Saturday, December 08, 2007

Missing TV shows and sharing

In general, I am not a strong advocate of file sharing and not because of legality issues, although I do have an opinion on this as well, I do find myself turning to places like Youtube to watch snippets of various news articles that have been reported on by the professional broadcasters such as CNN and the other networks like NBC, ABC, CBS, CBC, CTV, GLOBAL, BBC, I could go on but I believe you get the idea.. for that matter, the fact that these are now broadcasting their own streams in many case, direct from their own website, whether I choose to record it to watch on my computer at a later time should be my choice. Now, the fact that I forgot to record or even knew that it was playing means I should be able to turn to tv listings and plan a scheduled recording and now we have PVR's for that (TIVO for those of you in the know). So the fact that your computer is online the internet through a high-speed connection and is on all the time, means you should be able to share with those that you choose, such as family and friends. This is an 'opt-in' situation however, as you would be setting up the connection between the two computers.  Along comes some program that allows you to search the internet for the tv program and what I will just call 'bit torrent" as there are many other means to connect computers, this appears to have been the most accurate way to send large batches of files through the internet, but even this causes problems for network administrators such as your Telco/Broadband provider) as they obviously want to give the best of bandwidth and speed to those that are paying the most for it because that is how they stay in business, the more we saw the times when you could place an antennae on your roof of your home and pick up distant television signals that were being broadcast, you can now walk down your street and pick up numerous internet signals that are most likely secure, but not always and you may find a hotspot in which you can quickly check your email, or quite possibly send one. But what if someone were to park outside your home and start to download large sized files and ultimately steal your signal strength then you would be upset about this, but what about the times when you are not at your computer and you are not using that bandwidth?  I turn to a 'bit torrent' styled program such as U-Torrent to retrieve that missing tv program. Is this wrong?  So I am over at your home and I am telling you about my problem of not recording last weeks episode of Survivor and you say to be, " no problem, I have it right here" and proceed to  hand me the DVD that from your DVD recorder.. is that allowed?  What is the difference?  Well some would say it is the way in which you received the file and others would say there is nothing wrong.  So lets make a law and you have enough people with claims of why it should be a law and it either becomes one or gets tossed out for being crazy thinking.   

So as I try to stay on top of the tech news, I find more and more 'issues' that could all be considered so controversial.  Programs pop up and get promoted as the next great thing and "Web 2.0" applications and websites start coming on to the scene.  Sites like Facebook which show a very steady growth in 'subscribers' and yet still less then what MySpace has, yet everyone I talk to says MySpace is dead. Now with the recent outbreak of privacy issues with Facebook and Beacon and the entire advertising gimmick (again only my opinion)... personally, I have a facebook account and at this point in time I find it nothing more then a waste of my time.. Yes sure, I like to stay in touch with friends and family but the problem I see is how much time I find myself applying new applications that simply want to run off of the facebook list of people, creating things like 'your vote on the movies you have seen and can then compare it to your facebook friends'.. being able to post to their wall, much like sticking a note on their fridge door for when they happen to walk by it.. in this case the draw to the website has been on steady climb, that is until people recognize just how quickly their privacy can be taken for granted but in the end only because they 'opted in' to something without your true knowledge of what you have done.  This is where the laws are (slowly) being created and entire companies are being destroyed.  The thing about the internet is no matter what goes on, things move at a much more rapid speed then what it may be like without such a huge 'communication source'. After all, that is what the internet was initially designed for wasn't it?  For communication purposes.

Along comes a new website, much in a way like (has been taken down so no point in linking)  that was taken down due to it being unlawful?  Still not sure exactly what for, other then the fact that some of the website links were to known to be illegal websites that have quite possibly since been taken down as well, but this time, people can input whether or not the site is good or not, inevitably making the site prosper or not. The more 'hits' a website gets, if the site has enough sponsorship advertising, could essentially make the website owner a very wealthy individual, depending on just how many people visit the site and stay at the site, tell two friends about the site, etc, etc.

So by me blogging about a site that I happened to visit and find very useful, may also help you find something useful, but when we later find out that it was against the law, where does that leave us? Accessories to the fact?  It is this type of thinking that must stop as it only creates mass pandemonium within.  I know I hadn't blogged about Facebook on this blog much before, and most recently how I stated I was planning on posting something more to the fact that in my opinion, I saw Facebook as nothing more then a virus (waiting to happen maybe), and this is pretty much what has happened. Because you are essentially always 'accepting or refusing' the installation of various plug-ins or web-apps to work from within the website 'facebook' you would eventually be clicking to accept something you were unaware of that would eventually lead to the broadcasting of whatever you purchased through a specific website.  I personally found quite the shock when I was at a friends place and had mentioned amazon to them, pulling up the website and entering my email address I learned what I had purchased before and what they were recommending for me.   Sure, maybe when I am considering buying something, to place other items that 'others that have purchased this product also found of interest' these sort of things can lead to some very good finds when shopping for specific items.

The most recent website I have found that could be of some use, but feel it too may be found to be contributing to the "wrong side of the internet" which many would say is the illegal use of your personal well-being.   If it is doing nothing but allow others to place their thoughts of specific programs and/or websites you have visited, then surely the law makers must also feel this way?  No, unfortunately as much as we all would love to live in harmony, there are always going to be those that want to upset the apple cart whether it be through the greed of making money or the need to be noticed through 'website hits' which essentially lead right back to not only revenue for the website but money for the site owner. So where does this money end up? To go back in to further research and programming or?  I would like to think so!  

Funny thing about this blog entry is by the time I have completed it and have gone back through inserting the various links the 'pickypirate' website has either been taken down or has been flooded by too many people visiting the site all at the same time!