I feel sort of bad for Netflix. Although today’s announcement was just a boneheaded move that made no sense (unless they’re planning to sell off their DVD branch), I suspect that the reality of their price hikes is that they’re getting squeezed by movie studios.
Here’s what the studios don’t seem to understand: I use Netflix because it’s easier than The Pirate Bay. When you pull your titles off Netflix, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Sure, I’ll check iTunes and maybe try Amazon’s on-demand service. But if those services don’t have your movie, or are stupidly expensive ($2 per episode on Amazon?!), my next option isn’t to go to Best Buy and try to find your DVD on the rack and then pay $25 for something I’m going to watch once. It’s to just grab it on the The Pirate Bay.
But here’s the ludicrous thing — I’m perfectly willing to pay! I don’t go to The Pirate Bay because I’m a sleazy lowlife who refuses to pay for things. I go there when you won’t sell your product to me in any sensible form. If I’m going to purchase the episodes (as Amazon’s service implies), I want to download them to my computer in a DRM-free format and put them on my NAS, because I paid to purchase them. If I’m only purchasing the right to stream them on demand, $2/episode is outlandish. And any way you spin it, $40 for a set of DVDs of a television show is lunacy.
This would be a great article if they didn’t recommend only 4GB RAM and strongly imply that any more was a waste of money. To me the waste of money would be buying a new computer with less than 8GB today.
I just spontaneously remembered a shoe store I went to a few years ago. I’d gone into the city to see a movie with a friend, but I was about an hour early, so I explored the area a little bit. I should explain that “the area” was Park Street by Boston Common.
I went down some sort of alley with some small storefronts. I found a shoe store, and, since I was in the market for new shoes, I stepped in.
First of all, every single person in the store — customer or employee — immediately turned around and stared at me. It wasn’t a quick glance up to see who came in the door, it was every single person turning around and giving me a deer-in-the-headlights look. It was exceptionally unnerving.
I might have thought I was on Candid Camera, except, as I adjusted to my surroundings, things got weirder. No one appeared to be looking at shoes. They were all just sitting around talking. Or, more accurately, looked like they had been, before they had all turned to face the
intruder customer in their midst.
Before I turned around to leave, I noticed one last thing. The music. It was outrageously loud, bordering on the threshold of pain. And the music was exceedingly weird for a shoe store. Googling the lyrics, I just found the song I heard: Biggie Smalls’s “Dead Wrong”. I walked in just in time to hear, “I TAKE TOKES OF THE MARIJUANA SMOKE… THROW YOU IN A CHOKE. GUN SMOKE! GUN SMOKE!” (Incidentally, it turns out that this was the least-inappropriate part of the song.)
I left in a hurry and have used Zappos.com ever since.
Fuji couldn’t keep the X100 in stock, even though it’s over $1,000 for a practically-point-and-shoot camera with a fixed, prime lens. They’ve just announced its little brother, the X10.
I discovered this quite by accident tonight, while looking at barebone Atom boxes to build a small home NAS… The Supermicro SYS-2015TA-HTRF is a 2U box that contains 8 nodes, each with a dual-core Atom chip (1.8 GHz), 2 DIMMs, 3x 2.5” hard drives (hot-swappable!), and a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Great for people who can’t afford a Seamicro, or for people who have never heard of virtualization.
namebench is an open-source, cross-platform tool to find the fastest DNS servers. I switched to Google’s DNS servers long ago assuming they were faster. namebench “found” Verizon’s public DNS servers in Boston and found that they’re 93% faster than Google’s DNS.
For reasons that make no sense, the best “Boston Verizon” DNS server 126.96.36.199 has a hostname of boston2-qwest.bellatlantic.net, maybe due to some strange acquisitions I wasn’t aware of? Stranger still, whois on the IP shows it’s from RIPE, not ARIN. It further shows that it’s running Nominum Vantio, which I’ve never heard of, but which markets itself as a high-performance recursive DNS server/cache.
The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it. That’s somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That’s when you find out who you are and what your values are.
So when these people sell out, even though they get fabulously rich, they’re gypping themselves out of one of the potentially most rewarding experiences of their unfolding lives. Without it, they may never know their values or how to keep their newfound wealth in perspective.