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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:What? (338 comments)

I can't say this any more clearly: the promise is irrelevant. Netflix now provides a lower level of service than they used to -- we agree on that, right? When service degrades, people may find that their threshold of satisfaction lies between the service levels -- we agree on that, right? That is the end of my assessment. All other considerations are irrelevant.

If Netflix reduced their catalog to only Batman movies and Season 2 of He-Haw, would you argue that people shouldn't complain because the contract doesn't guarantee any particular movies? Seriously, would you say that? I doubt it because that would be crazy. The service guarantees are irrelevant, the question is what service is actually delivered, and if the service level drops then how do people feel about it.

Less service leads to lower satisfaction; end of analysis.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:Time will tell (338 comments)

"HULU is owned by the big baddies of the media industry so it's inevitable."

I've never figured out why those big daddies refuse to sell their shows to me, instead of sell me to their advertisers. I don't think it's the money, because consumers like me are begging them to take our money but they refuse; I think it's actually a pro-advertising corporate ideology.

The options left for people like me are to 'cheat' and download unauthorized content (torrents), or to just not watch the shows. I do a little of both, mostly the latter, and that's too bad because I know I miss out on some shows I'd like. I only bother to torrent stuff that I've heard overwhelming recommendations for.

Alas, it's nice to have the luxury of considering this to be a problem in my life.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re: Time will tell (338 comments)

(Thank you for responding. It's too late for me because I'm not a customer anymore, but others may be edified by your tip.)

2 days ago
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Oso Disaster Had Its Roots In Earlier Landslides

CauseBy Re:OSO (63 comments)

The real problem was that libertarians fought hard and demanded the right to die in a landslide, and then they won that right. Famously kooky Richard A. Epstein and his political brethren demanded that big government bureaucrats stay out of his business when they tried to tell him that he lived underneath an inevitable landslide. He went to political meetings and courtrooms angrily demanding his right to live and die however he wanted. He got his way. I personally have zero sympathy for them. They were asshats who wouldn't accept good advice when it was given to them. They deserve to become lessons to the rest of us.

I also reject the suggest that his hard-fought freedom made his life better. No, it didn't He could have lived equally well a quarter mile down the road where the rest of us wouldn't have to pay a bunch of money and do a bunch of work dealing with the disaster that befell him. It could have been a landslide onto an unoccupied hillside, but no, because of that jackass and his jackass friends we all have to deal with it as a human tragedy.

Screw them. They don't like it when we tell them not to live under disaster-prone hillsides? Well I don't like it when I have to clean up his postmortem mess. Preventing this mess is why we tried so many times to tell him not to live there in the first place.

2 days ago
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Firefox 31 Released

CauseBy We need a new browser (171 comments)

I have TOR browser installed but I don't use it very often. If privacy is your fetish, it'll get you most of the way to your goal.

2 days ago
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Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

CauseBy Re:Cubic Inches? (253 comments)

Maybe they were trying to filter out submissions from people too stupid to google "x inches in centimeters". Most engineers know how to multiply by 2.54, I think.

2 days ago
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Google Offers a Million Bucks For a Better Inverter

CauseBy Re:I know this is /. but RTFA (253 comments)

I think that objection is irrelevant. It doesn't matter for whom it "works out well". What matters is if the competition successfully advances the technology. Western civilization has a pretty long history of successfully advancing technology using competitions with prizes. My favorite example is Napoleon incentivizing the invention of canned food.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:What? (338 comments)

"When i buy an apple, i trust that it's not going to poison me."

Oh, so you don't get a contract for that? Thank you, we accept your apology.

The answer is: yes, if I try out Netflix free for a month and get one-day turnaround on my discs; and then I buy Netflix for three years and get one-day turnaround on my discs; then suddenly Netflix changes their practices and I get three-day turnaround on my discs, then the service value has dropped by two thirds. Obligation shmobligation, that's irrelevant, the important thing is how much am I actually paying and how much am I actually getting.

If you bought an apple every day at the store, and then one day suddenly they were crabapples instead, there is no way in hell you would say "Oh, those old apples were nice, but these new ones meet the contractual obligation for apples, so I will happily continue to pay the same price." That is nonsense. Nobody does commerce that way.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:What? (338 comments)

I'm not saying Netflix is obliged to provide the same level of service they did before; I'm saying consumers are right to assign a lower value when Netflix in fact provides a lower level of service. I don't think that's controversial. And if the value actually delivered falls below the actual cost of the service, then it's no longer worth the cost. The "obligation" isn't even part of the calculus.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:Time will tell (338 comments)

Yes exactly. I found that I wasn't even watching enough Netflix to get it cheaper than $2 and episode! I was way down at the low end of Netflix usage. The two factors for Netflix value are availability of titles you want to watch, and the cost-per-time of what you actually watch. I got squeezed out by both factors but most subscribers probably watch more than I ever did and watch popular shows that I never wanted to watch. For them, $10 can be a super great bargain.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re: Time will tell (338 comments)

What I'd really want is an explicit notice: "You had [Title] in your Queue. We're sorry, but due to licensing contract changes we no longer carry that title." Then at least I could be reminded to go download it from a torrent or something. Also nice would have been a warning: "[Title] will not be available for streaming after [date]. Watch it now before it's too late!"

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:Time will tell (338 comments)

I try not to watch TV with commercials except in rare circumstances, like NFL football, where I can't avoid it and I really want to watch the show.

I especially don't pay to watch TV with commercials. That makes me feel like a chump. I understand ad-supported content but if I pay for user-supported content then I expect there to be no ads.

Last I checked, Hulu Plus still had ads. Is that still true? If so I guess I'm not interested. Also Hulu is mostly current-run TV shows, right? Those aren't very interesting to me, unless they add football and local news.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:Alternate view (338 comments)

We have inflation between zero and one percent. If Netflix raises its prices between zero and one percent per year, then we could correlate inflation to the cost of Netflix. On the other hand, if they double their price (relative to their service) over a couple years, then that is obviously uncorrelated to inflation.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:Alternate view (338 comments)

"Who cares whether or not the economy as a whole is inflationary?"

Uh... me, I guess, since it's an essential dimension of the topic at hand.

"Copyright holders and ISPs are putting the bite on Netflix more and more."

Fuck them. I don't give a fuck if Johnny Megabucks wants a fourth mansion. If Netflix has to choose between my preferences and the preferences of Mr. Megabucks, then obviously I want Netflix to choose mine (that is the nature of preferences, after all). I don't blame them when they don't, but I did drop their service when they didn't.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:First world problems.... (338 comments)

Not to be all nerd-hipster, but what I really liked watching were science documentaries. For a while I could get all sorts of quirky interesting docs, but then I noticed that titles I put in my Queue just languished there. They weren't available for streaming and they never arrived on disk. Many titles dropped from Queue to Saved, and then just disappeared from Saved. The discs I received were lame seasons of TV shows that I wasn't really very interested in watching. When I ran out of anything I wanted to watch, then there was no reason to pay the $10 every month.

Most people, however, aren't nerd hipsters. Most people are interested in recently released Hollywood blockbusters and I'm pretty sure Netflix keeps those in stock. Netflix is cheap to try so my advice would be try it, see if you are satisfied with what you get, and if not then drop it. But when you do that, don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting what you want if that isn't true.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:I doubt most people care (338 comments)

Yep, agreed, I experienced the same thing. Items in my Queue would move to my Saved and then would just disappear. Many titled went straight to Saved. Most of the value proposition for Netflix was long-tail availability, right? Weird titles that they only needed one or two copies of, that they could pass around the whole country -- but it seemed to me like the long tail disappeared. Streaming selection was even worse, so I just dropped the service.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:First world problems.... (338 comments)

It's just a factor in the marginal utility of a popular service. For some people who paid $8, a 25% increase to $10 was too much. For some people who got 2 simultaneous streams, the 50% reduction to 1 stream was too much. For some people who enjoyed 6-days-a-week processing, the 18% decrease to 5-days-a-week is too much. For some people who enjoyed the huge former library, the substantial reduction in titles was too much.

Add it up: Netflix now delivers less than half the value it used to. Surely some people are squeezed out at the margins when the value of a service drops by half -- I was. Also, surely, a great number of people still find it to be very much worth the money. It's up to Netflix to find the top of the demand curve and they're tinkering around looking for it. I don't blame them even though I'm one of the people who have been squeezed out.

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:What? (338 comments)

Yeah, golly gosh, how stupid for people to expect the same service that they've had all along just because they are paying the same price. What whiners!

2 days ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

CauseBy Re:I doubt most people care (338 comments)

It's weird that you haven't dropped it yet, if you've already come to that conclusion. It sounds like you are like me -- a person who doesn't watch enough TV to justify even the relatively low cost of Netflix. You may also find that, like me, you don't miss it when it's gone.

For anyone who loves TV and watches a bunch of it, Netflix is probably still a pretty good value, with or without Saturday processing.

3 days ago

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