Thursday, February 16, 2006

New photo posted

I posted a new photo up to eighteenpercent.net. It was taken last year along Skyline Drive in VA. I originally had it framed differently (pulled further back) but a friend at work suggest this crop, which I liked much more.

I must have been shooting RAW-only, cuz I can't find any JPGs with EXIF data, so I have no idea what the settings of the shot were (ISO, shutter, aperature, focal length, exact date, etc).
Losty goodness

Man, the internet is filled with fast-acting nerds...err...fans. 'Lost' last night had some intriguing bits. In an effort not to give much away, let's just say there were some hieroglyphics. By the time I got to work today, some Lost/hieroglyphics/internet nerds (to whom I humbly bow) had screen captured and deciphered them.

Also, in case you missed the connection (as I did), this guy claims the girl in the picture is Kate. I haven't verified it yet.

Lost continues to be a great show, with enough scavenger-hunt like things going on in the periphery to keep you (well, me, at least) hooked.



--update to add--

There are some interesting 'Lost' discussions happening over on this board. Particularly about last night's episode.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Update

Netflix still sucks.

However, I didn't realize that the class action lawsuit actually did cover the throttling, not just the speed at which Netflix delivers movies (I thought it was more about ineffective shipping methods than purposeful throttling). Thanks to DT for pointing this out.

Anyway, Netflix tried to settle the suit, offering a 1 disk per month upgrade, for a single month to all Netflix users. So, if you had a subscription allowing you 3 disks/month, for one month, you'd be allowed to have 4 disks/month. Big f*cking deal. Meanwhile, the lawyers got $2,528,000. Think this sucks? So do a lot of other people. There's an objection hearing scheduled for 2/22/05 and evidently, the FTC isn't amused about the terms either. Maybe this will work out after all.

I'm gonna have to pay more attention to this suit.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Why I'd like to throttle Netflix

Nothing quite like paying for "Unlimited Rentals" and being penalized for taking advantage of unlimited rentals. If you're a "heavy user" or a "high volume renter" at Netflix, you're probably getting fucked. Bend over.

This story has been rumbling around the net, various blogs and link sites (like Digg, Slashdot, and probably del.icio.us' "most popular") for a few weeks now, and I'm happy to see the mainstream press (like the Washington Post is finally picking up on it (hint: to read articles on Wash Post (and other sites) without having to bow to their compulsory registration, check out bugmenot.com).

The brief summary goes like this:

Sucker...err..."Valued Customer" signs up for Netflix because it seems like a good deal. Unlimited rentals for under $19/month, shipped to your door, postage paid, including postage paid return envelope. Cool. I'm lazy, I got sick of Blockbuster fucking up and finding my "hey, you never returned Krull" movies on the shelf. Where do I sign up?

Given that it's "unlimited rentals", sucker user...damn it..."Valued Customer" does his best to take advantage of the offer. Rent a movie, watch it in a day or two, return the movie, get another movie. If you can turn around, say, 15 movies in a month, then each movie costs you about $1.26. If you rent three movies and sit on them for two months, then each movie costs you about $13.00. Netflix works for "Valued Customer" if "Valued Customer" devours a ton of movies per month. Netflix works for Netflix if "Valued Customer" rents three movies, then returns them 2 months later. Many "Valued Customers" in the world figured this out. Netflix finally figured out that "Valued Customer" figured out, and has implemented something called "throttling" to penalize "Valued Customer" for renting too many movies per month.

If you, "Valued Customer", rent and return a bunch of movies in a month, you'll find yourself at the end of a long list for new and popular releases. While Joe Schmoe, who rents three movies every two months, gets bumped to the top of the queues. Take, for example, my queue. The top movie has been, since mid November (before it was even released) The 40 Year Old Virgin. It's been released for two months now, yet, in my queue, it's still listed as "Very Long Wait". Seem fair? Aren't I paying the same $19/month that the Joe Schmoes of the world are paying? Why should I be denied something I want to see, simply because I'm playing by the sales rules set up by Netflix. Why are they allowed to do this? Oh, yeah, the almighty "Terms Of Use". Basically, they say "we can fuck you in any manner which we see fit. And if we're not fucking you enough right now, we reserve the right to change the rules and fuck you more later". Copied and pasted below are the pertinent parts regarding throttling. I'll edit out stuff that doesn't pertain to my current rant:

Allocation, Delivery and Return of Rented DVDs

We reserve the right to allocate and ship DVDs among our subscribers in any manner that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine.

[snip]

As a result, we may not always send you the top choices from your queue, and we may not ship out your next DVD on the same day that we receive one from you.

[snip]

In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those subscribers who receive the most movies may experience that (i) the shipment of their next available DVD occurs at least one business day following return of their previously viewed movie, (ii) delivery takes longer, as the shipments may not be processed from their local distribution center and (iii) they receive movies lower in their queue more often than our other subscribers.

[snip]

We...[snip]...may, in our sole and absolute discretion, change our business practice regarding allocation, delivery and shipping, without notice. We may from time to time revise these Terms of Use but we will not necessarily provide you notice of the revisions.


So, you may ask, what's the point of this rant? Well, in the last couple of days of ranting to friends and coworkers, I've found many that have no idea they're being penalized for playing by the rules. I'm hoping some will see this and get pissed off. Also, I'm hoping enough people get pissed off that a class action suit is filed. I'm not one of the "I just spilled hot coffee on my balls, and I was so surprised that it was hot that I'm gonna sue you" kinda guys. But there are some things that warrant a little legal pressure. Hell, Netflix got sued for not delivering rentals in the advertised "next day". I'd say this is a bit bigger of a deal than that. Finally, I'm hoping that people Google-ing for "Netflix sux monkey nutz" will happen across this and get the message and pass it to future class members.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Seriously...



aren't there more important things to worry about,



George?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ew.

This just in from the "Shit that will prevent me from sleeping comfortably for the rest of my life, even if it did happen in friggin' Africa" department:

http://www.spiderzrule.com/spidersnake.htm.


(Image linked from spiderzrule.com. Also worth pointing out that the image title is, and I quote, "sssssshhhhiiiitttt!6_small.jpg").

Originally found via digg.com with the fantastic titles "Spider pwns a snake".


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

F*cking gross

I love me some crap food. Fast food, junk food, greasy food. Whatever. Make no mistake, I'll eat some bad-for-you food. And I'll enjoy it. So when I see something that makes me say "holy shit, that's some nasty ass kill-you-where-you-stand food", you know it's gotta be bad. At Baja Fresh...

It is.

It should be criminal to sell food that is that bad for you. Why aren't there laws? There are laws that force me to wear a seatbelt to protect myself. And force me to wear a motorcycle helmet for the same reason. And a bicycle helmet. And drugs! Drugs are illegal (well, the illegal ones are) so I don't harm myself with them. So answer me this...How the hell is it still legal to sell a f*cking fajita with 1450 calories and 50 grams of fat?? And what, in the name of God, do you have to do to some chips and cheese to make it hold 1890 calories, 108g of fat, and 40g of saturated fat? Tell me! Then, there is the kicker (read the "kick-the-f*cking-bucket-er"): scoop one breaded Fish Burrito Dos Manos, make it "Enchilado├é® Style" and see if they'll deep fry it in lard for you while you're at it. Even without the lard-bath, that abomination will bestow upon you 3070 calories and a tasty 150g of fat.