Category Archives: Assorted Rants

Thoughts on Apple

In the wake of the controversy around Apple slowing down older iphones, a friend recently asked if I thought Apple was sleazy

Apple makes great, solid & beautiful hardware. They push technology forward and they can be great innovators. I love this about them.

What I don’t like about Apple is they rarely adopt any open standards. They come at most everything with an attempt to lock you into their ecosystem. They want to make it very hard for you to leave their platform and they want licensing fees on every little proprietary plug and dongle they can create. Frankly, I’m surprised they support bluetooth and more recently USB-C.

I prefer open standards. It is better for consumers and in many ways the environment (use of plugs/wires/chargers… across people and devices). If they hadn’t kept trying to push me into using their proprietary software I would still be using an iPhone.

I see this bad behavior from many of the big companies right now. Amazon won’t allow Google products in their store or allow Google apps on the Fire tablets. Microsoft does a lot of the same. Xbox doesn’t have Google play movies. You can’t rent Amazon movies on the Xbox’s amazon app.

In the end, it is the consumers who pay big for all this fighting to own us and the companies often lose too. I left IOS because of it and I prefer a Roku for streaming because Amazon, Microsoft and Google refuse to play well together while Roku offers access to all services.

So in many ways, I think Apple is truly great but they really don’t need to adopt these lock-you-in practices to get customers. People would be flocking to Apple even if they were more open to allowing the innovations of other corporations on their platform and their customers would probably love them even more.

On-Demand and Streaming TV Programming is a pain

The direction of On-Demand and Streaming TV Programming is really getting worse. I pay a couple hundred a month to comcast and now they want me to pay for a majority of on-demand shows… except for some of the most recent.

Netflix is being used to market incomplete shows (just a few episodes) and shows that haven’t gained an audience. Once they attract attention on Netflix new seasons are forever (if ever) to show up on Netflix.

My paid HuluPlus account is as slow and riddled with ads as the free version. My benefit for paying for show I already pay comcast for is a larger library.

TV episodes seem to be costing $2.99 to stream. This seems a bit damn high. Hey, how about $.99 cents? What happened to that? Afterall, we aren’t talking a movie. Of course, I’m already paying comcast a ton for this stuff but their DVR fills up in  a flash. Remember VCRs and all the law suits that format went through? In the end, we were able to record what ever we wanted, watch it whenever we wanted and keep it as long as we wanted. As long as it was for personal use and we weren’t trying to profit.

These days, some of my digital recordings self-destruct after a period of time. Most have to have the viewing completed in a period of time after starting to view. Lastly, some programs are blocking the DVR altogether.

Then there is the device sniffing. I had an early android tablet that could watch netflix in the browser, then they required an app and the app wouldn’t work on that device. Have you ever seen the “This program is not available for your device” message? Give me a break! If I am paying for it, what do you care if I am on a computer or a tablet?

And why in the workd is HuluPlus still not on GoogleTV? Google is abandoning it and renaming the platform AndroidTV. Oddly my Google TV, which is only 2 or 3 years old, is considered a dinosaur and not worth attention. The Google app exists but is still blocked on GoogleTV. Bite me you digital media monsters.

I love the digital world. Hell, I’ve made a career out of it, but everything that had so much potential is being turned into a money grab by big corporations and lawyers. The consumer is the victim in this battle.

And on a somewhat related side note, if you want things to get worse, ignore the Net Neutrality fight. We’ve practically lost the ability to record a program. Can you imagine when ISPs start controlling what sites you can go to and what apps/websites get into the fast lane?

end rant.

#StreamingMedia   #mediarights   #fastlane  #internetspeedthrottling  #NetNeutrality

Is Amazon’s new Kindle Unlimited doomed to fail

Amazon  might say otherwise, but as near as I can tell, they have killed Kindle’s Prime Lending Library for the entirely unattractive $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited (also coined unofficially as a Netflix For Books).
Even their own lending library page has nothing but “KindleUnlimited” titles as far as I can tell (see screenshot and link) Now I’m a huge Amazon fan, but on this one I will pass. I read 2 or 3 books a month and unless I’ve borrowed them for nothing, I own them. Most of my books only cost 5 bucks or less and many are free. There is no way I’m paying $10 per month for the privilege of borrowing books. I’ve been able to borrow from the brick and mortar library for free for years and from the prime lending library for free for quite a while.I predict this effort will be an absolute flop . Particularly, in the light of the fact that you took away something you were already including with prime membership and added it into this new KindleUnlimited initiative.
Will the new Amazon Music be the next service to move out of prime and into its own monthly subscription service?
#Amazon #NotForMe #KindleOwnersLendingLibrary #kindleunlimited #NetflixForBooks #AmazonMusic

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NET NEUTRALITY, the open internet needs your support

What would you say if you Electric Company wanted to charge you more to power your TV than they charge to power your oven? What if the electricity you used for air conditioning was twice the price of the electricity used to power lighting? You would probably say electricity is electricity. You would see the notion as preposterous and you’d demand the electric company stop charging different rates based on the purpose of your electricity usage.

What would you say it the electric company wanted to charge you for your electricity and then also wanted charge Whirlpool (for the service you’ve already paid for) because refrigerators use so much power…. AND if Whirlpool didn’t want to pay they would selectively make Whirlpool appliances work badly for you.

In many ways this is exactly what Internet Service Providers like Comcast want to do. They want to charge websites to get full speed delivery to you. In fact, in many ways this is already going on. Did you know Netflix is paying Comcast for a fast connection? Consequently, my streaming from Amazon and Google is comparatively poor.

This is bad in so many ways, but the most obvious is that it will block innovation. In many ways the internet is a great equalizer. It helps even the smallest of companies compete, but those small companies will have a much tougher time if they can’t pay to get into the fast lane.

Everyone who uses the internet needs to take this time to voice their opinion and take a stand against “Cable Company F#*#kery” at
and don’t forget the CAPS!!!

This should be required viewing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

See also,


“No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed”

I liked this article
“No wonder CompSci grads are unemployed” By Dominic Connor

It makes me also think of something a bit closer to home.  We get a lot of kids with graphic design degrees and no web skills looking for jobs. We also have a lot inquiries from younger adults who refer to themselves as web designers but don’t have any small ability to hand-code.

I firmly believe anyone hoping for a future in design (web, print, otherwise..) should make sure they possess some web skills and of course web designers, regardless of their preferred design tools, should be able to handle raw code with just a simple text editor.

Open Letter to Godaddy

You need a good usability expert for your public facing website.

The domain manager has improved greatly over the years (albeit somewhat slow). However, getting to the domain manager is a confusing and ever changing experience. Navigation should not be constantly changing depending on where you are in the site and it should only take one click with login to manage my domains.

Sometimes the Domain Manager is in the drop down under “Domains” sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it is on the left of the dropdown menu, sometimes on the right. Sometimes the domain manager link is in the left column, sometimes you aren’t in the right part of the
site and the domain manager link isn’t there. Sometimes you click the “domain management” link and end up at the page with account alerts… the domain manager link is gone from the left column and has moved to the page’s body. When in the body sometimes it is a text link to the left & top of the table, sometimes it is to the right & top.

I focused my comments on getting to the domain manager, because that is what I need and use the most, but every area of your site should be as clear and succinct as possible.

OK, I took some time to rant because you guys have been great for da house. I’m expecting this will never reach the right people, but if it does and you want anymore feedback feel free to contact us.