July 13th, 2011

Quit or Fired: News Corp Edition

The current version of the right in English speaking countries has displayed remarkable resilience -- or at least reluctance to resign -- in the face of scandal. It took a scheduled vote to boot Ensign from the Senate to get him to "quit".

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14142307

To be fair, the vote that was about to happen in the Commons wasn't going to be legally binding. But still. Apparently you have to be ready to fire these people before they'll quit -- no amount of omgyoudidWHAT!?! is enough.

ETA: I can't seem to make up my mind how to blog about this idea, so I'll just dump it in here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Wolf

and possibly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Parting_of_the_Ways

There was a Doctor Who arc set on Satellite 5/GameStation the included Rose making Captain Jack Harkness immortal (leading to the Torchwood series) and a bunch of snarky stuff about shows like Big Brother and The Weakest Link. When Rose, the Doctor and Adam first arrive on Satellite 5, the Doctor notices that Things are Not As They Should Be, and this is ultimately attributed to changes on Satellite 5 and how those changes distorted human culture.

When the News Corp scandal broke and was so closely associated with News Corp's efforts to expand their ownership of BSkyB, I kept thinking about this arc; it satisfied that buried part of my brain that spends its time looking for pattern matches ... everywhere.

Netflix Sends Email

The other day, I got email from Netflix. Here's how Sarah Jacobsson Purewal for PC World reacted to the email:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/235636/netflixs_60_price_hike_youve_gotta_be_kidding_me.html

Netflix is unbundling their streaming video service from their DVD service. I contemplated my recent history with getting DVDs, not watching them and sitting on them indefinitely vs. my occasional streaming and decided that this was a good deal, even tho I often couldn't watch streaming what I wanted. It turns out I'd rather watch something else (or read a book) than watch a DVD. I could speculate about why, but none of the reasons I can think of feel like the reality. This is just how I do things.

I've gotten video (for money or for free) from Amazon, Apple and Netflix. The differences as I experience them are as follow: Apple and Amazon have comparable prices and content, but Amazon works with my Tivo and I don't think iTunes video does, and iTunes works on the iPads and I don't think Amazon does. Netflix has free content, but does not have a lot of the stuff that I want that Apple and Amazon do. I have Prime, but the free to Prime customers content seems roughly comparable to Netflix free content.

None of these things is a compelling winner, which is why I keep checking all of them when I want to watch something, but typically buy from Amazon, because I want to watch it on a big screen and that lets me watch it on either of the screens at the house.

I wish streaming video were better. I don't need it to be cheaper, but I wish somebody would do everything and just charge me more for the privilege. I suppose AppleTV or an Amazon tablet might help.

ETA: I have found differences. Amazon Prime video does not have any Hawaii Five-O episodes; Netflix has the whole series. There are a _ton_ of older TV series where this is the case. I just happen to have a longstanding crush on Jack Lord.

What I find truly bizarre about this experience (streaming video, not Jack Lord) is that I always thought video on demand was a really silly idea. It's a good thing _I'm_ not the person making the decisions about which businesses to pursue. I can't even accurately predict my own preferences.