Seriously? 100% Increase for Blu-Ray Disc from NetFlix?

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Seriously – a 100% mark-up for Netflix Blu-ray DVD access – Now it’s an extra $2/month! Come on!! I rather pay that extra $2 for additional titles on your on-demand service instead. Considering that the delivery of that service per movie is saving a TON of money — hence they are probably making a killing.

(yes, I’m on the 1 DVD at a time plan — I find it a hassle to run out to the mailbox, when I can simply get a movie on demand.)

-JT

Addendum: And it gets worse. According to this story – Netflix stock increased 5% on news of the price increase. The story also mentions that Netflix had increase their Blu-ray stock by 60% (they pretty much have to do b/c of the consumer demand for Blu-ray content in my opinion. This should be chalked up to the cost of doing business.) Here’s the clincher – they cite that Blu-Ray titles are 30% more expensive… so they decided that it’s fair to up the Blu-ray fee 100% to the consumer. Seriously… what the hell?

Blown Power Supply on Philips Plasma

Picture 2.pngI’ve been meaning to post this blog entry for some time – but better late than never. In late February, as the kids were getting ready to leave for school in the morning, they mentioned to me that the TV in our Sunroom was not working and it had a blinking red light. I went downstairs sure enough my 42″ Philips Plasma TV (Model: 42PF9631D/37) would not turn on. After the jump I’ll explain how I fixed the problem for under $30.

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Makeup Photo! – Automatic online photo retouching

200903240826.jpgStumbleUpon this site just this morning. Makeup Pho.to allows you to upload or retrieve a portrait image from the internet and it will perform a number of image enhancements to that image automatically. The initial touchup will include: “Skin Makeup”, “Eye Makeup”, Teeth whitening, and “Glamour effect”. I uploaded a portrait of myself and the site did an EXCELLENT job of touching it up. It literally shaved 10 years off the portrait.

Once your picture has been touched up, the site gives you several options : you can manually touch up the picture using their online tools, you can simply save it to your machine, or “shared” the picture on the net by allowing the picture to be hosted by Pho.to and the site provides all the necessary http/embedded code to help link to the picture, or you can save to a Pho.to account. The site only supports jpg, jpeg, gif, and png files.

The site is actually a subdomain/application of the Pho.to site and is “Powered by Photo Enhancement Platform from Pho.to”. The Pho.to site has a number of other manipulation tools that you can use to change your pictures. I just think that this one, Makeup Pho.to, is the best.

The other great thing about this site: it’s FREE! This is a great site if you don’t have a workflow process already setup in Photoshop – or are just too lazy to launch Photoshop.

-JT

The Associated Press: Maine expanding school laptop program with Apple

I just love seeing these types of positives steps in the American Education System (and not just b/c it’s Apple Macbooks) :

Despite the economic turmoil, Maine is expanding its program to provide laptop computers to students.

[From The Associated Press: Maine expanding school laptop program with Apple]

Hopefully they will be able to negotiate a reasonable price for the laptops — and then the associated software/infrastructure improvements to make them usable in a classroom environment. Oh and possibly train any teacher that doesn’t have any computer experience (are there any left? If so, why?) to use the new tools. It’s going to be an expensive undertaking, but it’s good to see at least one government body that has made preparing their students for the new world a priority.

I know that this video has been around, but it doesn’t hurt to promote it a bit more… A colleague of mine sent me this link to a video called “Did You Know?” . Updated version (v.4) that includes some citations and updated data. It’s worth the 10 minutes to view them if you are at all concerned with the future of our students in the US. To be honest, it’s a good video to watch no matter what walk of life you’re in (white collar slug, corporate exec, blue collar worker, etc.) – as you can derive a lot of facts that pertain to you and your competition.

However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that these videos are to promote pro-American nationalism. The videos were not to design for that purpose – but rather to deliver some actual hard facts and ask some serious questions about where the US education system stands. It actually makes me a little sad to see the internet flame wars (which no one ever wins) that are posted in the comments of the YouTube pages of those two videos — a lot of people missed the point of the videos, and were stupid (yeah, I’ll go with ‘stupid’ as a term here) enough to put their thoughts down in writing.

-JT

Helen Bradley – Pro Photoshop and Photography: Photoshop: Fixing photos shot from airplanes

Back in 2005, the family and I went on our first trip to Hawaii. We figured it was a once in a lifetime thing so why not? Of course, we also decide to take a helicopter tour of Waimea Canyon in Kauai — also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Incredible tour. Just breath taking. In any event, I shot a ton of pictures, but they all were through the helicopter windows. In my daily wanderings through the internet, Lifehacker highlighted this article: Helen Bradley – Pro Photoshop and Photography: Photoshop: Fixing photos shot from airplanes. Looks like I have a new weekend project.

Thanks Helen Bradley! I hope it works.