Tuesday, 4 February 2014

07:55 – Barbara got home about 6:15 p.m. She and Frances had finally gotten their mom back to her apartment and settled in with her caregivers. Sankie is not doing very well. Barbara commented that she’s no better than she was when she went into the hospital. She’s still confused and rambling when she’s responsive at all. We’re all hoping that being back in her familiar environment will help her bounce back, but as Barbara said, Sankie has to do this herself. No one can do it for her. All anyone can do is wait and hope.

I just shipped our last biology kit, so my top priority today is to get another batch of those assembled. February is starting out pretty well. If the pace of the first three days holds up all month, we’ll triple sales versus February 2013.


10:58 – I’m starting to get annoyed with Netflix streaming. When I check their “New Arrivals” section, I find many titles that were first available on Netflix streaming several months ago and that we finished watching three or four months ago. That’s not “New” by any reasonable definition of the word. It’s probably no coincidence that Netflix doesn’t allow one to sort by availability date. If people could see only what’s been added in the last seven days or even the last 30 days, a lot of them would start wondering why they’re paying for the subscription. Making matters worse, most of what they’ve added in the last six months to a year has been garbage. Dubbed Pacific Rim and Eastern European titles, cartoons, crap reality shows, and so on. I’m sure they’re doing the best they can, given the $8/month subscription rate, but it’s pretty clear that they’re being outbid for a lot of newer material.

We’re watching a lot more stuff on Amazon Prime nowadays than we are on Netflix streaming. Part of that is because we’re new to the Amazon Prime catalog, but it’s also nice that Amazon Prime almost never crashes out of the program and re-buffers, which Netflix does frequently. On the other hand, I’m annoyed at Amazon for starting to charge sales tax to North Carolina residents, and I hear they’re thinking about increasing the price of Prime from $79/year to as much as $120/year.

Netflix and Amazon are both making a huge mistake by competing to license content exclusively. All that does ultimately is to drive up everyone’s costs and they gain no real competitive advantage by doing so. If Netflix and Amazon would both simply refuse to pay for exclusive rights and insist on the lowest possible fees for non-exclusive rights, both of them would end up with a lot more content at a much lower price.