Halo on Tuesday

Just some fun video in advance.

I'm looking forward to Halo, and trying to put a little fun back in my life.

More NBC v Apple nonsense

It's time for episode 2 of "The Honeymooners" featuring Jobs and Zucker.

Since our last episode Steve has left for work, having a big meeting coming up on Wednesday that he just can't miss. The kids have momentarily tired of the game of Mortgage collapse and are anxiously awaiting the presents that dad will be announcing at his event in the morning.

With Steve gone for the day, NBC has a great idea. She'll just rewrite the rules and set things straight. Of course, her really good friend (and lesbian lover) "Amazon" has come over and is standing right inside the door holding a bag of groceries. Amazon has a big smile on her face and seems pretty happy that she's been invited over.

(Announcement from HBC via press release)

NBC: "Kids... Now that Steve has gone, I think it's time we go over how things will be working with all your favorite shows from now on."

"Instead of that nasty Apple iTunes, we'll be watching the shows you know and love through Amazon Unbox... Yay!!!"

Joey Consumer: "Uh... What?

NBC: "Yes, that's right, Mom's new friend 'Amazon' will be the way to get 'Heroes', 'The Office' and all the new favorite shows you'll learn about, Drama Encore, Chuck and The Biggest Loser! Aren't you happy!!!"

Joey Consumer: "I think I'm watching 'the biggest loser' right now."

"Isn't Amazon Unbox the service that doesn't work on my iPod?"

"Isn't it the service that got universally bad reviews and tramples my rights?"

"I feel like I'm getting shafted"

NBC: "Don't be silly..."

"I've made sure that this transition will be as painless as possible for me... er I mean, you..."

"Amazon Unbox is great! It works with all kinds of media players, iPods are a thing of the past, you really need a Zune, there are dozens of tens of thousands of them in the marketplace, and of course, Amazon also works on Creative Zen, they practically invented the portable media player."

"Just think how cool it will be to stand out from all your friends with the new Brown Zune! - The Screen is bigger you know...:"

Joey Consumer: "So My current shows that I purchased from you will play on the Zunezen thingy?"

NBC: "Oh yes, you'll just have to re-purchase them, but the shows do work on the players"

"And the best part is that you can use the new shows on up to two computers and two whole media players!"

"Great huh!"

Joey Consumer: "did you say, 're-purchase?'"

"Dude... I got five computers with iTunes and I can add the shows to as many iPods as I want. Plus, I can share the shows with my Girlfriend's computer even if she is signed in under her account so that we don't have to buy the same shows twice. It's really easy!"

NBC: "Well, that's the problem see... You need to be a little more responsible with what you are doing. Sharing the videos you paid 2.00 each for with a couple friends is really not appropriate. That's something you can only do with DVDs. If your girlfriend wants to watch she really should buy her own copy."

Joey Consumer: "Don't you give these shows away for free to anyone with an antenna or basic cable service?"

"Also... You didn't answer me on the re-purchase question"

NBC: "Yes, but you have a computer and are probably going to steal the show and give it away for free to your friends, I can't allow that"

Joey Consumer: "What planet are you from? I was paying you money for DRM protected iTunes shows. I've never done that before. You realize that I'm not rich and the idea of giving you money has never been a part of my vocabulary, right?"

"Do you know what 'Looking a gift horse in the mouth' means?"

NBC: "Listen kid, this really is a better deal, I don't want to have to tell you again. You'll like it or you'll do without."

"I work really hard to get these shows made and I spend tons of money trying to get you interested in them. It's not like I can just put these things up one some mythical TV Land where you just tell me what you want by paying for it."

"This is hard work and I'm sure that you are probably not mature enough to understand why it's just not good business to give you what you want... It should really be about what I think you need. I'm sure that you'll agree."

Amazon: (standing somewhat awkwardly in the doorway) "Hey, don't forget that Amazon Unbox works with your Tivo! and the shows are available the day after they air"

Joey Consumer: "So I can buy the show and watch it on my Tivo instead of telling my Tivo to record it for free?"

Amazon: (still standing somewhat awkwardly in the doorway) "That's right... Awesome huh!"

Joey Consumer: "Can you even do math?"

"I want to show you something, It's called a 'torrent'... Us kids invented it after some ass-hats at the record companies got in the way of a product called 'Napster'. It decentralizes the transfer of files so that no one source can easily be prosecuted for the distribution of pirated material. It's widely used to distribute TV programs at High Def quality minutes after they air."

Zucker stammers, Bezos stands awkwardly and the camera fades out...

That concludes episode 2. Stay tuned for the next episode, "The beat goes on"

Hey guess what... You can get some insight into the next episode by contacting the executives at NBC

Who really gets hurt by the NBC and Apple spat?

NBC and Apple are having a lovers spat right now. Since I'm an avid Apple fan and a new found NBC programming fan, I really feel like the child with two fighting parents.

Both Apple and NBC have had some things to say and like the bad parents they are, they chose to air this out where us kids could hear.

I've translated the communications below as I think they actually come across to me and I've also placed links to the articles themselves so that you can see how this dialog happened in real life. Since our show needs a good name, I'll call it "The Honeymooners"

The Honeymooners, episode 1

Scene: a middle-America home, the kids "Joey" and "Susie" are playing the new "mortgage collapse" game from Milton Bradley in the living room. Their Parents, Mr Jobs and Ms Zucker are in the bedroom in the middle of an argument.

The kids don't yet know that anything is wrong. We start with the camera in the bedroom:

NBC: "I bring in almost half the money that comes in this household, I'm the best thing you got. You are going to start doing things my way if you want any of this action any longer. And those brat kids of yours who think they can have anything they want on those damn iPods... You need to put a stop to that right now mister."

Apple: "You mean little Joey and Susie consumer? If I take away their iPod privileges, they'll run away from home. I'm not going to do that to them. Think about it. they are just now starting to like you again, don't you remember how they watched so much of 'The Office' that they begged you to make more. Give them a chance, they are good kids. This can work out."

NBC: "Listen, I already told you. You do it my way or I'm leaving when our lease is up."

Apple: "What are you doing, don't open the door, the kids will hear..."

The door swings open and NBC steps out into the hallway within earshot of the children. (NY Times.) The kids are startled by the noise, but don't pay much attention, they are focused on their game.

NBC: "I don't care if the children do hear me, you do not treat me that way!"

"Oh and one more thing... All those great shows that your kids like to watch, I'm cutting them off when I move out in December."

(Apple, who almost never says a word in front of the children, steps in and booms loud enough for everyone to hear)

Apple: "You started this... But I'm going to be the one to finish it."

You are so full of yourself. I just can't believe this. It's like I'm living in some zucker fantasy-land. Did you say that you make almost half the money around here... try 'almost a third'."

"First off, you greedy bitch, I've never been with another network that has asked for as much as you are right now. Do you really think that I'll let you take that much of the kids allowance just to watch TV? The tooth fairy only leaves them a quarter, and you want $4.99 for each show!? - What kind of bastard do you think I am?"

"Let's not wait until December... Pack your shit and get the hell out right now."

"Oh, and I'm keeping the kids."

"This didn't have to be this way you know"

NBC: (under bated breath): "Don't you make me look bad in front of the kids - you just sit there and take your medicine!"

(NBC through Bloomberg)

Apple: (Smiles and thinks, "You started it bitch")

NBC: "No you dit-nt!"

"I'm not asking for anything i don't deserve, the kids won't have to pay that much. But they have to behave and do exactly what I want them to or else. Do you even know what they are putting on those iPods? Pirated shows... You need to stop that crap right now. Nothing without DRM should play, period."

"For that matter, isn't it about time you started paying me a royalty for those iPods anyway!" "I am the prettiest girl in the room and that means that I should get what I want"

Apple: (thinking: "WTF? go sit on a Zune, you crazy bitch")

NBC: "Listen, I don't need you anyway. I'm hanging out with Amazon and my new friend Hulu.com where all the cool kids are going to go. We are just going to flip a switch and suddenly funnel all Youtube and iTunes visitors right through our front door. You are so screwed."

"Oh, and if you think I'm moving before December, you have another thing coming! We made a deal mister and you are not going to break it."

"What do you have to say to that!"

For now that is all we have to share in this episode. I'm sure that there will be more. I'm sure that episode 2 will hit sooner rather than later.

Now that the silliness is over, let me tell you how I really feel:

For the record, I stopped watching television until just this last season and only got back into it via iTunes and specifically with NBC series like Heroes and The Office - Both of which I would not have tried had I not been able to buy through iTunes.

There are lots of you (including the ass-hats at NBC) who think that I should be just as likely to watch these shows on NBC.com for free, but you aren't even close to being right. I made the choice to buy Heroes from iTunes after knowing that I could get it for free from NBC.com.

Let me repeat that... I chose to spend $43.00 for a show that I knew I could have gotten for FREE, on TV through the cable channels or could have easily
found on a bittorrent client.

Why would I do that?

Simply put, it was because I liked how easy the experience was at the iTunes store. "Push button, get content, Try new content, push button again." No crappy NBC browser design, no non-skippable commercials, No "small video" NBC branded interface.

Buying the shows from iTunes allowed me to get the video experience that I wanted - iPod download, iTV capable, watch full screen, no commercials on my computer. ITunes also allowed me to have it without breaking any laws, good news for a law abiding citizen.

And even though the prices that I paid could be considered prohibitive, the iTunes store is really as "about me" as any retail experience can be. In contrast, the NBC video experience, even if it is free, is really about a bunch of guys in suits sitting around saying "It's all about our content, we'll get those sheep to show up and do what we want!"

Oh well.

Looks like I'll start learning how to use Bit Torrent as suggested by iLounge.