I Have Finally Succumbed To Discworld

Over the years, I kept hearing or reading how good the Discworld series of novels were, and I kept putting off investing my time in them. The main reason was that I had seen part of the TV adaptation of the first couple of novels several years ago, and really did not like it - despite it featuring several actors that I usually enjoy. It's hard to put my finger on why, but I never even completed watching the thing. 

Some of the Discworld cast of characters, with Terry Pratchett reading


In A Twist, Pirates Held For Ransom

Disney's new Pirates of The Carribean: Dead Men Tales No Tales movie is apparently being held hostage by hackers, who are threatening to release parts of the film online unless Disney pays them a ransom, the amount of which has not been released.

Piracy of movies, music and TV shows is not new, but previously the media was released "for free" via various online sites and methods. Any financial impact on the creators would be from presumed lost ticket sales and viewership.  This new ransom twist is a recent development, following a similar ploy with the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.

It's unclear yet how the unreleased movie was obtained - usually pirated fare shows up after the products are released - but the threat seems to be real and the FBI is involved. Disney does not intend to pay any ransom.



The $400 "Budget" Phone

I have noticed an alarming trend referring to "budget" Android phones being in the $400 range (on CNET and other sites). To my sensibility that is nuts, quite frankly. I know I am a cheapskate, but $400 is a lot of money for something that we seem to regard in many ways as disposable.

I would venture to suggest a sub $200 phone would be in the budget price range. My own phone is in the "cheap" range, ending up costing me around $80. Yet it has a 5.5 inch screen and a quite good 13 Megapixel camera, very good battery life, and few other nice features such as a WiFi hotspot.

I realize for some (many?) a phone is a minor status symbol, and they want the latest and greatest  - which is fine for them, and no complaining from me. I just have a hard time accepting $400 being touted as a budget price range, when there are many good-quality phones available for $150-$250 (such as the Moto G4 Plus).

As always, just my 2 cents worth. Oh, and don't get me started about the prices of new cars!