Who rents movies these days?

Do any of my friends actually rent DVDs anymore? Why would you bother if there’s so many online options?

So, who actually goes to a store these days to rent movies & shows on DVD? We used to do it all the time with VCR tapes and then DVDs but I’ve not been in such a place for years! I think the last couple of times I went in was to look for ex-rentals to purchase for a “cheap n trashy” night hanging out at home.

Sure, you’ve got Blockbuster, Video Ezy, Network’s chain and a few independents but are they anything like they were in the past? There used to be lots of places to rent and people would even pre-register their interest in getting the latest movies as soon as they were out to rent.

Now with torrents, ripped copies of screeners (no one seriously goes for Telecines, let alone handycam rip-offs anymore) and legal sites like NetFlix & QuickFlix, why bother going to rent a DVD when the odds are you’ve probably already watched the movie at home before it’s even officially available for rent. Of course, NetFlix isn’t available in Australia (and Quickflix would like to keep it that way) but that’s not a major issue if you have some geek skills and can follow instructions.

So, who’s still renting DVDs? Are any of the people I know doing it?

Comparing Iraq to Sudan raises nasty questions

Oh, wonderful deflection by our illustrious PM, little Johnny boy. When asked about Iraq he deflects us off to the current tragedy in the Sudan. Perhaps not such a good idea when you think about it.

Yes, it’s terrible what’s happening in the Sudan. Yes, the UN hasn’t stepped in quickly to solve it. But then again, where’s the USA now when, as Howard has pointed out, a far worse situation is unfolding in the Sudan than in Iraq? Shouldn’t the US be faking evidence of WMD and Al Qaida so they can invade the Sudan?

Well, I guess there’s no easily snapped up oil production that the US can take over to prevent it being sold for Euros. I guess “Dubya” doesn’t get any major family kudos for stomping on them.

Bye bye Howard – you’re way beyond your use by date.

USA’s CAN-SPAM law a failure

Yahoo’s TechWeb are reporting that compliance with the new CAN-SPAM law has dropped from 3% in April to 0.54% according to MX Logic. The law required that SPAM have verifiable return addresses and valid opt-out capabilities. Indications are that either spammers are no longer complying or that the number of spammers has increased so that the percentage of complying mails is dropping.

The researchers are indicating that the main failure is that the law is not being enforced, which is unfair for multiple reasons, not least of which are:

1) There’s not much chance of getting already overworked law enforcement groups to try to track down spammers, especially when the spam is often bounced from overseas servers.

2) When the law came in, it effectively killed off some state-level laws that were starting to become effective at prosecuting spammers.

3) If you can get through all the confusing text, it appears that at no point does the law actually prevent spamming (many see this as proof that the Direct Marketing Association pulled a lot of influence to ensure that their members could spam).

When you consider that MX Logic found over 84% of all email being sent outside corporate networks is spam, it is clear that the “you CAN still SPAM” law has been good for spammers (business as usual without the risk of prosecution) and also good for the companies that supply email security and spam filtering. As to the rest of us, we’re drowning in it…