Categories
Business Technology

Tech beyond the law; virtual reality TV for Banana republics

It is funny to watch regulators try to catch up with Facebook and Google.  These days it is about how they filter news results.  Which sort of shows how little anyone understands the tech involved.  Of course Facebook and Google’s algorithms are biased!  By definition any system which regulates a flow cannot be objective and fair.  There is no 50-50 rule concerning ideas.    Even if there was, it is impossible to check up on them.   The results are personalized.  The sauce is secret.

The TV situation is similar.  Only old folk watch TV.  Kids YouTube everything.  There is no “digital battle”, no “interactive frontier”, none of those flashy titles panned out for the old style media organizations that used to make up the titles in the first place.  We are officially in Banana Republic.  No rules.  No time to make complex rules about the ethics, business or law concerning all of it.  Moore’s law may be outdated for processing power, but the tech industry was never just about that.

Case in point:  virtual reality.  In the old days, you used to expect a company to “get it right”, or a consortium of companies to agree on a standard.  Now Google shells out three dozen variations of virtual reality in a year.  From cardboard, to Spotlight stories, to ten different ways to use your smartphone, collaborations with Lenovo or Samsung, Google will slice and dice, present and represent solutions until something comes out of it all.  Each approach may be a completely different in terms of tech, marketing, distribution, production or something you haven’t even heard of yet.  A 12 year old will coin a term for it though.    Ah, wait, a 12 yr old already did that.  I read it in my news feed…

Some of us never tire trying to make sense of it.  Most just wait for the dust to settle.

But by then it is way too late.

Categories
Music

Radiohead – A moon shaped pool

“Try this.  You like weird stuff.”  Some years ago someone gave me a collection of “weird stuff”.  Moody and noisy.  I call them soundscapes.  And the new Radiohead album comes pretty close.  This is an album you want to play loud with headphones as you walk through your dreams or nightmares to try to figure out something.

The audio cues are like trance dancing material.  They must have had fun in sound design.  ‘Burn the witch’, ‘Daydreaming’ and ‘Decks Dark’ set the stage like that before ‘Desert Island Disk’ comes along with it’s acoustic guitar as anything vaguely ‘normal’.  Oh, wait a minute, there goes that one too down the dreamy, stoned world of sweeping background sounds.  It is as if whenever anything sounded familiar they worked on it until it didn’t.  “Identikit” starts like a studio out take and turns into an anthem of something, anything you want it to.

This is more like a trip through space or an ocean voyage.  The fog lifts occasionally briefly and then reappears.  Vocals ranging from a greek “moiroloi” style chants, to whinging, whining, painful, thoughtful, pensive rants.  If you are looking for a hit single, don’t bother.  This isn’t an album, it’s a disease.  You hear it once and then you want to hear it again.

Whatever planet these guys have lived on for the past years making this album, heck, I want to live there with them.