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POULSEN: Microsoft and Netflix as enemies of the people

Image Credit: Chuck Poulsen
March 03, 2016 - 7:30 AM

In Godfather III, when Al Pacino was trying to go legit, he said: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"

He uses his fingers like the claw of a raptor for emphasis.

Sounds just like Bill Gates and his mob at Microsoft. Or the mafia over at Netflix.

I opened my Hotmail email the other night to find a picture of myself next to my address. The picture would appear on all emails I sent out.

It was an old picture from Skype, the kind taken looking up your nose if the screen isn't adjusted right.

Even if adjusted, Skype has never taken a flattering image of a customer in its entire meddlesome life.

The explanation for this unwanted intrusion is that Hotmail (Microsoft now calls it Outlook) has "linked up" with Skype. There is an exclamation mark (!) after that statement to indicate the excitement around this corporate marriage.

Here's my exclamatory excitement: Get Out of My Life!

After Googling, I managed to "unlink" my email connection with Skype. This seems to force an end to my association with Skype altogether, as if I had been booted out of the club for bad behaviour.

Losing Skype was OK. I don't use it anyway.

I now appear as a grey eminence, which looks a lot like me. I don't even need a hair cut.
Microsoft has been promoting Windows 10 for several months. The encouragement to download it keeps popping up on our screens.

I'm quite happy with my Windows 8, now that it has been fixed with the "start is back" app added on.

Microsoft says it will begin forcibly installing Windows 10 on all PCs unless the automatic update feature is turned of, which apparently is a bad idea for many reasons.

It's also possible your current computer won't have the horsepower to operate well with Windows 10 so you may need to buy a new computer.

If that happens to me, I'll buy a new Mac. Stick that in your operating system, Bill. Does your better-half Melinda know you're pulling this crap?

On to the bad behaviour by Netflix.

A Forum Research poll for 2014 found that 40 per cent of anglophone Canadians subscribe to Netflix. Over one-third of them have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) program so they can spoof Netflix into thinking their computer is in the U.S., from which there are many more titles available.

Netflix is now blocking such proxy VPN addresses.

A U.S. IP address will get about 5,800 titles from Netflix. A Canadian address gets about 3,100 titles.

How is this for a raw deal: More than 10 other countries get more Netflix titles than Canada, such as French Guiana at 4,513.

All Canadian Netflix subscribers using a VPN are trying to do is get a fair shake. It's pretty rich when Netflix suggests Canadians are doing something illegal. (They may be violating the indecipherable and shameful "terms of agreement" with Netflix but that is not a criminal offence. Neither is Netflix screwing customers, of course).

Several online petitions have sprung up demanding Netflix provide an honest deal. So have a couple of VPN sites which say they can beat the new Netflix blockade.

The game of cat and mouse is on.

Go mouse!

- Chuck Poulsen can be reached at

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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