Monday, August 27, 2007

Rocket in Transit - Again!!!

This month has been a little tricky, so I haven't had a lot of time to
rant from the Rocket.

Suffice it to say that the Rocket is in Transit. (Trans-continental transit!) The move is, as you would expect, web-based, mobile and involves a ton o' tech...when the Rocket lands next week, I'll highlight what worked in the move, and what didn't...uh, hopefully that latter topic is small-to-none in size.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Entertainment Weekly 2.1: The New Media Talent Continues to Play Musical Chairs


It's only been a few short weeks since I first wrote about the current crop of new media talent, and how their cults of personalities have made waves in the industry...and the shift in talent hasn't stopped yet.

Quick round up of what happened over the past few weeks:

  • Over at, Susan Hickey - who replaced the irreplaceable Karina Stenquist has...uh....disappeared. Mobuzz went oddly silent for the first few days in August - then Anil de Mello, the producer of, popped up on camera with a bizarrely worded announcement that "Susan is no longer with us" and that was doing a casting call looking for a new host. Given all of the - oh, lets just call it "tepid" - response to Susan over on the forums, one wonders if poor Susan caved under the onslaught of criticism. A shame, really, if that was the case. (It does, however, point out - if somewhat cruelly - the immediacy of the relationship between the talent and their audience in this new media world.)
  • Another mysterious disappearance over at co-host Patrick Norton also disappeared...although not quite in the same alien-abduction manner as Hickey did - Patrick has been showing up as a guest on TWiT, and appeared (briefly) in a episode to collect his things. Roger Chang takes the co-chair with Robert Heron - which is an excellent choice if they make the switch permanent. Rumor mill (and common sense), says that Patrick is headed over to Revision3 with his old boss, Jim Lauderback... and I'm not validating this rumor with this article from the weenies over at Valleywag ("more than one tipster"...cut me some slack- that's only one step above quoting "a mysterious Soviet scientist" as your source), but rather from episode 110 of Diggation, which finds the Digg Brothers sporting barely contained smirks while hypothesizing on Norton's next gig.
  • While we are talking about Revision3, check this out...valley blogger, and sometimes Cranky Geek, Om Malik becomes an unlikely pop star the new Revision 3 creation: The GigaOM Show. Although I was amused by Om on Cranky Geeks and other appearances, I never thought about him being able to carry a whole show...turns out, he can. Who knew? The show still has quite a bit to work out - the Salvation Army-esque couch makes for an awkward seating arrangement for Om's guests - in all the episodes, the guests all look faintly uncomfortable to be sitting there. (Om: talk Louderback into buying a boardroom table. Trust me here.)
BTW, huge bonus points to Revision3 for putting Kevin Rose and Jason Calacanis onto that awkward couch together on The GigaOM Show...the only way it could have been better is if they had been placed on one of those queen sized beds that have been slept in by an old married couple for 20 years...watching Rose and Calacanis fighting to keep from slipping together into the divot in the middle of the bed - now THAT would be entertainment!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'm Rap-a-Tap-Tapping on Your Line....

It's a fun tradition in the US to try and ram as many new laws and proposals through Congress at the end of July. Why? Because all those go-getter lawmakers have visions of sipping margaritas on Nantucket throughout August! Ah! Summer....! We've worked so hard, and now we need a break...! I wonder what Ted will be wearing when we come back from recess? It's so exciting! I can't wait to try boogie-boarding with Nancy! ...what's this piece of paper in front of me? Hell...just sign it so I can get back to my brochures!

The result of all that party planning? The Protect America Act of 2007! (Oh, I wish I was making that name up.) Now, instead of all that trouble that our President got into for trying to protect us through unlawful wiretaps - we just eliminate the law! Yay! No more issues.

The PAA now gives broader authority to the NSA to tap into phone calls, email and internet traffic without having to bother the higher courts for pesky permission. (It effectively re-writes the 1978 wiretapping law that was giving the Bush administration such indigestion - the law should be renamed the Always Protect President's Right to Ignore the Constitution Act...A-PPRIC. Catchier, I think...and it will look better on those 1984-esque posters I expect to start seeing in government buildings any day now.)

This law didn't go into effect without a few objections - and it has been given a 6 month horizon...I suspect that at the end of the 6 months there will be a vigorous attempt to re-instate using distorted statistics on how many lives this law saved, but I digress. (If you want to see who caved in the senate, see this. If you want to see who caved in the house, see this.)

What the PAA really is, if you read between the lines, is not so much an attempt to track terrorist conspirators communicating between American and non-American phone systems, but a way in for the RSA to tap into VoIP calls -- something that they currently do not have the authority to do. Perhaps its the summer doldrums, perhaps it's the heat, but there has been very little mentioned about the passage of this law. It made the papers the day it went through, and there has been some well-thought out public comments about the introduction of this law, but very little backlash.

Ok, so I'm sitting on the beach with my summer reading drinking my margarita like everyone else, but I do have one or two little sniggling questions: what was the justification for giving the President and the NSA this sort of sweeping authority? Also, where was the fire? What was the rush to get this thing through this year....?

Monday, August 6, 2007

It's a Fake, Sad Day...


Fake Steve Jobs Revealed.

On the other hand: who knew this guy was this entertaining?