Sunday, May 28, 2006

I could blog about you if I can't see you tonight...

I love that song, 'I could dream about you'.  It got me to thinking about how I'd have loved to be able to write back and forth to my wife while I was in the service.

Being on subs, my wife was only able to send me family grams while we were underway.  Very short, very screened notes, broadcast publicly, and basically hand delivered to you on the sub. (after passing through several hands).  My communication back to her were the few letters I'd write and send out when we got in port for a few.

Military folks today though have some real options we didn't have.  For example, my son, stationed in Iraq, he's Army, has internet access.  Because of this, we have been able, and his wife as well, to keep in touch with him every few days via instant messenger services.

I feel though we've only scratched the surface. Why limit himself to instant messages and email?  Why not blog and post pictures?!

He's not tech geek, but I don't believe the overhead to start a blog is that great.  I've suggested things like that too him but no go.

Heck, flickr.com makes it easy to upload and share photoes. Blogger makes it easy to build and post to a blog.

What to do for those not overly computer friendly? How about a command blog?  Nothing military related so much as geared toward pics, thoughts, and off duty fun.  Maybe someone in his command will start something like this.

Okay, one final idea.  How about the wives or spouses blogging individually or together., to give their partners in Iraq some fun stuff to read.

I know I'm off the deep end but hey, it's a blog, and someone somewhere might just be entertained.

Over and out,
Tojosan

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Microsoft shows off JPEG rival

Microsoft shows off JPEG rival | CNET News.com

You've all read about this that care by now, but MS has come out with Windows Media Photo, a competing digital image format. We'll I'm going to think not about the tech, but about how MS can sell this.

What is the big selling point with calling it Windows Media Photo? This will probably be a one of the biggest hurdles I think to quick adoption. MS probably feels that by identifying this new product with an existing success, more folks will be interested. Based on my close friends' and family's experiences with Windows and their apparent frustration, I'm betting just the opposite is true.
(It doesn't matter that few of their problems are the OS fault, they can't tell the difference.)

And what about us Mac owners, is having 'Windows' in the title a big selling point for us? Great or not, there will be slow adoption, especially if the formatting tools and the spec aren't open, as in Open Source, and free, as in beer.

But, MS is appealing to photographers, and surely better storage is what it's all about right? Well, today's modern cameras have another format in wide use, Raw. Raw image storage is very common in high end cameras, and is already offering the qaulity folks need. Are manufacturers likely to drop Raw and Jpeg support for this new kid on the block?

So, tired of hearing me kvetch? Here's my tips for MS on this one(pretends they care):
1) Loose the Windows name - if it's good, it'll sell itself
2) Get that spec out there to the OSS community
3) Give away some free tools/toys for us wannabe photogeeks to play with
4) Partner now with some random camera maker and get the software on their camera, and then give them away! You wouldn't need to give out a million, heck, I bet less than a thousand, I'll go so far as to say, the right 100 folks getting one of these would do you.
5) Oh yeah, don't forget, folks that read my blog dig Microsoft!
6) Last useful tip, give away a jpeg/raw/WMP converter tool.

MS, let's see this new format/algorhythm shine or die, but let's see it.

Tojo

Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage now available

Microsoft Small Business Community Blog : Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage now available

I'm almost sorry this didn't make the major headlines. It really deprives me of a chance to hear my brother call and ask me a computer question.

"Yeah bro, what's up with the genuine thing?", my brother asks.
"Oh, it is supposed to be this automatica validation of ...", I start to say.
"Vali what?"
"Ok, Microsoft is wants you to make sure your copy of Windows is legal."
"How could it not be, it came on my computer?"

And so on, with me ending up telling him that it will probably be something he sees a prompt for during his MS updates run. That would result in the conversation about how he doesn't know anything about his computer updating with MS.

So thank you to all the major media that didn't make this a big deal. One less goofy computer related call I have to take.

Yours,
Tojosan

Health care in the cross hairs

Health care in the cross hairs - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Interesting opinion/information article on Senate Bill 1955, aka The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act. Dr. Wilkins brings up some interesting points, specifically how this would affect folks with diabetes and other prevention focused diseases.

The major point is that current laws require support for these type of problems, and the new legislation will no longer require it.

Check it out,
Tojosan

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Topix.net: News Front Page


Topix.net: News Front Page


Topix is a news aggregation site for the Associated Press. My first impression is Thumbs Up!
The thing that makes this site special is direct links to original source articles. You can go anywhere to read about that unusual bus accident that happened today, but with Topix, you can get a link to the original article that the other APs are based off.

One upside, I was able to locate relevant local news links in seconds. It had links directly to local newspapers, TV sites, and radio sites containing original articles.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Or better yet, let them know.
Tojo

Cuisines: Five to try in each category (St. Louis area)

STLtoday - Entertainment - Dining:Cuisines: Five to try in each category (St. Louis area)

This is a great one page list of places to dine out in the St. Louis area. A few of them I've recently dined at, such as Cafe Brasil.

This list makes the second recommendation for Wei Hong, so that's sneaking up my list of places to try.

Of the places on the list, I'd recommed: Cafe Brasil, Red Robins, India Palace, Imo's, Talayna's, Growler's Pub, Super Smokers BBQ.

So there you have my 2cents worth if you are passing through St. Louis, Mo.

G'night,
Tj

St. Peters Church Gives Tasers To Police Department

KSDK NewsChannel 5 - St. Peters Church Gives Tasers To Police Department

Okay, this tops my list of bizarre news for the day. One of our local churches is giving money to the St. Peters' Police Department to buy new tasers.

I'm on the fence on this one, but the stunning is better than killing I suppose. :)
Have a good one,
Tojosan

Monday, May 22, 2006

Personal Data on Veterans Is Stolen

Personal Data on Veterans Is Stolen
Just a quick note out there to all veterans, your social security number may be compromised.
Now that your scared, sit back and read the article.

What kills me is that in this high tech age, that the greatest theft of social security numbers in history was stolen by brute force. Of course the target in this case wasn't the data at all it appears, but a laptop in the home.

For me though, that begs the question..how did they know there was a laptop there to steal? And why not take other things? (obvious answer here, it's easy to take if you can grab just one thing)

So why did this man feel the need to take this home? Was the pressure to perform that great? Did he intend to take sensitive data home? Was he instructed to? Does the government routinely encourage this?

Heck, makes me think of my job in IS. They are always supposing that we take our laptops home at night. Of course they presume we'd do that because we might log in from home and decide to keep up with emails or project notes. The downside is that if I do log in, and happen to leave a session going, and just happen to make a round trip for tea refills, poof, someone could steal data from my employer. They wouldn't get anything of value of the HD, but they would have an open shot to critical business data.

That sort of unattended laptop thing never happens of course.....

Tojo

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Deployed GIs Watch Kids' Graduation Online

Deployed GIs Watch Kids' Graduation Online - Yahoo! News

Couldn't pass up passing this along. Remote family, stationed oversees get to watch children and siblings graduate! This ranks up there on my top 10 list of technology news items.

It's great to see folks making the best of a tough situation with positive effort!
Tojo

My flickr favorites - mosaic


My favorites mosaic
Originally uploaded by Tojosan.
Some amazing photographers post their pics to flickr. (I'm not one of them.)
I thought I'd take a moment to share a few of my favorites with the world outside of flickr.
WARNING: These might draw you into all day picture viewing.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Movie Showtimes - Google Search

Movie Showtimes - Google Search

How do you find out what's showing by you? We use Googe Search Movie times.
It just takes a zipcode and produced a list of local theatres with show times. The list is sortable by distance, popularity, movie rating, and movie title.
Give it a try; let them and me know what you think.

See you at the movies,
Tojosan

McCain Speech Gets Unfriendly Reception

McCain Speech Gets Unfriendly Reception

A few thoughts on this:
1) Those turning their backs showed the true side of themselves.
2) At a college known for openness, it appears many have closed minds.
3) For those against judging, it appears they skipped right to executioner attitude.

Good grief, I think the same overestimation of self I had at that age is present here too.
Have a good one,
Tojo

Friday, May 19, 2006

Test Driven Development on the AS/400 - Does it exist?

Anyone out there? If so, are you doing test driven developmen on the AS/400? TDD is alive and kicking in some sectors of the software engineering community, but where I make my humble living, it's not even heard of.

Oh, I'm not saying we don't test our AS/400 code changes, I'm saying we don't develop our code based on tests. For most folks, and you'd do well to keep inline, they come up with tests after the fact, or trust the users to go off in isolation and dream up some poorly worded tests.

Anyway, so be thinking TDD or test driven development, on AS/400s in RPG/LE, Java, CLE, or maybe even in the PASE environment with *nix shell commands. How would you do it? What tools would you use? Would it have a web component? Would it be well integrated?

I'm all excited about doing something like this, and me not being the Lord's gift to programming like some folks, I'd rather get some guidance and instruction on which way to go here. Heck, feel free to point me to some good software products, even your own. :)

Outta here,
Tj

Utata Goes To The Movies

Utata Goes To The Movies

Like pictures? Love the movies? Then you need to visit Utata Goes to the Movies.

So who/what is Utata?


Utata, the tribal photography, is about ordinary and not so ordinary folks who capture and share the world around them by camera, verse and more. In the spirit of that, they host several photo and verse driven projects, such as Utata Thursday Walk.

So what is Utata Goes To The Movies?


The Utata folks from Flickr got together and collected photos inspired by and/or tied into existing movies. Not just action flicks or love stories, but several distinct categories. The pictures, combined with famous quotes, and great tribute descriptions is lots of fun. The result is simply amazing.

Go check it out at the link above and stay at Utata to check out the projects and other great things.
Yours,
Tojosan

Feds Seize Armor-Plated Car Bought in Iraq

Excite News - Feds Seize Armor-Plated Car Bought in Iraq

Gotta love this guy. Most folks bring back hats, bayonets, and that sort of thing from war zones. This guy brought a car. Not pieces mind you, the whole freaking car. :)

And so does he keep it quiet? No! He brags about it being Saddam's. Ha!

Oh well, steal some you lose some.

later,
Tojo

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Fun on the TechRanch

Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger Fun on the TechRanch lets send Jen to BlogHer; BillingsBloggerBreakfast

The Scob shares an interesting bit about his meet and greet trip to Montana's Tech Ranch and surrounding area. Recommend checking this out, just for the interest it might spark in you to move there. :)

Enjoy,
Tojosan

Scobleizer - A blog is not a blog unless

Scobleizer - Microsoft Geek Blogger A blog is not a blog unless%u2026

In defense of Scoble. At least small defense.
I swear he has the worst commentors some days. This little piece by him, fluffy one might say, isn't any big thing in itself, but dang if some folks don't come along and gripe about MS Urge, or gripe that his list is lame or whatever. Sometimes I can it's frustrating working for MS since you probably get crapped on more than most folks.

Peeps can't seperate out the individuals from the biz. Or choose not to.

Anyway, I could come up with a list, so could Joel, or heck, lots of folks on Slashdot. So who cares if it's lame or great or whatever, it's just a silly little fluff piece about blogs.

And now that I've had a reverse rant...maybe I should quit wasting cyberspace and blog about something less fluffly than lists about blogs.

Yours,
Tojosan

Apple Store - Fifth Avenue Grand Opening

ifo Apple Store - Fifth Avenue Grand Opening

Just a quick note to all Mac and Apple fans out there. The linked blog has a play by day right up until the opening!

A link to Apple's own press relese is here.
Enjoy,
Tojo (now a Mac user and fan)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What's on your desk? (one more time)

Thought I'd share this interesting discussion thread from the flickr group Utata.

Dining Out!

Ever wondered about that new chinese place down the way, or about that exotic sounding cajun cookery? Well, I'm wondering no longer or don't intend to anyway.

My wife and I have started a few adventure in dining. We've agreed to try new things, and not just new chinese either. Dining out has been real fun the last several weeks.

Let me regail you with some interesting and fun places we've eaten...
- Ariake Japanse Steakhouse - now this was the most unique place I've eaten in quite a while. This photo doesn't begin to do it justice.

Flaming onion!

- Tango - an Argentinean restaurant - the place was decorated with tango albums on the walls and above, as well as very colorfully painted walls. We had a chance to sample some empanadas and a couple other things. Will be eating here again.

Tango Restaurant - by the bar

- Thai D'Lish - a brand new Thai restaurant not far from our house. Wow! It was well appointed in side, the lady who waited on us was helpful and cheerful. The food was really good. Here's a shot of the appetizer we had.

Triangles with sweet sauce

- Cafe Brasil - guess what they serve! This place was a bit out of the way for us, but came highly recommended. We had the lunch buffet and weren't dissappointed. We really feel though that coming back for dinner would be even better.

Cafe Brasil - off the buffet!

So what's next for us? We are thinking Peruvian perhaps.

Any suggestions? If anyone makes any restaurant suggestions I'm fairly open to trying anything once.

So what's your latest adventure? Was it food related? What? No? Don't you eat?! Get out there, and stop eating Mc...anyway, enough of my food indulgences for the day.

Keep safe and don't over indulge.
Tojo

More on programmer time

I know it's probably a dead horse, but does anyone think my analysis of how some or even most coders spend their time is on target?

Do you believe your management understands what you are doing on a day to day basis?

Is it worth worrying about if you have a job and are getting paid okay? I hear a lot of folks say, hey, it all pays the same. What do you think? Does it matter to you what you do everyday?

Enough on that tonight,
Tojosan

Desk toys?

Do you have personal nic-nacs, photos, stickers, etc posted around your work zone?

My home office list:
dinosaurs - little, rubber and multicolored
stuffed pet purple dragon - to guard over me
multicolored toy lizard(stuffed) - on my monitor, constantly watching me do my thing
harmonica - for those moments when I think I'm talented

Business cube:
Daredevil posable metal action figure
Little plastic lizards
Grey alien toy
wooden bear - a gift
Dilbert doll

Can you say geek? Hey, I know someone that has a squeeling monkey.

What's in your office?! Feel free to include a picture or link to a picture of your cube space.
Tojosan

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Beyond 'I'm a Diabetic,' Little Common Ground

Beyond 'I'm a Diabetic,' Little Common Ground - New York Times

This article in the New York Times just serves to highlight our nation's ignorance of a major disease, diabetes. Focusing on the struggles and concerns of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation versus the American Diabetes Association, the article describes a situation with few winners, some fingerpointers and many folks ignorant of any concerns.

The JDRF focuses entirely on Type 1 diabetes, where the ADA spreads it's research and funding across Type 1, Type 2 and general support of diabetics, and diabetic education. Type 1 diabetics make up about 1 million individuals compared to around 20 million affected by Type 2. So the question is, why have the JDRF at all?

Type 1 diabetes kills. Did you know that? Maybe you've heard that, or not. Or maybe you've seen someone on TV with Type 1 but I'd bet you could no more tell me anything useful about it than it requires insulin shots. The fact is that Type 1 diabetes is a total failure of the body to produce insulin and provide controls for it. Type 1 diabetics can be rendered unconscious very quickly with strong diviations in blood sugar because of that.

Contrast that to Type 2 diabetics, many of whom don't even know they are diabetic. Heck, I didn't know until a few months ago. Many of these folks, sadly, are in the fat, ignorant and happy category. To make matters more different than Type 1 sufferers, many of those that know they have Type 2 fail to treat it. Why is that? It is the lack of dire immediate or short term consequences. Until a Type 2 diabetic experiences perhaps total pancreas failure, i.e. no more insulin, they suffer stricly long term affects.

The JDRF believes because of this contrast that many of those with Type 2 fail to recognize the deadliness and struggles of those with Type 1. Also, because of the widespread nature of Type 2, and it's greater publicity, many in JDRF fear that Type 1 diabetics will get left by the way side.

How does support work out in practice? From the article, it appears that the JDRF bring in nearly as much as the ADA, and spends a decided amount more on research for Type 1 than the ADA. Not only do they solicit often, but effectively, resulting in more dollars/member of funding even than the ADA.

So are the concerns of the JDRF valid? I don't know. It seems to me if you have some of the best funding to be had, and that's the most important thing, then be happy. Why worry about whether those with Type 2 'get it'? Heck, perhaps they should show a bit of concern for those with Type 2, especially not those in the fat, dumb, and happy group. Like a young gentleman I heard about who was very athelitic, and generally very healthy, who suddenly discovered he had high blood sugar. He went from no concern to pills in zero flat.

I vote everyone works hard to find cures, doesn't take sides and gets on with their lives.

Over and out,
Tojosan

Monday, May 15, 2006

How do you spend your coder day?


Growing up and looking at jobs, I figured that being a programmer was all about speaking to the computer and making it do it's magic. Well either times change or it never was that for some programmers.

Nowadays, myself and other programmers I know have become trouble shooters, secretaries, and one shotters. No longer is there a group of elite coders whipping out cool, exciting, powerful, or even overly useful code. The day of the wild coder is dead.

Average programmer day where I work , speaking about the AS/400 groups I see:

Code - 2 hour
Meetings - 1 hour
Admin - 1.5 hours
Chatter - 1
Support - 1
Breaks/lunch - 1 hour
Analysis - 1/2 hours
spread around the remainder on whatever...now I'm not saying that all programmers are this sort of busy, but by golly, I can walk by just about any cube in our neighborhood during the day and rarely see someone coding. If they are in code, it's likely because of a problem as much as a project.

So why is this? (My opinion only.) The coders are too smart and too talented for the projects. We have a huge backlog of requests that never seems to end, yet we can't seem to keep a coder busier with the actual coding part of his or her job more than a few hours in a day. The rest somehow drags over into answer phone calls from users, recording our hours for the day, and meetings. Of course I'm including Google News, Yahoo picture viewing, and Ebay shopping in that miscillaneous category and admin. Not that I do any of those things, but hey, more folks check stocks and ebay in our area than I would have thought.

So who is to blame? The coders? The managers? The big bad company? I think everyone is to blame. The coders need to shoulder a large part of the blame too. Too many times, in my opinion(no formal study), folks get settled into a position/job and never feel pressure from inside or out to drive for anything but just doing their job. I see folks sitting in the same basic spot since they joined the company many years ago. Still making code updates, running small projects, and attending meetings. Still working on the same software day after day, year after year, and finally in yawn mode most of the time.
So you say, what can they do? Get off their tushes and speak up! Tell management, 'Hey! I'm bored and underworked!'. Of course we know folks don't do this, and this is where management comes in.

Management is least worried about its programmers and most worried about deadlines and project tracking and recording hours and making sure they don't get dinged on the paperwork. Well someone has to worry about those things, they are so darn complicated these days. But in managing the system, the programmers become just cogs or resources instead of people. They are no longer seen as individuals unless they are known personally, but as replaceable and of limited value and interest. And do you think they really want a coder to tell them that he's bored? That the work is too easy? They can't seem to fathom that as being possible with a work backlog, and hours to be juggled, and resources to alot. They can't seem to jump on the idea of finding tougher things to tackle or giving more programming work to the coder. Instead they focus on this individual's poor attitude, average performance, and lack of team spirit. COME ON ALREADY!!! Can't they seem that the programmers are on their team. Heck would you drive a Mazarati around the track at 55mph? Heck no!!!! You wouldn't dream of it, so why do we drive our prime code heads through things like they were entry level goonies?

Finally, it's all about the total atmosphere that programmers and their teams work in. Does the company place value in their IS department? The national average for the percent of budget for IT is over 4%. It should be obvious where priorities are if your budget for it is under 2%! HELLO! And then those hours are microrecorded and managed, and by who else, but the coders themselves. ARGH!! RANT!! ARGH!!

Can you tell I'm a bit rattled and fired up? Is this the type of place you work in? Are you a coder? A manager? Part of the corporate leadership? What are your values? What value do you feel drawn to add to the company? Your team? Your peers? Your direct reports?

Can you say, get up off of that thing and get interested in what your programmers are doing, how they are doing, and what they have to say about it. Programmers, get off your tails and don't sit waiting for more to do, or more interesting things to get into, go talk to your managers, to your peers, to the corporate folks! And direct managers, show that leadership courage folks are always hearing about. Put your coders to work in real and meaningful ways. Cut down their clutter and junk, and get them solving the problems and removing that backlog!

Everyone together now....GO!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sad news

Our church's associate pastor and wife lost their unborn baby this week.
Please pray for Jason and Lindsey, for their strength, and God's comfort.

Music to program by

What do you listen to while you program or design things on your computer? Do you listen to classical? Pop? Opera?

At home I listen to a stream of my favorites, the top of the top in my ratings. At work I've been listening to latin guitar with a classical flair. It's just the right amount of upbeat without being too dance music mode. The lack of vocals actually makes it less distracting.

Some of you though balk at the idea of listening to music while you delve into a programming problem. The distraction factor is too high you say. Perhaps so, but sometimes a bit of music while I'm chunking out code really helps get my head out of the distracted mode. I'm able to shut out noises such as nearby cube buddies talking, or my other cube buddy's squeeking monkey, or my boss droning on...Wait did I type that? :)

So what's your take, music or none? If music, what kind? If not, why not? Come on, I dare you to tell me you listen to Barbara Streisand.

Tojosan
Coder at large, or large coder, take your pick

10 reasons to write code at home

Do you write code when you aren't at work? Do you create much off work time or is work your only outlet?
If you are a programmer writing websites and web site coding at work, do you even want to touch the stuff and do a personal or even worse a friend's webpage?

How about folks that program on the AS/400? Do you even have access to do that kind of coding at home? Or do you sneak a peak at other coding realms, like C++ or C#? Perhaps Perl or Ruby is your language of choice for playing around?

For me, here are 10 reasons to code when not at work...

1) No one needs to approve me to work on it.
2) I can control the environment.
3) I can work in a language I don't have available at work.
4) I can try out features and fun stuff in code that we don't have time to explore at work.
5) Lots of fun tools and the tools I choose.
6) Playing music while I work.
7) Lighting I can control.
8) Noise I can control.
9) Snacks close at hand...hey a guy has to keep his shape...no comment. :)
10) I control the machine - worth a fortune.

So what about downsides or determents for coding at home? Burnout? Boredom? Hate programming for a living?
What do you think?

Tojosan

Participation

So you want to blog my friend says, but why she says. Well, the short answer is to participate.
In that spirit, as some of you know, I've joined some participation type sites.
Flickr
Exit154
St. Louis Photobloggers
Utata (doh, can't believe I forgot that one the first time through)

Most recently, that friend, interested in getting back into writing, has partnered with me on that. We'll be blogging about our writing journey here: Our Writing Journey.
We'll be posting various stuff related to writing efforts there. So if you are interested, come check it out. Only one post so far, but should be a stream of them soon.

Thanks for visiting, come back soon,
Tojosan

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Mike Jorgensen's Web Log: 80's Movies

Mike Jorgensen's Web Log: 80's Movies

One of my fellows actually blogged! And though it's fairly remarkable, it is most sorry that I've failed to make mention of it here in my blog.

Mr. Jorgensen is a photographer, programmer, philosopher and most recently a father. Oh yeah, Mac head, C# guru, and XP proponent. This man can't seem to do enough!

Anyway, enough flattering comments already, go visit his blog, check out his photos, and buy him something from Amazon...oh wait, well only if you are generous to a fault.

Catcha up later and if you read this and blog, post it in a comment!
Tojosan

Friday, May 05, 2006

Where we meet

The church I attend, the Church of St. Charles, is rather smallish. But thanks to God's work a new building is being built.

For the time being though, our setting is humble. Here are a couple of the space our men's group meets in on Wednesday nights.





It doesn't seem like much, but I think that's what makes it such a great place to meet. What happens here isn't because of great architecture, art or too soft cushions. It happens here because of the work of the Holy Spirit.

Soon enough though it seems that we'll be passing along these old chairs to charity. There will be other places to worship and fellowship, but there is a part of me that won't soon forget the hours and evenings spent in this humble circle.

I hope your spaces are pleasent and conducive to their tasks!
Tojosan

Home Office - Finally!

So it's finally happening, my first real home office. It is nothing special yet:




The key things are in place: desk, chair, iMac




Hopefully I'll be hard at work or working hard at having fun in here.



By this time next week I hope to have cleared out the old computing equipment and possibly get some additional seating in here. Another thing is to locate a bookshelf or two in here.

Expect to see some more shots and posts here soon.

Oh yeah, no pair programming space yet!
Tojosan

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Film piracy costs Hollywood $6.1 bln on Reuters.com

Film piracy costs Hollywood $6.1 bln: study|Reuters.com

Hmm, let me see if I believe this.. the MPAA, a totally unbiased organization(ahem), says they've determined that Hollywood's major studios lost over $6 billion in revenues in 2005. And that loss was due to piracy. Let's link to the actual MPAA report just for fun, here.

To believe that report, conducted by the Lek group, you'd think that the movie box office receipts would be down by $6 billion or perhaps around the world would be down by that much. But let's look at the MPAA's own numbers.

"US box office for 2005 was $8.99 billion. For the fourth straight year, domestic cumulative box office from all studios continues to hold near $9 billion. (Refer to page 2 of the 2005 Theatrical Market Statistics Report)"

"Worldwide box office held steady at $23.24 billion in 2005. Although down 7.9% from 2004, the worldwide box office reflected a 46% growth over 2000. (Refer to page 5 of the 2005 Theatrical Market Statistics Report)"

"US admissions were down 8.7% in 2005, at a total of 1.40 billion. This compares to 1.54 billion in 2004. (Refer to page 6 of the 2005 Theatrical Market Statistics Report)"

It seems to me that there's a discrepency somewhere. Where did that 'lost' $6 billion go? Or better yet, where did it come from? The numbers indicate a fraction of that in downturn.

I'm sorry, but I just don't see it visible in their numbers. Perhaps they could publish a public report with lots of details instead of giving us the summary statements. Perhaps they'd care to break it down by demographics better.

Or pehaps they'd like to bounce their numbers against reviewer ratings, world events(flood/famine/hurricane), or other market indicators????? Guess not today.

Is anyone out there doing those sorts of stats publicly and loudly enough that I might care about an industry that keeps churning out such quality flicks as Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector or Slither. We know folks were fighting each other to get tickets to those. :)

More later, rant off,
Tojosan