Throw out the TV?

Studio 60 on Sunset Strip is canceled, one of my viewing friend’s favorite new shows. I see that Comedy Central reversed it’s cancellation on YouTube. Rather than cut their throats, NBC or the owners of Studio 60 could syndicate this on the web. I know I would pay to have it put on my TIVO with commercials. Do you have a favorite show that was canned ? Broadcast-mandated cults will force “small shows”, developing their art, to find the IP address of their fans.

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Paper in Hand

Jeff Jarvis lights up the media infrastructure implosion and shows the expense in producing for the old stage.

Another collapse is the final distribution. My newspaper delivery person is often late or a no-show at least ever other month. But my home screen and printer are idle. Often I like to lean back and read paper. On a remote vacation, the front desk would cut and paste the good bits from a few sources and make an edition of no more than 4 pages front and back side. About all I read for breakfast. MIT called this the “daily me” in the 1980’s.

Newspapers should offer variable format “print at home” editions. They can take a note from the way TV guide streams are issued – the same show is issued in 16 character, 32 character, one sentence, one paragraph reviews. The editor fits the block. Only for papers it could be – one page, four page, sixteen page “folios” for home printing. Let the people pay for the ink and paper and stick to the business of finding interesting things to know.

Telecom Valley Joke

In San Diego, like many large cities, there is a luxury hotel where venture capitalists meet inventors. One evening a wireless device inventor walks through the lobby lugging a heavy suitcase that he drops with a thud. But then he begins to play with this new device. A VC watches. The inventor holds a thin business card that radiates colored light. He taps the screen to read some email, cruises the web.  The concierge sends a guest over who asks him for local restaurants. The inventor holds up the device and taps in the air. The lobby lights dim. “Bluetooth”. He points it at the hotel HiDef TV screen. All of a sudden his face appears as seen from the card. “UWB”. A crowd gathers to watch. The VC is getting anxious. The inventor speaks to the card “I want to show you all some good restaurants in the area” A colorful map zooms to the hotel area where icons are lit with people dining”. “GPS” He taps on an icon and a telecast from a kitchen cam comes up. “WiFi”. In comes a call, he flips the card over, a video call he spends a moment on while the crowd studies the map. “hold a second”, he flips the card over and says “print six copies of the map from here”. The Fax machine at the front desk whirs off the map with directions. “ZIGBEE”. He flips the card back and finishes his call, flips it back and taps on TV icon to show a movie. He mixes in some XM satellite music. “MEDIAFLO”. People start handing over their business cards, and he passes them over the screen, which reads the cards in. The venture capitalist can hardly resist, “Say, I’ll write you a check right now, how much do you want for it?” The inventor says, “Well, this is the only one I ever made. I guess five thousand dollars.” The investor writes the check and darts off proud of his new acquisition. The inventor shouts, “Hey, you forgot something, it’s part of the deal” pointing down at his suitcase. “Well what’s that for?” Says the inventor. “BATTERY”. The VC hangs his head and returns. “ANTENNAS too. You atr smart, but I hope you are strong.”

Newspapers as Media

Jeff Jarvis sheds deconstructive light highlighting  print media roots with  newspaper editor CP Snow’s essay.

Before revolution comes language. Before language comes notation.  Every droidian Internet company builds empire on its language (PostScript) or an API (Google Map) . The smart ones found a protocol and if all else fails – use an XML schema. Jeff Jarvis explains media building with a Newspaper API:

If you want to be big in media in the future, make yourself into an API

Finally another JJ pointer to Rob Curley and his effort to create multimediate newspapers.

WiMAX and 4G

4G is pure IP everywhere  transported by a pure packet network. WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) just had its WiMax World Conference and is certainly a 4G network with its mobile standard (IEEE 802.16e). For another view, Andrew Seybold says WiMax is not 4G. A Qualcomm ally, he is buying time while Qualcomm’s Jeff Belk makes up his mind what the new topology will be. Agreed WiMax data rate is too low for a next gen standard, has flaws in topology msut battle the incumbent technology. So will Intel’s idea of 4G sell?

  1. Advanced 3G mobile Internet standards (EVDOa, HSUPA) are already “good enough” data rates compared to the WiMax standard.
  2. WiMax has a price while WiFi 802.11g is “free”. The  upcoming 802.11n “free” standard will offer range and power close to WiMax.
  3. WiFi is subcellular, WiMAX is a broadcast topology. Cells outrule towers. The problem with towers is that when they serve too much area they becomes congested. Mobile cellular basestations work because they recover spectrum in small “cells”. WiFi has a secret success factor over WiMax. Low power short range WiFi low can create a large number of very small cells in and area and efficiently reduce congestion. Continue reading

IP Power to the People

Many have remarked on how badly institutional media misunderstand the Internet and the nature of their new potential audience. The fundamental nature of the Internet is that it is multimediate, infinitely deep, instantaneous, and global.  Jeff Jarvis observes this in his own, always present tense way:

“fragmentation.” I’ve long argued that that is a word big-media people use to lament their loss of audience and power; we, the audience, call it choice.

The “Internet Station”, not the Internet server, considers the spectacular conseqential revision of the affiliate model, the new art for journalists required to produce the good story, and the reach demographics can take to advertisers. As a global digital channel is a hungry monster to feed, keep in mind it is the publisher who sets the  frequency of feedback to accomodate the audience.

Read Write

My weekend is longer as my company is giving us a day off for great performance. Love freedom.

I am reading (again) “Understanding Media” or in comic book form “The Medium is the Massage”. What I like about McLuhan are his stupefying insights and fallacious assertions which form a fine tableaux that you can’t help but deconstruct. After some probing you are in the mood to roll your own predictions. The work is a communications assault on the mind. As the great food writer Arthur Liebling said when he was on the beach at Omaha in WWII – “There is nothing like a good strafing to build up the appetite” – Between Meals, a pilfered book from friend of the year, Wired’s Gary Wolf. What I’ve noticed that for me, when I read, I write.

A dot further on McLuhan’s catalog study of the effects of media in Understanding Media:The extensions of man, 1964 is the resonant writing of Dwight Macdonald. His great book Against the American Grain – essays on the effect of mass culture. A title that sounds as good for 1952 as it does now.  Another great book pilfering, this one from my girlfriend’s dorm room. Vicky Ekstrand in blue ink remains, wherever she is now. This book from her castaway Austin College course did more for me than my paid for courses over at UT Austin. Both writers rooting media. The further you deconstruct an idea in the tree of time, the more powerful is the root cause.  For bloggers writing long tales, some good advice. Macdonald in Discriminations p171 shares an explanation from an editor, he says was worth all six years as a staff writer at Fortune.

“Everything on the same topic should go into the same place.”