He’s Like The Lorax And We Are The Trees

t-mo ceoT-Mobile is at it again. The CEO, John Legere, has made it his mission to raise awareness about the competing wireless carriers and their overage fees. What I like so much about this strategy is that it seems to actually favor the customers. T-Mob first dumped contracts and subsidized phone plans, then made their rates affordable. That’s what initially got me to switch from AT&T. I thought, “Hey, I don’t have to be a slave to this industry anymore.”

Every time this CEO goes and makes bold statements about the sickening state of wireless in this country, I want to stay with his company. I want to buy stock in his company. Even if Verizon has better coverage overall, I want to put my money in a company that I feel I can trust. That’s the “contract” these corporations should be striving to achieve. Not a two-year lock-in deal. Instead, I’m sure the CEOs of AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are all shaking their heads, saying “What is that fool doing? We can keep milking our customers forever if we all do it together!”

Ultimately, this is what competition is all about and this is radically changing the wireless marketplace for the better. It’s good for me, and it’s good for all the people who prefer the carriers that steal their money for crappy service. It’s also interesting that the CEOs of the opposing companies aren’t trying to deny the claims that they suck and need to do better.

If only this same type of competition could exist in the broadband internet marketplace. Now, that’s just crazy talk. (sadface)

Posted in first world problems, geekery, reality, tech | Leave a comment

You’s A Big Fine Data, Won’t You Back That Thang Up

I have a 1 terabyte hard drive that has some important files I have been hoarding for most of my digital life. What concerns me is that the hard drive could “go at any time” since hard drives don’t last forever and then I wouldn’t have those files anymore. It certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I would prefer that to not happen. If working in IT support has taught me anything, it’s that you should have all your data backed up in a redundant way.

I decided to get 100 GB of storage for $2/month on Google Drive. I’m not sure if 100 GB will be enough, but it’s a start. The crucial step is to back up the most important stuff first and then anything else is just icing on the cake.

In the process of uploading and sorting files, I’ve seen some crazy stuff. There are some classics, some really insane stuff, and some things I didn’t even know I saved.

For instance, I found this picture of what my and Lady Friend’s child would look like by sticking two photos of us together in a haphazardly way:


I’m really glad our son doesn’t look like that.

Or random pics of Shedubeard’s face pasted on his children:

baby_bear.jpg bumpy.jpg

Those were the good old days.

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Candy Drank

popI’m going to address the elephant in the room. Americans drink too much flavored bubbly sugar water. Far too much. No matter how hard I try, I want more. I wish I knew how to quit you.

Even if I’m not drinking the high fructose kind, and opt for the diet versions, I still feel like a bastard. Why can’t I just drink water? Sweet nectar, how you massage my lips with love and care.

NO! I will not give in to my addiction.

Does anyone know where I can get a frickin’ Cronut®?

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From Dusk Till… Don’t

fromduskcardThe pilot episode of the From Dusk Till Dawn TV Series aired on Tuesday on the El Rey Network. It was on Netflix international starting today (but not Netflix U.S.A.). I watched it on Netflix Canada tonight, because I can.

It kinda sucked. First of all, it was like watching the movie again, except without the acting talent of George Clooney, Quentin Tarentino, and Harvey Keitel (to name a few). I was really hoping that it would branch out and do something more than a remake of the movie as an episodic TV series with embellishments.

Then, it was basically PG-13 with mild violence and not much of anything else. Why would anyone want to watch this?

I think they are trying to do us a favor by not making it available on U.S. Netflix.

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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

from dusk till dawn seriesThe last few weeks have brought some interesting news for the entertainment sector. Legendary filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has apparently launched a new cable network called El Rey, which carries programming similar to his style (horror, sci-fi, grindhouse). The interesting bit is about how he’s been developing his 1996 movie From Dusk Till Dawn into a TV series specifically for his network. If you don’t have the El Rey Network, you are in luck, because you can stream the series on Netflix only if you live outside the United States.

What kind of ass-backwards crap is this? A large segment of the target market for this show or network doesn’t care about cable/satellite. They have a net connection wherever they go and they want their media to be easily accessible over that net connection. They don’t want to go and subscribe to some ancient broadcast/distribution technology where they have to wait for stuff to come on.

Say what you will about the ADHD generation, but they are becoming the new norm and these companies are going to crash and burn if they don’t recognize it. Please, entertainment companies, employ one person who is between the ages of 20 and 25 and ask them how they want to consume your content.

One area that has totally embraced technology and their user-base is professional wrestling. The WWE launched its WWE Network last month with streaming for everyone using a monthly subscription model. I’m not into wrestling, but if I were, I’d be very pleased at this news. Heck, I’m pleased that an organization as big as the WWE is trying something so bold and pissing off cable/satellite providers in the process. Kudos to you, WWE.

Checklist for success in the 21st century entertainment world:

  • Make your content available online with streaming and/or download options. This is not negotiable. You’ll fail if you don’t do this in some capacity.
  • Pricing should be affordable for everyone (low per-item fee or reasonable monthly subscription). People will pay money for your stuff if they want it, but only if you make it available to them and figure out how much they are willing to pay. (If you are scratching your head, see Steam, iTunes, Netflix, Spotify, etc.)
  • Apps for all consumer electronic devices is a must. I don’t like watching stuff on my phone or tablet, generally, but I like having the option.
  • DO NOT restrict your videos to one distributional technology/platform. If I have to get a cable subscription, I’m not going to watch your shit and you’ve failed.
  • DO NOT lock your content to certain regions of the world. The internet is global, so is your content. There may have been good reasons for locking DVDs and BluRays to a specific region in the past, but those days are over. You want your content to be available to as many potential customers as possible, don’t you?
  • Try using existing distributional platforms (see above) to deliver your content and cut out the expense of starting up your own system that will muddy up the content distribution landscape anyway.
  • DO NOT view new technologies as a threat.

To summarize:

Dear Robert Rodriguez,

Had you done something like what the WWE did, you might have gotten some money out of me.


Posted in cable, streaming, tech, television | Comments Off