"The thing that drives the right behavior at Google, more than anything else, more than all the other things combined, is gratitude... First, and arguably most importantly, Google drives behavior through incentives. Engineers working on important projects are, on average, rewarded more than those on less-important projects. You can choose to work on a far-fetched research-y kind of project that may never be practical to anyone, but the work will have to be a reward unto itself. If it turns out you were right and everyone else was wrong (the startup's dream), and your little project turns out to be tremendously impactful, then you'll be rewarded for it. Guaranteed."
Sorry about the Jim Croce lyrics. I hate him as much as anyone else, but it seemed right.
Today marked an interesting milepost in my digital world: I didn't rely on the scheduling of the mass media once the entire day for what I listened to or what I watched.
Okay, I take that back. I watched the local news around suppertime. But other than that, rather than suffer through the pap that our local radio stations spew, I listened to the inestimable Hugh Hewitt via podcast in my truck, then after dinner, we watched two excellent programs via our new Cox Digital Video Recorder I would have otherwise missed: A tour of four lived-in English castles on HGTV, and a special on the discovery of an ossuary belonging James, the brother of Jesus. And as I type this, the DVR's merrily chugging away, recording Akira Kurosawa's epic samurai fable, Yojimbo, for me to view at my leisure.
What is an noteworthy moment in time to me will be old hat for my two boys and everyone in their generation. What that will mean for broadcasting, we haven't figured out yet.
"So, in summary, to be allowed the privilege of purchasing a video that I can't burn to DVD and can't watch on my iPod, I have to allow a program to hijack my start-up and force me to login to uninstall it?"
And with that one sentence, any chance that this will be the iTunes of movies is gone. Actually, any chance this will go beyond just the Home Media PC market is gone, too. You can't even transfer them to your iPod or other media player.
Way back in the Dark Ages of 2005, Bill Hunt over The Digital Bits made this comment:
"PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak has posted an editorial column on HD-DVD that's well worth a read. His argument is that HD-DVD is likely to win the format war for a variety of practical reasons, from compression to price to backwards-compatibility to copy-protection. It's a well reasoned argument. But he left out perhaps the best argument going for HD-DVD... the letters DVD in the name. That means instant recognition. Consumers already know and love DVD, but they've never heard of Blu-ray Disc before and they have no idea what it is. "
Ok, aside from putting me in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with Dvorak (who I think is right out of his ever-lovin' mind), I agree. Blu-Ray is a great example of a product name that sounds sexy but says very little, and what's worse, what it says is *how* it works (it uses a blue laser for more data on a disc) than *what* it does. The vast majority of consumers aren't bamboozled by facts and figures, but tell them that Product A will do Function Z better Product B (then hit 'em with the facts), and you've got a winner.
HD-DVD - You know right away what it does, and what it uses. Blu-Ray - Is it a new sport boat? Superhero? Part of the Strategic Defense Initiative?
"Is the exploit real? Who knows, I've seen video of someone cracking a Mac through a wireless driver. Then again I've also seen video of a virus written on a Mac taking down a fleet of invading alien spaceships..."
This is big. Really big. Hawthorne Heights (Warning! Annoying auto-play music at that link!) proved that depsite a sucky website, an unsigned band can make it big due to MySpace alone. Now that MySpace will have MP3's galore, the RIAA's chokehold on music distribution has been broken forever.