Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Film fans, cast your vote!

Warner Bros. has consistently delivered high-quality DVD releases from its vast back catalogue and, together with, they’re giving cinephiles a stake in their future release slate with “DVD Decision 2006: 30 Movies in 30 Days,” a joint initiative offering movie fans nationwide the opportunity to vote online for the WHV library titles they want to next see released on DVD.

During the month of June, visitors to the web site will be able to vote for their favorite titles from a list of 30 films. At the end of the voting period, the ten movies with the largest number of votes will be selected as the winners. On August 8, the two companies will announce the winning titles and make them available for pre-order; five of the winning titles will make their DVD debut on December 5, 2006, and the remaining five will be released on January 2, 2007. All of the films will be digitally re-mastered and will contain added bonus features where available.

vote here on DVD Decision 2006

S&H Greenpoints is a Netflix affiliate

You can earn S&H Greenpoints by shopping at Netflix.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm sore and sunburnt

I have returned from my all-too-brief vacation to Ohio, where I spent a few of my nine lives and earned some gray hairs on the thrill rides at Cedar Point, "the roller coaster capital of the world."

However, it wasn't a total waste of time. I managed to squeeze in a movie. I recommend it to children of all ages. It's quite humorous.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Netflix Fan on vacation for three days

Hey y'all. I write this blog to share my love for Netflix, to interact with Netflix fans like you, to help you get the most bang for your buck, and to satisfy your curiosity about how Netflix operates. I appreciate all of you who have written to me with story ideas, questions, and to tell me you enjoy my blog. Big hugs to you all!

Since it's Memorial Day weekend, I'm going out of town to visit family, so I won't be blogging again until Tuesday. Monday is a postal holiday, so no Netflix for you!

The sad thing is, I'll be spending time with family INSTEAD OF WATCHING MOVIES. Talk about priorities out of whack! ;)

Set your calendar to remind you to check back with me on Tuesday for more Netflix gossip.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NPR visits Netflix

National Public Radio reporter Scott Horsley visited the Netflix distribution center in Santa Ana, California, and brought back a sweet photo of the zip code machine that Netflix uses to sort 17,000 mailers per hour, to speed things up for the postal service. He also reports on the following details of the Netflix service:
  • Netflix is one of the postal services FIVE LARGEST CUSTOMERS

  • Netflix ships and receives SEVEN MILLION DVDS PER DAY

  • The Santa Ana distribution center processes 130,000 DVDs per day

  • Membership is nearly 5 million

  • Membership is expected to be 6 million by year-end

  • Round-trip postage costs Netflix 78 cents per mailer

  • Upon their return, Netflix movies are stuffed into a new envelope BEFORE THE ENVELOPE IS ADDRESSED, which solves the mystery of the see-through slot on the back. That barcode is definitely used to determine how to address the envelope according to who gets the movie inside next


You can listen to the whole story here

Monday, May 22, 2006

SPOUT alternative to social aspects of Netflix

If you're looking for an alternative to the Netflix Friends (tm) feature, there is a site called SPOUT, which allows you to create a profile and share your movie-related thoughts with your people in the Spout community. It's also a shopping site, so each movie has a link to the Spout store.

You control who sees your stuff. You can create lists of movies, tag your movies, recommend them to others, and discuss them in the forums. It's still in beta, so it has bugs and shortcomings, like there's no way to rate or review movies, or browse tags.

I joined, but my only list is movies I'd like to see. Having rated over 2,000 films on Netflix, there's no way I'm going to take the time to rate those same movies on Spout, and they don't have a way to upload your data. I have my data in plain text on Listology, where it's easy to copy and paste a list. Spout doesn't have a recommendations engine, so there's no real incentive to take the time to rate movies.

Friday, May 19, 2006

netflix in the outbox

netflix in the outbox
Originally uploaded by bp33.
Would you trust the mail sorters at your workplace with your Netflix? I don't. I leave my outgoing Netflix in the USPS box.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DVD rental vending machine at Blockbuster Video

DVD rental vending machine
Originally uploaded to Flickr by goldberg.
Blockbuster Video in Tel Aviv, Israel provides DVDs using a type of vending machine.

Netflix installs new in-building wireless system for its workers

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 15, 2006--LGC Wireless, the leader in advanced in-building wireless systems, today announced Fusion SingleStar, the first in a line of in-building wireless systems that support multi-frequency coverage. Based on its InterReach Unison(TM) line of active in-building wireless systems, Fusion SingleStar delivers multiple RF frequencies with the same industry-leading performance that has made LGC's Unison systems the most popular in-building systems in the world.

"We have a lot of mobile employees within our offices, so strong and consistent wireless coverage is very important to us," said Steve Swasey, director of corporate communications at Netflix. "The Fusion SingleStar system from LGC met all our needs. The system was extremely easy to install, and is a very cost-effective solution for us."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

List of past Cannes Film Festival winners

DVD Ideas blog has compiled a list of past winners in various categories at the Cannes Film Festival, which starts this week, if you'd like to catch up.

Netflix and "perceived value"

Hunter McDaniel's comment on my previous post inspires me to look at the perceived value of Netflix versus other forms of entertainment. Hunter says "my brother-in-law pays $75 per month for a satellite package, and ends up mostly catching the last half of movies he has already seen 10 times. Nonetheless he thinks he's getting a good deal, and thinks he doesn't have enough time to get his money's worth out of an $18 NF subscription."

With Netflix, we think in terms of "perceived value," in other words, whether we are getting a good deal. With other things, like water, electricity, cell phone minutes, cable TV, we value these things according to how much or how little we need to use them. But with Netflix, the utility, and therefore, the perceived value, of the DVDs is connected to how many we can get and watch in one month. This makes us feel as though we need to increase utilization in order receive the value we think Netflix "owes us," which, as Hunter pointed out, is where the idea of "throttling" has its basis.

Netflix has other valuations, other than how many discs you get per month. I think Hunter's brother-in-law doesn't feel that he is wasting money on satellite TV, because "he has 500 channels." I don't worry about throttling, because "I have 60,000 movies" through Netflix. Netflix is the greater value to me.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Netflix and the "sunk-cost fallacy"

Summer has a bad case of Netflixia regarding the "Depressing 3-Week-Old Taiwanese Movie Rental" from Netflix. Summer says this feeling reminds them of the "sunk-cost fallacy," about which I know nothing, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, "sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree." The "sunk-cost fallacy," which is like "throwing good money after bad," is the irrational belief that you are committed to something merely because you've already spent money on it.

We think we can avoid the feeling of waste or loss by holding onto the movie, rather than returning it unwatched. This is irrational, because the money you spend on Netflix each month is a SUNK COST. No matter what you do, you cannot recover it. Whether you watch one movie or a hundred, you've spent the exact same amount of money.

If you do not utilize Netflix enough to equal the money you spent on it, in your mind, instead of trying to squeeze value out of your wasted subscription, don't waste it even more, by not returning your unwatched movies. Instead, cancel your subscription or reduce your plan to a lower level. Make sure the money you spend on Netflix matches your utilization level, instead of trying to make your utilization of Netflix match the money you spend.

Inspired by The Saddest Thing I Own blog.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Why Mark Glasser Cancelled Netflix

Mark Glasser, PBS blogger and "new media expert," writes:
"Sometimes I’m not the earliest adopter of new technology trends. I got a cell phone much later than my friends. I got Windows 98 in the year 2000. I got a DVD player only a few years ago, and only recently got a digital video recorder (DVR).

But perhaps I can be an “early opt-out’er,” a person who’s early to drop a technology that doesn’t serve them. In this case, the service is Netflix..."
Read more of Why I Cancelled Netflix, by Mark Glasser.

Please don't eat the Netflix

Reminds me of a movie

Originally uploaded to Flickr by yveva.

Revised settlement email notice

You are receiving this notice because you were a paid Netflix member before January 15, 2005. Under a class action settlement, you may be eligible to receive a free month of service or a free one-month upgrade from Netflix. You may recall receiving a similar notice in November 2005. Since that time, the parties have modified the settlement and have extended the time by which you may sign-up for the benefit. Most importantly, under the amended settlement, if you are an eligible former Netflix member and sign up for the free one-month membership, your membership will end automatically unless you choose to continue your service. If you are an eligible current Netflix member and sign up for the free one-month upgrade, your upgraded membership will return to your previous service level unless you choose to continue the upgraded service. Additional changes to the settlement are reflected in the Amended Settlement Agreement. If you wish to compare the Amended Settlement Agreement with the Original Settlement Agreement, the Parties have posted a comparison at

This settlement arises from a class action lawsuit entitled Chavez v. Netflix, Inc. that was filed in San Francisco Superior Court (case number CGC-04-434884) on September 23, 2004. The lawsuit alleges that Netflix failed to provide "unlimited" DVD rentals and "one day delivery" as promised in its marketing materials. Netflix has denied any wrongdoing or liability. The parties have reached, and the Court has approved, a settlement that they believe is in the best interests of the Class Members. Under the terms of the amended settlement, Netflix will provide eligible subscribers with the benefit described below.

  • Current Netflix Members: If you enrolled in a paid membership before January 15, 2005 and were a member as of October 19, 2005, you are eligible to receive a free one-month upgrade in service level. For example, if you are on the 3 DVDs at-a-time program, you will be upgraded to the 4 DVDs at-a-time program for one month. There will be no price increase during the upgraded month. The upgrade in service level will automatically end after one month and your subscription will return to the previous service level, unless you choose to continue at the higher service level and pay the regular subscription rate for that level after the upgraded month.

  • Former Netflix Members: If you enrolled in a paid membership before January 15, 2005 but were not a member as of October 19, 2005, you are eligible to receive a free one-month Netflix membership on your choice of the 1, 2 or 3 DVDs at-a-time unlimited program. Your subscription will automatically end after one month, unless you choose to continue your membership and pay the regular subscription rate after the free month. If you do not choose to continue the service, you must return all rented DVDs within 7 days following the expiration of the free month or be subject to charge for the outstanding DVDs under Netflix's standard policy (currently, $20 per DVD).

  • The settlement was approved by the Court on April 28, 2006. These benefits will be provided after the Effective Date. As described in the Amended Settlement Agreement, the Effective Date depends on such factors as the pendency of any appeals and is therefore difficult to predict. Your eligibility for the benefits is based on your membership status as of October 19, 2005. Pursuant to the terms of the settlement, in addition to providing the benefit described above, Netflix will modify portions of its Terms of Use. Class Members are subject to the revised Terms of Use, available at Netflix also will refer to its Terms of Use in certain advertisements. Netflix has also agreed to pay up to $2,528,000, and the Court has awarded $1,387,138, in attorneys' fees and costs to counsel for members of the Settlement Class, including Class Counsel and counsel for all objectors, intervenors, and proposed intervenors, with an express reservation that an additional and enhanced fee may be awarded upon the final showing of the number of Class Members who timely and accurately complete the Claim Form Process. The Amended Settlement Agreement is available for review at

    You have three options to respond to the amended settlement. You have until June 26, 2006 to make your decision.

    Option 1. Sign Up For One Month of Free Membership or Free Upgraded Service As Part Of The Settlement

    To receive the benefit, you must complete the online registration process no later than June 26, 2006, at By signing up for the benefit, you waive your right to bring a separate lawsuit against Netflix concerning the Claims Released By The Class (as defined in the Settlement Agreement found at

    Option 2. Do Nothing

    If you do not wish to receive the benefit, do nothing. You will not receive the benefit but will remain a Class Member. You therefore waive your right to bring a separate lawsuit against Netflix concerning the Claims Released By The Class.

    Option 3. Exclude Yourself From the Class

    To exclude yourself from the class, you must mail a letter by June 26, 2006.. See Section VII.B. of the Amended Long Form Notice at for information about the required contents of the letter and the mailing address. By excluding yourself, you preserve your right to bring a lawsuit against Netflix concerning the Claims Released By The Class. However, you will not get the benefit described above.

    To receive your benefit, you must register by June 26, 2006 as described above in Option 1. You will not receive any other reminders to register for the benefit. If you have registered for the benefit and your eligibility is confirmed, then you will be provided additional information by email following the Effective Date as defined in the Amended Settlement Agreement.

    To get more information about the settlement and procedures, and to take options 1 or 3, visit

    SRC: 20060511CAS2NREG
    (c)1997-2006 Netflix, Inc. 100 Winchester Circle, Los Gatos, CA 95032
    This message was mailed to [Netflix Fan]

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Films seen in 2006

    Today is the 131st day of 2006, and I have seen 200 films so far. I'm keeping track of them here on Listology. If you look at my list, you'll see that I use various sources, the most often being Netflix, of course. I've rented 61 from Netflix, 42 from Blockbuster Online (I quit them 4/14/06), and seen 20 in a theatre.

    Let me share with you

    Last night, I dreamed I had a video iPod, and I was watching my Netflix movies on it, and carrying it everywhere, and plugging into the big screen.

    Since Warner Brothers is going to use BitTorrent to share content online, and ABC is putting their shows on iTunes, I'm all excited about the potential of getting my flix fix all different ways.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Where would I be without Netflix?

    Or, How Netflix Changed My Life:

    by Terence Flyntz

    May 08, 2006

    The way I see it, my life up to now can be divided into two time periods: B.N.F. and A.N.F., or Before Netflix and After Netflix. I honestly don’t know how I actually lived before the invention of Netflix and I don’t remember much about it, but I’m sure it sucked.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Netflixia is back

    Jason is having Netflix Guilt, which I discovered a coupla years ago was called Netflixia. It's what afflicts you when you can't seem to get around to watching that "great" movie, but you don't want to return it unwatched, because that's wasteful.

    Hogwash!! I say send the darn thing back whence it came! One man's trash is another man's treasure. You're probably sitting on a movie that I'm waiting for. Get another one! There's thousands more where that came from. Why suffer over one movie now and then? They aren't funerals. You're allowed to skip them.

    Inspired by Krook's Rag and Bottle

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Reed Hastings to speak at UC Berkeley commencement

    Reed Hastings, CEO and founder of NetFlix, will speak at the Haas School of Business commencement for students getting an MBA at 9 a.m. at the Greek Theatre at the University of California Berkeley on Sunday, May 21.

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Netflix goes ghetto

    Clint and Patacki have authored a Netflix comic, which contains foul language and crude humor.

    An Open Letter to Netflix

    Justin from Los Angeles was very angry that he didn't get his disc from Netflix, so he wrote this very funny Open Letter to Netflix. It starts like this:
    Dear Mr. Netflix,

    If you don't send me the season one discs of Entourage soon, I might just bludgeon your entire family with a garden rake.
    Caution: contains foul language.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Revised settlement approved

    San Jose Mercury News:
    SAN FRANCISCO - A judge has approved a class-action settlement requiring Netflix Inc. to offer a free month of DVDs to 5.5 million current and former subscribers, resolving a case that prompted the online rental service to acknowledge it gives preferential treatment to its most profitable customers.

    Netflix expects to begin sending out notices of the final settlement later this month.

    When you receive the notice of the final settlement, you'll be able to opt out if you wish.
    Via Hacking NetFlix

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Jerry O'Connell dropped his Netflix

    The Jerry O'Connell fansite scanned this photo from US Weekly magazine's July 4, 2005 issue. It shows Jerry O'Connell's Netflix falling out of his bag.

    "In Calabasas, California, on June 12, Jerry O'Connell ran to meet girlfriend Rebecca Romijn (she was waiting in a car) and 'didn't realize they fell until she called out,' says an onlooker."

    Past Tribeca Award Winners on DVD

    DVD ideas blog has links to the Tribeca Award Winners which are on DVD.

    Special Postal treatment for DVD rental returns

    Netflix vs Blockbuster
    Originally uploaded to Flickr by Elena777.
    Seattle's downtown post office has created two drop boxes for online DVD rentals, one each for Netflix and Blockbuster Online. Amazing!