Tech Tuesday: Alpha Beta’s and the Wonderful World of Netflix

It’s been a while since I’ve done a ‘Tech Tuesday‘ segment – but that’s because there hasn’t been a whole new lot to report.  From my perspective, ever since the big Apple unveiling all has been more or less quiet in the world of beeps and bit logic – but, this week I definitely see some moving and shaking on my radar.

Alpha Beta‘s

When you breathe, sleep and eat tech, there’s nothing quite as exciting as getting to preview and help debug early renditions of applications and web clients.  Back when AOL Instant Messenger was still fairly relevant, they had a portion of the webpage for their chat client devoted to Beta testing – we would get the client first, sure – there’d be some bugs here and awkward application crashes over there, but overall it was pretty neat playing around with brand spankin’ new features.

When the Facebook timeline was introduced and everyone was bitching about converting their profile, I took the exact opposite approach.  Because I knew I’d be forced to use it anyways I decided to become an early adapter.  When Timeline was introduced, Facebook wanted any and all willing developers to get with it and start creating new applications and widgets for the Timeline – but for them to use the API, they first had to understand it.  This meant that developers were given a first pass at the timeline.  Am I a Facebook developer? Definitely not! But, that’s pretty inconsequential at this point: I told Facebook that I was and that I wanted to create a new application, but I was required to produce or release a public, or final, product.  The next time I opened up my user profile – babam, I was Timelined.

The Old:

toolbar fbook


The New:

fbook firefox

Currently, Firefox has a web browser sitting in Beta testing – just waiting on people like me, and maybe even you, to come by and give it a whirl before it’s rolled out to the general public. Why is it worth testing? Firefox just added Facebook messenger to their Beta test.  So now, instead of being forced to keep a Facebook tab open to facilitate chat – meaning you can roam the web as you please with your posse in tow and stop liking so many cat pictures.  To boot, I can finally do away with the Facebook Toolbar add-in that I’ve been so loyal to over the past year.

Disney and Netflix: Streaming Sweetly

Huge huge huge news for Disney lovers, Netflix addicts and anyone paying attention to streaming media!  This morning, the Walt Disney Studios and Netflix got together and kicked out a multiyear licensing agreement granting Netflix exclusive rights to Disney’s movie library which includes catalog titles, direct to video titles and New Releases.

Typically, this content is reserved for HBO, Showtime and Starz which make this a huge deal in the studio world; marking the first time a major Hollywood movie studio granted rights to a provider of streaming content over a premium TV network. Starting on Tuesday, members can start perusing the Disney catalog titles and by the time Spring of 2013 rolls around, Netflix users will be able to watch direct-to-video releases the same day they’re released in stores.  Unfortunately, some movies distributed by the Walt Disney Company are still under contract with Starz and those won’t be rolling out until 2016. This deal comes approximately two years after Netflix began streaming Disney and ABC Family TV shows within weeks of the air date.

To me, this has super interesting implications – first of all, the Disney online store is saying goodbye to the world; meaning that Netflix will be the one and only place to go if you want to stream Disney content.  Secondly, with a decreased presence on Network and Cable television, it should catapult amount of monthly streaming subscribers on Netflix – a path they’re willing to walk since they’re planning on phasing out their physical DVD services.

Secondly, since Disney has a hand in the ESPN cookie jar – would this pave the way for streaming live sports content?  You could even have MLB, NFL or NBA streaming packages that you can subscribe to through the ESPN website or strictly through Netflix – the possibilities are basically endless!

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