Rob Pegoraro has a column up about the latest in the very long line of back and forth attempts of companies making browsers for television sets to get around silly blocks from Hulu
. Despite the fact that these systems are really just browsers legitimately connecting to a webpage, Hulu's corporate parents freaked out and ordered them blocked for no good reason. Of course, the workaround is easy: just spoof the type of browser, so that Hulu doesn't know that it's a browser on a TV. However, Hulu keeps trying to block these, which leads Pegoraro to ask a good question at the end:
But when does Hulu get tired of playing this silly game? How do Hulu's own developers feel about working to ensure that their site stays broken for the "wrong" users? Do they not have one of the most degrading coding jobs in America? And to what end--so short-sighted suits can find new ways to annoy their customers?
While it may seem like a random question, it could actually be a big deal. When Hulu first came out, one of the points that people made was that it really was put together by folks who understood the power of the internet. That is, they were "internet people" rather than "Hollywood people," which is what allowed the service to work well for many (definitely better than most expected). But, with the corporate bosses continually trying to limit what the site can do, you'd have to imagine that the developers working at the company must be getting annoyed. What kind of developer wants to focus on limiting what users can do with technology, rather than allowing something great? At some point, Hulu is destined to lose its best developers who just get sick of spending all their time breaking their product, rather than building something cool, useful and innovative.