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Comment: Re:It is not just the "extra" channels... (Score 1) 108

by Darinbob (#47898893) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

Never liked HBO, haven't seen it in a decade. Not worth the cost for me. Original programming maybe, but not worth the cost for me when I can wait a few years and it'll show up somewhere else.

Amazon is a wannabe players, a late comer to the game who flashes around a name with most of their customers comprised of people who mostly want discounted shipping. Sure they could kill Netflix, but only by deliberately running their streaming service at a loss rather than be competing straight on.

Original programming is nice and all, but the cable providers don't create it and they still charge the huge fees. And if you wait the original programming shows up elsewhere.

Comment: Re:It is not just the "extra" channels... (Score 2) 108

by Darinbob (#47895063) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

I'll let someone else foot the bill thank you very much. Nothing is forcing me to watch this stuff or forcing me to pay for it.

And I hope it doesn't surprise anyone to learn this, but no one actually has to foot the bill at all. The world will not come to an end if these television companies go bankrupt or if advertising companies go bankrupt.

Comment: Re:It is not just the "extra" channels... (Score 1) 108

by Darinbob (#47895043) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

Yes maybe I am subsidizing some shows on Netflix I don't want to see. But at $7 a month I'm much more willing to put up with it than under my old $70/month satellite bill (or $100+ if I were cable instead).

If netflix prices get up into ridiculous range that cable/satellite current has, then hopefully someone else will come along and undercut them and start the cycle over. Eventually the high priced guys might take a hint and cut the costs instead of assuming there's some law that mandates we keep paying whatever they demand.

Comment: Re:It is not just the "extra" channels... (Score 4, Insightful) 108

by Darinbob (#47895027) Attached to: Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

The referenced article about cord-cutting being a fantasy is just outright wrong. First, it's not talking about cord-cutting but instead about ala-carte payments, very different things. I can guarantee my $7 a month is economically better than $70 a month I used to pay.

Next, the assumptions are that if you stop paying things like the ESPN fees that someone else is going to pay more. Well guess what, those who won't pay the ESPN fee will be saving money! It is not the television viewer's goal to try to optimize the average amount spent across all viewers, but instead to try to get an economical value for themselves alone without regard to other people. It is also not the television viewer's goal to try to create a sustainable market for cable providers, and they have no incentive at all to try to maintain current revenue for ESPN or AMC yet the article seems to imply that this is important. If ESPN went out of business because I failed to subsidize them I still would not shed any tears.

The assumption that current television pricing is a good deal for everyone makes the ridiculous assumption that everyone wants to watch TV or considers it affordable. Yes, a $80,000 Lamborghini is a great deal but that doesn't mean everyone will want to pay that since many will still want the $15,000 Honda instead. The thing is a lot of people are finding cheaper ways to get the amount of TV they like, and some people are even deciding not to watch any TV at all. So it is indeed working to cut the cord.

The author sounds like the audience was supposed to be television execs rather than actual consumers. The whole argument sounds like a whine to keep paying huge amounts of money so that we can subsidize other people like him.

Comment: Re:What about other devices? (Score 3, Informative) 418

by Darinbob (#47892803) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Monopoly does not mean owning 100% of the market and it does not mean there is no competition. It means that they dominate the market enough that their position in one market will leverage them unfairly in other markets. There have been legal judgements declaring Microsoft a monopoly, it's not just my opinion.

Comment: Re:Double Fine is a bad example. (Score 2) 211

by Darinbob (#47892763) Attached to: Kickstarter's Problem: You Have To Make the Game Before You Ask For Money

The question is do you treat Kickstarter as just a pre-pre-pre-order for a game you want, or do you treat it as investing in a product? For Double Fine I think many of those backers were indeed investing in the game: they wanted this sort of game to make a revival. Any investor in software knows the risks of costs spiraling out of control.

You shoudn't need a prototype, that's not what Kickstarter is about. So what if no one wanted Sienna Storm, that doesn't point to a problem with Kickstarter but just says that not enough people wanted that game. Maybe their marketing was badly flawed, maybe the concept wasn't want people wanted, but ultimately they rolled the dice and lost. It happens.

The game I was a kickstarter on is coming out later this year and it looks to be doing well, matching the promises, and despite being from an actual company it wouldn't have gotten off the ground without kickstarter (and it's not wasteland 2, but I'm looking forward to that too). The point is to bypass the traditional model where some big money game maker that everyone hates gets to decide what games are made by the development houses, or to allow the small development house to make a game in their own name and get top billing, or to try and make a niche game.

Comment: Re:How much would the rebate be? (Score 1) 418

by Darinbob (#47892711) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Except that in the past, on the rare occasion when you could get a PC without Windows, I recall saving $25 by clicking the box that said to have no OS installed. Granted most companies don't like this because they want all machines to be clones, but for those makers who are already customizing each PC (ie, you can choose to have Office or not, antivirus or not, and so on) then there's no added support costs to just leave off the OS.

Comment: Re:Apple? (Score 2) 418

by Darinbob (#47892595) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Not $35 versus $40, we're talking $35 versus $100 or more.

Yes obviously Dell picked the option that was best for them. The whole "problem" as you ask is that Microsoft is a monopoly, and what is legal in markets with competition is not legal in markets with a overwhelmingly dominant player. It doens't matter at all if Dell decided on this willingly and without coercion.

Comment: Re:Apple? (Score 1) 418

by Darinbob (#47892551) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Microsoft has done things to prevent the PC to be sold without an OS. The classic example is the requirement that the discounted OEM license cost is charged on every PC the maker sells, whether or not the final product actually has Windows on it. The PC makers are not paying extra prices to get Windows, hardly, they are getting huge discounts over the off-the-shelf Windows prices (which are really steep) and so they'll gladly put Windows on all the PCs and absorb the cost for the few oddball customers who don't want Windows.

Also remember that Microsoft is a monopoly. While this practice may be legal for a maker of drive trains on bikes where there is lots of competition, it is not legal for Microsoft to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:How does MS get away with it in the US? (Score 1) 418

by Darinbob (#47892491) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Microsoft isn't just providing a bundling option, it is mandating that the PC maker must bundle Windows on every PC sold or else is unable to receive OEM license discounts. This bundling is what essentially locked in Windows early on against the competitors. When you got Windows "for free" with your PC there was no incentive to remove it and replace with OS/2 or GEOS or GEM or whatever.

The peanut makers are not offering the nuts at 90% off but only if they serve them to every seat, but that's essentially what is happening with Microsoft's OEM licenses.

New systems generate new problems.