Archive for the ‘dvd’ Tag

ReBay: Rent Anything

For most things I buy, I don’t expect to keep them forever. There are companies that fill specific niches for item rentals, like DVD and game rental. But I don’t necessarily want to pay the subscription fee each and every month when I’ll go a few months without the desire to watch any movies or play any video games.

Lala, a service that lets you list the CDs you don’t want and exchange them with other users for credits to get the CDs you do want, has the right idea. But again that fills only one specific need: music.

There is one web site that has nearly all the pieces in place to harbor the people’s market–buy something then sell it back when you don’t need it anymore: eBay. Brad Templeton introduces the idea of ReBay. While it could technically be done now, he has some good ideas for eBay to promote the process and make it easier for users.

Essentially eBay should add an option to quickly relist an item you won in the past, working from the original descriptions and photos. In addition, there would be a place to note any additional wear that the item underwent while in your possession. Options to easily specify that the buyer be within a certain number of miles of your house to make a drop off easier would also be a nice feature to have.

As someone who often auctions video games or gadgets a few months or years after I buy them, I have to say that the ReBay would make the process much more pleasant.


The Underlying Goal of the Writers Strike

The ongoing strike of television writers associated with the Writers Guild that hasĀ compelled the news media and ripped through Hollywood’s production schedules doesn’t appear to have any foreseeable end in sight. Writers are demanding to receive royalties from DVD and online sales of the shows they helped compose, like they receive for TV airings, and network execs aren’t budging.

Brad Templeton points out that this isn’t really having the devastating effect on viewers as the writers may have hoped. In fact, and ironically so, it’s driving fans to DVDs and iTunes purchases that these very writers are not seeing a penny from. Beyond that, many shows have tons of episode scripts sitting in their production rooms that they can dive into in the mean time, says the LA Times.

So what is the Writers Guild really trying to accomplish? The group knows that soon enough the studios will realize that there will be no more pilot shows, a major foundation of keeping a network fresh, if there’s no writers to put pen to paper. It’s not about season 20 of the Simpsons; depending on how long the strike lasts, it could be a long time until we see a substantial, new batch of TV series. And that’s worrisome.

Should I Get Netflix? Calculator

Deciding whether to subscribe to Netflix is a much more difficult process than it needs to be. It often consists of long talks with the significant other about whether you might actually watch enough movies to warrant the monthly fee.

But the decision really comes down to a simple formula. If your combined Blockbuster rentals and DVD purchases exceed the cost of a Netflix plan, it’s worth it!

A tool to make the process a lot easier is a “Should I Get Netflix? Calculator” web application. The app would ask you to estimate the number of DVDs you purchased and rented in the past three months.

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