Heiferman also feels charging has simplified everything the company does. “There’s so much good potential that can come out of just charging people for your good product,” he says. “And it’s a virus. It’s a disease. It’s contagious. It becomes person to person. It takes over. It’s a simplicity of organization. The most important thing is it lets you sleep well at night when you get to say that everything you do is for the benefit of the people, for the user. If you get to say that everything you do, every decision, and every operational thing you do is serving them, there’s a simplicity – and it’s just good for your conscience.
As software eats the world, every sort of engineering (and indeed, every sort of profession organized along lines suggested by the physical sciences, including fields like medicine) is becoming effectively a branch of computer science
It’s been a hectic four months, and I’m so [nervously] excited that the project/company/app, Telecast, I’ve been building with the help of the fantastic team here at betaworks is finally ready for the world.
Telecast is about making Internet video watching feel as simple as turning on the TV, no matter where you are: each day, we drop fifteen minutes of carefully-chosen, personally tailored video in your lap (or iPad, as it were).
The assumption driving these kinds of design speculations is that if you embed the interface–the control surface for a technology–into our own bodily envelope, that interface will “disappear”: the technology will cease to be a separate “thing” and simply become part of that envelope. The trouble is that unlike technology, your body isn’t something you “interface” with in the first place. You’re not a little homunculus “in” your body, “driving” it around, looking out Terminator-style “through” your eyes. Your body isn’t a tool for delivering your experience: it is your experience. Merging the body with a technological control surface doesn’t magically transform the act of manipulating that surface into bodily experience. I’m not a cyborg (yet) so I can’t be sure, but I suspect the effect is more the opposite: alienating you from the direct bodily experiences you already have by turning them into technological interfaces to be manipulated.
The single most overwhelming piece of technology for the television business was the remote control. When they didn’t have to get their ass off the couch and go change the channel, it really changed the amount of control that broadcasters had … and every single step gives [the media business] less control.
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.
- Focal Length
- Canon EOS 6D
I know CES mocking is just fish/barrell, but this image…
Tumblr makes creative expression simple for everybody. Couple that product with a community ethos that values the output more than the creator and Tumblr has achieved something unique and historically significant. But for every Tumblr there is a MySpace and for every Instagram there is a flickr. Perhaps the greatest threat to Tumblr’s business is from the creativity that they have nurtured and manifested.
All I know is if I walk into a party in SF and say ‘SoLoMo’ I end up in a two hour conversation about the future of mobile communication.
In NY I say the same thing and the response is ‘Um…is that a neighborhood or a restaurant?’
Genuinely, I think the second environment is much healthier for building social apps for normal people.