Dennis Haarsager's rolling environmental scan for electronic media. "Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us." --Jerry Garcia "Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." --Bob Seger
Press release: "The wireless industry took a giant step toward solving the riddle of dwindling radio spectrum availability today when Adapt4, LLC received Federal Communications Commission certification for the world's first commercial cognitive radio. The XG1 is the first in Adapt 4's family of intelligent wireless devices that makes use of already-licensed radio channels -- but only while they are not in use by others. ¶ Adapt4 Vice President, Paul Greenis, explained, 'For years, the FCC has recognized the inefficient use of radio spectrum. At any given point in time, only about 10 percent of licensed radio channels are active.' ..." Link: Adapt4.
I've been following the BBC iMP (Interactive Media Player) beta closely because it's an innovation for distribution of public service content and because it's powered by Kontiki, which also powers the Open Media Network, a project with which I'm working closely. "Improbulus" has been one of the beta participants and she writes the following. --Dennis
"I've been participating in the limited trial of the BBC's iMP or MyBBCPlayer, where you can download and replay certain BBC programmes for free up to a week after the broadcast. Previously I gave my initial thoughts plus some detailed tips and tricks on MyBBCPlayer. ¶ This post sets out what I feel are the most important barriers to mass take up of iMP, which in my view the BBC must address if they want iMP to be a success: ..." Link: A Consuming Experience.
Saul Hansell writes: "Amid the cacophony of the sprawling Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, the main action had little to do with electronics. ... ¶ The real news was neither shiny nor tiny. The question in the air was what people will watch, listen to and do with these machines now that they are becoming interchangeable and interconnected. ...¶... Control anxiety may help explain why the media establishment has been so taken aback by the actual arrival of convergence. When media moguls talked about convergence, they often meant interactive television that was developed, operated and controlled by cable companies or the other usual corporate suspects. Accordingly, Comcast has invested billions to teach its old cables new tricks, like video on demand. ¶ But what really broke down the barriers in the last few years was the spread of high-speed Internet connections and the development of efficient ways to deliver high-quality video signals. ..." Link: New York Times.
Jeffrey Boase, John B. Horrigan, Barry Wellman and Lee Rainie write: "... Our evidence calls into question fears that social relationships — and community — are fading away in America. Instead of disappearing, people’s communities are transforming: The traditional human orientation to neighborhood- and village-based groups is moving towards communities that are oriented around geographically dispersed social networks. People communicate and maneuver in these networks rather than being bound up in one solidary community. Yet people’s networks continue to have substantial numbers of relatives and neighbors — the traditional bases of community — as well as friends and workmates. ¶ The internet and email play an important role in maintaining these dispersed social networks. Rather than conflicting with people’s community ties, we find that the internet fits seamlessly with in-person and phone encounters. With the help of the internet, people are able to maintain active contact with sizable social networks, even though many of the people in those networks do not live nearby. Moreover, there is media multiplexity: The more that people see each other in person and talk on the phone, the more they use the internet. The connectedness that the internet and other media foster within social networks has real payoffs: People use the internet to seek out others in their networks of contacts when they need help. ..." Link: Pew Internet & American Life Project -- report [pdf] and press release.
Mark Glaser writes: "... So far, most video search engines will give you spotty results for what you want. You might get nothing, or you might get unrelated video. Worse yet, you might have to use a different web browser to view the video, or install special software as with America Online’s video search. ¶ I decided to try out some of the video search engines, and wanted to see if any of them would show me video from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. So I simply typed “2004 summer olympics” (without the quotation marks) into a few video search engines, and had pretty poor results. Blinkx gave me the most results, but nothing from the 2004 games. There were many more results for the Special Olympics, as well as for the upcoming 2006 Winter Olympics. ..." Link: MediaShift at PBS.
Bruno Giussani writes: "There are many ways to get videos from and publish them on the Internet. There are few that are easy, convenient, fast and legal. ¶ Open Media Network is one of them. It an attempt at creating a delivery system for downloading and watching videos, as well as to publish them, and at developing over time a public repository of rich media content. The underlying strength of the system is a "grid network" technology that speeds up downloading considerably. Files are stored and managed centrally and delivered within a digital-rights management mechanism, and the OMN provides a listing by categories and tags making it easier to find the desired video. A future version will also include a payment feature so that producers can sell content through the OMN. (Oh: and they just released their beta client for Mac). ..." Link: Lunch over IP. Disclosure -- I'm chairing a group of public broadcasting stations and independent producers that's collaborating closely with OMN. --Dennis
Robin Good writes: "... as more and more people live their daily lives while moving, commuting, traveling for work or leisure, just-in-time access to what you need to know becomes increasingly an asset modern people can't do away with. ¶ But as business workers interpret just-in-time, on-the-move information access a "given" of their ecosystem, educational institutions and schools certainly have not been looking positively at the array of just-in-time learning opportunities that mobile media devices can deliver to anyone. ...¶... Learning within context, at-the-time when you need it, and by exploring and calling up the precise information you need to know about, it is a fundamental paradigmatic shift from the way we conceive education today. ¶ By mixing e-learning and mobile computing, a new form of education may be created. It is called mobile learning, or m-learning. ¶ Given its definition m-learning could very well be a new form of personal learning that never ends, allowing more and more people to realize how much of our lifetimes on this planet are truly extended adventures in personal learning. ..." Link: MasterNewMedia.
John Hagel writes: "In a conversation with Jack Welch earlier this week, he raved about Rich Kaarlgard’s recent column in Forbes on “World’s Worst Disease”. No, Rich is not talking about cancer, AIDS or avian flu – he is talking about “zero-sum thinking” – the belief that if one person gains, other people must inevitably lose. ¶ Rich focuses on a significant rift in our society. In fact, this is perhaps the most fundamental rift in any society. It ultimately determines whether the society is progressive and dynamic or stagnant and conflict-prone. ..." Link: Edge Persepctives.
Shankar Gupta writes: "TiVo this week is wrapping up the rollout of a host of broadband services that include access to podcasts, games, music, and online movie ticketing, through the user's living room TV. ¶ The program, which began in November, gives TiVo users who also have broadband connections the ability to access any podcast on the Web, and play the audio on their TV sets. ..." Link: MediaPost.