aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Almost enough to make me put my old TiVo decal on the new car:
Like a brutal child irretrievably mashing together differently-colored chunks of playdough, TiVo’s forthcoming amalgamation of online and offline media is the boost they needed to get me interested in paying for a DVR subscription. Facing up to competition from cable and dish providers at one end and from the likes of Microsoft and Apple at the other, TiVo will now offer web video podcasts sourced from both major networks and subscribers.
The video is free of the DRM yoke and requires the $25 Plus codec pack for TiVo’s Desktop media management interface. Deals with CBS Interactive, Reuters and Forbes have already been struck, meaning that TV and news will be among the first available content bridging these companies’ websites and your DVR.
The podcasting service, TiVoCast, will include a sharing mechanism to allows subscribers to set up “private channels,” distributing their own content to friends and family. Best of all, TiVo will provide show recommendations from celebrities: a feature against which the rest of the slate simply fades into insignificance.
Sounds good, but Endgadget’s hands-on likes the partners more than the sharing:
TiVo has teamed up with One True Media to allow people to upload and edit their movies online, and then share them via TiVoCast with a special code given to friends and family with Series2 setups. Not quite the sort of TiVoCasting freedom we would hope for, but it might prove to be a welcome feature to Joe Consumer.
TiVo looks to be sending out its latest update for Series2 recorders on a first-come-first-service basis, taking requests for the update on a priority list on its website, and promising to get it out to you in three business days. According to TiVo, bumping your unit up to 8.1 will give you enhanced support for recording live events (like adding extra time), improved system performance (including a fix for those Kidzone-related slowdowns), WPA network security and, well, that’s about it.
I just signed up. I’ve been getting a Gateway Not Found error every week or so. It’s resolved by going through the wireless network setup. I’m hoping the update might fix that.
Punch little buttons
In 1994 I turned the TBBS BBS I was running into a FirstClass Community Online Service. Timing is everything and mine has never been good; Netscape launched later that year and the Web took off. The brilliant young man I worked with then is now at Google.
Back then you not only had to distribute disks, you’d have people who read about the Internet signing up for the service who had never even used a computer. Talk about customer support challenges!
I’m reminded of those days by Larry King’s comments to Roseanne Barr revealing that he’s never used the Internet:
KING: I’ve never done it, never gone searching.
BARR: Oh, my God! It just opens up the whole universe. It’s so awesome. You would love it.
KING: No, I wouldn’t.
BARR: Anything you want to know.
KING: The wife loves it. I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?
BARR: You just click on this thing. The thing is you got to be able to read, so you have to have strong glasses when you’ve over 50 and then you just scroll down and click. It’s not that hard. I can show you how to do it.
KING: No, thanks.
But King’s comments reveal something more: my experience remains that TV people just don’t get the internet. My online service morphed into an ISP before it was shut down by a board of directors peppered with television professionals who favored our TV operations.
Here I advise both the student TV group and the Mac User’s Group. I have to say that the Mac students get TV a whole lot better that the TV students get the Mac. I can’t say that we’re an accurate sampling, but it’s true to my experience from NY and through all the years of my career.
I left cable in 1999. King’s “no thanks” disinterest suggests to me that the biggest challenge then is is their biggest challenge still.
It’s official, they won
Democratic Rep. John Barrow, according to Georgia’s secretary of state, has won a second term in the state’s 12th District, defeating former one-term Republican Rep. Max Burns by just 864 votes in the rematch of their close 2004 race.
But it is not yet clear if the state’s certification of the outcome is the last word on the race: Barrow’s winning percentage is less than the 1 percentage-point threshold below which the trailing candidate can request a recount. [...]
The election board also officially certified the win by another embattled Democratic incumbent, Rep. Jim Marshall, who won a third House term with a slim 1,752-vote edge over former six-term Republican Rep. Mac Collins in the 8th District.[...]
But Barrow and Marshall faced a big new obstacle in their 2006 races, in the form of a mid-decade redistricting map - implemented by the Republican-controlled state legislature - that took away key portions of their previous constituencies and boosted the number of GOP voters.
In addition, Burns and Collins were among the Republicans’ strongest challenger recruits in this cycle, as they were well known from their previous congressional service.
How does a Georgia Republican concede defeat?
In an unusual statement issued to Macon television station WMGT, Collins spokesman Bill Hagan said a recount remains a “legal possibility” but that Collins had decided not to request it despite “clear concerns” of voting irregularities in certain counties.
The statement said Collins would reserve the right to challenge the outcome should evidence of widespread voter fraud be uncovered.
However, the statement said, “we are issuing a statement of de facto recognition that the race in 8th Congressional District has been concluded.”
The statement did not specify where the campaign has concerns about voting irregularities, and Collins’ campaign did not return phone calls or an e-mail Wednesday from The Associated Press.