Scripting News for 11/28/2006

Thomas Hawk: “I’m scared of Google’s stock price.” 

Yahoo says they improved Yahoo TV, but imho, they broke it. The listings page, which until today was the only page I knew or cared about (they just added a bunch of community features) took a few seconds to load, now it’s an Ajax thing, and it loads as you scroll. Great. There’s a delay every time I hit Page Down. Now instead of finding out if there’s anything on in seconds it takes minutes. That’s an improvement? 

Mark Cuban explains why it’s going to be a long time before our computers connect up to our HD TVs in HD. 

Wes Felter says that “most people” don’t want to connect their computers to a TV. Well, most people, in the day in horses and buggies, didn’t want to ride in an internal combustion engine-driven mobility device, but today it’s impossible to live in modern society without using the darned things. I want to connect my Mac to a TV, and in fact I bought a Mac just to be part of my home entertainment system, and Wes, get this, I watch it a lot more than I watch the danged settop box, even though my Mac can’t produce an HD signal, and I love HD. Go figure. Maybe I can do things with my Internet-connected Mac that I can’t do with a settop box? Wes, open your mind, stop thinking about connecting PCs to TVs and think of computers that are part of a home entertainment system, and it’ll all of a sudden start making sense. Even better, spring for a few hundred bucks and get a Mac Mini, and stare at the the back of it and the back of your TV for a few minutes and you’ll see what’s missing. Or save yourself a few bucks and re-read Cuban’s piece and think he’s a smart guy instead of a dumb asshole.  

New feature. Every time I save Scripting News, the content system chooses a header graphic from the collection of 78 previous graphics. It’s random. You never know what you’re going to get. (Update: I found a 79th. I expect I’ll keep finding them for a while. I wasn’t always so careful about noting the new ones.) 

And then there are the header graphics that never ran. Like this blowup of the white on orange XML icon. An inversion of my grandfather and his friends. A Thomas Hawk masterpiece

Emily Shurr of thinks Hedy Lamarr should be one of the ten girl geeks. Makes total sense.  

BBC: “Blogs and other internet sites should be covered by a voluntary code of practice similar to that for newspapers in the UK, a conference has been told.” 

Paul Boutin offers “a couple of rules I learned in my career as an evil mainstream media writer.” 

Bubble Burst 2.0 

In the late 90s, the period of irrational exuberance, we knew the end would come, and we knew what the end would look like — a stock market crash of the dotcom sector. So, if Web 2.0 is a bubble, and if like all bubbles it bursts, how will we know when it happens?

I almost wrote a piece yesterday saying that since the Web 2.0 companies aren’t going public, they’re safe from busting in a visible, dramatic way. I almost said it will be hard to tell when the bust comes, it’ll be softer and slower, you won’t hear a crash or even a pop. But I was wrong, and today we got the first rumblings of the shock that will signal the end of the bubble.

Google stock will crash. That’s how we’ll know.

When I realized this, I should have known, because I’ve been saying for almost a year that Web 2.0 is nothing more than an aftermarket for Google. Startups slicing little bits of Google’s P/E ratio, acting as sales reps for Google ads, and getting great multiples for the revenue they generate by fostering the creation of new UGC to place ads on. When Google crashes, that’s the end of that, no more wave to ride, no more aftermarket, Bubble Burst 2.0. And the flip of this is also true — as long as Google’s stock stays up, no bubble burst.

15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wes Felter on November 28, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    Cuban’s rant is irrelevant since most people don’t want to connect their computers to their TVs anyway. So the problem is bigger than a cable: you need a box.


  2. Posted by Steve Setzer on November 28, 2006 at 9:03 pm

    Hey Dave, liked your Bubble Burst 2.0 article. In the irony department, did you happen to notice that there’s a section of “Ads by Google” at the bottom of the Reuters news page you linked to?


  3. I have to agree about Hedy Lamarr – is she also related to you in some way?


  4. Eddie, she’s my mother’s cousin. Not sure what that makes her to me. 2nd cousin?


  5. I’m a bit confused: doesn’t your Mac Mini have DVI out? Doesn’t your TV have DVI in? That’s not HDMI, but it’s (more than) good enough for HDTV, isn’t it?


  6. Posted by Will Cate on November 29, 2006 at 4:47 am

    If she was your mother’s first cousin, that would make her your first cousin, once removed.


  7. Agreed that the new Yahoo TV is at least somewhat broken. Some of the AJAX elements are nice (like the window-shade detail when you click on a show’s title) but the interspersed advertising is annoying and the wait time when you scroll the page down is similarly so.

    Also, there seem to be some bugs. For example, the channel names under the channel numbers on the left hand side of the listings *appear* to be links, and are underlined when I hover over them with my mouse, but clicking on them does nothing. What I expect is that clicking on a channel would bring up a listing page for just that channel. I think thats what *used* to happen anyway and its a feature I’d like to have.

    Owning two TiVos, I don’t much care *when* anything is on, I just want to find specific shows and record them. For my kids, I’m more interested in what is on Noggin or Sprout all day so I can find new shows to Season Pass for them. The new Yahoo TV UI makes that a chore.


  8. If you’re not fond of the new Yahoo TV, you might want to check out zap2it:

    They have a more “traditional” grid listing with some decent searching and filtering capabilities..


  9. Dave, check out where you can get XML files with TV listings so you can roll your own…


  10. Hi – This is Sal Kydd head of product for YTV. I wanted to thank everyone for your feedback on the new site. I hear your issues loud and clear and we’re working on addressing many of the immediate concerns as soon as we can. We know the site is not bug free, but we felt it was important to get it out there, get our users feedeback and improve and iterate from there. This has been a long project in the making and we are dedicated to making it the best experience we can. It’s a first step and it’s a big one, but it’s only the beginning. Feel free to email me any time with your comments and I’ll ensure the feedback is routed to the team. Thanks again. Sal.


  11. Don’t read too much into any given opinion of google stock. On any given day, they vary widely with Cramer and T. Rowe Price bullish on Google, for example.


  12. Posted by sasha on November 29, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    i might be missing something here, but connecting Mac mini to both TV and sound sytem digitally is completely trivial with any equipement made in last two years or so.
    1. video – DVI cable to DVI to HDMI cable
    2. sound – optical toslink cable (with mini adaptor on mac side)

    both 100% digital, any resolution your set supports, multi chanel audio


  13. Indeed. DVI and HDMI, in fact, carry the same video signal. The only difference is that HDMI also carries 5.1 audio. What this means, though, is that you can trivially convert DVI to HDMI and vice versa. (As for audio, optical is better anyway and you can connect it to your A/V receiver so you can use your speaker system rather than your TV’s crappy built-in speakers.)

    Many companies make cables with an HDMI connector on one end and a DVI connector on the other. Plug the DVI side into your computer and the HDMI side into your HDTV and you’re good to go. This cable will cost $80 in a store, $20 online.


  14. I very much disagree that we’ve entered another Internet bubble. In 1999, everyone knew there was only one possible direction for technology stocks: up. You need that certainty for a bubble to happen.

    I just posted a blog, ‘Irrational Exuberance and “Bubble 2.0″‘ (see the URI) that lays out my reasoning in much greater detail. To summarize: all new disruptive technologies experience an initial burst, followed by a bust. But subsequently, the technologies spread throughout the economy in a slowly building wave, until the transformation is completed (typically over a period of decades).

    To me, we’re at the beginning of this “wave” period with the Internet. “Web 2.0” is what it’s being called, but there’s much more than that going on.


  15. OK, there’s a Google market cap bubble. Which is more or less a singularity and fine for them, as they can buy with their silly money as many funny properties as they can imagine/digest/whatever.

    A real bubble looks different. I can’t see 700.000 Stanford MBAs waving their well documented business plans in front of shivering VCs and collecting tons of stupid money.

    Kevin Farnham’s right. Web 2.0 is just a manifestation of how Internet technologies have trickled into everybody’s everyday life.


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