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Monday, August 23, 2010

Eisner: Content still king. People are into content, not bling and technology

Variety asked Michael Eisner if he was through with traditional media?

"Absolutely not. The rust belt entertainment business is still the most important part of it. I have seven movie scripts that I commissioned that I have yet to talk to anybody about. At some point, I am going to make a deal. I am doing TV pilots too. At the same time, I am tying my rust belt past to today's world. Everyone talks about user-generated content on the Internet, for which there is a place. But there is also a giant place for story-driven content."

On partnerships or who you choose to do business with:

"My conclusion is that for a partnership to be successful you can't have envy or jealousy," said Eisner. "Great partnerships are about having a common enemy, like being in a foxhole together against the world."

Is 3D here to stay?

"The human condition is that the grass is always greener on the other side. The trouble with research is that if you ask somebody what movie they want to see, they tell you they want to see the last hit. In fact, they don't want to see the last hit. They want to see something new and original. So anything you do that drives repetitiveness to the point of obsession will eventually explode. So after I see 12 3D special effects extravaganzas, take me to a black-and-white film where nothing happens. I will be very happy."

Read more from Variety's interview with former Disney CEO Michael Eisner:
Visit to become a Variety subscriber. I recommend subscription if you are interested in communication, media, film, television, new media, business or the arts.

The power of speech, how and why we can communicate with our voice

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
As humans evolved, our throats got longer and our mouths got smaller -- physiological changes that enabled us to effectively shape and control sound. According to fossils, the first humans who had an anatomy capable of speech patterns appeared about 50,000 years ago.

Most of us do it every day without even thinking about it, yet talking is a uniquely human ability. Not only do humans have evolved brains that process and produce language and syntax, but we also can make a range of sounds and tones that we use to form hundreds of thousands of words.
To make these sounds — and talk — humans use the same basic apparatus that chimps have: lungs, throat, voice box, tongue and lips. But we're the ones singing opera and talking on the phone. That is because over thousands of years, humans have evolved a longer throat and smaller mouth better suited for shaping sound.
As part of the NPR series "The Human Edge" an audio and written story explains how and why we communicate with out voices, and what makes us different than other forms of life.

The future is not what it was cracked up to be

Apocalypse Then: Arnold Schwarzenneger first played The Terminator in 1984. The date proposed then for worldwide nuclear devastation: 1997.

Suite '60s Space: Many once-groundbreaking visions of the future -- such as the space-station hotel of 2001: A Space Odyssey -- haven't quite come to pass.

The Future Is Soon: The retro-futuristic 2015 setting of Back to the Future II is just a few years away. Will our hover highways be ready?

At The Movies, A String Of Futures Passed

National Public Radio's All Things Considered features a film review that brought this Science Fiction lover back to the future.

You may read, or better yet listen to a commentary with perspective, in a fun way, by clicking the feature title:

Google TV will take on broadcast networks and Netscape

The two men leading Google TV believe technological innovation can make TV better and more profitable for everyone. Above, Google CEO Eric Schmidt discusses Google TV in May in San Francisco. (Paul Sakuma, Associated Press /August 18, 2010)

Will Google TV may change the way we watch TV?

Are we on the verge of a computer-television relationship? 

Will it impact broadcast networks?  Cable? Satellite ? And in for the next decade or so at least, DVD and Blue Ray? 

The most likely impact of Google's venture with Sony and other manufacturers, is that there will be an iPad type rush to jump in and copy their technology. Apple TV was already talking about a similar service, but was not as open about searching any and all Internet sites. Google TV is a full Chrome and Android based search engine for the television, with interface with DISH TV and many cable systems (no word if COX is one of those). It even interacts with over-the air HD station signal programing sources.

And it will be available to consumers this fall, in time for the Christmas retail season.

To find out more about Google TV:

And for those who want more tech info go to:

The below is from the LA Times. To read more click here.

Google revolutionized the way people access information. Now it wants to transform how people get entertainment.

The search giant is touting an ambitious new technology, called Google TV, that would marry the Internet with traditional television, enabling viewers to watch TV shows and movies unshackled from the broadcast networks or cable channels on which they air. Users would need to buy a TV or set-top box with Google software that could connect to the Internet, along with a keyboard to type commands. Users could also use their  iPhone or Android phone to operate Google TV.

The prospect of Google getting into television frightens many in Hollywood, who worry that Silicon Valley will upend the entertainment industry just like the Internet ravaged the music and newspaper industries.

First posted 8-19-10, with additional info added 8-23-10

While you're watching, TiVo watches you

As Hollywood and Madison Avenue debate how best to measure traditional TV and online viewing, TiVo plans to roll out new research that combines both.

Next month TiVo will begin tracking how much time users spend watching Web content on their TV sets alongside regular TV shows, giving advertisers and content producers a clearer picture of consumers' viewing habits.

Subscribers to TiVo's set-top box can watch traditional television, as well as stream online content from Netflix, YouTube and other services to their TV sets. The company also operates an audience measurement service that aggregates data and reports consumer behavior anonymously to clients such as TV networks and advertisers.

TiVo's data is likely to reverberate through the $70 billion TV ad business and the growing online video business, including sites such as Hulu, which is reportedly planning to go public this year.

"We now have the ability to say people are spending X amount of time watching broadcast, Y watching cable, either in recorded mode or live and, then on broadband, streaming versus downloads, podcasts and user generated content," TiVo CEO Tom Rogers told The Post.

Story above from New York Post. Read more in the New York Post: click here.

Hollywood Reporter also covered this development. Click here.