So I was going through a drawer today where I absentmindedly tossed a bunch of old Zip disks and CD-Rs containing backed up Word files, e-mail and such. I made some delightful and unexpected discoveries. Among other things, I discovered an ancient cache of writings from my college days, including my senior honors thesis on H.L. Mencken and a journal I kept for about three years.
Anyhow, I also have thousands upon thousands of pieces of e-mail saved. The problem is, the vast majority of it is old, old AOL. The kind of AOL files that would have worked just fine with, say, Mac OS 9.2 or thereabouts. The kind that would be supported in Mac Classic... if Classic were still supported, that is.
Now, I suppose I could look this up, but I was hoping one of my dozen or so regular readers might have an idea of how to recover this material. I expect some trouble. I fear some expense. The question is: How much?
Joel takes a momentary respite from politics to pen a nice little bit of reporting and analysis for Macworld on this weekend's second-most important event. If this were one of our Scripps-Howard columns, I wonder which way Joel would go?
Update: I won't have time today to follow all of the iPad coverage, but I did notice Cory Doctorow's dissenting post at Boing Boing. Doctorow links to another post likening the device to "the second coming of the CD-Rom," slams Marvel's comic app (fair cop), and concludes: "If you want to live in the creative universe where anyone with a cool idea can make it and give it to you to run on your hardware, the iPad isn't for you." Now who's naive? (Via Memeorandum.)
As Big Government's Capitol Confidential noted the other day, net neutrality is an issue that that is dear to the left, but has flown under the radar of most Americans. It's a rather technical and arcane subject, but can be summed up rather simply: Net neutrality rules enforced by the Federal Communications Commission would allow government bureaucrats to micromanage the Internet — thus sucking out the lifeblood of the digital economy and threatening the dynamism and freedom we've come to take for granted online.
Proponents of net neutrality claim that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) abuse their position as "gatekeepers" to the Web, and the public needs government to establish strict "rules of the road" to protect us from their scheming. Trouble is, the evidence of abusive practices by ISPs is anecdotal and thinner than an iPod mini. The digital economy is currently so dynamic and cutthroat that free-market forces work quickly to correct any undesirable hiccups that arise — all without any micro-managing of the tech industry by government.
Net neutrality advocates insist we need government to preserve an "open" and "free" Internet and claim the market has failed. But they cannot point to any market failures that make the Internet less open or free. In short, the Internet isn't broken. And it doesn't need a government fix. No matter. The left presses ahead, because the facts are irrelevant. The goal is to put government in charge of digital policy, taking away your freedom as a consumer to shape the Internet with your own choices.
This would stifle the enormous private investment and innovation that has created the modern Internet — in part, because industries would be relegated to playing "Mother May I?" with the FCC before releasing its latest innovation. And that's the best-case scenario. The Reason Foundation's Steve Titch argues that if government-enforced net neutrality rules were in place five years ago, the iPhone as we know it wouldn't exist. But on a more basic level, only a committed leftist could believe that more government involvement in ... well ... anything results is more economic dynamism and gains in personal freedom.
As noted in the video below, produced by The Heartland Institute, government isn't in the business of preserving freedom, but of exercising power to regulate industries and control people. And this is an important thing to keep in mind — especially since President Obama recently reiterated his commitment to have government enforce a net neutrality regime on your Internet.
The video takes apart Obama's statements on the subject in his Feb. 1 YouTube interview, and attempts to take the broader view so what's at stake can be better understood by non-techies.
Joel tweets: "It's fun to watch the media ponder 'the meaning' of Tiger's transgressions, as though it had any meaning at all."
Yep. I've done my level best to avoid the "coverage" of this "story." (Could I possibly work any more sneer quotes into this post? We'll "see.") I just can't get worked up about it. Until a few moments ago, I could barely muster even an iota of amusement.
But then Jonah Goldberg posted this video of a Chinese TV news story, complete with computer reenactments of the events leading up to the "accident."
It's a "riot."
If only a majority of the Federal Communications Commission believed as Robert McDowell does. The headline above is a paraphrase, but gets the gist of what McDowell said at The Heritage Foundation's "Bloggers Briefing" Tuesday morning (I listened in).
Anyone who likes the Internet as it is now, and would like to see even more innovation and investment in the future, needs to get hip to the arcane subject of "net neutrality." In short, the FCC is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist so it can regulate the Web from both ends — content creation and its delivery to all of us. I write about this issue extensively for The Heartland Institute, and in fact have recently completed a policy study on the subject. Click here if you're interested in a pretty thorough run-down. I've also done some radio spots talking about this subject here and here.
Anyway, by late spring or early summer of 2010, the FCC will very likely be micromanaging the Internet when a sweeping net neutrality rule is officially adopted. Here are some highlights from McDowell's almost hour-long talk — of which I posted at more length at the From the Heartland blog.
McDowell questions whether the FCC even has the authority to regulate the Internet by imposing net neutrality rules — and is especially concerned that new chairman Julius Genachowski intends to put net neutrality in the commission's "broad .. Title I bucket." ... (Click on "Read more" beneath the icons below for more.)
Forgive all the "uhms" I commit in this interview. I must work on that!
Anyway, I was honored to be a guest on American Journal Radio, to talk about Net Neutrality, and the danger it poses to Internet freedom by the imposition of government regulation of the Web.
To listen to me speak (I lead off the show), click on the American Journal Radio's home page and then on the "Steaming Download" window on the right column, then be sure to click on Oct. 8 edition of the program.
I was on this story weeks ago fulfilling my duties for The Heartland Institute. We published a story about it in the October edition of Infotech & Telecom News. So it's good to see the MSM get on the train, though after the Federal Trade Commission had already issued rules regulating bloggers.
The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.
How absurd and overreaching is this? If, say, a blogger got a free product from some manufacturer — or even a review copy of a book — and that blogger offered his opinion, a punitive fine comes down from Uncle Sam if the blogger does not disclose how that product landed in his or her hands. I'm no lawyer, but the "reimburse consumers for financial losses" clause seems to be an open-ended sop to the trial bar. And how does one know he's disclosed enough information to satisfy the Web's minders? Well ... that's up in the air. But you'd better not screw up.
The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take.
So ... it will be up to the FTC to decide of a blogger's "disclosure" was "clear and conspicuous" enough. Nice. And if you and the FTC see things differently (a guarantee), prepare to answer this question: Is it cheaper to pay the up-to $11,000 fine for each "offense," or the services of a lawyer to defend your right to offer your opinion on the Web? This bit of nonsense from the Fox News story really irritates me, since I've worked in newspapers most of my nearly 20-year journalism career:
Bloggers have long praised or panned products and services online. But what some consumers might not know is that many companies pay reviewers for their write-ups or give them free products such as toys or computers or trips to Disneyland. In contrast, at traditional journalism outlets, products borrowed for reviews generally have to be returned. [emphasis mine].
(Kindly click Read more beneath the icons below to ... well ... read more. I get on a roll.)
It was my honor to be on the G. Gordon Liddy Show Friday, Oct. 1. We talked about the FCC's attempt to more strictly regulate the Internet — which is not a good idea, for many reasons.
CLICK HERE and a new window playing the MP3 should open.
This video is all over the place, so why not here? (Consider this a lame offering in lieu of something more substantive on Gore Vidal's and John Perry's madness, or indignation over Alan Grayson's calumny on the House floor, or a long-overdue post on why the stimulus really hasn't worked as advertised, or more Whoopi.)
Jim Lakely, better known to Infinite Monkeys' dozen regular readers as Dr. Zaius, posts his thoughts on the FCC's proposed "Net Neutrality" rules at the Heartland Institute's blog. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the plan in a speech Monday. Jim responded later:
“Genachowski is attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist—and will end up harming the vast majority of broadband and wireless consumers in the process. In today’s ultracompetitive tech sector, market forces efficiently punish those who would impose ‘unfair’ network practices and reward those who provide the best service. The FCC chairman would make a grave mistake if he replaced the swift judgment of millions of consumers with the dictates of a handful of uninformed and unaccountable bureaucrats.
“The FCC should not claim for itself the power to determine what level of traffic management is ‘reasonable.’ Free-market forces, with broadband consumers regulating with their wallets, answer such questions with more fairness and efficiency than any government bureaucrat.
“If Genachowski is really interested in ‘preserving and maintaining an open and robust Internet,’ he should keep the FCC out of the way of the market.”
That sounds about right to me. The Wall Street Journal echoes Jim's concerns and expounds in the implications in an editorial Tuesday:
The new policy is a big political victory for Google and other Web content providers whose business model depends on free-loading off the huge capital investments in broadband made by others. Telecom has been one of the bright spots during this recession. Phone companies like Verizon and AT&T have spent tens of billions of dollars on broadband pipe in the past two years. To pick one example: AT&T's capital investments in the U.S. totaled some $18 billion in 2008, the highest of any company. By threatening to limit what telecom companies can charge and to whom, net neutrality rules will discourage such investment.
If enacted, the new proposals will inevitably lead to lawsuits challenging the FCC's authority over the Internet given that Congress has never passed a law giving the agency net neutrality enforcement powers. And telecom firms that recently paid a premium at auction for what was advertised as unencumbered radio spectrum will not take kindly to being told after the fact that net neutrality requirements now govern use of that spectrum. That's another lawsuit in waiting.
The proposed rules really aren't about competition. They're about power. If the Obama Administration really cared about competition in broadband access, it would stay out of the way.
And, I think you will agree by the end, this goose is thoroughly cooked:
(Hat tip: Crywalt via the Incomparable e-mail list)
I posted this yesterday at The Heartland Institute's blog, and share it here because I suspect our regular readers would be interested. (I'd appreciate a click to the original post, as the additional hits would make me look good to my bosses).
The Heartland Institute promotes and defend free markets and individual liberty — and believes that these principles are essential to maintaining the freedom we take for granted on the Internet. But many of the pundits who specialize in technology issues, and blog about it, lean to the left. They are, in general:
Among the leaders in promoting this anti-market view is an organization called Free Press, which is not well known by the general public but familiar to tech watchers like me, the Federal Communications Commission and the Obama administration. I've been reluctant to characterize Free Press as a socialist outfit — though its criticism of my recent piece on the dangers of "net neutrality" certainly had some socialist characteristics. But as we see from this interview with Free Press founder Robert W. McChesney in The Bullet, a Marxist publication in Canada, I was being too cautious in withholding that dramatic moniker.
Though Free Press has co-opted the language of freedom — starting with its very name, its calls for a "free" and "open" Internet, its stated advocacy on behalf of "the public," etc. — it is no ally of American traditions of freedom and liberty. McChesney is an avowed socialist/Marxist. Through Free Press, he is promoting an agenda that would replace the free market system that has led to once-unimaginable advances in information technology — including freedom of communication — with a state-controlled system directed by government on behalf of "the people." In short: McChesney and Free Press see the Internet as the last, best realm to finally usher in the long-dreamed socialist utopia.
I wish I was exaggerating. This McChesney interview from August 9, 2009 with The Bullet's Tanner Mirrlees lays bare the agenda — and, more troubling, the Free Press founder's belief that the stars are finally aligned to bring about "revolution" on the Internet and elsewhere. Here starts Part 1 of several breaking down this remarkable interview. ... (click on "Read more" below the tiny icons beneath these words to continue, or CLICK HERE).
We've added some spambot countermeasures to Infinite Monkeys because, frankly, I'm tired of deleting crap from the comment approval queue. The upshot is, if you haven't registered, you really should. (I'm looking at you, Christian Toto!)
No, I think of Flight of the Conchords. I know, I know: The New Zealand folk power-duo's international super-hit single is all about robots vanquishing humans. But did you hear that the defunct HBO series and co-star Jemaine Clement have been nominated for Emmys? How great is that? The humans are very much alive -- and 30 Rock will almost certainly dominate -- but I still think the news calls for a binary solo...
I was a guest for an hour on Dimitri Vassilaros Saturday night show on Pittsburgh's mighty KDKA radio yesterday.
Monkeys and monkey friends who have yet to hear my voice, or see my handsome mugshot, may listen by going here.
Be thankful, Monkeys and Monkey friends, to live in a glorious, enlightened age of plenty and comfort.
What the heck is The Incomparable? It's a new Web site brought to you by the jackasses who published TeeVee.net for about 12 years until everyone got tired of it and could barely summon the energy to click on the bookmark link in their browsers.
Instead of being limited to just television, The Incomparable will discuss all kinds of pop culture crap -- movies, music, TV, books, comics, whatever.
Yahoo's Gadget Hound, Ben Patterson, likes the new iPod Shuffle: "Half the size of the last generation but with twice the capacity, the latest Shuffle boasts a novel way of letting you know what track you're listening to: It talks."
Yes, in order to compensate for the absence of an LCD display (where would you even put one?), the Shuffle will tell you the track name and artist you are listening to with the touch of a button on the device's earbuds. That's cool and annoying.
The newfangled earpiece is the one and only downside for Patterson: "Third-party earphones won't work all that well with the new Shuffle, or at least not until someone makes a pair with a compatible in-line remote."
Turns out, that's not really a problem. Macworld's Jim Dalrymple reports that Apple confirmed "third-party adapters will be available so you can use headphones other than the ones that come with the iPod."
But here's the real trouble with the new iPod Shuffle. Did I mention that it's really, really small? It's roughly half the size of the old model at 1.8 inches tall and just 0.3 inches thick. It's "a little smaller than a AA battery," Patterson writes.
In other words, it's about the size of the 2 gb USB thumb drive I misplaced about a month ago. Or a little larger than the Bluetooth headset I keep forgetting to recharge because it's always in my other pants. (At least I haven't washed it... yet.)
That's why I like my comparatively bulky, old 20 gb iPod. I can always find it after a panicked 20-minute search. It's always where I left it -- the last place I look.
I'm not in the market for a new MP3 player right now, but if I were, I might wait for the iPod Touch Gigantor that Apple supposedly has in the works. (Some reports are calling the rumored device a "netbook," but everyone knows that Steve Jobs don't make no junk.) With a 10-inch touch screen, there's no practically chance of me flushing that bad boy down the toilet!
Update: Good thing I didn't go with the small, smaller, smallest joke. Originally, I had mused about predicting the iPod iMplant as the next gen device, but it seemed too labored. I should have known it was also a cliché.
My friend Paul Eykamp pointed me to this old YouTube video advertising the iPod Flea. That, in turn, led me to the iPod iVisible ("technology so small, it doesn't exist!"), which led to the iPod Useless, which led (inevitably) to the iPod Human.
Dan Moren at Macworld has a righteously indignant piece about a silly decision by the faceless mandarins and arbiters of taste at Cupertino. Writes Moren:
Apple has struck a new level of bizarreness when it comes to approving submissions to the App Store. On Tuesday, Loren Brichter of atebits, developer of popular iPhone Twitter client Tweetie said via Twitter that Apple had rejected the latest update to the app because it contained an obscenity; he later confirmed that in an e-mail to Macworld.
Here’s the catch: the obscenity was in Tweetie’s Trends feature... which scans the social networking to find the most popular keywords that people are talking about (and no, the obscenity in question was not "Kindle," smartypants). If there’s a naughty word in that section, it’s not because Tweetie’s developers put it there, but because people on Twitter were talking about it. It’s akin to rejecting the app because somebody was posting swears to their Twitter feed.
The story is comical -- I'm sure the developer is laughing to keep from crying. But Moren raises (and re-raises) some valid questions about just how Apple approves the apps it allows for sale in the iTunes Store.
Adam Thierer at Technology Liberation Front had a humbling post yesterday. He wrote about the technology he didn't have on Feb. 1, 1999. It's a list that should fill you with wonder at how far we've come technologically — and a bit of humility at our impatience for the next big things. Here are some excerpts (but be sure to see the whole list, and bookmark these guys. It's a great place to read the free-market, libertarian view on tech issues.):
- 10 years ago today, I was still using a dial-up, 56k narrowband Internet connection even though I lived in downtown Washington, DC just 6 blocks from our nation’s Capitol.
- 10 years ago today, my computer was a Compaq laptop that weighed more than my dog, had barely any storage or RAM, and had a screen that was only slightly brighter than an Etch-A-Sketch.
- 10 years ago today, I was still backing up files on 3 1/2 inch floppy disks. I had boxes full of those things. (And, sadly, I still had 5 1/4 inch floppies in my possession that I was saving “just in case” I ever needed those old files. Pathetic!)
- 10 years ago today, I did not own an i-Pod, or any other sort of portable digital MP3 player. I was still hauling a box of CDs around with me everywhere I went and playing them on a bulky portable CD player that skipped whenever I bumped it. And I was still years away from downloading my first song or album online.
- 10 years ago today, I was still occasionally listening to cassette tapes in my car.
- 10 years ago today, I was still using a crummy analog cell phone that had ZERO options outside of just calling people (and I had to manually type in every single contact on the numeric keypad. But hey, that old StarTac sure looked cool at the time!)
- 10 years ago today, I was still driving to my local video store to rent movies, and some of them were on VHS tapes.
- 10 years ago today, I was still playing video games on my old PlayStation (as in PlayStation ONE) and was lusting for a Sega DreamCast. And the idea of online gaming was still a distant dream.
- 10 years ago today, I was still using a camera that required film, which I had to always drop off at the local pharmacy to be developed. And I was still over a year away from buying my first digital camera (and camcorder) that could transfer files to my computer.
- 10 years ago today, I had not yet conducted my first Google search. I was still using AltaVista for almost all my searches.
- 10 years ago today, I did not have a blog, an RSS feed, a Twitter feed, any social networking accounts, Gmail, GMaps, Google News, Flickr, Firefox, Netflix, Wikipedia, satellite radio, or any of the other endless assortment of digital services I rely on today.
I had one of those analog cell phones 10 years ago. We called them "car phones" then. Needed it for work, but used it to call for free — what a bonus! — local radio talk shows in Pittsburgh. That was back in the day when they'd put you to the front of the line, 'cuz you were calling on those new-fangled car phone thingies. Ahhhh. Technology.
Evidently, Google went nanners this morning. The gargantuan search engine flagged just about every Web site on the Internet -- including itself -- as "potentially dangerous," to the consternation of millions of users and especially anyone who makes a living with Google Adsense.
The problem lasted for about 30 minutes, according to news reports. Still, the consequences of Google's system brief failure are interesting. Reports the Telegraph of London:
The errors prompted panic among web surfers who at first feared the popular search engine had suffered some kind of major failure that could have had serious implications for internet commerce.
The Google search page is by far the most popular on the internet, with the overall site receiving several hundred million queries each day. It is the most common homepage and accounts for almost four out of every five internet searches, making it a crucial part of the global economy.
Curious. If "human error" could wreak such havoc, what could human malice do?
Interesting piece I stumbled across today. It lays out how 10 popular gadgets/programs got their monikers: iPod, BlackBerry, Firefox, Twitter, Windows 7, ThinkPad, Android, Wikipedia, Mac OS X and the "Big Cats," and Red Hat Linux.
A taste, but I'm sure you'll read the whole thing.
iPod: "Open the pod bay door, Hal"
During Apple's MP3 player development, Steve Jobs spoke of Apple's strategy: the Mac as a hub to other gadgets. Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter Apple hired to help name the gadget before its debut in 2001, fixed on that idea, according to Wired. He brainstormed hubs of all kinds, eventually coming to the concept of a spaceship. You could leave it, but you'd have to return to refuel. The stark plastic front of the prototype inspired the final connection: pod, a la 2001. Add an "i" and the connection to the iMac was complete.
BlackBerry: Sweet Addictiveness
Canada's Research in Motion called on Lexicon Branding to help name its new wireless e-mail device in 2001. The consultancy pushed RIM founders away from the word "e-mail," which research shows can raise blood pressure. Instead, they looked for a name that would evoke joy and somehow give feelings of peace. After someone made the connection that the small buttons on the device resembled a bunch of seeds, Lexicon's team (see profile) explored names like strawberry, melon and various vegetables before settling on blackberry—a word both pleasing and which evoked the black color of the device.
Firefox: Second Time's a Charm
Choosing a name that evokes a product's essence and is available can be quite complicated, as the Mozilla folks found out. The early version of Mozilla's browser was called Firebird, but due to another open-source project with the same name, the Mozilla elders renamed their browser Firefox, which is another name for red panda. Why? "It's easy to remember. It sounds good. It's unique. We like it," they said. Best of all? Nobody else was using it.
Twitter: Connecting the Digital Flock 140 Characters at a Time
When cofounder Biz Stone saw the application that Jack Dorsey created in 2006 he was reminded of the way birds communicate: "Short bursts of information...Everyone is chirping, having a good time." In response, Stone came up with "twttr," and the group eventually added some vowels. It's hard to think of a more evocative name in the tech world than twitter, but what began as what Stone described as "trivial" bursts of communication developed into a powerful means of networking, breaking news, and forum for the 44th U.S. president's campaign.
A $100,000 grant? Ye gods! What fool would pony up such a sum?
According to the story: "Out of WoW's 10 million subscribers, about half are Chinese, which is twice the number of American players; however, American WoW players produce far more mods (modifications) to enrich the WoW experience. ... 'We are examining the many reasons for this disparity, including cultural and institutional factors.'"
I'm all for basic research. Honestly. But this? Looks like taxpayers are about to get pwned.
Wired reports: "If you've got an iPhone, pretty much everything you have done on your handset has been temporarily stored as a screenshot that hackers or forensics experts could eventually recover, according to a renowned iPhone hacker who exposed the security flaw in a webcast Thursday."
Yikes! If listening to Pandora or thunder-storm loops ever becomes a crime, I'm in deep trouble.
Our own Dr. Zaius has an op-ed in the New York Post that takes dead aim at a breathtakingly stupid policy and an amazingly idiotic remedy. The policy is the Department of Homeland Security's policy of seizing travelers' laptops at any time for any reason and for any duration. The remedy is legislation by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., that would curtail the practice -- but place additional burdens on airport security in the process.
After making quick work of the two policy prescriptions, Zaius, always the gentle voice of reason, suggests a compromise:
Yes, terrorists use laptops to help plan and coordinate their murderous business, and we certainly need to stop them. But we also need to protect the personal and economic freedoms of law-abiding Americans.
A sensible compromise would let DHS agents use their judgment, guided by common sense and experience in screening travelers -- instead of obliging them to sweep up a broad swath of people from every major ethnic or religious subgroup in order to avoid charges of discrimination. That policy wastes everyone's time and money -- inspectors', travelers' and taxpayers'.
Sounds good to me. So it's probably doomed.
Thinking about disaster preparedness, and scanning for Gustav-related news and information, I stumbled upon this fascinating post by "homeland security 2.0" blogger David Stephenson: 21st-century disaster prep tips you won’t get from officials. Stephenson offers some very sound advice that just about everyone would do well to heed, whether you live in a hurricane zone, tornado alley or earthquake central.
Looking for a useful cocktail recipe application for your iPhone? I've just reviewed a whole bunch of them for MacWorld. Bottom line: Keep looking. The one real stand out drink app I've seen is available only in German, so I didn't review it for the piece. And I wanted to like Cocktail DB's application a lot more than I did. Cheers.
Update (August 17, 2009): I noticed a couple of Google searches for iPhone cocktail apps that point to this post. I should note that I've since revisited and reassessed Skorpiostech's Cocktail+ (based on the aforementioned Cocktail DB). It keeps getting better and better. I've also favorably reviewed the companion Tiki+ app, as well as iVideo Cocktails by iDelices. New bottom line: Cocktails+ and Drinks by iDrinkApp.com are well worth your while.
A good friend of mine, who has the latest cover story at the music paper Cleveland Scene (worth checking out if you're interested in great music writing in general, or the latest on the all-girl metal group Level-C), hipped me to a great riff by the approximately 571st L.A. Times staffer to take a buy-out and exit the dying newspaper industry. (For the record, my man, D.X. Ferris, is not pictured above. The author of the definitive book on Slayer's Reign in Blood has less fabulous hair.)
Anyway, long-time Orange County reporter for The LA Times, William Lobdell, not only rips his former employer, but has some pretty insightful takes on the accelerating death-rattle of all traditional thrown-on-the-driveway newspapers. Lobdell has compiled a list of 42 things he knows about newspapers — and he knows a lot. He's not happy about "breaking up" with his "one true career love," but he realizes that "the business model for newspapers is broken" and "that’s probably because it can’t be fixed." Well, yes. Among the reasons:
Heh. I like that line about 8-track cassettes — and weep about the latter point. Maybe we former ink-stained wretches will be nostalgically featured on a future VH1 CulturePalooza, like the makers of the View-Master. I'd consider it a miracle if I ever worked for a daily newspaper again. If I ever get back in, it would be after newspapers figured out how to survive in today's web-driven media environment — which the corporate masters that run most newspapers might figure out by the time I'm at retirement age. More from Lobdell:
Here ... I paused. Lobdell, for all his smarts and skill, cannot see that liberalism isn't equated with smarts. Being "progressive" politically and socially does not mean being "progressive" in a business sense. If you're looking for a smart business man, look to the right — like to, say, Rupert Murdoch, whose media holdings are among the only showing a profit these days. We continue, briefly:
Lobdell really starts to hit it here — and expounds on specific mistakes that the LA Times made that are worth reviewing, because they are the same mistakes your metro newspaper is making. The future template of news consumption is probably not exactly the Digg formula, but Digg is a lot closer to the future than what the LA Times offers on its website and the newsprint we will decreasingly hold in our hands. The wild, wooly, and personalized news-consumption world is already at hand. It is the
problem reality that traditional newspapers like the LA Times can't grasp.