AT&T Bandwidth Caps Will Ruin the Internet

posted in: Technology, The Web | 0

I recently switched from AT&T to Comcast because the former was cheaping out on DSL customers, trying to nudge them toward U-Verse, an alternative that is faster, but more expensive, requiring you to sign up for at least TV service (if not also phone service as well).

I was pleased when I found my new Comcast connection could hit 20Mbps without problem, a speed that was higher than the 15Mbps they advertised.  Nevertheless, it was not long before I found out Comcast had instituted a bandwidth cap of 250GB per month.  If you go over, they do not just charge you, they may actually terminate your service.

Now AT&T has thrown their hat into the ring with their own similar bandwidth cap for U-Verse customers – 250GB, and if you go over, the slap a $10 fee on for each 50GB over (makes me wonder what they’ll charge for 1 KB overage).

The ISPs obviously think they can bully people into sticking with cable TV, because that is what this is really about.  They want us to keep on paying for channels we do not watch and only get because they come with bloated, overpriced packages.  With online streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon OnDemand, etc), we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want, and the big ISPs will do anything to stop us form doing that and costing them money.

Sexy HTML5 Video Player

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 2

VideoJS player playing some Disney movie

From the sexy tech department comes VideoJS, a nice little drop-in embedded video player that uses HTML5 technology.  The default player looks fantastic, and they also include look-alike player skins for YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, and more.

It is lightweight, open source, easy to use, supports fullscreen playing, and even has addons for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Umbraco.

VideoJS is definitely my pick for the coolest free and open source software of the week.

Hulu Plus: Close But Not Quite

posted in: The Web | 2

I just finished watching the latest episode of The Event on my Sony Blu-ray Disc player, using Hulu Plus streaming video.  It played well with a clear HD picture, and it was nice to sit in front of the TV to watch it, rather than at a computer.

Despite that good experience, Hulu Plus falls short in other areas.  For one, the presence of ads, even with a $10 per month subscription, is just annoying, and the ads seem to take longer to load on the TV than they do on the computer, making the wait time to get back to a show significant, especially when an ad comes up after every normal commercial break.

The ad issue aside, the biggest problem with Hulu Plus is mostly about content.  While I found The Event, I did not find Community. On the other hand, 30 Rock, which airs on the same channel, on the same night as Community is available for this season and previous ones.  Similarly, you can watch Law & Order: SVU but not Law & Order: Los Angeles.  These inconsistencies are compounded when you consider that some shows are available through Hulu Plus on the computer but not on other devices.   If you go to Hulu’s website, these unavailable shows will have disclaimers offering excuses about licensing.

Continued

Hulu Plus, Sony Bluray

posted in: Technology, The Web | 0

This morning, Hulu Plus seems to be available on our Sony Bluray Disc Player.  I watched a sample video without any problems (other than our bad DSL connection – thanks AT&T), but the quality was good.

I have not actually signed up, but it appears as though the app is ready.  Just two days ago, Hulu released a statement saying the app for Bravia TVs was ready but not for Bluray yet.  Does this mean they finished it within that two-day period?  If so, good work, Hulu.

New IMDB Site Design

posted in: The Web | 0

Coupling page on IMDB

Today I happened to notice the new website design at IMDB.com (a movie database site).  I say it’s “new”, but this may just be the first time I noticed something that’s been up for months.

At any rare, the design is more friendly and even has cute little social media buttons.  I do block ads, so it may look different on your screen if you don’t.  And no, I have never seen Coupling.  I just happened to recognize the woman from Leverage on a Hulu ad and was curious to know if it was actually her.

News Corp wants to ruin our lives

posted in: Technology | 0

Burn Notice on Hulu.com

Four weeks after Ruper Murdoch tried to kill our fun by announcing that many of the newspapers you (not I) read will soon charge for access to certain online content, his new attack dog (a.k.a. chief digital officer), Jonathan Miller, claims that Hulu will start charging for content as well.

Forget the fact that Miller’s company is only a partial owner of Hulu, along with NBC and Disney, but let us just stop and think for a moment. What was it that attracted people to Hulu in the first place? I will give you a few minutes to think about it.

Give up? It is free! And I use the term loosely since their content still contains advertisements. For those people who had not already ignored Hulu and reconnected their BitTorrent clients, Miller might as well be Hulu’s messenger of death. No silly, people will not pay for your content when they can get it elsewhere for free.

I am beginning to wonder if News Corp and the cable companies are not all in league together in a final desperate attempt to ruin our lives. Nice try. Instead of trying to exploit people to make themselves rich, they should try working for a living like normal human beings. Then again, we all know they are aliens. They told us on national TV.