Please stay tuned…


Update: Turns out that it was my ISP having mail issues, not anything I’d done. Go, me. You may go about your business.

Just popped open the personal email client and found that there’s suspiciously little (like, nothing) there since…um, the Friday afternoon after Thanksgiving…somewhere after “hey, they were right, you can get a lot of excellent Argentinian wine really cheap,” and some “cleanup” on this and that related to personal online presence. It would appear possible that I’ve fucked up mail routing. Again. Please stay tuned. This is, however, a convenient opportunity to note that I’m finally doing my best to give twitter a fair shot, so @whitneymcn on twitter should get through to me.

Note to self: install breathalyzer on powerbook.

Lunchtime Musings: on the writers’ strike


I love seeing the striking writers producing direct-to-YouTube videos in support of their cause. The video below was posted yesterday, and as of 1:31 pm EST it’s been viewed 38,447 times. An awful lot of people are getting an engaging, amusing pitch for the writers’ position.

Seems like the Big Content executives would benefit from coming up with an equally engaging response. If only they had access to a group of people who were used to developing entertaining content based on current events on a very tight schedule…

Update, 7:23PM: This video has now been viewed 61,165 times. Sure, it’s no Lazy Sunday, but 22k views in six hours sounds like a decent start on viral uptake to me.

NBC Direct Extremely Viewer-Friendly In Bizarre Alternate Reality


NBC releases the beta of its ad supported TV download service (code named screw you, iTunes, I understand), and paidContent is unimpressed.

To summarize, if one were a recently converted DVR-less Heroes addict who finds it inconvenient to watch the show when it airs, one’s (entirely hypothetical) options would be:

1. Go with the NBC software, bearing in mind that there’s currently no way to schedule the download of an entire season ahead of time, that only the prior week’s show is available at any given time, that episodes expire seven days after they’re uploaded to NBC Direct (not seven days after they’re downloaded), and that downloaded shows must be watched within 48 hours of download or they expire. In addition, one can only watch the download on one’s crappy, aging, Windows laptop. This model does, however, offer the advantage of getting to watch un-skippable ads during the program, though.

2. Go with software such as Azureus (and its plugins), scheduling download of each episode as it becomes available and watching the episode whenever one damn well pleases (sometimes it takes a week or so for one to find the time to watch, or one wants to save up and binge on TV for an evening, you see). In addition, one could watch the episode on any computer, or burn it to a disc to watch on one’s TV.

Given these options, the only reasonable conclusion that one can reach is that there’s some bizarre alternate reality out there where NBC Direct actually offers some meaningful benefit to some hypothetical viewer. The only other conclusion—that NBC never even bothered to look at the mistakes made by all of the failed similar offerings that litter the history of the Internet and made all of the same mistakes themselves—seems uncharitable.

Prince, sans the Revolution


Techcrunch follows up on Prince’s rather eccentric recent moves to defend intellectual property that may or may not be his. [Yes, I know how surprising it is to see the words “Prince” and “eccentric” in the same sentence, just remember that you heard it here first.]

Here’s the thing: it seems wildly inaccurate to hold Price up as a (lapsed) poster child for the revolution that’s taking shape in the business of making a living from popular music. Yes, there was the CD with a newspaper thing and the direct sales through the NPG music club thing, but I believe that those are much more closely related to the only appearing in public with “slave” written on his cheek thing than to a progressive view of the music industry.

Given a choice between giving some Big Content label executive control over his music and keeping that control entirely in his own hands, he chooses the latter every time. Is that because he’s a music industry visionary? No, it’s because he’s a control freak. And while Prince is certainly most unhappy about what Warner Brothers does with his creations, that doesn’t mean that Prince is excited about Joe Fanboy having his way with Prince’s works, either.

When Jonathan Coulton starts filing suit against his fans for posting video from his performances, ukulele covers of his songs, or video evidence of unlicensed use of his music in Guitar Hero online, then we’ve got something weird going on, but Prince just seems like a nonstarter here.

Oh, crap. Now I’ve got Code Monkey stuck in my head. Again.