Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Rant Time

Some things that are currently pissing me off:

Satellite Radio

Specifically Canadian satellite radio. Both Sirius and XM started providing service in Canada on December 1st. I was all psyched to go buy a radio and sign up with Sirius so that I could listen to Howard Stern when he jumps to satellite in January, but became more than a little pissed off when I found out that Howard 100 and Howard 101 won't be carried by Sirius Canada. At the same time XM is broadcasting Opie and Anthony, who while not quite as famous or abrasive as Stern, have racked up a healthy number of fines from the FCC over the years.

Why no Howard, you ask? I have no idea. Sirius made a statement where they said "The CRTC, who we are licensed to, would eventually force us to take Stern down, because we have standards we have to abide by in this country when you own a broadcasting license". To me that smells of BS.

Satellite radio isn't like regular radio, you can't just stumble upon something you find offensive. To receive the show you need to:
  • purchase a satellite radio
  • fill out all the paperwork and pay a monthly fee for the service
  • search through 100+ stations to find the one containing some Howard Stern goodness.

To use an example from Satellite TV, I can subscribe to Hustler TV, which shows a nonstop schedule of honest to goodness hardcore pornography (not that there is anything wrong with that), and the CRTC doesn't seem to be threatening to shut down ExpressVu or Starchoice. Yet for some reason Sirius doesn't seem to want to risk a run in with the CRTC, while their only competition is providing a similar show. This was perplexing to me, as Sirius Canada is partly owned by Sirius US, who are paying Stern $500,000,000 over the next 5 years to provide 2 channels of content. You'd think that they would want to make the service available to as many subscribers as possible to recoup that huge expenditure. But wait, I did say Sirius Canada is partly owned the US parent company. Who else owns Sirius Canada? A little research shows the other parts are owned by Standard Broadcasting (a large media conglomerate) and the CBC. Hmmmm....so the federal government decides to hand out 2 licenses to satellite radio operators and shockingly one of them goes to, a company partly owned by the federal government, oh how I am shocked. And in exchange for this little favour, Sirius Canada has seemingly agreed not to do anything that could cause the CRTC a headache instead of doing everything they can to attract customers, well isn't that nice of them.

I'm not 100% sure I had a clear point in there, but basically I'm saying I want my Howard Stern damn it, and I shouldn't have to do it by downloading the episodes off the net or buying a grey market radio and signing up for service with a fake US address. I'm an adult, I can decide what I do and don't want to hear, so let me do it, legally.


Fuck Winter.

The Federal Election

Earth to the morons who started up the non confidence vote and caused this mess: You aren't going to form the new government. The Fiberals are going to form another minority government, and everything will be the same except it'll be 2 months later and nothing will have happened in parliament during that time. Great use of taxpayer money chumps. Oh and could someone with the conservative party let me know where they are going to get the money to replace the $4.5B/year that dropping the GST to 6% is going to cost us?

Ok, I feel somewhat better now.

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