Cunningham had been assigned to the D-League on Dec. 11 and played in seven games, averaging 18.1 points, 3.0 assists and 2.9 rebounds. In seven games with the Mavericks earlier this season, Cunningham averaged 2.3 points per game.
Last week’s Downton Abbey broadcast debacle, while not representative of the world’s most acute problems, unnervingly illustrated one of the many ways that media companies fail to understand markets, technology and day-to-day consumer realities. The hit show ended its third season on December 25th with an extreme plot development. The season was broadcast only to its British audience, while American viewers were waiting until 2013 to clap their eyes on the latest round of shows. Problem was, of course, that the entire non-UK audience had the whole third season spoiled by instant social buzz and UK-generated web reviews of the final dramatic denouement.
If technology does nothing else, it destroys boundaries of all sorts — between countries, time zones, populations, affiliations and cultural circumstances. Media companies that distribute their products as if those borders still held sway seem increasingly clueless and hostile to their ever more empowered audiences.
Theatrical release windows were developed in the movie industry to delineate markets and motivate purchases from consumers in different situations and preferences. Each of the main release stages (movie theater, on-demand, DVD, streaming) was meant to apply uniquely to a demand profile, with minimal overlap. But the walls between release scenarios have been eroded by technology, creating a messy overlap of the values previously contained within each scenario.
- Home theaters have eaten into the exhibition business (movie theaters) thanks to HD screens as a middle-class commodity. Two legacy values of the theater experience — big screens and great visuals — have been swiped into the home. The average size of a newly purchased television is 44 inches. Those vast panels are driven primarily by pricey cable/satellite subscriptions, further disincentivizing their owners from driving through a rainy night to buy a $12 theater seat in which they can drink a $6 soda.
- Mobile devices have undermined the on-demand movie business in hotel rooms. Here, the legacy allure of in-room movie rentals was founded on the desperation of a trapped, bored, unequipped traveler. Mobile connectivity solves that. Even if the hotel charges for WiFi (an indicator that you might have chosen the wrong hotel), paying for the platform instead of a single movie puts an unlimited number of in-room entertainment options onto a personal screen.
Both of these examples have matured over a long gestation period, gradually disrupting the very concept of release windows. But the media industries have actually carved out windowing scenarios more assiduously than ever. The BBC’s Downton Abbey blunder is an example of time-based windowing, but without an obvious rationale. Presumably there were business and revenue reasons for the delayed licensing to US buyers, and only the BBC can answer whether those gains were worth angering more than 5 million American fans.
Time-windowing a global entertainment program according to national boundaries ignores a staggering degree of tech-induced world shrinkage and barrier dissolution. It is unknown whether the BBC didn’t consider that its show would be ruined for a huge cross-ocean audience, or didn’t care. The choice seems to be between cluelessness and antipathy.
Consumer connectivity and rampant gadgetry appear to be driving TV rights-holders to extremes of windowing confusion that involve not only spans of time and geographic space, but also tangles of licensing agreements with multiple providers pumping shows into a labyrinth of home technologies and access plans.
Let’s look at the hit TV show Parenthood, broadcast by NBC and currently in its fourth season. If you discover the show belatedly, you can soak up the first three seasons on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If you finish that binge right now, 11 episodes into the fourth season, you might find the most recent five episodes in an on-demand cable channel (as is the case on Time Warner). To get the season’s first six shows you have to bring up the NBC website or tablet app. Thus equipped, you can bridge your way back to the TV if you watch fast enough.
This diversion is better than the pre-DVR rerun model where you waited until the summer off-season to watch episodes you carelessly missed when they were originally broadcast. In a mangled way, the various show providers have accommodated to random-access TV watching. But from the viewer’s perspective, there is a resonance of insanity to the five-episode limit in Time Warner’s on-demand channel, and the ensuing mad search for episodes. In the field of branded content, the shiniest brass ring is new addicted viewers. In the case of Parenthood and many entertainment properties, it is exactly those audiences who are treated the worst, driven through exasperating hoops to stay loyal.
The business irony is that migrated consumers — those who have detached to some degree from the legacy viewing modes — can be monetized more effectively than old-school cable/DVR watchers. When you catch up with back programming either in a cable company’s on-demand locker or NBC’s full-episode viewing app, you are forced to watch the commercials. No fast-forward in those controlled environments. I watched two Parenthood episodes with my wife on an iPad, and the entire stretch was sponsored by Visa. I saw 20 Visa commercials and can recite them to you. We talked about them. That is platinum advertising impact, the kind of coerced attention agencies dream about.
In the perpetual balancing act of supply and demand, it is crucial in the long run for suppliers to understand the nuances of demand. It is not enough for media owners to fathom that people love to watch movies and TV shows. Owners must understand how people want to consume media, and the cultural environment in which they do so. Failure to understand the matrix of supply and demand eventually becomes failure to hold your audience and sell your show.
So here’s the memo, though it all should go without saying at this late stage:
- National boundaries have been eroding for decades, and haven’t existed for 15 years in the realm where most media consumers get their information. Don’t window by geography.
- In-home viewing quality rivals that of theaters, so why not try selling first-run product into our homes much sooner? Charge us for timely access, not for sticky floors and toxic popcorn.
- Don’t make us be detectives to find your show. Amazon vs. Netflix is their battle to fight. License everywhere. The most valuable asset is an addicted audience that can find its fix. Ubiquity is good.
- Your product is infinitely replicable and shareable. Senseless windowing invites piracy. Piracy is not primarily about free content; it is about content living where the users live.
Happy viewing … if you can get your hands on the movie or TV show you want to watch.
Brad Hill is a former Vice President at AOL, and the former Director and General Manager of Weblogs, Inc.
Archives of Neurology)
Most of us have sent a garbled text or two (or dozens) in our day, and probably received more than our share as well. But such disoriented messages can in some rare cases move beyond the parlance of speedy modern-day communication to signal a health emergency, Harvard scientists caution.
In a study published online in the Archives of Neurology last week, the researchers coin the term “dystexia” to describe a confused text message that may indicate neurological dysfunction.
They cite the case of a 25-year-old pregnant woman who sent her husband a series of confusing messages about their baby’s due date following a routine doctor’s appointment.
Him: So what’s the deal?
Her: Every where thinging days nighing
Her: Some is where!
Him: What the hell does that mean?
Him: You’re not making any sense.
Concerned, the husband rushed his wife to the emergency room, where doctors determined she was having a stroke and suffering from dysphasia (also known as aphasia), an impairment of communication abilities common to brain injury and even complex migraine headaches.
Fortunately, the woman was treated and quickly recovered from the episode, with no evidence the stroke had harmed the fetus. The doctors credit her texts with being one piece of useful data that helped identify what type of stroke had hit.
“In this case, the availability of texting may have been particularly valuable, because the patient’s hypophonia (a weak voice due to lack of coordination in the vocal muscles, in her case from a cold) likely prevented early detection of her dysphasia,” Arvind Ravi, Vikram Rao, and Joshua Klein of Harvard Medical School wrote in the study, titled “Dystextia: Acute Stroke in the Modern Age.”
They think there’s a good chance text messages will increasingly play a similar role.
“The growing digital record will likely become an increasingly important means of identifying neurologic disease, particularly in patient populations that rely more heavily on written rather than spoken communication,” the doctors wrote.
With so many distracted texters punching away while walking and driving, it’s easy to joke that an SMS survey would show a preponderance of digerati suffering from a neurological impairment. Then there’s autocorrect, which can “give the false impression of a language disorder,” Klein told NPR. “In our patient’s case, autocorrect had been previously disabled on her mobile device.”
But while the Harvard doctors caution that dystextia alone is not necessarily cause for alarm, they do say it can be a useful sign when taken in the context of the sender’s usual communication style, as well as other possible symptoms.
Indeed, earlier today, we reported on a similar case in which a British woman, upon feeling dizzy and beginning to fall unconscious, posted a disoriented call-for-help Facebook update that may have saved her life. She is also believed to have suffered a stroke, a condition where early diagnosis and management are considered key.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/pRza/~3/ePzNvTLuxQg/
Infiniti says it will unveil a new sport sedan, called the Q50, at the upcoming Detroit auto show. The model introduces the brand’s new naming strategy, and is billed as a replacement for the current G sedan.
Typical for pre-auto-show teasers, all we get is an image of the new
car‘s headlight. However, that shot reveals styling much different than seen on current Infiniti G and M models. Rather than the high lens of the current headlights, which mold into the pontoon-like front fenders, the teaser shows a hooded headlight topped by an LED strip.
The headlight design suggests the Q50 will resemble the LE concept we saw at the 2012 New York auto show. That concept sported a hood rising above the fenders, a radical change to current Infiniti styling. The spindle-shaped grille looked similar to that being introduced by Lexus.
Infiniti’s new naming strategy uses Q for every model, followed by a double digit to indicate size. Models named QX will be crossovers. The Q50 replaces the G sedan, while a Q60 replaces the G coupe. A future Q70 takes the place of the current M56. Infiniti has not said where or how hybrid models will fit into this naming strategy.
One detail slipped into a message from Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen, alluded to a new engine for the Q70, a 550-plus horsepower forced induction V-6. Those specs match the engine in the Nissan GT-R, suggesting a large, high-performance Infiniti sedan positioned as a BMW M5 fighter.
Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cnet/mHpI/~3/kLQIq7t0XT4/
On a night when the Mavericks were sporadically competitive against the San Antonio Spurs, coach Rick Carlisle was completely miffed.
After a 111-86 loss to the Spurs — the Mavericks’ sixth consecutive loss — Carlisle said he was prepared to use drastic measures to force improvement on what he feels like is an underachieving team.
“The last week, I’ve had to literally scream in the face of two guys in practices and shootarounds to get the point across and I will do that,” Carlisle said. “And I will continue to do that. If I have to start suspending guys for not doing things they’re supposed to be doing on the court, I’ll do it. And Mark [Cuban] and I will get into it about that. But somehow, things have got to change and it can’t just be about that it’s a tough schedule. It just can’t.”
For Carlisle, the Mavericks are a perplexing team. Even though they have nine new players on the roster, Carlisle said their talent is good enough to compete with the better teams in the league.
“I’ve said it repeatedly that I like the roster,” said Carlisle, who rejected all excuses. “We’re over 30 games into the season. We’re not that new. We got to fix it.”
The maddening part of the Mavericks’ performance for Carlisle — and probably for fans, too — is that the Mavericks have their moments. During a 15-minute period that started midway through the first quarter, the Mavericks outscored the Spurs 35-24.
The problem was that stretch began with the Mavericks trailing 20-6.
“It’s a 48-minute game, so we’ve got to be better early, we’ve got to be better late,” Carlisle said. “I don’t want to get into a dialogue on the parts of the game that were OK. It’s not what this organization has been about since Mark bought the team. This is a stretch that is unprecedented, really. It’s bad. We’ve got to fix it and it starts with me. I’m taking the blame for it.”
Carlisle’s level of irritation was a surprise to Dirk Nowitzki, who played his fourth game since returning from knee surgery.
“That’s a little aggressive,” Nowitzki said. “I never heard anything like that.
“But it starts with the players. We need to compete at all times and I said it numerous times, we’re not as talented as the top teams are. That’s pretty obvious. So we really have to make up for it by playing harder, by scrambling on defense, rebounding and five guys being in there scrambling, boxing out, getting the ball. If we take the ball out of the net every time down we’re going to have trouble.
“I’m not sure if that helps if you’re start suspending people left and right.”
Although Nowitzki was only 3-of-9 from the field with eight points and five rebounds, he said he was making progress physically.
“I felt 10 times better even though I had nothing to show for it,” he said, “but just the way I was moving. Today I had a lot more pep in my step. I was really moving even though my shot wasn’t really going, but I felt I had more spring in my lift. So that’s a good thing.”
The Spurs scored the first two points of the game and never trailed. Even when the Mavericks made runs, the Spurs never flinched. They moved the ball crisply and had numerous open shots — and they hit most of them. They shot 50.6 percent from the field for the night.
Again, the Mavericks had good moments. But a good play here and there was not enough for Carlisle, who undoubtedly is not pleased with the Mavericks’ 5-10 month of December. That is the worst month in the Cuban era — the worst since they were 4-10 in December 1999.
“Right now, you’d have to question everything,” Carlisle said. “I’ll just leave it at that. And again, I’m still going to stay on record saying I believe in the group. But we’ve all got to do better. And it starts with me.”
With CES 2013 just days away, TechCrunch has posted a juicy rumor that chipmaker Intel will announce a major plunge into TV, choosing to go it alone after several failed partnerships in an effort to “do it right” this time. Claiming an unnamed source in the video distribution industry, the rumor suggests a plan to deliver a set-top box with DVR, rolled out on a city-by-city basis as it negotiates channel agreements. Despite a number of demos through the years, the Intel-powered TV boxes that have landed in our living rooms so far have been the first gen Google TV and Boxee Box units. Both struggled to make a significant impact and switched to ARM CPUs for the second generation of their products.
Based on some of the tech demos we’ve seen and earlier rumors, Intel’s plans could include using facial recognition to personalize the experience for (and target advertising towards) different viewers, and offering smaller, cheaper bundles of channels than traditional providers. Another element from the TechCrunch post indicates a plan to provide a Catch Up TV-style service that lets users view anything that has aired in the last month on the channels they’re subscribed to, although there’s no word on what will power this technology.
Intel’s participation in Comcast’s Reference Design Kit program is also referenced, although given Big Cable’s traditional reluctance regarding alternative delivery models, any sort of tie-in here seems like a long shot to us. A combo package of pay-TV channels and internet VOD has been tried before, although Sezmi’s antenna-connected solution failed to catch on and fizzled late last year. Like recently rekindled Apple HDTV rumors, the potential of Intel’s service may rely just as much on its success negotiating with content providers as any technology it’s cooked up. Check out the rest of the rumor at the source link and a video from Intel’s 2009 IDF demo after the break, we’ll have any official announcements as they happen from the press conference January 7th.