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Quantum Project 92

Posted by emmett
from the ziggy-says-you're-a-kernel-hacker dept.
Percible writes: "BBC News is reporting that John Cleese, star of Monty Python's Flying Circus, is starring alongside Stephen Dorff in the first major film produced exclusively for downloading over the Internet. The film cost $3 million to make, and lasts 32 minutes. Cost to you: $3.95 to purchase the file for download from sightsound.com." There have been quite a few films produced for Internet distribution, but this looks like the first professional approach with known actors.
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Quantum Project

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  • by zCyl (14362) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @03:42AM (#1088440)
    Now where the hell am I supposed to get popcorn from?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >Rugular VHS movie

    Oh my God, Brad!
    Dig the deep pile on this baby!
    Oh...Moroccan hand woven....mmmmmm.....
    Oh yeah, give it to the Teppich, baby!
  • There are *always* exceptions to the rule...

  • "pretty pointless", eh? As opposed to what, arguably pointless? Fashionably pointless? Strictly speaking of trends (which, if I am not mistaken, one occurrence does not make), execution limitations of the first example are not only irrelevant but not even remotely applicable to the definition of the direction said trend may take. Now, if the sixteenth of these little toys shows up in the exact same form as all previous, your comment may be applicable. Should this happen, I would advise you to repost at that time.
  • but why would anyone put people they don't trust to sell stuff for them?

    That's why TacoBell has signs saying "If you don't get a receipt, we'll pay for your meal." It's not so you wait for that reciept in eager anticipation. It's so the employee has to actually enter it into the register, even if you pay in exact change.

    If you run an "EVERYTHINGS A DOLLAR!" store, there's no way to tell the difference between employees pocketing exact change and customers shoplifting.

  • Okay, lets face it: if you make it downloadable, they will crack it. If you stream it, they will capture the session. If you threaten to sue them, they will hide and continue to trade.

    Quite a conundrum eh wot? Not exactly.

    All you have to do is keep your product secure for *long*enough* to make a profit. Permanent security is laughable. You're either going to leave some kind of easily exploitable hole, or you're going to make your encrypted file too big to distribute on cheap media (or too bloated to download on a 14.4kbps modem, thus losing potential customers).

    So, imho a good solution is to do some math before jumping into a venture like this, and figure out how much money you think you can make in how short a period, determined by how good of protection you can build without making the product too bloated... 'cause as soon as it gets cracked once, the cracked version is available and spreads like a virus. Soon you're not making any money. So, just make it good enough, that it stymies the crackers until you've made a decent profit. And get decent crypto, instead of being the RIAA and just rot13'ing your product then crying like a b1-0tch.

    Just a flash I had.. probably utterly obvious.... my 2 milrays in case its not obvious... gonna stop typing, wait for it.. wait for it.. now!

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

  • It might surprise you to know that, last time Cmdr Taco posted statistics, most people viewed Slashdot with Internet Explorer under Windows.

    "When I'm singing a ballad and a pair of underwear lands on my head, I hate that. It really kills the mood."

  • C'mon people, fight fire with fire!!<P>
    Obviously we need to scout out some cool independant movie makers, offer them internet distribution, and put out linux-only movies. It's the only way to fight the tyranny of The Man (c)!!<P>
    And when The Man (c) finally wakes up to our distribution scheme, he won't be able to sue us to stop because we'll have created a sick proprietary license and refuse to open up until he ports his viewer to Linux, BSD Macintosh BeOS Minix Tenex Solaris OS/2Warp and Commodore 64 (plus anything else we want) and if he refuses we'll say "JUST OPEN YOUR SOURCE AND THE RESt WILL FOLLOW!!!!!"<P>
    Then we'll leave a burning bag on his porch and run.

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

  • oooooh, i'm so hurt! :)

    Well i'm just sooooooo sorry that i don't measure up to your standards of geekiness, asshole, but then again you don't have the guts to even put your name on it so you're probably some masturbating 15 year old with delusions of not getting his ass kicked in middle school.

    get a life.

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

  • ps, rage all you want, you're just entertaining me! hee hee hoho, look at the anonymous pussy!<P>
    and as far as my "1337" spelling and sucky web page, they're for humor and the learning experience respectively. You must really be a pathetic bitch no wait, 810tc# (:PPP) if you get that wound up about it. HAHAHAHAH hahah..... HAHAH! :PPPPP suck it.

    "A witty saying proves nothing." -Voltaire

  • Who's stupid idea was it to letterbox a movie designed solely for digital distribution? The only reason that letterboxing exists is because the aspect ratio of the TV is different than the aspect ratio of film typically used to shoot on. So it stands to reason that if they are going to make this revolutionary break from standard formats, maybe they'd shoot it in an aspect ratio commonly used in that format.

    --GnrcMan--
  • Cleese is great, as usual, though I would have liked to see a little more of him.

    I got the distinct impression that he was cast simply for the name. He certainly didn't have a major part in it.

    Incidentally, the aliasing bothered me much more than you seem to have been bothered. I paid for the hi-res version, and expected it to look a bit better. The thing that really pissed me off, though, (see my other post on the subject) is that they letterboxed a film intended for non-cinema distribution. That's just plain stupid.

    --GnrcMan--
  • I believe this was produced entirely in the video domain, so there is no way this can be called a "film".

  • Internet Explorer 5.0: check
    Windows: Damn it I'm not a normal Slashdot reader, I'm using MacOS, now what should I do to fit in?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That was the biggest pile of crap movie I've ever seen, absolutely no plot, it was horribly lame. I kept thinking "isn't it over yet?"... I'm GLAD it was 30minutes and not 3 hours.. But where do I go to get my money back? And as for the $3million, I could think of alot better things to spend $3million on.. And I REALLY didn't like what they did to the VW Bugs.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Transaction overhead on a small purchase is not sufficiently small under existing transaction-handling protocols. So the merchant realizes little actual compensation. We have seen the reasons why before - cynical/practical/technical. Also I personally think some people are dismissive of paying for something that is too cheap. Weird. This may be only true in the 'real' retail world. Always a pleasure, never a chore, AC
  • Well, I don't think I'll be downloading it, and it looks like nobody else has yet, either... because IMDB has a page for it, but with no reviews and no ratings yet (as of 14.13 BST).

    http://us.imdb.com/Title?0239860 [imdb.com]

    --Remove SPAM from my address to mail me
  • I remember seeing an item on the news here in the UK about some new figures for retail theft. I dont remember exactly, but it was somewhere between 1/5 and 1/4 of all theft in shops was down to staff. Thats a pretty sizeable amount by anyones standards.

    Nick
  • That doesn't really make sense because $4.00 turns into $4.27 with tax...
  • Right! And: "You know... I don't - like - say this very often but... THIS SUCKS!" --Butthead
  • It's true, I actually saw a story about it on CNN, some people actually associate $3 with $3.99, my guess is they are lacking basic math skills :) The most insidious of all is the gas stations they tack on an extra 9/10s of a cent, e.g. $1.799/gallon with the last nine so small you can't really even see it :D
  • and not in the icky proto-philosophical sense, either. The companies that are working now to make things like this possible are likely to be the next generation of media heavy-hitters... Remember how long AOL kind of languished in the background as a sort of laughingstock company? Well, they had a vision of how people would want the ineternet to look, they stuck with it, and now they own the western world.

    Not that they don't suck, but, good for them.

    Same idea, I think, for companies like mp3.com and whatever the company releasing this movie is.. :P At some point, the IP issues will dissolve in the face of market demand - it's obvious to me that most americans don't really give a damn about IP, we want convenient access to our movies and music. As long as IP is in the way of getting that, it will be ignored.

    The corporations making money off of it are going to have to find some way to make it stop being an impediment to consumption, or they will lose to the ones who offer media without the 'traditional' IP constraints.

    --
    blue
  • try www.kernel.org!

  • It's all about going down in history. The Buggles were the first group to have their music video broadcast on MTV with "Video Killed the Radio Star". Now a few fans might disagree, but the Buggles are not the greatest group of all time or anything, but they certainly do have an entry in the music history books. This movie is going to go down in movie history as THE first major film released on the internet. (Unless it also inherets the concept of "vaporware" from the internet.)
  • by ejpyoung (182268) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @07:26AM (#1088464)
    It doesn't look like anyone here has acutally viewed the movie yet, so here's my take on whether it's worth your $3.95 (or $5.95 for high-res ver).

    Disclaimer: I hate the prorietary Microsoft formats, but I multi-boot 98/NT/2000/Linux/BeOS so I can experience as much as humanly possible until the world comes to its senses...
    The premise of this 32-minute movie stems from the Heisenberg cliche that reality is shaped by observation...which in the film and in popular consciousness has become conflated with shaping by desire. Protagonist Paul (Stephen Dorff) is an ersatz quantum physicist, and pulls it off pretty well. In fact, the acting throughout is superb. Most of us know what it's like to be in your own head too much of the time, and Paul definitely has this bug/feature. His maybe-girlfriend Mia (Fay Masterson) is a perfect foil, totally grounded and unconvinced by his strained analogies between physics and life. It's a little hard to hear him try to compare their relationship to charmed particles because I'll bet every /.'er has done something similar. While it starts off seeming way too pat, like we can see the next 25 minutes coming from miles away, it gets more interesting after the setup. I won't give away the rest, but the development of the movie is more or less will they get together. Formulaic, yes, but love is always a worthy subject...
    The CG effects are unusual and effective in advancing the atmosphere of uncertainty. The soundtrack likewise engages you without being "insert techno tune here". Where The Matrix sound design kicked, this is a little more subtle, with quite solid audio quality. The visual quality isn't bad, but can't compare to DVD (watched on my Tecra 8000 LCD). The aliasing bugged me at the beginning, but I soon stopped noticing it.
    For those of you who caught "Welcome to Paradox" on the Sci-Fi Channel a while back, this will remind you a lot of the better episodes, both in style and content. Being 32 minutes it feels compressed (no pun), but forgivably so.
    My favorite parts of the film:
    John Cleese as Paul's father, with his line "I was Ob/Gyn at the birth of the Internet" implying that he's maybe Bob Metcalfe's alter ego or something. Cleese is great, as usual, though I would have liked to see a little more of him.
    Paul flies into L.A. and as they're landing, the stewardess says "Welcome to Los Angeles. The temperature on the ground is, as always, a balmy 73 degrees."
    The ending is, well, pure Hollywood, with all that implies. Sort of predictable, but not completely. Sort of clever, but not really.
    The bottom line? I'll watch it again and enjoy the ride. I'll freeze-frame some of the CG, crank the audio, and maybe take it into the office and watch it projected on the wall to get the whole experience. Hey, the Metafilmics people are right, this is the dawn of something completely different (pun intended), and this is a really decent opening salvo at big bad tradition.
    Thanks for reading...
  • Why do you think that just because it's 32 minutes it can't be deep or good? The short story and novella written form has been around for a long time, and they are every bit as good as "full length" novels in many cases.

    The "short" in the movie industry is making a big comeback now (and actually, 30 minutes is probably at the high end of a short).

    Now that I think of it, there are quite a few 2 hour movies that could have had 3/4 lopped off them without losing much if anything!
  • Sorry, I know this is off topic, but when I saw the headline on the BBC page with Netscape's slightly screwed up fonts, it looked like "Cheese makes internet history"

  • God, I hear you! Quicktime utterly screwed with my Netscape audio associations, took a bit of work to sort that out.

    I've finally got it so that clicking on a wav link instantly brings up Sound Recorder, which plays the wav automatically, then exits. None of this 'open a full new page and 0wait 10 seconds for quicktime to initialize'. Not only that but it would truncate the last half second of really small wavs. What a piece of sh*t.

    Upside is I still have Quicktime on my box, but it's not integrated with the browser any more. So I just save the quictime movies to disk and watch them later. I have not yet come across a situation where looking at the page source doesn't reveal the target so it can be 'saved', even for highly embedded movies.

    Downside is that I don't dare upgrade my quicktime player, lest it screw me over again.

    Oh, I'm not too damn impressed that Netscape allows some associations to be set up that can NOT be edited or deleted by the user. As well I should be able to 'freeze' specified associations. But nooooooo. Hmmm, same goes for Win98 I guess.

    I really should find/create something that will allow me to 'save' my Win98 associations/icon-references, and 'restore' them if I ever install software that screws with them on me. And I should publish some code/instructions to do the 'auto play/exit sound recorder for wavs in Netscape' association... Help out all the less technically inclined people of the world.

    One last tidbit. Anyone notice that if you don't have real audio installed/integrated that 'streaming' mp3's from mp3.com doesn't work? Well, not really. They just have some javascript that checks and then tells you that you can't stream mp3 just because you don't have Real Audio.

    Turn off javascript and it streams directly to winamp, no problems!

    Damn fscking marketing bastards and engineer whores!

  • That's because it's spelt "Stasi", and not "Stassi". Try with that - 900-odd matches from Altavista...
  • "Quantum Project" is definetly not worth the six dollars.

    Here's a summary of the plot: Physicist works at particle accelerator. (Played by Stephen Dorff) He starts to believe he can create his own reality while pursuing an ex-lover. (Played by Fay Masterson, who is a hottie.) Throw in a bunch of cheesy effects, blatant misuse of Quantum Mechanics terminology and some nutty dialog by John Cleese, (Who plays the Physicists father.) you've got this movie.

    The only cool thing about "Quantum Project" is that Stephen Dorff and Fay Masterson played opposite each other in one of my favorite movies, "The Power of One". Which I thought was pretty neat.

    My opinion, you're much better off taking that six dollars and going to see a matinee showing of "Frequency". The ending was a bit too happy for my tastes, but the plot and character development was amazing. Plus it handles the physics of the situation very eloquently.
  • As my favorite kwik-e-markt employee once said:
    "You cannot hurt a twinkie!!"

  • Interestingly, when I tried searching for "quantum project" on gnutella, I got only one result, a 0-byte file titled "the MPAA is watching you" - spooooky.
  • Broadband internet access is becoming wildly popular in the areas in which it is available cheap. These movie guys are just trying to get in on the ground floor.

    What you say about the pricing makes sense but they may have other large sources of income such as the ad banners on their web site.
  • No. At first this is the beginning of a trend, viewing movies only on internet.
    Secondly, some people here have this thing called 'dualboot'.
    You shouldn't get aggressive because it's yet another thing you can't do with linux.

  • by karmma (105156) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @02:40AM (#1088475)
    MediaTrip.com [mediatrip.com] has a great collection of short films, feature films (downloadable in multiple parts) and trailers for films in theaters and on DVD. For the more avant-garde, there are the entries in the Slamdance [slamdance.com] online film festival. See the films, and if you register, you're a judge.
    --
  • Stephen Dorff playing a particle accelerator? This I've got to see!
  • Isn't it pretty pointless reporting this on Slashdot? The filme is pretty useless for the most of us as it requires IE 5 and Media Player to be viewed.
  • I think the idea is a good one, and im glad to see Monty Python is willing to buy into it, just get rid of the ie5/mediaplayer portion and then you'll get alot more of a viewer audience. It doesnt make sense to try and restrict your viewer audience. The price also seems a little high for 30 minutes but im guessing if this catches on the movie prices could drop. just my 2 cents
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Rugular VHS movie at a video store: ~12$

    Cut 2/3 of movie.
    Ditch physical media.
    .. Packaging.
    .. Distibution.
    .. Promotion (get CNN et al to do it *for* us! brilliant!)
    Add cost of servers.

    And somehow they come up with 3.95? Is there a clue around here that failed to fall on me?
  • This is finally a step in the right direction. A possible solution to the Mp3.com vs. record company crap that is started because cd's are so damn expensive. By putting the movie right online to the people, you skip the markup of the theatre. This is a good step in the right direction.
  • How long before we have the "Slashdance" online film festival...?
  • No, some people really *ARE* that stupid. That's why they do it.

    You think it makes the life of your typical cashier and account *EASIER* having pricing like that? ;-)
  • Im trying to find out what format it is in.... ohh wait no use "You will need Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 set as your default browser to purchase a license for this file. Please visit Microsoft's site to download the latest version of Internet Explorer." So im not going to see it untill it gets passed around on imesh he's not the messiah he's a very naughty boy! ill wait to get it
  • by spiralx (97066) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @02:56AM (#1088484)

    Am I the only person that thinks this is way before it's time? Given the relatively low penetration of broadband services at the moment, how many people are going to be able to watch this movie? And the specifications for watching it are extremely narrow, so anyone without an MS "standard" setup is out of luck as far as this is concerned.

    Given the $3million price tag and the asking price of $3.95, in order to cover the cost they're going to need three-quarters of a million people to pay it. Is this even vaugely feasible? It certainly doesn't seem so to me. As a publicity stunt I'm sure it's got some value, but this is never going to be worth what it cost.

    The idea of online movies is a great one, and we'll see more of it, but until broadband becomes far more popular it's probably a little early for this sort of thing.

  • by Camelot (17116) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @02:48AM (#1088485)
    LAUNCELOT: Look, my liege!
    ARTHUR: Camelot!
    GALAHAD: Camelot!
    LAUNCELOT: Camelot!
    PATSY: It's only a model.
  • My low budget 60's style sci-fi flick will happen! Because I really want to make a sequel to A Wild Wild Planet, with the funky dialog, flying cars, and shrunken people all over again!
    And how about my sci-fi series, done in the styles of great shows such as X-Files and B5, with all the darkness and all? Mankind at war with each other in space? Distributed extremely cheaply online or available on DVD (6 or 8 episodes a disk, and I wouldn't scramble)...
    Oh, if only I had the money for this sort of thing, you guys would love my creations, IMNSHO.


    When the pack animals stampede, it's time to soak the ground with blood to save the world. We fight, we die, we break our cursed bonds.
  • Does anyone doubt that this movie will be all over the internet for people to download freely via ftp, hotline, or whatever, as soon as a few people have paid for it? Are they gambling on the masses' inability or lack of desire to pirate media on the internet if it's not made as easy as Napster? This venture doesn't seem to me like it has a chance of being profitable.


    ----------
    for email:
  • Geez, just what we need. Something else to clog the net. Let's pray for new satellite technology.
  • The HIGH RES version costs a bit more... $5.95 to be exact.
  • Actually, "publicity stunt" pretty much sums it up. It'll be online-only for a year, after that, they're going to release it like normal. This gets them lots of free exposure in a group (us) that heavily overlaps sci-fi fans.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's a known fact that Monty Python and computer
    geeks and hand-in-hand. Outside of this, it's
    very rare I find a Python fan.

    If we account for atleast
    10 million Linux users and say a conservative
    number of 90% will buy this, that gives them
    9 million customers.

    If we then look at the number of non-geeks on
    the internet at around 100 million and use an
    aggressive percentage of 5%, that leaves a less
    than satisfactory 5 million custiomers.

    Now, you tell me who it's more worthwhile to sell
    to - your fans or the average shmoe.
  • Well, when you have a group of fans that borders on the side of religious fanaticism, of course they're going to fleece 'em. They'll fleece 'em with gadgets and gizmos, since sci-fi lovers enjoy having the latest gadgets and gizmos.
  • This may be off, but I thought it stemmed from several decades ago, where somebody sold something at the then-crazy price of $4.95. That way they still had the 5 cents leftover to buy a newspaper. SOmething weird like that.
  • I do partially agree with you... but by your reasoning, Titanic was the best value movie that I've ever seen!

    *puke*
    --
    "You take a distribution! Rename! Stamp CD's! IPO!"
    - CmdrTaco, Geeks in Space, Episode 2 from 6:18 to 6:23.

  • I don't think it's way before it's time. Mostly, I think that people need to start poking at this kind of stuff before it IS time to do this. Not that it will succeed, but will give us a good idea of what kind of problems we may anticipate and what expectations we may have when we finally have the broadband access available down the road (in a few years). As it is, I'm sure many people will be able to pay for and download the file.

    The pricing is pretty good, though a bit on the high end, I think. And who better to do this kind of project than someone who doesn't have anything to prove because he's already had a great career, like John Cleese?

    The more significant thing, as always, though, is that they are able to offer it directly to us, cutting the middle-man. Why can't Metallica understand this?

    If artists (including movie producers and directors) want to sell their work, they can do it without having to go through a giant corporation that does production, promotion and marketing, manufacturing and reproduction, and distribution, all at the same time. They should be able to select from smaller companies that do only one thing each. This way, they can cut down on their costs, have more control over their works, and be able to offer their works at a lower price for the consumers, and therefore, possibly, build a larger fan-base.

  • I hope it works out for them... John is one of the funniest actor I have even seen on TV. Ok, Palin and the rest of MP are funny as shit as well ;-)... IMHO, I think that british humor is more natural than american. Perhaps it's because they make fun out of themselves where as Americans always make fun of other people.
  • by acehole (174372)
    so what you're saying is that those videos that pamela anderson and tommy lee did werent professional?

    i'm shocked.
  • My question is, why are commandos always shirtless? You're in a jungle full of wild animals with guys shooting you and throwing knives at you and trying to blow you up... I dunno, I'd just like a shirt.

    Yeah, you'd think that if they're out in the jungle, busy trying to restore freedom from the oppressive regime of The Man©, they wouldn't want to be distracted by things like leeches and mosquitos.

    :wq!

  • Oops...I should've done my homework. I know, I know, Bob Metcalfe did Ethernet, and Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn did IP, the precise reference in the film. Just couldn't come up with the other names ten minutes ago...sorry

    forking to a "who invented the Internet" thread should probably happen somewhere else... :8-)
  • and bikini girls offered to us by Mr. Balmer.

    I would just like to point out that whoop got it right. Remember, when bashing Microsoft on Slashdot, Mr. Ballmer is now the head honcho, not Bill.

    Thank you.

    :wq!

  • Because the register's keep track of how much money is suppost to be in the till.
  • At $0.50 / download it will require 12,000,000 downloads to return 100% profit, not a bad business at all. Otherwise you are paying half what you'd pay to go to a movie for scarcely more rights to it and considerably worse quality.


    For these numbers to work an efficient secure means of payment is needed but there's another bloated monopoly getting in the way of the consumer's quality of life.
    How the hell are you gonna get 12 MILLION people to buy the movie?

    Really, dear coward, that won't be a problem if it costs $0.50 to download it now. Don't get me wrong, I watch every John Cleese movie and I'll watch this one too, and pay for it. The thing is, it's easy to see the higher price as revenue maximizing, but that's exactly wrong. The way to sell a whole lot of burgers is to sell them for $2, not $20.

    This may be possible in some years, but not now!

    It's possible now if (1) you have a high bandwidth/low cost connection (many already do) and (2) a payment method is available that required essentially no effort on the part of the consumer, no harder than reaching into one's wallet, and (3) that payment method costs a fraction of a cent per transaction. I repeat: this is possible now, it's just that certain interests are standing in the way of having it actually happen. But someone with the drawing power of John Cleese can make it happen now if it matters to them to be seen as a visionary and not just another mouth feeding at the internet trough.

    Note that if the price is too high for downloaded movies, and $5 is too high, we'll just have a nasty repeat of the RIAA fiasco where people are being turned into criminals because they refuse to continue to pay monopoly-inflated prices for artistic content that costs almost nothing to distribute, returning only a tiny fraction of the take to artists.

    If you had made the movie you wouldn't be thinking this way. hypocrite.

    If you had a spine you wouldn't be posting as an anonymous coward ;-)
    --
  • Which is even STUPIDER. Why isn't tax just included? I know a few stores that do that - it's not hard! - and I find it much nicer. But it's rare.
  • The Windows/MediaPlayer set-up will probably account for about 99% of people interested in downloading the movie.

    Uh? I don't think so. I agree with you that there's an absolute majority that has both windows and media player and meets the requirements, but the figure is no way near 99%, even if you just count the people that really would like to see the film, and has the bandwidth.

    We can start by assuming that the operating system usage among those with high bandwidth access is equal to the operating system usage among those without. Secondly, we can assume that personal interest in the movie has nothing to do with what operating system you happen to have running on your computer (obviously, we're not counting lack of interest due to knowledge of the software requirements, just "initial" interest). So let's just look at the operating system usage.

    I think the latest IDC report was mentioning that Linux had 4% of the desktop operating system market share. Let's look at MacOS. Five years ago, that figure might have been 10% or so, but I think I read that a more recent figure might be closer to 8% (that figure was before the Imac boom, though). I don't know the numbers for the BSDs, BeOS or other OSes, but let's assume that all other OSes hold 2% or so.

    Let's also count the people who have Windows but won't download a new web browser or the latest media player just to watch this movie. Let's say that those people account for 5% of all people who want to watch the movie, but given the software requirements, and the fact that they refuse to download the new fancy software for some reason or another, won't be able to (there are still people who use Netscape and refuse to launch IE just to view a website, you know).

    What do we have? We have that 19% of all people who might be interested in the movie won't be able to, due to the software requirements.

    Granted, this is just speculation, and the numbers might be highly inaccurate, but my point was that the software requirements will in no way cover 99% of those initially interested in the movie.

    Another note: Personally, I love free software, but that has nothing to do with my willingness to pay for a movie. I would happily have payed for this movie, but, given the requirements, I won't be able to. And even if you ask Richard Stallman, you'll hear that he is willing to pay for art (and a movie is undoubtly a piece of art). The whole concept of his ideology is that software isn't a unique piece of art.

  • "If you enjoyed this progam half as much as we enjoyed making it, we've enjoyed it twice as much as you."
  • by Mercenary (4036) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @03:01AM (#1088506) Homepage
    A lot more of a viewing audience?

    I don't think so.

    The Windows/MediaPlayer set-up will probably account for about 99% of people interested in downloading the movie.

    And this is before the fact that you have to *PAY* for it. How will the Open Source advocates cope with that? Oh well, I'm sure it will get stuck on Gnutella and pirated about, and then everyone will flame Monty Python when they have the sheer *audacity* to complain in any way.
  • I wasn't getting agressive, I was just pointing out that the article should have mentioned is was Windows-only. The trend is pretty pointless if it will be only in Media Player format always.
  • No. At first this is the beginning of a trend, viewing movies only on internet.

    I hope it is the beginning of a trend, but why should Windows users be the only people that can see the beginning of a trend?

    Secondly, some people here have this thing called 'dualboot'.
    You shouldn't get aggressive because it's yet another thing you can't do with linux.

    Um, who's getting aggressive here? I know that *some* people use dual boot, i did so to in that stage that I was switching from Windows to Linux but nowadays I don't feel comfortable in Windows anymore.
    Even lots lots of my friends only use NN and refuge to use IE and they only use Windows.

  • Yeah, I have to say that the industry has a definite soft spot for sci-fi fans - in that they are dedicated enough to be squeezed for all that they're worth and more. They seem to think that they can put any old shit out and people will watch and/or buy it, and unfortunately they're often proved right. Does any other genre of movies produce quite so many spinoff opportunities for the marketing teams to get their teeth into?

  • Calm down. It's only one extra movie added to the collection that the internet is.

    I doubt it 'll make a difference.
  • The reason things are priced at say 3.99 rather than 4.00 is that is meant that people working in shops actually had to ring the sale up and get the change out of the till. This way they couldn't just pocket the money.

  • Markup of the theater?

    A 32 minute download movie is $3.95. When I go to see a full length motion picture in the theater I pay $7.00 for 90 - 120 minutes. The better value is still the movie theater.

  • At $0.50 / download it will require 12,000,000 downloads to return 100% profit, not a bad business at all. Otherwise you are paying half what you'd pay to go to a movie for scarcely more rights to it and considerably worse quality.

    For these numbers to work an efficient secure means of payment is needed but that's another bloated monopoly getting in the way of the consumer's quality of like.
    --
  • The insinuation being that nearly all Python fans are Linux users?

    Please someone, mark this up as funny!
  • ok, i've heard enough of the 'this don't run on my linux/beos/atari2600 comments and i don't really care about those.. I'm sure 95% of you guys have a pc with win98/win2000 on it somewhere :P

    What i'm really curious about is the movie.. with 32 minutes running time it can't be that deep or good.. and it's quite costly for 4$ (compared to vhs or a cinema ticket)
    Has anyone seen it yet and is she/he prepared to comment on it?

    (storyline/acting/special effects)

    there's almost no info on the sight%sound site..

    *postum emailum*
    Has anyone noticed that sightsound.com uses a 1900x1200 BLACK background jpg.. ok.. it's only 41kb to download but i've seen the site on 8mb gfx cards and i was wondering WHY it took so long to load the site.. and WHY my hd was rattling like a mad snake.... and it was the background image :).. seems they forgot that images need to be expanded before u view them)
  • by whoop (194) on Saturday May 06, 2000 @05:04AM (#1088516) Homepage
    As a lawyer for the MPAA, I can explain this. You see, in our world, people should not just be allowed to view movies willy-nilly. That would severely impact the entire industry, resulting in plauges, earthquakes, and general deformities among our young. And if there are any actors out there considering making a movie themselves and putting it on the Internet, let me just say this. "You are under my control. You will wash my BMW at 11:00am tomorrow."

    Now, since Linux is only used by criminals and Republicans, obviously we cannot support it. Macs, you ask? Hippies and sickos. These are not standards we can support for the sake of our children. Should our precious youth grow up in a world where these sort of people are role models? Obviously not. Finally, we chose Windows as the platform to distribute this film because of generous donations, trips, and bikini girls offered to us by Mr. Balmer. Go in peace and conform now. Thank you.

  • Low penetration? Aren't there two million of us? Ok, that's only 1-2% of the total, but it seems to me that this is a good sized base of people to work with.

    ... holy... IE5 is a minimum requirement!? Ok, now I'm with you. There's no way in hell I'm installing IE5 to watch a movie.

  • I hate to admit it, but IE is superior to Netscape. I was a diehard netscape fan until I tried IE. The bare browser is 7 meg, half that of netscape. Lets count the total number of times it has crashed, 0. While netscape crashes almost daily. Go on about all the standards you want, but joe blow doesn't care, he wants a stable browser. What format would you want these movies released in? A 600 meg mpeg file? How about the sorenson quicktime codec, oh wait... I can't even play standard mpeg files in linux, much less realvideo or quicktime. ASF files get very good compression and video quality. I can see why they chose it.
  • I don't think any broadband stuff can actually work to the point it will be economically viable even with massive advertisements until the stuff for multicast is finally sorted out. Having massive numbers of TCP or RTP is just not scalable at all.
  • forking to a "who invented the Internet" thread should probably happen somewhere else...

    No discussion is necessary. Everyone knows that I invented the Internet.

    Hope this clears things up for you.


    God Bless,
    Al Gore
    Inventor of the Internet

  • Since only one event has occurred, yes a trend inference cannot be validly drawn. However, one might guess that future instances of d/l-able films at this level may follow the same format as the present instance (particularly if it is successful). That being said, Windows Media Player sucks shit. I would be willing to download/pay for the film (being a John Cleese fan and pretentious first-adopter) if the film were available in any other format (providing VHS or better quality). I do not like Microsoft and I do not support Microsoft, so I do not use their closed operating system or media player.

    I do feel sorry for the many Windows users who are being told I Love You because MS refused to fix a glaring security bug in their product which has been exploited before in the same media-attention-grabbing fashion. Only a monopolist could ignore such a flaw and still retain their market position. Do Melissa [nai.com] and I Love You [nai.com] establish a trend regarding Microsoft's inability to defend against viral infection?
  • Don't just stand there. Review it!
  • This works particularly well on prices like $9.99, where the one cent off means that number has one less digit, making it look a lot smaller.

    The bus came by and I got on
    That's when it all began
    There was cowboy Neal
    At the wheel
    Of a bus to never-ever land
  • I can't even play standard mpeg files in linux, much less realvideo or quicktime.

    While it does suck that a quicktime player isn't available, I've never had any problem with realvideo. Mpeg is fine too.

    The bus came by and I got on
    That's when it all began
    There was cowboy Neal
    At the wheel
    Of a bus to never-ever land

  • This was a well-reasoned post on an important topic.You are of course correct that the spread gun is the best; any idiot knows that. However, in your run down of other guns that aren't quite as good, you neglected to mention the fire weapon, definitely the second best weapon in the game.

    I am not sure why your character needs no shirt. Perhaps it is so he is not confused with the bad guys, who are aliens disguised as soldiers. I always thought that the reason why this was that at the time killing humans en masse was less palatable than killing aliens, so in the instruction manual they created a backstory to make the game a little more acceptable.

    Finally, if you like Contra, you should check out that band The Minibosses [minibosses.com], who werementioned [slashdot.org] on Slashdot yesterday. They do an awesome cover of the music from Contra and the web site has the mp3 for download. It's pretty slow, so you might also want to look for someone who has it on Napster (that's how I found it). And you'll help prove Metallica wrong that Napster is just a tool for piracy by using it to get a legally released MP3!

    The bus came by and I got on
    That's when it all began
    There was cowboy Neal
    At the wheel
    Of a bus to never-ever land

  • If you poke around the sightsound.com site, you will see that they have other, longer movies with prices ranging from about $4-$6. So 90 minute films are on par with the cost of a SINGLE movie ticket (tickets are $6.50 where I live). However, thats the price for purchasing the film, not the rental cost. For rental, prices are about $3 for 5 days. Certainly long enough to output to VHS if you like. The sightsound.com model is really closer to video tape rental and purchase than it is to going to the movie theater. Movie theaters offer large screens and good audio systems (ideally), that can't be replicated in the home by average (read: not stinking rich) people. The cost model of the theater is $7 per person and they also rake in the cash from the concession stand. While sightsound.com is not perfect, I think video on demand has a bright future. They definately need more variety and better content. I'm not sure Toxic Avenger is worth $15! I also think its pretty lame to only support Windows. The reason isn't just because of the use of the asf (Windows media format). Actually, there is a version of the Windows Media Player for Macintosh (beta I think). However, you need Windows because the download is a self-extracting zip file with a component that handles the credit card transaction. You download the large .exe file, run it, then enter your credit card info and choose rental or purchase. This seems like a pretty cumbersome way to do things - and I would doubt seeing Linux support for it anytime in the future. I think it would be healthy to mail sightsound.com and ask them to support alternate formats (mpeg, quicktime) and payment mechanisms (web based secure transaction).
  • downloaded the hifi version of Quantum Project, shelled out 6 bucks. Kicked back and watched it.

    Now, how was the movie??

    Pretty lame. It is essentially a love story w/ some special effects. Nough said.
  • and now for something completely different... I don't want to be a weather forcaster, I want to be... a LUMBERJACK. Jumping from tree to tree as we sing... sing... SING!

  • Notice I said good start, not good
  • It's actually true. And given that the interview and selection process for working in a corner shop is hardly exhaustive, you can't ever really tell what the person manning your till is actually like, so it's sort of a preventative measure just in case.

  • Will the ability to steal something prevent anyone for ever again charging for their product? This means either 2 things: no product or products inundated with advertisements, proprietary formats, playback control, et cetera.

    The $3.95 price is a little steep for 32 minutes - sounds like a short film not a full-fledged movie. OTOH, this is a PURCHASE not a RENTAL. But I do hope when electronic distriubution for profit comes around, people can show more responsibility. This, of course, assumes that media companies show more responsibility. Perhaps even first by keeping their hands off the playback mechanisms and avoiding proprietary formats (software) and focusing on the media. It also wouldn't hurt if they learned how to price things.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

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