Friday, February 26, 2010

Media consumption has definitely changed

Reuters reports that more people watched live webcasts ( Obama's inauguration than watched it on TV.

I noticed my own media consumption habits changing several years ago. As a journalist and early adopter of technology, I can't regard my own behaviour as typical. But it dawned on me last Wednesday, while watching a webcast of the U.S. House Committe on Oversight and Government Reform grilling Toyota President and CEO Akio Toyoda (, that it's been almost a decade since I looked to TV for breaking news.

Even my entertainment requirements have shifted to my laptop, as I prefer to use it and an HDMI cable to feed DVDs and other media to my TV. The TV's actually a recent addition (I don't subscribe to cable), because it was awkward to have more than two people gather round a laptop to watch something. When I'm alone, I still tend to just watch a DVD on my laptop, unless it's something with special effects that are more spectacular on a larger screen. Unlike my TV, I can watch things on my laptop while walking on my treadmill, soaking in the tub, or as I nod off at night.

If every news outlet synced up webcasts with live broadcasts of news, and every TV show provided downloads of episodes as they were airing, I'd happily download them, instead of buying seasons on DVD or, the alternative for many, watching torrents.

TV and the Web aren't just merging. They already have. Just as in traffic, some folks are early mergers and some are late mergers.

But we're all merging and it's time for broadcasters to catch up by providing streams or downloads with geotargeted ads.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apple's new app rules: No swimsuits, no skin

From Day 1 I found Apple to be patronizing: the first Macs wouldn't give me my floppy back until I asked (and *WAITED*) for the Mac to give me *permission* to remove it, in sharp contrast to PCs providing a button that let me eject my floppy immediately, any time I wanted it.

So news that Apple is censoring what applications can be sold in its App Store doesn't surprise me. What is surprising is *how puritanical* they're being. Tech Crunch reports that no app that displays any skin at all is being allowed (today, anyway), which is giving rise to burqa jokes. Check it out:

'I was perfectly content before I was born'

Chris Jones has penned the most incredibly raw, no-holds barred profile of Roger Ebert. After cancer surgeries removed his thyroid, salivary glands and most of his lower jaw, Ebert suffered through several disastrous attempts to rebuild his jaw and is refusing further surgery. He's still reviewing films, though, and living his life on his own terms. He just isn't holding anything back these days.

Ebert is dying in increments, and he is aware of it, says Jones. And follows with this most amazing quote: "I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear," he writes in a journal entry titled Go Gently into That Good Night. "I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter. You can't say it wasn't interesting. My lifetime's memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."

Read the entire profile here:

RIP, Charlie Wilson

`Feminists like me because I am an unapologetic sexist, chauvinist redneck who votes with 'em every time.'

We've lost another Texas icon. The man who secretly armed Afghanistan to rout the Russians, Charlie said he didn't like feminists to know he voted with 'em, 'cause life was more fun when they were mad at him.

iPad? Really?

MadTV's prophetic iPad ad demonstrates why Apple should've had at least one woman on the product name team:

It's too soon to tell whether Apple is filling a need we didn't yet know we had ... or just glued together four iPhones. Book publishers, clearly, are happy to see alternatives to the Kindle. But as long as we can't loan an ebook to a friend and can't transfer ownership, I think book publishers need to rethink how much they want to raise prices on ebooks.

China's censorship of Google

Interesting: Thomas Friedman analysis of what's behind China's censorship of Google compares China to Enron:

The blog is the new resume?

This post is almost 3 years old, and before Facebook and LinkedIn became stand-ins for online resumes. But it's prophetic for 2007:


Sad. The visitor who puts roses on Edgar Allan Poe's grave on Poe's birthday was a no-show for 1st time in 60 years: