Tag Archives: Blog

Understanding Netflix’s New Price Plans

Netflix is changing their plans and prices...
Netflix is changing their plans and prices...

So today Netflix announced that they are starting new price plans. The plans become effective immediately for new customers and begin on Sept. 1st, 2011 for existing customers.

So what’s the deal?
— Price plans are broken up into 2 groups:
1. “Unlimited” DVD-Only — Starting at $7.99 (for one-out-at-a-time and NO streaming)
2. “Unlimited” Streaming-Only — Starting at $7.99 (no DVD’s)

Why is this a big deal?
— For new customers, it probably isn’t an issue due to the “You don’t know what you’re missing” effect… But for existing customers, this is quite a drastic change!

For existing customers who have/had both Streaming and DVD (one-out-at-a-time), the price was $9.99, but under the new plan it will be $15.98 (DVD @ $7.99 + Streaming @ $7.99 = $15.98).

How…Why…Huh?!
— Yeah, that’s what I said, so I read their blog –> here and found out for myself… To save you time, I’ll summarize:

Netflix is changing their plans because they didn’t expect both the streaming and DVD delivery to be so popular. People were taking advantage of both and it was cutting into their profits. As a result Netflix is changing things so they can make more money and continue to grow — and I’m sure provide everyone better service or something…

Their Justification?
— Apparently the original plan was to introduce Streaming and change the DVD shipments to a $2 add-on. My guess is they figured DVD rental was on its way out the door and everyone would migrate to streaming-only over time, but of course that proved to be wrong and DVD rentals are still a big thing.

So now they want to cater to 2 different markets — Streaming only and DVD only.
And if you are in one of those categories, you’re golden! (DVD-only customers are essentially going to save $2/month now vs. what they would have paid)

I think they should have done the plan like this:
— Streaming only for $7.99 w/DVD add-on for $2 more
— DVD only for $7.99 w/Streaming add-on for $2 more

This way everyone is happy and it wouldn’t be a drastic change that pisses off your customers… Just saying…

**UPDATE**
What does this mean to you (besides the Money issues)?
Pros
If you are a fan of the streaming, this probably means they will put more emphasis into getting better quality and newly released movies available for streaming (they better or this will be a major flop).

If you are a fan of the DVD rentals, this is good news because it means they are committed to a long-term DVD rental approach, so you wont have to worry about switching to streaming any time soon.

Cons
If you’re a customer who takes advantage of both DVD rental and Streaming, this means you’re going to pay an extra $6 each month for this “luxury”.

**UPDATE-2**
In Defense of Netflix (more or less)
Here is a nice quote from my friend Brian:

I think a lot of the problem is the companies producing the movies hate Netflix with a passion, because the service is seriously eating into their DVD & Blu-Ray sales. I saw on CNN today that a lot of movies disappeared from the streaming service thanks to a licensing issue with Sony Entertainment. Some of the movie publishers have stopped making their movies available to Netflix even for DVD rental until a month after they’re available for purchase in an attempt to get people to buy the movies instead of rent them. I think this plan change is just Netflix’s way of attempting to deal with the way they’ve been treated by the movie industry while trying to remain profitable.

Integrating WordPress with Facebook

Facebook and WordPress
Facebook and WordPress (image from: www.serifgroup.com)

I find that I am on Facebook a fair amount during the day and since I have friends and family who may be interested in reading my blog and perhaps sharing an article or two here and there, I thought it might be worthwhile to integrate my site with Facebook.

I looked into the Facebook Docs to see what kind of options they had. It looked simple enough, but I thought it might be even more simple, so I checked for existing plugins for WordPress that might simplify things even further!

There are a lot of plugins to sort through, but the one that seemed to stand out the most was: Simple Facebook Connect by Otto. (Note: he also has a nice one for Twitter from what I’ve seen).
I installed the plugin (requires WordPress 2.9.1 or newer) and then activated it. When you go to activate the plugin you will see several (more than a few) plugins starting with SFC. Start by activating SFC Base. After activating the base plugin there will be a redbox at the top of the Dashboard telling you some configuration is needed and it provides a link to the settings page. Click it and you will see you need to do some minor work on Facebook to get it working right.

Rather than re-invent the wheel, I’m going to refer you to Otto’s page that explains some of the steps you’ll need to take to get it configured properly. There have been a few minor changes to things since he posted that, but it is close enough to not bother mentioning the differences.

After getting that setup, go back to the plugins page and enable the other SFC plugins you want to use. Right now I’m only using the SFC Like plugin (which you can setup to show a “like” or “recommend” link at the top, bottom, or top and bottom, (or if you’re really brave you can do manual and put it in your template wherever you want) of your post.

I think I still need to activate my “Application” on Facebook, but I’m going to test it out with this first and see how it goes.
Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments. Most people who read don’t comment, but I know you read anyway. 🙂

**UPDATE**

I forgot to grant permissions to the plugin on the Simple Facebook Connect Settings page. I tried to grant the permissions before I fooled around with the settings on the Application page on Facebook and it didn’t do anything so I assumed it was already granted. I had a friend test out the “Like” button and it didn’t work so I had to find the problem. I think that should take care of it now.

**UPDATE 2**

OK, it’s just plain broken. The only thing that works right now is the Base plugin and the Publish Plugin. I have deactivated the rest and will take a closer look at it tomorrow. If you have a tip for me on getting it to work, please let me know!

Alex’s Antidote now iPhone Friendly

Alex's Antidote iPhone icon
Alex's Antidote iPhone icon

That’s right folks, my website is now iPhone friendly. (Note: from what I understand it should also work in certain other fancy phones too)

Here’s how it goes:

Step 1 – Open Safari -> Navigate to: alexsantidote.com

find Alex's Antidote in iPhone's Safari Browser
find Alex's Antidote in iPhone's Safari Browser

Step 2 – Check out my fancy mobile theme

New Mobile Theme
New Mobile Theme
Page Menu
Page Menu

Step 3 – Bookmark for future reference

Bookmark Options
Bookmark Options

If you’re really awesome you’ll bookmark it to your Home Screen 😉

Bookmark to iPhone's Home Screen
Bookmark to iPhone's Home Screen

And you’ll see a nice shiny icon that will take you straight to this website when you touch it!

Shiny Bookmark Icon!
Shiny Bookmark Icon!

How’d I do it?

  • Install the WordPress plugin called: WPtouch Mobile Plugin + Theme for WordPress
  • Make a custom icon in GIMP (sudo apt-get install gimp)
    • The icon should be saved in .png format.
    • You will need 2 different sizes: 57 x 57 and 32 x 32
      • Name the 32 x 32 icon something that reflects the name of your blog (I used: Alex`s Antidote)
      • Name the 57 x 57 icon “apple-touch-icon.png” without the quotes.
  • In WordPress Settings you will find a menu called: WPtouch, upload the 32 x 32 icon there (look around, you’ll figure it out), then make necessary adjustments below (lots of settings to play with).
    • Be sure to save!
  • FTP/SSH into your root (and/or wordpress) directory for your blog and copy over the 57 x 57 icon you named “apple-touch-icon.png”
  • Done!

Let me know what you think in the comments (if you have time).