One of my favorite movies is Steve Oedekerk's High Strung. Chances are you haven't seen it, because it wasn't released theatrically, was only available as a rental, and the company that put out the VHS tape went out of business. You may occasionally run across a copy at ye olde video shoppe, but it's pretty unlikely since most rental copies have since been stolen.
Over 10 years ago Steve Oedekerk's official website reported that they had finished the video mix for a DVD release, and all that needed done was a 5.1 audio mix and menus and extras and whatnot. About 3 years ago I ran across a VHS copy, digitized it, and made a torrent of it so that more people could have a chance to see this gem of a film -- and maybe increase demand for the "any time now" DVD release in the process.
It's been a couple years since I've checked for an update on the DVD release, but yesterday I came across a copy online purporting to be a "DVD rip." So I downloaded it. Turns out that it is a significantly higher-res copy than the one I put up, and even wide-screen to boot, but still pretty obviously VHS-sourced. It smelled fishy, so I pulled out my copy and compared them side by side.
So, as you can see, someone simply cropped and stretched the full-screen VHS copy and pretended as if it were a 1.78:1 wide-screen-sourced copy. Since it is cropped down, it means that there's even LESS of the film visible, and since it is scaled it means everyone has put on a good 10 pounds. It also means that there is still no DVD.
Essentially he just proved that the "Google Defense" is, in fact, a perfectly valid argument.
From the site:
The intention of this site is to demonstrate the double standard that was exemplified in the recent Pirate Bay Trial. Sites such as Google offer much the same functionality as The Pirate Bay and other Bit Torrent sites but are not targeted by media conglomerates such as the IFPI as they have the political and legal clout to defend themselves unlike these small independent sites.
UPDATE: Google has blocked this site from searching Google. How retarded is that?
Now, in addition to sharing your location with your contacts via your phone's maps app and your iGoogle page, you can embed your Latitude location into any page, enabling ANY CRAZY PERSON to stalk you with near-realtime accuracy. The neat thing is it defaults to automatic zooming, using your positional accuracy to determine how detailed the map is. With GPS turned off, using cell towers for location info, it zooms out to a city view with a blue "somewhere in here" circle. Turn it on and it zooms down to street level. Very awesome.
It looks like this:
The map atop my blog has long been non-functional due to the hassle involved in keeping it updated, but IT LIVES ONCE MORE, thanks to the fact that my phone is always updating positions with Latitude. Thanks, Google!
If you're interested in using Latitude in this way, head on over to http://www.google.com/latitude/apps to get your embed code. Assuming, anyway, that your phone is compatible.
Here's a handy list:
* All Android phones.
* Most Java-enabled (J2ME) mobile phones.
* Palm devices with Palm OS 5 and above.
* All color BlackBerry devices.
* Windows Mobile devices with Windows Mobile 5.0 and above.
* All 3G Symbian devices.
* Not iPhones. Pbbt. (I'm guessing the 3.0 update will have Latitude support. Still -- suck it, iPhone.)