Even so, Netflix can’t match the quality that can be delivered via coax — not over IP — and Time Warner Cable and other incumbent providers have little incentive to enable it to do so. By installing Open Connect boxes free of charge and peering with Netflix, cable companies would basically be giving it the tools to also offer comparable picture quality. But why would they?
This article on Netflix/Time Warner’s current dispute shows a disappointing lack of understanding of how the Internet is stitched together. In a story where the heart of the matter comes down to the hard tech, I wish the author had spent a few minutes talking to an engineer before misleadingly mashing terms together.
Cable companies likely already peer with Netflix. Open Connect is not peering, it’s a caching appliance that would live inside ISPs’ networks.
“Coax” and IP are two different network layers. They are not an either/or choice and they don’t have a hell of a lot to do with the quality of content that can be delivered. (FWIW, content will be delivered via IP regardless of the physical layer, because the I stands for Internet.)
That said, Open Connect is a super interesting move by Netflix, and something I’d love to see some deeper reporting on.
Starting 2013 off with a bang, I’m happy to announce I’ve just started a new gig: Hacker-in-Residence at betaworks. With the help of the spectacular team here and a band of fellow hackers, I’m going to spend the next few months building and launching a product from whole cloth. I haven’t done this before; it’s damn exciting.
I was so lucky to have been on the early team at Tumblr, and here at betaworks I intend to keep to the same passions that brought me there. I love building technology for creative people, particularly the ever-growing number of makers, creators, collectors, critics, and fans that have found their audience for the first time on the web.
I’m not ready to say what I’m working on just yet. But now that I’m back in New York and the game after eight (fantastic, must-repeat) months, you ought to say hello.
Radio, in its ideal, provided both an outlet for musical discovery and a place for a geographically based community to gather. Talk radio, whether about politics or sports, provides the latter, but as musical communities become more fragmented, is there a place for the more casual listener—the person who might want to hear the occasional new track sprinkled into their favorites and visit a station’s van at a show, but who doesn’t neccessarily have time to dig through websites and “related” links on YouTube—to discover music as well? Has the viral world replaced radio, and does that mean that a song needs a hook that isn’t just its chorus, like the goofy pony dance PSY performs in the “Gangnam Style” video?
I love video art. Being moving images, the sensory experience we are as, or more, accustomed to as talking with other humans, video art seems to have remarkably fast access to our thoughts. Though many people feel uncomfortable commenting on a painting by an artist they don’t know, I’ve never seen anyone very reticent after watching an unkown video work.
Methods and subjects in video art vary widely, from Ryan Trecartin’s gonzo, AfterEffects-distorted, drag-doused, chaotic critique/lovefests of contemporary media culture to the haunting, detached treatment of nuclear power and society in Mika Taanila’s The Most Electrified Town in Finland. Some of the sharpest critiques of contemporary culture and the most incisive political questions exist only in video.
Perversely, though, video works are some of the most inaccessible in contemporary art. Not that they are difficult to comprehend—mostly, it’s just hard to find an actual copy of the damn things. Galleries wouldn’t dream of streaming video works online and they largely outsource draconion control of video files and their performance rights. Public access consists of lending physical media to established institutions for soometimes-significant fees.
This state of affairs is strange and disappointing for artworks that exist as digital video files, a medium the Internet has proven very capable of spreading widely, rapidly. And video art should be spread widely, rapidly!
There are artists who buck the trend, and one whose work I love is Francis Alÿs. He not only streams all his work, but releases it under a very liberal Creative Commons license. Spend a few minutes watching his REEL - UNREEL, in which a pair of kids playfully unfurl and reroll film through the streets of Kabul: I bet you, like me, didn’t know what the streets of Kabul looked like.
Maybe even share it, like good art ought to be.
- Focal Length
- Canon EOS 6D
I know CES mocking is just fish/barrell, but this image…
Yesterday I wanted to introduce a friend to Network, the 1976 classic film satire of American TV, which was prescient enough to just barely look like satire today. I told him the main character was Faye Dunaway as a maniacal programming exec and he was sufficiently convinced.
Netflix doesn’t stream Network. (I’d have thought Epix owned it via MGM, but apparently whichever co-holding quasi-company that controls Northeast-American-medium-sized-screen-Saturday-night-streaming rights to it isn’t getting along with Netflix at the moment, so…) Off to the iTunes store.
And they had it, along with a piece of pricing genius that gets me every time:
Why so genius? Those four little gray buttons set off this series of thoughts:
- Okay, $2.99 for a rental. A little steep, but sounds like old VHS rental pricing, fair enough.
- But I really do love Network, enough to make an elaborate argument for its place in film and cultural and maybe even American history! I should just buy it. $9.99 is only a few bucks more.
- But if I’m going to own it, why wouldn’t I want it in HD? $14.99 is only a few bucks more.
I only wish I were salesman enough to turn a somewhat reluctant $2.99 purchase into a $14.99 one. And considering the chances of my watching the movie again in the next decade are essentially nil, Apple just sold me the same product at 5x its original price. Hats off!