Episode 123: The Douchebag Jar

Kuratas, the 13-foot mech: unleashes your inner Ripley, costs $1.35 million.  Netflix Strikes Streaming Deal With Disney, Gains Exclusive Access To New Titles Beginning In 2016.  Telstra phone-theft bill shock shows roaming still broken.  Twitter Loses Ability to Properly Display Instagram Photos.  This Highway Tracks Random Bluetooth Signals To Estimate Travel Times.  Google Play Private Channel Launches for Google Apps.  Vice Magazine Accidentally Revealed Where John McAfee Is Hiding.  Just Say No To College.  Microsoft: Surface Pro Battery Life Half That of Surface RT.  Netflix CEO Hastings in trouble with SEC for announcing figures on Facebook.  New, Faster Way To Make Vaccines – Use Messenger RNA.  Dumbass teen steals car, robs bank, brags about it on YouTube, gets arrested.  North Korea says its archaeologists discovered a unicorn lair.

Show notes available at http://wiki.whatstherumpuspodcast.com/123

Episode 119: Sorry, Link, your Wii U is in another Hurricane

NetFlix Caught Stealing DivX Subtiles From Finnish Pirates.  Dude open sourced his DNA!  AMBER Alerts Show Up In Google Maps Now.  Kindle user claims Amazon deleted whole library without explanation.  Yahoo Will Ignore IE 10’s “Do Not Track”.  Wikipedia Is Nearing “Completion”.  Hurricane Sandy Makes Only Person in Line for Wii U Leave.  EFF And Others Push For Open Wifi APs Everywhere.  Glow-In-The-Dark Smart Highways Coming To the Netherlands In 2013.  EFF Wants Ubuntu To Disable Online Search By Default.  Mice Genetically Engineered To Detect Explosives 500 Times Better Than Normal Mice.  Tokyo’s Super Cool Zombie Café for Halloween.

Show notes available at http://wiki/whatstherumpuspodcast.com/119

Episode 77: Wonderbread

10 things only bad managers say.  The creator of Unix and C died at the age of 70.  Siri says some weird things.  A computer virus hits the US Predator and Reaper drone fleets.  Netflix kills Qwikster.  The bassist from Weezer predicted his own death.  In the vein of the Likeable Consitution, there is now a Likeable Bible.  Plus, an Epic Fail and an “Oh Asia, You So Crazy!”

Show notes available at http://wiki.whatstherumpuspodcast.com/77

Netflix CEO Addresses Customer Response

We’ve been following the plummet of Netflix over the last few months that started with the division of Netflix’s DVD service from it’s streaming service.  Last night Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, sent out an email to those customers who still remain with the service giving a long-delayed and well-deserved explanation about the plans for Netflix services.

Dear Adrian,

 

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

 

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn’t make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something – like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores – do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn’t have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

 

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

 

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

 

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

 

It’s hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”. We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name “Netflix” for streaming.

 

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

 

There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

 

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

 

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

 

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

 

Respectfully yours,

 

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

 

p.s. I have a slightly longer explanation along with a video posted on our blog, where you can also post comments.

 So what do you guys think?  “Appropriate and heartfelt” or “Too little, too late?”

Episode 74: Peepoo’d on the Floor

Did Netflix’s price hike kill their business?  Nope!  Chuck Testa!  The U.S. Constitution is now available in a Facebook-likeable format.  An unfortunate typo causes the hero of a romance novel to have an “accident” on his lovers floor.  Heard of the bleeoo project?  It’s an oral history of modems.  The Peepoo is a personal, single-use, self-sanitising, fully biodegradable toilet that prevents feces from contaminating the immediate area as well as the surrounding ecosystem.  Rent out your toilet to strangers using Cloo’.  Buddhist monks destroy a Muslim shrine in Sri Lanka.  Indie devs upload their own games to the Pirate Bay.  Judge rules that employees can’t be fired for Facebook complaints.  Obama admin wants hackers charged as mobsters.  Plus, Science News for the week.

Show notes available at http://wiki.whatstherumpuspodcast.com/74

Episode 60: Tilted Kilts and Old Maids

A Cambridge computer has identified the most boring day in history.  A woman claims ownership of the sun.  Netflix is willing to pay $100,000 per episode for new TV.  Find out how quickly you can use up your Verizon LTE data allowance.  A new burlesque show will desecrate your childhood.  Root your Nook to turn it into a cheap Android tablet.  All this and the Fail of the Week, the Study of the Week, and this week’s “Oh Asia, You So Crazy!”

Show notes available at http://wiki.whatstherumpuspodcast.com/60

Episode 59: 5 Pounds of Podcast

The TurBaconEpic: The most epic Thanksgiving meal you’ll ever see.  A conceptual door knob that allows you to see who’s at the door.  If an Android phone, a Windows Phone 7, and an iPhone 4 caught on fire, which would last longest?  Google closed the Wave service, but is it dead?  New underwear has been invented to protect your junk in the TSA full body scan.  Netflix has begun to offer a streaming-only plan.  Plus, the Study of the Week, the Fail of the Week, and this week’s “Oh Asia, You So Crazy!”

Show notes available at http://wiki.whatstherumpuspodcast.com/59