Lynne d Johnson



« September 2005 | Diary | November 2005 »

10.26.05 12:12 PM

why u can never have the latest apple product

I still tote a first-generation ipod. Yep - 5 GB still works for me. It's never had to be repaired. The battery has not died. Yet, when I finally purchased the device, about a week or two later, Apple announced the second-generation iPod. Of course I was upset, we were talking the ability to save 5 GB of music vs 10 or 20 gigs. But I wasn't swindled though?

I had wanted an iPod ever since it first came out. I'm an early adopter like that. Yet I waited. We all know that new is not always best and usually we have to wait for everything to be just right with a product or its software. But I got to a point that I couldn't wait anymore, even though everyone was telling me I should wait for the next Apple announcement. I didn't wait. I found some guy through Amazon, who had two brand news ones on his hands and wanted to get rid of one. I couldn't find an iPod anywhere else at the time, I should have really known the new ones were coming. I'm not mad at my decision though, my iPod has outlived many of my friends 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation iPods. Lynne won with this round.

But when it comes to the Powerbook, I'm not so lucky. A while ago my job got me a 12-incher for work. I even wrote about it back in 2003, right here. This machine started to become troublesome, either IT hadn't set it up right, or the HD just wasn't friendly. I took great care of it though, it had that new look for all of my time with it. About a year later, my job purchased a new one, the 1.33 GHZ baby and gave me 1.25 GB RAM.

It's nice having a good machine from work, but sometimes you need your own. I haven't bought a home computer since 2001. It was a strawberry iMac. I even wrote about that one here. In the past year or so, that machine has turned mainly into a printer station and email depository - where all email goes to die live forever. It's the only computer in the house hooked up to the router and the unwireless printer, and it's the final destination for all of my email. So since I started loving the 12-incher at work, I decided to get one at home.

About a month or so ago, I purchased a model similar to the one I have at work, yet it is 1.5 GHZ - so it's faster. I was going to get the 100 GB HD over the 80GB, but opted instead for the memory boost to 1.25 GB. I love the machine. It's great. I've personalized all of my icons using candybar, and everything was just right. Well, things were just right until Apple made another announcement.

You've heard about these new Powerbooks - higher resolution, extended battery life, sudden motion sensor - agggghhh it's killing me to go on.

While my iPod might continue to light up and play, I think I should have waited on the Powerbook.

I've come a long way from my Quadra 630, but the next Apple announcement is going to get me every time.

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10.24.05 03:09 PM

entertainment programming for mobile, reality television not far behind

Last week, I was invited to attend a party for Motorola and MTV's launch of "Head and Body," a new entertainment series especially produced for mobile handsets. I, being the slacker that I've become as of late, of course didn't attend.

But here's what I've heard.

The show features a character whose head is detached from his body.
The character goes around meeting women.
There are eight episodes.

We knew it wouldn't be long before MTV figured out what its mobile content play would be. Especially when upstarts like gotvnetworks, have already started becoming the MTV/VH1 of mobile.

GoTvNetworks company literature says: "GoTV is TV on your phone- mobile television, designed for your life and the way you live it. GoTV brings you your favorite TV shows; breaking news; sports news, commentary and real-time scores; the latest in hip-hop and other new music and videos; celebrity dish; and more- direct to your mobile phone. It’s all updated 24-7, and it’s on-demand."

While my generation, good ol' Gen Y, might not be ready for all of this content-on-the-go, the teens, tweens, and even the twixters have shown great interest in programming their lives mobile-y and wirelessly.

Reality TV for mobile, I'm sure is not that far behind. In fact it might already exist.

There's thefishbowl that features content with some of your favorite reality stars — it's a hodge podge of a week inside reality television.

Yet given the fact that only about 500,000 people currently subscribe to mobileTV, I think we're still on the fringes of this content shift. Convergence with already existing forms of media should be the dominant driver.

This article, FAQ: The lowdown on mobile TV, By Marguerite Reardon, CNET , Published on ZDNet News: October 21, 2005, 4:00 AM PT, is very helpful in coming to an understanding of what mobile TV is and what it isn't.

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10.21.05 06:22 PM

bill cosby redux

well not exactly part deux, but...

Cos took his message to Compton yesterday.

News & Notes with Ed Gordon, October 20, 2005 · Wednesday night, actor-comedian Bill Cosby took his message of personal responsibility within the African-American community to Compton, Calif. -- a largely poor city south of downtown Los Angeles plagued by a high homicide rate, drugs and lack of jobs.

(listen on npr)

and then good ole' visioncircle comments on "Norman Kelly eviscerating Michael Eric Dyson's dubious critique of Bill Cosby"

and the Kelly piece on Brookly RailThe Afro-Culture Wars: Bill Cosby vs. Michael Eric Dyson Cultural Criticism as Pseudo-analysis, Pt. 1 from June

Sponsored Links:

Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

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10.21.05 10:57 AM

seniors like violent video games

there are major worries over the ratings of vide games when it comes to youth, but has anyone every thought that their grandparents might be playing violent video games?

businessweek says: " Older people make up a sizable, though often overlooked, segment of the video-gaming market. And they're just as quick on the trigger as teens." (read story)

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10.21.05 10:52 AM

african-americans like "girlfriends"

according to targetmarketnews, 'Girlfriends' holds on to the No. 1 spot for third consecutive week. (read story)

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10.21.05 01:47 AM

study says online african-american population growing

good-bye digital divide

By Enid Burns, clickzstats

"Recent studies have pointed to gaps between the broadband population in the U.S., and the slower adoption rate among the specific demographic of the African American population. A recent survey conducted by IMAGES Market Research for AOL Black Voices suggests adoption in the African American community is closing the gap."

"Nearly 80 percent of African Americans surveyed have access to the Internet, compared to the 88 percent of the general population. Two-thirds of online African American households have access to broadband connections, compared to 53 percent of the general population. The findings suggest those currently online are more likely to get broadband within the next six to 12 months. While recent reports have forecast a slowdown of broadband adoption, AOL Black Voices Publisher Bret Moore suggests those coming online will do so with high-speed connections." (more)

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10.20.05 04:21 PM

hip-hop can rock or vice versa

following up yesterday's post.

so i get this IM today from this kid named hater.

and he sends me this myspace link.

but people are always sending me stuff.

he caught me at a time when i could check it out.

and as soon as i clicked the link - i was like daaamn - way better than jay-z meets linkin park (and all the ensuing hip-hop/rap-metal mash ups), even better than Insane Clown Posse, Rage, and Limp Bizkit.

"Real hip-hop hardcore rock shit..." - hater on "Looking Past"

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10.19.05 06:50 PM

is rock and roll racist?

Toronto-based writer Laina Dawes poses the question, "If hip-hop can be color blind, why do rock concerts still seem segregated?" Her article, Rock and Roll Apartheid, posted at today explores white hypermasculinity at rock concerts .vs. the multicultural open arms of hip-hop music.

Given that the progenitors of rock music were black — Chuck Berry, Little Richard — it often seems absurd that white people don't expect black people to enjoy rock music, nonetheless make rock music.

Just last year, the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto presented Bad Brains:Afro-Alternative Music Summit. The Summit, the brainchild of Dalton Higgins, discussed some of the new music forms from Orchestral Pop-Noir, Romantique, Afro-Kraut and Afro-Clash to Afro-Punk and the role that Black musicians have played in the creation of these genres.

Within the Sistah’s Who Rock panel discussion, Graph Nobel, Kim Bingham (David Usher), Michie Mee (Day After), Tuku (Blaxam), Syreeta Neal and others will tackled the culture and gender question. The women are joined by Alt-Afro luminaries James Spooner (Director of the acclaimed film Afro Punk which features Friday night's Late Night Now performer Tamar Kali), Murray Lightburn (The Dears), EMI recording artist k-os, Shawn Hewitt, Adrian Miller (20th Century Rebels) and Don Cash. The afternoon sessions included the launch of the Canadian Chapter of the NYC-based Black Rock Coalition.

Kandia Crazy Horse, author of Rip It Up: the Black Experience in Rock n Roll, and an African-American woman, had her Canadian book launch during this event. And who else but music critic Laina Dawes served as the moderator of the Summit.

It's amazing that these discussions have to continue to exist. In cities such as New York, prior to the evolution of WBLS, pretty much pop and rock was all we had. When black radio, and the later hip-hop, finally evolved, it wasn't strange to be checking for David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Talking Heads, and Hall & Oates, as well as The Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Breakout and the Funky Four plus one, or even Doug E Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew. Besides, break beats came from rock & roll breaks, just as much as funk and soul breaks.

This just all takes me back to what I wrote in "Blurred Lines: Somewhere Between Hip-Hop and Alternative": "While digging the party message and male posturing of Flash and the Furious Five and The Treacherous Three, she developed a strong craving for the Euro-imported rhythms of bands like Berlin and the Divinyls. And while she, that's I, has often taken shots from my African-American kinfolk for it, I am proud to understand, no, love both. How could you not love both? Alternative and hip-hop both make heads nod while speaking for your young soul, both offer an outlet to party and manifest struggle; both prove there are only two types of music — good and bad."

And for the record, Bad Brains and Fishbone, though as punk as they want to be, are also straight up soul brothers. (Sorry, I just had to get that in there.)

That the foundations of these music grew of similar sociocultural circumstances - the bridge between the two makes perfect sense. So then why does Laina Dawes have to ask such questions? It's because that shit is real. Masses of white folks feel that rock is exclusively white music, and likewise masses of black folks feel that hip-hop is exclusively black music (no matter that Eminem exists or that most of the money spent on hip-hop shows and CDs and downloads comes from white males aged 18-34).

Just check out Laina's popmatters piece to see where I'm going with all of this.

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10.07.05 11:38 AM

can mobile music pay?

according to a recent study conducted by in-stat - "Mobile music services—either in the form of downloadable music files or broadcast digital radio—have greater interest among US mobile customers than gaming."

Yet, "Survey respondents who could be classified as “MP3 Intenders” have a distinct demographic profile when compared with the general population. They are younger, male, prefer Sprint PCS and T-Mobile, and spend more on their handsets."

So we could only really be talking about a small percentage of the population. And we could still very well be dealing with early adopters. Besides, pricing and revenue models haven't really been figured out.

But this isn't stopping Universal Music Group (UMG)- the world's largest record company - as it diversifies and moves further away from being a "traditional record company." Back in March, I reported that the company was moving into a paid VOD model for streaming videos on the Web - meaning that website publishers who want to stream any UMG videos would have to pay a rate based on views.

Now UMG is becoming a broader entertainment company, moving into "ringtones, paid downloads, subscriptions, advertising, and even fashion branding," according to Digital Music News. DMN also reported that UMG has "outlined strategies to take advantage of new formats like podcasting, ad-supported audio and video sites, and peer-to-peer technologies."

This week, Universal struck a dealmaking its music available to mobile phone maker Motorola for a new wireless service, iRadio, according to Reuters. And already has deals in place with Yahoo, AOL and MSN.

Based on continuing declines in record sales, no matter the success of acts like 50 Cent, Eminem, Black Eyed Peas, and Mariah Carey, UMG's move seems very smart. Risky, but smart. The true mobile business model that generates profits instead of losses for a company has yet to be actualized. Sure, ringtones are big business, but still not as huge here as in Europe or places like Korea.

The mobile landscape continues to remind me a lot of the early Web - bloated. Lots of fat, but no true killer app that turns the market inside out. It's probably not that far off yet either. In UMG's case though, at least mobile isn't the basket that the company is putting all of its eggs into.

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