The Indianapolis Star: "A post office worker who admitted taking 450 Netflix movies from the mail for himself and members of his family has been sentenced to two years' probation. U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison says U.S. District Judge Richard Young also ordered Ricky Alsip to pay $5,413.50 in restitution and perform 40 hours of community service."
If your Netflix DVDs were missing in Evansville, you can blame Ricky Alsip.
The Los Gatos Observer reports that Netflix paid $2.5 million in sales tax in 2009.
Internet retail sales tax revenue experienced a 6.8 percent increase. Netflix is the largest internet retailer in Los Gatos and accounts for 30 percent of the town’s sales tax revenue. That’s a cool 2.5 million addition to the town’s budget. “During this difficult economy, Netflix’s continued success has been instrumental in helping the town mitigate significant declines in other taxable services in town,” said Haruyama. She did add, however, that the town’s reliance on Netflix to balance their budget is of concern to the council.
Internet retail sales tax revenue experienced a 6.8 percent increase. Netflix is the largest internet retailer in Los Gatos and accounts for 30 percent of the town’s sales tax revenue. That’s a cool 2.5 million addition to the town’s budget.
“During this difficult economy, Netflix’s continued success has been instrumental in helping the town mitigate significant declines in other taxable services in town,” said Haruyama. She did add, however, that the town’s reliance on Netflix to balance their budget is of concern to the council.
Blockbuster reported a Q4 net loss of $434.9 million due to a one-time writeoff, and revenue for 2009 was $4.06 billion (down from $5.07 billion in 2008). While Blockbuster closed hundreds of stores, they added more than 2,000 new Blockbuster Express kiosks through the partnership with NCR.
It'll be interesting to see if Blockbuster can avoid the 28 day DVD release window, and HomeMediaMagazine reports that Blockbuster is warning that Blockbuster might have to close additional stores if they can't get new releases immediately.
In related news, Blockbuster informed me that I'll be paying $1 more per month starting in March.
Walmart announced that they have purchased Vudu, a company that offers a service similar to Netflix streaming for TVs. Vudu is more focused on HD streaming and renting or buying titles vs. subscription services like Netflix, so it is more of a complement to Netflix streaming than a competitor.
"The real winner here is the customer," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman for Walmart. "Combining VUDU's unique digital technology and service with Walmart's retail expertise and scale will provide customers with unprecedented access to home entertainment options as they migrate to a digital environment."
VUDU has licensing agreements with almost every major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors to offer approximately 16,000 movies, including the largest 1080p library of video on-demand movies available anywhere. Via their broadband Internet connection, users have the ability to rent or buy titles and begin viewing them instantly.
The last time Walmart competed with Netflix it hurt Netflix's stock, and in the end Walmart gave up and started promoting Netflix on the Walmart website.
Click here for the full list of new releases this week (56).
Interesting titles include Motherhood, Everybody's Fine, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, The Damned United, Swedish Auto, Double Identity, The September Issue, The End of the Line, FlashForward: Season 1: Part 1, Nurse Jackie: Season 1, Bliss, and Crude.
Netflix scored 12th place on Fast Company's list of Most Innovative Companies.
"After creating the much-admired model of an Internet mail-order rental business, shipping about two million DVDs a day, Netflix has been aggressively pursuing the next generation of distribution channels -- web streaming, game consoles, and other connected devices. About half of its 11 million subscribers have used the "watch instantly" feature -- movies and shows without commercials. More than 12,000 titles are available for streaming, and more are coming as Netflix signs on more studio and network partners."
Hulu, another company shaking up the online video space, scored 11th place.
Netflix suffered a service outage for about an hour tonight that caused an error message on the website and PC/Mac streaming, but Netflix ready devices like the Roku and Xbox 360 were still working. When Netflix goes down I usually get a lot of e-mails, so I'm guessing most people are watching the Olympics like we were.
We're sorry, the Netflix website is temporarily unavailable.
Our shipping centers are continuing to send and receive DVDs , so your movies will be processed as usual. And you can still instantly watch movies via your Netflix ready device.
Our engineers are working hard to bring the site back up as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience and, again, we apologize for the inconvenience. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-866-636-3079.
Thanks to Linda & Joshua for sending this in.
Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey went on the record about Netflix streaming under Linux:
There is an attempt to create a Linux version of Silverlight called Moonlight that might enable Linux streaming, but it currently shows the PlayReady DRM used by Microsoft as "unsupported." Microsoft lists Linux as compatible with Silverlight, but Does anyone familiar with the Moonlight project know if PlayReady DRM will be supported in Moonlight?
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