Monthly Archives: December 2011
So if you’ve been following this blog in its short inception, you will recall a post I dropped a month or two ago regarding the current state of television as an industry. Well, as I am a broadcast major with an interest in the future, I’ve decided to devote blog # 10 to the future of this industry. Most people are aware of the current model of television broadcast. A network essentially has to guess what will be popular, and then sends it through various transmission methods, allowing each network to produce one show at a time. This is mitigated a small amount with multiple channels, but the essence remains the same. However, as the Internets popularity continues to exponentially increase, the need for personalized, compelling content continues to grow. One step that has been taken on this path is vocal recognition, what some might see as the next step in the continued evolution of lazy television watching. Through an Xbox download, users will be able to tell their television to change the channel, up the volume, even turn the TV off.
Really, though, the question is this: how is this all new media affecting the industries? Personally, I feel like these changes have been pushing great new changes in the media that will take us to the future, as it were.
This cool video up here kind of helps illustrate my point. For those of you with bad connections (or short attention spans), basically this video lauds the future of the industry being in personalized content. By using A.I. which can study social media trends, television producers can set up personalized content for every user whenever they turn on the TV, instead of the current model that forces us to watch whatever happens to be on. 3-D will also move closer to legitimate prominence, with ESPN showing the World Cup in 3-D this year. Oh, and by the way, Samsung has made a display that allows you to see 3D TV without those stupid glasses.
In a sort of similar vein, Disney and Youtube are now teaming up to provide new content for their users, in an attempt to shore up the weaknesses behind both companies. While it makes sense, unfortunately at this time I don’t have a lot of faith in the particular venture.
Switching gears a bit here, we’re going to talk about music. I’ve been saying it for a long time, but the music industry isn’t dying, the record industry is. Where people claim internet piracy is having a profoundly negative effect, the absolute truth is that in the past 11 years, concert revenue has nearly doubled. Now, instead of record labels, companies like Spotify, which allows users to listen to any song they want for free, are the big thing. The reason why is, of course, exactly what I just stated. Instant, free access, to prerecorded content is preferable, especially when you can control the content that you listen to. For record labels, what this means is that a massive overhaul is going to be necessary. It will start with a major scaling back of their operations. The fact of the matter is that physical music stores just aren’t as popular as they were ten years ago. Because of this, gigantic corporations just won’t work as they did before. The labels need to be prepared to shift their focus as the World does the same. Interestingly, the new model could actually be described pretty simply:
To reiterate, I’m fairly confident that both of these industries are actually in very good positions. Smart people are in place to do great things to push the industries forward, all inevitably in the name of our entertainment. As the years go on, these will continue to improve, and we’ll continue to be treated to great content.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for day two of the three day blog blitz! We shall start today off with a video!
The video above does more to highlight what Bill Gates has been up to than anything I could ever write in the history of ever. Mr. Gates has been pushing his philanthropic endeavors farther and farther with each passing year, and in the video, he really does do a good job of explaining why. As he notes, the economy is in a precarious state, and it is the responsibility of the richer to do what is necessary to get it going again.
This, of course, does not mean that this is his only major project. In one of the other videos on his blog, Gates talks about the need for better batteries as we move closer to solar and wind based power. With the current solutions not working, he went to a professor from MIT named Donald Sadoway for help. From all of this came the plans for the Liquid Metal battery. The battery, Saloway explains, utilizes specific liquid compounds to get better results with a smaller battery. Innovations such as these could go a long way in solving the energy crisis.
Moving on, we look at the recent works coming from Google. Google recently held an ‘E-town awards’ for European countries. Now, while this doesn’t seem extraordinarily important, it actually is the pinnacle of a great deal of tracking of the most impressive web developments from the European cities. What it actually found was pretty incredible. Instead of the large urban areas coming out ahead, many of the smaller towns proved to be greater in these senses. What was discovered was that small businesses tended to thrive in the more suburban areas, as opposed to the gigantic municipalities.
The graph above was pulled from Google’s blog. As you can see, over ten billion apps have now been downloaded. With that in mind, Google has partnered with several app companies to create even better apps at what at the time was extraordinarily low prices. Through these new apps, innovation was able to be pushed forward even farther than before. As we move forward with our technology, one has to wonder how Google and Microsoft will continue to evolve with the times.
So, for the next 3 days, I’m going to be getting quite a bit of blogging done. So, instead of just panicking through it, I’ve decided at least to have a bit of title fun and give it a fancy name. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Three Day Blog Blitz.
For “episode” one, we are going to fixate on a fairly contentious topic that always seems to find its way into media coverage. This time, we’re going for violence in video games. This, believe it or not, is an issue I’m actually fairly impassive about. I’m not a big video game player myself. I have played games, and I have found said games fun, but it doesn’t make up a major portion of my time in any way, shape or form. Because of this, I felt like I could tackle this issue, so to speak, in a relatively neutral stance.
That said, first we’re going to argue against video games. Studies have suggested that youth who play violent video games tend to be more violent, due partially to the tendency of many games to promote negative themes. Among these are the exploitation of women and violence towards animals. Hell, pictured above, we’ve got a picture of some kids holding guns at an arcade (which admittedly do look pretty real). Other studies have suggested increases in aggression, a greater chance of being confrontational with peers and the potential to pick fights with peers.
Granted, this has it’s flip side. In fact, federal crime statistics have stated that US juvenile crime rates are at a 30 year low. The same source also suggests that many of the ‘studies’ done on media violence have been, at best, inconclusive, and also suggests that video games can be a source for learning. And for anyone else who might worry (Mom), the video game market does a better job of keeping M rated games out of the hands of kids than any other form of media.
All of these statements are equally valid, and are important in considering the ethical repercussions of how things will move forward. However, there is a certain limit as to what any of these studies can do. In the end, it’s going to be up to the parents to make these decisions. I’ll certainly be careful with what games my children play.