As Video Extends its Reach Across the Web, What Is TV?

I haven’t blogged on the SAP Community Network for work in several months, so I’m happy I finally wrenched that elusive set of hours away that it took to put together my report on my recent trip to Los Angeles for video-related conferences:

As Video Extends its Reach Across the Web, What Is TV?

Usually when I go online at conferences and events, I’m reporting on Web 2.0 events or social justice activism or just plain existing. In Los Angeles, the landscape was both unfamiliar and immediate, and it was and still is for me a bit of a reach to put together the growing, stunning implications of the past, present, and future of streaming media on the Web and what it could mean for television — whatever THAT is. I could think of no better place from which to contemplate this disruption than from this center of stardom, the birthplace of celluloid dreams. I welcome your read and thoughts!

Family watching television 1958
By Evert F. Baumgardner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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How to NOT advertise against yourself

Thanks to @qrty for this blog post today:

Masterminds Behind ‘Yes on 8’ Reveal How They Did It

I’ve spoken before of some of the tactics used online in campaign to pass Proposition 8, but at the moment I want to call out this one, as underscored from the Yes campaign in the above blog, and more specifically how to protect yourself against it:

A Google surge. You may remember that even gay websites running Google Ads were running ‘Yes on 8’ ads in the final days of the campaign. That’s the power of internet advertising dollars at work.

“As the campaign headed into the final days, we launched a ‘Google surge.’ We spent more than a half-million dollars to place ads on every single website that had advertising controlled by Google. Whenever anyone in California went online, they saw one of our ads in the final two days of the election.”

I was alerted to this tactic by the No On Prop 8 online community itself, during the last few days of the campaign.  Gay and straight people alike called out with concern about what was happening on their blogs. Many wrote to tell me how to defeat it, and I’m thankful that, because I was able to pass it along.

Here it is, courtesy of @calipidder — please spread it to anyone who has an AdSense account they’re concerned about now or in the future:

In your Google AdSense account, go to AdSense Setup -> Competitive Ad Filter. You can block ads from specific URLs or destinations.

In this case, the Yes ads came from “protectmarriage.com” – so that’s what you would enter in your filter list if you wanted to not serve ads from them.

Says @calipidder:

The only thing sitting in my Filter list is protectmarriage.com. I was so angry to see that on my site I took down the ads until after the election, PLUS I blocked it here just in case they kept running them.

Amen. And thanks again, Rebecca.

On sharp minds and the regreening of the globe

When I get to thinking of the global warming and energy crisis, I can’t help but feel that it’s nothing short of irresponsible for energy innovation not to be on the agenda of every large corporation in the world.

O’Reilly, trend-setters in the realm of innovative conferences (O’Reilly Emerging Technology, O’Reilly Emergying Telephony, Web 2.0 Summit and Expo, and more), would seem to agree. They are at it again, this time – for the first time – with the O’Reilly Energy Innovation Conference, coming to San Francisco in August this year.

Some highlights of the planned event, which “grows at the intersection of technology and energy,” are, and I quote:

  • High profile keynote presentations with big players and up-and-coming innovators
  • Concrete, qualitative discussions helping to focus on what is viable now and in the coming, critical decade
  • Launch Pad, an introduction to cool startups, applications, and products
  • Energy Innovation Fair, an evening event that brings together projects, tools, apps, and other innovative technology being created in garages, workshops, and university labs that offer insight into what the future of power and energy will hold
  • Emerging technologies, ranging from smart buildings and plug-in hybrid vehicles to superconductors and enormous wind turbines, are shaping a transformation in our economy and our lives
  • Radical new tools for increasing supplies and mitigating environmental impacts

Sayeth O’Reilly himself of the event:

“Power is going to be a major focus of thought and investment, and it’s going to touch everything. So pulling together people from all these overlapping fields, who would normally hang with their own birds but not those of a similar feather, suddenly make sense.”

Co-chairs include an engineering manager and engineering director from Google:

  • Alec Proudfoot seems to be an alternate-fuel vehicle visionary of sorts. He created the prototype for what became “the first modern high power AC induction electric vehicle,” and does stuff with Google Book Search and Google Maps – as well as advises Google.org on energy and transportation issues “in his 20% time.”
  • Chris Uhlik’s career has covered robotics, electronics, software, power systems, and automotive controls – as well as Gmail and Google Book Search.

So why would my company, SAP, take notice?

  1. If O’Reilly’s got it on its radar, I take notice.
  2. Google’s got it on its radar, anyway…
  3. Doesn’t SAP have an interest in the global supply chain?
  4. A different kind of regreening: energy issues will change the world’s economy
  5. Not to mention – energy issues will change the world
  6. Innovation comes from everywhere …
  7. Couldn’t the sharpest minds at SAP help engage in “increasing supplies and mitigating environmental impacts”?

And on that last point, I got to thinking about knives.

While on my couch attempting to beat a cold yesterday, I read an article in the March/April 2007 edition of Cook’s Illustrated on the latest innovations in knives. It caught my eye for two reasons:

1) In thinking about innovation for work, I seem to notice that innovation is key now in every industry (even – maybe especially – in the fast food arena – witness Taco Bell: “Think outside the bun”) – and knife making is no exception. Think about the size of blade – who knew that a blade that is more narrow on the top (non-sharp) part has therefore a more narrow profile overall, and instead of “wedging” the food apart and perhaps tearing it, simply slices cleanly through? And what about the shape and material of the handle, and where your thumb is going to sit? Think about how you rock your wrist during cutting – ergonomics, and whether the handle will slip out of your hands when your hands are wet or greasy. And how often have you been irked by the carrots or potatoes sticking to the blade as you chop – and did you know that this can be mitigated with coating or indents on the blades?

Tons of innovation there – who knew? And – how did they know?

2) Who’s one of the current knife innovators? Porsche. While its knife is not ranked very high by the staff at Cook’s, it is interesting to note instances of a company innovating outside its best-known product. Perhaps they had a lot of leftover chrome.

But – sharp minds and puns aside – I do get to thinking – what in fact DOES the regreening of the globe have to do with SAP, and – more relevantly – what will SAP have to do with it?

Postscripts 2012:

Each of us bears the imprint

All journeys have a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware. — Martin Buber

On Musings with a Snake:

These are musings on the “realness” of experiential intelligence. With all this business in virtual reality, heads stuck in monitors, search results to synthesize and life in Second Life, it feels simultaneously utterly normal and astonishing to remember that it’s fundamentally different to actually go for a walk in the woods – the real woods:

Virtually everyone, upon hearing this story, recognizes intuitively the dramatic difference for the child between the snake on the trail and a snake on the screen. It is a difference quite obviously containing profound implications for learning. Getting a clean hold on the difference, however, is not easy.

The snake article goes on to point out that “To learn, a child must find an inner connection to the subject at hand.” In trying to design a project that collects cognitive essence (the project called Eventus), I keep wondering: How could we ever replicate something as simple (and complex) as a child?

I’m constantly rewarded by just thinking of my daughter. She’s watching and collecting just what’s right for this minute. Which reminds me of Jeff Jonas – and that the right question to ask TODAY might not be yesterday’s or tomorrow’s right question:

Jeff Jonas on Enterprise Intelligence

Should I respect the artificial connections the same as the ones in the woods? I would simultaneously fight it and work for it. We didn’t find a snake to date, but both my daughter and I can walk in the woods and be forever imprented by it – but never both in the same way. Spotted this quote the other day on the wall of the Jewish Community Center:

Each of us bears the imprint / Of a friend met along the way / In each the trace of each

My secret destination for the day.