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March 28th, 2006

I’m Tired of Subscriptions

There was a time when subscriptions were for magazines only. But increasingly, we’re paying monthly or annually for things that would be quite nice to just get outright.

My subscription angst grew when I downloaded the latest version of Forecastfox, a handy in-browser weather forecast extension for Firefox. I clicked on an icon (59 degrees Thursday!) and was taken to AccuWeather’s usual page. I was able to select another day in the dropdown on that page, but a number of days were in a different color. Why? I need to AccuWeather Premium in order to get a detailed forecast for that day. What? You want me to pay for the forecast?

I also extensively use Backpack, a 37signals tool, and have come to rely on it. Anything above the free version – with a 5-page limit and no uploading – costs money per month. Same goes for all of their products. Same goes for flickr (though it’s a relatively cheap $2/month.) Same goes for television. Same goes for internet. Same goes for, well, everything.

I understand that a lot of it is an abstraction between paying for a service and having some sort of thing, but that seems to be hard for me to get over at times. Especially in a case such as AccuWeather’s, it seems to be just to milk the fledgling “pay monthly for everything” model out there. And you know what? I’ll make do with your forecast, AccuWeather. Until I have to pay for that, too.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: Monica
DATE: Tuesday March 28, 2006 -- 1:17:26 pm
Accuweather sucks. Think feedlot, 'cept filled with bachelor-degreed meteorologists forecasting for poor wages.
There's crappy ties between the company and PA's senator Santorum too... here is one reference. Poo.

FROM: Steve A.
DATE: Tuesday March 28, 2006 -- 2:37:59 pm
When I lived in the Scotland, 1975-1980, we had to pay for a TV license. There were then two tiers: Black & White and color. That's what covered the cost of the BBC.

It's funny, I told them I only watched the (then) one commercial station, Independent Television (ITV), and shouldn't have to pay - no sense of humo(u)r!

Cheerio just now,

FROM: jk
DATE: Tuesday March 28, 2006 -- 9:43:02 pm
Check out You can get that for free, although if you want it on your phone, which I want but have not yet figured out, it's a couple dollars a month.

I get the day's weather emailed to me every morning, and the moving radar as I call it is VERY accurate. (We are prone to severe thunderstorms in my area so I like to know just how close they are.) I would like to have the radar on my phone when I am on the road.

FROM: Scott [E-Mail]
DATE: Saturday July 22, 2006 -- 2:39:23 pm
Also, Accuweather's forecast is only reliable for about 10 hours out. Any extended outlook is a total crapshoot. Example, today it's 104 in the San Fernando Valley. said this all week. Accuweather on the other hand insisted on 88 degrees (until the night before). You'd think they'd realize something was wrong when they're posting "Excessive Heat Warnings" yet calling for such low temperatures!

Tom September 25, 2006, 2:23 am

You’d think AccuWeather would do *some* sort of verifying the data their servers are spitting out. Clearly they’re not. It seems to me that they’re using simple algorithms to ‘forecast’ based on the temperatures the past couple of days or so. Just the other day they were predicting quite cool temps (60’s/40’s) for my area, and now they’re basically saying it will be balmy everyday for the next half-month (70’s/50’s). They suck, for sure.

Paul October 28, 2009, 4:16 pm

Thinking about this again today, particularly with the new Google Maps GPS for Android.

I have a GPS. I bought it. I own it. I don’t have to pay any monthly fees (but I could definitely pay an annual fee of ~$100 to update the maps.)

Alternately with the GMaps deal, I would need to buy a phone ($200), pay a monthly fee to Verizon ($50 at least), and be on a contract. Once that two year period is up, more monthly fees just to use it.

It’s tough. There’s so very much in our society that is moving to a subscription model that buying something outright seems like it’s falling into disfavor.

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