Grayheads watch more TV than younger people – enjoy it less

ESPN plans on the World Cup starting the spin for 3D TV

We usually scold our children and teenagers for watching too much TV. It turns out that their grandmas and grandpas spend even more of their time watching TV, and it is not good for them either, according to researchers…

In a study published online in advance of publication…UCSD researchers examined television use in a large, nationally representative sample that was collected by the Center for Health and Well Being at Princeton University. Using an innovative, diary-like assessment strategy called the Day Reconstruction Method, study participants were asked to measure how they spent their time and describe their experience of everyday activities.

“We found that older people spent a great deal more time watching TV than younger people did, yet they enjoyed the experience less,” said first author Colin A. Depp, PhD…“What the study underscored is that alternatives to television as entertainment are needed, especially in older adults…”

The authors were surprised to find that older adults experienced TV watching as less enjoyable than younger people. “It is reasonable to expect that older adults may enjoy TV more than younger ones do, because they have fewer demands on their time. Prior studies also suggest they may use TV to regulate negative emotions,” said co-author Dilip V, Jeste, MD…

“Yet, our study indicates that older adults report lower levels of positive emotion while watching TV when compared to other activities – which is not the case in younger adults.”

The researchers concluded that increasing public awareness of alternatives to TV watching and reducing barriers to alternative activities that are more socially and physically engaging could reduce TV use in older people and diminish the potential for associated negative health effects.

I fit the profile for more TV watching since I retired. The extra is sports and movies.

Accessibility to movies has increased with the addition of high definition quality. My favorite sport – proper football – has three channels dedicated to the task on DirecTV with ESPN adding more every season.

I think I balance much of the viewing time with dedicated walking, tightly scheduled exercise. I try.

My first reaction to the article only concerned the paucity of content for a proper news junkie like me. Since CNN disappeared into the maw of Time-Warner, there is damned little of interest or accuracy or need to watch TV news. DirecTV and their peers still lack the courage to open viewership to worldly sources like BBC World or AlJazeera English.

Do I enjoy it less? Well, it pisses me off more. The content that is.

File sharing – French politicians just don’t get it

Their minds are already made up!
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

It was the French equivalent of former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens’ description of the Internet as “a series of tubes,” which made him the subject of endless mockery on the Web.

In a video shot for an online news site, French legislators were asked whether they were familiar with peer-to-peer file-sharing technology. “No,” one lawmaker responded, rolling his eyes. “I speak French. Excuse me.”

While France has often prided itself on its contrarian approach to information technology — remember the Minitel? — the response summed up the ham-handedness of the latest digital initiative by the French government. The video appeared this spring, at the height of debate about a plan by President Nicolas Sarkozy to set up a government agency to disconnect persistent copyright pirates from the Internet.

The proposal, approved by Parliament last month after an earlier setback, was shot down last week by the country’s highest judicial review body, the Constitutional Council, which ruled that it violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and the presumption of innocence. Only a court of law is entitled to sever Internet connections, the council ruled…

The European Parliament has consistently maintained that Internet access is a fundamental right, at a time when communications, commerce and culture are shifting into the digital realm…

What all this shows, if more evidence was needed, is that an anti-piracy strategy based largely on enforcement is bound to fail.

In the United States, the recording industry has backed away from a legal campaign against file-sharers, realizing that suing its biggest fans is not a great marketing strategy.

Now, we just need someone to explain to Congress what the MPAA and RIAA are gradually beginning to get a glimmer about.

You don’t expect any of our elected officials to be courageous enough to learn something on their own – when there’s always a lobbyist around to ‘splain it to them?

AMA Alliance wants R rating for every single film with smoking

Young movie addict

Smoking in youth-rated movies has not declined despite a pledge two years ago by Hollywood studios to encourage producers to show less “gratuitous smoking,” according to an anti-smoking group.

The American Medical Association Alliance has been trying to get movie studios to make smoking-free films.

The American Medical Association Alliance, pointing to research that big-screen smoking leads teens to pick up the tobacco habit, called for an R rating for any movie with smoking scenes….

“Research has shown that one-third to one-half of all young smokers in the United States can be attributed to smoking these youth see in movies,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, head of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

Fielding cited another study that he said “found that adolescents whose favorite movie stars smoked on screen are significantly more likely to be smokers themselves and to have a more accepting attitude toward smoking”….

Joan Graves, who chairs the Motion Picture Association’s movie rating committee, offered her own statistics, based on all of the 900 films rated each year, not just the top movies included in Fielding’s numbers.

The association has given no G ratings in the past two years to a movie with smoking, Graves said….

“Any movie with smoking should be rated R,” [Fielding] said. “And if they worry about an R rating hurting their profits, then they should work with studios to remove smoking from films that hurt youth.”

I have a feeling that I could go to lunch with members of the AMA Alliance and the Motion Picture Association and walk away not liking any of them.

Can’t we find some clerical jobs for these guys or something?

Mike Myers, Paris Hilton big ‘winners’ at Razzies

It was a night for neon pink bow ties and words like “disaster” and “monstrosity.” It was not the night, however, to be Paris Hilton, Mike Myers or Uwe Boll.

“It wasn’t just the economy that tanked, so did the qualities of the movies being offered,” Razzie founder John Wilson told CNN several weeks before the show. “I would suggest putting away all sharp [instruments] before putting the DVDs in your machine.”

Paris Hilton and Mike Myers came out on top — or bottom — for the awards. Hilton earned both the worst actress and worst supporting actress awards for her roles in “Hottie & the Nottie” and “Repo: The Genetic Opera.” She was also awarded worst screen couple for her on-screen time with her co-stars Christine Lakin and Joel David Moore.

Hilton’s film had a budget of $2 million but only earned about $27,000 at the box office…

Myers added worst actor to the “Love Guru” worst picture and worst screenplay Razzies.

But perhaps the biggest “winner” of the night was Uwe Boll. Recipient of the worst director award, the foundation also recognized his lifetime work with the worst career achievement award. Boll is the “worst living director on Earth,” Wilson told CNN.

Even at no extra charge on satellite TV, I must admit I’ve never seen any of these. Phew!

Pirate Bay copyright test case begins in Sweden

The trial against the Pirate Bay has started in Sweden and file sharers and P2P journalists alike can hardly contain themselves. The Times of London has dubbed it the “Internet piracy trial of the decade,” and the Pirate Bay’s staff and supporters have planed an ongoing spectacle in front of the courthouse, involving, among other things, a brass band, rallies and an old bus that will be used as a press center.

But what is the case really about? Who are the people involved, what can we expect to happen in court, and what’s at stake in case of a guilty verdict? For our definitive primer, read on:

What is the Pirate Bay? Good question, actually. Most people know the Pirate Bay’s web site, which lists torrents for countless movies, TV show episodes, albums, applications and other digital loot. Those torrent files are used as a starting point for BitTorrent-based file swapping, which means that the Hollywood flicks in question are transmitted straight from one user’s hard disk to another…

How did the trial come about? The entertainment industry has been trying for years to get Swedish authorities to shut down the Pirate Bay. Swedish police finally raided a data center housing the Bay’s servers in May of 2006, confiscating a number of servers and briefly taking more than 100 web sites offline. However, the Pirate Bay was back online just three days later. Public prosecutor Hakan Roswall announced charges against the three admins and a suspected accomplice in January of 2008.

Continue reading

Peak viewing time for porn? Sunday morning. WTF?

Analysis of viewing figures shows peak demand for FilmOn’s “naughty movies” was around 11AM on Sunday.

By contrast, internet analysts Hitwise found that usage of video sites peaked on Sundays but more traditional adult sites experienced a dip.

Sundays, it said, was the top day for visits to internet shopping and social networking sites.

Explaining the film viewing data, Alki David, founder of FilmOn, said: “The data applies to both men and women and it certainly poses the question about what has happened to the traditional ‘day of rest’ in Great Britain.”

Different genres of downloaded videos peaked on different days; “family viewing” films experienced a peak on Wednesdays, while sport-related titles showed a Saturday spike in sales.

This chimes with Hitwise’s figures across all sport-related sites, which have a pronounced peak on Saturdays around 50% higher than any other day of the week. This, according to Hitwise research director Robin Goad, is likely driven by football fans.

I think the wife and kids have gone to church or to visit gran – and dad’s left home alone “to catch up with what’s on the Web”.

When movie operations go wrong

This weekend sees the return of FrightFest to London – a weekend of horror for people who aren’t taking their chances with the bank holiday weather. One film premiering is Freakdog, in which a coma victim is administered an untested cocktail of drugs by a trainee. It works – he wakes up, but there’s one unfortunate side effect: he’s been turned into a supernatural canine murderer hellbent on revenge.

In tribute, here’s a gallery of other operations gone wrong at the movies:

Click photo for gallery