July 15th, 2009

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Random Rant: Why Can't Apple Learn from AOL?

I just witnessed a striking commercial on Hulu for a program that apparently airs on BBC-America. At first, I didn't have a clue to what they were selling, but after doing a quick search, I found that "Torchwood" will be starting its third season in a few days and I found my way back to the BBC-America site, where I saw that the new episodes will be available via iTunes.

I don't have an iPod and I'm one of the vast majority of people, who don't really listen to a lot of music and who've never purchased one of Apple's ridiculously small, proprietary devices.

In the past, whenever I've seen something that has interested me and learned that it's only available on iTunes, I've occasionally flipped over to their site to see if they've shut-down their sales-limiting walled garden. And, like every other time that I've done this with only a few early exceptions, I simply left after seeing that they still demand you to download some kind of spyware to shop in their store.

I don't want something that's going to search my hard-drive for non-existent music, I'd just like to see how much an episode of some particular program will cost and I'd like to know for certain that it'll play on a computer and not just some new-fangled pocket watch.

Is that really too much to ask?
Why can't I shop in their store?

Sure, Apple appears to be doing pretty well, but I'm not the only person who doesn't have iTunes on my computer and I'm among the majority. Therefore, I'm equally sure that if they'd set-up something like Amazon's "Video on Demand" store, they'd do a lot better because I for one would probably give them some money from time to time.
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Where've I've Been or What Happened to Me

I'd have to check my timeline, but it seems like I launched a couple of non-automated aggregators which took-up a lot of my time. Pretty much, if I were awake, I was updating and working toward perfecting a bot that might automate their production.

Then, before I could get the things fully automated, I had to go out of town for a few weeks and the hotel where I was staying had a crappy wireless system and before I knew it, I felt that my aggregation sites had lost all credibility.

This led me into a funk and because I had been away from LJ for so long, I ended-up taking an extended break. Then, slowly and occasionally, I'd drop in on my friendslist and just read or I'd read a couple of FOAF lists without making comments.

After this had gone on for a while, my wife and I decided that it was time for us to make a move and this meant that I had to devote all of my time to finishing my fixer-upper, so that it'd be ready for sale and then after my wife had accepted her new position, I fell into a general contractor mode and tried to keep assorted crews working for more than a couple of months to finish the house.

Now, I've moved and after spending about three months in various hotel rooms, I'm in my new house located in southern Illinois and because we've bought a much larger home on a much larger lot, I'm falling back into the internet game because it'd be nice, if I could generate some additional monthly income.

Of course this is also something of a fixer-upper, but right now, my primary focus is getting back into the internet biz (while still being a stay-at-home Dad) and that means I'm back in front of the computer for hours upon hours out of every day. This also means that I'm back to making LJ, a multiple-times-a-day part of my life and if my friendslist don't mind, I'd like to go back to burdening them with my occasional rants, links and cockamamie observations about the things that I see.

So, how's everyone doing?
Hopefully, if you don't throw too many stones or stage a mass exodus, I'll stick around for a while.