aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, March 19, 2006
TV is going to be TV, delivered like TV, for a very long time
The viewing of internet video will continue to grow. We will upload and download more and more video, consuming increasing amounts of bandwidth. We will want to download movies in High Def quality. Digital pictures will increase in resolution, and we will upload and share our lives through digital pictures that consumes multiple mbs per picture. Too do all of the above without limit, where and when you want to do it just cant happen. For the vast majority of us, there wont be enough bandwidth for at will , unlimited downloads.
You heard it here first. Instead of Net Nanny at home, you will have Download Nanny on yours and the kids or roommates PCs. If your roommate tries to download a 2gb movie at 9pm, and you still have to work to do later, you cant face the risk of the connection slowing to a crawl and timing out . You are going to set Download Nanny to pop up the dreaded “I dont think so Tim” window that reschedules the download to whatever open time it calculates is available based on the average download speed at any given time of day for your internet connection.
We will reach a point in the next few years where we are complaining about internet speed all the time. This wont be a corporate issue, it will be a home issue. We wont be able to do all the things we want to do on the net how and when we want to do it.
Susan Crawford sees the problem and can imagine an answer:
I’ve come to believe that someone, some government actor, has to get involved. This is a big shift, and it’s happening (for me, at least) because there isn’t any real competition in the market for unfettered internet access. Indeed, there’s no competition at all in that marketplace. All the big guys believe that they should own and control and prioritize.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up on worrying about the FCC and its abilities. If it is going to become the “internet agency,” and if it’s going to be our place for open road rules, the Commission needs to change. It’s going to need to pay higher salaries so that more technical people go there. It’s going to need to allow the staff to do good work without fearing political overruling at the top. It can’t be a backwater—it will have to be a great and innovative place to work.
I’m from the regulated cable era that, with all its shortcomings, seemed better than this. I remember Al Gore while he was inventing the Internet, and from me he gets the credit he’s due. We need an elected official with his level of understanding now.
These days folks say that a post-regulatory incentivized system can do what regulation could not. I’m listening, I’m watching, I’d like to see it. But so far I haven’t seen such a system even described much less working.
So I’m right there with you Susan, hoping against hope that your vision is even remotely possible.
How to lick hearing loss
Les Blomberg, executive director of the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, described hearing loss with a nice analogy: “If you have a field of grass and you walk on it, you compress the grass and it bends down over the night, and in a few days, it springs back up and is OK again. But if you keep doing that over and over, you wear a path in it. And that’s kind of what happens with hearing loss.”
Blomberg is working on an invention to give users more control over the volume output of their portable devices. Although he declined to tell me much about it, I gleaned it’s some sort of software solution for the iPod that can make users aware of unsafe volumes. Whatever Blomberg’s working on, we should know more about it in a couple of months.
Apple normally locks developers out of the iPod, but perhaps it will license Blomberg’s software now that it’s been sued for contributing to hearing loss on a large scale. It’s unclear whether Apple might be found liable, but the iPod is one of the loudest portable music players around, with a high output of 30 mW per channel.
A Louisiana man claims in a lawsuit that Apple’s iPod music player can cause hearing loss in people who use it.
Apple has sold more than 42 million of the devices since they went on sale in 2001, including 14 million in the fourth quarter last year. The devices can produce sounds of more than 115 decibels, a volume that can damage the hearing of a person exposed to the sound for more than 28 seconds per day, according to the complaint.
UPDATE: Apple makes changes.
Augusto at Queer Beacon found this “amazing not surprising” research from right up the road at The University of Georgia. Done in 1996, it shows up in the Know + Tell section of the April Details magazine.
The quote I like: “In tests conducted by Prof. Henry E Adams of the University of Georgia, homophobic men who said they were exclusively heterosexual were shown gay sex videos. Four out of five became sexually aroused by the homoerotic imagery, as recorded by a penile circumference measuring device - a plethysmograph. Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is a form of “latent homosexuality where persons are either unaware of or deny their homosexual urges.”
Bill Kristol: Feingold’s winning
For days I’ve been hearing the conventional wisdom that Feingold’s censure move is hurting the Dems and playing into the hands of the Republicans. Today, Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday says:
I think Feingold’s smarter than the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate and I think he deserves some credit for taking a principled stand and I honestly believe he’s, in fact, winning this debate right now…
I think Feingold has succeeded in casting a big cloud over the president’s program… So long as the charge is out there and it’s not rebutted, it helps. And I think Feingold makes his case coherently. He’s an impressive politician; he’s been elected [three times] in a state that’s competitive…
Republicans cannot go to a midterm election saying, “Re-elect a Republican congress to protect the president from impeachment.” They have to make a substantive case for the president’s policies and the reason Feingold’s move is very smart...for the Democratic Party is he’s going at it straight at President Bush.
You don’t get in politics only to play at issues where you already have public opinion on your side. He’s trying to change public opinion… [S]o far he’s making the case that it’s illegal, he’s going to have editorial pages backing him up and the Republicans are just whining that , “Ooh he’s trying to censure the president.” They’re not making a substantive case in defense of the program.
There was also a good debate between Juan Williams and Brit Hume in the middle of all that. I’m betting Crooks and Liars will have video later. I’ll link it then.
If you’re one of those who wants to send Congress a message asking them to censure the president for his illegal spying, click here.
South Park: kiss-off Viacom!
Tom Cruise reportedly got Comedy Central to cancel Wednesday night’s cablecast of the controversial “South Park” episode about Scientology by warning that he’d refuse to promote “Mission Impossible 3,” reports today’s Page Six.
Paramount, the film company who holds Cruise’s contract, is counting on “MI3” to bring in blockbuster profits this summer, and Paramount is owned by parent company Viacom, which so happens to also own Comedy Central.
Thursday Variety reported Trey & Matt’s response:
“So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!”
The duo signed the statement “Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu.”
Friday Andrew Sullivan declared war:
Email Viacom to protest their submission to Tom Cruise. The main email address I can find on their site is . Email Comedy Central to demand the airing of "Trapped in the Closet"; use this page to send an email and put "Support Freedom of Speech" in the contents line; and add your own personal message beneath. If you’re a blogger, encourage your readers to do the same, and advertize these email addresses on your site. Let’s see if we can harness the blogosphere against the censors. Finally, make sure you don’t go see Paramount’s "Mission Impossible: 3," Cruise’s upcoming movie. I know you weren’t going to see it anyway. But now any money you spend on this movie is a blow against freedom of speech. Boycott it. Tell your friends to boycott it.
James Joyner suggested watching the episode on YouTube “before Tom Cruise gets to them, too.” I note that his original YouTube link is now dead, a search turned up the new link. I like to think that as fast as they pull it down, someone else will put it back up.
My advice to Matt and Trey? Announce they’re leaving Comedy Central unless they get, say, the same kind of total control that huge Hollywood directors and stars like Cruise get over the content and distribution of their movies.
To back up their threat, they also announce that they are “exploring” Andy Bowers’ suggestion for West Wing (which was itself derived from MIT media analyst Ivan Askwith): pay-per-view distribution of South Park.
They further announce that they are exploring distribution deals with Netflix and TiVo. What would Sumner say to that?