Netflix Caves To Insane People, Changes Business Model

"Look, the envelope is still red, please don’t burn my house down."

When Netflix changed their web OS, a vocal contingent of their customers completely lost their shit. When Netflix raised their prices, people acted like CEO Reed Hastings announced plans to personally enter the house of every subscriber and cut off their heat and water.

I felt the furor over these changes was disproportionate to the reality. Were people afraid they’d actually have to WATCH those three DVDs they’d left on their coffee table for the last six months? Netflix is a great service - I can swing an extra six dollars a month.

But, a business must cater to the majority of customers, and the majority of Netflix customers are insane. So Netflix chopped off that Gordian knot and split itself into two companies.

No Qwikster pricing has been announced, but Netflix says using the two services separately won’t result in a price hike for people who’d previously been using both streaming and disk service through Netflix.  Sooo….what’s the point of this again?

It’s no secret Netflix wants to get rid of their disk service - sending disks through the mail is expensive, not to mention embarrassingly 20th century. It seems to me the Qwikster service is just a way to take the heat off the Netflix brand, so that when they get rid of it together, the rage will be directed at the Qwikster fall guys, and not the real cash money, Netflix Streaming.

So it doesn’t matter that Qwikster is an ugly hard to spell name - it’s been born to die.  The worst that can happen is it dies a horrible death and Reed Hastings loses some money that he will make back by not having to send out disks anymore. I guess that at point some other company will step up to send people over the age of 70 and obsessive film nerds their DVDs through the mail. 

For the record, I AM an obsessive film geek and I did kick in the extra six bucks a month to maintain the 3-disk/instant streaming lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.  Having to manage two queues from two separate websites (or Apps, more likely) is certainly going to be annoying, but likewise I will be one of those annoying-to-Netflix holdouts who will follow their disk service to the end of the earth, until it finally flings itself off a cliff and ends it all.

No Google, I didn’t mean Quickster. That’s not how we spell things in Web Two Point Whoa.

I completed a “Group Challenge” in the XKCD Fitocracy Group yesterday. This involvedaccumulating as many exercise-genderated points as you can in one week, tracked by a live scoreboard that shows your progress throughout the competition.  I managed to “place” by being in the top 150 participants.


But this being a group challenge, not officially run by the Fitocarcy admins, you don’t get a badge.


So meeting your personal goals and getting healthier is great, but I kinda need a badge.
So I made one.  There it is. XKCD CHALIO. Challenge 1.0, but who’s counting.  Nice transparent background for affixing to your profile icon. 


Yep o_o

I completed a “Group Challenge” in the XKCD Fitocracy Group yesterday. This involvedaccumulating as many exercise-genderated points as you can in one week, tracked by a live scoreboard that shows your progress throughout the competition.  I managed to “place” by being in the top 150 participants.

But this being a group challenge, not officially run by the Fitocarcy admins, you don’t get a badge.

So meeting your personal goals and getting healthier is great, but I kinda need a badge.

So I made one.  There it is. XKCD CHALIO. Challenge 1.0, but who’s counting.  Nice transparent background for affixing to your profile icon. 

Yep o_o

Life as Television

GetGlue has tweeted this image about five times in the last 24 hours. 

All 5 times, I’ve thought it was Will and Emma from Glee.  That has to be intentional.

Getting Glue

GetGlue gives you stickers when you check into certain movies, books, or TV shows they have partnerships with.  They send you 20 at a time, and I’ve ordered them twice so I already have a hefty collection of tiny low-quality stickers that can be converted into attractive fridge magnets.

I’ve since earned a bunch more so I just put in another order.  Here are some of my recently earned (?) stickers that I’m particularly anticipating.

This movie was rad. And the sticker features British thug slang, which I appreciate.

You know what?  I AM a Superfan of Breaking Bad.

500 Check Ins?  I sure have given a lot of demographic information to these guys! Was it worth this sticker with an unattractive Adobe Illustrator graphic of a boy in ski goggles and a knit cap? Yes.

I loved this movie. I also like the copy they wrote - “Don’t you wish Kristin Wiig was your maid of honor? YES!!”  Replace “maid of honor” with “bride” and you’re getting closer!

I respect a social networking site that can jump on a mico-trend quick enough to offer an related achievement. 

They’ll probably just send me 20 more filler Glue Hearts :/

These stickers can go directly to hell.

Khan Academy

Over the last few weeks I keep hearing about Kahn Academy.  I heard the name and saw the logo and immdieately dismissed it as some uncool government funded organization of no interest to me.  The logo looks too much like Kiva.org to maintain a distinctive presence in my mind.

But fate stepped in and my favorite NPR Podcast, On Point with Tom “I Just Styled On You” Ashbrook, did an interview with this so called “Kahn”. He seemed cool though the cultish enthusiasm of his fans had me a bit suspicious, but as they started talking about how his online program of tutorials encourage kids to learn independently, I distinctly heard the magic word:

BADGES.

Yep, so, I guess I’ll be learning about math now or something.

Note: Pretty sure my badge obsession has something to do with not being able to join Cub Scouts when I was a kid. Self reflection.

Fitocracy Has Made Me A Jock

Fitocracy is insanely addictive.  It helps that it recently got a mention and promo code from XKCD, so the public comment stream is full of tech nerds who are just getting started. 

A strength training site with points, achievements, leveling up, statistics, status updates, and users you can actually compare yourself without feeling like the world’s fattest man. Fitocracy is tailor made for nerds, and may lead to a new era in which brain and brawn are united at last.

Or not, either way I am going to get so ripped.

Fitocracy

I joined this.  Apparently you get level up and get points for working out. If my continued use of Epic Win is any indication, this sort of ego-reward encouragement is somewhat effective on me. I’ve been trying to lose weight recently so we’ll see how this goes. Ultimately I would like to be able to do a sweet pull-up like Sarah Connor in T2.

Good Lord, after a quick google search I find I’m far from alone in this desire.

Cheap Shitty Tablet Fever Sweeps America

If you didn’t manage to grab up a $99 HP Touchpad in today’s HPocalypse, don’t even worry about it, man. Without Netflix, a reliable browser, or a rear facing camera, its basically just a big heavy-ass Kindle.

HOWEVER:

After todays Fire Sale, tons of late-adopter people who would have probably waited over a year from now to buy a tablet have one in their hands now.  What kind of repercussions will this have?

These folks are going to want apps. An enterprising coder could make a lot of money right now designing a killer webOS app, because millions of people are looking in the HP Market right now and would be more than willing to drop $5 on an app that could help them feel like their impulse buy was worth it.

Will future tablets be easier to sell to regular folks, now that many of them will now have experience with what amounts to starter tablet? Or will the sudden  ”popularity” of the Touchpad ultimately just give the usability of non-Apple/Android tablets a bad name in the eyes of casual consumers?