Why does it take just as many Blu-ray discs as DVD discs to hold the same content?

Why does it take just as many Blu-ray discs as DVD discs to hold the same content? - Bent CornerCosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the Neil Degrasse Tyson reboot of the 1980 Carl Sagan PBS television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, comes out on video today. I’ve been looking forward to owning this. Currently, there are two versions: a 4-disc DVD set and a more expensive 4-disc Blu-ray set.

Why do both versions need four discs?

A dual-layer commercial DVD can hold up to 8.7 gigabytes of content. A dual-layer commercial Blu-ray can hold up to 50 gigabytes of content. The Blu-ray version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey contains 572 minutes of content. The DVD version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey contains 572 minutes of content. Why then does it take the same amount of Blu-ray discs as DVD discs to hold the same content? One Blu-ray disc can easily hold 572 minutes of content, yet 20th Century Fox, the producers of the documentary, use just as many high-content Blue-rays as they do DVD discs.

I’d be lying if I said I could notice any difference between a Blu-ray and a DVD, especially when the DVD is played on a player that upscales to 1080p. The only real noticeable difference between the two is that it takes close to three minutes for a Blu-ray disc to load up. DVD discs load much faster. The problem of excessive load times could be negated if publishers didn’t use four Blu-ray discs when a single Blu-ray disc could have easily contained the same content.

There are reasons I sometimes think Blu-ray is a rip-off.

How to read Herald-Mail.com for free

herald-mail-freeMy local newspaper’s website, the Herald-Mail.com, like too many newspaper websites, tries to charge visitors to read content, even obituaries. This is on top of all the annoying, gratuitous advertising plastered everywhere. Each month, you’re allowed so many free views, but after that number has been reached, you’re required to pay anywhere from 99 cents for a single day to $65.89 for a full year if you still want to read.

You can pay this if you want to, but you can also easily and legally continue to read Herald-Mail.com for free. All you have to do is put your browser in private mode. Among other things, it stops Herald-Mail.com from placing cookies, small data files on your computer that allows them to track your previous activity. If you stop Herald-Mail.com from placing a cookie on your computer, they can’t count how many articles you’ve looked at. At least the way they’re currently doing it.

This method also works for other newspaper websites, not just Herald-Mail.com.

Every browser has a different method for enacting private mode:

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer: Ctrl+Shift+P or go to Preferences > safety > InPrivate Browsing.
  • Mozilla Firefox: Click on the firefox-private button and select New Private Menu.
  • Google Chrome: Ctrl+Shift+N or click on the firefox-private button and select New incognito window.

If you use Google Chrome, there’s Incognito-Filter, a nifty extension that automatically puts Chrome into private or incognito mode when you go to a site you’ve previously listed. It’s very easy to use and it’s free.

This method also works for other newspaper websites, not just Herald-Mail.com.

GoDaddy removes email support, customers must now call

GoDaddy removes email support, customers must now call - Bent Corner
If you’re a customer of GoDaddy and you want to submit a ticket or send an email to get support, you’re out of luck. Instead of submitting a trouble ticket or sending an email, you’ll need to call their 24/7 support desk and talk to a real-live person on the phone.

As someone who has been making their living for the past five or so years providing tech support, I couldn’t agree more with GoDaddy’s decision to do away with email.

It’s easier and much more efficient to provide tech support over the phone then it is over email. When you are speaking to someone on the phone, it’s much simpler to get to the meat of the problem when you’re actually speaking to a person. You can immediately ask for clarification or ask probing questions. You can do that with email, but you have to wait for a response. Sometimes you wait hours. Sometimes you wait days. Sometimes it takes weeks to get a response from a customer. The whole time you’re waiting, the trouble ticket you created for their issue remains open and unresolved.

I hate open tickets, especially when my name is on them.

In theory, email support is great. When customers have a question, they can send an email and pose their question. The tech support person then reads said email and responds with the correct answer. In real life, that’s not the way it usually works. In my experience, one question answered leads to more questions. When this happens on the phone, it’s no problem. When it happens over email, it creates an inefficient back and forth that ends up taking much longer for both the customer and the tech support agent than if the issue had just been handled over the phone.

GoDaddy is doing the smart thing, for both them and their customers.

Contact GoDaddy Customer Support

Facebook buys Oculus VR

Facebook buys Oculus VR
Oculus VR, the Kickstarter, crowd funded maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming device, has agreed to be acquired by Facebook for around two billion dollars. The deal with include $400 in cash and another $1.6 billion in Facebook stock.

To say this announcement caught fans of the Oculus Rift by surprise is an understatement. The Oculus Rift was supposed to be the Next Big Thing in gaming. It will now be the intellectual property of Facebook, a social networking site that generates all its revenue from cheesy advertising. At least advertising in my Facebook feed is pretty cheesy.

That’s not to say Facebook will always be a social networking site. Back in the day, IBM started out making typewriters. Companies evolve all the time, especially the good ones. Not that I’m implying that Facebook is a good company. It’s not. Facebook was created by stealing the idea for a better version of MySpace and it cheats on its taxes. Also, Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who stole Facebook, wants to make it easier to bring skilled workers into the country by issuing more H-1B visas. This is the type of visa companies like Facebook use to employ temporary foreign workers willing to work for a far less than their American counterparts. H-1B visas help drive skilled wages down.

I will admit, there’s something synergetically poetic about a company with the name face in its title, acquiring technology that you strap to your face.

The long national nightmare is finally over, YouTube is now available on the Roku 3

4bf86288c44344f8ae557e4f207749a7-hdYouTube, the popular video sharing service owned by Google, is finally available on the Roku 3 streaming device. This means that if you own a Roku 3, you can now watch YouTube videos on your television in stunning HD, just like a Chromecast owner.

What I don’t understand is why it took this long. When I purchased the Roku 3, I just assumed one of thing many things I could do with it was watch YouTube on the TV. After all, YouTube was available on the Apple TV, a streaming device very similar to the Roku 3. I was surprised to find there wasn’t a YouTube app in the Roku channel store.

Currently the YouTube app is only available on the Roku 3 and not the Roku 2 or other Roku devices. Now is a great time to purchase the Roku 3. They’re only $89 on Amazon.

Rocket launched into space with octopus mission patch logo

The National Intelligence Program (NIP), the government agency that oversees all intelligence projects and activities of the United States, tweeted an image of an Atlas 5 rocket containing a new spy satellite. The rocket was adorned with an image that duplicated the official mission patch of the mission, NROL-39. It showed an octopus with the words, “Nothing is Beyond our Reach.”

Here’s the Twitter tweet:

The rocket launched on Thursday night from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If the mission patch is to be believed, we currently have an enormous space octopus giving the planet a big, gigantic hug.

Evidently the mission patch has some privacy advocates up in arms (pun intended) over the claim that nothing in beyond the reach of our various spy organizations. As if there really was any question on the matter.

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for privacy advocates. First that cowardly attention whore Edward Snowden lost out as Time’s Person of the Year to Pope Francis, then a rocket with an octopus logo is launched into space.

Satellite-logo-for-spyingIf I had a problem with the mission patch, it would be that the space octopus doesn’t appear to have eight arms. I don’t have a problem with it. I think the logo is cool looking. I like space and I like octopuses. I also don’t have a problem with our nation’s various intelligence agencies doing their jobs.