Hulu Desktop was the one reason I always paid for Hulu Plus, to integrate with a HTPC and get a wide selection of programming without subscribing to cable or satellite. After yanking official support for this uber-basic application last year (claiming they couldn’t dedicate any more resources to it — as if something like Windows Notepad still requires a salaried department at Microsoft), in just the last few days, Hulu started playing hardball by crashing the application after a minute or so with the above “error” message. In case you forgot, Hulu is a mega-corporate venture with Comcast, NBC Universal, ABC, Disney, Fox, and massive investors. They represent the old-guard way of thinking about content delivery, and by creating this mysterious “error” instead of simply being honest about their business plan, to extort you into using specific platforms and partnerships, they’ve sunk to the lowest level of cynicism against consumers. It may not seem epic, but it’s a subtle reminder that they’re not your friend. They make perky commercials with peppy music to make you think so, but really: nyet.
Just thought I’d mention it. Exciting to see who might come along to fumigate their old-person-smell, because there’s always a hungry start-up waiting in the wings. In the meantime, watch this video for a frightening shot of irony: