Day Break has been axed?

Taye Diggs and Victoria Pratt of Daybreak

Oh great! What is it with American networks and getting rid of shows before they get a chance to get going? I'm not saying Daybreak was the next Firefly but you know what – its damm ignoying. I mean its only meant to be a mini series between the break in Lost season 3 but come on. Its actually not that bad and I was looking forward to seeing what else would come from the series. Now I have to watch it on ABC.com via a proxy
because I can't see it in the UK, but it even that looks unlikely.

According to Lost-Media, “Day Break�, the show that was supposed to fill the void during the Lost hiatus, has been pulled by the network.

The entire story-arch of “Day Break� was planned for a single season, so it’s sad to see that ABC doesn’t have the balls to stick with it until the end. Even though the show only attracted around 4.5 million viewers, canceling a show that was going to end pretty soon is both cowardly and unfair to the 4.5 million who watch it and were looking forward to the conclusion.

ABC has said that fans will be able to follow “Day Break� online at ABC.com, but couldn’t promise that all the remaining episodes would be available on the website.

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The current state of Tape it off the internet.com

So TechCrunch UK did a post covering Tape it off the internet. The review was interesting but I have problems with Tape it off the internet in its current state.

So first up adding a new show is simply a nightmare. I wanted to add the new BBC conspirancy Drama, The state within. But I couldn't find where you do this. Sheila also had this problem but she actual found it once. Now it seems the option is gone for now. My next problem is the RSS Bit Torrent support. It does work but I don't want to see the wrong episodes. Yes if you use your brain you can work out the correct one, but ideally tioti would automaticlly work out whats correct and whats not. My Bit torrent client does this with a simple Regular Expression, it would be great if tioti would also do this.

My other concerns are centred around the user interface. Its using so much ajax calls it actually becomes very ignoying. Unlike Flickr, it seems you have to do one thing then wait for the little red staus box to change before doing anything else. I'm sorry but if your going to use Ajax, use it so I can change many things at once. You might as well use page reloads if your not going to allow multiples changes at once. The user experience of Tioti is also really weird. It doesn't seem to make sense. For example on the episode guide why can't I also change the rating for the show here and maybe start a discussion? I think the episode guide should also be the centre of the experience. From there you should be able to download, discuss and rate a show. Then click on a season and get simlar behaviors. How cool would it be to click one button and get a rss feed for all the previous shows? It would certainly help people catch up.

I've posted up some screenshots with comments to cover the rest of my complaints regarding the UI

The social side of things is also bizarre. You can do the usual things like share a show with a friend and get into groups and discuss the show (like your going to do that in the closed walls of tioti instead of the real fan bases like lostcast). But you can't share episodes with friends, which should be fine because your only sharing the torrent file or link to the torrent file. Which is also where things fall down. See Tioti will recommend torrents but what I'm actually interested in is torrents which my friends have downloaded or are currently downloading.

So my recommedation for Tioti is a plugin for Azureus like how last.fm works now. I mean if you can get a plugin for most of the top torrent programmes then you'll be away. I mean imagine if Sheila started seeding episode 7 of Heroes and I'm on her friends and heroes list. Then Tioti could alert me to that fact and link me to the same torrent file. This fits in with the whole Azureus 2.5 share with a friend option and Tribler social p2p system.

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Heroes

Heroes

Sheila gave me and Sarah the inside scoop on this great new show from NBC called Heroes. Its on episode 4 so far, and will certainly replace watching crap like 24 and maybe Prision Break? I have only watched one episode so far but I'm impressed and can certainly see how things will evolve over the series. So I'm going to have to quickly catch up with everyone else now.

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2 hour special Cracker tonight (october 1st 2006)

Cracker

Cracker is back for one more special episode. Hopefully to sort out that terriable mess of a special episode which they called White Ghost. The story line goes something like this.

Fitz returns to Manchester for his daughter's wedding, but is soon involved in another murder investigation when an American comedian is killed, apparently without motive.

Just incase you don't know what Cracker is, from Wikipedia

Fitz is a classic antihero, unfaithful to his wife, alcoholic, a chain smoker, overweight, addicted to gambling, manic, foulmouthed and sarcastic; and yet cerebral and excellent at his speciality: getting into the heads of violent criminals. As Fitz confesses in “Brotherly Love”: “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.”

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Desmonds, only available on Bit Torrent

One of the best features of Bit Torrent and UK nova is when it pulls up gems from TV's past. Someone posted up the first season of Desmonds which is a classic Channel4 TV programme from the late 80's. Its amazing to watch now and I can't believe I had all but forgot about it till last weekend. Sarah's having a hard time understanding the mixture of accents on the show but finds it funny watching me crack up. The poster wrote this about the posting.

It was as late as 1989 that a British sitcom which focussed on the life of a black British family finally became mainstream viewing. It was worth the wait. Desmond's was not tokenism: this was a funny and warm show, with a strong cast and all the traditional sitcom ingredients, but with a solid anchor in the lives of those it portrayed.

Unlike The Cosby Show (to which Desmond's is often compared), St Lucia-born writer Trix Worrell set the series in a working class area of South London's Peckham. Desmond and wife Shirley are first generation migrants from Guyana who have set up their own barber's shop. They live upstairs, along with two of their teenaged children, Sean and Gloria and spend their days serving customers and enjoying the company of the regulars, including Ram John Holder as Porkpie, Christopher Asante as eternal student Matthew and their BUPPY son, Michael.

Watch for a young Domonic Keating, who is introduced later in the first series, now famous for his role as Malcolm Reed in Star Trek – Enterprise. He wasn't particularly natural in Desmond's (and isn't in Enterprise either), but he does possess a lovely pair of cheekbones.

The show ended after the sixth series, with the untimely death of Norman Beaton. With quality writing and lovingly observed characters, you'll enjoy the warm, fuzzy glow that the show imparts.

What ever your view of Bit torrent, this has got to be seen a really good example of that long tail. So far its been downloaded almost 170 times and there are currently 44 seeders and about 3 leechers. Sharing Desmonds with a community of people means it will never be lost or locked up in a valut somewhere. Showing Sarah Desmonds was a interesting experience.But its also certainly something I would love to share with my kids when there old enough. And if CD/DVD doesn't pack up I should be able to still play back un-drm'ed media from 2006. If worst comes to worst and CD/DVD does pack up, I'm sure the 170+ people who have nabbed it will be happy to share it in the future.

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Bit Torrent, as the middle man?

Tape it off the internet

All I can really say is these guys observations of TV are pretty damn sharp…

Interesting story about how Channel 4 in the UK are pushing for more secondary new media rights from their independent programme producers. I've talked about this for ages, but essentially it can't be beyond the wit of programme producers to hire an ad sales team, and go direct to their audience. They are currently missing out on a large slice of the revenue pie, this would enable them to get some of that. In these early days, call it an online exclusive, create a buzz, sell it to a 'traditional' tv network later. You know when your time is up when you get called 'traditional', huh?

The BBC also gets the retouch treatment, which could become a viable solution for the BBC when geoip finally falls apart. Matt's original screenshot and the new updated screenshot.

Theres no douht we need to deliver to the rest of the world and subscription, advertising, drm and geoip are not the solution. Well to be fair advertising works up to a certain point (i'm sure google will be exploring this more in the future).Geoip works for less-savy internet downloaders, but as we know obfuscation (as in security through obfuscation) is a bad idea and its really a problem waiting to happen when you least expect it.

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Tape it off the Internet, no really do!

Thanks to a comment by Duncan in my kill TV post a while ago, I've now checked out Tape it off the internet.com. Although its not actually a web 2.0 application or social tool yet. Its got a lot of potential as idea at least.

They seem to have a lot of the simple things right, for example there is a post about why recommendations could be important when you drop off the schedule. There right, when you drop off, you end up relying much more on friends recommendations and what people and things around you say. So for example me and sarah have become big fans of Firefly and Serenity, browncoats some would say. The reason I engaged with Firefly and the movie serenity was a couple of things. My friend doug, a lot of blogs about the treatment Firefly got from Fox and what tipped the balance a Wired article. I was recommended Lost by my buddy Waheed and Prision Break from Tom but another way I gage interesting shows is by torrents which have lots of downloaders times by the time it was published. Some Torrent sites make this easy to sort by, others dont. It would be nice to have a webapi for these things sometimes.

But back to tape it off the internet, another thing which made me shake my head in agreement is the friends x episode tracker. Its best explained in the post.

Let us take the problem outlined below, that of different friends of yours not all being on the same episode of a show, making conversation about said show… delicate to say the least, lest you drop a clanger of a spoiler.

Seriously this happens all the time, i usually have to ask what episode someone is on before talking about it. Lost is a nightmare right now because a ton of people are on the UK series which I believe is coming to the end of series 1 soon. A couple of friends have seen the whole series 1 but not started on 2, and then about 3 people I know are fully up with ep5 of series 2.

So guys behind the idea, when's the vaporware going into Permanent BETA with a Open API, tagging and tons of Ajax? hehe…

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The game: Lost

Riven screenshot

I was listening to the excellent Pop!Tech live stream over the weekend and one of the things I heard which I need to blog at least was the thought by (i'm sure) Edward Castronova that Lost takes most of its queues and ideas from games? The example he gave was the trend setting Myst and Riven games. And honestly when he said that I instantly started thinking about screenshots like this type of thing. But Edward was more getting at the depth and interactivity (yes you heard me right) than anything else. One of the points included the numbers which keep appearing throughout the series, something which encorages extra thought and people to do things like this and this. This type of behavour tends to be more common with games. When IT Conversations puts the audio online I'll put a link to it and it will all make a hell lot more sense, than me trying to do it from memory.

Without indulging my Lost thoughts, I find this all pretty interesting when you read Lost Boy's blog post about Lost: the game. The linkage between games and lost is all there and when you think about it more it makes more and more sense.

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Should we kill TV but keep the shows?

So I was almost done with my RSS aggregator for the night when I read Jon's entry titled I Watch Shows, Not Tv. As I was reading through, I was in total agreement with Jon. Some choice quotes which made me laugh.

The medium had become totally uninteresting to me. Reality Tv was everywhere, sitcoms sucked, and ads were worse.

Enter Bittorrent, Hd rips, and RSS. Ever since I set up my system, not only do I watched more shows, but I watch a LOT of shows. I probably have at least 10 shows I watch weekly without missing a beat. But not only do I get to watch them at my own convenience

The only television I watch is the television I watch. That makes sense, I swear. When I’m done with a show. That’s it. I don’t flip to the next channel to see what else is on. I finish and move onto another project. Just sitting in front of your Tv leads to watching Hugh Hefner’s Whores jumping around pretending they have enough content to constitute television. I’d rather sit down catch 42 minutes of Lost or 28 minutes of Curb and be happy.

Totally! I have a very simlar setup to Jon, xbox media centre and all. And he's so right, me and Sarah watch a lot of shows including Lost series 2, Prison Break, Daily Show, etc, etc. When I was in hospital recently, the lovely nurse asked if I wanted the TV on, and without thinking I replied “No, I don't watch TV.” Bang just like that without thinking about it, then I realised what I just said. Honestly me and Sarah turn on the TV for the BBC news 10min update at about 8am in the morning then we turn off and listen to the slashdot review podcast if there is time. When we get back in the evening, we may turn on Channel4 news for 1 hour and maybe once in a while leave it on and watch grand designs or something like that afterwards. But usually we turn off have dinner together and maybe put on a show or listen to a podcast while we catch up with news, emails, etc. Even with the daily show on more4 every day now, Sarah's not interested because shes use to timeshifting it. She does'nt like the idea of turning on the daily show at 8:30pm every day and sitting in front of the TV.
Hey and why would we? With TV RSS we can store them and watch a whole load together with friends on a weekend or watch it the week after if we choose to.

Moving on, I read the related link and found the tons of comments mainly in agreement.

But I say all this and I know something doesnt quite fit.
I've heard about studies in the BBC which went down this route of the show being more important that the channel and TV its self. But these studies say when that is the case, people look for brands they can trust. Channels are a odd thing, if you live in the UK, you may think of BBC one as generally massmarket but higher class than ITV (my view not the BBC's view), BBC two more documentary's and nature programmes but still some comedies and mass market contnet. BBC Three, for people 35 and younger, somewhat like BBC two but with lots of comedies and reality tv. BBC four, highbrow documentary's and some news.
People use these types of thoughts to decide what channel they should wait on or check out. Remove the channel and people try and cling on to many other things like brand to tell them more about the programmes and there expected audience.

So although I'm with you Jon, I need to err on the side of caution because people need to make money without killing the distribution method (as they do now). Itunes video is a good move away from tv and towards shows and programmes.

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To the person(s) who put prisonbreak.s1.ep1 inside of lost.s2.ep1

To the person(s) who put prison break.season 1.ep 1 inside of the lost season 2.ep1 torrent today and yesterday. I was, (lets say it gently) slightly pissed off. This is the kind of thing you see on old school p2p networks like Kazaa not on Bit Torrent.

This is the first time I've ever downloaded something which was labled something else on bit torrent, maybe this is a growing trend? Has anyone else experienced this? I noticed the torrent in question has been removed from the piratebay. But I had already almost uploaded 3 times the contents of the torrent without knowing by the time I had got home today. So sorry to everyone else who was also duked. But to add aditional insult, I also downloaded Prison Break ep1 too, so I ended up with two of the same file. You can tell I was very very pissed off. At least Tom's recommendation for Prison break was a good enough choice to finally calm me down. Certainly no Oz, but interesting none the less. I'm just waiting for Fox to ruin it with some 24 type government propaganda.

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Get lost? sorry i’ve already seen the directions…

Lost

The UK seems to be gripped in a Lost frenzy at the moment, I would just like to put my hands up and say I watched the whole first series a few months ago. Its well worth watching and I would like to Thank Waheed for turning my attention to this very good series. This certainly replaced 24 as my american TV series of choice now.

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