aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Jake Gyllenhaal’s a Dreamgirl
Shop at Sears
You’ll recall that last month it was reported that the AFA is upset that Sears was one of 80 national advertisers on the LGBT cable channel Logo. The Washington Blade revisits the issue this week and finds that Sears has a very gay friendly record:
Sears Holding Corp. received a perfect score of 100 percent on the most recent Corporate Equality Index compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay political group. The index awards points to companies for a variety of policies related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
Sears Holding Corp. includes both sexual orientation and gender identity in its non-discrimination policy, has offered domestic partner health insurance benefits since 2003, and has a gay employee group, according to the index.
No word yet of an official AFA boycott.
The iPhone’s cellphone paradigm will pass
The iPhone stole Nokia’s N800 Internet Tablet bluster. The Internet Tablet works as a speaker (and video!) phone - you don’t hold it up to your ear - but what’s interesting is that it incorporates a mobile Skype.
Today’s cell phones work on two different connections, the cell network and the data network. Not so the N800. Slate’s Paul Boutin:
[T]ech trend-spotters have jumped on the N800’s built-in Skype software. Skype is the program that allows users to plug in a headset and make free phone calls over the Internet. It seems Rube Goldberg-like to use a phone to run a Net application to make phone calls, but the truth is that many calls are already partly routed over the Net behind the scenes. The iPhone still dials over Cingular’s voice network, but the Nokia proves phone service is on its way to becoming one more application over a wireless Net connection. Instead of buying minutes, you’ll buy a data plan for everything. In at least one way, then, the iPhone is already behind the times.
The carriers will surely resist it, but let’s all hope that the future is a flat-rate data plan that brings an end to counting cell-phone minutes!
Take a video tour of the N800.
The iPhone’s music paradigm is past
Fortune’s David Kirkpatrick is looking beyond the iPhone. He says the iPhone/iTunes/iPod music model is “based on the ideas of the past.” The future is ubiquitous wireless broadband:
In that kind of world, we will not need iTunes. I doubt most people will want to buy or “own” music at all. It will be far more useful to pick from a giant online library and listen to whatever we want wherever we are.
I didn’t fully realize this until I got a loan of a home music system called Sonos. It’s an elegant way to get music wirelessly from your PC to your stereo, but in its latest iteration it also is well-suited to getting your music directly from the Internet. The best way to get music into Sonos is via Rhapsody. Rhapsody, not iTunes, in my opinion, is the future of music.
This service, offered by RealNetworks (Charts), is what Real’s CEO Rob Glaser calls “the jukebox in the sky.” Originally designed to be used on a PC, Rhapsody allows users anytime access to an Internet library of over three million songs, including most that have ever been commercially released in the United States. Rhapsody subscribers, who pay $10 a month for unlimited access, today listen to about 130 million songs per month. [...]
Now Rhapsody is heading to the wireless ether, as it should. At the CES show this week, Real and partners announced several new ways to get Rhapsody, including some that are wireless. Reigncom this spring will start selling an iRiver portable MP3 player that allows you to listen to a Rhapsody stream over Wi-Fi networks. Nokia’s pocket-sized N800 tablet computer will also be able to receive wireless Rhapsody starting in February. They won’t allow you to listen everywhere, but if you can get a good wireless signal you’ll get Rhapsody.
Via Fred Wilson, “‘music dialtone’ is the future of music, not iTunes, iPod, or iPhone.”