So when Steven Colbert debuted on The Late Show I tested out the CBS All Access app on my Roku. It's easy to set up, just install the app and sign up on the website, then you're good to go. It does cost $3.99 per month but that was fine, I pay $8.99 for Netflix so $3.99 sounds like a good deal.
Once I got into the app I had a change of heart, first of all you can not see the entire episode, they cut clips out of each episode so you have to watch them separately. So basically you watch the episode with parts cut out, then you have to go back and hunt for the clips that were cut out if you want to see the entire show. Very annoying to say the least.
Then you have to sit through commercials, so not only are you paying for the service but you also have to sit through commercials. This is why I canceled my Hulu account two years ago (click the link for that story), you have to pick one, either I pay for the service and don't get commercials or I don't pay for the service then I'll gladly sit though your commercials.
Also there is a lot of buffering, it could take almost double the time of the episode to watch because of all the buffering. And yes I checked my connection, and I tested Netflix and VUDU before and after watching one episode on CBS All Access, Netflix and VUDU worked fine with no buffering.
CBS needs to fix this app, first play the full episodes without clips cut out. If you want to off clips that's fine but don't cut them out of the show! Second decide what you want to offer, a paid service with NO commercials or a free service with commercials. They could offer a tiered plan, maybe something like this:
- Free Plan - Has commercials and maybe a banner ad on the lower third.
- $3.99 Plan - No commercials but banner ad on the lower third.
- $6.99 Plan - No commercials and no banner ads.
Why do I say this?
What can you do?
What is the issue?
What happens if everyone still just keeps using adblockers?
With the development of CurrentC in the wake of Apple Pay, I have to say this is a horrible PR move and CurrentC will be the Qwikster of the credit industry. QR codes as payment systems were an interesting idea 4 years ago but now that we have NFC, QR code payment systems just don't make sense.
So what is CurrentC?
CurrentC is a payment app developed by retailers to bypass the credit card companies and process your payments themselves while also collecting data on you using QR codes to process the payments instead of the magnetic strip on your credit card or the NFC chip in your phone.
- It's an advance spy plane that can orbit space taking pictures and video at high resolution, making it harder to detect and bring down.
- It's an unmanned bomber that sits in orbit with it's payload waiting for someone on the ground to give it the order to launch the bomb(s) it carries.
- It's the prototype for an unmanned warp speed ship to try and bring the Vulcan's to earth.
- It's a cheaper and safer way to test new technology in the harsh environment of space, before building a new manned spacecraft, without putting human or animal life in danger.
After the announcement that Microsoft will be laying off 18,000 workers I was listening to This Week in Tech #467 where they proposed breaking up Microsoft and I have to say I agree. There is a toxic corporate culture within Microsoft and it’s far to entrenched to change at this point, maybe I’m wrong but stack ranking only leads to coworkers and divisions fighting each other instead of working together and building the best product possible. Maybe Satya Nadella can get rid of stack ranking and clean up the culture but it’s a bit to much for one man, and besides he’s already got enough to clean up from the mess Steve Ballmer left on his way out. I just think first you get rid of stack ranking then break up the company into three parts all owned by Microsoft as a holding company.
Ok so what should Satya Nadella do in my opinion? Well like I said first abolish stack ranking company wide, that would be a major step forward in it’s self. Next break the company into three separate companies all owned my the Microsoft corporation which would become a holding company and general guiding hand for all three. The way I see breaking it up is like this, 1) Software 2) Hardware 3) Could, I know what you’re thinking “what about enterprise?” well each company would have a division for consumer products and a division for enterprise products, so there is no need to have a separate company for enterprise alone.
3) Cloud. This would be not only things like OneDrive & Office Online & Azure, but Bing, Skype, MSN Messagner, and all the web based products. I know I’m setting this one up for taking over but one company is always going to do better than the other, sad fact of life.
Personally I think this is the best way to ensure that Microsoft has a future that will be more than a second class citizen of the tech world, of course it will never happen, even if Satya Nadella wanted to do this the board (which has Bill Gates & Steve Ballmer on it) would never let this happen. So while it’s fun to talk about, I’m afraid that everyone in the upper levels of Microsoft has been drinking the kool-aid for far to long and they won’t split the company up until it’s far to late and Microsoft is a tech dinosaur.
Now that you’re up to date, I think this is a great idea. First of all having a group dedicated to finding the flaws in systems and getting them fixed before they cause trouble is a great idea, personally I think this should have been done years ago. Also I think that while it’s good that Google is funding this and keeping it in house, I would prefer if this were set up independent of any one company. I’d like to see this set up as a separate entity from any one company and have it funded by all the major tech giants, that way they have can say “we fund it, but we don’t run it exclusively”, then no one can feel like they are being targeted.
I do have to say I love the idea of hiring the best hackers and having them in a safe place to find the flaws, then having the legal backing of Google to release what they found. I would just prefer if it were independent and they had their own legal team, and all of it was funded by all the major tech companies. Think about it, no one is going to cry foul when something is found if everyone is funding this, and that clears up most of the potential legal headaches resulting in less money spent on a legal team. It’s a win win. But for now we just have to be happy that it’s being done at all, and at least it’s being done by Google who love them or hate them does seem to try to do the best thing s for the internet and it’s users.
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.