Archive for December 21, 2009

Things That Irk Me: Microsoft & the NFL

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s not a long list, really. Tomorrow, I’ll blog about things I’m grateful for, just to truly be in the Christmas spirit and even things out. But I have fresh examples from the “irk” list.

1) I heard the previously undefeated New Orleans Saints were upset by the Dallas Cowboys in a very exciting game at the Superdome in Louisiana Saturday night. I wouldn’t know first-hand. Time-Warner cable and the NFL continue acting like petulant children so the NFL Network isn’t carried here in New York. Here in the friggin’ #1 market in the country. As I was googling around on this I noticed that a number of cable systems in Louisiana don’t have a deal with the NFL either. A couple of Louisiana Congressman were so upset about it they wrote public letters of condemnation about the whole thing.

Who’s being greedier here, cable companies or the NFL? Probably both, but the NFL is being just plain, business-silly. Depriving people of your product during a rough economy when ticket sales are off and there are more and more TV blackouts anyway, is not genius, by any measure. I believe it’s called arrogance. Eight NFL games are carried on this NFL Network every year now. Occasionally, a last minute deal is cut and one or another of these games gets shown in an NFL-less market to avoid riots in the streets. Anyway, in a nutshell, the NFL wants cable systems to put these games on their basic tier of services. Most cable operators want to put it in a special sports or higher-priced tier of programming. They point out that during the non-NFL season, nobody’s going to want to watch the NFL network so why put it in a basic tier? I think they have a point there.

2) Microsoft invades my computer in the middle of the night and it makes me feel violated. I know these endless security patches they come up with are supposed to be for my own protection. But it occurs to me it’s to close holes in their own software that they didn’t anticipate being a problem, so it’s not my fault now, is it? Sometimes, when you get back on your computer after these updates and they tell you they fixed things while you were sleeping and dreaming of puppies and lollipops and stuff, certain things change. My drop-down menu bar on Internet Explorer is now gone, for example. I can still get around using these strange new icons, but I liked it the way it was.

But the worst patch problem happened to me about six years ago. Seems Microsoft updated my video drivers in the middle of the night. So I get up one morning and I can’t see anything on my monitor! They blinded me! While I slept! That one cost me about $150 after I had to take my CPU in to some Geek Squad guy to get examined.

That’s it. These are the only things in the world that irk me right now. Besides certain areas of public policy, but that’s something I’m going to stay away from for awhile.

Peace out.