Keep Hulu free!

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a company starts charging for something once offered for free. I was so bitter about having to pay a cable company just to get local channels that for years I struggled with a pair of rabbit ears from RadioShack.

Never mind that I was reporting on the consumer electronics industry at the time and wrote about the latest home technology. It was rabbit ears for me, on principle.

Cable service is now included in my monthly condominium assessments, making paid TV watching sort of justifiable. But now my newest favorite freebie is making noise about going to some kind of paid model. Oh Hulu, say it isn't so.

If you haven't seen a Hulu commercial or checked out the Web site, it offers a lot (but not all) TV programming and some movies. Missed last week's episode of "House" or "Rescue Me?" It's on Hulu, and it's free. At least for now.

Daily Finance reports that Jonathan Miller of News Corp., Hulu's parent company, sees a future where some of that content comes with a fee attached.

Miller, fresh off a gig running AOL (parent company of Walletpop and Daily Finance) is so new he hasn't even attended a board meeting yet. So this is all pure conjecture. Conjecture that sent me into a panic.

And from the number of places that picked up the story, I'm not alone in this guilty pleasure of watching TV shows on my computer.

Miller said "future," so we'll have to wait and see. For now I will focus on packing for a week-long trip with only a carryon bag. Not paying extra to check one, no way.

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