I call it the Billion Dollar Disease™ and, so far, it has affected every damn company whose earnings hit $1B.
The disease? Oh, it's nasty. Companies which start out from the garage, who beg, borrow, and plead to have laws changed so they can grow, finally do then completely fucking forget how they got to where they are today and now use the money to prevent other businesses from growing.
I remember the days cable struggled to get established. The Big 3 networks did everything they could to prevent consumers from having choices in other stations.
Then, a small company (you may have heard of them) called "Home Box Office" literally turned cable into an obscure want to a must-have need. Cable expansion exploded, as more people wanted HBO. As cable expanded, so too did its lineup.
Hell, most people reading this have never seen cable without commercials, but a few will remember (and wish we had again).
Now look at cable. Pathetic. Hell bent on destroying both competition (streaming is the new cable) and customer trust.
All because they forgot what it was like to start out.
Tom Wheeler didn't forget. In fact, his entire damn position is trying to force companies to remember what it was like when they were the disruptive force.
Yet here we are, reading another article from something ridiculous Comcast has done.... again.
One of these days, I'll actually read a positive article about the company here on Techdirt, but will most likely have to have someone do it through a ouija board. For if I held my breath waiting for Comcast to change...
"As the decades have gone by, commercial time has grown," Lorne Michaels What hasn't grown is an ability for a CEO of an entertainment industry to think beyond its own damn idiocy.
If the industry wants to change, it needs to do the following: -Remove the mindset that the captive audience exists. Long gone are the days of forcing people to pick one show over another, so why still program shows like it exists? Stupid.
-Stop with the idiocy of affecting DVR recordings. The stupid "end a show early or start a show late" to purposely screw with DVR recordings is a fantastic way to ensure people stop using cable services, morons.
-Definitely stop with the 1/3 screen bombardments of whatever show the network is showing next, or tomorrow, or Thursday. Viewers are well informed on what shows the network airs, so stop treating them like they're two.
-Stop with the hiatus crap. If the network can't put out a show consecutively, don't waste our time. Reruns? Save those for future Netflix or Amazon licenses.
-Here's a brain tumor inducing idea to some executives: STOP PAYING ACTORS MORE MONEY THAN THEY'RE WORTH. Pro-tip: most people tune in for the story, not the actors. As we've seen many times, you can replace people without anyone caring (Fresh Prince, Bewitched, Last Man Standing) or completely remove them without anyone caring (Happy Days, Family Matters).
To pay a bunch of kids $1 million each to sit around a damn couch and make jokes is the reason why "commercial time" has grown.
Oh, and one more thing: perhaps, and this is just a recommendation, NBC actually make its own content instead of paying an arm and a leg for other productions?
Netflix is doing it, and NBC should be mindful of this, because once Netflix has enough original content of its own, no one will need NBC anymore.
But do we want the financial system running some general check against common terror groups and references to make sure money isn't falling into their hands? Of course. I laughed at this. Really, I did.
Because take out one word which separates people from common sense: "terror".
Now, re-read it.
In case anyone doesn't get the joke, search Panama Papers.
My post was directed at Reed Hastings, not Techdirt. I often leave out pronouns in cases I feel the subject was established.
In hindsight, I can see how my post was targeted at Karl.
Sorry about that. I generally only target Karl when he's on a rampage to confuse wireless broadband with "unlimited data" because he still believes there's such a thing as "unlimited" ... well, anything, really. >:]
Look, I get the whole "way out of line" point of the article, but I'm going to be the one who sides on "justice" in this case: it could have been worse.
In fact, had Keys been given the chance to turn over credentials of a higher power within the organization, would he have?
The realization this was only "graffiti" is noted, but he deserves much more than 2 years in prison.
He gave away credentials to a network with the sole intention of watching someone else perform the abuse.
No offense, but I can't imagine anyone at Techdirt would be "Oh, it's okay Tim, we fully understand you gave away credentials as a joke to see what someone would do to our site" with a laugh and a hug.
They'd be pissed. So would readers, when it's discovered why the site suddenly turned all TMZ (or worse!) on them.
Keys admitted he turned over the credentials to Anonymous.
Guilty. 10 years. Minimum.
Because in this day and age, he did commit fraud and abuse via computer.
Be thankful it was only for the website.
What about the next person who gives credentials to Anonymous for banking info? Let them off with a hug too?
Damn it. How many times must I say this: The FCC does not and can not protect consumers from broadband pricing. The FCC can only regulate the industry infrastructure.
This being said, what's more important is this: To protect consumers from unfair pricing (gouging, fixing) is the sole responsibility of the FTC, which can and does levy fines against industries for worst consumer practices.
While the letters are very similar, the departments are very different.
Even if the bill should become law, the FCC really has no authority anyway, so this bill is pointless to protect ISP business.
Now, if only the damn FTC would get off its fat, lazy ass can the industry be slapped with enough fines as to stop harassing customer wallets, then things may change.
Until then, all this is nothing but pointless rhetoric from both sides. The FTC reclassifies, and nothing changes.
If Apple wants to know how the FBI cracked its phones, it's not hard to figure out. Just follow the same trail the FBI did.
First, hit up the Chinese government and offer them buckets of cash to gain access to Chinese businesses.
Second, head over to Foxconn, with official documentation.
Third, watch closely as Foxconn details how it can manipulate the components it sends to the US in its phones (note: this applies to all Foxconn phones).
Fourth, lie to everyone about how it was done.
It's no secret the Chinese have had backdoors to our electronic devices for decades. Several chip makers have pressured the US government to stop importing their (govt system) chips because it was impossible to determine how the backdoors were implemented.
So why did cable have a better-than-usual fourth quarter? Charter, Time Warner Cable and Comcast have all been deploying faster speeds and new cable set top boxes, which appear to be luring back some customers that had previously fled to satellite and telcoTV alternatives. I'm not buying this for one second.
The only reason growth restored is the oligopoly rule which states "If you want our top of the line service, you'll have to get a bundle. It's not available as a stand alone product."
AT&T has a 72Mbps connection in its U-Verse lineup. However, if you want only this, you can't get it. It's only available to (qualified customers) and with AT&Ts bundle of cable (phone optional, not required).
The biggest insult comes in the form of the generous 20% discount you can receive off your monthly cable bill if you also switch to AT&T's wireless plan.
In short: give them all your money, and watch as the company throttles the crap out of your high speed "choice".