Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Peter Chernin (COO News Corp.) and Jeff Zucker (CEO NBC Universal) Can't Sink YouTube

I saw this bit of news at TechCrunch:

The rumors of a joint venture to counter the perceived Google-YouTube threat, dubbed “Clown Co.” by Google executives, are now confirmed, although the name of the new company is not yet available. In a press release, Peter Chernin (COO News Corp.) and Jeff Zucker (CEO NBC Universal) are announcing “launch the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled with the most sought-after content from television and film.” Content from at least a dozen TV networks and two major film studios is promised. Initial distribution partners include AOL, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo.

Chernin says they will have access to “the entire U.S. audience” at launch. The service is promised for this summer, with “thousands of hours” of full length televisions shows and movies, as well as shorter clips. Users will have unlimited and free access to content on the site.

Good content lineup:

At launch, full episodes and clips from current hit shows, including Heroes, 24, House, My Name Is Earl, Saturday Night Live, Friday Night Lights, The Riches, 30 Rock, The Simpsons, The Tonight Show, Prison Break, Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader and Top Chef, plus hits from the studios’ vast television libraries, will be available free, on an ad-supported basis, within a rich consumer experience featuring personalized video playlists, mashups, online communities and video search. Plus, the extensive programming lineup will include fan favorite films like Borat, Little Miss Sunshine, Devil Wears Prada, The Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy with bonus materials and movie trailers. Post-launch, plans will be considered for acquiring additional content as well as producing and licensing original programming for the new site’s audience.

The content will be provided through distribution partners through a customized embeddable player.

I'm gong to call it "Clown Co" too, because these bozos think that people -- the YouTube demographic -- are going to flock to this new venture just because it exists and has TV content.

Hell no. And the simple fact that they think this is an example of how the control culture thinks. In other words, they believe you want their content so bad, you're going to avoid visting YouTube to get it. The reason this is wrong in embeded in why YouTube was started in the first place -- as a way to get personal videos -- not TV shows -- distributed.

What Clown Co's doing is fitting old wine in a new bottle and it will not sell. The reason is that the novelty and ease of user-generated content will not end. Plus, with Apple TV and its competitors, people have better ways to see their self-made TV shows, and do that as much or more than looking at Clown Co's site.

Watch. This is going to be a major embarassment for the founders of Clown Co.

Petaluma High Students Get Death Threat On MySpace

This is scary, and an example of just how sick our society has become. Virginia Tech, combined with our communications system, has produced copycats. Sick.

MySpace hacker posts menacing statements to Petaluma High students

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

(05-09) 09:18 PDT PETALUMA -- Someone hacked into the MySpace pages of several Petaluma High School students Tuesday night and posted statements on the networking Web site threatening to bring a gun to school today and kill people.

Police are asking parents, students and officials at Petaluma High School to help them identify the suspect today. Education officials said school remains in session, and there is extra police presence on campus.

The threats referenced April's deadly shootings at Virginia Tech, and warned students to stay home from school today.

Petaluma Police Sgt. Marty Frye said police sent out a "school alert" to employees and parents detailing the threats and stating that investigators do not know if it is valid.

According to the alert, the suspect wrote, "Listen up you people, I'm sick of all your s -- . Tomorrow I'm going to school strapped and none of you can do anything to stop me. I'm beating the high score of 33 thanks to you f -- ."

The person also went on to make additional statements in which they threatened to bring a gun to school and repeatedly referenced the Virginia Tech shootings, which left 33 people, including the shooter, dead.

Frye said it appears the suspect gained access to several Petaluma High School students' MySpace pages by hacking into the accounts and sent the messages without those people's knowledge.

Internet providers are cooperating with detectives and working to track down the origin of the messages, he added.

Petaluma City Schools deputy superintendent Steve Bolman said classes are continuing as normal.

"School is in session," he said. "We do have officers on campus, and students are being encouraged to stay in class."

Visit To Ground Zero - New York City

My good friend Bill Chachkes gave me an impromptu first-time tour of Ground Zero in New York City. The site is right next to the building that employed his father for 21 of his 34 years with the New York police force.

Bill's tour is a personal one- he lost two friends in the 9/11 disaster and saw a building his father said would never come down, come down.