Thursday, April 27, 2023 is Going Away

I got an email on April 18th saying that Netflix will be discontinuing its DVD service and only have streaming as of the end of September. This after 25 years. I've been on Netflix/ since February of 2002 or 21 of those 25 years. It's how I watch new release movies and older movies I might have missed.

I don't know what I'm going to do now after the service ends in late September. I might have to figure out how RedBox works. Or something. It seems to get all the new released movies on streaming you have to subscribe to about four services (Disney+, Paramount+, Hulu, and HBOMax). Plus maybe Netflix. I already subscribe to Disney+ (for Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel) and Paramount+ (for Star Trek). 

I'm really not happy about this at all. But I understand that it's probably not making as much money as Netflix's streaming service is. It's a decision that is best for the company, but not for its customers.

I've been a very loyal customer for 21 years. I put up with them delaying new DVD releases for four weeks. I put up with them throttling me (not sending me new releases) because I sent back movies too fast and too often. I put up with the time it took to get a disc mailed to me going from one day to five days.

And "mailing the movie" is sort of a ritual event in my household. We drive through the Post Office parking lot to the mailbox and put it in. Then, if the weather is good, I drive down the interstate practicing on-ramp and off-ramp road racing. Going to have to figure out a way/reason to do that.

Do you use for movies? If so, how do you feel about this move. Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

AI Writer

Last week I talked about an AI girlfriend. Which while amusing, isn't very threatening. I doubt they will replace real girlfriends for most people.

But AI is not just for fake girlfriends. I asked the chatbot ChatGPT to write a love story. This is what it wrote:

Once upon a time, in a small village, lived a beautiful young woman named Ava. She was kind and loving, always putting others before herself. Ava had many suitors, but her heart longed for someone special, someone who would love and cherish her for who she truly was.

One day, while she was walking in the forest, Ava stumbled upon a young man who was injured. He was lying on the ground, and Ava immediately ran to his side to help. The young man's name was Jack, and he was a traveling musician. Jack had been attacked by bandits while on his journey, and Ava had come just in time to save him.

Ava took Jack to her home and nursed him back to health. Over the next few weeks, Ava and Jack grew to be very close friends. Jack would sing for Ava every night, and she would listen in awe as his beautiful voice filled the room. Ava was struck by Jack's kindness, his passion for life, and his love for music.

As Jack's strength returned, he knew that he couldn't leave Ava's side. He had fallen in love with her, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life by her side. Jack mustered up the courage to tell Ava how he felt, and to his surprise, Ava felt the same way. They both knew that they had found something special, something worth holding onto.

Ava and Jack were soon married, and they lived happily ever after. They traveled the world together, singing and playing music, always finding new adventures and new ways to love each other. And every night, as they drifted off to sleep, they knew that they had found their true soulmate, their one true love.

Years passed, and Ava and Jack grew old together. They still laughed, they still danced, and they still loved each other as much as they did on that fateful day in the forest. And as they held each other tight on their final night, they smiled, knowing that their love story would live on, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps and find their own true love.

Not great. As a friend of mine pointed out, it's all telling and no showing. But it's a start. How soon until AI puts writers, lawyers, doctors, referees, etc. out of business? Maybe I'm glad I'm old and won't live to see it. Or I might. It might happen faster then I think.

What do you think of the story? Is AI going to destroy writers' jobs? Or other jobs? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

AI Girlfriend

An AI girlfriend ad
When I saw the movie Her (not to be confused with She), I thought it was entertaining and an interesting concept. If you haven't seen it, a man falls in love with his computer's voice-interface operating system.

The internet has allowed people to pull out of real life to be more engaged with people across the world. Between social media and chat apps such as Discord, and now there's VR chat apps, people can live in cyberspace and not the real world as much as they want (or can). 

Lately on Facebook, I've been seeing ads for, no kidding, an AI girlfriend. I could see this really appealing to some people. Shy, introverted types like me. (I don't need an AI girlfriend, I have a real-life wife.) 

Reminds me of this Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot" and the "hygiene movie."

Is this the future? People interacting with AI more than other humans?  There's no angst (does she love me back?). Not awkwardness, probably. Maybe also AI psychologists and AI doctors and AI lawyers. This is a disturbing trend in a way and it'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

How do you feel about the AI trend? Is this the future of less human-to-human interaction and more human-to-computer connections? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Movie Review: City Lights

I sometimes review movies long after they've come out. Usually because I don't see them until they become available on (né Netflix). But this one might be a record. I'm going to review a movie that came out in 1931.

City Lights is a film written and directed by Charlie Chaplin. Despite the fact that movies had sound (i.e., were "talkies"), City Lights has no dialogue. The soundtrack only has music and some sound effects. Dialogue was minimal and handled by intertitles as would happen in a silent film. 

When I watch very old movies, especially comedies, I usually find them trite and corny. I recently watched The General, made in 1926, and it had that problem. In fact, I found it boring.

But with City Lights, I laughed a lot. Just shows the genius of Chaplin that his movie is funny 92 years after it was made. The story line is a little ridiculous, but that just sets up the humor. Chaplin is a tramp (as usual) who a millionaire adopts, but only when he's drunk. The tramp is in love with a blind flower girl (a woman who sells flowers on the street; it was the Great Depression, after all) and uses the millionaire's car and money to impress her. 

This movie was laugh-out-loud funny. I recommend checking it out (it is available on

How do you feel about old comedy movies. Do you find them boring or corny or funny. Let me know in the comments below.

The above photo is being used under Section 107 of the Copyright Act: fair usage.