My thoughts on Aereo's loss at the Supreme Court.

With the Supreme Courts ruling against Aereo I thought I’d throw out my thoughts on the subject.  First of course if you haven’t herd about the ruling then HERE is a link to the Washington Post story.

First of all do I think Aereo was a good idea?  Yes.  Do I think they made the correct argument in court? No.  See Aereo was arguing that they were just a DVR you could access, and while true it’s not the best argument.  What they should have argued was that they were like Community Access Television (CATV) companies in the days before cable, then they could have shown a precedent and had a chance at winning.  Let’s face it the conversion to digital TV signal has made the signal worse, and channels are harder to get because of it.  They could have said “we are just providing a clear signal over the internet to those who have trouble getting a clear signal because of the location they are in, the only difference between Aereo and CATV providers is we use the internet.”

So what is the solution?  Well first Aereo needs to be more like a cable company and pay re-transmission fees to stay in business.  But on the broader scale we the people need to stand up and demand that laws be changed to allow and protect this kind of innovation instead of protecting the mega-companies.  Also we need to demand the Sherman Antitrust Act be enforced against the cable companies and break up their monopolies, this would not only give consumers a better deal due to the fact that there would be actual competition for our money instead of just “oh well it’s us or nothing”, but also it would have the bigger effect of protecting the internet without having the FCC declare the Cable/ISP companies utilities.

Now what do I think would be the right thing to do?  Well all of it or else I wouldn’t have written it would I?  But there is another idea, how about since the broadcasters don’t want Aereo giving people a claer siginal they go to the cable companies and say “alright we will only charge you re-transmission fees for subscribers and since we shut down Aereo and are feeling like generous gods today we will let you sent the OTA signal out for free and you can hook up every customer with a cable line to make sure they have crystal clear signal 24/7″.  Not that it will ever happen since broadcasters and cable companies only care about money and not about giving good programming or service.

So there you have it, let me know what you think in the comments.

What I want from the rumored Android TV

So with all the rumored talk about Android TV I thought I’d throw my thoughts and wishes out there for this new device.  Currently I use my PS3 for about 90% of my media consumption, I have a Roku as well but I prefer the PS3 it’s smoother, faster, and not only does it stream content but it can also play discs.  Now I know most of what I write here won’t be on the Android TV, but it would be nice to see these things in the future.  So let’s get to it!

First I’d like the Android TV to also be my cable box, have a hook up for a coax cable and let me channel surf through the box instead of the TV.  I’d also like to see an on screen channel guide that you can put your area code into then get your cable provider’s channel line up or if you select antenna since your a cord cutter it would adjust the line up accordingly.  This is all things you can currently do with the TV Guide app on your phone or tablet, I just want it on the TV.

Second I’d like to see a CAT5 hookup with an option to use WiFi as well.  I understand some people prefer WiFi hookups and some people have to have them, but I know if I can I want that CAT5 plugged right into the box for the best results possible.

Third I’d like to see the Android TV also be the universal remote, I have a Logitech Harmony remote and I really love it, having one remote for everything is great and having the remote app on my phone is a nice back up.  I know this was a feature of Google TV so if Android TV can pull it off more like Logitech this could be a really nice feature that could simplify everything for the user.

And forth I’d like to see a Blu ray player built in.  I know that this is a steaming box but that’s how I think of my PS3 and yet it’s also what I watch all my physical discs on too.  Yes 70-80% of my media consumption is from streaming but I still watch discs, and if the Android TV also let me play my DVDs & Blu rays I wouldn’t need any other box.  Of course there would have to be the steaming apps I want too, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon video, Crackle, even Hulu just to name the ones I use(d) (although I don’t have Hulu anymore, see why here, I may be forced to reactivate my subscription if I move in with my girlfriend).

So there you have it, my wishlist for the Android TV.  Do I think there is a snowballs chance in hell that it will have all this at launch?  Of course not, but Google can test Android TV, prove it’s a good product, get some market share, then release new versions or even let other manufactures release their own hardware with Android TV, though I have to say now that I’m only using Nexus hardware I would prefer to just have Google produce the best box possible and buy from them.

How Abbie from CareerBuilder is a lie.

So as anyone who reads this blog and has read the posts Trying to decide what to do & I’ve decided what to do knows I’ve been looking for work for a while now, and so of course I have profiles on CareerBuilder and Monster.  From time to to time I get emails from Abbie at CareerBuilder saying some company is interested in me, and of course I usually apply thinking that I have a good chance.  Well after applying to several of these companies I started to wonder about “Abbie” and if these companies really were interested in me.

After never hearing from any of the companies that were interested in me I decided to contact one of the interested companies.  I wrote out an email to the H.R. department of the company I had just gotten an email from “Abbie” about, explaining the email from Abbie at CareerBuilder and that I had not gotten anything back from any of these companies that were interested in me.  I attached a copy of my resume and asked if they had looked at it and if they had actually expressed interest in me.  The next day I received an email from the H.R. Dept saying that there are three people in the H.R. Dept and none of them had seen my resume or even recognized my name.  Also I was told that the only positions they are looking to fill in no way match my qualifications.

So I have come to the conclusion that CareerBuilder can not be trusted with there recommendations and especially not anything from “Abbie”, now I’m not saying I won’t use CareerBuilder anymore but I will not trust anything they send me as a recommended job.  I don’t know why CareerBuilder is do this but it must be they get paid for clicks, and I understand they need to make money but if they sent honest and accurate recommendations rather than junk recommendations that just waste time then maybe they could beat Monster and all the other job finding sites and become the most used and trusted site rather than just one of many in the crowd.

**EDIT** Just to clear up some confusion, I know that Abbie is not a real person and just a dumb bot.  It would be nice if the dumb bot was improved so that it could make better recommendations.

The Lone Ranger

I just got around to watching the two and a half hour long film The Lone Ranger and now I see why everyone hated it.  I personally didn’t hate the film, would I watch it again? NO, but I didn’t hate it.  The first thing I’ll say is that at 2 hour and 30 minutes it was just way to long, two hours should really be the max length, this after all was no LotR: Return of the King.  Second goes back to being to long, there were several scenes that just seemed like filler and didn’t really add to the story, if the editor and director had cut this film down and taken out filler scenes they could have held my attention a lot better instead of boring me with useless story.

As far as the cast went I really had no problem with the acting, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, and Tom Wilkinson all did fine parts and were believable.  That being said I don’t think they could have carried this film on their own, if Johnny Depp hadn’t been Tonto this this wouldn’t have been watchable, and yes all he did was play Captain Jack as an Indian, but he was still funny and as long as he can make me laugh with that character then that’s fine keep it up.

The sight gags and random comments by Tonto make this tolerable, but it’s not one you’ll want to sit through again.  If you haven’t seen it yet I’d say go ahead and watch it, just rent the film don’t buy it until you’ve see it for yourself.

I've decided what to do.

About three weeks ago I wrote a post called “Trying to decide what to do.” and I got some nice comments on the subreddit /r/Entrepreneur/ encouraging me to just take a break and come back at the business later, and at the time that sounded good, but then I thought about it.  For the past three weeks I’ve been thinking about my business and my personal life and tonight I came to a final decision, I’m done I want a stable job with a company where I don’t have to constantly worry about where my next paycheck is coming from and where that paycheck actually gives me enough to live on.

See I’ve been looking at my money and right now I’m in debt up to my eye balls, I need to get brakes on my car (which if I can’t drive I can’t work since I drive for a living), gas prices are going up and will keep going up, and in the end I’d have to take on a massive amount of debt for my business to even have a slight chance of building a shipping business that could compete with the already established companies.  And seeing how I know of three small time shipping companies that have either gone out of business or are getting ready to, it’s not logical to take on a massive amount of debt to get into a dying market.

Then there’s my personal life, I’m in a relationship and we’d like to move in together some time soon and right now I can’t even afford half of a $500 rent, not to mention utilities, food, and all the things you need.  And there’s the fact that I lay awake worrying about how I’m going to pay bills and generate business so I have to use a sleep aid every day just to be able to sleep a few hours, so that’s not good for my health.  And speaking of health, I can’t afford to pay for health insurance like the government mandates so that’s another worry for me, if I get hurt I’ll be paying that debt for the rest of my life.  And then there’s the fact that I look at the people in my life, their doing great things, getting married, buying their first house, starting families, being happy, and then I look at what I’d doing, I’m still living with my mom, I’m miserable, and not happy with where I’m at with my life.

So after thinking about all this for the past three weeks I’ve made a final decision, I’m going to get a job with a company and then never go back to depending on my own unproven business as my sole source of income.  Now I will keep my business open on the side, I’ll sell a little online, try and generate some ad revenue, and blog about tech, and as long as I can spend one or two hours AFTER work at my 9 to 5 job every day working on it and bringing in enough money to cover the expenses and give me a little extra spending money then fine, it will be a side project.  Some people paint, some people garden, I’ll just run a little side business with no intention of ever trying to make a living from it, this way I can enjoy it and not come to hate the business like I do now.  And if ;it doesn’t make enough money to cover the expenses and I have to take money out of my own pocket to keep it going then it’s getting shut down.

So there you have it, I want a career with a real company that can provide me with the security and stability that I can’t get being self-employed, and once I have that my business will be a hobby that will come after work and family.  That’s my decision and it’s final.

My thoughts on the Amazon Fire TV

While it was no surprise that Amazon put out their own streaming box, I fear it was to little to late.  While the Amazon Fire TV (referred to from this point on only as “Fire TV”) is a nice piece of hardware, it’s so late to the game that most people don’t need it.  Most people already have a Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, PS3 or PS4, or Xbox 360 or Xbox One, and they are more open (with the exception of the Apple TV) than the Fire TV, the Fire TV is more like the Apple TV in that it is a walled garden of sorts, yes you can use Netflix and other apps but you’re pushed to stay in the Amazon ecosystem.

Now I’m not going to sit here and just bash Amazon, they got some things right, the hardware is nice and the Bluetooth remote with voice search is innovative.  And don’t forget the $99.00 price tag, that puts it in line to compete with the Roku and Apple TV but if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem you won’t want to switch and have to re-buy all your content and the Roku is far more of an open platform.

Then there is the fact that if you don’t mind being mostly in the Amazon ecosystem you also don’t have as good a selection.  I gave up my Prime membership two years ago because I don’t buy enough to keep if for the free two day shipping and the Instant Video catalog was horrible compared to Netflix.  Granted I haven’t seen the catalog in two years and I’m sure it’s gotten better, but I’m happy with Netflix at the moment.  Another issue I have is limiting access to things to only Prime members, I enjoy a BBC show called MI-5 (Spooks in the UK) and I was buying each season on Amazon Instant Video, after I finished season 8 I went to buy season 9 and found out that I couldn’t buy it, but if I rejoined Prime then I could stream it.  I wanted to OWN the seasons not rent them, and this is another reason I’ve stopped using Amazon Instant, the games they play make me wonder if I get into another show, will I be able to see all of it without a Prime membership or will they hold the end of the show from me unless I get Prime?  Right now the only show I’m still buying a season pass for is Sons of Anarchy and that’s only one more season.

Not to mention the PS3 Amazon app is a real pain to use, I currently use my PS3 for 90% of my video streaming and the Amazon app is the worst app to work with.  Now yes I’m sure the Fire TV is set up different from the PS3 app but it can’t be much better.

Ok I went off topic a little, but I think it’s a fair argument against the Fire TV, when there are more open platforms out there that can run an Amazon app if you wish when would you pay for a more closed off device?  In my view the Fire TV is a nice attempt but ultimately it will never take off like the Kindle, and possibly leave Jeff Bezos with egg on his face at the end of the day.