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Comment Re:While you are at it (Score 1) 306

Can we switch ALL channels to a subscription model? I only watch 5 channels, and I would gladly pay $5 each for those channels and save myself hundreds of dollars per year.

The subscription model they talk about is not the à la carte model that you are talking about. When they say "subscription model", they mean convert to the current pay-TV system where they would receive a monthly affiliate fee from your cable provider on your behalf. Hence, you automatically become a subscriber and some of your cable bill will get diverted to them.

Comment Re:But, the situation is improving (Score 2) 80

Sure, but ATG-4 (the Gogo upgrade) is only 3x the speed, so you'll see ~9Mbps for the entire plane. Some international flights are indeed getting satellite service, but it will be Ku band satellite, which isn't much better. Eventually the planes will have Ka band satellite (as much as 50Mbps per plane) but that won't be live until ~2015.

Jetblue, however, will have some pretty nice satellite service. They will be using ViaSat's new Ka band satellite and service is supposed to start launching in the next couple months. And it's free. United's Continental fleet will also be getting this service as they have contracted for it through Jetblue's wholly owned LiveTV.

Comment Re:Obligatory... (Score 4, Informative) 378

Any reason why Viacom or any other such wastewater producer can't just switch to streaming all their shows? ...Seems like a revenue source waiting to be tapped.

As someone who covers media companies for an investment firm and spends a lot of my work thinking about things like this, they would lose out on a lot of money if they did that. Content owners currently have a dual stream revenue source. One are the monthly affiliate fees paid by you through the cable provider. The other is advertising. The content owners have been getting filthy rich through this model and have no desire to give it up.

If they were to start going directly to the end users and charging you, chances are they would lose more money than they made under the old model. The first reason is there is no (or little) advertising in the model you are proposing. So your fees would have to cover all the money they make off of advertising. Which will likely never happen. The second is that, in the current model, many people pay monthly affiliate fees for channels they would not purchase on a standalone basis (this is the same reason why you will likely never see à la carte channels) and cable providers would demand lower affiliate fees, or drop the channels altogether, if the content owners started going direct to the end user. So your fee to get the streaming portion would have to be quite high because you are currently being subsidized by advertising and a lot of people who never watch the channel.

I should note that I would love to see à la carte programming, but I'm just explaining why you're not going to see it right now. However, there may come a point when it starts happening. It really comes down to simple economics. If enough people start cutting the cord, or something else disrupts the current model enough, then they will start moving to other models. But right now it's way too lucrative for them to ever give it up.

Comment Re:when a win is barely a win (Score 1) 314

I agree. I think this being negative for HTC and positive for Apple is a bit overblown. Here's some quotes from some Wall Street research that puts it in perspective:

"Many observers may hastily claim this is a victory for Apple; we believe the exact contrary. HTC and Android won this first battle. This ruling is very disappointing to the Cupertino firm, in the sense that only 2 claims relating to only one patent have been recognised as true by the ITC, out of dozens relating to 10 patents that formed the initial filling of Apple. It is also disappointing in the sense that it won’t disrupt at all, at least in our analysis, HTC’s and Android’s businesses. Much ado for nothing."

" Most interestingly, the ITC stated that the ban will not take effect until April 19th, which in essence means that the ITC gave HTC and US carriers ample time to work around the limited violation.... HTC confirmed to us several months ago that they have a work around ready to ship for this patent. Our own “layman” assessment of the feasibility of such a work around is also very straight forward: it is very easy, best proof being that blackberry users have been able to call a number part of the body of an email since before the iPhone existed"

"This ruling shows that judicial authorities care about market disruption. The time they gave before the ban is enforced, specifically mentioning in their official communication that it was for carriers to organise transition."

Comment Re:Kick'em all out (Score 1) 954

Better yet, let's make sure those twelve on the committee aren't re-elected.
They're directly responsible for the deadlock.

The names are:
Sen. Jon Kyl (R) of Arizona (FY07 -$16603M)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D) of California (FY07 -$168218M)
Sen. John Kerry (D) of Massachusetts (FY07 -$4424M)
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Maryland (FY07 -$4788M)
Rep. Fred Upton (R) of Michigan (FY07 -$616M)
Rep. Dave Camp (R) of Michigan (FY07 -$616M)
Sen. Max Baucus (D) of Montana (FY07 -$85M)
Sen. Rob Portman (R) of Ohio (FY07 -$33407M)
Sen. Patrick Toomey (R) of Pennsylvania (FY07 +$242M)
Rep. James Clyburn (D) of South Carolina (FY07 +$2014M)
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R) of Texas (FY07 +$6960M)
Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington (FY07 +$2389M)

I totally agree with this (at least the first part in regards to getting rid of those on the committee). These 12 people collectively failed us. Sure, it could have been just 1 out of the 12 that really held it up, and they think they have this nuclear button to hold up the committee. We the people have the real nuclear button and it's not getting reelected. Congress needs to get the message that they work for us and that they need to work and get along. If these 12 were out, we would send a strong message that they everyone else needs to get their act together.

Comment Re:What are they avoiding (besides paying taxes)? (Score 3, Informative) 555

I'm an accountant. You don't understand deferred compensation. 401(k) plans are almost useless to executives because they max out their contribution limits quickly. Additionally, a corporation may only expense, for tax deductions, salary below $1 million for the 5 highest paid employees (unless it is tied to performance.) Usually, executives are allowed to forego current salary and essentially reinvest it in the company. The executives picks a fund, and the company more or less guarantees to pay the exexcutive the same amount who would have received had he invested the funds in his chosen investment. Normally, these payments are received after the employee retires from working at the company. After retirement, the company is no longer subject to the $1 million compensation limit because the person is no longer an employee.

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