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Bob Iger Takes the Gloves Off for Disney’s Streaming Debut (bloomberg.com)
116 points by casefields 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 231 comments

I’ve heard more excitement about Disney+ from family/friends than any other tech launch I can remember. Short of maybe the original iPhone, and maybe the Nintendo Switch. Techies and non-techies alike are counting down the days until it launches.

I’m generally someone who speaks with my wallet, I pay for FastMail and use DDG rather than use Google, I go out of my way and spend more to not support shitty companies, and I personally think Disney is among the most evil companies out there (for their Copyright lobbying etc).. but I’m finding it very bloody hard to resist the idea of unlimited streaming Star Wars, Simpsons, and Disney classics for my kids.

Barring some major tech fuckups from Disney, I’m pretty sure this will be absolutely huge.

Opinion: Disney content these days is absolutely awful. I'm not enjoying the films, the shows, or anything really. They spend more time doing remakes for a global audience (read. China), and compromise the quality of the end result.

Well, whether it’s “awful” as far as your taste is an opinion you have every right to have, but looking at their successes in the box office, it’s clearly valuable. That’s all that matters.

Is it really? There are only five major studios which command 80-85% of the US box office [1], and by extension a major share of all global box office returns.

Five corporate boards exercise creative control over nearly all of Hollywood.

That's not much competition, and they seem to have arrived at a consensus about what kind of content we should experience at the theater.

Who says the content is valuable? Can you prove that the cash generation value is in the content and not the strictly regulated, consolidation-friendly oligopoly structure which Clinton put in place for these guys in the 90s?

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_film_studio

Tyler Perry Studios and Blumhouse both show that you can make a movie cheaply (less than $10 Million), with great ROI, and get widespread distribution. On an ROI basis, they both usually do better than the major studios.

Neither of these studios are based in Hollywood. In fact right now, both Coming To America 2 and Bad Boys 3 are filming at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.

On top of that, if you want to make a movie today and get distribution, there are dozens of cable channels and streaming services who want exclusive content. You don’t need to be in theaters.

In fact, you can sell your movie to consumers via any of the on demand platforms like iTunes, Vudu, Google Play Movies or Amazon.

Tyler Perry Studios also proves you can produce terrible content.

Was there ever a year that Hollywood failed to prove this too?

Like I said, if it were “terrible” people wouldn’t be spending their money on it. The studios are producing what consumers are willing so pay for and consumers pay for it. Amazing how well the free market works without government getting involved.

Well, again in the grand scheme of things in a capitalist society, his content makes a profit, has no negative externalities [1] and has a great ROI so it is a good product.

[1] I’m personally no fan of it, it’s low brow shucking and jiving, Stepin Fetchit content. And before I get downvoted to oblivion and flagged for being racist, I am Black.

Tyler Perry acknowledges he does not make movies for everyone but for and audience the movie industry typically ignored in the past.

I am not a fan either...

Clinton didn't introduce a mandate that people go to the cinema.

Going to the theater is neither a necessity nor is it the only form of entertainment available. As such, nothing forces people to go there so even if there was only a single film studio the quality of films would still matter.

My wife and I just returned home from two years working in a large university town (Urbana/Champaign) and one of the things we really enjoyed was having an IMAX theater nearby. We went very frequently. When we returned to our home in the mountains of Central Arizona, we stopped going out to the movies - our local theater is OK, but not the IMAX experience.

The amount of at home entertainment with HBO, Amazon Prime, CBS Streaming (for Star Trek), and Netflix is phenonimal. I am fine with paying for services and just experiencing a wide sampling. It does take some self control to be willing to stop watching series after sampling some episodes.

As a fellow former U-C resident, I do miss the art theater in town. A bit rundown but definitely has its charm

My dad has been a once or twice a week movie goer since I can remember, sometimes with my mom sometimes without. But since I bought him a 49" Roku TV, he goes to the movie a lot less often. He has Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, access to my Plex Server, Crackle and the Roku Channel. He would have access to a lot more if the other network provided apps didn't keep forgetting his cable login and force him to validate by going to a website.

The substitutability of going to the theater is not super high if for instance you are busy parents in a small town and you want to have a date night, or get your kids out of the house for a few hours on the weekend.

People might still go because the theater experience is convenient, even when the content produced by the studios is crap. Happens all the time.

People willing to pay for it says content is valuable, or at least valuable enough for a few hours of time.

But with monopolies, you usually just take what you can get...

if you chose to pay fr it, it is at least worth that much.

Sure, there may be a more valuable film that was never made, but that doesn't negate the net positive.

How is it a “monopoly” with five major studios and two or three minor studios?

Oligopoly is also bad.

So how many major studios do you feel are appropriate? Once again, despite the opinions of HN, the definition of a monopoly is not “a company does something I don’t like”.

As I said previously, there is nothing stopping anyone from distributing content via a multitude of channels.

The definition of "monopoly" doesn't matter that much though. What matters is whether new players can realistically enter a market and compete on merit. That's what creates incentives for innovation and low prices.

I agree with you that the film industry itself doesn't currently have a monopoly or oligopoly problem, especially not internationally. But the fact that there are huge problems in related areas of digital content distribution and discovery (app stores, search, social networks, network operators specifically in the US) is cause for alarm in my view.

The problem is spreading rapidly and it wouldn't be a surprise if the film industry was one of the next victims.

Digital content distribution - as far as movies, music, and books anyone can put up a website, provision some servers and sell content in standardized formats that can be consumed anywhere.

Search - nothing is stopping anyone from going to other search engines. It’s not like Bing is backed by one or two people with no financial backing.

Social networking - the social networks pre- Facebook failed because people chose a better experience.

On none of those cases are corporations forcing people to do anything nor or any of them essential services for which there is no alternative.

And the “definition” does matter. Once people in power can make up their own definitions it leads to government overreach.

It doesn't matter what people could do in purely technical terms. What matters is whether there is an economically viable way to enter a market and create real competition. It's not a theoretical question. It has to actually happen for the benefits of free markets to accrue.

Currently, that seems unrealistic in some areas like app stores where you can see egregious misuse of dominant market positions.

It's ineffective in other areas like social networks because all new market entrants are swiftly taken over by incumbents without any resistance by regulators.

The definition of monopoly is important in some respects but not for the question of whether or not we can reap the benefits of markets or suffer the consequences of dysfunctional markets. It doesn't take a clearcut monopoly to render a market dysfunctional.

(I'm not sure which people in power you are talking about)

It's ineffective in other areas like social networks because all new market entrants are swiftly taken over by incumbents without any resistance by regulators.

You act as if it isn’t the goal of every startup that takes VC funding to get acquired. Yeah going public is the other route, but statistically it hardly ever happens. Look no further than YC. Only two YC backed companies have ever gone public.

VCs wouldn’t invest in companies if they thought their only exit strategy was navigating via the very unlikely road of going public. If it were harder to sell a company to a larger tech company, most of these investments would never happen.

The definition of monopoly is important in some respects but not for the question of whether or not we can reap the benefits of markets or suffer the consequences of dysfunctional markets. It doesn't take a clearcut monopoly to render a market dysfunctional.

Facebook came in and took on MySpace with a better product - not government regulation.

I'm not sure which people in power you are talking about

The government. Everyone likes government power as long as their side is in charge.

The MySpace vs Facebook example is very old. The modern social media landscape is actually a great example of how the system in the US is broken.

Where is the competition to Facebook? Instagram and Whatsapp were compelling alternatives that achieved traction. The US government allowed Facebook to acquire them, reducing competition, and thus the incumbent's incentive to innovate.

Recently a new competitor achieved traction, with 500M users and over 1B downloads: TikTok. What's different about TikTok? It's from China, and the Chinese government won't let Facebook buy it. (Heck, they won't even let Facebook compete against it in its home market.)

So, American industry may lose much of the social media market to a Chinese competitor, because American regulators have been asleep on the job, and our incumbents are no longer responsive to changes in market demand.

This is how many US industries have become less competitive as a shrinking number of large firms have gobbled up their competitors.

By the way, your comments in this thread seem a bit uncharitable toward those of us who hold opposing views, we are not idiots. No one is advocating that there should be a law requiring firms to hold no more than 5% of the market. I argue that big firms in markets with oligopoly or monopoly characteristics shouldn't be allowed to acquire their competitors willy-nilly, which is in fact pretty much the antitrust law that's on the books today.

Lets look at the alternate history for Instagram.

What are the chances that they wouldn’t have run out of money before being profitable? Their only realistic means of survival was being acquired. They need Facebook’s advertising infrastructure to be profitable. Who else would have acquired them Twitter? They were constantly crashing around then. Google? Apple? Microsoft?

What was to stop Facebook from crushing Instagram without acquiring them by building their best features - like they are doing with SnapChat?

>You act as if it isn’t the goal of every startup that takes VC funding to get acquired.

I didn't mean to imply anything wrt that question. I don't think it matters. What matters is whether the market is actually working, and it's not. There's very little competition.

MySpace was ages ago and it never had the financial might of Facebook. So that's not a good example of an oligopoly resolving itself, but I grant you that there are such examples (IBM for one, also Microsoft although regulators may have influenced that one).

I'm actually rather skeptical when it comes to the effectiveness of competition regulation. But some of the things that are happening right now are simply unacceptable, regardless of whether or not they might eventually resolve themselves.

That 30% app store revenue cut is just ridiculous, as are lifetime bans from extremely dominant platforms without explanation or recourse.

>The government. Everyone likes government power as long as their side is in charge.

You said it was a problem if people in power were making up their own definitions, and you said it in response to a sloppy use of the term "monopoly" by an HN commenter. "HN commenter" doesn't quite meet my definition of "people in power".

MySpace was ages ago and it never had the financial might of Facebook. So that's not a good example of an oligopoly resolving itself, but I grant you that there are such examples (IBM for one, also Microsoft although regulators may have influenced that one).

Regulators had no affect on MS getting caught flat footed when it came to media players in the early 2000s which led to Apple being able to dominate the mobile phone market (in terms of profit) or Google in terms of volume.

Facebook didn’t have a ton of funding early on and MySpace was a giant. Apple was basically bankrupt in 1997 and was much smaller than Microsoft when it introduced the iPhone.

If Facebook does “monopolize” social media, it is both because people chose to congregate there and if Facebook doesn’t meet the need of people, they will go somewhere else, there is no need for government to tell people that too many of them are on one platform.

If people don’t have any other place to show off their idealized life and post cat memes, who cares? The last thing we need is more government power.

As far as the 30% revenue cut. The revenue cut for retail use to be 60%. Even during the j2ME era the revenue cut was 60% for the platform owner.

But let’s not pretend that the App Store overflowing with apps from hardworking artists. Most of the money is being made from whales buying in app consumables and if all of those apps disappeared the world would be a better place.

On the other hand, most of the major content producers are bypassing the App Store payments and forcing consumers to buy subscriptions and content outside of the App Store c

The threat of getting broken up has certainly limited Microsoft's options back then. They could have bought Apple outright if it hadn't been for that threat. So no, it wasn't just some media player thing that stopped them.

But I actually used Microsoft as an example for a situation that resolved itself largely without government intervention, because I don't think the threat of breakup was decisive for their failure to capture the mobile space (or the web).

It did take an awfully long time for Microsoft to lose its suffocating dominance though. Many entrepreneurs and inventors who tried to compete on merit were crushed by Microsoft or never got started. Lots of consumers paid far more than they would have if there hadn't been this near monopoly.

Facebook's funding early on is not the point. The point is that MySpace couldn't have used the strategy that Facebook is using today to rid itself of competition, because MySpace was a financial dwarf whereas Facebook is a financial giant.

>If Facebook does “monopolize” social media, it is both because people chose to congregate there and if Facebook doesn’t meet the need of people, they will go somewhere else...

Yes, and that other place will then be bought up by Facebook.

>The last thing we need is more government power.

I agree that we don't need more government power in general. But we do need governments to play the part that only governments can play and play it effectively. Markets sometimes become dysfunctional and governments need to fix that using the powers they already have.

My gut feeling is that the largest player in any market should control less than five percent of it. So, more than twenty?

So now we want to pass a regulation that any company that has a market of more than 5% should be broken up? Then how do you define a market? It amazes me how many people trust the government and want more government power.

Existing antitrust law.

It amazes me how many people trust corporations and want more corporate power.

And what do they have “power” over? Movie creation? Movie distribution? What part of the antitrust law are the five movie studios breaking?

What “power” do they have?

The difference between corporate power and government power is that a corporation can’t forcible take your money, property and liberty. I can choose whether to give my money to a corporation. I can’t choose whether to give my money to the government.

A corporation has a lot less “power” than the government. If a corporation makes a decision I don’t like, I don’t give them my money. I don’t have that choice with the government.

That's not much competition, and they seem to have arrived at a consensus about what kind of content we should experience

The flurry of movies loved by critics coincidentally working for media outlets owned by big players, and hated by actual fans shows the power of this.

Terminator: Dark Fate should have been amazing but it pretty much sucked, for example. Being out of sync with the fans doesn’t seem to matter to studio bosses, even if the movie tanks.

So isn’t that an argument against worrying about the big bad studio monopolies? They put out a product, people don’t want it, they lose money. It sounds like capitalism for the win to me instead of wanting the government to intervene.

What is the “strictly regulated” part?

Yea it's working for them, free speech be damned. Won't stop me from voting with my dollar though.

Once upon a time, Disney made films. Now they just make money.

That might be, but my 3 year old, 6 year old, and wife are on about the 300th play of Descendants 3, which never even went to the theater.

Ah I see I’m not the only one experiencing this pain.

Counterpoint: their pipeline for capturing young talent flows as strong as ever. Spend five minutes watching any Disney Channel show and you can see some really strong acting.

Are you a 14 years old girl?

And if it's popular in China, I doubt there will be much motivation to change tack in terms of quality or niche market fan service.

I'm super careful about exposing Disney content to my kids. The especially pre-2000 era Disney content is absolutely damaging and well documented in the academic community for that. Disney content gets created to increasing shareholder value, not for the long term well-being of your child. This means anything that can get kids addicted on easy entertainment sudar and spend more money on toys, books, trips is a good thing. In addition, I've become very averse to starting subscriptions given how hard they are to get rid off and stay underutilized. I already have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Xfinity and now I also have to do individual networks and studios? This is one reason I don't think newspaper, magazine and more subscriptions are going to fly as long term business model. People will sonner or later realize that everything cost same as cup of coffee but we are just being forced to buy way too many cups.

> The especially pre-2000 era Disney content is absolutely damaging and well documented in the academic community for that.

I'd be interested in follow-up reading on the academic research you're gesturing towards here- do you have links or any specific names/citations that would point to the material you have in mind?

Thanks, I appreciate your followup. I'm genuinely interested in discussion on this topic. I was hoping there was something more focused summarizing the academic consensus in a given field of study that you were alluding to, but it appears not.

One thing I noticed is that the focus of these is on gender-stereotypical portrayals of princesses. Is only the princess-themed content specifically seen as 'damaging', or is Disney content not featuring princesses also suspect?

Another detail is that a good number of the results you dug up seem to be reflections on interactions with the 'Disney Princess' line of toys and media which was launched in 2000, which would suggest that the most 'damaging' of this content is specifically 'post-2000'. Was there something about pre-2000 Disney content you had in mind that's especially damaging, that is not the case with the post-2000 Disney Princess line, or is it all garbage?

I don't have link to original talk I'd seen but if you search Ted talks for disney effect, you will find many discussing this. Saying that it just does "gender-stereotypical" portrayal grossly underestimates the impact of these movies. The message I took home was that young girls with constant exposure to Disney princess movies significantly decreases their future probability for enrollment in STEM.

However it's just not about girls, it also impacts boys negatively as well. If you have to read one great book about raising kids, make it NurtureShock. One thing I learned from it was how kids learn to value nature vs nurture. When you tell your kid "great job! you are smart" you are basically saying they have natural capability to do great things, they don't have to work for it. So when they fail, they tend to interpret that there is nothing they could do. Parents who say "great job! You worked hard for it" have much more successful kids. One simple phrasing makes huge change in their lives. NurtureShock has detailed analysis and citations.

Back to movies... Here's the thing: Do you love Star Wars? Lord of the Ring? Harry Potter? Do you know what is one common thing between all of them? The hero in the movie is born with capabilities to be great. You are Jedi because force with you since you were born. You are just that way. You didn't had to work for it. You are just destined to be the great, it's written in the stars. Story writers know this simple thing is cocaine for people and they keep creating more supply to keep us fed. We get hooked on to it right away but its not good for us. Now look back in your life and think about all the time you avoided hard work in the hope that your specialness would just do the work for you. Kids should avoid these kind of movies, at least until they are 18 or may be 21.

Lord of the Rings? The main character fell backwards into an assignment and stumbled his way through. He wasn’t born great and had no special powers.

Most of our media, especially mainstream, isn't that on the nose with tropes. If you go for e.g. anime, you'll fine an entire genre of "looser viewers can emphasis with suddenly finds himself in another world were he is the greatest". Isekai, in short. Some of those shows are great. But mostly absent is having to work hard for success. Probably cause it would ruin the power fantasy.

Harry potter also employs this trope in the beginning. But builds upon it beyond the wish fulfillment.

LotR? He literally inherited the ring and was pushed into the adventure. It gets better from there, but his past doesn't really matter. If mentioned, I can't remember anything except some reason for the other hobbits to tag along. Could have happened to anyone. It certainly doesn't convey any kind of message like "you have to work hard to find great adventures in life". No reason not to enjoy a movie/show/franchise, but should probably not be entirely absent from a media diet, either.

How is post-2000 Disney better? Their movies are literally ads for their toys that you pay money to watch. Their toys are ads for their games. And their games are basically crack cocaine for kids.

Most of us outside of entertainment business don't know this but Disney had been taking huge dissing from media as well as academics for princess movies. They have started change their ways and recent slew of movies like Moana focuses far less on being pretty and waiting for price to arrive putting female character as a confident leader. But you have to be very careful in chosing Disney content. As I said, ultimately entertainment company's goal is to hook you up with crack cocain, not your long term well being.

It's not like Mulan was focused on being pretty and waiting for a prince either. Or Brave(not pre-2000, just not recent), or even Pocahontas.

I feel if anything the "pretty is everything" comes from toys, rather then the movie plots themselves.

If you view most golden age and resurgence Disney it's glaringly clear. By and large the women are shoehorned into submissive, weak characters at the mercy of a white knight.

The thing is, this really wasn't just a Disney thing, it was largely a Hollywood thing in general. Strong(er), three-dimensional women in film narrative didn't hit major motion pictures with significance until the late 60s and into the early 80s.

The late 1980s was an unfortunate time for Disneys resurgence, because somehow there was also a revival of strong man/weak, beautiful woman tropes in Hollywood. So when movies like The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Frog, Tarzan, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast came out they very much followed this template.

The plots of these and previous movies hammer home that the young women are meant as prizes for men who come and save them. It's in the stories themselves.

I completely agree on golden/silver age disney being quite bad (with some exceptions, like Alice or Bianca)

I am unconvinced about the disney renaissance characters: jasmine literally storms out of a room saying "you can't decide what's best for me" to her father, aladdin and jafar; the little mermaid saves the prince, before she saves him; Belle doesn't get saved by anyone either, and the strong handsome man is actually the bad guy.

I mean, sure, they exemplify a certain passée idea of woman/girl, but they are a far cry from cinderella and sleeping beauty.

Jasmine acquiesces and is set to marry Jafar, the little mermaid needs saving in the end.

Also note how many of these present older women as the villain.

Little mermaid is amazingly bad

Most of these are basic mad libs.

Young, beautiful girl runs into conflict because ____. Foolishly and/or impulsively, she attempts to solve the problem herself by ___, but of course she is too weak to do so. Luckily, she is saved by the charming man, who resolves the problem by ____.

Wrap it around details of a fairy tale and bam: $300M+ profit.

Yes, and Disney took the criticism about Ariel in stride and made Beauty and the Beast, about a studious bookworm resistant to the charms of boys. Still firmly in the 90’s.

The princess in Beauty and the Beast exists to redeem, civilize, and forgive someone who has kidnapped her family.

This is not a narrative I find more compelling for my daughter than a mermaid trading her voice away to have the opportunity to seduce a sailor prince.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Sophia the First. She's a princess, but she's learning her way to becoming a capable ruler. Quality entertainment, just below Aquanauts.

Sadly the majority of sociologists still seems to believe the debunked theory of nurture over nature[1] and tend to ignore all things biology. Consequently, a lot of gender related studies are just ideology instead of robust science.

In the last decades STEM enrollment for girls rose in poor countries. And Disney movies are watched worldwide, including poor countries...

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/sep/29/so-is-it-nat...

No. Disney movies are watched lot less in 3rd world countries. Most population in these countries didn't had (perhaps recently) any on-demand access to large movie collection - not as VCRs, DVDs or streaming. You gets to watch movie if it is on the cable at the time you are watching. This significantly reduces exposure and tendency to watch same kind of movies over and over. Also, market for expensive Disney toys and accessories isn't accessible to most people.

Yeah, as science I have serious doubts about sociology. As a way to form an ontology it's plausibly worse than vernacular tradition. Please prove me wrong and point me to high quality sociological studies. I want to believe we have practical tools to deal with the future of our species.

Applied graph theory? I don't have access to full article so I can't tell if it's actual math or something more hand-wavy stuff.

Here's a non-paywalled version. https://ndg.asc.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Centola...

This is just an example of a well-known recent sociology paper that can appeal to science-minded people unfamiliar with sociology.

By the way, it's a danger to rely too much on mathematical formalism as a heuristic for deciding whether a research field is scientific or valid. String theory for example lacks empirical evidence (and maybe even the possibility of empirical validation altogether).

In general I agree. However many studies in this field had been large scale enough with low variance that effect is not ignorable. Given similar results, it appears reproducibility is also high.

Correlation does not equal causation. If there is a trend in society driving girls toward traditional roles, then would not it be equally plausible that this phenomena is driving both the narrative of popular films as well as decrease in STEM participation.

I have only anecdotal sample size of one - but my daughter loves disney female characters, and she enjoys maths and sciences as well. Her mother has a PhD in physics so there is that as well, so... we're not exactly a good 'average sample'. But I've never got the vibe that she would not enjoy maths because the little mermaid doesn't.

Societies are driven by fashions that trickle down from perceived elite to the rest of the society. It's much more 'damaging' if there are popular celebrities setting the 'wrong' example, rather than if Ariel is not into STEM.

I know it's popular to blame big corps for all the woes of the world, but non-interactive entertainment is not harmfull on the same scale as social media or tobacco.

I hope things works out for you. Having a mom with PhD makes huge difference in balancing things out but these studies are not bogus. They have proper sample size, metrics, control group and there is high probability that hypothesis is plausible. I've seen several parents buy Disney Princess book set, movie set, doll set to their daughters. My heart often sinks. It's an extremely popular Christmas gift unfortunately and marketed with vengeance like nothing else. It's like a tradition of pregnant women painting baby room. They don't know they are inhaling potentially very dangerous fumes for fetus for hours on that can potentially lead to various birth defects including autism and asperger. Not all kids gets affected but some do.

I'm sorry but you are out an outlier. Most girls have pink princess things and get told they look pretty in that dress and do jigsaw puzzles made of Disney princesses. I wish all girls had roles models like your daughter but it's just not the reality. (Source: woman with many friends with daughters)

Yeah, I'm quite confident our family is an outlier. Our daughter is a huge disney princess fan, loves barbies but I don't see it affecting her love of STEM.

I have a hunch it's not the disney princesses that stifle young girls but just being told at some point in their lives that science is more for boys. You don't need more than that. Once you have a bunch of young girls, each of which have internalized this at some point in their life, it becomes part of their 'subconscious group identity' and that's that.

I think it's ok for girls to love princesses. It's not ok for their role models (mums) say so that they hear "i don't understand maths but that's ok" or something silly like that.

Kids learn rules from adults. Not from cartoons.

In my experience cartoons are hugely impactful but I only have anecdotes, I'm sure there are good studies out there to refute or support us both =)

Yeah, sometimes they get funny ideas from toons. I've found out I can 'defuse' those situations by joining the narrative and then going full on Roahl Dahl and suggesting something outrageous, which in turn puts the kid into a mode where they figure things out on a more philosophical level. I actually say things like "Yeah, the princess has a nice castle. I'm sure her father sure enslaved lots of people to build it" and they go like "that's horrible! No, um, let me think... I'm sure it was built by paid professionals!" Etc. Kids don't get damaged if you insert a little bit of cognitive wiggle room to their favourite narratives :)

It's in the same vein as the princess issues but Freakonomics did a solid podcast on this recently too http://freakonomics.com/podcast/princess/

Little kids don't need new programming.

Expose your kids to physical comedy trough silent black and white classics. Young children love them and watch them again and again. Adults love them too. Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and many others.

Silent films are great even if a kid can't follow the title cards. Without dialogue, so much of the story is told through the action and expressions of the actors.

While not silent, as a child I spent many a weekend morning watching The Three Stooges on our local PBS channel.

I wish there was a way to convey woo woo woo via emoji. Maybe some sort of Homer/Zoidberg gif?

With plenty of disclaimers to not imitate Buster Keaton, I hope

Correlation is not causation. Everyone watched Disney movies as a kid.

There's no study that supports post 2000 content does anything to improve things.

I can't agree more. They're a draconian company eating megacorp, but they fixed star wars. Rogue one is probably my favorite after RotJ. 1-3 are dead to me. Don't exist.

Jon Favreau's a pretty decent director, so I'm excited to see how the Mandalorian turns out. Honestly I feel I need to launch a side project w/ passive income so I can retire and have enough for everything I want to stream off disney+... lol -- I'm 40 this month, and have two kids (2 and 10 months) and they're obviously going to love d+... I think D+, Hulu, Prime, and Netflix are really all you need for streaming... maybe HBO, though I don't know if I'll have time for all that content. I think network TV might die soon, w/ the streaming options nobody's going to need cable or even Over-the-air tv anymore. Nobody's going to be watching NBC, ABC, etc unless they're direct-to-netflix/hulu etc...

They fixed Star Wars the same way the vet fixed my dog. “The Last Jedi” was an atrocious film. “Solo” was excruciating fan service that ironically pleased none of the fans.

Huh. I’d call TLJ the first interesting SW film since Empire. TFA was typical Abrams—ok in the moment but brain dead beyond forgiveness as you start to think about it as the lights come up. Lazy writing even by his standards, and I don’t just mean the “copying ANH” thing. Solo was straight up awful. Rogue One had great potential and didn’t live up to it, but was OK. Gave me Star Wars Feels a couple times, which is more than I can say for any of the others but TLJ (only one to achieve the thing where they make you care a ton about several rebel pilots, and characterize them, by giving you about 3 seconds with each, since Empire, and the best of that since ANH).

I loved TFA because of the nostalgia, sure it copied many things. But history itself repeats sometimes. I thought it was a good way to reignite the story by having familiar elements.

Rogue one is my favorite thing so far out of Disney SW. It was so dark, and unexpected. Basically Hamlet in space. Would love for more of that, and i have high hopes for the mandalorian.

The fact that it was nothing like 1-3 is it's saving grace and no creature like jar-jar showed up. Though I was kind of hoping Snopes would end up being Jar-Jar because it could be the only explanation why Lucas would put that baffling idiot in there if he was really a brilliant Sith lord in disguise.

> I loved TFA because of the nostalgia, sure it copied many things. But history itself repeats sometimes. I thought it was a good way to reignite the story by having familiar elements.

It's a fun watch, like Abrams' Star Trek reboot, but has the same problem of extremely lazy plotting. Not that the original trilogy never ever has something happen purely because it's convenient for the writer and they can't be bothered to think of something better, but that's the underlying motivation for a lot of the writing in TFA and Abrams' other films, while it's usually rare or absent in a well-plotted film, including the original trilogy.

He'll even, sometimes, write in nonsense because it's convenient, then have to come up with other nonsense to find an excuse to get rid of the first nonsense, without bothering to try to make any of that seem reasonable or natural. Example: Han and Chewie show up in a big ship just because we need them to be here now and can't be bothered to write them into the plot some more natural way that doesn't require introducing a new ship, but we don't need that big ship around past this scene because it only exists in the first place for the writer's convenience in the moment, so we'll just... make up some plot-irrelevant reason for them to abandon it suddenly, at exactly the time we need them to. Boom, problem—which we created due to laziness—solved, by applying more laziness! It's basically a whole movie of that, ground up, from a plot perspective, and it really grates once you notice it.

About the best thing I can say about Abrams is he runs one of the the best casting operations in the business and seems to be a good director of actors. I mean, damn. And he's about 100x better than, say, Michael Bay at creating good, popcorn-dumb but not dumb dumb or hard-to-follow-for-no-reason-but-laziness, action scenes. He's no master of action, but he does entirely serviceable work, which is more than a lot of directors manage. His plot writing is just god awful technically speaking. About as bad as it can be without suffering outright incoherence.

TLJ is the movie that finally broke the camel's back and let me decide to never ever give Disney another dollar for anything Star Wars until they fix it. Every single promising scene was ruined by a misplaced bad joke or intentionally stupid bad guys(so the movie would not end within 5 minutes, including the opening). The rest was so inconsistent with itself and the older movies that nothing in SW makes sense anymore.

Disney has managed to kill all my enthusiasm I ever had for SW with a single movie. TLJ felt like an attempt to show how little they care about fans of the older movies imho.

>Huh. I’d call TLJ the first interesting SW film since Empire.

I agree, and I think time will eventually come to agree as well. TFA was visually interesting as all of the modern Star Wars films were, but plot-wise it was such an obvious fanservice-laden rehash of ANH that it left me unsatisfied. Yes, seeing Han Solo again engaging in space pirate shenanigans was fun, but another Death Star, just bigger this time, really?

TLJ actually tried to say something new and push the lore forward (in a direction a lot of fans didn't like, but still, no longer circling the drain of decades-year-old nostalgia.) I liked what it had to say about the nature of the Force and how the Jedi and Sith were both wrong, I like that Luke turned out to be a flawed character cynical about his mythical status as a hero, and that there is more than just the binary morality of "Jedi good, Sith bad, let's fight now" at play.

My biggest criticism of TLJ would be that, while I enjoyed it as a movie, I think it failed at its role as the second part of a trilogy, spending too much time undermining the previous movie. Although, as far as I know, that's because there never was an "arc" planned for this trilogy, so I don't even know how much blame TLJ can get for deviating from a plan which never existed.

I get a bad feeling that Rise of Skywalker is going to wind up being nothing but a fix-fic for the last two parts, though.

Kathleen Kennedy (the Star Wars Kevin Feige) wouldn't have allowed Rian Johnson to wreck any plans for Star Wars, and JJ Abrams had plenty of time to object if he thought TLJ was going to step on any ideas for its sequel.

My biggest criticism of TLJ was that I think it did the intended arc justice, but I didn't enjoy it on its own as a single movie. (Some of that is because I accidentally sort of double featured it with Three Billboards and Three Billboards entirely broke Poe Dameron as a character for me.)

I don't have any expectations for Rise of Skywalker yet. Waiting for reviews.

The Last Jedi was clearly a polarizing film, and it's fine if you didn't like it, but I think it's worth keeping in mind that the movie...

* Has an 85/100 on Metacritic ("Universal Acclaim")

* Has a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes

* Made $619M

So it was both a box office success and a critical success. Personally, I think it's far from an atrocious film. I think it's a flawed film, although my complaints have to do with structure and film mechanics, not story choices.

The franchise itself is so big that it has/had a lot of momentum, fans were willing to give it a lot of chances.

The test will be this years film and how it does.

My suspicion is that it's going to do very well even if, unlike the first two movies, it's a critical flop -- which I should note I'm not predicting. The last two movies did very well and the saga is going to have an awful lot of people who want to see how it officially ends regardless of whether they think TLJ (or TFA, for that matter) completely "worked." And J.J. Abrams certainly isn't likely to take the kind of story chances that Rian Johnson would, but he's also likely to make a leaner, less messy film, and might successfully thread the needle here. (I really hope the film doesn't try and pull off shocking twists to reverse the last film's shocking twists; it's always been in the back of my mind, though, that one of the story points some fans seemed to be so outraged about -- Rey being "a nobody" -- is a point that we technically only have Kylo Ren's word on.)

Having said all that, I don't think you're wrong -- I just think it's going to be the film after this year's that's going to be the real test!

None of them are perfect (except maybe RO imho), all exceeded my expectations (Lucas set that pretty low after 1-3).

Now let's see those audience scores.

Okay! The most reliable audience score metric -- in that it can't be brigaded by a relatively small number of online fans mobilized to affect the score of a movie because they want to prove a point[1] -- is probably CinemaScore, which has been polling actual moviegoers on opening nights since 1978. The Last Jedi's CinemaScore is A.

[1] While this is usually to drive down a score, you can find the reverse occasionally, such as the Atlas Shrugged movies. It's hard not to notice that the point the brigades are making usually revolves around "stick it to the Hollywood liberals," although I don't think that's true in TLJ's case.

It made $1.333 billion.

Ah! The score I looked at must have just been the US box office scores.

Atrocious is a pretty strong word. Saw it at the cinema with the wife and teenagers and we all enjoyed it. Rogue One was pretty spiffy.

So you're saying eps 7-9 are worse than 1-3? Because even if it were only slightly better, that is what 'fixing' means. Nothing could compare to the shitfest that 1-3 are.

I mean JAR JAR! for fuck sake.

Do you also deny that Rogue one is better at all than 1-3?

The real shitfest about the prequels is they didn't follow through with the JJ = Sith Lord plot.

I don't buy that theory. Sequels' emperor looks nothing like JarJar.

Snoke | Palpatine don't need to be jar jar.. He could be any number of bad guys...

It would've redeemed his character if he was able to infiltrate the opposition by being an imbecile.

>It would've redeemed his character if he was able to infiltrate the opposition by being an imbecile.

The problem is, no one would have shown up to the cinemas to find out. People hated Jar-Jar so much they wouldn't have wanted to see him redeemed.

The "Solo" movie about Han Solo's origin story was pretty good. I think they should do another one like that but for Darth Vader. Show what he was like as a young man before turning to the dark side.

Uhm, they did... but many of us refuse to accept 1-3

Exactly his point, I'm sure. Disney needs to uncanonize 1-3 and redo them completely.

I read this as the xkcd comic about the matrix and smiled.


Disney is probably the only media company with enough of a portfolio to have people add another streaming service in addition to Netflix or replace it. NBC/ATT/Apple don't really have a chance IMO. It is sad but we are going to move back to a federated "bundle" of streaming services a la what cable was for TV.

Apple's strategy seems to just give their service away for the next year or two (to anyone who buys an iPhone) and hope a few million people like their first-party shows. $5/month for the family (well, max. 6 people) is also not a hard thing to push for the iPhone demographic.

Just like Amazon Prime. Let's not pretend most people are actually subscribing to it...

"As a Prime member, you can already watch thousands of popular movies and TV shows at no extra cost, including exclusives and award-winning Amazon Originals available in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. Save even more with exclusive deals on video purchases."

No 'extra cost'? All that content isn't free. I feel about this much as I do about cable subscriptions by default including the cost of ESPN and other sports channels:

May I not subsidize this, please?

> Just like Amazon Prime. Let's not pretend most people are actually subscribing to it...

People outside the US may actually do that, because they don’t get Prime and thus they don’t get Prime Video as a free rider.

Personally I subscribed to it for The Grand Tour alone. For $4 a month, I find that worthwhile.

>People outside the US may actually do that, because they don’t get Prime and thus they don’t get Prime Video as a free rider.

Prime and Prime Video are available and bundled outside the US.

But not all countries. You can’t presume all Prime Video subscribers have Amazon Prime.

I think the Grand Tour probably got quite a few people to subscribe to prime.

I nearly unsubsubbed. GT is all the cruft and precious little of the TopGear soul it tried so cringlingly hard to steal. There is some good original content nontheless on prime.

Ironic, here I am thinking that GT is TopGear with the boring stuffy old parts removed. No, I don't care about Star in a Reasonably priced car or the Cool Wall.

I do care about the new car reviews, The News, 'what would happen if we made a car...out of spaghetti noodles', on-location shoots etc. GT has its own take on each of those.

> There is some good original content nontheless on prime.

To my amazement I found a surprisingly big catalog of RiffTrax and MST3K there. Definitely an unexpected bonus.

> Disney is probably the only media company with enough of a portfolio to have people add another streaming service in addition to Netflix or replace it.

HBO seems to be doing fine, with plenty people getting HBO Go to watch their shows.

NBC's rumored plan to build Hulu Attempt 2 with Peacock and focus on it being ad-supported and free by default might have a chance.

Their advertising and announcements seem to be very well executed, watching some relatives scroll through Twitter/Facebook recently showed a pretty large proportion of D+ ads.

My hunch is that, at least as far as the originals are concerned, Disney+ will only have the butchered-Gredo-never-shoots versions of 4-6. Do yourself and your loved ones a favor and track down Harney’s Despecilized Edition of 4-6 those are the only versions worth watching.

Edit: corrected the version numbers, dunno what I was thinking when I first typed the comment.

Just to be pedantic: in the original, Gredo really doesn't ever shoot, Solo just puts him down. So that's not the butchered version: Gredo shooting and Han's head moving unnaturally to the side, that there is an abomination available on blu-ray and DVD everywhere. And what we'll almost certainly have on Disney+. (I'd guess it was part of George's contract when he sold to Disney, that they can't release the originals.)

And yes, the Despecialized versions are wonderful and worth hunting down.

> are counting down the days until it launches

I don't understand - Disney already has a streaming service - DisneyLife. Why's everyone talking about Disney+ like you can't already stream Disney's classic movies, and Marvel, and Star Wars content, all in one place?

DisneyLife is geo-restricted if i'm not mistaken, D+ will actually be in the US.

I don't think DisneyLife is available in the US.

You mean DisneyLife in the UK? That doesn't have any Marvel or Star Wars titles on it.

I’m not imagining them! I subscribe for my daughter and it definitely does.

I'm not even remotely interested and haven't heard a word about it from anyone I know. I don't like throwing around words like evil much any more but I don't like Disney and can't see why I would want the service even if I did.

I’ve never bought a bra but somehow they manage to sell a lot of them.

> I’ve heard more excitement about Disney+ from family/friends than any other tech launch I can remember. Short of maybe the original iPhone, and maybe the Nintendo Switch. Techies and non-techies alike are counting down the days until it launches.

I am one of those people. I can’t wait to sign up for Disney streaming and ditch Netflix.

For me, Netflix is just full of filler with annoying ads touting a garbage Netflix series (I Land anybody)

At least with Disney, I know I will be getting a strong catalog (classic cartoons, Star Wars, Marvel)

Man the marketing bots are out in force today. Either HN really loves Disney -- skeptical of that -- or Disney is pushing hard. And they have the money to do so.

You think a site full of nerds is somehow not fans of animation, Star Wars, and Marvel movies? I'd contend that not one 'marketing bot' is involved at all. Disney's a monstrous company that's twisted Copyright to its own ends... but Marvel movies alone will drag me in.

Interesting. In the UK, I've heard nothing. I don't even know if they are launching.

March 31. Still a few months to go. I assume that's why.

I don’t know anyone who has stated they would not get it. I know 1 person who prepaid 1 year already. I got more excited when I found out the Pixar shorts like Piper will be on there. I see it as an “all you can eat” delight!

Also, earlier this year you could sign up for "D23" and get D+ for 3 years at $4/month (which I did). https://www.businessinsider.com/extended-d23-disney-plus-dea...

Hail corporate!

Maybe give them a book instead.

I've mostly gone back to using torrents. Too many different services, most of the new content sucks, and the software isn't always good. VLC always works, and I can rewatch old shows I've downloaded as many times as I want without having to worry about the platform revoking access.

I've gone back to pirating content, but via usenet instead of torrents. Once you've got Sonarr, Radarr, Omni, NZBget and Plex all playing happily together, it's a sublime experience compared to dealing with multiple streaming sources. I have a web portal (Ombi) my family can use to request content that we don't have downloaded. From there it gets pushed over to Sonarr / Radarr depending on whether it is a movie or tv show. Those then search for the show or movie you're interested in via usenet indexers. If the content isn't available yet (hasn't released on streaming / bluray to get a quality rip) it will track it and download as soon as it is available. This goes for ongoing tv shows too. Usually less than a couple hours after a show has been aired, it will be found and downloaded automatically. These tools also take care of moving the content around to the right location for Plex to find it and renames them so it's all consistent. I can request a movie from my Ombi website and have downloaded and ready to stream on all my devices in less than 10 minutes. TV shows download at around 1-2 minutes per episode. The other huge benefit over streaming services is that Plex allows you to cache media on mobile devices which has been crucial for road trips with three kids.

It's really not about the money aspect for me. I pay for usenet connections and indexers. I pay for the Plex Pass. I pay for the gigabit internet connection to facilitate those download speeds. I paid for the NAS and disks to store terrabytes of content and host all the software I need to get it. I'm okay paying. I just want a better experience and switching between half a dozen streaming services without a consistent search mechanism or offline viewing option just isn't cutting it.

Nice set-up, really smooth. What stops me on doing the same is that pirating through torrent via some adblock website seems a little bit less "despicable" than paying a service (usenet in this case) to enrich someone at the expense of someone else for my viewing pleasure/needs.

I’m trying to set this kind of thing up. Any guides you can share? Plex is all setup but all the other stuff (integrating torrenting safely) I’m having trouble with!

I don't have much advice in the way of torrents. As I said, I am using usenet now instead. It's a direct download instead of p2p, so you're not seeding and you don't need a VPN to hide you as long as you're using SSL connections to usenet. Since it's a direct download and I pay for the connection to usenet provider, I can almost saturate my gigabit fiber connection pulling new content instead of waiting for enough peers to trickle kbps to me. To get started, you'll need at least one Usenet provider (paid) and at least one usenet indexer (usually paid) to help you find content. I'd recommend checking out the /r/usenet subreddit for more details. Especially their FAQ (https://www.reddit.com/r/Usenet/wiki/faq).

For my stack, I've got a Synology NAS device which is running docker versions of the download managers Sonarr and Radarr, the download client NZBget, Ombi for user requests and Plex for streaming to devices.

Which Synology NAS are you using? Any SSDs on it?

I tried a similar Dockersetup with a Atom C2000 based NAS and spinning disks and it was really easy to setup and maintain but painfully slow.

I'm using the Synology DS1019+. No SSDs for disk or caching. I did have a lot of trouble when using SABnzbd as the download client. It would take much longer to unpack and verify files than it would to download them. After switching to NZBget I didn't have any more performance issues. Which aspect is slow for you?

Plex transcoding mainly and yeah SABnzbd would take an eternity.

The DS1019+ has no issue with transcoding from what I’ve read, and can handle even up to 4K right?

I since switched to an Intel NUC running Ubuntu + Docker. I was able to use bash scripts to auto update everything nightly so it’s thankfully (almost) zero maintenance now that it is setup and it stores everything on my Synology.

Running outta space though...

To be honest I’ve been slowly replacing my Plex library with iTunes purchases. A lot of movies come up on sale for £2.99.

Apple even upgrade HD purchases to 4K for free and I don’t have to worry about hosting anything. Think given how many £££s I’ve spent on my Plex homelab vs buying from Apple I’d come out even and if factoring in time spent curating a digital library (a lot of time) I’d probably be somewhat ahead.

Still hedging my bets by keeping my Plex library though!

Yep, I can stream 4k without any issues. I don't see any reason why you couldn't run the same stack on the Intel NUC though.

I'd be happy to purchase iTunes movies if I could play them back over Plex, so I can still access my content from one place and have consistency of features across devices. I don't think any commercial platforms really support that though. It's one of the reasons I don't use Lidarr and pirate music too. I'm okay paying for Spotify because it's my one source of music and with the family account everyone can sync songs with their devices. If I had to go to multiple platforms for music the way we do for streaming and movies I wouldn't hesitate to start downloading music again.

The reasons to pirate shows used to be that "cable is all or nothing and cost so much, let me pay only for what i want to watch". So now you can signup to services for only 10$/piece instead of a $100 bundle, takes less than 5 minutes to unsubscribe and switch. And now the new reason to pirate is "there are too many services"

This was never about availability, it was always about not paying.

Piracy is not about availability; it is about convenience.

Signing up to different services that are based around monthly fees and then having to deal with those services when you might only want to binge one show is inconvenient.

Having to deal with personal data loss / fraud when those services get hacked is onconvenoent

Having to use multiple different apps (or even devices) for different shows is inconvenient.

Having to be online to watch the show is inconvenient.

Pirating can be more convenient than the above (see other posters fully automated setup) and when it is, the path of least resistance wins.

> then having to deal with those services when you might only want to binge one show is inconvenient

It's really less convenient than setting up a plex server buying multiple TBs of storage and presumably dealing with all of the hassle involved in joining a private tracker?

Absolutely, like no question. Once the show's been automatically downloaded you can do whatever you want with it, and setting up Plex is a one-time-only thing. What happens when the content you're after gets sold to someone else or subsumed into another provider and you've got to jump to a new streaming service with different terms and conditions and content restrictions?

Piracy is simple.

I've dealt with a private tracker before and I know you are lying. Spending money on netflix and amazon is simple and costs less and requires less effort than buying everything involved in setting up a plex server.

Piracy is only simple if you are content with watching cheap rips that you download from the pirate bay on your laptop.

It's simple to the point that I often see people around spontaneously pirate content they do have legal access to because of convenience.

You don't pay for a percentage of the month when you cancel. When you switch to three different services in one month you're paying for three different services.

And oftentimes --especially in the case of Disney-- the consumer has paid for the movie several times in several different formats. Meanwhile if a pirate downloads a digital copy he has it for life, with the ability to transfer it between devices and watch it after cancelling a service. Piracy is still a distribution problem.

Not sure I agree. I have Netflix, but I even torrent their shows so I can watch if my internet craps out.

There are also numerous annoyances, such as shows split across multiple services, lots of exclusive shows, and of course a lot of older films can be hard to find on streaming services.

Gabe Newell was right, pirating is a service problem.

I pay for content, but I find is desirable to supplement it with the occasional torrent.

Spotify and Apple Music seem to have killed off lots of music piracy, no need to, everything is on there. Music piracy is much easier than movie piracy due to size and availability, yet most people who used to pirate music are now on these services. They have made it easy enough.

TV and movies haven't figured that out yet and the rights warfare is very intense. People just want to see the content they want to see easily when they want it, they will pay for that gladly. There is almost a PTSD about what movies/shows are available, not, when they will go away, etc. I like to own movies and shows to always have them.

Streaming catalogs are all incomplete except Netflix, a bunch of parts to a collector that is madness. Another annoyance is even if you buy streaming access you might not get the show you expect, for instance CBS All-Access doesn't have a CBS show Everybody Loves Raymond. Streaming movies/shows is a patchwork of minefields that requires research in times of leisure. Noone wants to go hunting down the show they want to watch right now and should be available across the 5 streaming services + live TV they use, but it half the time is not there. You have to search and find which platform it is on currently if at all.

Side note, I buy tons on iTunes because I can still download the movies. Though the content protection is also problematic for customers that bought it, just an annoyance that they shouldn't put on content. Netflix is allowing this now as well, same DRM trap though. The quality of streaming still sucks especially on desktop/PC where browsers are limited to 720p. 1080p/4k is what people want and streaming is going to get extorted more and more by ISPs when they start pushing more 1080p/4k.

This is a very US-centric view. In a lot of countries the content wasn't available, or was delayed significantly making torrent the only real option for seeing a show as it comes out. When social media is covered in spoilers waiting more than a day or two isn't particularly appealing.

Paying $10/month for the rest of my life is not worth it unless I'm actually getting $10/month worth of value out of the service. I don't spend that much time watching TV.

As GP states, these services largely have very easy cancellation processes. There is no need to pay for the “rest of your life” if you don’t feel the content is worth the price long term.

Nothing the copyright industry does will ever be able to compete with "piracy". What matters is if the paid service is good enough for most people to not bother with copyright infringement.

Netflix did occupy that comfortable spot but now the market is being needlessly fragmented because every copyright holder wants to make their own streaming service. Not having to manage one's subscriptions is obviously better than having to do it, regardless of how fast it is to switch.

A "plex" for shows/streaming services would be great; I know Apple TV and Fire TV try to do it seems adoption of this is low (such as Apple TV showing HBO GO shows, but YouTube TV not reporting to either Apple/Fire TV) and there's not a "you don't have access this show, but here's a list of services that you could subscribe to" (Google search results does show streaming services available for shows and movies, but it's not integrated anywhere).

AT&T Now and Hulu both integrate with the TV app and reportedly as will Disney+.

For reference, here all of the apps that integrate with the TV app.


> always about not paying

with the exception of regional blocked content you are right, but now we are back to a point where it becomes (relatively) expensive to have a big enough variety available to watch

It's convenience, always has been.

> takes less than 5 minutes to unsubscribe and switch

Not if you have ADHD. Subscriptions are one of the worst prisons imaginable.

The new streaming reality is quickly turning into hell.

And you can also have Plex and similar to manage your library, if you need it.

Can anyone link 'good practices' tutorials on how to _securely_ setup a NAS+Plex?

Also can a NAS be easily setup without using the manufacturer's software? (e.g Synology)

There is a whole world of info out there. But for someone with little network experience it's hard to know what's good advice or not.

The Arch wiki generally has good, up to date stuff -- it's replaced the old Gentoo wiki as a solid source of info, even if you're not running Gentoo or Arch.


They even have sections about security, albeit fairly short.


It does seem a bit oversaturated.

You could probably sell a Terabyte hard disk with the best shows and movies ever made and probably keep people entertained for quite a while.

Apparently this is a thing in Cuba: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33816655

Very popular in south america. In Peru you could go to the local mercado and some dude would give you a binder full of music, movies and shows - you would pick all the stuff you wanted and return in a few hours and buy a fully loaded thumb/hard drive from him.

I have an incredible archive of traditional 'charango' music from Bolivia and Peru through these fine gents, but they had all the latest HBO and Hollywood stuff as well.

What format does the music come in?

I pirate everything out of principal. I used to pay for HBO because, you know, they had good content and weren't completely fucking evil. But then they sold to Ma Bell ️

>> “I’ve probably seen each episode of The Mandalorian three times,” Iger says. “First, to give some notes. Second, to see the rough cut and the impact of the notes. And now, just recently, I watched all the final cuts so that I could be blown away by how it looks.”

You see this sometimes in large B2B projects. As soon as v senior management are involved in "tweaking" products you know you are likely screwed given their disconnect and lack of ability for people further down to say "no". And thats for software, cant imagine the impact it would have on something as creative as movies/TV.

I think it depends on the culture. If you look at what Iger has done with Disney then it could be that he can genuinely add something in a similar way that I believe Steve Jobs added to Apple products. In some corporate culture then yes, it could be detrimental, but from what I have read about Iger and what he has achieved I'd say that it would be positive him being involved

I'd consider Apple an example of exactly why this sort of input is bad for entertainment, Tim Cook personally cancelled their first scripted show after supposedly wasting two years making it [1].

With companies like Apple and Disney at the helm you're only going to get milquetoast film and TV.

Not saying TV needs sex and violence to be good, but once creators are limited through the lens of a wider production company brand, they're always going to be limited.

Typical case of the person writing the cheque thinking they're way more important to the creation of the work than they actually are, Disney and Apple execs live in a world where they have convinced themselves we'd watch their movies and at the end think "Wow, Disney/Apple did a great job on this" rather than the director or actors.

[1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-sex-please-were-apple-iphone...

Good points. I was referring to Steve Jobs at Apple rather than Apple itself. Prior to him coming back and post his death the company has been ran by people without the same vision and capability. I suspect the culture has changed at Apple dramatically with Cook in charge and that shows in the products I feel.

> Not saying TV needs sex and violence to be good

Apple’s new show See isn’t much if not sex and violence.

Indeed. For all we know he only watched it to "give some notes" because he was actually invited to do so by the producers.

Interesting. I also read an interesting article[1] by Matt Stoller where he makes a good argument for breaking up companies like Disney for their anti-competitive behavior.

[1]: https://mattstoller.substack.com/p/its-time-to-break-up-disn...

I've always been apprehensive towards corporate acquisitions. I mean, why try to compete when you can just buy them?

Well then another competitor will pop up. You have to still compete in some form if you don’t have a monopoly or some form of regulatory capture.

If McDonald’s started acquiring lemonade stands the moment they opened up, you’d start to see a lot of lemonade stands.

Sure but that's not really good for the consumer, that's just good for lemonade stand owners, who aren't really opening their stands to provide a competitive service, they're just looking to cash out when McDonalds buys them..

Of course it’s good. Consumers get lower prices from the opening stands. Eventually McDonald’s will need to start selling lemonade or won’t be able to afford buying all of the stands.

Larry Ellison would agree, and built a fortune based on that opinion.

> MoffettNathanson LLC, a media and technology investment firm, expects its three services to lose a combined $11 billion over the next four years, then finally turn a profit in 2024. And that’s if all goes according to plan.

Companies will bleed insane amount of money in the streaming war.

I suppose it's a great time to be a creative professional in TV/film (not sure whether that distinction even matters anymore).

There's a story this week in the Los Angeles Times detailing the struggles of assistants in the entertainment industry where a lot of professionals got their start, mirroring the strike in the fictional Hollywoo of Bojack Horseman's latest half season, somehow the streaming wars are pointed at for causing worse working conditions/prolonging time as assistant. "Shorter seasons, longer hiatuses and the increase in limited series have greatly impacted residuals and opportunities while introducing more financial insecurity." https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/20...

Absolutely. And it's important to keep in mind that were it not for unions (SAG-AFTRA and IATSE mainly) it would likely be a very different story, with low wages and unsafe working conditions.

Probably, especially a good one. For the longest time almost anything Netflix made was good -- now they seem to be struggling to get talent. These days they're having to approve steaming garbage like 'Another Life' (6% on Rotten Tomatoes - it's painfully bad) just to keep churning out content.

The "Who has deeper pockets?" game doesn't seem to be the intended competition by which capitalism is good. I don't like this timeline.

I remember being unbelievably hyped for Hulu when it launched in 2007. I got into the beta and watched shows for 6 hours straight (wooo Burn Notice). As a consumer, I was voluntarily watching commercials in exchange for being able to see the shows I missed during the week on the internet. It seemed like a fair 1:1 trade for me because I was just watching the commercials that I would have seen on TV anyway.

The 1:1 trade doesn't seem so balanced anymore.

I'm still waiting for the content. I had the free subscription, and it was dismal, certainly for someone who doesn't like Marvel. Producing a few chapters of a Star Wars spinoff or another "Beyond Infinity Avengers War Universe" isn't going to bind many people.

Their streaming isn't great either. The two times we watched a movie, playback was regularly interrupted, one of which proved impossible to continue that same evening. And no, that never happens when watching Netflix.

I find it a bit funny how many people in here think Disney sucks now. The tech/developer crowd clearly is not their audience (which is fine). I personally think Disney has done a good job with the Marvel acquisition by taking some pretty unknown characters and turning them into heroes on par with Spiderman which 10-15 years ago would be unbelievable. The Last Jedi on the other hand I thought was meh. Leia floating through space? That's pushing it.

Anecdotally, I was just at Disneyland on a weekday recently and it was as packed as can be, and among my friends who aren't at in tech many of them are diehard Disney fans and are super excited for Disney+ (especially their new show Mandalorian). Considering Disney's track record at the box office the last 5 years I expect Disney+ to do well.

Disney did one thing well with Marvel: they kept out of it and let Marvelstudios do their thing.

Well they almost fucked up Guardians of the Galaxy 3 with the firing of Gunn.

I am not sure this is true. The latest Spiderman is basically Hanna Montana with superpowers.

Compare with the previous two versions or even Spiderman: into the spiderverse.

FYI: Into the Spiderverse is a Sony movie - Disney/Marvel wasn't involved. Sony has owned Spiderman movie rights since the Tobey Maguire trilogy

I know, I meant it's not the only way the character and movies could have been done.

This reminds me of the Blockbuster video/Netflix gloves off battle, similar commentary. Hopefully Disney has more sucess than the current TGI Friday’s CEO who was on the wrong side of the fight. It’s good reading if you aren’t familiar.

Streaming is becoming too fragmented, too many studios are "taking their ball home" by pulling popular shows from Netflix / others just to support their specific platform.

Meanwhile, my NAS and Plex server don't seem to mind serving up DRM free files of mine.

How difficult it is to set up a NAS? Any decent and up to date guide out there?

I too would love to look into this. I spent a bit of time researching Kaliedoscope and Plex, It seems like a lot of work to initially setup, but once done having the ability to download torrents automatically or with a text sounds amazing.

The harder part would be convincing my girlfriend and roommate to ditch cable... We have the option to get gigabit internet but I was outvoted on the switch. Gotta fork over money to Comcast because they don't mind the ads.

A NAS, something like a Synology DS218+, is fairly easy to setup. I'm not a sysadmin or anything like that, though I do have some experience with Linux (2000-2005). My main OS these days is MacOS. I wouldn't want to have my 70 year old father try to set it up, but if you're on Hacker News you probably will cope with it ok.

It's my opinion that it's more time-consuming and tricky to rip/re-encode everything. I use MakeMKV and a few extra apps to rip/convert subtitles. Handbrake is, seemingly, what everyone uses to convert to MP4/MKV or whatever... and it takes a fair bit of patience to find the sweet spot of quality, size, and compatibility.

I started ripping/converting DVDs and BluRays last year around this time and I'm still on it. Some of that is due to the fact that I've had to go back and re-rip stuff and some of that is due to the fact that the machine I'm using for conversion is about 10 years old. A BR film takes about a day to a day and a half to encode.

Have you heard about Automatic Ripping Machine [1] ? It basically automates what you're doing with MakeMKV and Handbrake, plus it will copy the entire disc contents onto your hard drive and eject the disc, allowing you to queue up multiple.

[1] https://github.com/automatic-ripping-machine/automatic-rippi...

Disney is an awful company, and I strongly disagree with their attempt to monopolize streaming. I know lots of people will gladly fork over their money, but this move is just making sure I'll be pirating all the the exclusive content I can't find elsewhere

I find it amusing that some people are fine with stealing, until it happens to them.

All CEO bios like to begin by noting how early they wake up, and how the work out every morning at 6am at the very latest. I used to think this was a form of self-aggrandizement. "I'm a powerful CEO because I have superhuman discipline and stamina that you can't even imagine!"

Now I just wonder: am I lazy?

Now imagine that every single thing in your life that had the slightest bit of friction disappeared. Car doors opened as you walked towards them. When you wanted a coffee you said "coffee" to someone and it was brought to you just the way you like it, and soon as you were done the mug was removed. You never waited even a single moment for anything. The people you needed to meet with were all camped out in conference rooms just outside your office and you went to the next one when you were no longer being entertained by the one you were in. Your calendar was exactly the way you wanted it to, except for the rare occasion you met with someone more senior than you like the president of a country. Every day at precisely the time you wanted to, you had precisely the meal you wanted, cooked to your tastes and nutritional specifications by someone who could be running a Michelin star restaurant. When you got out of bed every day, the sheets were washed and the bed was re-made to military precision by a team of squarely built housekeepers.

Then it wouldn't be so hard to work out every morning at 6am, joined by your personal trainer who won a bronze medal at the 2002 Olympics.

How old are you?

I was a late riser until well into my thirties. Then suddenly something weird happened (well, not so weird sadly -- hormones shifting, I'm sure) and I started waking up early. Now, being up at 6am doesn't sound like some great accomplishment to me. Staying up past midnight on the other hand, now there's a challenge!

If I ran Disney I'd be up at 4 AM too. What a blast. Yeah some stress but some fun ass chess pieces to move everyday.

Yeah, I'm not to that age, but know plenty of people who stopped being able to sleep past 4 AM as they aged. Honestly, it's rough to actually live; I see nothing wrong with people trying to spin it as a positive.

Yeh it’s basically a choice between hating myself and thrashing around in bed at 5:30AM, or getting up and feeling like I’m accomplishing things. Was not something I had to force really...

I'm your average SV employee, not an industry-dominating CEO.

To me it's a matter of getting it done - no one is going to derail or disrupt your workout at 5:30 AM by calling you to see if you want to go get a drink last minute or by having to shuttle your kids around after school. Similarly, you're not going to be relying on your willpower at 8PM after a long, arduous day.

That's been the biggest benefit to me personally. The confidence (both in appearance and sense of accomplishment) and energy boost throughout the day is icing no the cake.

My willpower is exponentially bigger at 8PM on my hardest days than at 5:30AM following my easiest day.

This is a marketing strategy for the rich. These people have to demonstrate feats of work to justify why they make thousands of times more money than normal people. Of course, no person can do work that is a thousand times more valuable than that of an average person. It's a ruse.

Maybe CEOs don't have families? It's a priority for me to be around to see my kids off to school.

Big shot days run off the rails late. If you manage a significant organization, early morning is probably the only time truly under your control.

Nah. I know a very successful, multi-time Founder/CEO who won't schedule meetings before 10:30 because he doesn't like waking up early. He'll accept meetings with VCs as needed, but then complain to us about it if he has multiple in a week or a particularly early one (8am).

It's comforting, as I'm the same way. I'd rather work 10-10, than 8-4.

You are referring to Jeff Bezos right?

It's just a mode of operation. I start my work around 6am, sometimes earlier. I stopped using an alarm years ago, I just wake up 7ish hours after I go to sleep (I go to bed early).

Personally, it makes me way more productive and less stressed. I get my quality work done before everyone else starts the day, nobody sets meetings at 7 am so im not disturbed. If I get lumped with a task in the evening I dont sacrifice it, instead ill push it until the morning and have it done before the rest get into work. I don't hit rush hour ever.

Note at least for me its not about superhuman discipline & stamina. I prob do the same hours of work, just more productive this way. And im a lazy fart, so you dont need to worry about the discipline. Just need enough to force yourself to go to bed at 9pm for awhile and after a week you'll be up with the chickens too.

1. It’s a lot easier to maintain a schedule like that when you have a team of people to hold you accountable

2. They’re probably describing their ideal day, that actually happens less than 30% of the time

In my experience, this isn't it at all.

The more people who need your input/help and make demands on your time, the less personal and free time you have.

Being a CEO feels exactly like being a Dad with 6 Toddlers. If you want even a micro-second for yourself it has to be before everyone else wakes up.

That's why they wake up at 4:00am. It's not because they are dominating the world... its because they are trying to hide from it.

I wonder how many CEO's are the opposite, i.e. stay up late for the same reasons.

Elon Musk?

Not so. I know people who live this way.

Obviously you shouldn’t compare yourself to a CEO

>Now I just wonder: am I lazy?

Or perhaps you are just normal.

Too many stores with too many exclusives offered for rent only. Too bad for them, it will only increase piracy, since those stores don't sell individual titles, but all require paying a constant renting fee. No one is interested in paying too many of such fees at once.

The idea of many similar stores that push exclusives could scale for purchasing, but not for rent.

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