My old friends.

Friends

Once upon a time there were two little ingenious companies called Ximian and SUSE. Along came a poorly run corporate monolithic giant who gobbled them up.

“Oh look, shiny, I think I’ll eat them.”

After feasting on their dead corpses the evil ogre became confused and realized he did not like how they tasted any longer. So the red malevolent monster spat out the rotting corpse to the ground and then trampled them. Sometimes I miss my old buddies Rupert and Geeko. Their spirit lives on.

Jeff Zucker’s New Boss

Comcast

Jeff Zucker who is currently the president of NBC Universal will, once the merger with Comcast is complete, have a new boss. His name is Neil Smit, who is currently President and CEO of Charter Communications. What does this mean? Well, Comcast COO Steve Burke is going to have his hands full taking on responsibility for NBC Universal as well as his roles heading Comcast Cable Communications and parent company Comcast Communications. So hiring Neil Smits from that sinking ship Charter Communication makes total sense. Now Charter Executive VP and COO will be interim president/CEO while the company looks for a new boss.

Prior to joining Charter, Smit was the President of Time Warner?s America Online Access Business overseeing Internet access services, including America Online (AOL), CompuServe and Netscape ISPs. Smit also served at AOL as Executive Vice President, Member Services, and Chief Operating Officer of MapQuest.

AOL, Compuserve, Netscape. All failures due to lack of innovation. Oh Mapquest, owned by AOL of course. Now unlike Comcast Charter isn’t doing so hot financially. In 2007, net income a $1.616 billion loss with a total equity loss of $7.892 billion. These days thing are much better, oh wait not so much. Back in February, Charter Communications announced that it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Private equity firm Apollo Management expects to own most of Charter’s shares after the bankruptcy is completed. In November 2009, its bankruptcy plan was approved, which extinguished its stock and cut approximately $8 billion in debt. I guess closing those seven call centers and outsourcing the work to the Philippines didn’t help very much.

I wonder what it did for customer service at Charter? Well interestingly enough PCWorld ranked Charter’s cable Internet service as worst among 14 major Internet service providers. In addition, Charter High-Speed is the second-worst-rated cable ISP on dslreports.com, and Consumer Reports indicated in their February 2008 issue that Charter’s television/Internet/telephone bundle collectively is the worst of all major national carriers. Rock on Charter.

Comcast you sure did pick a winner in Neil Smit. At least he gets to be the one to fire Jeff Zucker.

National HD Channel Lineup

Recently the HD chart at AVS was updated.

After weeding out limited channel availability the leader board looks like this.
Verizon 163
AT&T 155
Cablevision 132
Dish 112
DirecTV 87

This does not include RSNs. Which DirecTV has a lot of. Here is hoping the new DirecTV satellite, D12 becomes operational soon.















last.fm finally fixes something

last.fm

last.fm charts have been broken for more than a month now. Today they finally started to render again. To bad there is no other game in town. Winamp has its Orgler but that is a Windows only solution that requires Winamp Media Player to work. the last.fm approach is much smarter. Of course they don’t make a media player like Winamp, so they are platform and client agnostic which helps their popularity.

Ever since CBS bought last.fm things like this have been happening. Probably as a result of a desire to show a profit they cut staff who keep things like this running. Hurray for corporate overlords who are clueless.

Movies the SO must see a.k.a. “Isn’t True Love Great?”

Movies

Well here is my list of movies that the SO must see so that there is parity and some sort of equilibrium in the relationship. I mean they are some of the pillars of the foundation for my warped head. Surely she would want to know how my crazy brain works and why I think if the nutty things that I dream up. I have broken them out by some crazy order that makes no sense. I had to acquiesce on Akira Kurosawa and David Fincher as well as drop tons of others from the list, like Eraserhead. If I made her watch something like that she would beat me to a pulp. I do want to stay married after all.

Alfred Hitchcock

Wachowski Brothers

Ridley Scott

Pixar

Stanley Kubrick

Terry Gilliam

Darren Aronofsky

Arnold Schwarzenegger

George Lucas

Coen Brothers

Wes Anderson

DirecTV Prices Going Up

DirecTV

If traditional TV prices continue to climb at the current rate, they are going to create a competition so strong that it will challenge them. This challenge will come in the form of IPTV. IPTV is maturing quickly and becoming more aggressive. The only limitation on IPTV growth is ISP bandwidth caps. Comcast is the largest ISP in the country as well as the the largest pay TV provider. They would much rather have you watch TV via the traditional TV methods than use IPTV technology because that is a method for “cutting the cord.” Once it is IPTV there is no reason to limit it to your living room or even your house at which point they lose control over you. Comcast will do anything to prevent cutting the cord. After looking at these rates IPTV is looking better and better.

These new prices take effect February 9, 2010, and will appear on billing statements issued after that date. If your current DIRECTV base package price is part of a national promotional 12-month or “Lock in Your Price for 12 Months” offer, you will continue to receive this price for the remainder of your offer period. However, if you change your current base package, you will no longer be eligible for the credit.

Package New Price (Feb. 2010) Current Price
Current Packages    
Premier $114.99 $109.99
Choice Xtra $63.99 $60.99
Choice $58.99 $55.99
Preferred Choice (Used w/International Pkgs) $38.99 $35.99
TC Mobile $63.99 $55.99
Legacy Packages (Grandfathered)    
Basic $15.99 $12.99
Plus Directv $36.99 $
Plus DVR $69.99 $65.99
Plus HD DVR $79.99 $75.99
Select Choice $41.99 $
Total Choice Limited $48.99 $
Total Choice $57.49 $53.99
Total Choice Plus $61.49 $57.99
Select +$3.00 $
Directv Limited $27.99 $
Extra Services    
DVR Service Fee $7.00 $6.00
RussianDirect II $39.99 $

Movies List

Movies

With a new year upon us it is time to start making some lists. So here are my lists of both bad and good for 2009.

Best movies of 2009 (not in order).

Movies I missed in 2009 that I still need to see.

Worst movies of 2009

Most disappointing movies of 2009

Here are the movies that I am looking forward to in 2010.