Thursday, January 25, 2007

How to Beat Cable Companies

I wanted to talk about this purely because of my undying hated for telcos. I'm not a preachy man, by any means, but if there was a physical embodiment of the deadly sin of greed, it'd be the telcos. Their prices are absurd and their service is usually sub-par compared to the premium you pay for their services. Hence, how can I not love the idea of canceling your cable subscription in favor of *gasp* the Interweb! This guy did the math and found out that he could save half the money he spends on cable television by purchasing his favorite programs on iTunes and renting out movies on Netflix rather than waiting for them to come on television. What's that, you say? You need a VCR? Screw that, just get a media PC (or the Apple TV, I suppose), and you can watch your downloaded shows on that. Then, you can have the full television experience in your living room for much less at much higher quality and whenever you want it rather than when the television networks decide. Sure, you can get TiVo, except that their software is gross and not very intuitive at all. Sorry TiVo, I feel for your financial situation, but I'd care more if you cared more about your own product. Oh, and TiVo requires an even pricier cable subscription with even more channels you won't watch. Plus, unlike TiVo, you can store all your downloaded television shows for as long as you like! Of course, you can't save those Netflix movies (legally, anyway), but their new service will be allowing you watch movies online as many times as you'd like. If I wasn't a student, I'd totally get that set up, but I don't watch cable TV as it is.

A post popped up on the Google Blog citing that they've integrated YouTube search with the Google Video search so that you get two sites' matches for the price of one. I suppose this was to be expected, but I wonder if they're at all concerned that this kind of upstages Google Video since the majority of the results will come from YouTube. Speaking of YouTube, they were subpoenaed (along with a few other online video sites) for the identity of a user who posted episodes of 24 before they aired (he also posted episodes of The Simpsons). YouTube will be fighting to not have to give up this identity, but I assume that this would be a tricky thing to win for them. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that they're willing to protect someone who clearly violated their TOS by posting only obviously copyrighted content. I would think that that would void their Privacy Policy for that user. There are some rumors floating around that AT&T may be giving those who buy the iPhone a year and a half of free service in return. That's a rather bold discount though just to increase their base of users. I guess they figure that people will have to stick with them after they buy it anyway, and I assume that this would only apply to new subscribers. Lastly, in case you hadn't noticed, Amazon has been adding some Web 2.0-like features on its product pages recently. Strangely though, still no boost to their stock. I suspect that if people really dig these changes though (I like them, there are just too many things cluttering the page), that they'll become more dedicated Amazon users and increase Amazon's revenues, which will in turn boost investor confidence.

It looks like The Dark Knight will have the DA's assistant, but Katie Holmes will not be in that role because critics were none too happy with her acting. There's still just rampant speculation though regarding who will be Harvey Dent (Two Face). AICN saw Justin Lin's latest movie, Finishing the Game, at Sundance about actors trying to fill Bruce Lee's role in a movie he was shooting when he died, and it looks like a humorous mockumentary. Unfortunately, Quint didn't like the editing. Maybe they'll fix it up before it's released for the rest of us? I just have such high hopes for Justin Lin, I hope he makes good movies again! IGN has some clips from Epic Movie, and they're all really stupid. So much for my expectations of this movie. JoBlo put up some really cool Spider-man 3 wallpapers, and even I started using one of them to replace a picture that I had taken that was previously on my desktop! Lastly, check out this awesome Grind House poster from overseas:

Click to enlarge

Now for some 3x Thursday action:

1. Do you like kids? Do you have them? If not, do you want them? Why/why not?
Yes, but I don't have them. I'm not awesome with kids or anything, but I don't think I have a problem with them. I just have a problem with irresponsible parents (I've met plenty of them).

2. It's the beginning of the year, and that usually means new clothes or items you've gotten during the holidays. Get anything groovy (given or bought) so far?
My sweet Kenneth Cole shoes a cool pull over that looks like it's knit. Anyway, the shoes are obviously much more awesome, and I will be sporting them tonight at Copa! Woot woot!

3. Do you consider yourself selfish or selfless? Why?
Probably in the middle. I try to help people as much as I can, but I obviously have my career at the center of my life right now, so I'm not totally selfless, but I'm not really selfish either.

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