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gadgetry

The Boy has a Vtech Rhyme and Discover book, which is currently in favor again. It’s shaped like a book and has pages you turn, but it reads stories aloud, and sings songs. One of the many toys that seems to be designed for parents who need to put the kid in the corner alone for one to eight hours.

Yesterday it started making clicking sounds in the middle of a song, so I turned it off and on again and closed and opened it, and it was fine. This morning The Boy did the same thing.

Aw! He’s learning to reboot!

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I’m not a big fan of the Oscars, but The Mrs is. In fact she just said, “I realized tonight that this is my Super Bowl.” When we cancelled our cable TV about four months ago, I think the prospect of being without a reliable source of supply on Oscar night seemed like a dim and distant danger.

We spent most of our non-parent time this afternoon trying to find someone streaming the actual ceremony. ABC in conjunction with Facebook streamed the red carpet ceremony (and Wayne Sutton was there tweeting for Kodak – go Wayne!), but nobody in the US was streaming the actual ceremony. The Mrs was getting a little panicky by around 7:00.

I did a Google search for “Oscar live stream” and got a lot of useless junk and nearly picked up a Trojan horse virus. Twitter came to the rescue. I did a search for “Oscar stream” and in and among the ill-informed retweeting of a misleadingly-titled Mashable article I found an actual live stream of the Oscars, from Sky Movies in the UK via Justin.TV. We kept our fingers crossed in the final minutes leading up to the 8:30 start time as some middleweight celebritainalists who we might not know even if we lived in England waffled on with the typical pre-Oscar waffle.

Now, at 8:34, The Mrs is relieved to see that they are, in fact, streaming the actual ceremony. Hopefully it lasts. Who knows how many international laws, copyrights and test-ban treaties they’re violating. I have no idea how it’s actually happening. It might be somebody in his mum’s basement in Barking with a disassembled cable box and a soldering iron. It doesn’t look like a webcam pointed at a TV screen, but it doesn’t exactly look totally legit, either.

Anybody remember this Qwest TV commercial where a guy is checking into a motel and asks the morose twenty-something clerk if there’s any in-room entertainment? She responds with, “All rooms have every movie ever made in any language anytime, day or night.”

What happened? That was a decade ago. When will that happen?

How soon until you can just go ahead and watch all the stuff that’s streaming all over the world, no matter where you are? I suppose for a while it will continue the way it’s going now: the companies that own the rights will continue to try to control the dissemination based on geographic, political and economic boundaries that mean nothing to the Web. And the people who like to subvert that kind of thing will keep trying to find ways around them.

Thirty-eight minutes in, and the stream is still streaming. So far so good.

I wonder how we’ll be watching it on Oscar Night 2011?

:::UPDATE::: It’s Monday morning and Jean just told me the pirate stream cut off just as things were getting interesting, so I guess it must have been discovered by Sky TV or U.N.C.L.E. or Interpol or whoever looks out for that stuff.

Come to think of it, it might actually have been Interpol.

The unkindest cut was that it happened just as she got a glimpse of Oprah. So cruel.

photo from nasaimages.org

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