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Monday, February 13, 2006

Netflix 'throttling,' IDT animating, audio mixing

- This AP story explains the Netflix practice of 'throttling' heavy users of the DVD rental service. Michael Liedtke writes:

    Netflix typically sends about 13 movies per month to [Manuel] Villanueva's home in Warren, Mich. -- down from the 18 to 22 DVDs he once received before the company's automated system identified him as a heavy renter and began delaying his shipments to protect its profits.

    The same Netflix formula also shoves Villanueva to the back of the line for the most-wanted DVDs, so the service can send those popular flicks to new subscribers and infrequent renters.

    The little-known practice, called "throttling" by critics, means Netflix customers who pay the same price for the same service are often treated differently, depending on their rental patterns.

- Happened to meet someone yesterday who works with IDT Entertainment in New Jersey, the computer animation division of a telecom company. (Odd, yes.) Their first feature film, "Yankee Irving," will be out this August. It's the story of a kid who befriends Babe Ruth. Voicing characters are Whoopi Goldberg, Brian Dennehy, William H. Macy, and Mandy Patinkin. The original director was Christopher Reeve. IDT has spent at least $72 million building up its animation business, and buying a DVD distributor.

- Speaking of animation, the LA Times has this neat profile of an audio mixer who works in feature animation.


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