Archive for May, 2013


More and more companies want us storing the content we consume, not on our hard drives or phones, but in online storage lockers, commonly referred to as the “cloud”.  With the rise in popularity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPad) of devices(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_S_4) that don’t carry a robust amount of on board storage, access to cloud services for owners of these devices has become something of a necessity. The proliferation of high speed internet at home and out of the house has made these online storage lockers easier to use.  Seems like a beautiful thing: give me my data when I want it, wherever I want it. But, there remains one huge drawback: what do we do when that data is no longer “ours”?

Take Microsoft’s XBOX One(http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-57585778-82/game-over-for-used-games-how-xbox-one-and-ps4-could-gut-gamers-wallets/) as an example. The new system does away with the normal used games model in favor of one that may keep you from sharing your favorite game with your closest friends. Up until now you’d purchase a game and were then able to resell it or loan to whomever you wished, no fuss, no muss. In an effort to profit from the used games market Microsoft will now ask users to authenticate their discs against an online profile. If that online profile has yet to purchase the game, the user may be forced to pay to use a disc he already has sitting in his possession. A new generation of gamers will be asking “I own it, but I can’t use it?”

Spotify(https://www.spotify.com/us/legal/end-user-agreement/#s3-1) users are familiar with this feeling as well. The popular music steaming service allows people to create playlists and download albums to their mobile phone…..with a catch. These albums and carefully cultivated playlists go away thirty days after your last payment.  You could spend years paying to use the service and you’ll never be given the opportunity to walk away owning anything.

It isn’t limited to video games or music either. Verizon Wireless(http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/29/4284550/verizon-cloud-app-is-carriers-answer-to-dropbox) recently released an online storage service for its customers. Text messages, photographs and other pertinent data can be uploaded to the companies servers. This is great in theory- you lose your phone or drop it in a pool, but all your important data will be there when you activate your replacement. But what if you want to leave the company? This data you hold so dear can’t be transferred between carriers without you downloading it back to your PC first.

So, how do we avoid losing access to the things we feel the need to keep? In the case of the XBOX One- vote with your dollars. In the case of music steaming services- maybe go back to buying albums. And in the case of something like what Verizon has going- your computer’s hard drive is certainly your best friend.

As internet speeds grow faster and faster cloud services are only going to get easier to use. Just be sure that this simplicity isn’t leading you down a road towards a complicated mess.

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Sunday at midnight marked end of “Arrested Development’s” seven year hiatus from the air.  A sitcom that was a fan favorite and a hit with critics, but never a ratings beast, Arrested Development was brought back from the dead by Netflix, making it the DVD rental and streaming service’s first “original” series. 

This got me thinking, what other shows would I want to see return?  Sure, there’s a ton: The O.C., Seinfeld, and How To Make It In America are a few that come right to mind.  But the better question is: which potential reboots make the most sense.

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL AIR

This one is such a money idea I can’t believe I’m giving it away for free.  You get Jayden Smith to play a teen from the wrong side of the tracks sent to live in Bel Air; his real-life dad makes a few guest appearances; heck, even Jazzy Jeff could play the kid’s music teacher or something.  It practically writes itself. 

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000

Netflix has 600 billion movies. (Give or take a few dozen) The guys at MST3K will watch, literally, anything.  This isn’t rocket science, here.  More, understand that not every filmmaker wants their previous creation roasted and lambasted by an overgrown banking and some puppets and the list of films they could actually use in the show get reduced drastically.  But the potential for even a few dozen more episodes of what is one of TV’S most underrated gems is well worth hurting a few feelings. 

GHOST WRITER

This mid 90’s show originally aired on PBS and even though it was accessible to pretty much every American with a television, it was missed by many. GHOST WRITER was a mystery show that revoked a grip of middle school kids who, with the help of a loquacious ghost, were tasked with solving mysteries in school and their surrounding neighborhood. The nature if the show lens itself to Netflix’ binge style viewing, as kids could spend an entire day spamming episodes, tracking the cases and secretly being taught things the entire time. It’s a near perfect show for a new generation of pre teens to get hooked on, just like their parents did.

Maybe one of the big networks will take one if my ideas and run with it. Our (MUTE than likely) they’ll ignite me. But if they do wanna talk, I got 62 more episodes of The O.C. written just in case….