News of the World and the Self, 06/27/19

“It’s a strange world, isn’t it?”

Kino Lorber is a video and film distributor who’s done a lot of great work. This week they released a Blu-ray of David Lynch’s LOST HIGHWAY, a 1997 thriller-cum-mindbender that’s one of my favorite films. I’m thrilled, and the release sports strong audio and video. For a film with dark, demanding cinematography and which has had a very bumpy history in that regard, it’s great news.

Unfortunately it seems David Lynch was unhappy that Kino got the rights instead of Criterion, and issued the following statement, reproduced verbatim from its source:

“Dear Twitter Friends, A Blu-ray of LOST HIGHWAY will be released very soon. It was made from old elements and NOT from a restoration of the original negative. I hope that a version from the restoration of the original negative will happen as soon as possible.”

If this were an honest grievance filed against a fly-by-night org who wouldn’t do it justice, it might be one thing. But this is flat-out bad faith, and Kino felt compelled to issue a response:

We reached out to Mr. Lynch via email to oversee and color grade a new 4K transfer (from the original camera negative) and get his approval on the dozen or so extras we had planned to include. Once we knew he was not interested in working with us, we had no choice, but to go ahead with the current Universal master and the few extras we had already produced and acquired. To our surprise, the master in question was a very good one, so we were happy to release it with some extras. We found out later that the extras and packaging also had to be approved by him (not the norm) and we sent email after email without one response.

We delayed the release by a month, hoping we could at least get him to approve the trailer, the essay and our packaging, at this point we knew the interview and commentary were not possible, but after a few more weeks, we dropped the essay, the trailer and changed our front art to the previously approved DVD art. The BD only includes the film on a dual-layered BD50 disc, maxing out the feature at 30mbps with 5.1 surround and 2.0 lossless audio. We were planning to take the high road and not play the blame game, but after his tweet this weekend, we felt like we had to respond.

We’re still huge David Lynch fans and are proud to release one of his masterpieces on Blu-ray.

The man makes good art, but it’s disappointing to learn this about him as a person. Let the record show that my copy is in the mail.

The Raspberry Pi 4 is Out

Six months ahead of its predicted release, the Pi 4 has been released to stores. I feel confident in saying this is at least as pivotal an upgrade in capabilities since the quad core Pi 2 superseded the original single core Pi design. Here’s a summary of some key improvements over the Pi 3B+:

  • CPU has been upgraded from a quad Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz to a quad Cortex-A72 @ 1.5 GHz; preliminary benchmarks suggest it’s around twice as fast
  • GPU has finally been upgraded from the VideoCore IV chip in every prior Raspberry Pi to VideoCore VI, offering OpenGL ES 3.0 support (still no Vulkan, alas)
  • Memory has been bumped from 1 gig of DDR2 to 1 gig, 2 gigs, or 4 gigs of DDR4
  • Two micro-HDMI ports each capable of driving a 4K monitor
  • USB upgraded to 3.0, with additional USB 2.0
  • Ethernet no longer shares bandwidth with the USB controller

The Pi 4’s new graphics chip and faster CPUs are going to make a lot of developers very happy. There’s a lot of excitement among console emulator authors in particular – the Pi should finally be fast enough to reliably emulate a Nintendo 64, which has been a point of contention for a while! For general performance it’s useful too; I’ll be keen to see what people set clusters of Pi’s to do. For general use, a preview of what we can expect can be found here.

edit: If this Reddit thread is an indicator, Vulkan support on the VideoCore VI in the Pi 4 is possible after all. That could take an exciting pocket-sized computer and make it incredible.


I’ve had personal developments that kept me from being engaged with this blog or a lot of other hobbies and personal development for a while. But recently I’ve gained a lot of clarity and peace, and predict I’ll be tending this place with cheerful diligence. Check back periodically – I’ll strive to please.