Robert Scoble’s Mix 07 predictions. He says Microsoft may announce an S3 competitor. Maybe they’ll allow you to specify an index page, then it’ll be useful for about 100,000 real world applications that S3 isn’t. :-)
Highly recommend two broadcasts for perspectives on what’s happening in Iraq and the US.
First, Monday’s Fresh Air interview with Bill Moyers, a preview of his Friday night PBS series, which begins this week with a look at how the press is in collusion with the administration in how they present news about the war. The interviewer challenged Moyers on that word, and he said there’s no other word for it (although it’s not universal, some of the press is, he says, trying to tell the truthful story).
He also expresses a point I wish more journalists would get, it’s not their responsibility to tell both sides of a story, it’s their job to say what’s actually happening. Most journalists let a Republican and Democrat chew at each other and leave us believing the truth is somewhere between. But in many ways the two parties are also in collusion and they’re not even in the neighborhood of the truth.
Second, I’m slowly working my way through the PBS series, America at a Crossroads, I’m in the middle of episode 3 (there are 11), and it’s beautifully done, and it explains the history of al Qaeda, the relationship between what they call al Qaeda in Iraq and the group founded by bin Ladin. Lots of revelations and important reminders. I didn’t understand that for all practical purposes we had destroyed al Qaeda in Afghanistan, that their plan of drawing the US into a hopeless war failed, that we prevailed and drove bin Laden into hiding. Then, something I did understand, we gave them the biggest gift, by invading Iraq.
The third episode contains stories told by soldiers in Iraq, with stories from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War intermixed. Great literature, eye-opening perspectives. Both parties say they are supporting the troops. They should watch this episode for an idea of what that actually means.
Connect the two shows together, Moyers and Crossroads, and you see that the press is still feeding us nonsense about Iraq, carrying the Bush message that we lose if we withdraw. In fact, we lose by staying, depleting our military, and going ever deeper into debt. And eventually the troops are going to figure out that no one is thinking about them back home, and we should expect a nightmare when they force us to look at what’s happening. A replay of Vietnam, at a societal level, only much worse.
bin Laden understands economics, and I’m sure the President does too, but it isn’t reflected in the public dialog. I hope Moyers will fully uncover that on Friday.
They’re doing great work at PBS. There’s at least one shining light in American journalism. Thanks.
Update: Bill Moyer’s Journal is on KQED in San Francisco tonight at 9PM.
An interesting discussion about Checkbox News yesterday, although it was overshadowed by the michegas about Wired and Arrington, both of whom took cheap shots, Arrington’s in the name of friendship. I echo his sentiment, with friends like that who needs flamebait? :-)
Okay, enough about that, what about Checkbox News?
A bunch of people misunderstood that it’s a mechanism for giving feedback to the news networks. It is that for sure, but that’s not why it exists. Please read this carefully, it’s important.
When I uncheck an item, I no longer get news on that subject.
When I say no more Anna Nicole, I don’t get no more Anna Nicole. It isn’t a request to the network that they consider showing less of Anna Nicole, it’s like an on-off switch, or a checkbox (hence the name) — when unchecked, the flow is off.
So it’s a user interface control, a preference, not merely a feedback mechanism.
Of course if no one has Anna Nicole Smith checked, they’ll stop producing news about her, so it is a feedback mechanism in that sense. But if I don’t like the garbage they pass off as news, I can watch the stuff I am interested in.
Dan Gillmor says he votes by changing the channel, but that doesn’t work when all the networks are covering the same idiotic press conference, where the DNA results of the paternity test for Anna Nicole’s baby are being announced, or on the first day back at Virginia Tech when they’re holding yet another prayer vigil with orange and maroon balloons. I think it would be nice if they had such ceremonies without the network cameras there, and of course I turn off the TV when they all do that, but see the previous item about Iraq, there is actually news going on when they go into 24-hour hand-wringing mode, and TV is a good way to get news, if only you could get some.
And Trudy Schuett offered a great idea via email — a section where I say what kind of commercials I want and don’t want. I’d turn off the Head-on commercials (got the message, hate the product), and turn on the Apple-PC commercials (they’re so damned funny!) and I’d like to get commercials for kitchen appliances (I need some) and home entertainment systems, and travel deals to Europe. This allows Checkbox News to be part of my vision of how advertising works in the 21st century, it’s information, not intrusion. Yehi.