January 26th, 2006

amazon

Gasoline in Oregon

Three times now, I have said "fill it up" when I pull into an Oregon gas station. (Oregon is one of two US states that forbid selfserve gasoline, and mandate having a station attendent do it.)

All three times, after I pull away, my fill gauge has read "7/8" instead of "F".

Am I just unlucky, or does Oregon have a policy where they really won't fill it all the way up?
amazon

Blockbuster has died, just the corpse hasn't quite stopped twitching

The Blockbuster Video in Kirkland, I noticed this morning, has closed. Four years, I have lived here, and I've never bothered to go. NetFlix, VOD, a zillion channels, and buying DVDs from bigboxes (the largest single source of revenue for the studios is now WalMart) have really smashed the retail video rental business. In another couple of years, the only thing left will be high-end speciality places, places like Scarecrow Video of Seattle.

Blockbuster screwed up several ways several times. It turned down extending revenue sharing on DVDs as had been the case on tapes, causing the studios to instead push into direct retail. It turned down buying NetFlix when it was cheap. It then tried to copy NetFlix's business model instead of playing to their own strengths. It made a pathetic push into IP VOD in a partnership with Enron, that cost too much for Blockbuster, cost too much for the end user, and had crappy selection and video quality. And they engaged in deceptive adverting about "no late fees", that pissed off their userbase.

Some interesting links: link, link.