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Rating bias Fri, Jun 28, 2013
I've noticed that people tend to rate products or services with either a positive or negative bias, i.e. they either start from the lowest possible rating and work their way up, or they start from the highest possible rating and work their way down.  I tend to be in the latter camp, which means I'll give a positive review unless there's something that really bothers me.  I was reading a review recently that equated to a 5 out of 10, but the commentary was all very positive.  I wasn't really sure what to come away with; was it a good product or not?  Because a 50% is a failing grade in pretty much any metric.

Profit-alyzing Wed, Jun 26, 2013
I was at a small conference for a software company, and they started things off by announcing their corporate profits from recent years.  As a user of their software, I wanted to kindly remind them that their ridiculous profits come as a result of the ridiculous amount of money they charge for their product.  If anything, they should leave that part out.

Swearing on TV Tue, Jun 25, 2013
A recent episode of Mad Men had the f-word, and that made me very happy.  Here's a show on an easily accessible cable channel (AMC), delving not just into strong language, but the strongest.  I have a deep appreciation for expressive speech.  There's often nothing more expressive than a well-placed f-bomb. 

I think there should be more swearing on TV.  The main reason it's so uncommon is because of kids.  Newsflash:  Kids learn how to swear at school, from their neighbors, or from their parents.  TV isn't the problem.  Parents who can't control what their kids watch on TV should learn how to fix their own problems. 

I for one am an adult.  I've waited my whole life to be an adult, and I have to say it's pretty damn good.  Life is created by adults, consumed mostly by adults, and is run mostly by adults.  Why do we let children dictate what words adults are allowed to hear?

Ditching cable (4) Fri, Jun 07, 2013
We got rid of cable recently, for a few reasons: 
  1. They keep raising their rates.  Regardless of how much "additional" programming they offer, I'm really not interested in anything more than basic cable and a couple other channels.
  2. Most of the major networks and TV shows recently ended their seasons, so there's not much on.
  3. Football is the only sport I like to watch, and it's the off-season right now.
We kept our high-speed internet and have been trying out a variety of free and paid streaming options.  The jury is still out on them, but I have a few observations about this method and a-la-carte programming in general: 
  1. It's ... different to turn on the TV and not have something show up immediately.  Instead of depending on the whims of broadcasters, we have to choose what we want to watch each time we sit on the couch.  It sounds simple, but it's somehow not.
  2. Streaming is slow sometimes.  And the apps put out by the streaming services are sometimes a little flaky.  So instead of turning on the TV and watching something immediately, or even watching something immediately from the DVR, you have to surf through a series of apps and menus and shows and episodes before you actually see anything.
  3. Deciding whether or not to pay for a show becomes a little more difficult.  When the ball is in your court and you get to see exactly how much a show or episode costs, you tend to think about it a little more.  Do I really want to pay to watch this show?  What if it's terrible?  This problem could be partially avoided by allowing people to subscribe to entire channels instead of simply purchasing individual shows.  But then you'd get a bunch of crap you don't want, which is the whole point of ditching cable.
There's still no viable options for streaming football, so there's a good chance we'll sign back up in the fall.  Plus the Redzone Channel is the best thing that's ever happened to me.  But for now, streaming with Amazon and Hulu isn't bad at all.