The News Agencies Are Digging Their Own Graves

I’m beyond irritated with the quality of news we get in the US.  It seems their latest thing is trying to scare the crap out of everyone about the “Swine Flu.”  This morning I even saw rumblings about the Swine Flu thwarting the economic recovery.  If I’m not mistaken, the news agencies are funded by advertising and the amount companies spend on advertising is linked to how well the economy is doing.  So … isn’t it best for the news agencies to have a good economy?  It seems to me their deliberate drive to scare the crap out of everyone is very short-sighted.  Sure panic and sensational headlines may grab eyeballs, but those eyeballs aren’t the ones paying media producers to deliver the news.  I’m not saying that the news should only report good things — but what I’m suggesting is perhaps the news should get back into the business of delivering the news instead of opinion and tabloid sensationalism.  A balance of good and bad news would be nice.  Clearly separating the news from opinion and taking a serious look into what is news worthy and what is not would be nice.   Seriously, does 40 confirmed cases of the Swine Flu, which so far has manifested itself as the normal flu, equal a pandemic and the precursor to global financial meltdown?  And, seriously, do the media producers wish for global financial meltdown, because that would mean they would go extinct too.  So media producers and news people out there, give the news some thought before you start spouting sensational headlines and spinning everyone up with apocalytic prophecies and crazy what-if-a-frog-had-a-glass-ass scenarios.  Be responsible in your reporting and most importantly quit “driving” world events into the ground!  It’s irritating.  So irritating in fact, that I’ve limited my access to news to ~about 1-min/day to make sure the world still exists, while at the same time keeping myself from spiraling into mental depression.

Time Warner Cable Showing some Customer “Hate”

Apparently Time Warner Cable doesn’t like their customers according to this blog entry on Slashdot.  I can’t say whether this story is true, but downloading 45GB in a weeks doesn’t sound that unusual for somebody who is using the Netflix service or iTunes to watch movies (~9 feature length movies).  So, my question is what does Time Warner want?  Do they want customers to quit their service all together and demand a government utility for the Internet?  Do they want customers to discontinue their service and rent movies and TV shows directly from Blockbuster or a kiosk?  This is the reality of rich media and they better figure out a way to make some money before they get squeezed out.  Hating your customers isn’t a way to do business.   I understand that bandwidth is expensive, but it should push them to innovate rather than to calcify and hate.  The ISPs need to understand and catch up with rich media and work with customers and the media producers to come to good solution for everyone.  If they keep hating their customers, pretty soon they won’t have any and go out of business.  And I’ll say good riddance too …

Flash to Move to TV

Adobe plans to expand Flash to TVs and set-top boxes.  No information on timing was giving in the article.  This seems quite natural to me in terms of interface, but I have to agree with MS on the matter of Flash’s limit video delivery capabilities.  People expect to watch HD content on their HD TVs.  Non-HD content on an HD TV looks like crap.  I imagine none of this is lost on Adobe, so it should be interesting to see what they come up with.  As for MS Silverlight, I did watch the extended Olympic coverage using the Silverlight and yay … but it wasn’t HD either, so I had to watch the video in a small window on my TV to see things clearly.  That kinda defeats the point of have a ~50-inch screen.  The other interesting part of this discussion is that Apple has yet to adopt Flash.  It makes me wonder whether they have something up their sleeve or whether they are being the same old obnoxious Apple that has some philosophical objection to Flash.  Either way it seems that Apple’s complaint that Flash is too processor intensive is a call to action since I imagine that concern would cross over into TV’s and set-top boxes too.

Here’s a link to an article/commentary about it.

A Whole Lot of Big Files in the Clouds

HDCloud offered HD encoding for distribution on the web.  Um … on the surface this sounds appealing, but It takes some big fat pipes to move around big files in an effective manner.  I would think serious digital film makers would have their own dedicated rendering machine.   It would be faster and fast computers are cheap.   The only way this makes sense to me is if they actually take care of putting the content on the web in various places too or actually host the big files.   Well, good luck to them …

Women 55+ are Fastest Growing Segment on Facebook

Here is a very interesting story from CNN about the growth of Facebook book usage among senior women.  It makes perfect sense after reading the article.  Senior women want to keep up with their grandchildren and scattered family.  One of women interviewed says she gets more communication out of Facebook than over the telephone.  Hahaha!!  Indeed!  I wonder where the young folks will flock to next to live their imaginary lives away from adults?

Got Cherry Blossoms?

Do you need cherry blossoms?  Are you gonna die if you can’t find some?  Well, I’ve got cherry blossoms for you!  Here’s what’s in the collection (The flowers are actually peachy colored.  I guess WordPress recrunched the file to “web only” colors):

cherry-blossomcollectionHere’s link to the vector art file for Illustrator.  Have fun and make something lovely!

In the future go to the Lovely Items Blog for more freebies.