Media Matters

Media musings and grumbles from a grouchy old git......

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sky has the go ahead for its takeover of ISP company Easynet -despite concerns the Office of Fair Trading says that it'll let Sky proceed with the £211m purchase. I'm suscpicious of all things that get regulatory clearance during 'holiday season' and Sky now looks likely to steal a lead on BT's 2006 proposition to deliver paid for TV prpogrammes down the phone line. Along with the nodding through of the NTL/Telewest merger this paves the way for some big changes in the media landscape of the UK. Also worthy of note is the co-operation between Sony and Sky to push UK viewers towards HD TVs.

I read somewhere that 10% of domestic refuse is collected in this period, now this could be a meaningless statistic (what's the period? How many collections are made at this time of year?) but there seems to be a lot more refuse sacks around and perhaps we should all have a go at collecting less stuff and recycling more. For myself my plan is to dispose (properly) an equivalent product when I purchase something new and I hope for 2007 to have less tangible goods than when I enter 2006 -we shall see.
A philosophy around avoiding waste that is getting some publicity is Freegans - (didn't they used to be called tramps?).

Friday, December 30, 2005

I was fascinated by a story in today's Times saying Vodaphone should bid for UK soccer coverage rights- seemed crazy at first but I thought back about Italian TV station being bought by a mobile phone company ( 3 Italia) and my second thought was that a mobile or telco should buy a TV company (not just rights) ITV purchase could make sense for BT or Vodaphone??? This could be the media trend of 2006 and give the Yahoos and Googles some competition in the arena where old and new media are battling it out.
As promised I took my new camera on an outing this morning- it's got limitations but hey it was not expensive and it's already giving me ideas for entries to the Blog you'll be excited to hear.
This is the shop next door to my local newsagent and it was featured in Little Britain's recent series (the coughing travel agent-computer says 'no'). I'm not too sure about the way UK TV has gone over the last 30 or so years, I suppose it reflects changes in society as a whole which also have some good and bad points. Little Britain has generated some controversy but perhaps more than it should, Dafyyd reminds me of the camp character in the Dick Emery show and men dressing up as women is not a new method of getting a laugh.
Little Britain was originally a radio show that moved to TV - I'd like to place a bet that Ed Reardon will do the same - it makes me laugh a lot and logisitcally be easy to move to telly have a listen and you might see what I mean.

Taking a slight diversion on my walk home - this is Cleveland Road recently made infamous by Pete Doherty who was stopped driving "erratically" and found to have class A drugs about his person.
Pete seems far more famous for his lifestyle than his music, I hope 2006 sees him get his life together, I'm sure he has talent (although I don't know his work) he could destroy himself as so many before him have, he should avoid singing with Elton John too; Robbie Williams though thinks differently about the dangers of drugs.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Now it seems to me that modern life does have some pretty impressive things going for it, when I decided to give blogging a try for 2006 I ordered a camera (Tuesday) and it arrived this morning (Thursday) - what I wanted was something really cheap and simple that I would carry around and capture some little 'snaps' - here it is.

Now I probably won't add any pictures from the camera until Friday as it takes some time to charge.
The other thing I've ordered from Ebay is a new USB 2.0 hub - it's amazing that I need such a thing but I have run out of places to plug the myriad devices on the PC and the hub I have is USB 1.0 (so rather slow for large files and this one has flashing lights).

Getting back to the ease of buying thing- I've read a couple of books related to Ebay, The perfect store (good history but very pro the company and its founder) and All my life for sale - more oblique and rather fascinating, the guy who wrote it basically sold all he had and then went on a trip to re-visit the items he'd sold - food for thought, the author raised some points about globalization and the loss of US jobs.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

We went to see the new version of that great movie The Producers last night, seems to me that it's not too different from the original, more musical numbers and perhaps a little less plot. There are currently a number of films around that are remakes, the new version of King Kong is one example that I can see is somewhat justified by improved special effects and colour, The Producers I'm less sure of. If you want to find out more about the latest version of the film take a look a this review.
Vladimir Propp proposed a theory that there are only a limited number of narratives and certainly that theory is given credence by Hollywood's magpie like plundering of what's gone before, we have had a spate of movies that have re-visited TV programmes (Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch and The Brady Bunch spring to mind) now it's again plundering it's own archives; let's hope 2006 offers some newer fayre. The last film we saw before this was The Constant Gardener which was at least a new film. Cinema going is rarely an unmitigated pleasure and there were a number of instances of poor behaviour by the audience last night- etiquette should be observed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Thinking about what has happened in Paris it's important that citizens and responsible politicians in the UK are not too smug about the situation in France; as well as having had a wave of alienation in the 80's in the UK there's a real danger that treatment of the latest wave of East European economic migrants and refugees from various troubled regions (like Somalia) will create a similar 'British' problem in about 5 to 10 years time. The economic effects of migration are an interesting and complex area to consider and while the first generation migrants often put up with poor employment and housing conditions their children and grandchildren are far less tolerant.
Studies indicate that the Net Effect to a 'host country' is positive but it's important that the benefits are shared to assist integration and assimilation

Monday, December 26, 2005

I was in Paris last month not too much burning as far as I could see but I got to have a chat with Eutelsat and was somewhat suprised to see that they're not worried about using all the hot air they produce but there were problems with their flotation.
Not sure that a long holiday at this time of year is a good idea but it is giving me a chance to read the rather excellent Freakanomics by Levitt and Dubner.