Monthly Archives: April 2008

Netflix Watch Instantly: Good News & Bad News

A few months after Netflix launched their “watch instantly” streaming feature I tried to get it running on the computer hooked to our TV. I didn’t get very far though, since it required WinXP, and the computer was (and still is) running windows 2000. In addition, our DSL speed at the time was only 1.5Mbps, which wasn’t enough for their top quality.

I decided to give it another shot though. I haven’t upgraded the TV computer, yet, so I thought I’d try and run it from VMWare Fusion on a Mac laptop I use. The good news is that it works — I thought that DRM restrictions would prevent it from working in a virtual machine.

The bad news is that the quality is truly mediocre, even using our 3Mbit connection, and from what I can tell, a faster connection won’t help.

It’s too bad, because the price is right, unlike the $3.99 rentals on iTunes. I only wish Netflix had the option to queue up a higher quality version to watch later.

Why I use Ad Block Plus to Block Ads

I usually don’t like seeing ads when I’m browsing the web, but I generally don’t block them because my brain does a good enough job of tuning them out and I accept them as a necessary evil because I understand that publishers (including me) need to get paid, and an advertising supported business model can work.

I find it harder to ignore the ads that force themselves over the content I’m trying to look at, but I don’t generally block those either. Animated gif ads flirt with my attention, but I don’t block them either.

I do block flash ads on websites I visit regularly using Ad Block Plus, and anyone else who serves flash ads from the same ad networks are collateral damage. I do it because I keep a lot of tabs open and all those flash scripts end up using a significant amount of CPU, which slows everything else down and drains my laptop battery.