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Miscellaneous

Why Are TV Channels Packaged?

Television providers have packages for various programming levels: basic, deluxe, and premium or by theme: movies, sports, music, and Spanish. This can be frustrating for consumers who may end up buying an entire package just to watch one channel or perhaps even one show.

Why is this? Why can’t we just buy the channels we want a la carte?

Although there’s a historical reason for this, there’s no longer any technical justification for bundling entertainment channels into packages.

With all service providers, every channel is present on the feed (be it cable, fiber optic, or satellite). When the feed reaches our houses, the items we don’t pay for are blocked.

When cable TV first came on the scene, it was analog and electronic devises were inserted to filter out various parts of the feed people weren’t paying for. These filters were imprecise and couldn’t be finely tuned to individual channels but did work okay for groups of adjacent channels. This resulted in the birth of channel packages.

Now we have digital and individual channels can be turned on and off at each house’s receiver. There’s no longer a technical reason to package channels and sell them as a group.

However, cable and satellite TV providers are used to the revenue provided by selling packages and not anxious to change that. Plus it’s easier to track and bill half a dozen packages for each subscriber, rather than hundreds of individual channels.

If entertainment providers were truly focused on their customers, they would allow for individual channel selection, letting us pick and pay for only the channels we want to watch.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Bourne is Back!

I’m a big fan of the Bourne movies. Not because of the over-the-top action or excessive violence, but because of the intriguing storyline—and the slowly unveiling connection between Jason and Nicky.

After the third movie, I wanted more and was understandably excited when a fourth one was announced. Alas, my enthusiasm was short-lived. Jason and Nicky are not part of this latest installment; there will be a new batch of characters for us to follow. This latest movie, “The Bourne Legacy,” will open in a few days.

So, I will never learn what Nicky meant when she said, “It was difficult… for me… with you. You… really don’t remember, do you?” There is certainly more there to be revealed, but what is it?

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

The Fervor Over Facebook

Now that the fervor over Facebook’s stock IPO (initial public offering) has finally died down, let me assert that they nailed their stock price. The fact that people are being critical over it, suggests only one thing: greedy speculators.

If an IPO price offered is too high, the shares do not all sell (and the company doesn’t raise as many funds as they wanted). If they do manage to sell all the shares and the stock price plummets, then everyone feels they paid too much and were ripped off.

On the other hand, if the price offered is too low, then the stock quickly sells out and the price jumps up, sometimes quite a bit. But when this happens, the company doesn’t benefit from the higher price—they merely get the amount they planned on—but the stock speculators make out like bandits. Many expected Facebook shares to do just that, sell out quickly and then skyrocket. When that didn’t happen, the speculators missed the quick profit they wished for—and began complaining. This merely exposed their greed and the expectation of making a quick buck without really doing anything.

The fact that Facebook’s stock sold quickly and they hovered around the offered price, confirms it was neither too low nor too high, but just right. This was the right thing for Facebook and all its existing stockholders. Facebook earned all the money they expected to but didn’t leave anything on the table for greedy investors trying to make a quick buck.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Construction Season In Michigan

Summer is road construction season in Michigan. Locally, we have been enduring a construction project relating to our bridge over the nearby Interstate highway. Actually, it is not the bridge that is being worked on, but instead each end of it.

For years drivers have complained about the difficulty of exiting the highway at our small town and traffic tie-ups over the bridge as vehicles wait to make left-hand turns to get on the highway.

Requests for a four lane bridge was rejected, while a scaled down plea for a bridge with a center turning lane was also dismissed.  The eventual offer was to install a roundabout (a traffic circle) on each end of the bridge.  At a cost of 2.8 million, the design will theoretically increase the flow of traffic and decrease accidents.  While few were happy with this as a solution, the response from the powers that be was to take it or leave it.

The project began in earnest when the school year ended and was promised to be completed before school resumed in the fall.  But the project was behind schedule almost from the start and despite repeated assurances to the contrary, it was not completed by the time the kiddies returned to school.  At present we have one and a half turning circles completed and three of four highway ramps working. The new completion date is late September—contingent on weather and other delays.

So, we will need to endure delays and detours a bit longer.  At least the students now have an excuse for being late to school.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

Categories
Miscellaneous

Gas Consumption

Each winter, I have an informal means of judging the severity of the season, of ascertaining annual snowfall.

It is quite simple, really. The more it snows, the more I run my snow blower.  The more I run my snow blower, the more gas I use.  Ergo, there is causality between my gas consumption and the amount of snow.  (Last winter, by the way, there was a moderate amount of snow.)

It never occurred to me that the same connection might exist between the quantity of gas consumed by my lawnmowers and the amount of rain received, but that seems to be the case as well.

In the month of May, we received a lot of rain and I used a lot of gas.  I recently quipped to a friend that it seemed that it was either raining or I was mowing lawn.

Indeed, the need to mow my lawn every three or four days has burned through a lot of gas so far this summer.  My gas consumption is at a faster pace this year then in previous seasons, so that must mean that we are receiving more rain than usual.

With the price of gas over four dollars a gallon, I wish it would rain a little less often.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.