April 7, 2014 |
I walk daily at a mall. It's warmer in winter, cooler in summer, and the shoppers and ever-changing store windows are a welcome distraction from the exercise. But every week, or so it seems, there are fewer shoppers and more empty windows. Not far away from the moribund mall our neighborhood movie theater was recently converted into an auto dealership. Though only 14 years old, the amenities-laden multiplex proved to be a poor competitor for Netflix and a 21st-century den. Retail stores and theaters are no match for the combination of indolence and the Internet.
March 13, 2014 |
Wednesday is the birthday of the World Wide Web. It's 25, a generation old. Together with the Internet, on which it works, it's the most ambiguous invention in human history. The Web/Internet is Shiva: god of creation, god of destruction. It has birthed a world once unimaginable. Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, says everyone has "the power to access and use others' information, and to produce our own, and send it around the world.
February 26, 2014 |
WHAT'S THE newly announced deal between Comcast and Netflix going to mean for you as a TV viewer? Our resident cable giant and the Internet-streamed subscription-TV service says it's a "mutually beneficial Internet connection agreement" that will guarantee a "high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come" to Comcast Xfinity broadband customers. But what wasn't said is almost as important. Here are some answers: Q: Is Netflix now going to show up as a viewing option on my cable box?
February 26, 2014 |
The Internet is designed to look simple. You watch Netflix , you search Google , you buy on Amazon . You pay Comcast or Verizon to make it run. The complex, typically invisible arrangements that actually connect Websites to users were suddenly exposed over the weekend: Netflix, whose movie downloads account for up to a third of hourly Internet traffic - and which had been complaining that its shows were downloading slower and...
February 25, 2014 |
Netflix Inc. and Comcast Corp., two of the most powerful companies on the Internet, resolved long-standing differences Sunday on how they conduct business in a deal that will result in drastically improved Netflix video streaming into millions of American homes, company officials said. Netflix, an on-demand video service, will now connect directly to Comcast's broadband network in "dozens" of locations around the nation instead of streaming its film and TV content through third-party Internet content-delivery companies - a process that some believe was expensive for Netflix and degraded its service.
February 14, 2014 |
IT WAS JUST a couple of days ago that I read an alarming allegation about Philadelphia's largest corporation, Comcast. In different corners of America, customers of the nation's largest cable and Internet provider were reporting the same problems loading and watching movies on Netflix. (And right when the new season of "House of Cards" is looming? Are you kidding me?) The customers all voiced the same concern that Comcast - with its own movie-on-demand service that (poorly) competes with Netflix - wants to throttle its rival and speed up growth of its own service.
February 14, 2014 |
* HOUSE OF CARDS. Season 2 starts streaming on Netflix today. * 48 HOURS PRESENTS: THE WHOLE GRITTY CITY. 9 p.m. Saturday, CBS3. SO MAYBE Frank Underwood wouldn't be every woman's Valentine. But Frank (Kevin Spacey), the scheming, homicidal - and, oh, yeah, adulterous - politician at the very heart of Netflix's conspiratorial "House of Cards," doesn't need to please all of us. He really only needs to stay on the right side of his equally terrifying wife, Claire (Robin Wright)
February 3, 2014 |
WHEN THE people of Mount Airy wanted to satisfy their cravings for foreign or obscure films, they went to see Bill Mercer. Mercer, the manager of the Video Library of Mt. Airy, helped link them with titles like "El Violin," a 2005 Spanish-language movie about a violin player, and "Little Otik," a bizarre Czech movie that provides a modern take on a classic fairy tale. Now, the library, the city's last remaining independent movie-rental store, has announced that it will be closing on Germantown Avenue near Mount Airy as soon as it liquidates its remaining stock of tapes and DVDs.
December 13, 2013 |
* LILYHAMMER. Season 2 premieres tomorrow, Netflix. DECADES of touring - with and without Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band - have helped make rocker/actor Steven Van Zandt at home all over the world, but he says he never expected to be quite so big in Norway. "Lilyhammer," the show in which Van Zandt plays an American mobster in witness protection who asks to be relocated to Lillehammer, Norway (because he liked what he saw during the 1994 Winter Olympics), returns for a second season on Netflix tomorrow.
November 1, 2013 |
Comcast Corp., the cable-TV and media giant, reported Wednesday that third-quarter revenue fell 2.4 percent because of an unfavorable comparison with the previous year, when its top line was boosted by a $1.2 billion blast of TV and Internet advertising associated with the London Olympic Games. Third-quarter profits also took an 18 percent hit because of a separate unfavorable comparison. A year ago, those profits were inflated with the cash proceeds of the sale of wireless spectrum to Verizon Wireless and Comcast's sale of its stake in A&E Television Networks L.L.C.