Posts Tagged rants

The Netflix debacle

I received an email list night that I found rather humorous. Below is an excerpt:

“It is clear that for many of our members two websites would make things more difficult, so we are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs.
This means no change: one website, one account, one password…in other words, no Qwikster.
While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes.”

I have been a Netflix customer for the past 6 years and I have enjoyed it. I was pleasantly surprised when, 3 years ago, they unexpectedly lowered our monthly cost for a reason that escapes me now. I thought I was with a pretty cool company that would actually lower their customer costs as the company did better. When the price hikes came about I begrudgingly accepted them as the price of Netflix’s rising popularity. I knew the movie industry fat-cats would want a piece of the expanding Netflix pie, and licensing is a highly subjective pricing scheme so I knew there were going to be repercussions that would radiate down to us, the consumer.

When Netflix CEO Reed Hastings came out and said that DVD’s would be handled by a new company ‘Qwikster’, I had a major WTF moment. No really, there is nothing I want more than another website login, and an entirely separate queue for my movies. Really!? But then, they tantalized me the prospect of renting games with this new split. Hmm, I might be able to warm to this, maybe.

Now, the intrepid Netflix CEO made a blog post that says Quickster is dead before it ever started and game rentals are a possibility. Oh wow, so you are taking away something I didn’t like and something I did like. I guess the status quo is maintained, I love them but I don’t exactly hate them either.

At least there have been some positive rumblings for a native Linux Netflix client.

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The Windows 95 paradox

Unknown to most (sarcasm), I am an avid Linux user. I know a great many other Linux users. As Linux users I feel we have a certain free spirit that comes with using our free OS. But I am finding a disturbing paradigm in regard to the response to the Gnome 3/Unity desktop environments that have surfaced recently. The number one rant I have read about online has been about how hard the new interfaces are to use. People want their program button with its flyout menus back.

Now I realize that many of the reviews were knee jerk reactions to the new interfaces. I had much the same reaction, when I upgraded to Natty. I couldn’t figure out how to use it, and I just wanted my familiar interface back. But wait, at some point inmy life, the familiar had to have been unfamiliar. When was that.. lets see, when was a little button in the bottom left corner of the screen for accessing programs and settings introduced… oh yes, Windows 95!! People want their Windows 95 like desktops back! For gods sake, that OS has been setting the desktop top standard for the past 16 years. This is almost the EXACT same reaction I get from people when I try to introduce LibreOffice to people that are used to MS Office.

Them: “This sucks, I can’t find anything.”
Me: “But what about the functionality, how does it compare to Office?”
Them: “Oh that, its fine, I just can’t find anything”
Me: “What options are you having trouble finding precisely?”
Them: “I have found everything I was looking for, it just sucks that I had to look for them.”

The problem isn’t the interface, you can teach old dogs new tricks. Its the fact that people don’t like new things. But wait, what about when MS changed the Office menu bar to the ribbon? Well, people were forced to use it, so they bitched, then got over it. And started to realize, maybe it isn’t so bad after all, they just needed to retrain their brains a little. You never know, you might find that your better with the new interface.

I for one love the Unity interface. There are quirks that annoy me, but what doesn’t have annoying quirks? Usage note with Unity; people love to complain about how hard it is to launch programs. If you have ever used Launchy, or Gnome Do, then this will be easy. Hit the super key, type in the first couple letters of the program you want, hit tab when it shows up, then hit enter, your done. I can launch a program in under a second, try that with a fly out menu and a mouse. Learn the keyboard short cuts, or stop complaining about using your mouse so much.

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