Now Cough

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Advertising Update

Marketing Finds It's Place

Wizmark "...the interactive urinal communicator..."

Monday, May 15, 2006

This Just In...

Five years after the 9/11 attacks:

"We do not yet have full control of the border, and I am determined to change that..." -- George Bush immigration speech 5/15/06

High Crimes and Misdemeanors

So now the federal government is tracking not only which government employees are talking to journalists, the government is tracking the calls made by journalists to government employees. ABC News has the story and their source warns calls by ABC News aren't the only ones being tracked...The New York Times and Washington Post are also targets. Late today, the FBI did not dispute the story.

And, if the juicy bits coming out before a Senate hearing this week are accurate, we'll learn more about how US spy satellites are used to track Americans, which Internet ISPs are permitting the NSA and others to see who we email, what web sites we visit and what we do on wireless connections.

Do Americans care? It doesn't seem we care all that much. Opinion polls are divided, hard to get a read on what the average netizen is thinking.

Should they worry? Oh yes. If these sorts of things were being conducted not through the help of computers, bugs, tapes, tracers and satellites, you would be seeing tens of thousands of people being rounded up for questions. "Bring you phone bills for the last 5 years," authorities would insist.

Of course that would be against the law unless there was probably cause. But without us knowing about this sort of tracing, tracking and I'm presuming the "occasional" spot-listening going on, who would know?

Now we do. Thanks to a free press. No thanks to Congress which has been, let's be honest, in recess for years. In fact there are only two branches of government now: the US Supreme Court is bending like an earnest twig these days, and the Executive Branch is a redwood club. Rotten at the core, but still brutally threatening.

If only we had a real question time on Capitol Hill, like the Brits have of their PM. Then again it might look and sound like a game of softball on the Potomac.

What's next?

  • Who gets to see the raw information of phone call 'matches?' Dollars to doughnuts that Cheney and Rumsfeld are on that list. Maybe Rove (Tubby Mc Treason as one wag put it today) as well.

  • How long are records kept?

  • Is there a follow up of some sort presuming 'probable cause?' Wiretapping, physical surveillance, break-ins perhaps? Is there such a thing as domestic rendition?

  • If this sort of tracking took place post 9/11, does that mean intelligence agencies could have identified every call made by the Kerry campaign about foreign policy, calls made to people abroad, funders, etc? If so, who saw all of that?

  • Is there a plan for martial law in the United States? Many private prison contractors were big supporters of the Bush re-election. Are they involved?

  • The census bureau was asked by the Justice Department more than 2 years ago to provide zip code locations for the highest concentration of people of Middle Eastern origin. Why did the Justice Dept want that information easily accessible?

  • I think if you can imagine the worst, take it one step further.

    We have a president who has no regard for the Bill of Rights.

    No regard for the limited role of government and the delicate balance required even in war time.

    He has no sense or understanding of law and history: the illegal internment of aliens and citizens, antiquated sedition laws, the Red Scare and Palmer Raids of the 20s and 30s, Watergate, Nixon, lying, waging war without consent, a respect for checks and balances.

    President Bush is a dangerous, reckless bumbler. He is not a guy you would trust to drive your kids home from camp. He doesn't have a firm grip on the wheel, ignores traffic laws, speeds when he should go slow, and doesn't hear a damn thing anyone says.

    His advisors are worse than Yes men. They tell him what to do. He isn't a patsy, he is easily influenced and afraid to confront the incompetent, greedy, cynical, anti-democratic neanderthals who equate shredding the Constitution with protecting the Republic. He agrees with them.

    Will anyone in Congress have the guts to call for impeachment? No. There are no leaders there, or not enough leaders to reassert true statesmanship over partisanship.

    We'll have to endure many more revelations of how our rights have been lost before anything happens. Will he invade Iran? Probably. Troops are undermanned and exhausted in Iraq. He plans to send 5,000 US troops to patrol the border with Mexico.

    There is a drunk at the wheel, being egged on by his high school yahoos in the front seat. The rest of us are in the back holding on for dear life hoping that a highway patrolmen stops these goons before more people get hurt.

    Friday, May 12, 2006

    From the Beyond Broadcast Conference

    Beyond Broadcast Conference -- Listen and Post!

    May 12 afternoon:

    Investors like what they see in web 2.0:

  • growth

  • attractive models
  • -- "if they build it they will come..."
  • user value proposition
  • -- simple, effective, dynamic, entertaining and participatory
  • old biz models at risk/cash needs a home...
  • -- new, new media!

    Evaluating opportunities:

    Start up

  • team

  • idea

  • competition

  • time and cost to market

  • biz model not that important

  • valuation tight range

  • Later stage:

  • team

  • revenue

  • margins

  • growth

  • sustainability

  • visibility

  • .........................................

    Where else but at an Internet conference would you hear presenters refer to Karl Marx and to John Locke!

    This current panel is weighing:

  • how open to be: what content to let in, what content to aggregate and curate, what is the balance?

  • what is the effect on a brand of being open?

  • people rely on 'proxies' (Thanks Skip Pizzi, Microsoft) to filter their world. Can filters be open? How open?

  • May 12 morning:

    Observations and quotes...

    an embarrassment of niches... Jake Shapiro, PRX, talking about the potential of the participatory culture.

    there is not junk... Bill Buzenberg of Minnesota Public Radio/APM talking about the content they get from listeners through their Public Insight Journalism project

    global consciousness... David Liroff of WGBH, Boston, quoting Chardin