated and expanded, Poorly Made in China reveals industry secrets, including the dangerous practice of quality fade—the deliberate and secret habit of Chinese manufacturers to widen profit margins through the reduction of quality inputs. U.S. importers don’t stand a chance, Midler explains, against savvy Chinese suppliers who feel they have little to lose by placing consumer safety at risk for the sake of greater profit. This is a lively and impassioned personal account, a collection of true stories, told by an American who has worked in the country for close to two decades. Poorly Made in China touches on a number of issues that affect us all.
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
An exposé on how the rise of China will affect the American way of life
The End of Cheap China is a fun, riveting, must-read book not only for people doing business in China but for anyone interested in understanding the forces that are changing the world.
Many Americans know China for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country’s vast supply of low-cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap labor that has made everyday low prices possible is drying up as Chinese seek not to make iPhones, but to buy them. Shaun Rein, Founder of the China Market Research Group, puts China’s continuing transformation from producer to large-scale consumer – a process that is farther along than most economists think – under the microscope, examining eight megatrends that are catalyzing change in China and posing threats to Americans’ consumption-driven way of life.
Rein takes an engaging and informative approach to examining the extraordinary changes taking place across all levels of Chinese society, talking to everyone from Chinese billionaires and senior government officials to poor migrant workers and even prostitutes and drawing on personal stories and experiences from living in China since the 1990s as well as hard economic data. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of China’s transformation, from fast-improving Chinese companies to confident, optimistic Chinese women to the role of China’s government, and at the end breaks down key lessons for readers to take away.
The End of Cheap China shows:
How rising labor and real estate costs are forcing manufacturers of cheap Chinese products to close, relocate, or move up the value stream
How a restructuring economy moving away from exports to domestic consumption, and rising incomes will create opportunities for foreign brands to sell products in China rather than just producing there
How Chinese consumption will build pressure on the global commodities markets, causing inflation and friction with other nations
How China’s economic transformation spells the end of cheap consumption for Americans
China’s days as a low cost production center are numbered. The End of Cheap China exposes the end of America’s consumerist way of life and gives clear advice on how companies can succeed in the new world order.
One of Foreign Policy’s “21 Books to Read in 2012”
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Business Book
After a decade of rapid growth, the world’s most celebrated emerging markets are poised to slow down. Which countries will rise to challenge them?
To identify the economic stars of the future we should abandon the habit of extrapolating from the recent past and lumping wildly diverse countries together. We need to remember that sustained economic success is a rare phenomenon.
As an era of easy money and easy growth comes to a close, China in particular will cool down. Other major players including Brazil, Russia, and India face their own daunting challenges and inflated expectations. The new “breakout nations” will probably spring from the margins, even from the shadows. Ruchir Sharma, one of the world’s largest investors in emerging markets for Morgan Stanley, here identifies which are most likely to leap ahead and why.
After two decades spent traveling the globe tracking the progress of developing countries, Sharma has produced a book full of surprises: why the overpriced cocktails in Rio are a sign of revival in Detroit; how the threat of the “population bomb” came to be seen as a competitive advantage; how an industrial revolution in Asia is redefining what manufacturing can do for a modern economy; and how the coming shakeout in the big emerging markets could shift the spotlight back to the West, especially American technology and German manufacturing.
What emerges is a clear picture of the shifting balance of global economic power and how it plays out for emerging nations and for the West. In a captivating exploration studded with vignettes, Sharma reveals his rules on how to spot economic success stories. Breakout Nations is a rollicking education for anyone looking to understand where the future will happen.
Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
G-Zero — \JEE-ZEER-oh\ —n
A world order in which no single country or durable alliance of countries can meet the challenges of global leadership. What happens when the G20 doesn’t work and the G7 is history.
If the worst threatened—a rogue nuclear state with a horrible surprise, a global health crisis, the collapse of financial institutions from New York to Shanghai and Mumbai—where would the world look for leadership? The United States, with its paralyzed politics and battered balance sheet? A European Union reeling from self-inflicted wounds? China’s “people’s democracy”? Perhaps Brazil, Turkey, or India, the geopolitical Rookies of the Year? Or some grand coalition of survivors, the last nations standing after half a decade of recession-induced turmoil?
How about none of the above?
For the first time in seven decades, there is no single power or alliance of powers ready to take on the challenges of global leadership. A generation ago, the United States, Europe, and Japan were the world’s powerhouses, the free-market democracies that propelled the global economy forward. Today, they struggle just to find their footing.
Acclaimed geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer argues that the world is facing a leadership vacuum. The diverse political and economic values of the G20 have produced global gridlock. Now that so many challenges transcend borders—from the stability of the global economy and climate change to cyber-attacks, terrorism, and the security of food and water—the need for international cooperation has never been greater. A lack of global leadership will provoke uncertainty, volatility, competition, and, in some cases, open conflict. Bremmer explains the risk that the world will become a series of gated communities as power is regionalized instead of globalized. In the generation to come, negotiations on economic and trade issues are likely to be just as fraught as recent debates over nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.
Disaster, thankfully, is never assured, and Bremmer details where the levers of power can still be found and how to exercise them for the common good. That’s important, because the one certainty of weakened nations and enfeebled institutions is that someone will try to take advantage of them.
Every Nation for Itself offers essential insights for anyone attempting to navigate the new global playing field.
Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World
The United States is bankrupt, flat broke. Thanks to accounting that would make Enron blush, America’s insolvency goes far beyond what our leaders are disclosing. The United States is a fiscal basket case, in worse shape than the notoriously bailed-out countries of Greece, Ireland, and others. How did this happen? In The Clash of Generations, experts Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns document our six-decade, off-balance-sheet, unsustainable financing scheme. They explain how we have balanced our longer lives on the backs of our (relatively few) children. At the same time, we’ve been on a consumption spree, saving and investing less than nothing. And that’s not to mention the evisceration of the middle class and a financial system that has proven it can’t be trusted. Kotlikoff and Burns outline grassroots strategies for saving ourselves–and especially our children–from what could be a truly catastrophic financial collapse. Kotlikoff and Burns sounded the alarm in their widely acclaimed The Coming Generational Storm, but politicians didn’t listen. Now the need for action is even more urgent. It’s up to us to demand radical reform of our tax system, our healthcare system, and our Social Security system, and to insist on better paths to investment return than those provided by Wall Street (mis)managers. Kotlikoff and Burns’s “Purple Plans” (so called because they will appeal to both Republicans and Democrats) have been endorsed by a who’s who of economists and offer a new way forward; and their revolutionary investment strategy for individuals replaces the idea of financial capital with “life decision capital.” Of course, we won’t be doing all this just for ourselves. We need to fix America’s fiscal mess before our kids inherit it.
The Clash of Generations: Saving Ourselves, Our Kids, and Our Economy
Publication Date: April 10, 2012
Why the gold standard is due for a comeback
A reserve currency can only function as such if there is a general consensus that it provides a stable store of value. Without this trust, money, no matter what form it takes, will be abandoned–either suddenly in a crisis, or gradually over time–in favor of something else. The Golden Revolution looks at how the world is now moving rapidly toward some form of global metallic standard, in which money, at least in official, international transactions, is linked directly to gold.
The practical reality of the transition to the coming global gold standard is going to be substantially different from the global fiat monetary and financial regime of today. It is not just money that is going to change. The nature and business of banking will also be affected, as will finance in general.
Incisive and thoughtful, The Golden Revolution is a treatise on the broad effects of the current and future monetary structure
Looks at why the world is headed inexorably back towards a metallic money standard
Explores what the transition period might look like, including some historical examples of both orderly and disorderly transitions
Examines how the world of banking, finance, and investment, including asset valuation and portfolio management techniques, will work under a future gold standard and which industries, countries and markets are likely to benefit and which are likely to suffer
Full of advice on how investors can profit and protect themselves during this critical time of change, the book knows that those who are prepared will prosper, while those who aren’t stand to lose.
The Golden Revolution: How to Prepare for the Coming Global Gold Standard
Publication Date: August 28, 2008 | Series: Rich Dad’s Advisors
“Throughout the ages, many things have been used as currency: livestock, grains, spices, shells, beads, and now paper. But only two things have ever been money: gold and silver. When paper money becomes too abundant, and thus loses its value, man always turns back to precious metals. During these times there is always an enormous wealth transfer, and it is within your power to transfer that wealth away from you or toward you.” –Michael Maloney, precious metals investment expert and historian; founder and principal, Gold & Silver, Inc.
The Advanced Guide to Investing Gold and Silver tells listeners:
The essential history of economic cycles that make gold and silver the ultimate monetary standard.
How the U.S. government is driving inflation by diluting our money supply and weakening our purchasing power
Why precious metals are one of the most profitable, easiest, and safest investments you can make
Where, when, and how to invest your money and realize maximum returns, no matter what the economy’s state
Essential advice on avoiding the middleman and taking control of your financial destiny by making your investments directly.
Rich Dad’s Advisors: Guide to Investing In Gold and Silver: Everything You Need to Know to Profit from Precious Metals Now
Publication Date: December 13, 2011 | ISBN-10: 0982301871 | ISBN-13: 978-0982301876
Want to lose weight without counting calories, starving yourself, giving up your favorite foods, or eating bland packaged foods? Would you like to look and feel younger and healthier than you have in years without diets and exercise? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, this book is for you! JJ Smith’s revolutionary system teaches proven methods for permanent weight loss that anyone can follow, no matter her size, income level, or educational level. And the end result is a healthy, sexy, slim body.
JJ’s breakthrough weight-loss solution can help you shed pounds fast by detoxifying the body, balancing your hormones, and speeding up your metabolism. You’ll learn which foods help you stay slim and which foods cause you to get fat. If you have been on a roller-coaster ride of weight loss, you will finally be able to get off, lose weight, and stay slim for life!
You will learn how to….
Detoxify the body for fast weight loss
Drop pounds and inches fast, without grueling workouts or starvation
Lose up to 15 pounds in the first three weeks
Shed unwanted fat by eating foods you love, including carbs
Eat so you feel energetic and alive every day
Get physically active without exercising
Get rid of stubborn belly fat
Trigger your 6 fat-burning hormones to lose weight effortlessly
Eat foods that give you glowing, radiant skin
This is your last stop on the way to a new fit and healthy you! Look and feel younger than you have in years. Create your best body–NOW!
Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out: Discover Secrets to a Slimmer, Sexier and Healthier You
If I do say so myself, I think this is a very interesting WEDNESDAYS WORDS. It is a very finance heavy installment, all the books with one exception revolving around our current and impending financial crisis, our changing world order… and what we can do to protect ourselves.
And wraps up unexpectedly, for me as well as everyone else, with a health/diet book. I stumbled across the final title by accident, I admit it… it was the boobs (I’m so evil :), but give me a break.. the author, the cover model I believe, JJ Smith is GORGEOUS!), but once I was able to look beyond the boobs (Oh come on! Like you weren’t just looking!), I found it an incredibly intriguing sounding book.
The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!
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