Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘digitollywood

Live From SXSW Interactive: A Chat With Barry Diller

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IAC Chairman and CEO Barry Diller may have started out in the mailroom at the William Morris agency 50 years ago, but certainly no moss has grown on him since then.

In his keynote interview this morning, Diller outlined a utopian, if bumpy ride to get there, vision for the future of Internet infotainment, one that (hopefully) would be rid of too much government interference and would allow a million Internet entrepreneurs to blossom.

(Hey Barry, while you’re at it, could you talk to the staff over at Match.Com and get me an actual date instead of being chatted up by girls desperate to leave the Ukraine?)

Diller was funny, and the interviewer from CNN did a good job of staying out of his way. First, She chocked up Diller’s bona fides: Cheers, The Simpsons, Fox Broadcasting, HSN, and now IAC, before diving into questions about the new Internet bubble.

Then, Diller explained that he chases good ideas, not valuations, but understands how “money chases things.” But he was still impressed by “the amount of sheer invention that’s going on.”

He explained some of the recent valuations are mathematically insane, but is still a believer and got into the Internet space very early on (1992-1993). The reason he likes this space? People follow their curiousity, and it’s more interesting “to start businesses on my own, ideas we can support, than to chase crowds.”

The Internet, he explained, is a miracle that allows everybody to participate.

Diller talked as well about his recent investment in Newsweek and its combination with Tina Brown’s “Daily Beast,” explaining this was “an original Internet vehicle based on its merit.”

Though he was more cautious about the business model of Apple for magazine and content publishers, Diller did explain he like’s the new iPad 2, explaining it’s “just a better product” and, like the Kindle, the second was better than the first.

Diller was also passionate about his defense of Net Neutrality, explaining that not having it “is the only thing threatening Internet freedom.” We are not where we need to be, he explained, and he finds the lack of screaming on the part of the people who are in various ways part of the vineyard, very surprising.

The logical evolution of Diller’s argument is that no net neutrality would allow the trolls to charge for additional capacity based on usage in a way that could lead to the economics that determined the shaping of broadcast news, where scarcity ruled and therefore the economics played tremendously in favor of the distributor.

As he explained, most cable producers now work for a “boss,” and the independent producer has largely gone the way of the dodo bird. The power resides at the top, but the Internet “miracle” has liberated us from that ogopoly…well, so far.

So, go ahead and run out onto the Information Superhighway and explain “I’m sick and tired and I’m not gonna take it anymore.”

Meanwhile, Diller seems to have suggested he’s about to start spreading out more investments, particularly in video online, and assumably with the idea that someone, somewhere will figure out this regulation thing.

In three years, he explained, you’re going to have Internet TV be out there, able to be accessed by everybody, navigated sensibly, and anybody with an idea and some backing can be a producer. All of this is now possible.

And yet, Google TV could hardly get out of the gate because the broadcast networks were scared of being “Apple-fied” and giving their content up to the Google black box.

Where will all this end up in the next several years? Will the victors be the Internet TV box, the mobile handset, some new device we’ve not even thought of yet?

Who knows? But one thing I’ll likely bank on, and that’s Barry Diller being right at the center of the action.

Now, if he could just get his Web service to get me a successful date.

Written by turbotodd

March 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I Have A Technology Problem

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It’s true.

I have a technology problem.

In particular, a high technology problem.

I told you I would not be buying the first generation iPad. I gave you several reasons why I wouldn’t.

But late yesterday afternoon, it was like another entity took over my person, got in my car, and drove to the nearest Best Buy.

Once there, I walked directly to the Apple section of the store and started playing with an iPad.

Then, I started asking the sales guy a bunch of questions about synching it with my various Mac computers, the service plans, etc.

Before you know it, I was into a full on bender, waltzing through the iPad peripherals section as if I didn’t have a care in the world. I played with the wireless keyboard, the new iPad dock, some carrying cases.

This was gonna be bad.

Then, ready to pull out my Best Buy card, I discovered that they had no iPads in stock.

You’re kidding me, right? I’m like tech sleepwalking here. I’m like coming straight here, a man possessed, ready to buy, and you’re telling me you don’t have any iPads in stock!!??

The fourteen-year old, pimply sales dude told me to hold on, he had one more idea: He called back to the stockroom.

It was my lucky day. My technology addiction would be sated.

There was a single 64GB WiFi iPad that had been returned.


As in uno.

Did I want it?

Are you kidding me? Does a thirsty man crawling through the Mojave want a bottle of cold Evian?!!

Better yet, I discovered I was going to get $50 off because somebody had returned it.

Why did they return it? I wondered to myself.

Who cares! It was the only iPad for sale for miles around, and they were over a week away from getting anymore in stock!

And I had one, in my hands!

Take that, Mac fanboys! I won!!

For good measure, I also bought a cool carrying case and the little iPad dock, paid my tab, and drove straight home.

Once back in my domicile, I turned on the iPad, glared at the gorgeous glossy iPad screen, and promptly wondered aloud to myself what the heck I was going to do with this thing.

Who cares what the heck I’m going to do with it!?

I finally have an iPad and it’s the coolest piece of technology I’ve ever bought!

Blogger’s Note: This blog post was written using my brand new iPad, so at least one utilitarian purpose has now been uncovered since it’s recent acquisition.  I will keep you posted as to other useful uses also discovered after the fact.

Written by turbotodd

May 27, 2010 at 10:03 pm

The Apple iTablet Podcast

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Scott Laningham and I got together via Skype this afternoon to debrief on the Apple iPad tablet announcement.

As I joked in the podcast, the iPad looks like an iPhone for for the Jolly Green Giant, but don’t mistake the seeming limitations of the razor for the giant opportunity to sell more digital razor blades.

Scott and Turbo Apple iPad Debrief Podcast (12:34, MP3)

Written by turbotodd

January 28, 2010 at 1:26 am

Anything For Ratings

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Rozlyn, Formerly of ABC's "The Bachelor"

Rozlyn, formerly of ABC's "The Bachelor"

Anybody see the drama on “The Bachelor” last evening?

Whoaaaa…didn’t see that one coming.

And apparently neither did “The Bachelor’s” Web team, who as of this morning hadn’t updated Rozlyn’s bio, the status for which says “Still competing for Jake” (see screenshot captured around 8:30 CST today).

Is there something somebody isn’t telling me?

If you didn’t hear about the bombshell, last evening, it was revealed that Rozlyn was allegedly having an on-set affair with one of the production staff and, when considering she was supposed to be on the show to get to know Jake, it kind of defeated the point if she was consorting with the help.

And poor, poor Jake, who was innocently drawn into the black widow Roz’s arms and had even given her a rose before she stomped on his wittle bitty Texas heart.

See my prior post to see why I would even waste any pixels on this.

As for my own pick for Jake, so far I’m putting good odds on Ali to go all the way…so to speak.

But a seemingly nice girl like her had better grow some claws and soon if she wants to survive the vicious UFC Tiger Cage Fighting likely coming her way soon.

The fact that an unscripted reality TV show (read: cheap to produce) about a guy trying to find a wife on national TV is now two hours long is a barometer of exactly what the commercial broadcast TV industry has come to.

That, and the recent snafu with trying to figure out exactly what time slot would best work for Jay Leno…err, the local NBC affiliates.

Which, in turn, has led to lots of discussions about which network Conan O’Brien may best be suited for — after the suits at NBC have thrown O’Brien once again into Leno’s exhaust.  “Conan, what are you doing under that Leno bus!?”

As for what to show in the coveted 10 PM time slot that allegedly serves as the savior for beefing up the ratings of your late local news, well…good luck with that.  Maybe some “Seinfeld” reruns?

They’re calling that slot the “DVR hour,” although that’s what I’m calling every hour of television I watch these days. The only thing I might remotely watch live anymore is news or sports, and usually even sports these days is delayed so I can watch at my own pace and sans commercials.

Does nobody on Madison Avenue own a DVR??

No, John Boy and the rest of the Waltons can say “Goodnight” all night long to appointment television, and it’s high time that the commercial TV programmers start to rethink the entire programming slate.

Also, they might want to work more closely with their interactive teams, and Heaven help ’em, please update the Web page when something happens on the TV show.

Let’s face it, that’s about the closest thing to appointment TV you’ve got left, a bachelorette getting booted for philandering with the staff, and just because the show was taped last June doesn’t dismiss the need to keep the Web tie-ins in synch.

As for NBC’s empty TV time slot, perhaps Rozlyn could jump over to the Peacock network and strut her stuff and suggest her own new reality TV show there.

The pitch? Disgruntled ABC “Bachelorette” breaks Bachelor’s heart and sets out to date underemployed NBC executives trying to find ways to keep Conan O’Brien from going postal at 30 Rock.

I’d watch every second of it…on my DVR.

Written by turbotodd

January 12, 2010 at 3:20 pm

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