No Streaming for You: Every Major Network Site Blocks Google TV

No Streaming for You: Every Major Network Site Blocks Google TVFox has decided to join the big broadcaster blockade of Google TV, blocking it from accessing its website to stream video content.

Now, if you go to any major broadcaster’s website—ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox—to stream episodes of Lost or 30 Rock or whatever, instead you’ll get a big fat error message, keeping your Google TV away from the video goodness within. The networks don’t want the line between television and online content to be blurred too much—for one thing, online content pulls in a lot less ad revenue, so if you’re going to watch stuff on your television, they want you to watch actual broadcasts.

Google’s got a lot of negotiating to do to bust this blockade.

Poor, maligned, GoogleTV. Poor, luddite TV networks. And most of all, poor, powerless end-users, caught like ping-pong balls between two massive media superpowers. I’m dubbing this international war, WWW1.

Jon Stewart’s Media Critique: The Rally to Restore Sanity Speech

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MediaMemo

You will want to hear and read about the climax of Jon Stewarts’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” yesterday. So here it is, courtesy of Mediaite and Examiner.com*:

“I can’t control what people think this was. I can only tell you my intentions. This was not a rally to ridicule people of faith or people of activism or to look down our noses at the heartland or passionate argument or to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do. But we live now in hard times, not end times. And we can have animus and not be enemies.

But unfortunately one of our main tools in delineating the two broke. The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate–just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more. The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything we actually get sicker–and perhaps eczema.

And yet, with that being said, I feel good–strangely, calmly good. Because the image of Americans that is reflected back to us by our political and media process is false. It is us through a fun house mirror, and not the good kind that makes you look slim in the waist and maybe taller, but the kind where you have a giant forehead and an ass shaped like a month-old pumpkin and one eyeball.

So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, of course, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own? We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is–on the brink of catastrophe–torn by polarizing hate and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do. We work together to get things done every damn day!

The only place we don’t is here or on cable TV. But Americans don’t live here or on cable TV. Where we live our values and principles form the foundation that sustains us while we get things done, not the barriers that prevent us from getting things done. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do–often something they do not want to do–but they do it–impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little reasonable compromises we all make.

Look on the screen. This is where we are. This is who we are. [points to the Jumbotron screen which shows traffic merging into a tunnel]. These cars–that’s a schoolteacher who probably thinks his taxes are too high. He’s going to work. There’s another car-a woman with two small kids who can’t really think about anything else right now. There’s another car, swinging, I don’t even know if you can see it–the lady’s in the NRA and she loves Oprah. There’s another car–an investment banker, gay, also likes Oprah. Another car’s a Latino carpenter. Another car a fundamentalist vacuum salesman. Atheist obstetrician. Mormon Jay-Z fan. But this is us. Every one of the cars that you see is filled with individuals of strong belief and principles they hold dear–often principles and beliefs in direct opposition to their fellow travelers.

And yet these millions of cars must somehow find a way to squeeze one by one into a mile long 30 foot wide tunnel carved underneath a mighty river. Carved, by the way, by people who I’m sure had their differences. And they do it. Concession by concession. You go. Then I’ll go. You go. Then I’ll go. You go then I’ll go. Oh my God, is that an NRA sticker on your car? Is that an Obama sticker on your car? Well, that’s okay–you go and then I’ll go.

And sure, at some point there will be a selfish jerk who zips up the shoulder and cuts in at the last minute, but that individual is rare and he is scorned and not hired as an analyst.

Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.

If you want to know why I’m here and want I want from you, I can only assure you this: you have already given it to me. Your presence was what I wanted.

Sanity will always be and has always been in the eye of the beholder. To see you here today and the kind of people that you are has restored mine. Thank you.”

*Note that this isn’t coming from the most obvious sources: Viacom’s own Daily Show site, which carried a live stream of the event but doesn’t have any record of it anymore, or C-SPAN, which is running a loop of the rally, but doesn’t have a handy way to excerpt the three-hour event. Too bad Hulu can’t help here….

[Image credit: Cliff1066]

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Dell to Ditch 25,000 BlackBerrys in Bid to Promote Own Service – WSJ.com

In a direct shot at BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd., Dell Inc. plans to move its 25,000 employees over to its own line of smartphones and then aggressively market a service to help other companies do the same.

“Clearly in this decision we are competing with RIM, because we’re kicking them out,” the computer maker’s chief financial officer, Brian Gladden, said in an interview.

Not what RIM wants to hear these days.

Google To Facebook: You Can’t Import Our User Data Without Reciprocity

The war between Google and Facebook is heating up: Google just made one small tweak to its Terms of Service that will have a big impact on the world’s biggest social network. From now on, any service that accesses Google’s Contacts API — which makes it easy to import your list of friends’ and coworkers’ email addresses into another service — will need to offer reciprocity. Facebook doesn’t, so it’s going to lose access to this key piece of the social graph.A Google spokesperson gave us this statement:
So we have decided to change our approach slightly to reflect the fact that users often aren’t aware that once they have imported their contacts into sites like Facebook they are effectively trapped. Google users will still be free to export their contacts from our products to their computers in an open, machine-readable format–and once they have done that they can then import those contacts into any service they choose. However, we will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites.

Many are citing this as a bad PR move for Google, but as a user of both services, i couldn’t be happier with Google’s decision. Users are crying out for more granular privacy controls, and a say in where and how their data is used. But Facebook doesn’t care about the average, powerless user – it’s going to take the big boys like Google to make Facebook step up to its Millenial digital responsibilities.

Will Social Voting Increase Real-World Participation?

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“We use game mechanics to encourage people to do things we think they’ll be really excited about doing,” said Crowley. “It could be traveling to different countries or seeking out new places or new experiences. I don’t think of it so much as a game. It’s using the mechanics to, you know, influence behavior and try to change behavior a little. And I think that really plays into some of the stuff we’re doing with the I Voted Badge.

How did the Foursquare Elections voting mashup happen? “We worked with Google on this one,” said Crowley.

Google collaborated with Pew on the Voting Information Project, which provides data for about 108,000 polling locations. The Foursquare Elections page used http://www.openstreetmap.org/“>OpenStreetMap to build a custom map for that data, which adds a nifty community-generated aspect to the page. The design firm that coded the elections mashup, JESS3, built the site using HTML5, including the canvas element. That will make it accessible to mobile users on iPhones, Android devices, iPads or BlackBerrys, a near-certain audience in an increasingly mobile electorate.

Something that privacy advocates and voting activists will be paying attention to today is whether #Ivoted will evolve into “#IVoted FOR” as people sharing their choices in a real-time exit poll. As Crowley said in the interview, the data is available for developers to pull through Foursquare’s API. A great deal of information is similarly available for developers on Facebook or Twitter’s platform. An application that reveals who voted for whom, where and when would certainly be a “killer app” for campaign managers and community organizers but might well cause a few citizens to reconsider their sharing habits.

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Skyfire to Bring Flash Video to iOS Devices

CNNMoney.com reports that a new iOS application from Skyfire that converts Flash-based video to HTML5 has been approved by Apple and will go live in the App Store on Thursday. The app, which will be priced at $2.99, activates a function that allows Flash video content in the browser to be sent to Skyfire’s servers, converted to HTML5, and sent back to the device for display.

So, it may not play games yet, but Skyfire is one giant chink in Apple’s Flash-repelling armor. Looking forward to downloading this Thursday. Thanks to @svartling for the tip.