Day: July 27, 2013

Saturday, 27 July 2013

09:14 – We got an order for a biology kit overnight, to be shipped to Australia. That’s the first order we’ve gotten from Australia. Well, the first valid order, anyway. We got an order from Australia a few days ago for a chemistry kit, but the buyer hadn’t added the shipping surcharge. I emailed him to tell him we couldn’t ship until he’d paid the shipping surcharge, but I haven’t heard back from him.

Barbara is out running errands this morning. This afternoon, she’ll be labeling bottles for 30 sets each of the two forensic science kit supplements. She may also get started on labeling another set of bottles for 60 biology kits. Which reminds me that I need to check our inventory of empty bottles. We use the things by the thousands, and we stock seven or eight different types of bottles.

12:39 – It’s raining. Again. Officially, we have “only” about 5 inches (12.5 cm) of rain month-to-date. At our house, we’ve had over 8 inches (20 cm) MTD through yesterday. Today, we have monsoon weather. The instantaneous rainfall rate at the moment is about 1.5 inches per hour, with flood warnings posted by the NWS. Our rain gauge has more than 2 inches (5 cm) in it, and our front yard looks like a rice paddy.

13:39 – And an hour later we’re up from 2.1 inches to 3.6 inches DTD. I’ve decided to stop work on lab kits and start building an ark.

13:59 – Two of the annoying things about Netflix streaming are their extremely liberal definition of “New Arrivals” and their very short notice when a title is about to disappear. They list titles as “New Arrivals” that we finished watching almost a year ago. Disregarding the fact that they shouldn’t list any title that we’re current on, even if we just finished watching it yesterday, claiming titles as “new” that in fact have been available on their service for a year borders on deceptive. And when their rights to a title are about to run out, they list the expiration date, which is seldom more than a week before the title actually disappears. Certainly they must know from the time they license a title when that license expires, so why not post the expiration date immediately? Otherwise, they put their customers in the position of starting to watch a series that’ll go away before they have time to watch all of it.

The obvious problem is that for the last year or more Netflix has been forced to pay much more to license content. They obviously want to make their streaming catalog look more comprehensive and up-to-date than it actually is. They’re not doing themselves or their customers any favors by deceptively padding their new listings. I’d much rather see a new-this-week or new-this-month list that actually has only new titles than have to scroll through a bunch of stuff that’s “new” only in the minds of the Netflix marketing folks.

And, as I’ve been telling them every time I talk to them, at $8/month, their streaming price is much too low. Double it. They’ll lose some customers, sure. But not many, I suspect. At $16/month, Netflix streaming would still be a great bargain compared to what cable and satellite TV providers charge, assuming that Netflix uses that additional money to license more content.

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