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NYT: 14 Media & Technology Convergence Trends 100

Posted by Hemos
from the where-are-we-going dept.
securitas writes "The New York Times Business/Media section looks at 14 media and technology industry convergence trends and ideas to watch in 2004 (Google link). Trends range from the stampede to flat-screen TV/display business, Japan's 3G mobile phone experiment, biometrics as a global ID system for security, identification and authentication, the impact of PVRs (personal video recorders), Internet advertising and paid search engine listings, the Google IPO and venture capital technology investment, what the movie studios call piracy but what is really copyright infringement, and many other trends and ideas. It will take you a while to read through all 14 pages, but it's definitely good food for thought. Which 2004 technology and media trends and ideas did the New York Times staff miss? Discuss."
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NYT: 14 Media & Technology Convergence Trends

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  • They missed the Beagle 2 lander apparently converging with the Martian surface at high velocity, apparently.
    • Jokes about Beagle2 'probable' landing failure are not funny anymore.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I remember, when I was a kid, news was news. It wasn't bullshit wrapped in hype distilled into a soundbite. Now that's just the "news" as it were.

      Unbelievably, after watching TV stations lower the bar, the newspapers instead of leading, have decided to follow into the darkage. The NYT, appearently being no exception. "I've got a fantastic idea, instead of researhing a story, which is hard, or just making shit up, which is almost as hard, why don't we just mention a lot of trends together and fill up th
  • by beders (245558) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:20AM (#7827567) Homepage
    This is /.! I couldn't be bothered with the end of that sentence :)
  • Maybe the Google IPO will lead to a new dot com boom. This time I'm old enough to get in on it.

  • by commo1 (709770) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:23AM (#7827596)
    DVD region codes. This will be a huge issue this year, as discussed a few days ago in /. . The world market for digital content distribution will become just that: a world market. I for one am looking forward to getting the latest Coldplay album & singles at the same time as our friends in the UK, almost as much as they are looking forward to simultaneous releases of movies & TV shows. I think that real-time, same-day releases will become more and more prevalent (a la Matrix Revolutions release). THis will be the year that this becomes a big contested issue. It's also one of the best points for the p2p model.
    • The DVD region system is one of my pet peeves. However, I don't think it will ever be a big deal in the U.S. Just about everyone here is happy as long as they can get their "Bad Boys II" and Hillary Duff movies.
      • You're right about it not being a huge issue Stateside. However, it will be a huge issue outside of the US and Canada (where almost everything is simultaneous). Which brings me to my next point: Why are the US and Canada so in-sync in terms of media release schedules and standards, wether it be HBO or DVD region codes? Because we are so close geographically. In the new world (digital distribution, legal or not)order, the importance of geographical proximity is lessened to the point it is a matter of a
        • Not to nitpick too much but I would suggest that the release dates are the same in the US and Canada not because of geographical proximity but instead because of the huge amount of trade the two nations engage in (the largest amount of trade between any two nations I believe.)

          This is related to location but entirely. But either way I think you are right about the growing convergence of media release schedules.
        • I thought the idea was to release a film on, say, the eighth of April in the USA and the fourth of August the same year in the rest of the world. Then they could write the release date in figures on the posters, and use just one print run for the whole world.
        • I can understand why DVD region codes would be such a big issue in Canada since (according to those Canadian government tourist brochures that we get here in the USA) everyone is bilingual in English and one of those silly European legacy languages (I can't remenber which one). Not having the correct code on the DVD player set means that the thousands of titles from the advanced and prolific European film industry that are flown to Canada as soon ast they hit the theatres in Europe are unable to be viewed.
          • If this is a real problem, and since DVD players are relatively inexpensive, why not just buy two of them and set the region codes differently on each one?

            I have a better idea, why not just buy one for every possible region? Hmmmm?!
        • Why are the US and Canada so in-sync in terms of media release schedules and standards, wether it be HBO or DVD region codes?

          Where are you getting HBO in Canada?
      • And I'm equally happy as long as I can avoid them. Region codes haven't been a big problem for me, as I generally refuse to buy anything that has them, though it's because I won't deal with the vendor rather than because of that particular unethical practice. But those particular movies... I almost think you deserve the MPAA.

      • The DVD region system is one of my pet peeves. However, I don't think it will ever be a big deal in the U.S. Just about everyone here is happy as long as they can get their "Bad Boys II" and Hillary Duff movies.

        Meh, there are DVD players for those of us who aren't willing to limit our selection of movies to one region. I'm using a Sampo now and regularly watch PAL encoded media from another region on my NTSC television with no problem at all.

        Who's Hillary Duff?
        • Meh, there are DVD players for those of us who aren't willing to limit our selection of movies to one region. I'm using a Sampo now and regularly watch PAL encoded media from another region on my NTSC television with no problem at all.

          You are confusing two issues: the PAL vs NTSC incimpatibility, and the region coding system.

          Most players can play PAL DVD's on NTSC. However, only some are region-free. The Sampo line happens to be pretty good at the region-free problem as well, but whether or not the playe
          • You are confusing two issues: the PAL vs NTSC incimpatibility, and the region coding system.

            Actually, I was trying to address both compatibility issues at once. My Sampo will play DVDs from any region in addition to "region-free" discs. Overriding the region codes alone isn't enough to watch content created for a different television standard.

    • DVD region codes. This will be a huge issue this year, as discussed a few days ago in /. . The world market for digital content distribution will become just that: a world market. I for one am looking forward to getting the latest Coldplay album & singles at the same time as our friends in the UK

      What about choir singing of the Coldplay's "We Live In A Beautiful World" of Coldplay fans worldwide via audio-equipped instant messengers, the day the regions die?
    • And don't forget that some pira... err... copyright rule breaking is motivated by people simply not wanting to wait for the release in their DVD zone. Like the music industry is saying now, p2p also happens because people whant stuff that they are not delivering.
      • Exactly! Let the recording industry (movies, music (am I forgetting something?) give us everything we want! Instead of the old business model which was designed to maximize profits in a segregated world, this market segregation will no longer work. Hold onto your profits by making it convenient and affordable to play nice.... I for one buy a copy of everything I like after sampling it off p2p. If it's not available or price way, way out of my price range, what choice do I have?
        • I do agree, and hopefully the flow of these forms of information will improve, but...

          One must remember that mature sectors like these hate risks. Most of what they do now - lawsuits, technological barriers, lobbying, cartels, hyper advertising/marketing, etc. - are 'simply' means to remove uncertainty and avoid risk. The goal being to ensure a predictable, stable-or-increasing, revenue stream.

          Consider the situation if most of the obstacles - artificial scarcity, et al., that we lament over today - wer
      • It's the movie industry, not the music, saying this. Blockbust was the one to come out and say that piracy is thriving on the staggered release schedules the producers are fond of. And region encoding doesn't stop them.
  • new tech (Score:2, Insightful)

    by brysnot (573631)
    IP Technology
  • by Channard (693317)
    Looks like they missed mentioning Voice Over IP for a start, which hopefully will get bigger over the next year.
  • by southpolesammy (150094) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:25AM (#7827606) Journal
    The growing trend of organizations such as the RIAA, MPAA, and SCO to attempt to bring in revenues via lawsuits instead of fixing their broken business models is the most significant trend of 2003.

    However, I don't see it as a long-term trend, since nature abhors a vacuum and as long as there is a want/need, there will be people trying to fulfill that need and legalities be damned.
    • However, I don't see it as a long-term trend

      I wish I shared your optimism. Unless something drastic happens, I can see this continuing. What I'd like to see would be for the mass media to actually pick up on the RIAA's scattergun tactics, and for the negative press to cause stock prices in the various RIAA member companies to plummet. Ah, I can dream.

      • and for the negative press to cause stock prices in the various RIAA member companies to plummet. Ah, I can dream.

        Actually your dream is coming true.

        The RIAA companies are all owned by five global media corporations that are obsessed with both merging with each other for the benefit only of their chief executives, and the dumping of their music divisions onto one of the other chumps who still believe that these divisions can continue to be profitable in the future.

        As a result their stock pri
    • Do note that as long as you blame the RIAA, and not the individual record companies, you have insulated the labels from their actions.

      OTOH, it's possible to get a list of the RIAA members, and at least refuse to patronize them. This basicaly leads to not buying anything carried by Tower Records, but I don't anymore.

      Equivalently, I will only see foreign films. Or occasionally I'll rent an old video (they get almost no profit from that...and none directly).

      If you patronize those who engage in this busine
      • Since the RIAA is made up of such companies as Warner Records, Sony, and so forth, then blaming the RIAA equates to blaming these companies due to logical inference. It's like saying that you hate seafood -- implicitly you also hate tuna, swordfish, lobster, shrimp, and all the other delectables of the sea. (Not that I hate seafood -- I actually love it, but for comparison's sake, ya know...)

        Trust me, I'm well aware of whom I am implicating when I use the cover-all term of RIAA or MPAA. While I have to
    • I just want to thank all our friends from outside the USA for introducing the word "barratry" to us. Now, all around the US, teenage geeks are impressing their parents with this word :) (And 30-somethings like myself... I knew what it meant, but never bothered to use it in a sentence before I saw it used here so much. hehe)

      T

      • Lazy /.ers like m'self (20-something euro who didn't know) need it spelled out in detail ;). And with something to click! This time, I shall assist you:

        barratry [reference.com], n. (pl. barratries)
        1. The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
        2. An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
        3. Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
  • idea (Score:1, Funny)

    14 media and technology industry convergence trends and ideas to watch in 2004

    NYT: Hey guys, we need more synergy between our media and our technology. Let's put the newspaper online, and then make people register to view it. That way, we can scrape their personal information and charge more for advertising!
  • Which 2004 technology and media trends and ideas did the New York Times staff miss? Don't know 'bout you but I'm thinking SoIP [politrix.org] (Sex0r Over Internet Protocols) is all the rage for 2004. Thats is until VDoIP, Cooties Over IP, or Claps Over IP comes and spoils the show for everybody.

    Hey! >:| um Happy New Year and stuff

    • by Channard (693317)
      'cyberdildonics' - yes, really. I caught a clip about this on some late night Channel 5 show, and it didn't look like it'd take off. As for the consequences, isn't that what Antivirus software's for?
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:45AM (#7827730)
    Two comments:

    1. I think projection TV's are going to be an interesting race between OLED and new generation "slimline" rear-projection TV's that use DLP, LCD or LCOS technologies. Plasma displays (in my humble opinion) will become a passing fad due to the fact that plasma TV's tend to lose picture quality after a few years of use.

    2. PVR's will become much more common in the next few years, especially with the lowering of hardware costs and the increasing capacity of hard disk drives (TiVo PVR's with 400 GB hard drives could arrive within 24 months). Also, what we may see PVR's do fairly soon is updating programming information using data piggybacked on a broadcast signal instead of having to "call back" using a telephone line or an Ethernet connection.
    • TiVo PVR's with 400 GB hard drives could arrive within 24 months

      If you're not mentioning two 200 GB hard drives, i think that's difficult to happen because data density in hard disks are near it's limits.

      If the magnetic crystals that hold the data get very small they can loose their magnetic charge easily, don't being able to hold data reliably.

      And also is difficult to reduce the size of the drive heads, that also need to be very small.

      I bet using better compression on PVR is a better solution to incre
      • The amazing thing about any technology, though, is that it's always seemingly pushed to it's limits. While I don't doubt we're near our limit on current storage technologies, something will come along to either:

        1. Replace hard drive technology as we see it today... as in not a rotating mass with magnetism being the storage transfer medium.

        2. Make them a bit bigger. Why not make the ultra-high-storage drive fit in a full size 5"+ drive bay? We all have em (well, except for the tivo application possibl
      • I've heard that improved recording techniques that several hard drive companies are working on will make it possible to have 400 GB two-platter 1/3 height 3.5" hard drives fairly soon. There's still a lot of disk recording technology that has not yet been fully exploited yet.
    • Also, what we may see PVR's do fairly soon is updating programming information using data piggybacked on a broadcast signal instead of having to "call back" using a telephone line or an Ethernet connection.

      The combo DirecTV/TiVo units already do this. They get the program listings over the satellite. The phone is only used for recording pay-per-view transactions, for downloading software updates, and perhaps a few other things.

      • The combo DirecTV/TiVo units already do this. They get the program listings over the satellite. The phone is only used for recording pay-per-view transactions, for downloading software updates, and perhaps a few other things.

        I think it's theoretically possible to have TiVo work on a one-way data connection since what you really need is program listing updates and updates to the software, which can be transmitted as a piggyback signal to the standard broadcast signal at preset intervals. You do need two-wa
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:46AM (#7827740)
    Weblogs making it impossible for old media giants to bury scandals involving reporters who fabricate stories.

    How the hell did the NY Times miss that?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:47AM (#7827744)
    ...of mandatory website registration and me no longer reading the articles.
  • Just got a new Toshiba DMS w/ 80 hour Tivo built in (Thanks Santa!). Commercials beware >:)
  • too many links (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Guano_Jim (157555) on Monday December 29, 2003 @10:50AM (#7827767)
    Is it just me or was that article way over-linked?

    In keeping with submitters' tendencies to link to every single page on the web in the hopes of making the front page, I propose that all slashdot articles have links on every character of every word. For example:

    S [slashdot.com] l [slashdot.com] a [slashdot.com] s [slashdot.com] h [slashdot.com] d [slashdot.com] o [slashdot.com] t [slashdot.com].

    Wouldn't want to miss any trivial pieces of information, after all.
    • Wow... I had no idea that "slashdot.com" even worked...
      Oh, how I long for the days when you could only use "http://slashdot.org". None of that "www" crap for us nerds!

  • My prediction is that the biggest thing in 2004 will be the beginnings of wide spread adoption of VOIP along with emergence of new gadgets such as IP aware answering machines.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The rush to global biometric identification has stamped over a MUCH better solution - verification. Businesses DON'T need your DNA in order to better market to you. It's a pity that slashdot hasn't picked up on this critical distinction, or the latest news on this.

    Wired recently ran an article about the advances in verification. It's at:

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.01/start.htm l?tw=wn_tophead_7 [wired.com]

  • by foo fighter (151863) on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:15AM (#7827934) Homepage
    Too many commercials on television and before movies. (At least here in the US.)

    For the past few years TV has been almost completely unwatchable for me. Four minutes of programming to five minutes of advertising is insulting to me.

    But I have several friends who watch many hours of TV a day and have the latest plot advancements of several sitcom, drama, and unscripted (nee "reality") shows committed to memory. The last half of 2003 I began hearing comments from even them, my friends the TV junkies, that they are getting tired of so much advertising. It seems the straw that broke the camel's back was the corner adverts that come on when a program comes back on after a commercial break. They keep watching of course because they are addicted, but they are at least complaining out loud now.

    Movies are almost as bad. Crowds at my local theater have taken to booing and shouting to the effect of "turn off the #$@!ing tv commercials" when non-movie-trailer ads come on. I also hear much grumbling about the excessive trailers. Six or seven five-minute plot synopses that give away the movies that they are supposed to be promoting while tacking 20 to 30 minutes onto the feature's play time are not popular. They almost ruined LotR: RotK for me by turning a 3:30 butt-number into a 4:00+ marathon endurance test.

    I know there are work-arounds to these bugs in the system. But Tivo and other prepackaged DVRs are expensive and home-brew DVRs have all the same problems as desktop linux. Also, DVRs do nothing about the corner-screen adverts nor product placement. Not watching TV is like not smoking cigarettes: it's better for your long-term health but to an addict the separation is a difficult and painful thing.

    Sure you can arrive late to movies, but with general admission theater seating you are gambling where you end up sitting, or even if you get a seat in the case of blockbusters. If I'd arrived late to any showing of LotR: RotK since it opened at my theater the odds are I would be stuck in a nasty corner or front row or next to an unwashed freak, or not getting a ticket at all because it sold out.
    • But I have several friends who watch many hours of TV a day and have the latest plot advancements of several sitcom, drama, and unscripted (nee "reality") shows committed to memory. The last half of 2003 I began hearing comments from even them, my friends the TV junkies, that they are getting tired of so much advertising. It seems the straw that broke the camel's back was the corner adverts that come on when a program comes back on after a commercial break. They keep watching of course because they are add

    • Every once in a while I need a reality check, as I don't have a television antenna (I watch movies at home). I'm amazed anyone watches anymore. Recently at a theatre I was aghast at the advertisements. I think I'll write a letter to my local theatre and vote with my feet if things don't improve.
    • It seems the straw that broke the camel's back was the corner adverts that come on when a program comes back on after a commercial break.

      I recently spent some time at home and watched some TV again. (Normally I just watch DVD's from Netflix) I also noticed this annoying "feature". What makes it even more annoying are the new adverts which have sound as well thereby not only obscuring parts of the screen, but parts of the dialogue as well. This is more than annoying - they are now in fact stealing parts o
      • IIRC, I've seen this on movies that I've *purchased*. I tend to get a lot of my DVDs "previously viewed" from Blockbuster, so that might be where I'm getting that idea, though.
    • It always amazes me how people complain about things that are free. Network TV is advertising supported. Without that annoying VISA advert in the score bar, you wouldn't get the NFL game or that NASCAR race you've been waiting all season to watch. American TV averages (as it has for the past 10 or so years) 16 minutes of commercials per hour of programming.

      It's not that they're stuffing more commercials in there, it's that they're stuffing them in the middle of the shows now. If you'll notice, broadcas
    • If I'd arrived late to any showing of LotR: RotK

      So you arrived early. Not to see the 'commercials' but to get a seat. Then you sat. You could have stared at a blank screen...or they could put ads up on it and help keep ticket prices from going up.

      Not seeing the big deal.

    • 1. Buy TV shows on DVD
      2. Cancel cable

      A small translucent station logo in the corner I could handle. Useful actually, for navigating the channel universe. But these popup ads, big solid animated logos... I can't take it any more.
    • For the past few years TV has been almost completely unwatchable for me. Four minutes of programming to five minutes of advertising is insulting to me.

      Get your television off bittorrent like the rest of us do. All the commercials are (often) removed, plus you get the added benefit of being able to pause and rewind.

      Real television can't compete with an MPEG :)
  • TCP over IP (Score:4, Funny)

    by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Monday December 29, 2003 @11:16AM (#7827946) Homepage Journal
    With the increasing number of protocols based on UDP or IPSEC, and the resulting management problems (ranging from unmanaged congestion due to poor ad-hoc flow control to overly broad firewall rules due to poor protocol designs) I'm praying 2004 will see a resurgence of TCP over IP.

    Only half-smiley on this one.
  • Biometrics as a technology to watch in 2004? Nah, probably Identity Theft will have more growth (I know, it sucks big time) :(

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