Tales of the Sausage Factory

MA Elects Public Access Programmer To U.S. Senate

Never underestimate the power of local media, although I can’t really say if this made a difference. But Senator-elect Scott Brown (R-MA) has his own public access cable show he uses to keep in touch with his constituents.

It shall be interesting to see if this has any impact on his approach to cable issues, although I suspect he is unlikely to get on a committee where this would matter.

Somewhat more seriously, it underscores the importance of staying in touch with your constituents, and the importance of PEG regardless of political allegiance. Brown won, among other reasons, because he actually went out and campaigned. This also wasn’t some clever act of pretending to stay in touch with constituents. Looking at his record here, he has been doing local cable show for years, and doing local events.

If one truth is emerging from the spate of special elections from NY-29 to last night’s MA race, it is that politicians cannot phone in their campaigns and expect the party affiliation (either their own or their opponent’s) to carry the day. Ya gotta work it. So the next time local cable access programmer asks for an interview, don’t snort “Wayne’s World, right” and blow them off. Take a lesson from Scott Brown — commitment to local media matters.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Cable, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Comcast Celebrates Martin's Departure By Pulling Leased Access Channel.

I just got an email from the folks at Family-Life TV, a leased access channel on a bunch of Comcast systems in Pennsylvania, that Comcast just decided to drop their programming. Comcast claims Family-Life TV is in arears and owes 3 months worth of payments. David Croyle, who runs Family Life TV, tells me he has canceled checks to show he paid.

All I can say is “wow, that sure didn’t take long.” I wonder what other celebrations the cable boys have planned. Roasting a PEG programmer on a spit? Killing PEG in Los Angeles? Or perhaps just the ever popular “rate increase because we feel like it.”

I remain hopeful that the cable reform agenda will not die with Martin’s departure. At the least, it would be nice to see that the FCC will entertain complaints from leased access programmers when they get kicked off the air. Hopefully, it will take less than 3 years to resolve the complaint.

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Cable, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

FCC Staff resolves leased access complaint after only 3 years! Go team!

O.K., it is probably a bad idea to make fun of people for doing stuff you want them to do. So when the FCC released a leased access complaint on January 29, I should probably have just applauded for joy. But given that it took three years to resolve a complaint when the cable company in question never even filed a reply to the complaint, I think a little mention of what is wrong with the current leased access rules, and the Commission’s enforcement of same, is needed.

And I will pause to put in a genuinely good word for the New Media Chief Monica Shah Desai for getting this cranked out relatively quickly after she got there. Keep crackin’ that whip!

But the decision also highlights everything I’ve been complaning about in the current leased access system so that even the people who want to make it work are having a heck of a time and why we need the leased access rulemaking that Martin promised Adelstein back in July.

Some analysis below . . . .

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Inventing the Future

“Well, no one told me about her… She's not there…” (The Zombies)

Getting nothing but a red screen at CroquetCollaborative.org? Here’s why.

Croquet keeps track of everything ever created, so that anyone can tell each object to do stuff. Most of the demo applications in the current SDK keep track as long as they are running. That creates a problem for our KidsFirst Application Toolkit demo,
and its public space at the Collaborative for Croquet. The public space is meant to be a long-lived environment, in which you can come and create (or destroy) stuff and rearrange it, and come back later to see things as you left them (perhaps evolved by someone else).

So we resort to a very old programming technique. And if you’re a developer, we need your help!

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Posted in Inventing the Future, KAT | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Brie Demos

I gave a demo of Brie at the OOPSLA Croquet workshop in October, and Julian gave one a couple weeks ago at C5. Alas, no video, but the Brie papers are here and here.

This terrific video of the Alternate Reality Kit was made at Xerox PARC in 1987. So, of course, it’s not actually Brie, but it does give a lot of the feel of what we’re going for. There are a few UI differences and the ARK is only 2D, but the main thing is that Brie is synchronously collaborative, and therefore eminently shareable.

Another related thing (without a cool video) was PARC’s Thing Lab.

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Posted in Brie, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Laszlo is Hiring

The company I work for, Laszlo Systems, has an opening for a software engineer to work on our Rich Internet Application (open source) platform.

I’ve been at Laszlo for two years and I like it a lot. Not only that, and call me a crack-head dreamer if you want to (go ahead! call me that!), but I really think Laszlo is going to transform the web. If you’re a hot-shot programmer you might want to check this out.

My boss has the details on the job.

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Inventing the Future

components: reified computing

The component model I’m working on tries to make everything you deal with visibly concrete so that it can be directly and uniformly manipulated — even behaviors. It was inspired by my wife’s fascination with a game on her PDA.

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Posted in Brie, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

the good guys are winning

Spam sucks, or at least, it used to. In less than two years, filters have been developed and made available for free that work as nice as you please. I may never now the whole story, but I find this little part of it to be a nice tale of good triumphing over evil on the Web.

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Posted in Inventing the Future | Also tagged | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
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