April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. And for my wife and I that means the world to us. As some of you know, we are proud parents of a young boy with Autism. We are extremely blessed to have him in our lives and are truly amazed at all that he’s been able to overcome and accomplish on a daily basis. Our son is more fortunate than others on the Autism Spectrum–being high-functioning, but only a handful of people truly know the challenges and stresses we manage each and every day. I encourage all of you to take a moment to think of all the children, to include men and women, who are currently living a life with Autism. You’d be shocked to know who around you is or has a family member with Autism. I encourage you all to support the cause and “Light It Up Blue” on April 2nd, 2012. My family is truly thankful for the support we’ve received over the years. Respectfully – Scot
I ran across a great article from All Things Digital on Disney’s new Appmates for the iPad. Here’s the skinny–they designed an App based on this hit Movie “Cars” that is completely interactive with actual Cars characters versus your own favorite phalange. To better give you a sense of how this works, I embedded a video below shot by DisneyLiving. Article I read with another video demo is linked at VentureBeat (incorporated into TechCrunch article).
Look how far we’ve come with touchscreen technology! C’mon, you’ve got to be a little impressed? My son is going to go bonkers over this game which is available this coming weekend. I’ll be sure to get my hands on it and let you know what I think. But, I’m more interested in seeing where this all goes. Can you imagine the world of Role Playing Games (RPGs) incorporating this into their gameplay? What about the ability to control your character on your iPad and seeing an entire map on an HDTV by connecting through the AppleTV 2? The possibilities are endless! Thank goodness for creativity and ingenuity!
If you get your hands on Disney’s Cars Appmate, post your thoughts below. If you have a video you would like to share, you can post them on our Facebook site at Facebook.com/heathaplexvision. Enjoy!
My morning started out like any other morning. Woke up at 5:55 to my iPhone alarm. Sat in bed about four minutes thinking about how my Monday would go. Went back for the iPhone to see the first few emails and noticed an email from Reed Hasting, CEO of Netflix. It started simply, “I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation.” Looks like someone else has a case of the Mondays!
As I road in the car to work, I read this letter over and over again. What I read was a humble attempt to explain a company’s decision and ultimate vision. Having read through numerous blog comments, you’d a thunk he kicked a dog! I don’t know Mr. Hastings at all and I’m not about to insult him as a fellow human being as some took the opportunity to, but you have to admire Mr. Hastings for posting such an explanation and letting it all hang out there in the “Interwebs!” Unfortunately, his attempt to explain had no real chance of coming off good in the fearless world of social media.
Before you judge me, you must know that I’ve been a Netflix customer from the beginning…since 1999 to be exact! I loved the idea from the beginning and it just kept getting better. However, I slowly transitioned to a life of streaming versus queuing up a Blu Ray. In fact, on average, I was requesting a Blu Ray about once every two months. I did like the idea of having “hard media” delivered to me, but it became more of a hassle, despite them paying for shipping to and fro. So when they elected to change their service fees, I wasn’t too tore up about it, but I understand why so many others were. It’s all a matter of perspective and what was working for you at the best price.
Perhaps this letter was a chance for Mr. Hastings to right a few wrongs and I have to take that at face value. I truly believe he put his heart into this letter and still feels bad for adjusting the plans without tending to the needs of the customer. For that, I forgive you! But that’s not enough for some people and that’s where I think many of us are wrong. It’ll take weeks before people understand the moves that were made and the stock price begins to rebound, but I challenge you to read the letter again with less malice in your heart.
So what’s going on? I’ll tell you what’s going on….they are trying to be the best damn streaming service on the planet and I’m looking forward to how they do this! He clearly states, “We feel we need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolve, without having to maintain compatibility with our DVD by mail service.”
The time is now to make your choice…are you a streaming or a mailer? Only they know the true demographics of these two types of people, but I’m convinced they are trying to be the best a both. So why fault them for that? Sure there will be growing pains and they’ll have no choice but to appease the movie Gods and us, the customers, but it will all work out. I’m just not ready to burn the CEO at the stake as some eluded to on the Netflix Facebook page. I’m just impressed Mr. Hastings tried to answer the masses on Facebook, but again, it was a losing battle. We simply out-number you.
So, for all you cinephiles and especially the long-time Netflix customers, what say ye? Do you want them to just sit idle and let what we think is a good thing run it’s course? Or do you encourage the risk that is being taken to be the best? We’ll measure Netflix over the years to come, so I’m not worried about figuring it all out now. But, are you willing to ditch them over a letter, over a vision to be the best? Post your comments below fellow mailers and streamers! Risk-taker or Risk-averse? You decide! In the meantime, tell me what you’ve been watching on Netflix lately.
So Say We All!!!
Here’s the link to the actual letter on the Netflix Blog: http://blog.netflix.com/2011/09/explanation-and-some-reflections.html
The old reboot…a simple, quick and easy way to restore your operating system back to a working state. Well, that’s at least what you are hoping it will do and most of the time it does works. We reboot our machines for a variety of reasons but often in a last ditch effort to start over. Have we reached this point in America? After all the defragging, virus checking, registry edits and uninstalls/re-installs, perhaps it’s time to just hit “ctrl-alt-del.”
Now, before anyone gets too upset, I understand this is an over-simplification of our problems here in America and rebooting a computer is often based on “the hope” that your computer will run again. Despite this, I needed a good analogy to explain the jolts of imagination that penetrated my mind as I watched the 4 Sep episode of “Meet the Press” and read Steven Pearlstein’s Washington Post article, “A Jobs program for a floundering president.” Both talked about getting America back on it’s feet in different ways, either by looking at how we used to operate in order to go forward or looking towards innovative leadership styles such as Steve Jobs. Regardless, this image of hitting “ctrl-alt-del” wouldn’t leave my brain, so here it is folks! Oh, can click on the links above…you’ll enjoy the inspiration.
Is rebooting a bit of a reckless cause in the search for solving operating system (OS) problems? Of course! As many of you know and have experienced, sometimes it just doesn’t work because of the greater problems with your computer’s OS. It may be a virus or some third-party software causing you pain and stress, but we often fall back on forcing a return to the original state through a “ctrl-alt-del.”
It’s time to take bold steps and make unpopular choices, but I don’t expect the government to do it all for us. If the government represents the operating system, then we “the people” represent the millions of lines of code that enable it all to work. It’s a highly interactive/interrelated system that must work together to achieve success. Sure, some lines of code can become corrupt and problems emerge, but it doesn’t necessarily render the entire operating system unresponsive. However, if they corrupt critical functions or systems, then we have some bigger problems and desperately need to restore back to a working state.
I believe it’s time we reboot Amercia through similar, radical processes that Steven Pearlstein and Thomas Friedman describe. What do I mean when I say bold? I would start with a clean look at re-investing and re-inventing our education system. This is a long-term investment that will pay off big time down the road.
To Steven Pearlstein, “It would almost certainly include a radically reformed and simplified tax code, personal as well as corporate, with no rate above 25 percent. It would involve a radical restructuring of entitlement programs so that benefits and payments to providers adjust automatically to formulas tied to growth in national income. It would involve a wholesale restructuring of the federal bureaucracy that eliminated half of all programs judged to be least effective and essential or whose functions would be better shifted to the states. It would be a guarantee of a two-year job to any qualified high school or college graduate under age 24 wishing to serve in the military, the Peace Corps or an expanded domestic service corps in exchange for below-market wages and college tuition or repayment of college loans.”
On Meet the Press, Thomas Friedman emphasized the fact that, “We’re not going to bail our way out of this crisis. We’re not going to stimulate our way out of this crisis. We are only going to educate, ultimately, and imagine and invent our way out of this crisis.” Friedman’s reboot consists of getting back to the formula that worked prior to and during the Cold War and adapting to the current technological timeframe where the world is, according to him, “Hyper-connected.”
The constant stir and re-hash on jobs numbers, debt reduction and bailouts don’t resonate with me. They have caused our operating system to become slow and glitchy, but they don’t cause me concern. I’m more determined and focused on rebooting America and getting us back to a working state. We possess the kinds of people who can [according to Thomas Friedman] “adapt, invent and re-invent” America and now may be the time to make radical changes by jolting the system.
This is simply one man’s opinion based upon two sparks of inspiration. I would love to hear from each of you. Where should we, Americans, focus our energy? Which programs should be re-invented or revolutionized? What are you doing to contribute to America’s future success? Collaboration and discourse is healthy and I hope to hear from you. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!