Tag Archives: Guess

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).

— 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…

What does this mean to you (besides the Money issues)?
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.

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”.

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.

Sometimes I Wonder: “What’s the point?”

[ad code=5 align=center]

Resume? What's the point?
Resume? What's the point?

Money has been super tight the past year or so, especially these last few months. It gets really frustrating and it is hard to focus on being productive when your mind is constantly (at least in some respect) thinking about how you’re going to pay bills this month or the next…

I started my own business (with a friend of mine) last year, hoping to break away from the J-O-B I had (which was getting progressively worse by the day, but that’s another story for another time). I had hopes that things would pick up and things would roll along at least somewhat smoothly. I didn’t expect to make loads of money right away, but rather had hoped it would be enough to sustain — to replace my old job — and give me something to work up from…

But running a business is not the easiest thing in the world, that’s for sure! I do not regret it and am not giving up, but I can’t help but be at least a little frustrated that things aren’t going very well right now. I’ve always tried to be optimistic and hopeful, but right now that’s not getting me anywhere!

One of these days — it’s going to happen, I just don’t know when — I’m going to break out of this nonsense and become whatever it is that I’m destined to be. (yeah yeah, I know… we make our own destiny right?) I guess I’m just looking/waiting for something to show me and/or prove to me what it is exactly that I’m supposed to do!

I recently filed for unemployment. I honestly should have filed 9 or 12 months ago, but I’m pretty stubborn (just ask my wife lol) and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. To me it was like I was admitting defeat or giving up/in. Unfortunately it came to a point where I pretty much had no choice (little-no business = little-no income = help!)…

Part of filing for unemployment (which I’ve never done before) is you have to create and submit a resume to a jobs database so you can get hired for work if someone thinks your qualified… While I completed the resume and submitted it, I really don’t see how it’s going to help anything. Why? well to be honest if I was an employer and saw my resume, I wouldn’t want to hire me either!

So do I just suck at doing resumes? Or am I really that unemployable? What gives?

I’m not really sure how to answer that for you. Perhaps I just have lower self-confidence than I am willing to admit… Perhaps I just don’t really get the point of a Resume. (seriously, it’s like there is a science to it, like it’s a game and if you’re good at it — making resumes — then you win, someone less qualified gets hired because they have a better resume than the person more qualified? so stupid). Or maybe it’s that part of me that always wants to swim against the tide, to kick against the pricks, to push… oh you get the idea… I’ve never been a conformist and I’m OK with that.

On a resume you’re supposed to put some flowery statement about your desired position and then go and fill in a bunch of fluffy juicy info about how you are the ideal candidate for said position and knock their socks off… It’s all a bunch of nonsense!

And all of that… not to mention you need “work related experience”. Well how are you supposed to get your “desired position” if you don’t have the work related experience to go with it?

I’m pretty darn good at doing a wide variety of things with computers, but my job history says otherwise as far as an employer is concerned: McDonalds, Subway, Dominos, Property Management, Mental Health Work, Construction, etc… I’ve done a bunch of odd-jobs too!

So am I pigeon-holed as a fast food worker or something else from my work history? Or am I supposed to go and get a bunch of internships or volunteer to get some “work related experience”?

And don’t even get me started on the “qualifications and skills” sections… You really want me to brag about myself? I know I have skills in a variety of areas, but even if I listed them all you’re not going to care or believe me. I can put that I can do some amazing things with computers — better than 90% of the people I know, including people I took classes with for my Computer Science Bachelors degree — but an employer is going to look at that and compare with my work history and go “uh-huh, that’s what they all say”.

I’m ranting on about all of this, but the root of the problem is really more along the lines of this: I’m better/more valuable than any piece of paper could show. I am a jack-of-all-trades (yes and sadly a master of none). If you want something done I’m your man! Even if I don’t know how to do it, I will find a way and get it done! I’m not afraid to do other jobs to get by, I’m not afraid to do things out of my preferred field of employment. I just don’t want that fact to prevent me from getting a career I will enjoy.

You want your computer fixed, no problem. You want a website? Cool. You want your house painted? I can do it. You want your car repaired? I can figure it out (might need to borrow some tools though). You need a therapist/counselor? No problem. You want me to cook you something? Easy. File some paper work? Do the dishes? Pour some concrete? Build a house? I can do all that… I can do a lot of things… I may not be the best at any of them, but I’m better than most.

But how do I put that on a resume? How do I get employment in a desirable field like that?

I know the answer, and it’s: “Alex… you don’t!” and you’re darn right I don’t!

I am the exception, I am not normal, I am different, I don’t fit the system. I am an outcast. And as frustrating as that is, I am glad!

I accept that I am going to have to do things the hard way. I am going to have to push myself. I am going to have to find a way to break free and dominate in spite of the system. I am not content with the way the world works. I will not conform! I will go down fighting. It’s in my blood and I cannot and will not deny that!

So if you’ve managed to read this far, I give you credit — or “props” — because most people would have dismissed my rant long ago. If you feel the same way I do, please leave a comment and let me know I’m not alone. Or if you think I’m nuts, tell me why and where/how I’m wrong. And if by some oddball chance you have work for me that pays, let me know that too 😉

Now… going home to my family! FTW!
[ad code=2 align=center]

Windows installs security threat extension in Firefox

Well apparently there is a new Firefox extension out there, but not one you or I would want. Unfortunally, if you use Windows (and install Windows updates/security patches) you have been or will likely fall victim to a dirty Microsoft Trick!

That’s right, with the latest “Security” patch to the .Net framework, Windows secretly installs an extension in Firefox. Worse yet they disable the uninstall button so you cannot remove it (at least not without hacking the registry, which could be dangerous if you mess it up). The new extension opens up vulnerabilities that were not previously there and allows easy access for new (and unwanted) software to be installed on your machine!

Here’s a link to read up the details: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/05/microsoft_update_quietly_insta.html
My guess is Microsoft is secretly trying to sabbotage Firefox and make it equally or perhaps more vulnerable to security threats as Internet Explorer, but I have no proof, yet. 😉

Looks like this is a great time to consider trying Ubuntu!

I’ll put up a guide soon for how to remove this headache of a stealthy trojan extension when I next boot into Windows (no promise on how soon that will be).