Posts Tagged 'content'

Service vs Content

No tv make me go something something. This could not have come at a worse time, NFL football, baseball playoffs, start of the NBA season. This cable dispute is using it’s customers as a human shield.

Looks like a big showdown is about to come to a head. News Corp vs Cablevision pits service providers against the content providers, who will win? Rather than work things out in a board room both sides are taking a hard line approach and this channel ban is the result. Of course it’s all over money. The content providers are going to withhold their product (ie. hold their breath) until the service provider gives in, because their customers constantly call up and yelling at them, and throw more money at the problem to make it go away. Could be a major precedent. Is that the sound of cable bills going up?

While it hasn’t happened yet in Canada the problem could move north. Perhaps this is why Bell made a recent acquisition buying up CTV. I’m sure if a dispute arises in the great white north cooler heads will prevail and no such channel banning will occur, we hope.

So whats more important? The content or the service provider? Either way the customer loses.


Control the pipes, control the world

2010 hopefully will yield fancy new technologies to put me further into dept however the upcoming year may be a year on content control. A couple of countries so far are attempting to modify their population’s behavior by controlling the data they have access to on the Internet.

China has heavily censored information available to their tech savvy republic however recent attempts have been more heavy handed. In a pornography crackdown approximately 5,394 were arrested however the report did not say how many were eventually charged. Perhaps some *ahem favors were performed to get out of jail? Or maybe some “hands were greased”? Sounds like some drum “beating” by the communists. Good luck at trying to control your 360 million Internet users.

Close on the heels of China is … Australia (really?). A controversial Internet filter is set to go ahead despite the many complaints of the masses. So much for free speech. Surprisingly Australia is trying to do the same thing as China within a democracy. Hmm, what do you think the odds of success will be?

The new year may come down to content censorship, depending on where you live. It will surely test the boundaries of morals, free speech, religion, and government. Limits of tolerance will be stretched and re-aligned. We might be seeing the creation of a new Internet: the clean and dirty version. Sign me up for the dirty version please!

Death knell for print media

27 years in the biz and Ziff Davis has decided to cut their losses and stop issuing the print version of PC Magazine. As Internet advertising supplants other forms of media advertising more and more magazines will be forced to take this route. This isn’t to say that print media won’t have a place in the world’s future. However certain forms of print media will have to change to survive.

If your readers can get the same content on your website that you offer in your print edition, what’s stopping them from canceling their subscription. Unless you’re offering unique content, people are gonna take the free version, even if it is watered down. As well hundreds if not thousands of other bloggers or other online content producers are making that same or similar information available. Seems pretty gloomy for the traditional magazine.

That being said, nothing can replace the experience of a magazine, paperback, or hardcover book. Sure the content may be available in electronic format but there’s more to the act of absorbing information. I subscribe to feeds, I’m clicking on CNN, I watch YouTube videos but I still take time to read a newspaper. It’s one of the few times during the day that I unplug and yet still enjoy “content”. I don’t spend as much on magazines as I used to but it certainly won’t be an easy road ahead for them. I think I’ll go to Chapters after work.

Delta airlines to block wifi porn

“Delta will filter the content on its in-flight Wi-Fi service, the airline said today. Although the company has previously been concerned about the ramifications of active censorship on its GoGo-based service and has intended to rely on attendants alone to screen out adult sites and other material that might make some passengers uncomfortable, it now says it will implement a content filter that automatically blocks certain sites before they reach cellphones, notebooks and other devices capable of a Wi-Fi link.” (link)

I have a question, let’s say I bring my own porn and decide to stream my videos wirelessly to other passengers, will I get kicked off? OR how about if I decide to “make” my own porn (aka join the mile high club) will I get kicked off? Are adults only flight available ’cause I don’t think I can go a few hours without porn …

UK group: YouTube, could you screen every single video before making it live? Thanks

Social media sites, and those that host user-generated content, need to do more to screen the content on their sites and protect users—particularly children—from videos that could be considered harmful, according to a UK government agency. The House of Commons’ Culture Media and Sport Committee released its tenth report today, titled “Harmful content on the Internet and in video games,” which examines “the Internet’s dark side” and what should be done to keep users safe. The Committee feels that social media sites need to implement stricter policies, implement more content filtering, and make it easier to report abuse.

The Committee starts off by describing the Internet as a place “where hardcore pornography and videos of fights, bullying or alleged rape can be found, as can websites promoting extreme diets, self-harm, and even suicide.” Because of this, websites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube need to take a more active stance against offensive or illegal content than they do currently. The Committee expressed distress that there appeared to be an industry standard of 24 hours to remove content that contains child abuse, for example, and strongly recommended making such important issues higher-priority. (link)

Game legislation, government wasting your tax money

Trying to pass legislation that impacts how games can be sold or what has to be put on them is a popular and expensive way of sending the message that you’re concerned about the issues that affect the youth of today. Although every law attempted has gone down in flames, and has cost taxpayers at least $1 million through the years, politicians continue to line up to give it a go. The newest bill is A11717, proposed by Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, and it has already passed through the New York State Assembly. Now it’s on to the State Senate. It’s a familiar story, but in this case the New York government is asking for things the industry is already doing.

The legislation would require game consoles to include parental locks for mature content but, while this sounds good on paper, every current-generation console already has parental controls. Not only that, but the ESRB has done a great job of getting the word out on how to use said controls. The bill also wants to force games to show their ESRB ratings on the cover of the title, which is also something that is done industry-wide. Every game sold at retail has the ESRB rating on the front cover, with more detailed information on what content the game includes on the back of the box. Given that industry compliance on showing the ratings on games is already at 100 percent, it’s unclear what the law would achieve. (link)

Britannica to turn into Wikipedia and to become just as unreliable

The past few years have seen the rise of user-contributed content, with Wikipedia being a high-profile example of this phenomenon. The appearance of Wikipedia entries atop the list of sites returned by search engines, and the corresponding appearance of these entries in places like term papers, has triggered a debate regarding the reliability of its content. Leading the charge against Wikipedia has been The Encyclopedia Britannica, which relies on expert, edited contributions for its content. Last week, however, Britannica announced what might be viewed as the unthinkable: it’s implementing a tightly controlled system that just might allow users to generate some of its content.

The new policy was announced via a set of two posts in the Britannica blog. The posts make it very clear that Britannica is not embracing the wiki model to any significant degree. The role of the Britannica staff in policing its content will remain: “We are not abdicating our responsibility as publishers or burying it under the now-fashionable ‘wisdom of the crowds.'” The majority of its content will continue to be generated by experts and subjected to editing. The experts and editors, in Britannica’s view, “can make astute judgments that cut through the cacophony of competing and often confusing viewpoints.” This willingness to interject expert judgement is what will ostensibly continue to separate it from Wikipedia, which is accused of settling, “for something bland and less informative, what is sometimes termed a ‘neutral point of view.'” (link)

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