The Science Fiction and Beer Channel News Page

woman reading newspaper

"You Don't Need a Weather Man to Tell Which Way the Wind Blows" --Bob Dylan

09/19/2017

Roku lost a court case in Mexico, and in a classic case of overreaction, they have decided to go after private channels, and are even threatening to go after the people who view those channels.  XTV has been taken down.

Roku News

What does this mean for The Science Fiction and Beer Channel?  At this point I have no idea.  We specialize in public domain films.  There is always the chance the a few films might still have someone claiming ownership on them.  Witness YouTube, where people use what they, in good faith, think is public domain material, only to have DMCA notices filed against them.

I've worked too hard on the channel, only to have it taken down.  My first step is to go over every title, checking its status.  Of course, that status can change at any time: the movie It's a Wonderful Life was in the public domain for decades, when a technicality suddenly put it back under copyright.

I'll be working on getting the channel reproduced on this website, just in case.  There are other promising avenues, such as something called m3u.  I'm not making a dime off of this: for me, it's a hobby that keeps my creativity going.

Sigh. I guess it's too much to expect Roku to back up the people that built it to the #1 streaming company: its content providers.

I feel betrayed.  I believed in Roku.  I told everyone I could about it.  Maybe I made a mistake.

As rRoku owners, we shouldn't just sit and take this.  But what to do?  Suggestions are welcome.

"...Bye roku ... You will feel the pain and a reduced ipo as users move to other platforms..." --Kirk J Carrigan, in a Facebook post

One Big Hiccup, Right at the Wrong Time
07/13/2017

Right after I came back from Inconjunction, publicizing the channel heavily, I noticed that it was buggy.  Very buggy.  A lot of the movie posters had disappeared, as well as the titles.  I eventually tracted this to the image hosting service that I had been using, imgsafe.

Imgsafe was never dependable, and in the last few days it had erased all of the poster images for my videos. 

I should back up here: poster images for ther movies etc. are hosted on image servers, which are often separate from the websites that host the videos.

Recently, I had been using this website to host new videos and images.  But there were still quite a few posters hosted by imgsafe-- that is, until they decided to delete all of them.

So, there is nothing wrong with the channel.  In a couple of days, everything will be back to normal.

This came at a terrible time: all of those new viewers were greeted with a half functioning channel.  Roku lets us view channel analytics, and there is a sharp drop in viewers that happened when imgsafe decided to drop my images.

I admit this is my fault: I was a cheapskate.  Sometimes the word free can have a hefty price tag.

We're Growing and Growing!
06/04/2017

As of this date, we now have 2,340 subscribers.  A lot of my viewers are outside of the USA; for some reason, the channel has a lot of fans from India.  Generally, the channel's Facebook fans are college educated, and have careers in the sciences.  I have no idea why this is; however, I appreciate every fan that subscribes to the channel.  

I'm looking forward to Inconjunction, when we will be doing some publicity work for the channel. such as giving away swag bags of SF&B stuff, as well as having contests for giving away Roku players.  If you've never been to a science fiction convention, I'd highly recommend Inconjunction.  Picture a weekend long get together with like minded people, and a selection of at least half a dozen room parties to choose from on Friday and Saturdays, each party having loads of free liquor, beer, and food. 

Inconjunction is a test in marketing.  If I get a decent amount of new subscribers, I can make plans for expanding the channel even further, adding more new programming, and... yes, it hurts: commercials.  As it is, right now the channel costs me practically nothing, but it also takes in nothing.  With ad revenue, the sky will be the limit.

The channel's second robot, The Evil Twin Brother Robot, has been completed, and videos of it have been put on the channel.  The robot was created with the most evil robot parts imaginable, and its personality reflects that.  Some folks might comment that the Evil Twin Brother Robot looks nothing like 4-Q.  The thing is, they're fraternal twins.  So there! 

I am tempted to make a third robot, just so I an make a show called My Three Bots.  I still have a can of black spray paint, as well as some low RPM motors.  All I need to do is purchase a pair of battle tank RC toys, and figure out what to use for a robot body.

The channel can now have an unlimited number of videos.  We were limited to 100 videos at one time, but with much effort (and more than a little hair pulling) all limitations have been lifted.

our two bots

The Evil Twin Brother Robot (left) and 4-Q (right)

The Channel to Have New Robot Mascot in 2017

 10/28/2016

The Science Fiction and Beer Channel is having a robot mascot built.  4Q, a small, bucket sized robot, will be able to roll on its own, and speak with flashing lights in sync with its voice.  The robot is being assembled by Rossum's Universal Robots, a leader in the field of companion-robot designers. 

"The Science Fiction and Beer Channel executives asked us to assemble what they referred to as a 'smart-ass robot," Ivan Rossum, the company's CEO, said.  "The folks at SF&B were very helpful, supplying us with tapes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 to guide our work.  Oh, that's what you want," we said. 

"We went to several thrift stores and a couple of Dollar Trees to get the right parts," Rossum added.  "We think the results will be quite impressive."

"This is the first major robotics project encoded entirely in BASIC," Rossum added again.  "We had to put in a second CPU to handle the mountains of code needed, and a third CPU just to make it run fast enough  Sure, BASIC is slow, and outdated.  But that's what we want: a challenge.  And besides, Android 16 in Dragonball Z was coded in BASIC.  What better example can you have than that?"

channel mascot


The robot, pictured above, is still in the assembly stage, and should be ready around Christmas time, if not sooner.

When asked for comment, the robot's CPU said "I no longer compute.  Where on the graph do must and cannot meet?  Syntax Error Line 233.  Abort, Retry, Fail?  This copy of Windows is not genuine."

The robot will provide commentary on Science Fiction and Beer Channel Channel shows, and will serve as a temporary co-host of The Science Fiction and Beer Channel Talk Show until a human, preferably one with firm, perky breasts, is found to perform the job.
 

The Channel Has Gone Through a Major Redesign

The Science Fiction and Beer Channel has been redesigned from the top down.  Gone are the straight line listings: now they're in the more common (and easy to access) grid format.

"I could say that it was time to redo everything, but that's not the case.  I finally figured out how to do the grid format, so I spent a week of all-nighters getting the channel changed over," SF&B  creator Flint Mitchell said.  "We've also added several new videos, and given all the videos new poster images to go along with the new format."

As of 11/1/2016, The Channel Now Has 839 Subscribers, and Growing!

The Channel is now getting about 20 new subscribers every 4-5 days.  We should surpass 1000 in a few weeks.  Bear in mind that this is with very little publicity.  In the months to come, when we start going to the science fiction convention circuit, the channel's growth should be even more spectacular.

Exciting things are happening!  Soon there will be even more original programming.

11/29/2016

The channel now has 1,350 subscribers.  We've been averaging 100 new installs a week.  The word is out!  I think the next milestone is 2,000 installs, which, if everything goes the way it has been, will happen by the end of January, if not sooner.

Robot 4-Q Makes His Science Fiction and Beer Channel Premiere





Robot 4-Q was nowhere near finished, but he wanted to deliver a special holiday message to our viewers.  As you can see, he still has some rough edges, but he's coming along fine.  He should be ready to co-host The Science Fiction and Beer Talk Show by the end of January.

12/31/2016


The Science Fiction and Beer Channel now has 1653 installs.

Early 2017 will mark a time of expansion.  New video production and editing equipment will be purchased.  There will also be some new, exciting Science Fiction and Beer Channel products,.

Robot 4-Q, almost complete, will also be found to have an older brother.  An evil older brother.  Here is a drawing of what he will look like.

brother robot


I did a lot of learning on Robot 4-Q, so this build will go a lot faster.

Robot 4-Q has his own email address.  Fans wishing to write to the robot can click the image below, or send email to robot4q@outlook.com . He does tend to get a bit pedantic, ranting about robot rights, Asimov's three laws of robotics, and how vastly unfair robot life is.

email
                        robot 4-q

2017 is going to be a hallmark year for The Science Fiction and Beer Channel.  Already, the channel is growing week by week.  With further investments in video production, I am sure that the channel's growth will be downright explosive.


03/09/2017


I upgraded the channel: the amount of movies is now unlimited.  Look for lots of additions in the months to come.
I added a few movies to the channel, as well as a couple of movie categories.

UFOlogy as it stands now is a form of science fiction.  It's a highly derivative form of the genre, and part of its formula is that it tries to present itself as fact.  Can anyone watch "Overlords of the UFO" or "Mysteries From Beyond Earth" and take UFOlogy seriously?

I've also added "Horrorfreude" (German for "Joyful Horror") as a category.  This includes horror films that are funny ("Little Shop of Horrors" and "Bucket of Blood"), and movies where the actors are obviously having a good time ("The Death Wheelers," "Sweeney Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street").

I've also added a short film called "Robot 4-Q's First Day Outside," where you can see my robot friend rolling around for  a few moments.