Posted on July 29, 2011
One-hundred-and-fifty years ago this month, the first major battle of the American Civil War was fought about 25 miles west of Washington, D.C. The armies clashed along a slow-moving country stream known as Bull Run. A bridge across the brook is pictured at the left in a photo taken shortly after the fight.
A recent New York Times article explains the battle, and the ensuing war, was the first to be extensively documented with photography which was an emerging technology at the time. A dozen years earlier a few photos had been taken of the Mexican War. A few years after that, a British photographer took over three hundred of the Crimean War. Among them was a bogus picture of the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” made famous in the 19th century by Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade” and in the 20th by Errol Flynn. Read more…
Posted on July 19, 2011
Last week the Canoe Ventures CEO announced he would depart in August after completing a three year employment agreement. However, as a business concern, Canoe “barely left the dock”.
Canoe Ventures was organized and funded with $150 million three years ago by a consortium of six cable operators. Its mission was to develop interactive TV advertising for the CATV industry. To date it has launched only a single product meeting with little success.
Inside Digital Media subscribers may recall our two year old post entitled “Why Project Canoe Will Fail”.
Among other points we explained, “…video advertising will evolve more quickly on the Internet than within closed networks of CATV systems. Technical standards on the Net are open and well understood by independent developers. Thus it is likely more of them will focus on Internet advertising innovations than on those governed by Project Canoe where standards have yet to be defined.”
As we explained in a March post, the faster innovative pace became evident when Shazam demonstrated how to use embedded signaling and Internet access to provide interactivity to conventional televisions via smartphones. Three months later Kleiner-Perkins apparently reached the same conclusion and invested $32 million to launch Shazam into the interactive TV advertising business.
At Inside Digital Media we aim to discover tomorrow’s industry leaders today.
Posted on July 13, 2011
Originally users gave instructions to Microsoft computers with an esoteric string of alphanumeric characters preceded by the command line prompt — C:\. By the early 1990s the Windows icon-based interface had displaced the command line. Three years ago Apple launched the next evolutionary stage with the App Store. One of the chief implications for Apps is their ability to transform conventional media into a computerized user interface as well.
Print media is a case in point. Consumers are beginning to notice that various forms of print — ranging from handheld items such as newspapers and magazines, to wall-mounted posters — can interact with smartphones and tablet computers equipped with integrated cameras. Most commonly the interaction is through a two-dimensional barcode like the one pictured at the upper left. Known as QR (quick response) codes, they carry a digital payload corresponding to the complex inkblot-like pattern. The one in the upper left can be read by downloading the Kaywa QR Reader App for Apple, Android, and other devices. Read more…
Posted on July 12, 2011
First, conventional ISPs such as CATV and telecom companies shall attempt to abandon fixed monthly rates and replace them with metered fees based upon bandwidth consumption. The probability the change will remain permanent is about fifty-fifty. Second, a steadily growing percentage of our Internet access will be via wireless networks including both cellular and unlicensed bands such as Wi-Fi and White Spaces. The likelihood of the second prediction is about as certain as fleas on a yard dog.
Fixed-Wire Metered Fees
At the annual National Cable Television Association conference last month there was an important shift in informal discussions about metered rates. Previously, such conversations centered on whether the rates should be attempted at all, but this time discussion gravitated toward when and how. Competition from Netflix and other methods of getting Internet video to television screens is simply proving to be too competitive for traditional pay TV services. Read more…