More Blu-Ray Movies Available in Combo Packs


At the end of 2008 I wrote that Blu-ray taking off was one expected story of the year which did not happen. One suggestion I made was that Blu-ray discs include a standard DVD version so that people who have Blu-ray players in part of the house but only standard DVD players elsewhere could have the flexibility of viewing purchased movies anywhere. I figure that it makes sense to have a Blu-ray player for the rooms where I have a large screen television, while upscaled DVD looks pretty much as good in the rooms where I have smaller 26″ and 32″ HD televisions.

It looks like some studios are taking my advice. Disney is releasing their movies in Combo Packs this year. Besides helping in the situation I mention above, this also benefits people who are waiting for Blu-ray players to get even cheaper. They can buy the Combo Pack and watch the DVD now, and won’t have to repurchase the movies when they do get a Blu-ray player.

Come to think of it, this is amazingly generous for Disney, which generally does not help consumers save money. After all, at Walt Disney World instead of having Dollar Stores they have Ten Dollar Stores.

This isn’t the only way in which the movie industry is starting to make it easier to purchase Blu-ray discs. Some discs are now being sold with digital copies which can be viewed on portable media players and PC’s.

In follow up of the previous post, as far as I know Girls Gone Wild movies are not available in either Combo Packs or with digital copies.

Porn Industry Needs Stimulus


Business is bad all over. Even the porn industry is requesting a bail out to see them through hard times:

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ — As the 2009 AVN Adult Expo opens in Las Vegas this week, Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt are petitioning the newly convened 111th Congress to provide a financial bailout for the adult entertainment industry along the lines of what is being sought by the Big Three automakers, a spokesperson for Francis announced today.

Adult industry leaders Flynt and Francis sent a joint request to Congress asking for $5 billion in federal assistance, “Just to see us through hard times,” Francis said. “Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment.”

But according to Flynt the recession has acted like a national cold shower. “People are too depressed to be sexually active,” Flynt says, “This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.”

While not to the degree felt by banks and automakers, the Adult Entertainment industry has been hit by the effects of the economic downturn. DVD sales and rentals have decreased by 22 percent in the past year as viewers turn to the internet for adult entertainment. It is estimated that roughly half of all internet users visit adult sites, with the number of unique visitors to adult websites (including and has grown to more than 75 million per month.

But the “saltpeter” effect remains.

“With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind,” Flynt says, “It’s time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.”

“The popularity of adult entertainment in America has grown steadily for the past half century,” Francis says. “Its emergence into the mainstream of popular culture suggests that the US government should actively support the adult industry’s survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people.”

They just might have a stronger argument that the automotive industry. As they say, people can do without cars, but they cannot do without sex. While the problems faced by the automotive industry might be blamed on their own bad management decisions, the porn industry has faced a crack down by the Bush administration. Think Progress reports:

The Bush administration has attempted to wage an aggressive fight in the War on Porn. In fact, cracking down on “manufacturers and purveyors” of pornography was “one of the top priorities” of Alberto Gonzales while he was Attorney General, often coming before terrorism prosecutions. Looks like all it took to accomplish these goals was the decimation of the entire U.S. economy.

It figures that the Bush administration would try to shut down the one industry which normally does well in hard times. No word yet as to when Congress will begin hearings on this request. If they do, C-SPAN could be the big winner.

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

First Read has compared some numbers showing the difference from when Bush took office and today:

Then: 4.2% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2001)
Now: 6.7% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, November 2008)

Then: 10,587 (close of Friday, Jan. 19, 2001)
Now: 9,015 (close of Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009)

Then: 50% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 31% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)

Then: 49% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 21% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)

Then: 48% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 21% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)

Then: 45% (1/01 NBC/WSJ poll)
Now: 26% (12/08 NBC/WSJ poll)

Then: 115.7 (Conference Board, January 2001)
Now: 38.0, which is an all-time low (Conference Board, December 2008)

Then: 6.4 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 7.6 million (Census numbers for 2007 — most recent numbers available)

Then: 39.8 million (Census numbers for 2000)
Now: 45.7 million (Census numbers for 2007 — most recent available)

Then: +236.2 billion (2000, Congressional Budget Office)
Now: -$1.2 trillion (projected figure for 2009, Congressional Budget Office)

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