This is how the movie might start. Average Joe computer guy installs a new personal drive on his home network and discovers it is completely full. Terabytes of first run films, mini-series and TV shows. This can’t be legal. Nobody owns 5500 titles.
Keep them or delete them. That is the question. A short amount of soul searching and he decides to do the right thing. Send it back out of respect for the artist’s digital media rights.
He contacts the source for a new drive so he can send this one back. He just wants what he paid for. Who knows where this digital library came from and what other malware the drive might contain? Let the vendor deal with it.
Then the replacement arrives.
It is completely full. This time with even more content.
In the movie average Joe has stumbled on a nefarious plot to profit from stolen data. The villain wants to silence him to protect his scheme. A global chase ensues with the obligatory love interest. A classic ordinary man in extraordinary trouble in the vein of classic Hitchcock & Jimmy Stewart films or the not so classic Man with On Red Shoe. It writes itself.
Except it is not just a story. It is Friday night and I am Average Joe. Ok, there was no global chase or nefarious villain. At least not yet anyway. Probably just really bad processes somewhere.
I bought a 3TB Seagate PersonalCloud NAS from Bestbuy.com. It was taking FOREVER to initialize. I thought it might be hung so I restarted with a reset to try again. The drive came up right away but there were a few oddities.
First the device name was set to FlixCube-A1 not the default. OK – they sent me an open box or refurbished drive. I decided I didn’t really care because I was just parking old VM’s so I started loading data and it filled up immediately. Underneath a preexisting /Public/Recovery folder I found a FlixCube-A1 directory with a huge digital library.
Neatly organized. 100 television series with all seasons. Everything from Fringe to Game of Thrones. 50 Mini-Series. About 2000 movies. The most recent of which was added in July 2016. When I saw Batman v Superman in the list I resisted the urge to burn the whole thing and started to ponder where this came from and what to do with it.
Maybe Geek Squad used it backing up a customer device. Maybe Seagate is secretly running flixcube.com out of their facility. Maybe black SUV’s are going to pull up to my house any minute.
I did what anyone else would do. I asked facebook. A few levelheaded artists types encouraged me not hang on to the entertainment goldmine. They were right. I didn’t pay for these. I put the device back to as close to the original condition as I could. I removed the users I had added in setup, removed my data and resolved to swap it out.
I finally got around to chatting with Bestbuy support a few days (and an episode of Outlander) later. They said nothing of the data but sent me a replacement and I agreed to send this one back in the new packaging since I had immediately trashed the original as soon as I had it powered up. (yes that’s a terrible habit and I learned my lesson) I did check the new one for the factory seal.
This one too was taking forever to initialize. Naturally. I did the same thing and reset it. Surely this couldn’t happen again.
Well now I have both FlixCube A1 and A3 in my possession.
So what is FlixCube? There is a pirate movie site by that name that was my first suspect. Then I found this story on the parody film news site FilmBust. The story claims Netflix is launching a streaming competitor to Redbox where you stand in the parking lot of Walgreens and watch streaming videos. Guess what it’s called. That’s right. FlixCube.
I actually have no idea how this happened and I am afraid I am going to start a run on 3TB Seagate drives by people looking to build their own Redbox. The advice from Facebook got me nowhere so I did what any other reasonable social media type would do. Now I am blogging about it. At least this way if I disappear you will know why.
When I get a chance the next stop is Seagate support but if anyone at Netflix, Seagate or BestBuy can explain to me how this happened I would love to know.