Feeds

Apple's Tablet won't save Big Dumb Media

Where there's Steve, there's hope

High performance access to file storage

Yet executives in entertainment and news over the past decade have made this much more difficult; the media's crisis is one of its own making. Over ten years, they've hollowed themselves out. Newspapers are now excellent lifestyle magazines, delivered in instalments on a daily basis. Their capability to provide us with something we didn't know, or couldn't find out, or give us new ways of thinking about something, is just not there any more.

Ten years ago you could be sure a broadsheet transport correspondent both knew his field technically and knew the business landscape, while a health correspondent could put the complex into context. I'm not even sure there are any transport correspondents any more, while the other specialists - if they are there - simply reprint press releases from industry, or from the tight-knit hairball of government, academia and pressure groups. A newspaper today is like Google News with the news taken out.

Seeking "business model"?

Similarly, as I pointed out yesterday, music executives have been finding lots of reasons for us not to give them our money. They also neglected physical formats and decided to 'compete with free' by giving away the crown jewels for nothing, although perhaps not to the same extent. But we now see Spotify lauded for (apparently) "reducing piracy", when its return is negligible.

For these industries to rescue themselves, they don't need Steve Jobs. They simply need to stop being idiotic. Nobody ever put a gun to a newspaper executive's head and instructed them to ruin their business. Take away the utopian religion and they can start to be rational again.

Now I appreciate there are subtleties here a broad brush can't capture. Every newspaper proprietor wants to drive the competition into the ground. Murdoch uses aggressive pricing. Echoing the US city newspaper monopolies, Rusbridger has already mooted a future where public subsidies fund 'quality journalism'. A translation of that is "we're a commercial basket case, please give us a tax handout". I find it hard to believe that with the nation utterly broke, politicians will look upon this request with sympathy. What I can say with certainty is that they're not going to call it correctly.

Looking back at my own tech predictions, as well as other people's, there's a consistent theme. My worst call in the past ten years, for example, was expecting smartphones to become much bigger and broader than they have. I should have anticipated physical constraints, crappy UIs, and dodgy and late network infrastucture.

But I downplayed all of these in my estimates, because I wanted them to succeed. I thought it would be a good thing if they did succeed. But things don't work like that. Oops. Epic Fail. Similarly, sky high expectations of Linux were powered by the deep desire that Microsoft go away. Linux is very good now, and better than ever - but the expectations were pure wishful thinking.

Because media people think Apple's iTablet will save them, you can safely disregard everything that's been written, or will be written, by large media companies about the launch tomorrow. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.