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Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-08-01 01:50:30

Internet Furor

Woah. Peeps need to calm down. Yes, the Netflix rate hike is potentially significant...but it depends on the way you look at it.

I've been with Netflix for ages now, primarily with the three disc plan of ~$20. Then at some point, they added internet streaming FOR FREE. To be honest, I never used it all that much because of holes in the available programming and the fact that I have evolved (ever so slightly) past the need for instant gratification. So when they announced the rate hike, I eliminated the Instant Queue and upped my subscription to four DVDs. It's roughly the same $20 I've always been paying, only now I get an extra disc. To me, it's actually INCREASED value.

For that matter, I know several individuals who ONLY use Instant Queue because those red envelopes just sit around unwatched for some reason unfathomable to me. It must be the monumental effort to tear them open and physically place them in the DVD tray. Their laziness (or whatever other inscrutable reason) aside, these Netflix users can SAVE money by simply eliminating the physical disc portion of their subscription.

As I mentioned, there are holes (and mysteriously shifting availability) in the Instant Queue programming. It is nice to use DVDs to bolster that service. For those who want it all and are crying about a few bucks a month, just sack up and pay the difference. For heaven's sakes, you pay at least as much every time you consume a fast food "value meal".

We're in this awkward transitional period where content studios, cable/satellite companies, and Netflix are all swinging their dicks around trying to read the ruler while violently jostling each other. The old boys are still adhering to old business models while Netflix is crashing the party; it'll take awhile for the players to achieve homeostasis.

I did take a cursory look at "competing" services, and the value ratios are laughable. Netflix is still, by a significant margin, the best media service (assuming you have any patience). I'm a satisfied subscriber, and I just noticed that this announcement knocked about $30 off their stock - I'm considering buying in.

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2011-07-30 23:51:35

Diplomacy VI - Spring of 1998

Britain (Steve G.) had a miserable turn. Instead of celebrating a long awaited D-Day, Germany displaced the convoying fleet and took the all-important North Sea. I questioned the value of pushing Lapland previously, and that errant fleet would indeed have made all the difference. A poor tactical decision also allowed France to linger; more on that in the Spain section. This turn was a significant setback for the Anglo-Spanish bloc.

Egypt continued his suicide blitzkrieg by pushing further east into the Arabian Sea. There's a significant chance that Steve W. won't survive the next season, but his last ditch aggression has GOT to be giving his Turkish assailant headaches.

France lives! Paul also slid his fleet over into position to act in concert with his Lyon army. Shifting Italian allegiances could also prove useful to France. He has a couple different options to weigh, but they all have the same end result: defiantly casting his spite into the teeth of Spain.

Germany had an excellent turn. In addition to seizing the North Sea (and thwarting the British convoy) and enjoying the enemy frustration fomented by France's survival, Mike somehow turned Italy. This is a stunning diplomatic victory, and satisfies one of the three conditions I checklisted for Germany last turn. It appears that an uneasy peace with Ukraine has been established while the two major powers deal with their respective areas of operation. If Germany can satisfy the third condition by mopping up Poland, final victory is conceivable.

The ever mercurial Italy acted in cooperation with Germany. He must have made a hell of an offer for Kodi to relinquish the significant bargaining chip she had in that army loose behind German lines. I can only assume that she views Spain as the primary threat to her sovereignty, but she plays a dangerous game: Germany's jaws are slowly widening to swallow the entire West.

Poland continues to claw and scrap. Vargas positioned himself to regain a portion of his homeland in Gdansk. He's hanging onto the cliff side with his fingernails.

I'm a bit disappointed by the Russian turn. I was hoping Charles would engineer some Rasputin-esque maneuver, but all he was able to muster was an inconsequential poke at the North Sea. I suppose he's all out of political capital to parlay. Amusingly, the Anglo-Ukrainian argument over Murmansk gives his sole fleet hope of survival.

Spain essentially lost a turn. If the British Wing had attacked Lyon instead of issuing a support order (which was cut), Paris would have fallen. Kang predicated his turn on the success of that offensive, but instead all of his units logjammed with its failure. Now the French fleet threatens his hard-won southern coast while he remains no closer to his primary objective.

Turkey committed a couple of tactical missteps that allowed his enemy to take Bulgaria and the Black Sea. For the second straight turn, Gorbash was also bounced out of Ankara. Ukraine has brought sufficient firepower to wrest this Turkish home supply center away. Turkey must finish Egypt quickly and hold the line against this capable aggressor.

Ukraine is methodically pushing his southern foe. Apparently agreeing with Germany to stay out of each others' way, Yino can keep rolling with more builds on the way. It looks like a two horse race.

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