Just bring my my Wapner

When are these pompous air-heads (pun intended) over at the cable co’s going to get it?  All I want from them, and all I will EVER pay for, is the delivery of bits.  I will NOT pay more for DVR, or an up-charge for HD content, or a ‘box rental’,  They are a common carrier, remember those? 

Oh, and I refuse to pay more for ‘digital quality’ when it is, at least in my area, inferior to the analog signals and certainly far inferior to OTA HD signals.  That, and I refuse to pay more for something that I know costs them less, per channel, to deliver to me than analog.  And don’t even get me started on ATM fees… 

Until I can have ala carte billing, and pay only for those channels that I actually care about (ESPN Classic?  Please…) my CableCo will get nothing from me but ire.  That is, unless they open the cable plant to competition… Yeah, I thought so.

Techdirt: Cable Guy Says Portals Are Toast

AOL Phoneline vs. Skype — The whimper on the wire.

Ok, so I may not have typed it out loud here but I am a huge fan of open standards.  This applies double to any technology that involves communications. 

If a market, any market, is to expand there must be a frictionless way for customers to gain value/enjoyment from the product.  For communications products and services this includes the ability to communicate with the largest number of others with a minimum of fuss.  Silos of technology do not succeed.  Imagine if your Motorola cell phone could only call other Motorola phones; that your TV could only display signals sent by broadcasters using equipment from the same manufacturer; that your Toyota would only burn gas sold by Toyota; you get the picture.

There is an obvious counter-example to this statement; Microsoft.  They have what amounts to a monopoly on the desktop. But even here, the ‘monoculture‘ that has developed brings with it it’s own warts.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is one of those disruptive technologies with tremendous potential.  It is another tenticle of the convergance octopus that is dragging all the entertainment/communications devices in your home into your PC.  I am a user, both personally and professionally.  One of the great promises of VoIP is the ability to extend advanced communications capabilites to your PC,or any device with a network connection for that matter.  But this potential can only be realized if one can actually communicate with others.

Remember way back, two paragraphs ago, when I asked you to imagine what it would be like if you could only call other Motorola cell phone owners?  Well… that’s exactly the type of system that AOL (AIM Phoneline) and Skype have built.

Granted, both of them allow you to answer and make calls to the ‘old phone system’, but neither allow you directly contact users of the other’s service, or any standards based VoIP client.  There are plenty of great examples of VoIP software that leverage the well established standards for VoIP (SIP, IAX, others); ranging from phones (hard and soft) all the way up to complete enterprise-sized phone systems (Asterisk).  Using the legacy phone system as the only common-demoninator is rather like using a word-processor to compose a letter and then writing it out by hand.

Well, this post got a bit out of hand.  I initially wanted only to point you to this review, but it turned into a rant on open standards.  I appologize in perpetuity for my nonlinear thinking. 😉

PCWorld.com – First Look: AIM Phoneline and Skype 2.5

This IS serious…

It isn’t often that I get involved in politics.  I find it painfully illogical, inefficient and, primarily, motivied by greed.  It physically hurts for me to think down to the level of your average Representative/Senator.   What has come to be called Net Neutrality is one issue that is worth the pain.

I’ll not bore you further with my drivel when I can refer you, kind reader, to none other than Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Net Neutrality: This is serious | Decentralized Information Group (DIG) Breadcrumbs

Right is its own defense

Mark Cuban is smart guy that I respect.  Well, at least as much as you can respect someone whom I have never met in person and in fact would not know if I ran over him with a ice cream truck.

I’ve ‘known’ Mark since his days starting broadcast.com, one of the extremely rare bubble-era companies on who’s stock I actually made money (DAMN DIRTY PeaPod!).  He saw the digital media wave long before most people and was rewarded for it.

Although I couldn’t give two beads of sweat about his thoughts on the NBA, I do follow Mark’s (I can call you ‘Mark’, can’t I…  Mark?) thoughts reguarding digital media and business with great interest.  This post is interesting in two ways; the annoucement of a new web site/service to discuss/expose corporate fraud and his tenat that ‘Right is its own defense’.

I think I’m adding that one to my list of “Tim’s Rules of Life”.

Right is its own defense – Blog Maverick – www.blogmaverick.com _

It’s been an interesting week.

On my day job we signed not one, but two H U G E clients. One of these we have been chasing for a year (to the day). This basically ‘makes’ the company. There was Dom all around. We also received commitments from two other clients for large-scale tests. Dammmmmmmn.

If that wasn’t enough fun for one week, my weekend gig filed a provisional patent. I’m someone now!

Whew — I need a nap.

Digital Media and whatever else flows through my head…