Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Installing Vudu to your Amazon Fire TV StickTV

A few years ago my DirecTV subscription had reached nearly $300 (US) per month and I finally decided it was time to “cut the cord”. The biggest obstacle would be making sure I had the channels the family was used to or I would never hear the end of it. After some careful research I eventually decided to buy both a mix of Roku players and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

After connecting and setting up my streaming apps I soon discovered that both had their limitations. With the more and more streaming services coming online (Disney +, Apple TV, Hulu, HBO Max) and many others the limitations have grown shorter but there are still some key features missing. One of the biggest one to me is the fact that Vudu and HBO Max have been absent from both the Roku and Fire TV Stick but I soon found a work around for this problem. I will not go into the specifics of how exactly you can rectify this problem but instead direct you here for a quick and fast approach to eliminate the issue on your Fire TV Stick.

One addition I would say when adding Vudu to your Fire TV Stick use the older version of the Vudu app (starting with version 6 instead of 7) because in my experience the app interface is far superior in version 6.

R.I.P Steve Jobs

Shocking news just received on my Iphone 4 courtesy of the AP app. I am shocked because I thought he was taking time off to fully recover and come back. Steve Jobs with IPhone

 

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American entrepreneur and inventor. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs also previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, following the acquisition of Pixar by Disney. He was credited in Toy Story (1995) as an executive producer.

In the late 1970s, Jobs, with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Mike Markkula, and others, designed, developed, and marketed one of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series. In the early 1980s, Jobs was among the first to see the commercial potential of Xerox PARC’s mouse-driven graphical user interface, which led to the creation of the Macintosh. After losing a power struggle with the board of directors in 1985, Jobs resigned from Apple and founded NeXT, a computer platform development company specializing in the higher-education and business markets. Apple’s subsequent 1996 buyout of NeXT brought Jobs back to the company he co-founded, and he served as its CEO from 1997 until 2011. In 1986, he acquired the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm Ltd which was spun off as Pixar Animation Studios.[17] He remained CEO and majority shareholder at 50.1% until its acquisition by The Walt Disney company in 2006.[18] Consequently Jobs became Disney’s largest individual shareholder at 7% and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors.

His aim to develop products that are both functional and elegant earned him a devoted following

On August 24, 2011, Jobs announced his resignation from his role as Apple’s CEO. In his letter of resignation, Jobs strongly recommended that the Apple executive succession plan be followed and Tim Cook be named as his successor. Per his request, Jobs was appointed chairman of Apple’s board of directors.[24][25][26][27] On October 5, 2011, Apple announced that Steve Jobs had died at the age of 56

Downloading songs can cost you!

For years now we have heard horror stories of the RIAA sueing people for downloading music, usually the fine was reduced to a settlement a little over $2,000. That brings me to the story of a woman in Minnesota who instead of trying to settle decided to fight the case. That resulted in her loosing and a large fine imposed that off course she appealed. Well here we are several years and appeals later and another appeals court has ruled she must pay.

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs

What’s the value of a song? Jammie Thomas-Rasset has spent the last few years in court debating that question. The Minnesota mother of four is being penalized for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa in 2006, but how much she owes the record labels has been in question. The jury in her third trial has just ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay Capitol Records $1.5 million, CNET reports, which breaks down to $62,500 per song. It’s a heavy penalty considering the 24 tunes would only cost approximately $24 on iTunes, which was Thomas-Rasset’ argument, too.

Thanks to Thomas-Rasset’s colorful case, she has become the public face of the record industry’s battle with illegal downloaders. In her first trial, in 2007, the jury demanded she pay $222,000 for violating the copyright on more than 1,700 songs by Green Day, Aerosmith and Richard Marx, to name a few. (Marx said he was “ashamed” to be associated with the “farcical” prosecution of an illegal downloader.) Thomas-Rasset maintained she wasn’t the computer user who did the file sharing, and her legal team cited an error in jury instruction to secure a second trial in 2009 that ended with a much harsher result: an astronomical fine of $1.92 million. However, earlier this year a U.S. District Court judge found the $1.92 million penalty against Thomas-Rasset to be “monstrous and shocking” and “gross injustice” before lowering it to $54,000, or $2,250 a song. Thomas-Rasset and her legal team decided to appeal that decision, too.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the organization that represents the four major record labels, was pleased by the most recent decision, even if it has no intention to collect the $1.5 million from Thomas-Rasset. “Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions,” the RIAA said in a statement. Earlier this year, the RIAA offered Thomas-Rasset the opportunity to end the legal battle for $25,000 and an admission of guilt; Thomas-Rasset declined.

Burying a Midwestern mom in insurmountable debt isn’t the best publicity move, so rather than argue the labels are entitled to the cash, the RIAA has sought to make this trial into a cautionary tale for anyone considering illegally downloading music — a reminder that there are penalties. But as the constantly declining weekly Nielsen SoundScan sales figures demonstrate, nothing seems to have deterred music fans from stealing rather than purchasing songs and albums. And in a digital world now dominated by Bit Torrent and Rapidshare, a trial over a music-sharing dinosaur like Kazaa seems nothing but antiquated. (Last month, after a decade of illegal file sharing, peer-to-peer service LimeWire was shut down by the government, much to the surprise of the millions who thought LimeWire had faded years ago into the Internet ether.)

Still, Thomas-Rasset and her legal team are already making plans to appeal, setting the stage for a fourth trial. “The fight continues,” promised Thomas-Rasset’s lawyer Kiwi Camara. Even if Thomas-Rasset were to win the next trial, the RIAA would likely appeal that decision to ensure that copyright infringement without penalization won’t happen. This story has the potential to drag on well into the next decade — when for $1.5 million, all of Thomas-Rasset’s four kids could finish law school and take up the fight on her behalf.

Really I think there is no way she could ever win this case but the problem of illegal downloading is far from being solved. At the beginning there where one or two sites that offered downloads now there are literally hundreds. The industry embraced the internet to late and now is paying for it. The problem is many talented very creative artist are not getting paid like they should. I like to use a service called emusic that actually will be adding Universals catalog was well as Amazon.com to purchase mp3’s.