Some months ago, a guy i know gave me a bootlegged copy of the latest "Pirates of the Carribean"- it was blurry, with bad sound and you could see people moving in front of the screen. Luckily, it was such a bad film that it didn't matter. Is it still a crime if you hate the film?
When 'busted' by my spouse (who is a vehement anti-pirate) about the illegalities of bittorent etc i explained that it was OK as the producers of "POTC" were also profiting from piracy. "Think about all those poor people who have been killed by pirates! This film mocks that sad history".
Question: who is aXXo?
Note the the uppercase central X's.. cool. Who is aXXo ? He's a pirate! He's considered by those in the know as one of the most reliable DVD rippers in bittorrentland- but nobody actually knows who he is. (I can reveal he is not me if that helps).
Yes aXXo is a modern-day Robin Hood, a veritable and venerable HERO no less... for doing what exactly? Sticking a DVD into his computer and pushing a button- incredible how little it takes these days to be worshipped.
He usually rips them to fit on a CD (around 700MB) so the quality is OK- though very far short of "hi-def!". Crazy when HD-DVD/Blu-ray is out more and more people are actually watching LOWER definition downloaded stuff , or ultralow stuff from YouTube .. although this will presumably change - e.g. with Vuze setting itself up as a hi-def portal.
There are even meta-pirate aXXo rips- i.e. people who pretend to be aXXo... and now there's a guy riding his coattails called KLAXXON whose name cleverly comes up every time you search for an AXXO.
Apparently aXXo never releases stuff in RAR format. For those who don't know- this is a 'pain in the ass' format where the movie file gets chopped up into 30 little bits, which you then need to reassemble using yet another program before you can watch it.
Other pirate related trivia in this (overinclusive!) post:
1. Who is Bob?
Bob, of the "History according to Bob Podcast" had a great series on pirates through the ages- (i think he's a little obsessed) and there was a particularly fascinating one about female (cross-dressing/bisexual?) pirates including Anne Bonny... (that's one biography that reads like a hollywood script) -but unfortunately only the last 20 or so podcasts are still available. I wonder if i can upload a podcast to the blog?
2. The Explainer
I read a great article earlier this year from Slate (from a great & funny column called "The Explainer!") about the origins of "pirate talk"... turns out the "aaaarrrgh" was invented by an actor (from Dorset) who played "Long John Silver". Other columns include topics such as "Can steroids enlarge your head?", and "How to Fight Monkeys".