Change of Address

July 17, 2006

Sorry to keep saying this but the blog has moved over to a dedicated website at Could you bookmark that and go there?


Change of Address

July 17, 2006

I’m still getting dozens of people turning up here but the site now has a new address. Sorry for the inconvience. Please go to

IPTV Growth Guess Clueless

July 14, 2006

This strikes me as an underestimate giving scant recognition to the fact that IPTV will offer a range of buddy like services that powered myspace to 30 billion hits a month recently.It comes from a Diffusion Group report.

IPTV deployments in several key European countries are on schedule, with new launches expected in smaller Eastern European and Nordic countries. For these reasons, the EMEA region is expected to top 14 million IPTV households by 2010 with France, the UK, Italy, Spain, and German accounting for 87% of the total.The number of North American IPTV households is also expected to near 14 million by 2010, with the US accounting for 80% of these subscriptions. While the majority of 2005 and 2006 IPTV deployments have been executed by small rural operators, TDG expects the new deployments by Verizon and AT to greatly increase subscribers starting in 2007.

ATV’s News Archive July 10th – July 14th

Change of Address

July 4, 2006

I’m still trying to shift the blog over to a new address. Would you mind bookmarking this.

Changed Address

July 3, 2006

Please go to:

The Long Tail

July 3, 2006

The Long Tail

Chris Anderson is touring the UK right now promoting his Long Tail book due for publication this month.

I’ve interviewed people who are tied up in the race to supply IPTV and related technologies to the unknowing public and to a man and woman they endorse the Long Tail thesis, that the future lies with millions of micro-niches.

Interesting then that Anderson is giving private briefings to the BBC and Reuters as well as Google. I’d have thought in the case of the BBC they could work it out – long term erosion of audience.

In fact just about every large content producer I talk to these days says the same thing. There’s a palpable sense of dismay around, as if these guys with audiences can do nothing to protect their legacy of monopoly and oligopoly.

The decent course of action for a public service broadcaster would be to begin taking the pile of cards down and leave the way open for new enterprises to grow. That is not going to happen. Big Media is like Big Tobacco, determined to keep growing whatever the cost.

But what are they going to grow? That is the bit they cannot yet answer. What’s actually happening is more edgy and contrived than a mere shift in economic forces.

Like alll theses Anderson’s is overplayed, at least in the minds of media moguls. Most media organisations are still highly profitable, one way or another. There may be high profile exceptions but what we are seeing is a significant downsiing among staff, putting people on the street (who can take up Long Tail opportunities), cutting frelance rates, and renegotiating the terms of trade.

There are few media organisations who really see a future where revenue will not cover cost. But there are many who are content to use the current Long Tail kerfuffle to rationliase a new round of lay-offs and renegotiations.

The question still remains though – for what? In mainstream business the strategic objective is always to be up there, to be in the top rank of companies in a sector, to have the best brand. Which traditional content producer has a really coherent plan for doing more, better?

Change of address

June 30, 2006

Still trying to encourage people to go over this way. It’s the new mediangler address.

Net Neutrality Again

June 30, 2006

Yesterday, news organizations and other publishers who’d like to control long-term costs for delivering content online were dealt a blow in Congress.The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, in approving a major telecom reform bill, rejected an amendment that would guarantee “net neutrality.”

Poynter Online – E-Media Tidbits

We should all be concerned. Read the rest of this entry »

Please go here:

June 30, 2006

I’m trying to wind this site down and move everything over to a new dedicated site.

Please change your booksmarks to

Living TV, HG TV and Food Network online

June 30, 2006

HGTV Video Guide. See also the partner sites: and Food Network. Streaming TV channels 24 hours a day.

It’s good to see information proliferating in the audio-visual sector. I know my friends in the search community are scratching their heads over how ultimately we will discover this kind of information.

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IE 7

June 29, 2006

I hear people say we are heading for a new browser war. Maybe. It’s important because the browser is our first port of call with the external world, the tool we use to encounter the network of networks. There could hardly be a more important piece of software. Read the rest of this entry »


June 29, 2006

I was at a Microsoft presentation day, Tuesday, all gearing up for the November launch of the new operating system VISTA, Office 2007 and Microsoft’s collaboration tools and as I’m a user of IE7 Beta, we can throw that in for good measure.

Sure the headlines are going to say it’s a make or break for Microsoft but I don’t buy that one at all. These products are Microsoft’s mature market and there is no make or break. Only on Internet Explorer do I sense Microsoft is vulnerable but IE is hardly a cash cow.

First though VISTA. I’ve already written about Vista in the Irish Times. The aero-glass look and feel is a feature I enjoy. Semi-transparent views mean you can half see a lot of what lies behind any particular screen you might be looking at on the desktop.

Other admirable features are the sidebar where you can keep live applications or desktop gadgets like a weather forecast, and the bottom of screen menu which with a mouse-over gives you a view of all or any live window.

Your activities, then, are accessible in a number of ways.

Aesthetics are going to be increasingly important in screen communications and Vista is a step forward. It’s a comfortable environment for people like me who rely on intuition.

Still, I felt MSFT could be doing more. People want to enjoy their time at a computer and the PC’s functions are migrating to the TV where aesthetic appeal is far more important, so a few jolly features like being able to do something with a buddy on another PC across a broadband network could have been built in at the operating level, particularly by a company that owns Groove. But so far so good.

Microsoft’s information retrieval philosophy in Vista is a step to applaud. I’ve been keeping an eye on Fast company, originator of web search engine Alltheweb but now a highly focused enterprise search company. Fast’s philosophy is simple. Forget people organising data. Index and search it and then present it in ways that make intuitive sense.

Microsoft is trying to do that with its stacks. You can still be an old fashioned heirarchal person and use tree-structure folders to organise your data in Vista, but you can also leave the organising to the search engine.

It will return documents of all kinds in a variety of stacks. Stacks are reminiscent of Mac’s early hyperstack tools. The search engine will organise information for you by, for example author, document type, subject, date. You name it. They all constitute what is in effect a different stack.

The benefit of a stack is it gives you a way to change your relationship with data. Having searched for a document (or rather, having organised your documents) by author, you can create a different stack (date) and drill down to find the document you are looking for, at the same time creating a different context (timeliness, for example).

Great. And it looks good. But here’s the rub. Microsoft doesn’t have an aesthetic philosophy. They talk about listening to customers and rightly believe that to be progress. It means they build features cutomers have asked for. But the consumer world is after more that. Stacks could have been dressed up in a number of different and appealing visualisations. Stacks could give a multitude of visual clues to users. To devise and develop those visual clues you need to be thinking aesthetically and you need to understand the relationship between images, understanding, and pleasure.

This is where MSFT falls down and where Vista is in need of attention from artists and designers from other fields. Perhaps I am quirky in insisting that an operating system needs to be more beautiful. Vista is progress and I think it will move Microsoft forward. Where Microsoft is though is a hard place. Stuck between old engineering disciplines and the new aesthetic world it is slowly entering (IPTV, X-Box, Media Centre). You cannot easily port engineering values to those walks of life where people’s first priority is to groove… did I say Groove? Maybe Ray Ozzie is the artist to Bill Gates code-geek.

Uncertain Knowledge

June 26, 2006

We know less about the future than we’ve ever done. Because I just turned up on technology voices I though this argument needed a revisit this time for a technology audience. Read the rest of this entry »

Tomorrow’s Post

June 26, 2006

Won't be much of it – I'm in a briefing from Microsoft on Vista and the Office launch. But will get back to you with news on Wednesday.

But hey, in the meantime take a look around, click the tag cloud or browse the categories. The site's starting to take shape.


June 26, 2006

Pluggd podcast community launched today

Seattle based start-up Pluggd opened their podcast directory for public use today; the company aims to make podcast listening easier for nontechnical users.

That’s the take from TechCrunch. Interesting how podcasting is getting organised. I’m hoping to launch my own podcast series next week which is part of the reason I’m spending a day in Dublin, sitting in with Microsoft Vista developers and then with sorting out the pod.

As a journalist I never did radio but like everybody else now there’s nothing stopping me.

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