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Jonathan Mills
Attended Johns Hopkins University
Lives in Hagerstown, MD
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Jonathan Mills

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Nice summary in the comments: "Warren Ellis is writing the Presidential campaign."
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Jonathan Mills

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I've been linking Warren Ellis a lot lately. I'll stop when he stops being interesting.
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Hulu's new direction is showing content owners trying to breathe life back into cable. Maybe reports of Netflix's demise are premature.

This seems like one of the more measured responses: no one has said if Hulu Plus users will be left out in the cold, forcing them to cancel subscriptions. It also anticipates a gradual implementation, although the Post article uses the word "soon" several times.

I think it's funny that Netflix's subscribers revolted when Netflix radically altered their business model with minimal warning. Hulu hasn't commented publicly on this issue yet. I doubt the internet is going to be kind to a company owned by the major media conglomerates.
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Earlier, I wondered if Hulu is just floating this idea to gauge consumer reaction.
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Adam Gopnik reviews “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation” by Elaine Pagels. With messianic end-of-the-world stories remaining culturally significant, I wonder what going back to one of the original narratives might offer.
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Jonathan Mills

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I should probably resist the urge to play armchair political analyst, but here it is anyway.

From Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, via Politico http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/08/boldest-fullspectrum-conservative-131817.html

So, first and foremost, what the selection of Ryan tells us about Romney is that he’s not passive. ... Now Romney must actively promote and defend the Ryan plan. As of today, it’s the Romney plan. (emphasis added)

From talking points from Romney's campaign, also via Politico http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79624.html

“Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as president he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance,” read the first “answer” under a Q-and-A section that began with this query: “Does this mean Mitt Romney is adopting the Paul Ryan plan?” (again, emphasis added)

The contrast earns this tweeted response from David Axelrod (quoted from later in the same Politico article): https://twitter.com/davidaxelrod/status/234316494111137793

I don't know why Romney thinks he's going to be able to have it both ways. Ryan is known almost exclusively for his budget proposal. How can Romney can expect to reap the rewards of picking the wonky idea-man Ryan if he's not willing to go to bat for his most famous idea?
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Jonathan Mills

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Sometimes the 21st century is awesome and sometimes it's just obnoxious.

DC Comics signed a major exclusivity deal with Amazon to make their digital graphic novels available through that company and not competitors (say, B&N's Nook.) However, digital DC Comics could still be purchased through Comixology, a third-party comics app. Comixology can be used to browse dozens of publisher's books, but they also had a stand-alone DC Comics app. When you launch the Comixology app on the Kindle Fire now, you can't find DC books. So they're not available anymore, right?

In fact, I can still buy new DC comics, download them to the Fire, and read them just like I always could. Granted, I can't buy collected editions, but at $2 a piece it's generally about the same cost to buy the issues. That's because I purchase them through the Comixology website and not the app. I've always done that because in-app purchases are locked to a device but website purchases are not.

It's not clear who is responsible for the move: it could be Amazon, rightly viewing Comixology as a competitor. It could be DC, as one blogger speculates that DC may get a better cut of sales through Amazon directly ( http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/dc-comics-from-comixology-no-longer-available-for-the-kindle-fire/ ). I don't know that if that guy knows anything -- he incorrectly concludes that DC titles can't be downloaded to the Kindle Fire. Since the Comixology site still prominently features the various DC Comics stores, I doubt it has anything to do with them -- and they're the only party confirming that the inability to make in-app purchases is a matter of policy and not a glitch.

The Kindle Fire I've been using is ostensibly the kid's. It was a Christmas present and he loves Angry Birds, Dr. Seuss apps, and the like. I've been debating whether I want to pick up one for myself or get an iPad (or hold onto some money.) This incident isn't endearing me to Amazon's device.

Companies like Amazon and Apple walk a fine line--they can lock down their devices, restricting the access of their competitors, but then their devices have less functionality and consumers may turn to other devices. But if they can leverage their market domination into sweetheart exclusivity deals and guarantee a cut of every piece of content on the devices, they maximize their profit. Personally, I think this approach is very shortsighted. Maybe it's naive of me to see hardware as a longer term investment, but it's hard to justify the expense if there's no confidence that content will remain available and not locked down at the whim of corporate policy.

I know none of this is new and I'm not offering any insight. The irony is that I'm really enjoying the digital comics experience over the print version. I only buy a handful of titles monthly, but I find there's actually more longevity in the digital versions. For those few books I want to read monthly, I tend to double- (or even triple-) buy them. After I buy the collected editions, the issues just take up space in a box in the basement. With digital montly comics, I can read them serially as they're published and still have a unique, re-readable version that the collected book complements rather than replaces.

The 21st century ... sometimes it's awesome and obnoxious at the same time.
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There are two other similar content issues with the Kindle Fire. For video, Amazon is relatively hands-off. The Amazon Prime video service is in direct competition with Netflix and Hulu, but those two apps work fine on the Fire. In contrast, Amazon has a relative monopoly on digital music. Spotify and Google Music are popular Android apps but neither exist on the Fire. Instead, Amazon requires users sign up for Amazon's Cloud Player digital music hosting service. Since I have something like 500 CDs (and for some reason I keep buying them) paying $20 a year to stream my own music is arguably a better deal than Spotify, so it's not a deal-breaker. Still, more frustrating strong-arm tactics from Amazon.
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Jonathan Mills

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“The more Romney talks about it, the worse Romney will look, because of what he said five years ago,” Daley said. “If I were Romney, I’d shut up about it.”

(Daley quote taken from a Politico article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/75780.html)
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Kimmel on Washington, leading up to the WHCD: "I always used to think [politics] was a lot like professional wrestling, where they got on television and argued and they ran their ads criticizing each other and they debated and they fought. But then, at the end of the day, they were all on the same team." But now, "I feel the animosity is real and it’s almost like sports in a way. It became something to argue about and something to follow very intensely."
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Jonathan Mills

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“The first lesson you learn as a pollster is that people are stupid,” said Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73947.html#ixzz1p3USoVoA
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Hagerstown, MD
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Baltimore, MD - Chambersburg, PA - Findlay, OH - Sharpsburg, MD
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  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Chambersburg Area Senior High School
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