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  • Apr 29th, 2016 @ 7:21am

    (untitled comment)

    What's truly ridiculous about this entire situation is how the cable industry brought this on themselves.

    Many years ago, there was no such thing as a damn lease fee for the hardware used. That was included in the cable bill.

    One day, one of the shithead companies out there decided to add a fee, and the rest followed suit because they got away with it.

    It's just like the stupid shit we're dealing with now, such as paying 3x for the same digital signal or a higher price for HD channels despite the fact HD is now the format for signal transmission.

    Then there's the ridiculous "Federal Regulatory Fee" of $4.99 AT&T U-Verse charges us. Regulatory fee? For what?

    If I were to strip all the bullshit "fees" from my cable bill, I'd be paying less than $40/mo.

    You know, like the rest of the damn world pays.

  • Apr 29th, 2016 @ 7:15am

    Re: Not really, no


    Prince, the artist, will be missed. I concur with the article's accolades of his achievements.

    However, Prince himself destroyed any chance anyone will "fondly remember him" who didn't grow up in an era where his videos were plastered on MTV every 12 seconds or on the air with this old thing call "radio".

    The majority of Prince fans come from this era, not the current digital era. Sure, a handful will mostly know him (death does wonders for an artist's career), but the many more simply won't care as they ask "Prince who?"

    That's not a shame. That's precisely what happens when an artist punches their fans in the face while trying to hit back against the record label, or worse, pretend they have control over what can and cannot be used by the fans they're trying to serve.

    So, a cautionary tale for you imbeciles out there who think it's possible: IF YOU WANT TO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR WORKS, KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF.

    Trust me when I say there's more than enough to go around and we certainly don't want your nasty attitude.

  • Apr 28th, 2016 @ 5:22am

    (untitled comment)

    And in other news...

    "Dear Comcast subscriber,

    We are pleased to announce streaming with any Roku device will no longer count against your data cap, regardless which device you use.

    We've secretly partnered with Roku and will receive a kickback of a few cents per gigabyte, but this isn't your concern, as you no doubt love paying for transmission more than once, time and time again.

    So please stay ignorant and thank you for being a Comcast and Roku customer!

    PS: we'll eventually get Netflix, too."

  • Apr 28th, 2016 @ 5:16am

    (untitled comment)

    I call it the Billion Dollar Diseaseā„¢ 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...

  • Apr 27th, 2016 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Geeze Gramps, couldn't come up with examples from *this* century? :)
    Well, considering I don't watch traditional TV anymore, nope.

    Those examples I pulled from a quick search. :D

  • Apr 27th, 2016 @ 12:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    To err is human. To really muck things up, enter the politician.

  • Apr 26th, 2016 @ 6:08am

    (untitled comment)

    "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.

    So wake the hell up.

  • Apr 25th, 2016 @ 5:08am

    (untitled comment)

    Of course they could have, and should have, done that five years ago...
    Five years ago, Ballmer was still CEO.

    Look what's happened to Microsoft since he left.

    It's not a coincidence.

  • Apr 22nd, 2016 @ 5:04am

    (untitled comment)

    Watch out, Adventure Time.

    Jake is looking a little too square for Atari.

  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 9:41am

    (untitled comment)

    What's really troubling is how many people still believe this crap.

    Both my former and current employer banned open source software from being used because the executives literally believed open source = open to abuse.

    Worse: both try to blame HIPAA as stating it's against the law to use it. It's not.

    The DHS should know better, but then again, considering many people don't understand what open source is, expect this ignorance to continue for another few millennia.


  • Apr 21st, 2016 @ 6:50am

    (untitled comment)

    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.

    Iron Knee™ - It's not just for breakfast, kids.

  • Apr 20th, 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    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.

  • Apr 20th, 2016 @ 6:18am

    (untitled comment)

    In other words Netflix's long-term vision may be to eliminate fractured broadcast licensing so users don't need to use VPNs.
    This line just contributed to the ignorance of the VPN discussion.

    There will always be a need to use VPN, and this is the point I wish articles like this would make, rather than the placating the idea VPNs are only used to bypass restrictions.

    Because in a perfect world, Netflix should be demanding people be on VPN to access its content rather than kick people out for using VPN.

    It's no surprise companies are moving toward blocking VPN users. How else are they going to abuse your privacy if they don't know who you are.

  • Apr 19th, 2016 @ 11:55am

    (untitled comment)

    First, most authors cannot make a living today because most books don't sell.

    This would be second on an item list.

    The first item would be "Most authors cannot make a living today because publishers take so much, they put the author into debt the second they sign away their rights for that paltry advance check."

    I always love how gatekeepers keep forgetting this fact of lost creator revenue.

  • Apr 19th, 2016 @ 7:34am

    (untitled comment)

    Court Shoots Down Cops...

    I highly doubt that. The cops are doing the shooting, remember.

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 10:34am

    (untitled comment)

    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?

  • Apr 12th, 2016 @ 12:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is just a preview of what's going to come 5 years from now.

  • Apr 12th, 2016 @ 5:14am

    (untitled comment)

    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.

  • Apr 8th, 2016 @ 12:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    It is the sense of Congress that--

    no person or entity is above the law;
    economic growth, prosperity, security, stability, and liberty require adherence to the rule of law;

    Why the hell aren't all laws started this way.

  • Apr 8th, 2016 @ 5:08am

    (untitled comment)

    To those who've read the article, do me a favor: go back and re-read it, but this time, replace "law enforcement" with "your neighbor".

    Doesn't change a thing, does it.

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