Where are the hits? What are they doing wrong?

Things are looking a bit bleak in televisionland. This story in vulture.com breaks down the audience weakness in returning shows last season (2012-2013) and, yow, that looks ugly.

Things are looking a bit bleak in televisionland. This story in vulture.com breaks down the audience weakness in returning shows last season (2012-2013) and, yow, that looks ugly.


Microsoft, A Tragedy: or, The Ruff Tuff Creampuff

I'm going to do something I generally ridicule, psychoanalyze a company. And the company, (why, yes, in fact it is Microsoft) will stand for a whole class of companies, and even for a whole class of human organizations. So I begin with both a mea culpa for this, and a link to the last article I wrote, more or less, about this. http://www.mediazulu.com/edsel . I also liberally illustrate this piece with stolen (ahem, borrowed) links.

Vignette: Most mornings when I am in town I go over to the local Peets Coffee and hang out. There is a group of regulars in there with me; not everybody comes in every day, but pretty much the whole circus will rotate through over the course of a month. There are conservatives and liberals, real-estate zillionaires, tech dudes, women who like music, ex-particle physics PhDs who now run quant funds, bicycle people, profs at the local colleges (MIT, Harvard, Brandeis, Boston College) - an eclectic group that makes for good conversation. And then there are the occasionals, or the never-seen-before-or-sincers.

This morning I was sitting at Peets, reading the Wall Street Journal weekend edition, off by myself. The physics guy/money manager, who is a fellow Linux user, was sitting nearby - we had a small discussion about this and that, in the course of which he asked what I thought about the Skype/Microsoft deal. [full disclosure department: I am under NDA with Skype, and have been for a couple of years. I think I can disclose that I see stuff they make before it gets to the public. This dates back to my discovering a Bug In (Linux) Skype, as documented here. ]  read more »

I'm going to do something I generally ridicule, psychoanalyze a company. And the company, (why, yes, in fact it is Microsoft) will stand for a whole class of companies, and even for a whole class of human organizations. So I begin with both a mea culpa for this, and a link to the last article I wrote, more or less, about this. http://www.mediazulu.com/edsel . I also liberally illustrate this piece with stolen (ahem, borrowed) links.

Vignette: Most mornings when I am in town I go over to the local Peets Coffee and hang out. There is a group of regulars in there with me; not everybody comes in every day, but pretty much the whole circus will rotate through over the course of a month. There are conservatives and liberals, real-estate zillionaires, tech dudes, women who like music, ex-particle physics PhDs who now run quant funds, bicycle people, profs at the local colleges (MIT, Harvard, Brandeis, Boston College) - an eclectic group that makes for good conversation. And then there are the occasionals, or the never-seen-before-or-sincers.

This morning I was sitting at Peets, reading the Wall Street Journal weekend edition, off by myself. The physics guy/money manager, who is a fellow Linux user, was sitting nearby - we had a small discussion about this and that, in the course of which he asked what I thought about the Skype/Microsoft deal. [full disclosure department: I am under NDA with Skype, and have been for a couple of years. I think I can disclose that I see stuff they make before it gets to the public. This dates back to my discovering a Bug In (Linux) Skype, as documented here. ]


Quick Ping

Yeah, we're here, still. And hello on Dark Day, 2-17-09, the day the ancient analog tv stuff goes off (or was supposed to.)

Keep checking in. We'll have more soon.

Yeah, we're here, still. And hello on Dark Day, 2-17-09, the day the ancient analog tv stuff goes off (or was supposed to.)

Keep checking in. We'll have more soon.


Rope-a-dope

Breaking news: Verizon (VZ) tops the bidding for coveted 'C-block' 700Mhz spectrum, bidding a reported total $9.63 billion for regional licenses that cover the whole 48 continental states.

Google (GOOG) won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. And won anyway, by virtue of the open-access provisions they demanded as a precondition before they bid. These provisions (anybody want to bet me a quarter that Verizon's legal team is even now crafting a challenge to them?) putatively guarantee all comers more-or-less equal access to the desirable WiMax-friendly frequency block, freed up as of early 2009 when those old useless UHF channels on your broadcast tuner go dark.

Oh. The other winner? You. The US Treasury nets about $19.5 billion - almost double the originally estimated take.

Breaking news: Verizon (VZ) tops the bidding for coveted 'C-block' 700Mhz spectrum, bidding a reported total $9.63 billion for regional licenses that cover the whole 48 continental states.

Google (GOOG) won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. And won anyway, by virtue of the open-access provisions they demanded as a precondition before they bid. These provisions (anybody want to bet me a quarter that Verizon's legal team is even now crafting a challenge to them?) putatively guarantee all comers more-or-less equal access to the desirable WiMax-friendly frequency block, freed up as of early 2009 when those old useless UHF channels on your broadcast tuner go dark.

Oh. The other winner? You. The US Treasury nets about $19.5 billion - almost double the originally estimated take.


Hulu -- Missing the story

Today's New York media darling is Spitzer's Kristen Hulu. (That's the joint venture between Fox and NBCU, designed to 'compete with YouTube', and initially dubbed 'ClownCo' by Techcrunch's Michael Arrington.)

But the fawning coverage misses the mark. The real story? Hulu's short money and short dev cycle demonstrates exactly how low the barriers to entry to developing a good on-web video playback system have become (I correctly will refuse to abuse the English language by calling it a 'technology'.)

Sure, Hulu has gotten some good reviews (here, techcrunch, here CNN Money, and here, alleyinsider.)

What strikes me most is just how quickly (given who they are) Fox and NBCU were able to create the eyecandy which is at the basis of these positive reviews (let's face it, the yammering about 'great content' is bull - most of this stuff is already out on the web in dozens of unpoliceable venues.)  read more »

Today's New York media darling is Spitzer's Kristen Hulu. (That's the joint venture between Fox and NBCU, designed to 'compete with YouTube', and initially dubbed 'ClownCo' by Techcrunch's Michael Arrington.)

But the fawning coverage misses the mark. The real story? Hulu's short money and short dev cycle demonstrates exactly how low the barriers to entry to developing a good on-web video playback system have become (I correctly will refuse to abuse the English language by calling it a 'technology'.)

Sure, Hulu has gotten some good reviews (here, techcrunch, here CNN Money, and here, alleyinsider.)

What strikes me most is just how quickly (given who they are) Fox and NBCU were able to create the eyecandy which is at the basis of these positive reviews (let's face it, the yammering about 'great content' is bull - most of this stuff is already out on the web in dozens of unpoliceable venues.)