BenManTheEvil's blog



A new company headed by the Kazaa and Skype guys is going to launch officially in the next few days apparently. It's called JOOST and it's an IPTV service which means it is TV online essentially.

Interestingly enough, there is word that this service will be more than just TV. AND, in an effort to socialize IPTV and make it active in some sense, JOOST is experimenting with a feature to have live chats with those who tend to watch similar content.

It'd be an odd thing to talk to someone about a show right after or before watching it. We spoke in class before about how TV might just be a passive thing forever because that's how we like it. However, JOOST creators seem to have different ideas for web based broadcasts.

More on Darfur

So to add on to our discussions on google earth/maps and Darfur I've got a link to an article about Google's attempt to publicize the genocide in Darfur by featuring images of destroyed villages and farms etc, Google in Darfur.

I know the first thing we think of when we talk about satellite imaging systems is that these things can be used for "EVIL". I'd still agree with that sentiment, however is it not good that the word on Darfur can be spread through powerful images?

Still, I don't think we can be too quick to say that Google knows what it's playing with.

Digital Media Distribution, Final Project Proposal

Digital Distribution

Viacom's CEO famously said "Content Is King" in the media industry. These past 5 years or so have been full of great evidence against this notion. As digital media distribution becomes better developed, traditional content owning media companies like the major record labels and TV networks are fighting with small startups who are either controlling their content online or making profits by distributing large amounts of Indie content.

I think distribution will be king in the near future if it already isn't right now. It's only a matter of time before networks and labels will be forced to contract with YouTubes, Joosts and Music distribution platforms and then offer DRM free content. There is a huge revolt among these traditional companies because of "content sharing" and because they are unwilling to adapt to the changing form of media vehicles. I think it's inevitable that much of their content will be online and will be viewed by an audience interested in getting it "on demand" and for a cheaper price than they do now.

More on the interconnected "SELF"

Last class I briefly mentioned a psychologist named Heinz Kohut in an attempt to draw a comparison between his Self Psychology theories and those Guattari's. Both authors share a distaste for Freud's traditional psychoanalytic conception of the self as a concrete and insular entity.

Kohut has not, by any means, incorporated media and technology theory into his work, yet he may have something to offer those of us who are interested in how "I" and its subjectivity may be necessarily connected with external people and concepts.

Kohut's theory of self psychology rests on the concept of the selfobject. This selfobject is generally a person who is experienced as part of yourself/"I" for narcissistic purposes. So, for example, the expected control we may have over others is somehow commensurate to the control we feel we have over our own bodies and minds. Our relationships with people serve us much more than just making us happy according to Kohut. They actually allow us to realize our intrinsic potentials because they are intertwined with our personal constitutions.

Is Net Neutrality truly at stake?

Net Neutrality is something I haven't worried about lately. I was, all of a sudden, wondering why this is after our last class. I've decided that, either I'm much less informed than I should be, or that the political economy of the internet is really not at stake as much as our in class video may have led us to believe.

It really is in the interest of many large corporations (maybe minus some ISPs) to facilitate user expression through weblogs, video logs, independent websites and everything else user generated. For companies that make large revenues off of online advertising, such as google, Yahoo and even Microsoft, user generated content that can have advertisements attached are an incredibly large source of revenue.



Wow, that was really depressing and addicting!

Trying to relieve some of that palpable tension really got to me. I must say, kissing Grace didn't help very much.

I was oddly sucked in to this game because I could respond to and prompt Grace and Trip in real time. They usually didn't respond appropriately, but when they did I felt as though they were two real people talking to me through a MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game). It was pretty disturbing to my roommate who didn't understand how a "game" could be depressing.

I think that's partially the point of Facade.

Dull LonelyGirl, why are you so popular? Proposal


I've decided that I'm finally going to tackle LonelyGirl (no pun intended). I think her popularity on YouTube is incredibly indicative of the power of user generated video and the format by which videos are generally watched online.

LonelyGirl is of interest to me mostly because her videos are not, in any way, entertaining or of artistic value. I am certain that a LonelyGirl TV series would not gather even a fraction of the attention it has gained on YouTube as the most watched channel. To me, this means that the method and setting of delivery has all to do with its success.

I intend to explore ways in which LonelyGirl promotes online voyeurism through the medium through which it is delivered.



SO, there's a new organization tracking the 2008 presidential candidates' uses of web 2.0 technology and social networking websites. Here's an article about it on TechCrunch

it's nice for me to know that candidates are realizing the influence that web 2.0 has on potential voters our own age. I hope youtube channels and myspace pages convince some us to to actually vote next election and possibly win one for the liberals. I've spend enough time reading that the democrats aren't united well enough and won't mobilize together.

Digital Divide

I don't remember who said this, but it was recently said that, "the future is here, but it's unevenly distributed". A lot of this has to do with economics beyond the scope of new media, however new media technology may be able to provide internet access to those who cannot currently afford it. I read an article about the development of a new technology which should provide affordable internet access to those who do not live near urban areas or big cities.



Hey all, Here's an interesting article I found about Wikipedia's use by legal courts in America. It seems like many courts and judges actually rely on wikipedia quite often for what appears to be more than trivial facts. I must say I'm really surprised. However, the article claims that when Wikipedia was used it is generally to look up colloquial terms that Britannica would not have. "Booty Music" is a good example of term/phrase that a judge appealed to Wikipedia for. I think it makes some sense to appeal to Wikipedia for common-language terms like this which are not defined in more scholarly encyclopedias.

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