quirkalicious content!

vlogging, blogging, podcasting… One thing I notice about the aesthetic of the way these things tend to be is that there’s a sort of down-to-earth-ness about the way people are presenting it all. When ordinary people make stuff and put it out there, it tends to not have the layer of gloss added to traditional mainstream content. What’s interesting to me about this is that people who are into podcasts and blogging and what not seem to prefer it this way.

The timing couldn’t be better for Adam Curry and Apple to start this recent push of awareness about RSS and all that. I don’t mean because the technology is ready, or because on-demand and subscription-based audio and video content seem to be lining up to take over the way we get our entertainment. Obviously the technology makes it all possible but I mean in a cultural way, people seem to be ready HUNGRY for citizen-created content, with all its quirky, spunky, amateur “lo-fi,” homegrown honesty.

I see it as a sort of backlash to decades of the shiny, advertisement-driven, mass-manipulation-based programming on TV and the radio. There’s something going on in the collective unconscious that wants to not be lied to and to have more of a sense that the people we’re listening to or watching are actually people. Flaws and all. People you feel like you can understand or people you might be friends with Etc. So the media super-hero thing like the traditional ultra-butch news anchor and the idyllic leave-it-to-beaver-family might be finally losing their appeal.

It’s not just the RSS-related stuff that proves this. Look at the popularity of “reality” programming in the last decade. Look at the out-of-left-field sudden popularity of documentary films. Right? Isn’t it all the same sort of appeal?

So when I’m clicking around on MySpace, seeing all these funky-ass, eye-straining HTML designs on people’s profiles, complete with usually horrific music that all too often crashes my browser, I can’t help it marvel at this fact: MySpace is a form of entertainment. Wait. But these are people. Just ordinary people, Putting themselves out there to be looked at… Telling the world what music they like, what movies, Their Dreams, aspirations, their secrets… But it is entertaining.

woe… It’s like voyeurism. It reminds me quite a bit of reality programming actually.

Think about it. Add it all together and apply the equation to…


How about less attendance at movie-theaters lately?

I mean half the teenagers I know can edit video. Kids can make 3-D animations on their computers at home! Why should we go and see the latest fat-budget Hollywood action movie? Isn’t it fair to say that watching a documentary on how the latest spiderman movie’s special effects were done would be just as entertaining [if not more] to a lot of us as watching the latest spiderman movie?? I guess Hollywood needs to pay closer attention to what young people like to spend their time doing. I bet if someone spied on their neighbors, filmed it all, and edited in to a feature, that would do very well at the box office right now. I think homemade films are going to become more and more popular.

When my parents, generation dies off, it will be interesting to see how politicians adapt to this cut-the-bullshit era.


Am I going to get in trouble for reposting this? I sure hope not. I did not write this. -Andrew

Cisco to Buy Scientific-Atlanta for $6.9B

AP Technology Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Cisco Systems Inc. agreed Friday to acquire set-top-box maker Scientific-Atlanta Inc. for about $6.9 billion in a move that would create a one-stop shop – and a market leader – in distributing television to living rooms over the Internet.

The deal, Cisco’s largest in terms of revenue and headcount, capitalizes on a business that’s expected to explode as telephone companies deploy fiber-based networks capable of carrying TV signals and broadcasters shift to digital transmissions.

It fits into Cisco’s strategy of expanding into areas that are moving toward standards on the language of the Internet – a transition that creates an opportunity to grow revenue with new business and enhance its traditional routers and switches that direct data over networks.

“Video is emerging as the key strategic application in the service provider triple play bundle of consumer entertainment, communication and online services,” said John Chambers, Cisco president and chief executive. “The addition of Scientific-Atlanta further extends Cisco’s commitment to and leadership in the service provider market.”

For Scientific-Atlanta, the deal is expected to bring more capital and fuel its expansion beyond cable TV companies that have been relatively slow to introduce new technologies to customers, said Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research.

“Cisco has struggled to succeed both with telephone and cable companies. Scientific-Atlanta is sort of in a position where innovation and capital push would be helpful for them,” he said. “We think this is going to make some real changes in the industry.”

Cisco is paying $43 a share for Scientific-Atlanta, which competes primarily against Motorola Inc. in making set-top boxes for television programs and movies-on-demand. That is a 3.7 percent premium over its closing price on Thursday.

Scientific-Atlanta shares rose 68 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $42.13 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while Cisco shares slipped 38 cents to $16.99 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Cisco said Scientific-Atlanta will become a division of its routing and service provider technology group, led by Cisco Senior Vice President Mike Volpi. It also identified it as the eighth of its “advanced technologies,” which means it expects the business to generate more than a billion dollars in revenue within five to seven years.

Jim McDonald, Scientific-Atlanta’s president and chief executive, said the deal arose in part because customers are now expecting bundled services.

“These customers want more complete integrated solutions from fewer vendors,” said McDonald, who said he will remain with the company for two years.

He said the purchase will help Cisco reduce the complexity of data transfer to service providers and other customers.

The deal, which was approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal 2006 calendar, pending closing conditions.

San Jose-based Cisco said it expects the deal to be neutral to its fiscal 2006 earnings, while slightly boosting its fiscal 2007 profit before items. Cisco said it will finance the transaction with cash and debt.

Analysts expect Cisco to earn $1.03 per share for fiscal 2006, and $1.18 per share for fiscal 2007, according to a Thomson Financial survey.

Scientific-Atlanta said last month that its fiscal first-quarter profit grew 9 percent to $60.7 million, but sales of $490 million fell shy of Wall Street’s expectations.

Earlier this month, Cisco said its fiscal first-quarter profit slipped as it expensed employee stock options for the first time and the company predicted weaker-than-expected sales. The company has its core business of routers and switches that direct data traffic over the Internet as well as its advanced technologies.

Other advanced technologies include as storage, Internet telephony, wireless and security products. Most recently, it announced its seventh – a product for small businesses to receive services over the Internet.

On the Net:



© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Purchase this AP story for reprint.