they wear their computers on their bodies

Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the Central Intelligence Corporation. Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers on their bodies, broken up into separate modules that hang on the waist, on the back, on the headset. They serve as human surveillance devices, recording everything that happens around them. Nothing looks stupider; these getups are the modern-day equivalent of the slide-rule scabbard or the calculator pouch on the belt, marking the user as belonging to a class that is at once above and far below human society.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

‘The Fourth Screen’ Mobile Media Festival :: global mobile media festival
This festival looks very interesting. They are pushing people to think about the phone in a different way, not just as a television that is carried in your pocket as it seems the providers are pushing for:
‘The Fourth Screen’ Global Mobile Media Festival will focus on the mobile phone as an emerging social, cultural and technological phenomenon.
We invite artists, technologists, and other creative thinkers to submit creations, inventions and concepts in two categories:
1/ moving images: videos made with mobile phone, movies, animation and games intended for mobile delivery
2/ wise technologies: software art, software and hardware that proposes new uses for mobile multimedia communication, applications that have positive cultural, social and economic impact in diverse cultures

The Future of Independent Media

GBN: The Future of Independent Media
I thought I linked to this a while ago but I couldn’t find it recently when recommending it to a student.

Andrew Blau writes a great essay contemplating Independent Media in the face of the quickly changing technological landscape. A very good read:

From the text:
The technologies that enable us to make and consume motion media are becoming better, cheaper, and more widely available—and with blistering speed. As a consequence, patterns of media production and consumption are changing just as rapidly. The Internet continues to create new opportunities to connect with audiences. Video games are becoming a platform for critique and education. A new generation of media makers and viewers is emerging, which only increases the likelihood of profound change. Images, ideas, news, and points of view are traveling along countless new routes to an ever-growing number of places where they can be seen and absorbed. It is no understatement to say that the way we make and experience motion media will be transformed as thoroughly in the next decade as the world of print was reshaped in the last.

stay free, article roundup

Stay Free! Daily: This Month in New York City Critical Mass OR How Much Does It Cost the City to Run One of Those Police Copters All Night? – Story of what Critical Mass has become. Bikers vs. Police. Messed up!

Stay Free! Daily: Sucking on the tit of McDonald’s – McD’s, marketing to kids? I wouldn’t say that this image is evidence but there is no doubt.

Stay Free! Daily: Hiking through Manhattan – The highline!

Stay Free! Daily: Radio Free Clear Channel – Clear Channel doing pirate radio. Quick someone get the FCC on them.

Stay Free! Daily: How did Mad Hot Ballroom survive the copyright cartel? – I have always had issue with this. You can video tape a public space with visual private property in that space, but you can not have the sounds of that space if it includes music. Documentaries are greatly suffering because of this.

Good Question

Emmy Advanced Media – Television Business News: Who Are The Real Pirates?
Shelly asks a good question that the media companies should be asking themselves. Particularly the music companies. In essence, they need to realize that fair use is fair and good and people WANT media on their own terms.
From the post:
How many times will you buy the same master file? That question is being answered every day on P2P networks, via email and podcasts. Obviously, some consumers are willing to pay for the convenience of not having to bother converting their own files to be used in all of their devices. But there are far more consumers who would rather not pay for the same thing over and over again.

Future of Television Conference

Beyond TV: Next Generation TV
So, I went to the Future of Television conference a couple of weeks ago and was somewhat suprised. Last year, I poked my head in to see what was being discussed and it was a big snooze. After checking out the website, I figured it was worth my time this year so I went.

Wow.. I was surprised. You wouldn’t know it but there are people in TV who really “get it”… Larry Kramer from CBS most notably get’s it.

Here is what I had to say on the day of:
I am writing from Future of Television Conference at NYU’s Stern School of Business today. I am here for several reasons, first of all I would like to know what the networks and traditional media concerns think of the scrappy interactive folks. Second, I am here doing recon. Specifically, I would like to know how long video bloggers and other decentralized media creators have before traditional media begins to offer enough of what they are doing to satiate “consumers”. (Perhaps that is not exactly my fear but close enough for now.)

First of all, I have to say that Larry Kramer gets it. He really does. He is open to experimentation. At CBS he has launched many interactive initiatives from a broadband news channel to podcasts of daytime soaps to fantasy sports sites to deep entertainment content add-ons to viewer/user photo posting to writer and producer blogs to actual audience participation through SMS. Phew..

CBS isn’t the only media company doing this type of experimentation. The other networks, cable and broadcast are doing the same or similar. Notable is ABC News Now, ESPN, Playboy and the like.

The question is, whether or not this is enough. Will this engage and empower viewers enough to keep them despite the ever growing number of alternative content channels. The networks certainly know how to deliver programming to a passive audience. They are just beginning to support a more engaged and digitally connected viewer.

A later speaker in the day, IBM’s Saul Berman described the audience by categorizing them in 3 camps. “Massive passives”, the folks that CBS has always served, lean back, over 35, want to be entertained but don’t feel compelled to buy the latest gadget or create their own media.

The next camp, arguably the focus of most of these efforts he described as “Gadgetiers”. He describes this group as heavily involved in content, they are fans, will seek out other individuals who are interested in the same content they are. They will purchase the latest devices, use time shifting (TiVo) and will space shift (TiVo To Go). They are also the heavy buyers, the early adopters, in short, the people that the advertizers (and therefore the networks) covet.

It remains to be seen whether what the networks are starting to do will appeal to this group in the long run. In the short term, it is clear, if you put it out there they will come. How long they stay is another matter.

The last camp, the “Kool kids”, the ones really getting all of the attention, are the hardest to understand. He suggests that this is the group that rejects DRM and “walled gardens”, in short, the group that wants media on their own terms. This is the group that uses P2P software and is heavily social. They have dream devices that aren’t out in the market as of yet.

I know that the kks (short for “Kool kids”) are what have network executives up at night. They are the hackers and inventors who are really driving the internet. TV and media in general will fit into their game or be disregarded.

Ok.. So the big question at the end of the day? Will the cable and TV networks run scared and do everything possible to protect their business models or will they embrace the new like they must. My feeling after this conference is that they have learned something from the music industry and will try to embrace but there will still be a major shakeup and Yahoo! and Google just might become the “new” networks. Good or bad.

Shooting People

Shooting People / Bulletins
From the site:
Shooting People is a very simple idea – that independent filmmaking is about passion, ideas, innovation and finding creative partnerships. By providing a web and email service that allows all groups of the filmmaking community to hook up with each other instantly, swap core advice, debate latest techs and develop creative partnerships