GET WIRED OR ELSE!

Well..maybe not “or else”, but the notion of being wired is another method of survival, or at least as just getting by!

GroupM, a marketing research firm, recently conducted a survey asking consumers over their use of modern technology. The results showed that (54.3%) of consumers acknowledge that it’s important to be equipped with the latest technology, with 82% of those responding to the survey believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to health and fitness tracker data.

The report, conducted in December of ’20 by GroupM’s LIVE panel, asked 100 American consumers on their perspectives toward technology covering six general categories: attitudes toward technology, information sharing and privacy, virtual reality-based devices and services, smart appliances, mobile devices and digital services, such as visual search, streaming audio and streaming video.

Among other notions, the survey results found..

Attitudes toward Technology: 54.3% of respondents agree with this statement: “It’s important my household is equipped with the latest technology.” Males, younger people and higher-income households all “completely agree” with a much higher propensity than other groups.

Information Sharing and Privacy for health and fitness trackers: 81.7% of respondents believe that either they or a family member should be the only ones with access to this data. On the other hand, only 6.9% of respondents believe the company that made the device or software should have access.

Virtual or Augmented Reality: the higher the income, the more likely a consumer would respond “yes” to having a “virtual travel experience” like visiting a museum or a foreign city—8% of the highest quintile, while only 24.7% of the lowest quintile. Overall, males across each age group showed a higher propensity to have accessed a “virtual” trip.

Smart Appliances: 48% agreed that they would like a home appliance to “automatically order replacements when I am running out of related products” (i.e.: a washing machine ordering new detergent or a refrigerator ordering food).

5G Connected Devices: 51.5% of respondents said they have a 5G device such as a mobile phone that can connect to a 5G network. Among the half of the population without a 5G connected device, 59.6% of 35-54s said they expect to buy one in the next year, while 45.2% of 18-34s said the same.

Digital Services: Voice Assistance/Visual Search: 96.1% of respondents used an Amazon or Apple connected product to help with their shopping.

Streaming audio services: the responses were significantly higher for females than males regarding YouTube Music (49.1% to 42.4%), Pandora (53.4% to 39.7%) and local online radio station (19.6% to 15.4%).

Streaming Video: In order to maintain a lower monthly bill for streaming services, 66% of respondents said they would accept having to watch commercials.

Note: The above elements as stated were retransmitted from GroupM’s report. The complete results from GroupM can be accessed directly at https://www.groupm.com/groupm-research-reveals-1-in-2-us-consumers-believe-its-important-to-be-equipped-with-the-latest-technology/

It isn’t too much of a surprise that technology in these times have taken its acceptance over the previous year. The current pandemic execrated the use of high(er) tech gadgets and its associated applications, as well as the acceptance of said gadgetry in multifold aspects. Who would ever imagine that Zoom, a video communication source that was mainly applied for business conference related purposes, would be used for just about anything from communication with family members, personal friends, and eventually became part of domestic life milestones ranging from birthday parties, weddings, graduations, bar/bat mitzvahs, bible study groups, and other localized events that used to be done as in-person gatherings?

Streaming services, once considered as a method of getting TV programming that was a lot cheaper than what the local cable TV company offered, also increased in usage∂ thanks to having people staying home through choice and/or circumstance.

Disney+, the streaming channel started by The Walt Disney Company in November of ’19, has recently surpassed Netflix, perhaps known as the be-all-to-end-all streaming channel, as the most-downloaded entertainment video-on-demand app in the USA in the previous year, logging in some 45.2 million downloads compared to Netflix’s 44.7. And WarnerMedia’s HBO Max is now the fastest growing platform. Since its launching in May of ’20, it grew some 242% in daily active users, ranking in as the 8th most subscribed platform. The other channels running through numbers three through ten are in their order, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, Roku, Google Play Games and Pluto.

And Quibi, the streaming subscription service once made for smartphone viewing with programming running at ten minutes of less, recently found a home through Ruku and will soon be available for streaming for free (It’s going to be advertising supported) made for all devices for viewing, no longer limited just to smartphones! And one will be able to share content to all social media platforms! It will be better to let your friends and “friends” know about what you have been watching lately!

Although tech is usually linked to those that are of a younger demographic, many seniors aged 60+ are also embracing technology and accepting it for what it is. Many of those in that same demographic were first getting acquainted in computers and the internet once found within their places of employment starting in the latter days of the 1980’s to later enhance it in the 1990’s. Those that are of the “Gen Z” group born from 1965 through 1979, first got into video gaming from the arcade found in shopping malls, moving later toward home based devices. They were also the ones that first embraced the internet and its early applications, such as chat rooms! (This group “invented” the letter word “LOL” that stands for “laughing out loud”!) Of course, their kids of adult age and perhaps their grandkids did some part of introducing their parents and grandparents in suiting up to such applications. But the notion that the older one gets the less connected they tend to be, is slowly fading away.

On a side note, this writer has a personal contact with somebody over the age of 65, that still uses a flip phone and doesn’t have any access to a computer device. (This is the person’s personal choice!) This person has stated that she doesn’t feel the need to have a computer device within her reach. She is still employed and isn’t ready for retirement. She is attempting to find another job, and can’t seem to understand why she can’t submit an application for employment somewhere by sending a resume and/or application through standard mail. I did tell her that most, if not all companies that have more than five employees, are even able to process a resume and/or application through the mail. Perhaps they could have as recently as fifteen or even ten years ago. But in this day and age? Not so much! Although I did try to help her out by giving her these hard facts, she doesn’t seem to “get it” quite yet!

Whatever the case, technology, be it as high brow or as low key, is here to stay like it or not! This may be of a good thing, depending on how its used and applied. And as this year is attempting to shake off of the notions that occurred in the previous year, that won’t be too difficult to take. But as the ol’ cliche seems to go, there is an app for that!!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

LIVING IN A VIRTUAL WORLD

It’s no real surprise that because of the uncertainty of The Pandemic (a term that has its own name, thus, the capitalization), a lot of events that was suppose to take place around this time of year is going to become a virtual event. One can still attend the event, but don’t expect to be in a physical place with a lot of people crowding among each other as they used to do back in the so-called “good old days” long before there was any real worry that such crowds would become a health and safety hazard.

For those that follow the movie business for instance, this would be the start of the awards season where many groups and organizations would fob off awards for movies that aren’t necessarily blockbusters of even “tentpole” pictures. These movies would be smaller “art house” and/or “independent” feature films that are plot and character heavy, aren’t loaded with big-name starts, unless one can count people as Meryl Streep as a “big name”, or when Tom Hanks used to appear in cute and perhaps silly light comedies, and for the most part, as suppose to be “good” movies. Not necessarily entertaining per se, but are well crafted for what they are!

Thanks to the said Pandemic, many of those same smaller movies never had a genuine opportunity to play in a real movie house as most of these titles, if not all of them, wound up as video on demand selections through a streaming device. And those tentpole picture, the kind that people really want to see, were limited to a few of the theaters that were open, but wound up as revised drive-in fodder or in many cases, were also available through the streaming circles.

Out of the many elements that The Pandemic gave to the winners, it was technology that won hands down! Because people were forced to stay at home or in some form of sheltering, they turned toward internet connected devices. They watched a lot of television (movies or otherwise) through anything that can connect to the ‘net and sported a video screen, as well as making their own “movies”. They flocked on YouTube, they went to Tic-Tok, and Zoomed their way to happiness, if not totally stressed out on a virtual source that wasn’t very known of the year before.

Many trade conventions will be held this year through virtual means as well. The only good that’s coming through that element is the fact that people won’t have to travel to attend such events. However, watching faces through streaming services got very old and tired months ago. This is especially true if the connection isn’t as great as it could be, meaning that the next Zoom meeting (out of too many to count) will remain a meeting where people will be “frozen”, and perhaps not able to speak or be heard with a sound source!

As of this writing, people will be deciding if they actually want to attend a meeting in person. Here in Los Angeles, COVIG cases are still on the rise, and the vaccine can only get around for so long. So until people will start feeling safe to venture out, they will continue to attend such meetings and events through their video screens.

And to add, on January 20th, the USA will crown its new king. Of course, that event will still be presented on the steps of the Capital building in Washington, DC. However, that event will be performed through live means rather than through virtual portals, although that king-to-be will become more careful in preventing others in catching the virus of the year. (Decade?) As to the old king? Well, his followers attempted to storm the castle with the notion of telling anyone that their king should remain the leader of the band. But in concept, it dosen’t seem likely to happen, concidering that the only one doing all the tweeting about it will be the birds in the trees that will whisper Louise…or something like that!

So here’s to you ol’ virtual world. Many you live long and prosper. Then again, what can one can do..?

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WHEN MOVIES BECAME VIDEO PROGRAMS

For those that are regular readers of this news service, this writer tends to write about feature films, both the current crop as well as an occasional vintage title. However, the previous year didn’t give me much of an opportunity to write about new movies for the reason that most movies released in the 2020 calendar year never arrived in a theater. It was pretty much an all online affair where one would watch the movie on a video device, be it a TV set, a cell phone, an electronic pad, or wherever video content can be obtained.

There’s been a load of talk within the industry lately that traditional movies theater may be on the chopping block, if not presumed as “dead”. Yes, a lot of feature titles that were scheduled to play in a movie house had been moved through video streaming means. In other words, these theatrical movies turned into movies first seen on television and its related applications.

Yes, movies and television were for a long time, separate elements. A theatrical movie has a different feel and vibe, from its overall look to the way the story was told. If featured performers that were “bigger than life” (i.e. “movie stars”) that were only limited to appear in said movies. Television, on the other hand, were made for smaller (and less expensive) means. Sets and scenes were not as lavish, the actors appearing may not be as well known, the music score was somewhat limited, (many times, using “stock” music cures between scenes), and of course, were closely catered to more of a general audience. While movies, especially of titles created and released from the latter part of the 1960’s and onward, could be a bit graphic, TV shows, especially the TV movie a.k.a. a “movie of the week” a.k.a. a “MOW” also showed its differences. There was no cussing heard or spoken, no nudity seen, no graphic violence depicted, and no outrageous behavior portrayed. If somebody in an MOW was taking drugs, those uses either had wind up in changing their ways, or to suffer some form of demise from their excessive usage.

Theatrical movies on the other hand, didn’t have to apply to those rules. However, those same movies did have to warn those of what they may experience in the movie through the Motional Picture Association of America’s movie rating code using the letters “G”, “M” (later “GP” changed to “PG”), “PG-13”, “R”, and “NC-17”. (The term “X” was later abandon by the MPAA, and is now associated with porn titles–a genre in its own right!)

On December 21st of ’20, an article was written by Robyn Bahr of The Hollywood Reporter that spoke about the mash-up of theatrical movies seen in a theater and movies experienced or television entitled Movies Have Always Had Their Place on the Small Screen. She noted, among other elements, that many movies were first seen by many on television, both the new titles as well as the classic collections.

Although I rarely write such “letters to the editors” letters, I did take part in placing my two cents over the notion of how movies are experienced.

I have taken the liberty to reprint my commentary to the writer. I can’t state if THR ever reprinted by commentary online or otherwise, so I’ll let you readers out there take a gander to what I wrote.

Of course, these are my own opinions, so take them for what they’re worth…!

Robyn Bahr
The Hollywood Reporter

I was rather amused with the commentary you wrote about on discovering movies that aired on television rather that first seeing them in a movie theater. I myself, was also the one that got weened on old movies thanks to television. Although I have attended movies seen in a theater since the 1960’s (my first theatrical film was Disney’s The Incredible Journey–the original 1963 release), I started to get hip to older and more eclectic movie titles in the 1970’s. My local TV station, WGN Chicago, would at one time air a minimum of four movies a day! On weekends, they would air as many of six movies, unless a Cub game would air in the movie’s TV place during the Spring and Summer months! Their timeline ranged from the sound movies of the 1920’s through the 1960’s. From all of these movies I’ve seen, I developed followings of old stars from the golden years. I even had a crush on actress Joan Leslie at age 14! (Some of my elders thought this was cute, while a few thought I was nuts!)

I also embraced home video when I bought my first VCR in 1980. After paying $950.00 for the device, I started to record old movies on TV to watch them when it was a better time for me to look at them. Later in the decade, cable TV came to town, and so did the pay channels (HBO, Showtime, The Movie Channel, etc.) running “newer” titles released from the previous year. The same went for movies on videotape where I would head on over to my local tape rental house–an independent place at first, later moving to a franchised joint, to view titles I’ve seen before, as well as watching movies recommended to me by other people. I was still attending movies in a theater, and started to attend advance screenings of movies to write film reviews. I really did enjoy seeing a movie in a theater thanks to the emotional appeal that went with seeing movies in a darken room full of strangers that laugh, cry, yell, and applaud with the action that’s taking place on the screen. However, Television bought movies to me that I would never see on the big screen again, unless I attended some special screening of an older title somewhere.

For the next twenty or so years, this method of movies in a theater vs. TV remained stable. This form of viewing really started to change in the 2010’s. In this decade, people started to play with their phones as the movie was running! Many people also talked to one another during the film where I can hear them when I didn’t want to. And to make things worse, when I would attend screenings of movies released from October through December, there were a lot of titles I used to call “Gimmie an Oscar” movies since they were loaded with heavy drama (sometimes too much drama for me to take), complex characters, and other factors that perhaps made this movie as a “good” movie that would only appeal to voting members to the Motion Picture Academy or any other movie voting peer group! (Disclaimer: I am a member of what used to be called the Broadcast Film Critics Association, so I fall into those voting members.)

From these movies, some of them are so boring and dull for what they are, I am at times tempted to walk out of them. Not because they are “bad” or painful to watch, but they would just made me lose my interest. It even seems that these kind of titles were meant to be viewed on a smaller (video) screen rather than a big movie theater sized screen. Some of these movies move in a slower pace in the way a TV drama would, and there are a lot of close-ups. A close-up works well seen on a 52” and smaller sized screen. But on a movie house screen? It becomes a bit overwhelming!!

I haven’t received a load of screener copies of films sent to me “FYC” this year as I used to, but I have received more online screener links to so many titles, I can’t keep track of them all, let alone even viewed them!

So will I miss seeing movies in a theater on the big screen? In a way, yes, but only because of its nostalgia. But if I never set foot in a movie theater that only runs first run titles released in the same calendar year, then so be it! I know that the days when I would attend my local neighborhood theater to see a second run title, or a bigger movie where its admission price was set “at popular prices” where I would sneak in snacks in my pockets and stay all day seeing the movie twice or perhaps three times in a row are long gone! Ditto for the days when seeing a movie in a theater was a lot better than waiting for its home video release and to later having it air on cable TV. However, watching a new(er) movie on a video screen is just as good as seeing the same title in a theater. If I watch new movies at home, I can view any title whenever I can (even at 3:00 AM), and snack on anything I damn well please! I can stop the film in the middle of a scene to jot down a note or two, only to resume the film where it left off. And if the phone rings or if I have to “see a man about a dog”, then I can stop the action, resume my business, and continue from there!

I humbly apologize to all of the movie theater chains giving them this big snuff! But this change falls within the same method where a new medium is introduced and a threat is given to the medium it’s suppose to replace! When radio came around in the 1920’s, newspapers were given a threat with the belief that people would get their news on the radio and not in print. When TV made its mark in the 1940’s, radio was threatened. The same goes for over the air broadcast TV to cable in the 1980’s, and even when cable TV was seeing its “death” thanks to streaming. But newspapers still remain. Radio is still around. Over-the-air TV still exists, and cable TV hasn’t gone away. All of these mediums adapted themselves. Now it’s time where movie theaters should take heed as well as well as to the studios that churn out these movies themselves.

And a P.S. to all of this! Movie theaters made its most drastic change in the 1970’s and 1980’s when one time single screen houses converted themselves as twin screens or even triple screens. And the multiplex came to light with six screens each, later to eight, twelve, sixteen, and even more! Don’t get me started in those movie houses where you sit in a Lay-Z-Boy-esque lounge chair, and have waitstaff take your order for foods found in an upscale restaurant, washing it all down with a glass of white wine!! If I wanted to watch a flick seated on a lounge chair noshing on beef wellington and the booze of my choice, I would have stayed home! It’s a lot cheaper (and safer) besides!

Rich Borowy
Editorial Manager
Accessibly Live Off-Line
North Hills, CA

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

A SILVER ANNIVERSARY

This issue kicks off some twenty-five years of service to our community back in the days when “community” was a place that consisted of a physical neighborhood where people worked, played, and lived. It was a time when being in a place called “cyberspace” was often confused with “outer space”, although the two names had a strange bedfellow connection to it. After all, both places suggested science fiction. We may have not be considered labeled as an “alien”, but we sure weren’t part of the little green men that rode in space ships ready to land on earth to take over the world as we knew it!

But here we are, ready to start a new year and a new chapter in the world of journalism. It’s very appropriate that we start off on a silver anniversary, since our hair, and everything else for that matter, has turned various shades of gray thanks to all of the events that occurred within the previous year!

But as we attempt to shake off all of those events be it as good, bad, or otherwise, we have decided to once again step on that good foot while looking very careful for those piles of dogs#it that we weren’t expecting to step on when we started out on our trip down through the roarin’ 20s one year before.

Even through we started off in a year year, we are actually half way through our fiscal year that ends on June 30th. But we won’t necessarily wait for a turning point to start anew. We’ll begin some sort of phase when the time is right. And that time is now!

For this year, we are going to continue in presenting those reviews that made us so-called “famous”. Granted, we are awaiting for things to open up a bit in terms of regional theater, movies and those other forms of entertainment that you folks love to know about. We will also write editorials (such as this one) that start each issue off each week. And we will try to do some new things as well. We won’t necessarily give any specifics right now. But believe us folks, they will be new!
But as of now, we are going to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, as well as our 26th year of our existence. We are going to forget the previous year as those 2020 calendars are already sitting in garbage heaps, along with those Christmas trees that are sitting along street curbs, ready to be taken away to their final resting places.

So as we sip the last of our egg nog, wolf down the final Christmas cookie, and to safely preserve that fruitcake we received from Aunt Muriel to be ready to fobbed off to somebody else the next season, we are ready, willing, and to start anew!
In short, the number “21” is very lucky! That’s the age when you can legally drink! “21” is the number you want to hit on in Las Vegas, or wherever gaming is accepted. It’s also a nice number because it’s not “20”! But we turned 21 four years ago. We are now on a silver lining!

So let’s make that term to be just as good as gold, even if it’s just silver!

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2021 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!