Archive for July 2011

Netflix Plan Changes

Netflix announced a split of the streaming and by-mail movie subscriptions last week. The announcement led to an uproar of dissatisfaction with the move, and I saw many comments accusing Netflix of greed.

My opinion is that Netflix certainly mishandled the announcement since it gave no explanation for the changes, but many seem to forget that Netflix is dependent on publishers to provide it with streaming content, and these publishers motive, means, and opportunity to negotiate much higher rates when contracts expire (as long as they can see that Netflix has the profit to support the hike).

That view is confirmed in “Netflix’s vanished Sony films are an ominous sign” by analyst Michael Pachter, who estimates that the cost of Netflix’s streaming contracts will increase from $180 in 2010 to almost $2 billion in 2012. The increase in streaming contract costs must play some role in the plan changes.

I also expect that Netflix wants to start weaning customers off of DVDs since the cost of that service is much higher for Netflix than streaming — at least until content providers raise costs beyond some threshold.

Great Comment

This is a report on the funniest internet comment I have seen today.

In the comment section of an article about an indecorous argument between two U.S. Representatives there was a post by an apparent future opponent of one of the elected officials (most ellipses are mine):

Help me defeat …, come to my town hall rally this Saturday July 23rd from 1pm to 4pm at … located at … We need to bring true … values back to congress and in district 20.http://…

Later in the thread was this hilarious response:

Hahaha…campaigning on a newspaper message board? Was Craigslist down or something? You should put up some “guitar lesson” fliers up at the local mall to see if you can attract some more support. Maybe you can sneak in frame behind the local “on location” weather guy with a poster or something. Hahaha…I’m an indie from CO and have no dog in this race, but this style of politicking is pretty rich! Good luck.

Interview with Meteor Hunter Imprisoned in Oman

I just read Meteorite hunter: My two months in an Omani jail. It is an interesting interview about a meteor-hunting trip in Oman that ended in a prison sentence for Michael Farmer. His comment on risk jumped out at me.

Do you regret your last trip there?
No. We have had adventures there that money can’t buy. Those of you who have never taken a risk cannot understand that those of us who gather these stones that fill museums and collections around the world knowingly risk life and limb. Those who are unwilling to take a risk usually gain little.