Category Archives: Rants

Netflix Stock Dives

I have recently vetted some frustration with Netflix of late; you can catch up on here.

Today, according to the NYTimes, Netflix stock has taken quite the dive on news of a huge loss in customer subscriptions. You can read that article here.

The company on Thursday morning revised downward, incrementally, its subscriber estimates for the quarter of the year that ends in two weeks. It did not change its financial guidance for the quarter. Still, its stock dropped almost 15 percent in heavy trading when the market opened Thursday.
BRIAN STELTER NYTimes

Seems to me that these issues need to be more publicly addressed or this could be the legitimate start of Netflix’ fall from the top.

 

Another Netflix Change … for the worse

It seems you can’t go a day without reading tech news and finding another cringe worthy change to Netflix service. Of late it started with the change in pay scales and the separation of streaming and mail DVDs. Then came the news that they lost their deal with Starz and would no longer be offering many new titles over the streaming service (e.g. Disney or Sony). Now there is news that users with streaming or streaming and one DVD subscriptions would no longer be able to stream content on more than one device at a time.

If we look at these changes individually, they may be justified considering the Netflix model and business versus customer benefits. Heck, it’s capitalism. Individually a customer could easily turn their cheek and continue being entertained for a reasonable fee. However, these issues and announcements have come one after another in a very short time frame. Customers are now faced with three very large changes to their service that simply boil down to less content for more money and greater limitations on access.

Netflix's new payment scale - This is what I used to pay for 3 DVDs at a time

The first negative change, in my mind, during my Netflix customer tenure was the addition of a separate charge for access to Bluray content. The fee was small in and of itself, but when it’s a change of greater than 10% of your total monthly bill it’s not a simple shoulder shrug. However, I bit the bullet and am still accessing Bluray content for an additional fee. Meanwhile, we still do not have Linux support for streaming content. This has always been a big deal for many of us (read: nerds/geeks) but we got around this by installing virtual machines or using a video game console. These were issues that I ultimately brushed off and continued supporting and consuming the Netflix model.

Now we add to the ever growing list of negative changes the announcements of the past several weeks and things begin to come to a different light. Do we continue to support a service which continually raises fees while delivering less content and more limitations? When do we say enough is enough? Where would we go to get the content we want? These are questions which now seem more pertinent than ever and are becoming more pressing as our dollar takes us less far than it used to.

I’ll leave with one last thought that I know would, sadly, win me back over; Netflix natively on Linux.

Migrating to XFCE

The following was from a Google+ post that I figured I would share here as well.

Well I think I’m finally switching my main desktop from KDE to XFCE. Too much flash and pizazz and having to turn off behaviors and mannerisms for my liking. I guess I’m just getting too old for these young peoples’ desktops.

It was a decent 9+ years, KDE. Sorry you had to turn into GNOME.

A later follow-up comment:

[warning: non-proofread, off-the-cuff rant ahead]

Made the switch last night. Very refreshing!

Not sure if others get the same feeling, but I believe desktops have a measurable weight in terms of interaction and feel. As of late (read KDE 4.*), KDE has lost weight and felt ungrounded. Delayed click responses, bouncing icons, crashing UI effects, windows partially disappearing, and the ‘improved’ graphics all tend to lend way to a flighty feel and experience. But not in a good way, but rather a lack of solidity that I want from a desktop. I want a concrete user experience that shows of it’s strength in the back-end by portraying a solid and consistently reliable front-end. I’ll trade ‘sleek’, ‘cutting-edge’, and ‘feature overflowing’ for solidity and reliability any day. When productivity calls what really matters?

Is it just me feeling the departure of usability? I am one who spends 75% of my computing time tied to a terminal emulator. Maybe I am simply disconnected from what is truly meant to be the modern desktop experience. I look to OS X and Windows Vista/7 for comparison and see similar qualities to KDE 4 and GNOME 3. It’s quite possible that these are the ways of today and are in response to what the majority of users demand from their desktops.

One of the major selling points for Linux is obviously the stability and reliability of the kernel. Therefore, I would expect that the layering OS and desktop should reflect such qualities and do nothing but to bring out the best possible performance and usability of the Linux kernel. KDE4 and GNOME3 seem to have diverged greatly from these ideas. Is it time for distributions to begin defaulting their OSes to a more reasonable (see qualities above for a definition of reasonable) desktop? Maybe Xubuntu should really become Ubuntu, leaving Kubuntu and Gubuntu (?) as unique, non-default variations.


 

Google+ vs Facebook

I received a pretty early invite to Google+ a while back and I’ve been really buying into the revolutionary(?) social networking service wholeheartedly. I would be inclined to suggest dropping the term social here as I feel it is a mature platform more apt for productivity; not to sound pretentious, but the grown-ups’ Facebook. There is an overload of commentary on Google+ and how it compares to Facebook so I won’t really try to jump into the fray here. However, I did have a few thoughts tonight while playing around on both sites and will simply throw out a quick list of some things that came to mind.

Here is the link to the Google+ post.

Or here is the post content:

Google+ vs Facebook

Things I really like about Google+ over Facebook (in no particular order and not fully inclusive – more of an off the cuff list):

- MUCH easier to find people
– Circles are how it should always be with social networks/applications
– Cleaner and faster interface
– No zombie pirate mining farms
– Productivity and efficiency in mind
– Huddles and hangouts are really well done so far
– Keyboard shortcuts such as bold and italicized
– No spamming overlords (yet?)
– Real names (although I don’t agree with the harsh lockouts I guess)
– Google product integration is pretty slick
– The mobile app is light years beyond the facebook app (at least on ios)
And last but not least, the open source community is present and accounted for!

- Oh and apparently on Facebook this has to be a note since it’s longer than 400 (or so) characters… come on…. I can rant away on Google+

We’ll have to see how things pan out as more people adopt Google+ and development rolls along. At this point, I will admit that I was an early advocate and fan. After some solid use of all the features and side-by-side comparison of day to day posting and usage, I remain and advocate and fan.

See you on Google+! [me]