It’s the Content Providers (or not)

It’s the Content Providers:

The Angry Drunk:

While the Netflix changes are certainly annoying, and the
messaging was less than stellar, we need to make sure to remember
where the blame ultimately lies  —  with the content
providers. Until they decide to get with the program content
distributors like Netflix and Apple will always be at their mercy
and customers will continue to suffer.


The answers to these ques­tions, and I believe the dri­ving force behind the Netflix changes all involve one group: the con­tent providers. The tech press some­times seems to think that dis­trib­u­tors like Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Redbox, Blockbuster, etc. just pull this con­tent mag­i­cally out of their asses. They ignore the fact that there are pow­er­ful movie stu­dios and record labels that are obsessed with main­tain­ing con­trol over their prod­uct dis­tri­b­u­tion and are scared shit­less over dig­i­tal dis­tri­b­u­tion. How soon we for­get that a major Netflix con­tent provider, Starz, recently told Netflix to piss up a rope and took their ball home.

[It’s complex and battle between the content providers is always more complex that it seems on the outside. Amazon is getting into publishing, publishers are getting into selling retail. What if Amazon decided to start producing some of the products they sell (besides the Kindle et al)? It is also easy to decide that the content providers are screwing everything up for you and me… it’s never that simple.]
Source: Daring Fireball

The Cloud’s My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem – Alexis Madrigal

The Cloud’s My-Mom-Cleaned-My-Room Problem – Alexis Madrigal:

Netflix, Twitter, and Google make unasked-for, unanticipated, and unstoppable change in their products, which also happen to be our work and play spaces.


But the freedom of usage that defined personal computing does not extend to the world of parental computing. This isn’t a bug in the way that cloud services work. It is a feature. What we lose in freedom we gain in convenience. Maybe the tradeoff is worth it. Or maybe it’s something that just happened to us, which we’ll regret when we realize the privacy, security, and autonomy we’ve given up to sync our documents and correspondence across computers.

[The thing to remember is that we do not have to give up one to have the other. We can have document syncing etc. without living “in our parents house” simply by paying for the services. We can have our privacy and our freedom. But it has a cost.]

IDEO: Big Innovation Lives Right on the Edge of Ridiculous Ideas

IDEO: Big Innovation Lives Right on the Edge of Ridiculous Ideas:

“Those skeptics are in every walk of life. You can certainly combat it with the experimenter role. Show people it’s possible, don’t just tell them. It’s always been the seemingly improbable, boundary-pushing ideas that have created this world around us and none of that would have been possible if they’d listened to all the people who said it never would have worked. We’d still be living in caves if we relied on the skeptics.”

Also see: From Ridiculous to Brilliant: Why We Play at Work

Cringely Called It

Cringely Called It:

Cringely, back in February:

Then there’s Meg Whitman, who expected at this point to have
resigned from the HP board to spend all her time running
California as governor. But that didn’t happen, so now what is
she to do? You can only get so many pedicures. She’ll eventually
get around to hip-checking Apotheker and taking his job.

Can’t get more accurate with a prediction than that.

[Good one!]
Source: Daring Fireball

FaceTime calls are encrypted, HIPAA compliant

FaceTime calls are encrypted, HIPAA compliant:

This isn’t the issue from last fall, but Apple addressed questions regarding FaceTime security to ZDNet. An Apple representative assured the site that the FaceTime conversation stream is encrypted from end to end, and each FaceTime session has unique session keys for each user.

What this does is make FaceTime HIPAA compliant as long as the wireless network being used utilizes WPA2 Enterprise security with 128-bit AES encryption. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) is the U.S. standard for electronic health care transactions designed to keep these records secure and protect patient privacy. With the protocols being followed, those in the healthcare industry can apply for grants for Apple gear since HIPAA compliance is required.

[For Lisa…]
Source: The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Google gave ‘the ultimatum only a monopolist can give’

Google gave ‘the ultimatum only a monopolist can give’: For me, the testimony of Yelp’s Stoppelman and Nextag CEO Jeff Katz was the most compelling, because it came from Web-based entrepreneurs who know all too well how the game is played.

Here’s the crux of the story Stoppelman told the senators: 

“The experience in my industry is telling. Google forces review websites to provide their content for free to benefit Google’s own competing product, not consumers. Google then gives its own product preferential treatment in Google search results.

“Google first began taking our content without permission a year ago. Despite public and private protests, Google gave the ultimatum that only a monopolist can give: In order to appear in Web search, you must allow us to use your content to compete against you. As everyone in this room knows, not being in Google is equivalent to not existing on the Internet. We had no choice.”

Google softened its stance, according to Stoppelman, only after the FTC announced an antitrust investigation, the states’ attorneys general took notice, and the Senate antitrust committee proposed this hearing.

The text of Stoppelman’s written testimony is available here.

[The usual mess…]
Source: FORTUNE: Apple 2.0

How we would be

Noah reminds me, most days, to live closely to who you are. And sometimes you try on new things and see how they work.

Some of this is a question of perspective. I once took a short hike, but it was my turn to carry the load… literally. I carried a large day pack and had food and water and extra clothing for all of us. Not too far in to the wilds of New Hampshire a couple comes hiking down the trail, and we meet over the tussle of who’s coming up, who’s going down, and stepping around the usually close trail.

What they saw was a guy on an adventure… backpack, walking stick, etc. Where’d you camp they asked? Where are you staying tonight? I granted their confusion… I’ve been that guy, I’ve done those things enough for authenticity to remain in evidence. But still, I was not that guy that day. But it was clearly exciting for them to meet someone that was doing that… like they wanted to but hadn’t got there yet.

We see who and what we want. We see problems if that’s what we want. We see Truth if that’s what we need. The power of seeing is in allowing room for others to be seen as they wish, rather than what we wish for them. By seeing, actually seeing, people as they are, we can empower them to live as they choose… or as they wish to, even they’re not there yet.

Changing settings give people that freedom. Move to a new place where no one knows you and it is easy to weave a new story if you choose. The trick, as it were, it to get people to see you as you wish to be seen without that fresh start. Evolving a story is more complicated and requires permission and time.

But don’t let any of this stop you from living how you choose, with a vision for yourself as you wish it to be. Just realize that it may take a long time for others to see it as well. It doesn’t make it less true. People who you see as they wish to be seen could well see you as you wish to be seen. And may help you get where you want to go.

On Netflix

Folks keep asking why the old DVD service will gain a new company name… Qwickster

My take? They’re just “riding down” the DVD through the mail thing until infrastructure and services support streaming for us all… and by then Netflix will be a “cable company”. Therefore, they don’t want that “ebbing” business associated with the Netflix brand. Hmmm.

Streaming in some forms works very nicely. One version provided by Cablevision (much as I can’t stand them) which I’ve only tried on the smallest of screens (my phone), has an app that while you’re on your home network will allow you watch whatever is “on the air” so to speak. It works nicely.

To rely on that same net connection (amazing that it can be so poor at some things and yet manage the above) for a more generalized stream of HD movies etc. is to plan long in advance, be uncertain of your plans, and hopeful that streaming means “local caching”. If doesn’t, it doesn’t really work.

That said, I almost never watch a movie… so none of this really impacts me.

All in all, Netflix clearly made a mistake when they gave streaming away for free. There ain’t no thing… etc.