Netflix And Audio Description Ease And Satisfaction Survey

I’m not a Netflix subscriber so I can’t really help out here, but if you are and can, you have until September 20th to take part in a survey on its described video offerings.

Sara Brennan, a Masters student at the University of Montreal in the Vision Sciences program, is exploring the ease and satisfaction of use of the described audio description available on Netflix. She is looking for blind individuals who are users of screen reading software to learn more about their experience with online television watching.
The survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes and is completely voluntary.
For more information, please see:
• In English, https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KL3CPXX
• In French, https://fr.surveymonkey.com/r/9JFWKFX

Happy Birthday, Canadian TV!

This week kind of sort of marks the 65th birthday of Canadian television. There were experimental broadcasts years before then and if you lived in the right place and had a big enough antenna you could pull in some American stations, but until September 6th, 1952, Canada had no actual broadcast television of its own.

It was on that day that CBFT, more commonly known as CBC Montreal, signed on. It was followed two days later by CBC Toronto A.K.A. CBLT. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

On September 6, 1952, CBC TV debuted in Montreal on CBFT. At 4 p.m., viewers tuned in and watched the movie Aladdin and his Lamp, followed by a cartoon, and then a French film, a news review and a bilingual variety show.
Two days later, CBC TV debuted in Toronto. Seconds before the cameras went live, a technician removed and cleaned the CBC logo slide. Producer Murray Chercover shouted at the technician, “Don’t do that!” and the rattled crew member placed the slide back in upside down as the network took to the airwaves. “I can’t remember what we did, or if we shot the poor guy responsible,” Norman Jewison, then a 25-year-old floor director, later recalled.

Say what you want about the CBC, but you’ll never convince me that Canada would be better off without it than it has been with it. You simply won’t find a more reliable, consistent source for news, sports, music and comedy in this country.

The Pitch Is Inbound And It Misses For Bucket One

I take in most of my Blue Jays games on the radio, so I totally missed this Sportsnet postgame interview from the other night. Thank you, internet.

Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae was having a nice post game interview with Blue Jays’ Justin Smoak when Ryan Tepera attempt at drenching his teammate with a sports drink misses and goes all over Mae thus ending the interview.

Those are some pretty good mics to catch the SPLASH! so perfectly. Hopefully they still work.

And for the benefit of anyone who may not be up on their baseball, part of the reason this is so amusing is that Ryan Tepera is a pitcher. A pitcher who can generally locate a throw much better than this.

The White Part Of The TV Is Acting Up Again

Since the whole world or at least what feels like it is talking about racism right now, I’m gonna leave this right here as a reminder that in spite of appearances and the best efforts of some, we have actually made progress. There once was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to run commercials like this on television.

That’s…not good.

It does sport a pretty catchy tune though I must say, and I’m not afraid to admit that the bit about reservations made me laugh a little.

Anyway, let’s all try to get along and love each other a little more, and maybe not elect bigoted dimwit celebrities who are qualified to do exactly 0 things to important public offices in the future, whatdaya think?

I Meant To Say That! It’s An Obscure Play By The Great Tennessee Wieners!


Maybe the blind kid isn’t the first one who should be making fun of folks for sucking at Wheel of Fortune, but come on, Kevin! I won’t blame you for not seeing the play (I haven’t either), but all you needed was one letter, man! One! Stinkin’! Letter! I’m going to sit here and imagine that you were in a years long coma and woke up just in time to go on the show, because if I don’t do that I’m gonna go nuts.

Oh and Pat, if you’re serious, I suggest the New York Subway system. I hear a lot of that goes on there, and it’s definitely cheaper than theatre tickets.

Chop, Steele, Cook, Get Sued


Unless this is a case of me not doing my damn job, the geniuses who brought you Chop and Steele and Chef Keith really are being sued by Gray Television, essentially because they were made to look bad when one of their television stations didn’t do *its* damn job. Help them out if you can. Nothing they did here is against the law, and we really do deserve better from our media. Yes, even the shitty ass morning show part of it.

Hi, we’re Joe and Nick from the Found Footage Festival and we need your help.  Last November and again in January, we appeared on local morning news shows as a strongman duo called Chop & Steele . We lifted cinder blocks, chopped sticks in half with our bare hands, and crushed baskets with our feet. And in March, we posted short snippets from some of these segments online, hoping to entertain and make a point about how easy it is to get on certain news programs who aren’t doing basic fact checking. Then on April 13th, we found out in the New York Post that the parent company of one of the news stations, Gray Television, had filed a lawsuit against us in federal court, claiming copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.

These claims are totally baseless and we’ve secured a great lawyer, Anderson Duff (that’s his real name!), who’s working well below his rate to take on these corporate bullies who are trying to suppress our criticism of the news. But even at discount rates, our legal bills are piling up and are expected to reach $100,000 by the end of the trial. We are confident we will win this important First Amendment case but we are suddenly faced with a very real possibility that we’ll bankrupt ourselves in the process. In order to continue doing what we do and secure the future of the Found Footage Festival, we need to raise $80,000.

If you’ve enjoyed our live show or our news pranks or even How to Have Cybersex on the Internet , please chip in what you can. If we meet our goal, we promise to continue serving up the most unintentionally funny videos ever committed to VHS and calling out lazy news stations whenever possible. Maybe in the form of incompetent cat trainers, we’ll see.

If The Late Show Is Good Enough To Anger Trump’s FCC, It’s Good Enough For Me

I haven’t watched the Late Show since Letterman left because rare is the night when I’m not fast asleep by 11:30 and none of our good for nothing cable companies will get around to building me a DVR I can use, but if this is the sort of thing I’m missing I might have to work harder to keep my old ass awake more often.

Damn.

Not only is this monologue quite fantastic by broadcast network television standards, but it’s also, according to Ajit (maybe that should be Idjit) Pai, the bloviating buffoon appointed by the gasbag in chief to run the thing, getting Stephen Colbert and company investigated by the FCC. I shit you not.

Colbert faced immediate backlash online from Trump supporters, and others who contend that his comments were homophobic. The host has not apologized for his monologue, though he did say the next day that he probably would have used some less-crude words if he did it all over again.
“I have jokes; he has the launch codes,” said Colbert. “So, it’s a fair fight.”
Trump also has the executive branch of the federal government. FCC Chair Pai recently confirmed his agency is looking into the remarks after receiving complaints from the public.
“I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints, and we’ve gotten a number of them,” Pai told WPHT-AM radio in Philadelphia. “We are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action.”

Aww, poor baby. Not so funny when somebody turns your mean-spirited dickitry the other way, is it?

I’m sure nothing will come of this. This administration and its apologists will say just about anything at any time for any reason and it’s not as though anything Colbert said was obscene to a sane person especially at that time of day, but even if something does, if I’m CBS I’ll happily pay the fine since I’ll surely make whatever it is back in ad dollars in no time flat.

DirecTV and U-Verse Now Have Accessibility Features

Good news, American blind kids. You now have even more choices when it comes to accessibly watching television.

In this interview John Herzog, Accessibility Solutions Engineer, describes the many advancements AT&T media based products have been gaining since November 2016. Both the DirecTV apps for Android and iOS are speech friendly now with their respective screen readers. John will take us on a tour of the iOS app with stops by the DVR Manager and live TV functions. You will also hear how you can turn on the talking guide on your DirecTV box along with some other information about accessing your secondary audio. John will also provide information about how similar features can be utilized via the U-Verse apps. All of this amazing access is free to U-Verse and DirecTV subscribers.

I’m listening now, and while not every feature is absolutely perfect, it sounds pretty amazing. Seriously Canada, can we get with the fuckin’ program here?

You can check out the interview here, and you can go here for more info on DirecTV’s talking guide and here for more about U-Verse’s offerings.

I’ve Given Up On 205 Live. Maybe I’ll Watch Smash Wrestling On The Fight Network Instead

Aside from this Sunday’s ridiculously named Great Balls of Fire PPV which has been built fairly well and actually looks pretty good on paper, I’m getting pretty goddamn sick of WWE these days. I’ve gone over the reasons why more times than I can count here, so I won’t bother doing it again. I will say though that a couple weeks ago I decided to give up on 205 Live.

When they announced it, I was excited. The Cruiserweight Classic was so fantastic and so fun that a weekly version sounded like a great idea even though it meant yet another hour of WWE to add to the schedule. Unfortunately, what we ended up getting is everything that the Cruiserweight Classic wasn’t, which is to say another hour of the same old WWE style programming just with nothing but small dudes. The wrestling isn’t different, the storylines are boring, it’s just not worth watching. I feel bad because the roster is made up of a lot of guys I enjoy, but when it comes right down to it, I don’t need a third hour of Smackdown after 3 hours of Raw I didn’t really need the night before.

None of this is me saying that I suddenly hate wrestling or don’t want to watch more of it. Far from it. A lot of it exists on a much smaller scale than it did back in the day, but there’s more decent to excellent wrestling out there now than anyone could possibly watch. That’s one of the reasons I appreciate the Fight Network. If you want to, you can get a taste of all sorts of alternatives. Stuff from Mexico, stuff from Japan, Ring of Honor, TNA…Er…Impact Wrestling…er…Global Force Wrestling which is actually worth your time after a rocky start for the new owners (A.K.A. the Fight Network itself) and the new creative people, stuff from the UK, the various American indies that come and go from the schedule and now Smash Wrestling, a Canadian company I’ve heard a lot about but never had a chance to see. Who knows, maybe it’ll become my 205 Live replacement.

TORONTO – Fight Network, the world’s premier 24/7 multi-platform channel dedicated to complete coverage of combat sports, today announced a broadcast partnership with leading Canadian professional wrestling promotion Smash Wrestling.
Beginning on July 20, Fight Network will televise a weekly one-hour series from Smash Wrestling on Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET, which follows the weekly premiere of IMPACT Wrestling at 8 p.m. ET. Smash Wrestling episodes will be broadcast on Fight Network in Canada, the U.S. and globally in over 30 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
The Smash Wrestling roster features premier Canadian talent such as Tyson Dux, Michael Elgin and Mike Bailey, plus regular appearances from IMPACT Wrestling stars Rosemary, Allie and Braxton Sutter, as well as highly regarded international performers such as Zack Sabre Jr., Kyle O’Reilly and Sami Callihan.
“Fight Network was established in Canada, so we’re thrilled to add a distinguished Canadian organization such as Smash Wrestling to our extensive slate of professional wrestling programming, which also includes IMPACT Wrestling, New-Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor Wrestling,” said Ariel Shnerer, Director of Programming & Communications for Anthem Sports & Entertainment Corp., the parent company of Fight Network. “Smash Wrestling has a reputation on the Canadian wrestling circuit for its high-quality matchups, talented performers and fast-paced production, so we’re confident the weekly series will be a hit with our viewers.”
“We have always had key long-term goals and one of them wasn’t just to land a television deal, but to land it with Fight Network,” said Sebastian Dastranj, founder and promoter of Smash Wrestling. “We are a Canadian pro wrestling brand airing on a network passionate about its professional wrestling content, so this is icing on the cake and a perfect fit for our product. We are exactly where we wanted to be and couldn’t be happier.”
The inaugural episode on July 20 at 10 p.m. ET will feature Lio Rush vs. Tarik and “The Demon Assassin” Rosemary vs. “The Endorsement” Sebastian Suave.
For a full listing of Fight Network’s broadcast schedule, please visit www.fightnetwork.com, follow us on Twitter @fightnet, become a fan on Facebook and visit us on Instagram @fightnet.

If Real People Commercials Were Real For Real

It’s no secret that companies think we’re stupid and have no problem insulting our intelligence. To me one of the worst examples of this is the “we talked to real people to get their thoughts on our brand new…” type ad. Anyone with even the faintest snort of a clue knows that everybody in the commercial is either an actor, knows enough to say nice things because they’ll get on TV or edited to come off even more excited than they truly are. Oh, and that anybody who acts like an asshole to the product is headed straight for the cutting room floor.

But what if these companies weren’t straight up lying to our faces? What if now and then some uncoached guy made it in or things didn’t go exactly as planned? It might look like these Chevy videos from Zebra Corner.






And breaking with the theme just because I’m juvenile and it made me laugh…

There’s a channel filled with these things making fun of all sorts of companies for doing this crap. Prepare to waste some time.