Applying religion to road accidents

Jul 15, 2011 | | 2 comments |

There was a nasty accident on one our favourite motorcycling roads yesterday morning. A blocked culvert resulted in a 20ft section of road collapsing into a 40ft deep hole. It happened around 2am and the road is right out in the boonies and completely unlit. A couple of girls didn't see it and drove right into it, being killed instantly as their car slammed into the wall of the hole and then rolled over and fell 40ft to the bottom. That's bad enough but they had their parents on TV last night and one of the mothers said this:
"I guess the Lord had more important plans for her than I did."

I have no patience for religious lunacy like this. No mystical being that lives in the clouds had any plan for her daughter. It was a tragic accident that is entirely explainable.

Lets put it this way - if there was a God and his plan was to kill this girl in a tangled mess of crushed metal at the bottom of a 40ft ditch, that isn't a supreme being I'd want anything to do with.

Netflix are doing it wrong

Jul 13, 2011 | | 1 comments |

I loved Netflix. They saved us from the hell of going to the cinema or having to rent movies from local stores (where the service was nil). Having streaming content was a nice bonus too - a great way to catch up on old shows.
But today, they've almost doubled the price for us because in order to "offer customers more choice" they've now split their DVD/BluRay rental and streaming services into two different price plans. Instead of $11 a month, they now want me to pay $19 a month for rental + streaming.
Well done Netflix - you're actually driving people towards piracy now.
I've never pirated a movie. Never needed to. Store rentals, and then Netflix meant I didn't have to suffer the excruciating pain of sitting in a room full of people texting, talking, and herding screaming children (or a "cinema" as you might know it). But this looks like the beginning of the end. I believe Netflix might be trying to become a streaming-only supplier and that won't work for a couple of reasons.
(1) They don't have the technology, and nobody at home has the bandwidth to stream HD at 1080p with 5.1 surround.
(2) If we did have the bandwidth to do that, you know the internet providers would slap extra use charges and data caps on the home lines.
So in order to properly enjoy HD, the ONLY way to do it is to have BluRay - proper HD with full surround, not the crappy compressed 720p stereo stuff that Netflix are peddling as "HD" right now. If they ditch the disc rental part of their business, what are consumers to do? Cinemas are dead as far as I can see - it's pointless trying to watch a movie in one - the digital projectors break down all the time and the patrons are boorish and don't understand the basic premise behind watching a movie in public. (ie. shut the fuck up and watch it). You can't get HD through streaming, and I don't know anyone who regularly buys movies any more - who in their right mind is going to pay $25 for a BluRay of every movie they want to see?
That leaves only one option - movie piracy. If that's what it comes down to, I'll have no hesitation in pulling BluRay rips off P2P networks.
For the time being though, Netflix are now making less money off us because I downgraded our plan to disc-only and ditched the streaming service. I wonder how many other people will do the same thing? Or are they just relying on the normal sheeple attitude, in which case, Netflix will become no better than cable channels in terms of constantly upping the price for no good reason.
Please Netflix - don't force me into movie piracy. I like your rental service.