from the the-long-and-the-short-of-it dept
For the past several weeks, the top comments have been largely dominated by shorter submissions — but not so this week. Brevity has taken a back-seat to comprehensiveness, as it sometimes must do. First up, taking the top spot on the insightful side, is Rich Kulawiec with thoughts on how network neutrality, and just smart network architecture, is at odds with the legacy content industries:
The fundamental rift between decentralization and control
And this, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, is where network neutrality collides head-on with the MPAA and the RIAA and their cronies.
The BitTorrent folks are right: there's no technical reason why content couldn't be pulled to network endpoints and then re-pulled from there, alleviating the necessity to drag it down from centralized servers again and again and again and again. (If you think this sounds like a torrent: you're right.)
But that would require giving up the one thing that (some) content creators absolutely, positively do not want to give up: control.
They want their timed release windows. They want their DRM. They want control over what gets delivered, how it gets delivered, when it gets delivered, what can be done with it, how long it persists, they want EVERYTHING.
And they're not going to give up for anyone.
So Netflix can't send back a response to your "Download the latest Michael Bay atrocity" request that translates to "Nah. Someone on who is topologically 1 hop from you has it, download it from them, it'll be much faster". Even though this would be better for Netflix, better for you, better for your ISP and even better for your neighbor (when their turn comes). It's not better for Hollywood so, well, fuck all of you very much.
Observers who are observing will notice that net neutrality didn't become a technological and political football UNTIL the content in question acquired two properties: (1) it's large and (2) it's owned by Hollywood. Nobody cared when it was a few web pages flying around or some email messages or Usenet articles or instant messages or DNS queries or FTP transfers or any of that. But now...okay NOW, it's a big deal. And while everyone is -- rightly so -- pummeling Comcast and Verizon et.al., it would be good to remember that Hollywood could make a lot of this problem vanish (nearly) overnight.
In second place, we've got an anonymous comment asking why the Chicago cops who verbally and physically abused a massage parlor employee are only facing a lawsuit:
Interesting phrasing"Defendant DI PASQUALE: No you're not! No, you're not a citizen! No, you're not! No, you're not! You're here on our borrowed time. So mind your fucking business before I shut this whole fucking place down. And I'll take this place and then whoever owns it will fucking kill you because they don't care about you, OK? I'll take this building. You'll be dead and your family will be dead."Why isn't this sociopath under federal indictment for threatening an act of mass murder?
I thought we had some federal agencies somewhere who were kinda sorta tasked with maybe investigating threats of terrorism every now and then if they aren't too busy doing other things. Given that most of the time they're working off rumors and suggestions and hints, I'd think that a 40-minute recorded confession would be a lot more helpful. And since their mission is to defend Americans, why wouldn't they take an immediate and substantial interest in this? It's certainly a far more substantial threat (coming from a heavily-armed man who has already assaulted someone) than more of the ones we hear about.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got two comments in response to Wil Wheaton's refreshingly open and direct discussion of the massive opportunities and challenges in building a successful TV show these days. First, That Anonymous Coward suggests a closer look at just how revenues are acquired and the price of eyeballs is calculated:
I have a question.
How much do the advertisers pay per eyeball on the show?
Is it just some magical made up number from Neilson Families or secret spying by Smart Tvs?
How do they count people who DVR, or catch it at a friends house?
Despite the snark, I'm actually curious.
Using advertising to support the shows is an age old pattern, that really no longer applies.
We have DVR's, we have DVR's that despite idiotic lawsuits offer commercial skipping. Instead of paying for a lawsuit that if you win will make your customers hate you more, could they have done some math and figured out how much they earn per person?
Let us say, that they earn 10 cents a head they can count.
So then why not offer the show via an online portal for 15 cents, as it aired. They earn the ad revenue, we can show x downloads and a portion of the payment (after paying for the portal).
Then could they offer the same show for 50 cents without any advertising in it?
Yes my numbers are contrived, but the theory is sound.
If they made it available for purchase at an attractive price, wouldn't viewership go up earning them more?
If people weren't spending $100+ a month for 6983 channels they never want to watch, would they then put that money to use to get what they really want?
And before they go insane, don't tie the portal to some sort of idiotic DRM scheme. Consider that even if it makes it into the wild out of your control, you might get even more viewers as they decide the price is right and there is no reason to find an alternative way to get it. Yes some people will never pay you, so? You weren't going to get that money ever anyways.
People will pay for what they like provided...
- the price is right
- they get to "own" what they paid for
- they get to decide the how, where, when of how they watch it
- you stop treating them like crap
I'd really love to see how many of these execs who talk about all the different "awesome" failed platforms they subject the customers to actually ever used them personally.
If they faced the same things their customers did, perhaps they would finally get why what they are doing isn't going to work.
14,000,000 people pay you $1 for an episode... seems like a win for a 24 episode season.
(Though I wouldn't say advertising models are obsolete, they absolutely need to be joined by other innovative models, and the traditional TV industry really needs to keep thinking further and further outside the box.)
Meanwhile, another commenter on that post thought this was evidence of Wheaton shooting himself in the foot with support of free culture, and wondered if he would succeed at " finding ways to monetize content that doesn't involve selling swag." Karl pointed out that Wheaton's way ahead of such naysayers:
...which he has already done.
If you don't know this already, Wheaton has an awesome show on Geek and Sundry called "TableTop."
For the first two seasons, it was funded by YouTube/Google through their paid channels. But that funding dried up after the second season.
So, they launched an IndieGoGo campaign:
They initially asked for $500K to fund a shortened third season, with $750K funding a full season, and one million dollars funding a spin-off show.
By the time the campaign ended, they had raised nearly a million and a half dollars, over three times the original goal.
All of this from people who had never once paid for the show, who had only watched it on YouTube, and who simply wanted to see the next season happen.
In fact, I'll bet dollars to donuts that the success of TableTop is a major reason why Wheaton got a show on the SyFy network in the first place.
Over on the funny side, we've got another winner from Rich Kulawiec. This time, it's a response to Malibu Media's absurd claim that its critics belong to a "psychopathic hate group":
To: Mary K. Shultz
From: Psychopathic Hate Groups
Subject: Your filing Gov Uscourts Ilnd 287310 94 1
We, joined with our brothers and sisters in the Amalgamated Union of Dictators and Tyrants, the Organization for Costumed Super Villains, the Fascist Communist Socialist Anarchists Front for the Liberation of Erewhon, and the really tall guy in 301B (don't ask) must earnestly protest against your characterization of FightCopyrightTrolls. They are not a psychopathic hate group, as they have not yet passed certification for that title. We would of course be happy to entertain their request for membership, and if they passed the qualifying exam AND the applied field exercise, we would grant them membership status; but as yet they have not even applied.
We must therefore ask you not to accord them a title which they have not yet earned, as this devalues the lifelong achievements of others who have been vetted by our rigorous processes and who are thus entitled to display our emblem (a single lone figure wielding a long pointy stick, standing a pile of composed of equal parts slain opponents and freshly-crushed minions).
Generalissimo Francisco Franco
Ming the Merciless
Darth "Bubbles" Vader
The guy from 301B
And now, the section of long comments comes to a close, and we finish things out with some short ones. Second place for funny goes to Michael for trying to understand the odd one out (a sanitation officer amidst top-level politicians and officials) in the list of "anonymous" targets of email hacker Guccifer:
Victims 1, 3, 4, and 5 handed the American people a load of s*** and victim #2 dealt with one?
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with a comment from ChurchHatesTucker, who figured out how Snowden-haters could spin the story of him helping a reporter who had a seizure during a remote video interview:
Snowden deploys epilepsy-inducing robots against reporters!
And finally, in further response to Malibu Media's hyperbolic temper tantrum, an anonymous commenter offered them this simple reminder
A list of all the times attacking the internet has helped:
(For a much longer list, see "all the times attacking the internet has helped the other side.")
That's all for this week, folks!