DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in UltraViolet (2)


Week's Best Posts in Transmedia, Film, Tech, Biz & More

A few months back I began curating my favorite tweets, posts, and links at the end of each week in a feature I call "Nick's Great Information Friday" -- NGIF as a kind of lame play on the TGIF abbreviation we all know and love. Problem is: it's too hard to predict how busy my Friday's may be, as was the case this week. So in the future, watch for my weekly roundup sometime between Friday and Sunday. Or simply subscribe to my newsletter and get the posts in your email in-box. 

It was a very busy news week, what with CES, the Oscar race, and the usual slice of tech squabbles. I focus upon links that offer context and understanding, though occasionally you'll find some flat-out news that I think shouldn't be missed. Enjoy!


  • I started the week in Orlando with a speech to a group of local television broadcasters, blending some futuristic projections about the way we will be viewing TV along with practical suggestions to counter "disruption." Here are the slides with notes, should you be interested. 
  • It was CES Week, and there was LOTS of "news" about various gizmos and trends -- yes, LOTS. I was interested to see the continued evolution of the studio's movie locker project UltraViolet, including a deal with Samsung that could be significant, and this one on the Panasonic deal. And this one about the deal with Akamai.
  • Marshall Kirkpatrick outlines the implications of the recent deal between Facebook and Politico that will track mentions of candidates from the social website.
  • "Network" is a beautiful piece of motion graphic film that illustrates some disturbing stats about how carriers amass and resell our vast data trails without permission. I tackled the topic in a recent post entitled "The Virtual Self."  

Click to read more ...


• The Dark Heart of Your Digital Lifestyle

Enough with all the whining about the Blackberry Messenger mess or your iOS-5 download problems (or even a Windows Phone 7's Mango update). 

If you think you had a bad tech week, just look at my last seven days, during which I had: 

  • A constantly crashing cable modem
  • A near-dead cable DVR and set-top box
  • A hellacious integration of my HBO-Go iPad app 
  • An intermittently broken Wi-Fi router
  • Plus: the aforementioned slow and painful Apple iOS-5 download

Let’s face it: we are utterly dependent upon a soulless swarm of networks, service providers, hardware manufacturers, and software developers.

Like crack dealers, they promise us a never-ending digital party (for a price), but never mention what happens when stuff just stops working. Or when something won’t do what it’s supposed to do. Or work with the other guy’s stuff.

So I figure I spent the equivalent of two full working days requiring nine different technicians (in person, online chat and phone) to get all this stuff to work (fingers crossed).

So, no matter how much I think I know about digital media’s “big picture,” at the nitty-gritty level, I’m just another schlub. And so are you. Consumers know that most aspects of their digitally defined lives are beyond their control, and always will be.

Which is why we’re so damned grateful when technology works well. (I'm convinced that this is the basis for the outpouring of love and gratitude at Steve Jobs’ passing. My friend Jean Firstenberg – a digital grandma -- calls her iPhone the 'idiot-Phone.' “Steve made it easy enough for grannies to handle,” she said in an email this week.

But mostly, consumers are dismayed at how many devices and systems they now have to manage, not to mention user names, passwords, log-ons, software patches and all the rest. If your refrigerator breaks, you call Sears. If your Internet screws up, you need a troubleshooter. Or a fulltime IT person. Or divine intervention.

The situation is even worse if you conduct business from your little digital hive, which many of us do, since 24/7 always-on broadband means nobody ever leaves their office.

A perfect storm of Tech Failure

So, when your Internet is down, it’s a crisis.

Click to read more ...