MikeVx’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Sep 19th, 2019 @ 4:34pm

    Some of the major reasons to use streaming are going away.

    Netflix was more likely looking when it had lots of movies and shows. Now all the companies are trying to splinter off their own services. For me, at least, this will not work.

    For me, streaming would work better if services were created for classes/types/genres of programming. A Science Fiction/Fantasy channel for things like Lost in Space, Stranger Things, Dark Crystal, Good Omens, and the like. Sports streams for the sports fans. Streams for classic movie buffs. The Anime channels are doing this in a more sensible way.

    I am not going to subscribe to your CBS/NBC/ABC stream, period. I will subscribe to an absolute maximum of 4 services under the present stratospheric pricing models. Give up on the insanity of your own service for all your program mix, and make shows to place on appropriately-themed streaming services.

    Also, they need to stop importing all the terrible habits that drove me off broadcast and cable. I never used cable guide channels because they insisted on putting video on them. Pluto TV does this, and Netflix is terrible.

    Mangling credits also keeps me away. Netflix shrinks them and makes you take action to read them. If the credits are timed just so, it is not possible to read some of them because if you back up far enough to see then, the shrinkage triggers again. Amazon has an obnoxious "Next episode" countdown at the and of series installments. They've gotten worse. A friend was showing me "Good Omens", and the lackwits are putting ads for their other shows on before the requested program starts.

    I will not pay for this kind of abuse. There is no value in streaming services for me if they just do the same old rubbish that sent me away from the older systems.

    Customer experience is a thing, and it seems that unofficial means have the edge there.

  • Aug 23rd, 2019 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Unattended Cooking can be Dangerous

    So according to these guys I should throw out my slow cooker and eat out most of the time.

    The whole point of the slow cooker is so that I can cook large quantities of food with a minimum of interaction time with it. My routine is to load the cooker up, turn it on, then either go to bed, and things cook while I sleep, or go to work, and I have a nice hot dinner waiting when I get home and I can stuff the rest of the weeks meals into freezer bags either way.

    I'm not a candidate for Master Chef. I resent the time it takes to pour cereal into a bowl. Being table to spend an hour on a weeks worth of food, then microwave it one meal at a time as needed is a wonderful thing. But to follow the advice of FDNY while using a slow cooker would mean hanging around the kitchen for eight to ten hours, thus defeating the whole purpose of having the thing.

    On the tech angle, while my cooker uses digital tech, is has no connectivity other than a 120VAC cord. The interface is 3 buttons and 8 LEDs. No matter what I set it for, it will shut off after 14 hours.

    Low tech by todays standards, but it works for me.

  • Jul 19th, 2019 @ 7:15am

    The rise had to stop eventually

    Fragmentation and silos are going to be an increasing problem in this space. The potential value of Netflix as a streaming service has been dropping like the proverbial rock lately, and that doesn't even factor in the other ways they are limiting their market.

    I am one of those people for whom logos, credit squeezing, and other picture abuses are not tolerable. The habit of starting a video stream if you take more than 3 seconds to read a program description is irritating also. I tried Netflix on a free trial, and that was good because the interface and behavior were so annoying that there is no content good enough to pay for under those conditions. Most of the services appear to be bringing in all the bad habits that drove me off broadcast and cable into the streaming arena, as well as inventing new ones. (I'm looking at you, Netflix, with your logo-over-paused-program and auto-starting video while I'm reading a description.)

    Based on what some friends have shown me, the only subscription service that I would consider usable is Crunchyroll. And that assumes that it behaves on my model of Roku the way it did on his. Time to see if they have a free trial.

  • Jun 13th, 2019 @ 8:30pm

    One more time...

    I've said this before, and, despite getting chewed on by telecom shills, I'll say it again.

    The only legitimate business model for being an ISP is selling unlimited connections. The only volume limiter should be the speed of the connections.

    Do not take more customers than you can handle on a perpetual saturation basis. If you can handle 1000 customers with saturated connections, do not accept customer 1001.

    In terms of volume, todays "data hogs" are tomorrows "carrier pigeons are more than fast enough" dataphobes.

    One of the problems with the issue is that it is not ethically possible to be an ISP and anything else. Since there is nothing in existence any more that is not in some way tied to the internet, it is a conflict of interest for an ISP to be anything other than a dedicated ISP that does nothing else. "Daves corner store and ISP service" would be in conflict because Dave would have incentive to favor his corner store in some ways.

    The current service model is a mess.

  • Apr 29th, 2019 @ 5:47pm

    Copyright duration and such.

    The system needs revision. Copyright should not be automatic. Registration should be required. A system of registries should be created, Small fees charged would support the registries. Any term over 14 years should be right out.

    An absolute requirement of registration should be depositing with the registry a suitable-for-distribution electronic copy of the registered work, which the registry is to make available to the public on expiration of the registration term. Text works would be simple, plain text or open formats lke ODT, audio and video works would be provided in high-resolution patent-free formats.

    Registries would need to keep records, cross-filed with all other registries, of copyrights registered. The cross-filing would be to prevent record falsification by the use of registry-managed time-stamps. Records would be time-stamped on arrival from other registries. Too large a difference spells trouble.

    There are lots of fiddly issues that would need to be addressed, but the basics listed here would be a good start.

  • Apr 8th, 2019 @ 7:18pm

    Streaming has been a poor experience for me.

    I've tested the two big services, Amazon was largely OK except for committing one of the sins that drove me away from broadcast and cable, rubbish over the credits..

    Netflix, however, is masterwork of annoyance, doing all but one of the things that bothered me about broadcast and cable, and doing some new ones of their own.

    All of these annoyances are showstoppers, any one of them is enough for me to cancel service, thus, the trials for Amazon Prime Video and Netflix were terminated as they count as failures.

    I assume that most people have more tolerance for this kind of trashy behavior than I do, because I left free/cable services because of stupidity like corrupted credits, ads for other shows, video playing while trying to search or use a guide, and a few other irritants. I'm not paying to be treated that badly.

    Seriously, how screwed up is it when unauthorized access methods sound like the superior user experience?

  • Sep 21st, 2018 @ 4:25pm

    Copyright seems much more likea problem than a solution.

    Setting aside the issue of copies, the primary use of copyright has become the suppression of creativity of the many in the name of profit for a few, as the article gives an example of.

    Another recent example: I had been enjoying Lucas the Spider, and the three parts that managed to get out of Daddy Spider, which I found an amusing spin-off that was going I-don’t-know-where. And now, thanks to asshattery on the part of the creator of Lucas the Spider, I never will find out where Daddy Spider might have gone. This is just one in an innumerable quantity of creative works lost to a system that was ostensibly meant to increase the quantity of human culture. The practical upshot of this is that, on top of the loss of the Daddy Spider story, my enthusiasm for Lucas the Spider has disintegrated. I will hold this against whatever company releases the TV show, if it actually gets that far.

    The “derivative works” portion of copyright law is counter to human culture. Our legends and folk tales evolved by people inventing stories, then others embellishing them or putting completely different spins on them. This is how human culture operates. This is how human culture has operated since we evolved enough intelligence to have culture. This is how our brains are wired. Copyright actually represents an immense impediment to the creative process.

    The number of distinct completely original ideas is vanishingly small. Almost all creative works through human history are derivatives of prior works. This is why they are relevant and interesting. Truly original ideas are slightly rarer than hens teeth, and even then will only be an element added to prior works, in either a general or specific sense.

    For story telling, the modern manifestation of the legend/folktale process is called fan fiction. People with a creative itch to tell a story get ideas based on existing stories, and write/record them. These usually go in a different direction than the original, but sometimes are just similar stories with new elements. Some of these stories end up being better than the original material. In some cases I find interesting fan fiction, and when I backtrack to the “original” work, it turns out to be so dreadful that I cannot figure out how someone could stand to watch/read/listen long enough to have a better (sometimes a much better) treatment of the material. In other cases, fan fiction or other creative transformations have led me back to interesting material I would otherwise never have known about. One example of the latter was an AMV that led me to an interest in a Swedish singer and an anime about a duck, a dance student, and a magic princess, and that’s just one character.

    Both the article and the example I listed above are clear examples of stifled creativity. I could go on, but I have neither the lifespan, nor Techdirt anything like the required storage space, to list even a fraction of the losses.

  • Sep 6th, 2018 @ 7:12pm

    There is a trend here...

    I don't know why anybody would be surprised at this...

    {Insert country music here}
    "'cause United breaks their app"

  • Sep 4th, 2018 @ 5:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    I've never had a vendor fight so hard to not be paid. Do you actually make money off these people?

  • Oct 30th, 2015 @ 12:14pm

    Typo patrol

    Given that one listed homonym is actually not really one (hear/hear), it sounds like someone applauding a point. Perhaps (hear/here) would work better.

    Even accidental approval should be avoided hear. :-)

  • Sep 9th, 2015 @ 8:06pm

    Re: XKCD ref.

    A small boulder won't be able to attempt to control the vehicle if external overrides are used. The operator of the vehicle should be able to ignore any external order, regardless of the "originating authority", otherwise an autonomous vehicle becomes the most effective murder weapon/kidnap aid in the history of history.

    AVs are one place where the use of closed-source proprietary systems should be an automatic life sentence.

  • Apr 8th, 2015 @ 4:47pm

    Finally working, and now I can't even connect to tell them that much.

    Well, after much aggravation on my part, the site finally processed my order. I had just fired off an unsatisfied rating to their follow-up e-mail, now I can't seem to connect to update the rating. Maybe that will start working in a couple of days.

    What a crazy week.

  • Apr 7th, 2015 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: These offers are extremely sketchy

    First is use Google Chrome. I did try several browsers, Chrome is on my avoid list. This sort of suggestion causes me to wonder about the source of the advice.

    I have also been advised to try different devices and locations. I've tried a PC running Linux and a couple of Android phones. I've used a VPN to appear in the next time zone. I've used the guest network at the office.

    According to the bank that it is easiest to get information from, Stack Social is sending a zero charge through, which the bank approves, but I get a "cannot be processed" error from the web site.

    Is this helpful?

  • Apr 6th, 2015 @ 7:16pm

    Re: Re: These offers are extremely sketchy

    You've managed to purchase some yourself? How did you manage that? I keep getting payment failures, and the suggestions I get for fixing the problem tell me that either the staff operating this thing don't know how payment systems work, or that the payment processor does not know how payment systems work. (3 different cards used, errors in all cases.)

    The failure of these people to be able to complete a sale is what is going to reflect badly on Techdirt.

    I'm going to be annoyed if I can't get the 2015 Code course.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 11:24am

    Well, it looks like I can't get the course.

    Surprisingly, I got a response to my request for support.

    I don't like to say things like this, but the sender had no clue whatever how payment systems work. I was being told to try different browsers, different locations, and other irrelevant things. I found that the company was sending zero-charge transactions to the banks. Many banks will error out on that, and there is nothing I can do about it.

    I was told that if all else fails, Use PayPal.

    That is about as nasty as you can get.

    The value on the courses is enough that I was even willing to compromise a credit card by running a transaction, then change the number later, but PayPal was requiring me to create an account with them to complete the transaction.

    A universe of no.

    The state of online payment systems appears to be deteriorating, rather than improving.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 8:24pm

    Neat if it would take my money.

    I've discovered a problem with the payment system in the deals section. It will not accept any card number I give it. I've sent a message to support, but since they only operate M-F 9-5, the deal on the charging system will expire before they can look into it. The code courses will be neat, if I can get them.

    In an internet-enabled world, bankers hours support is not a good thing.

  • Dec 11th, 2014 @ 3:58pm

    Defending the indefensible

    If a business depends on advertising, at either end of the process, the model is not so much broken as disintegrated.

    If ads ever had any legitimacy, that is no longer the case. Anything people might want to learn about in the way of products and services can be found via any decent search engine. If you feel the need to shove your product into my face, that tells me you don't think it capable of standing on merits. If you don't think much of it, why should I?

  • Nov 24th, 2014 @ 8:43pm

    At long last!

    I've been crabbing for a decade or so that encrypted traffic should be the only option, it's nice to see the net finally starting to get to where it should have been long ago.

  • Aug 21st, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    One fast way for this to go south...

    If they file a complaint against Sailor Moon projects for the use of "Sailor Scouts".

    I don't think there's enough legal power in the world to protect the BSA from a continent or three of pissed-off anime fans.

    Some people might think I'm kidding, but the fastest growth in genre conventions right now is in Anime, and a few conventions making a policy of "if the BSA has been there, we won't be" could limit the BSAs activities exclusively to forests and campsites, as the hotels don't want to be on the black lists of single events that need 3 or more hotels plus a convention center for what constitutes a "sparsely-attended" event.

  • Aug 8th, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: Alternatives to lavabit.com?

    Clicked link, got blank page. Can't capture much from that, at least.

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