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Everything posted by downzy

  1. UHD/4K Disc Thread

    I realize there's already a Blu-Ray thread, but I wanted a separate thread limited to discussing UHD/Ultra4k discs. I'm finally getting into the 4K space and picked up Dunkirk, Planet Earth II, and Mad Max - Fury Road. It's disappointing to see so few great films have been released on UHD discs as of yet (especially when one consider the absolute shit movies that seem to get a UHD release). I'd love a UHD of Tarantino's Hateful Eight and a true 4K version of the most recent Thor movie (probably one of the more visually stimulating movies, but heard like most Marvel movies it won't be true 4K). Interesting to note that not all UHD discs are true 4K. I stumbled across a few sites the last couple of days that summarize which discs are true 4K and which are fake (or, to be more specific, upscaled versions of HD prints). Also interested in hearing people's opinions on how they consume 4K content. There's not much from my cable provider (and I would have to spend a lot more monthly to access their diminutive offerings) and I'm not sure I want to buy Apple 4K TV to rent 4K movies. I've also read that streaming 4K isn't nearly as impressive as watching 4K content from a disc. Any suggestions or recommendations with respect to 4K consumption or which discs are worth buying for their 4K prints are appreciated.
  2. Figured with the U.S. mid-term elections commencing tomorrow, figured I'd start a thread on all things U.S. elections (if you're interested in Presidential elections, we'll see you in two years). Looks like the Senate is going to be handed back to the Republicans after 8 years of Democrat control. I suppose Obama's use of the veto will skyrocket over the next couple of years. If you've been impressed with how unproductive Congress has been since 2010, just wait until you see how little gets done and passed over the next two! And then there's also the state elections. John Oliver covers this pretty well here:
  3. UHD/4K Disc Thread

    Amazon, at least here in Canada, had them on sale for several weeks after Christmas. Funny thing was that they were cheaper to buy individually than in the three-piece set. Kind of strange. I thought about buying Nolan's Batman films but decided to pass. Only really loved The Dark Knight, the other two are okay. And I'm not sure how many times more I need to watch the Dark Knight (I've lost count how many times I've seen it). It would be great to see it in 4K once but not sure I need to own it. Also, none of them are what I would consider visually stunning films, at least in my opinion. There's a few scenes, like the bank heist, but the colour is fairly muted and there are few expansive cinematic scenes like Nolan's other films (Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk). I think I'd be more inclined to buy Burton's first Batman film were it to ever be given a 4K UHD release as I found that film more visually stimulating. I'm not sure if I'm going to buy a lot of UHDs. Back in the 2000s I ran up a collection of 200+ DVDs but eventually gave them all away. Never watched them more than once or twice (none at all in a few cases). I remember thinking back then that the picture quality would never be bettered and how else would I have access to all of these movies. Now with various streaming companies and video/audio technology significantly better I'm not sure I want to invest in another large UHD library. I'll buy a few to watch whenever I want to remind myself why I bought a 4K OLED, but unless the films are my favourites, have visually stunning 4K HDR visuals, and tough to get through streaming channels, I'm not sure I'll be buying many in the years to come. I would imagine that most movie studios will eventually coalesce around one to three streaming services in the next couple of years and hopefully most 4K Ultra prints will be available through those channels.
  4. Going to be visiting L.A

    Moved to Anything Goes as this topic doesn't have much to do with GNR news or discussion. I was in LA a few years ago. This might sound strange but if you want a good feel of what LA is like ahead time play the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. They do an amazing job at encapsulating the look and feel of many of LA's best known neighbourhoods and landmarks (though in real life there is way more traffic). Definitely check out the old clubs on Sunset Boulevard. I had lunch at the Rainbow and it was great to soak in all the history of the place. Also check out Canter's Deli and see if Marc will show you the booth made famous by the band picture. It's actually not the booth many think it is (it doesn't have the image hanging directly over it). Definitely check out Venice Beach and Santa Monica. You should rent a car regardless as LA is difficult to get around without one (unless you plan on using Uber but that can add up quickly). If you do rent a car, take your bathing suit and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. Along the way there are some great little beaches where you can give surfing a try. If you're looking for a more relaxed, less touristy vibe check out Manhattan beach on the south side. I was only there for an hour on my last visit but definitely where'd I'd spend most of my time the next time I go back. Hollywood is probably something you should check out if you've never been. A little too touristy/tacky for my taste but something to check out if it's your first time. Another interesting place to spend some time is Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. Bring sunglasses as you'll see some of the best looking women and amazing cars this side of Monaco. Finally, there's the studio tours that are worth checking out if you're interested in that kind of stuff. In terms of places to stay, I'd look at AirBnB. There are some amazing places in the Hollywood Hills that will give you a great view of the city plus an opportunity to stay in locations you'd normally never get a chance to. Plus they're usually cheaper than decent hotels in LA, which start at $250 and easily go up from there. West Hollywood and the hills is a decent place to stay as it's fairly central and closer to most of the attractions you'll likely want to see. Perhaps @RussTCB can offer a few other suggestions as I know he visited LA last year and had a great time. In terms of general advice, don't try to see everything. LA is huge and running around the city trying to see as much as possible will not make for a great trip. Pick a few general areas and take your time. Traffic in LA is horrific so you're better off enjoying a few spots than stuck in traffic trying to see everything. Hope you have a great time and best of luck with your diagnosis. I think you have the right attitude by making the most of things now, something we all should do regardless of health.
  5. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Unfortunately, Trump doesn't strike me as an authority on finance history. https://qz.com/1181498/rolling-back-regulations-often-comes-before-a-financial-meltdown-according-to-the-imf/
  6. Photography

    Hey, So I thought I'd start a thread for all photo hobbyists or professionals who frequent the forum. Everything from showing off your latest pictures to talking about photo gear. I started my interest in photography seven years ago but recently became more and more interested in the hobby over the last two years. I upgraded my equipment in 2011 from an old Nikon D50 I bought it in 2006 to a Nikon D7000 while investing in a bunch of different lenses. Right now my "arsenal" includes the Nikkor 18-200mm, 35mm 1.8G, 50mm 1.8G, and Tokina 11-16mm. I also have a Nikon SB700 Speedlight. I started to take on some paid gigs for family and friends who are looking for family/group shots of themselves and/or their kids. I also do a lot of traveling and get a lot of satisfaction from travel photography. I'm hoping to upgrade some time next year and go full frame. Would also love to get some fast zoom lenses, like the Nikor 24-70 2.8 and the Nikkor 70-200 2.8 VR. Would also love a proper macro lense. Eventually I'd like to shoot weddings and events when my schedule allows it, but I'm not there yet. It's something I enjoy doing regardless of the money (though the extra cash wouldn't hurt). Here's a few of the shots I've taken over the years. Curious to see and hear from other photobugs on here.
  7. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Yeah, it would be interesting to hear why certain countries polled the way they did. What has Trump done that made his leadership approval increase in Ethiopia relative to Obama?
  8. While I have no idea what he does before a show, I'm fairly certain Axl spends some time backstage after the show. I've heard him spending an hour or two backstage after the show before heading to the after party or hotel. I would imagine that rider requests are for after the show.
  9. UHD/4K Disc Thread

    Could the issue be that with download/streaming the data is compressed whereas with discs it’s not (or perhaps it’s just compressed less). I’d be interested in knowing the bit rate of a disc versus streaming? They say the minimum to stream 4K content is 25mb a second. That seems low to me (but again, I really have no idea).
  10. US Politics/Elections Thread

    In the "not a huge surprise" space: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/18/trump-global-leadership-polls-344989
  11. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Not to get too tawdry, but it’s creepy af to hear Trump favourably comparing his porn star mistress to his then 24 year old daughter Ivanka. I got turned off from the Daily Show when they ran their ‘Donald Trump wants to bang his daughter’ bit a year or two ago, but hearing stuff like that really makes one start to wonder.
  12. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Sorry, I was being a bit loose in my description. You're right, it's not a socialist nation. It was only in relationship with the U.S., that does not have a well-supported welfare system nor collective bargaining at the national level, does Norway lean closer to socialism.
  13. US Politics/Elections Thread

    41 percent of Americans participate, but 80 percent of the wealth generated by the stock market is owned by the top ten percent of Americans. Less than a third of American households own stocks in excess of $10k, compared to 93 percent of households in the top 1 percent. Look you'll get no argument from me that a rising stock is in anyway a bad sign (though, it's starting to enter into serious bubble territory with evaluations and P/E ratios completely out of line with historical averages). But the argument that a rise in the stock market is a boon for the middle class is just wrong since its gains are limited to only a small slice of American households. The U.S. economy for FY2016 was $18.59 trillion. $200 billion is substantial, but represents 1.07 percent to the US overall economy (and this is assuming that money actually gets put back into circulation, which isn't a foregone conclusion). All of this news is great, but it's a fly on the back of an elephant. Relative to the entire population few Americans will actually feel the effects of Apple's repatriation of its cash reserves.
  14. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Fox probably would have had ten retractions a day when Obama was President (if, you know, it could be considered credible).
  15. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Yes and no. What it does is setup a precedent that U.S. companies can funnel profits to oversees operations to avoid paying domestic tax and then have it brought back onshore when legislators open up a tax window, creating an effective corporate tax rate of 10 percent or less (depending on deductions). This is what happened the last time the U.S. allowed for a tax repatriation window, with most of the money brought back used for shareholder payouts. I've read arguments that we shouldn't discount share buybacks and dividend payouts, but since only a minority of Americans own stocks, it likely won't help the middle or lower class worker. We can better determine the effectiveness this tax reform on four different criteria. The first, already mentioned, is shareholder payouts. If we discover that share buybacks and dividends jump significantly over the next two or three years it undermines the arguments for the corporate tax cuts and repatriation. Already buybacks are at record levels as profitable companies are finding better uses of their cash than to pay back investors. This leads one to wonder if giving conglomerates more money will actually spur on the second standard to evaluate these tax cuts, which is wage growth. If we start to see significant wage growth one could possibly attribute this to the recent tax cuts. We've already seen some evidence of this with Walmart, AT&T, and Boeing. But there's also rebuttals to these recent headlines, as many of these companies have political motivations to win curry with the Trump administration (AT&T is currently in a legal battle over its merger with Time-Warner, Boeing does a lot of business with the U.S. military) while others, like Walmart, while giving its workers a raise they're also firing tens of thousands of employees and shutting down stores (there's also evidence that raising Walmart wages were already underway years before this tax cut). This is going to be a hazy metric since wage growth can be attributed to a variety of factors. The third criterion is capital investment. This is probably one of the best measures of these tax cuts. If we see companies invest in themselves by expanding production or increasing R&D budgets we can give Trump and Republicans credit. I'm skeptical that this will happen, since we've seen record profits by corporate America over the last five years and no corresponding increases in corporate investment. Moreover, historically low interest rates have been present for almost ten years now; the conditions for investment have been there for awhile and yet we see anemic investment. With interest rates creeping up last year and further increases likely, it's hard to see why companies would invest now as borrowing costs are higher. The fourth measure is the deficit and debt. Republicans and Trump have long advocated that lower tax rates will spur economic growth that will result in the tax cuts paying for themselves. History has almost never demonstrated this dynamic panning out. But we'll see where we are in five to ten years. If the cost of these tax cuts ends up adding $1.5 trillion (which is a conservative estimate), then it undermines arguments that these tax cuts were necessary to grow the economy. But sure, this is great news and hopefully more companies follow Apple's lead. But this strikes me as a PR move by Apple. There have been too many other promises of investment or jobs by corporate America over the last year that have proven to be an illusion. Remember when Wisconsin Governor boasted about getting Foxconn to invest in his state, resulting in 13,000 jobs. Turns the deal between Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin will likely be in the $4.5 billion range. That translates into $35k per worker for ten years. So we'll see where we are five years from now with this recent Apple announcement.
  16. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Yeah, that was the best part of the show. I kind of wish the entire interview/episode was Letterman talking to Lewis on the bridge. Letterman is known for being irreverent but him taking on a serious issue such as civil rights was interesting. My problem with his interview with Obama was that he didn't get Obama to open up; we didn't really learn anything about him that we didn't already know. At least, that's how I saw it.
  17. Home Theaters

    I finally bit the bullet and bought a 55" LG OLED B7. Coming from a seven year old 43" LG LED tv, the difference is striking. It took awhile to play around with the various picture settings to get something that I thought worked best. A colleague I know bought one last summer and returned it because he thought it was too dark. I noticed this too when I first turned it on but things brightened up considerably when I turned off the Power Management/Saving feature. The dynamic range on this television is mind-blowing. I've enjoyed just watching the little fireworks screen saver that comes on after a few minutes. I've got an Xbox One S so I'm able to play 4K UHD discs on it. Right now I have Planet Earth II, Mad Max, and Dunkirk. I haven't had a chance to watch the two movies, but have watched a couple of episodes of Planet Earth II. The colours and visuals are stunning on this set. The B7 does support ATMOS and there times when it does sound like sound is coming from behind me, but it's nothing substantial and I'm looking forward to buying an ATMOS or wireless surround-sound sound bar later this year. I'm not setup to use wires in my living room so it has to be wireless or a soundbar. I've been reading reviews at this years CES and Sennheiser's soundbar upcoming offering looks amazing. Likely won't be cheap but considering premium surround sound offerings by Samsung, Sony, and Sonos range from $1700-$2300 here in Canada I'm hoping it will be similarly priced when it comes out. So far so good and I'm really happy with it. Just need to add some serious sound to the setup and I'll be good for a long time to come.
  18. US Politics/Elections Thread

    What I find funny about Trump wanting immigrants from Norway is that it's one of the most left-leaning socialist nations in the world. So on the one hand you have a President and party who advocates for a roll-back of the regulatory state to levels similar to "shithole" countries but desires immigrants from prosperous leftist nation-states. Or maybe the connection is just lost on him and he just wants more white people.
  19. US Politics/Elections Thread

    I thought it was already; always good to see both of those men again out in the public. I'm a big fan of both so it was great to see something like this. That said, I thought it was a rather empty interview. Letterman did little other than fawn over the ex-President and Obama gave little but his usual canned answers. It failed to yield any kind of interesting insights into Obama now that he's no longer the President. I realize Obama isn't the kind of guy to come out and spend 60 minutes bad-mouthing his successor, but it would have been nice to see him remove the curtain about how he feels the country is doing under new leadership.
  20. US Politics/Elections Thread

    I would say that is one of the reasons why he got elected, but not necessarily the primary reason. The biggest culprit is most likely the people who stayed at home instead of waiting in lines to vote for Clinton, someone they weren't that excited about but expected to win.
  21. US Politics/Elections Thread

    FYI, Chrissy has been asked to no longer post in this thread. Hers was actually an alt account of a banned member that was allowed to participate so long as they adhere to the rules of the forum. I enjoy discussing and disagreeing with those who want to have a legitimate conversation. We do not provide space for those only interested in inflaming others through incendiary, disingenuous, and insincere posts. It often leads to, and has over the past couple of weeks, responses that include personal attacks and insults. Since the trolling was the root of the problem, it works better for everyone and the mod staff to remove the initial source. I'd ask that everyone move on with their discussion. If anyone has any concerns or wants to address this with me please do so in a PM. Thanks
  22. UHD/4K Disc Thread

    Has anyone ever downloaded a UHD/4K movie from a torrent site? If so, I'm curious how it looks/sounds on a large screen tv and how they did it.
  23. US Politics/Elections Thread

    I’ve been letting into this thread go for awhile with doing much moderation but that is going to change. Posts that include personal attacks/insults will be removed. Posts with the clear intention to troll or inflame will be removed. I realize having earnest and genuine discussion on politics on an Internet forum is probably a foolish effort on my part but it is still my wish for this thread and will moderate accordingly.
  24. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Do as I say, not as I do... https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/15/578153020/trump-advocates-for-public-service-on-mlk-day-but-spends-it-at-mar-a-lago-resort
  25. US Politics/Elections Thread

    Kind of a pointless question though. Who picks their leaders based on what they eat or whether they have a drink here or there? Wasn't that the reason given why most people voted for George W. Bush? That they would like to have a drink with him (which is kind of ironic since he was and still is a recovering alcoholic who hadn't touched the stuff in decades).