Category Archives: Stupid

Can Netbooks and Media Save Each Other?

Here’s an interesting editorial from Ad Age.  The author, Simon Dumenco postulates that free or very cheap netbooks can save the media industry through a subscription based content model.  Hahaha!!! This is nothing new.  I remember when the first round of “Internet Appliances” tried to come out in the late 90’s early 2000’s.  There was talk that a portion of the screen would be filled with ads to pay for the cost of the hardware and the software.  That idea died quickly.  Fast forward to now … so I’m gonna get a free netbook so I can pay$xx.99/mo. for each cloud application I want to access?   Oh, and by the way, some portion of the screen will be filled with advertisements to pay for the cost of the hardware and the software.   And, wow, isn’t it great to watch Hulu on an 8-in screen — how about a 8-in portable DVD player and a Blockbuster card?

Now some words about “Netbooks.”  When I initially heard about these devices, I thought the idea was ridiculous.  Being the type of person I am, this meant I had to get one to see if I could make sense of the hype.  My parents gifted me an HP Mini 1000 for Christmas and I really like it.  It’s a great little computer for the kitchen to look up recipes, read e-mail, and do little online shopping tasks when it’s inconvenient to go up to the office and fire up my PC or “real laptop.”  I, also, use it to read manga online while in bed and it’s much easier and less worrisome to bring this little guy on trips rather than a bulky laptop, when all we want to do is e-mail and check the news while out.  I think what makes this netbook and ones like it successful is that it is not as underpowered as I expected.  My netbook has comparable technical specs to my 3-yr “real laptop” so I can watch downloaded anime in the high-def file formats and I can have a “Rich Internet Experience.”  Granted, though, it’s nothing like my gaming PC or my smokin’ media laptop.  All-in-all, I’d have to say most netbooks are nice little products suitable for people on the go, children, and people looking for a secondary PC or laptop.

And some thoughts on media:  I still go to the movies because I like to watch good movies on a big screen with a crowd.  I feel watching a good movie is a good use of $11 and 2-1/2 hours of a weekend — the key words being “good movies.”  Good or better products and good or better experiences built around these products will always attract a crowd.  I think media outlets should concentrate on the content and make delivery of the content a better experience than piracy, rather than worrying about pirates and wasting brain cells coming up with the next free-but-not-free gimmick.

Lastly, to the author’s suggestion that hardware/software companies have to become media companies — well, this is not an old idea either.  The problem is, neither hardware/software companies nor media companies want to share because each wants it all.  On top of that, there are neat anti-trusts laws protecting us consumers from something like a DellMicrosoftNBCUniversalTimeWarner catastrophe (banish the thought now!).

In conclusion, can netbooks and media save each other?  I don’t know.  However, I do know selling a product for less than it cost to make and racing to the bottom in a price war is not a viable business plan.  Neither is free content.  I think hardware/software and media companies have to do the hard work and apply business fundamentals and some good old-fashion product innovation, as well as, take away the “free candy” from consumers in order to survive and thrive.  I think Apple is a great example of this on the hardware/software side.  As for media and piracy, if you want to beat the pirates, then join them and figure out how to make a paid experience that is much more appealing than piracy.  Again, I stress, media companies should impress upon potential customers that bad people can hide malicious code in free downloads.  I think this would be a far more compelling argument against piracy than copyright violation because you are offering protection from identity theft and the like, in addition to great entertainment.  (AUGH!!! It’s so frustrating watching the media industry pointlessly twisting in the breeze …)

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.

Disney XD Replaces Toon Disney Today

Here’s a link to an article about it.

I imagine XD stands for “Extreme Disney” + the XD emoticon which can express extreme happiness or sarcasm (XD …) — I’m not sure whether Disney was being clever or stupid when considering XD with regards to its most current pop culture meaning.  My guess is that they are completely clueless about the emoticon “XD” …

So … a network aimed at 6 -14-yr old boys … hmm… what comes to mind to me?  Anime, more anime, and still more anime, the latest in video games, Ninja Warrior, the extreme sports videos played at Islands Restaurants, packed in with yet more anime.   Disney better have a gundam anime, a “Naruto” clone and a “Bleach” clone in their programming if they hope to even have a chance with any boy over the age of 8.  Geez, …, and forget even overtly having music stars (what’s with the Beastie Boys?  They were in when I was a teen and I’m now pushing 35).   Oh, and drop the “Disney” branding because no self-respecting male over the age of 8 wants to be associated in *ANY* way with “Disney”.   What’s described in the article sounds to me like another channel aimed at ‘tween girls.  Good luck Disney! and go watch some shonen anime and read some shonen manga for goodness sakes … XD

XD
XD

…psst … here are some clues in order from entertaining the youngest to the oldest boys:

  • Whatever the latest Power Ranger and Pokemon incarnation is
  • Naruto/ One Piece
  • Bleach
  • Death Note

Other suggestions:

  • Find 16-ish version of Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb of the G4 Network to host a video game show (nothing is as sweet to a tween boy as a cute gamer girl to crush on).
  • Scour Asia for a teen version of Ninja Warrior — DO NOT try to make an American version.  Americans, believe it or not, are too reserved  to create genuine moments like those in “Ninja Warrior”
  • Shamelessly copy from multiple networks (Nick, G4, FuelTV …)  if you have to because no one has put together a coherent and integrated offering on TV for American boys yet.
  • Save the sports for ESPN

Give me a Break! Carly Fiorina

Buwhahahahaha!!!

She says the government should stay out of determining executive pay when a company receives a TARP bailout.  Ummm … OH REALLY, Miss-I-was-paid-$20-Million + to-leave-HP-after-failing-as-a-CEO?  Does she even understand how much R&D could have been funded with her “failure bonus”?  (And that goes to the rest of you tech CEO’s receiving millions in bonuses while cutting R&D spending and jobs …)

Buwahahahahaha!!!  Whooo!!!  My sides hurt!!!  I can’t stop laughing!!!!

Here’s a link to the nonsense that dribbled out of Ms. Fiorina’s mouth.