Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Broadcast Tradition

Post contributed by Jacob Haskew - 

  One of the biggest Thanksgiving traditions for 43.7 million people is the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. This parade is 2.5 miles long utilizing 22 HDTV and a production staff of over 200 people. Through the years this parade has gotten bigger and bigger this year will be the 85th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade uses a helicopter that sends back transmissions via microwave. The Street will close down the night before for the people participating to practice and do run-throughs. This event is important because it is an annual television event using 22 different live cameras. The revenue raised by NBC for commercial spots during this event must be very pricey.

Source -  A Thanksgiving Broadcast TraditionTV Technology

Fire's Focus on Print

Blog contributed by Krystyna Barnard -

MinOnline, a sister site of Folio, recently posted an article on the much anticipated launch of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet.  In that article, Steve Smith wrote about the increasing competition between tablets  from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Smith discusses the Kindle Fire and how it will include a “Newsstand,” similar to that of the Apple iOS 5, in which they will also sell subscriptions and issues of various magazines and newspapers. Major publishers were to include Condé Nast, Hearst, National Geographic, Meredith, Wenner, Reader’s Digest, etc. Amazon is working with many of these publishers to optimize their online offerings for the Kindle.
The recently released Kindle Fire includes a 7-inch screen that’s perfect for browsing full-color pages of magazines with 169 DPI graphics, a dual-core processor to enhance processing speed, and Wi-Fi. The current listing price for the Kindle Fire is $199.

Source - “Kindle Fire to Launch with 400 Magazines and Newspapers.”,  MinOnline

YouTube Turns to Creating Programming.

Post contributed by Chelsey Hallett -

YouTube currently has the largest video audience in the world and is the second most-visited website today. Therefore, YouTube has become one of the most successful sites in the history of the Internet. However despite these stats, YouTube is a free service created from user-generated videos. Since YouTube cannot advertise whatever anyone decides to upload, it does not create much revenue.
   Robert Kyncl and Tom Pickett have helped lead YouTube in its successes for the last seven years. Together, they have come up with a plan that will give YouTube more power than other competitors in the online video industry. The plan is to turn YouTube into a cable operator and network. YouTube would be implemented in production and distribution and essentially an equal to Comcast. However, the major difference between the two is that Comcast has 22.4 million subscribers and YouTube has 800 million.
   “I can’t think of anyone more important right now in the entire industry . . . they’re up there with the biggest of the bigs,” says R.J. Williams, who runs an entertainment industry-focused channel on YouTube called Young Hollywood.
   Kyncl and Pickett have a vision to transform YouTube’s current platform into a “generator and seller of quality content” and package this content to sell to advertisers. The content will be packaged through channel strategy. Kyncl and Pickett want to organize the site’s content into categories such as sports, food, music, that will serve like channels on a network. Through this process they believe they can find content worth selling.
   A second part of this plan is YouTube’s recent purchase of Next New Networks, an online video production studio. Along with producing content, it also serves as a training system for upcoming video producers. Another idea for producing revenue is through streaming major studio movies. They want to compete with iTunes and Amazon by having them available for rent.
   The purpose of turning YouTube into a programming giant is to use the advantages of being the largest video site to produce revenue. How can this be done better but through content produced by the general audience? They are the ones who chose what they want to view. It is a genius plan thanks to Kyncl and Pickett.

Source: Beyond Cat Videos: Is YouTube on the bring of becoming a programming star?Adweek.com

Five Changes Coming to Digital Sports Journalism

Post contributed by Tate Russell -

Jason Fry recently contributed a piece to the National Sports Journalism Center's blog, on some potential changes coming to digital sports journalism  .

1. Athletes will become social media veterans
   With athletes growing up using twitter and facebook they will be better at controlling what they publish and even more friendly with fans on these sites. Fry suggests that they may not see the value of "in the locker room" interviews, because they have already answered all the fans' questions on twitter directly.
2. Think about location based services
    Fry suggests that media outlets should use digital location based services to ensure they deliver content to local prospective viewers.
3. The middleman is vulnerable.
    The relationship of the team and reporter is changing. Teams are becoming more proactive in producing content that gets their message to fans. This could reduce the value and importance of traditional beat reporters.  As teams and players report game stories and break news about themselves, their is less need for traditional beat reporters.  On the other hand,.most fans want an objective view and players and teams will mostly try to spin stories positively..
4. Consider finding a niche and owning it,
    If you publish what everybody else does you may be overlooked. So find an area to excel in and make it your own. He suggests things like historical perspective, long form analysis, mechanics reports or scouting of opponents. Develop unique focus or perspective to differentiate you from other reporters.  That also makes it easier for those interested in that topic to find you in a crowded online marketplace.
5. Burn this list in a year.
     The digital world changes so fast that you always have to be prepared for what’s next and remember sometimes predictions are wrong , just keep your ears open and be willing to experiment.

Source -  Thinking About the Future: Five changes that may be coming to digital sports and how to meet them.  National Sports Journalism Center blog

edited slightly for content. added title and improved layout

Glossy Fashion moves Online

Post contributed by Rachel Cobb -

The senior accessories editor of Vogue, Filipa Fino,  resigned last June to start an online fashion magazine devoted to accessories, Fino File  (a holiday preview issue is available here).  She is focusing a lot of fashion bloggers, a huge trend that is emerging.  It is a bit bittersweet, because it is yet again another sign that print media is failing, but it is still exciting news to watch this new realm of blogging take control of the magazine industry too.  It is inspiring for young writers to know that they are being noticed and that they can make an impact that even the big dogs like Vogue notice.

Source -  Filipa Fino Tells Us Why Her New Online Mag Fino File Won't Be Like Vogue,  Fashionista.com

Mobile Booms around the Globe

There's been a few posts over the last few days about the continuing rapid adoption and diffusion of mobile media.  A new report by Strategy Analytics showed that China has overtaken the U.S. as the world's largest manufactuter of smartphones, while the consumer market for those devices grew worldwide by 12.8%.  That growth was despite continued slowing in market demand in the U.S. and Europe, but increased demand in China, Japan, and Asia generally.
  According to ABI Research projections, that demand contributes to the expectati0on that mobile subscriptions will reach 6 billion by the end of this year.  For comparison, the estimated world population is 7 billion.  Nearly 1 billion mobile connections have been added in Asia over the last two years.
  Another study by Informa Telecoms & Media indicates that mobile penetration in the Middle East will exceed 250 million in 2012, giving the region a higher penetration rate that seen in North America.  At that point, there will be more mobile phone subscriptions in the Middle East than there are people.
  Still, the broader social and economic impact of mobile is tied to the growth of mobile broadband and data services.  Here, Asia (outside of Japan and Korea, anyway) has lagged somewhat.  Less than 18% of Asia mobile connections are at 3G or 4G speeds.  In China, about 10% of mobile subscriptions are 3G-enabled (that's still 100 million).  India  is pushing deployment of 3G and 4G networks, and that country's largest mobile company attracted 3 million 3g subscriptions in its first 6 months.  Matthew Reed, head of mobile research for Informa, said, “The impact of competition, the availability of new data-based services, increasing affordability and population growth will all contribute to the continued rise in mobile subscription numbers in the Middle East in the coming few years,”  On the other hand, implementation of 3G and 4G in the region remains sporadic and slow.
  In Africa, where less than ten percent of the population has access to a bank account, mobile penetration rates topping 60% have prompted development of mobile money services such as Orange Money.  First introduced in 2008, Orange Money operates in partnership with banks to offer a range of financial services, including money transfers, bill payment, and other financial services.  They've recently partnered with Western Union to add global funds transferring.
  Meanwhile, in the U.S., the IBM Smarter Commerce benchmarking study indicated that almost  15% of all online shopping traffic on last week's "Black Friday" shopping frenzy came from mobile devices, almost tripling last year's level.  In terms of actual digital retail transactions, almost 10% came through mobile, more than triple last year's level.  And those were just the shifts in sources among the overall 24.3% increase in online shopping traffic from last year's levels.
  So globally, mobile and mobile broadband is doing well, and is likely to continue to expand as higher speed (3G, 4G, LTE) networks are built out.and new data and information services are added.

Source -  Mobile Explodes: Connections to Reach 6 Billion This YearOnline Media Daily
Middle East mobile penetration exceeds that of USA,  telecoms.com 
Mobile Money Services a Big Hit in Africa, telecoms.com

editted - added info from new source
Source -  Mobile Drives 14.3% of Black Friday Online Traffic, 9.8% of Sales Online Media Daily

Monday, November 28, 2011

Journalism needs new business models - some ideas

The post combines two contributions from Ashton Davis (edited by BJB) -

  According to the Online Journalism site, making money from journalism in the new business model is based on models from 21st century news rooms, rather than those of the 20th century. The traditional newspaper business model rested on selling three things: advertising, content to readers, and a delivery platform to readers. However, there have been quite a few developments in the past few decades that have changed the traditional models - such as a rise in alternative channels, a rise in content sources, and changes in society as a whole.
  If media industries want to be successful, then they are going to have to adapt to a newer business model, which is one that focuses on the individual. One component of the business model is the importance of going online. Online, advertising is cheaper, content is free, and no one owns the platform. Another factor in the business model is to attract more readers. Going online probably means that the market is changing, which means an individual can attract readers in another city, state, or even country. By attracting readers online, businesses can attract audience that would not pay for a newspaper. Another component to the business model is creating content and new platforms. It is incredibly difficult to create content that people will want to pay for, but it is possible to produce reports that have commercial value. Individuals can even sell information to third party syndication. Final components of the business model include promoting news as a service, not a product, not have a business only based on advertising, selling services, and utilizing mobile opportunities.
  Furthermore, there are general questions that an individual should ask when generating news media models such as what data or information do we have or is within easy search? Who would have an interest in that? Where are they, online and offline? How could it be packaged to service these people? How could it be distributed to service these people? Why would they want this service? What might they want to do with the data? Who are our existing users? What can they add to our data or services? Why would they want to do so and what would motivate them to do so? What are the big issues and interests in our area? What services would fill a need there?
  CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism's “New Business Model for News” Project suggests that news organizations need to address several goals in order to flourish in the new competitive environment. One goal is to help local sites grow into sustainable operations. The Project has created the Resource Guide for Local and Niche Sites, with introduces some of the best sources of information about a variety of editorial, business, technology, and legal topics that are relevant to small websites. They plan on updating the guide over time, according to future innovations. By increasing the revenue for local and niche sites, audiences will have more of an opportunity to increase awareness about information that is relevant to them or topics that interest them.
  Another goal is for audiences to have options as to what they want to listen, view, or search. Also, local and niche advertising will help the journalism business because it will increase revenue across different markets. In conclusion, the New Business Model for News increases awareness about local and niche sites in order to increase revenues in the journalism business.

   In conclusion, new business models for journalism need to lay out features of the new media business models, and it is important for distributors of content to utilize these elements to benefit their industries.

Sources - Online Journalism Blog
New Business Models for News Project, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Digital Fuels China Ad Boom

A new trend report from WPP's MEC China subsidiary suggests that China is one of the fastest-growing advertising markets in the world, due in large part to the impact of the digital media revolution on consumers.  Measured media expenditures in China is expected to grow more than 15% in 2011, and nearly 17% in 2012, when it's expected to generate $63 billion.
  A large part of that growth is fueled by China's new Me Generation, one more accepting of individualism and expressing itself through blogs and social media.  Participation in Internet and social media discussions have tripled from 2009 levels, the number of Weibo (China's Twitter analog) users has doubled in the last three months, and the number of blog writers have risen 12% over the last four years
“There are all kinds of indications that technology integration is becoming a major trend,” the report states, noting as an example that mobile phones can now be used as remotes to control TVs. “In the future, consumers will not be dealing with stand-alone high-tech devices, but will find science and technology penetrating every facet of their lives.”
Another consumer trend on the rise in China is what MEC termed the “Zhai Lifestyle,” where consumers become more reliant on technology to do things, both in the office and at home.The report recommends that marketers need to tap into Chinese consumers' creativity and make them a part of the development of products and services for the Chinese market.  As the report concludes:
“Become a friend of the consumer in the digital world, and help them to lead a healthy yet colorful Zhai lifestyle.”

Source -  Digital Reshapes China, Aids Booming Ad EconomyOnlineMediaDaily 

edited to add title and missing phrase

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Claire Suddath (& SJ) on the Future of Journalism

Post contributed by Summer Johnson -

Claire Suddath, a Time Magazine online and print writer, wrote an article in October 2011 that discusses how Time and other major news sources are dealing with the digital age. Suddath claims that journalists are scared because, “Basically, we're like the music industry, except none of us can sing.” Suddath reported that many journalists, from all forms of media, attended the Chicago Ideas Week panel on news in a digital age to figure out what will happen to the future of journalism.
  The Chicago Ideas Week panel suggested that old media is incapable of immediacy in news, being overshadowed in that regard by social networking sites like Twitter. For example, a journalist at the panel claimed he knew of Steve Job’s death a few minutes after it happened because the information spread over Twitter so quickly, yet the television news medium came out with the “breaking” story the next day.
  The panel further discussed that more media platforms are doing more journalism with fewer people, and it’s hard to run a business when it yields no revenue. Time’s Managing Editor and host of the Chicago Ideas Week panel, Rick Stengal, raised another issue. Stengal acknowledged that "there is more information available to more people than ever before. We just haven't figured out how to charge for it yet."
  I have a proposal that may fix this problem in regards to online news.
  The problem began when online news sites spoiled readers by posting news for free on their websites.
  I propose news websites begin charging an online membership fee. I believe they should provide headlines and the “short story” (by short story, I mean the sentence or two below the headline” to viewers for free, but only subscribers/members would be able to read the entire story.
  I think this will work because, as the panel discussed in Suddath’s article, all media platforms have some competition with social networking sites in immediacy; however, social networking sites are unable to provide the entire story. And breaking stories deserve more information than social networking sites’ few worded sentences.
  There are some problems with this idea, but I believe following my proposal would be the lesser of two evils: either charge the audience and risk losing a few readers, or continue making no money. The first of the two would at least yield some revenue where the latter continues making nothing.
  News websites have been offering information for free for so long, charging for information may turn away customers. My theory on this is if consumers pay for news when they buy newspapers, magazines, or cable, why shouldn’t they pay for it online? News is a much sought after commodity, and should be paid for regardless of the form of media.
  The tricky part would be charging for information via online news websites; it must be a group effort. All news websites from all platforms must pull together, and begin charging for information at competitive rates at relatively the same time.
  Instead of online news networks crying about losing money, they should get up and do something about it. The longer they wait, the more money they will lose, and the less job security we all will have.

Check out Suddath’s original article from Time’s online website

The Good, the Bad, and the Sports Reporters

Post contributed b y Tate Russell -

  The Sports Media Journal published an article on the most positive and negative aspects of today’s sports reporters and columnists. The first thing the author mentions is that beat writers should report exclusively and not offer their opinion on their beat; it is their job to provide facts not opinion. 
   I do agree with this statement I would rather form my own opinion based on the fats I get from the person who closely follows the team I’m reading about. His next point is that a columnist should be an authority on the subject their column covers but too often enough research is not done. I also agree with this point, when reading a column I hope to as much new knowledge as I can and so I hope the writer can throw a ton of information at me. 
  The article's author contends that the 24 hour news cycle has killed unique sports stories. Reporters are so driven to get every piece news out first that they sacrifice doing player profiles or investigative pieces. As an audience member those are the types of stories im more likely to read and more of them can only be good. He fears that younger journalists are learning to do everything, from shooting video, editing photos, creating podcasts and reporting via social media, and that this could lead to a lack in quality reporting skills in the traditional sense. This is contrary to what we learn at the University of Tennessee but I do think it is interesting that someone is challenging that point.

Source -  What's Right and What's Wrong with Sports Media Reporters and Columnists,  Sports Media Journal.

(some editing by BJB)

RockStar Radio Network Set to Launch November

Post contributed by Zuri Walker -

  Former personal manager for Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses), Craig Duswalt is set to launch his new radio network, RockStar Radio Network November 28, 2011. The network will encompass over 50 live radio shows along with podcasts, re-podcasts, and cd like quality sound, live commercials and more. Duswalt’s goal is to teach others how to become “Rockstars” in their own industries. Specialty shows will be hosted in topics such as health, business, pop culture, education and much more. Duswalt hopes with the launch of the new network entrepreneurs will be able to get their message and ideas out to others. 
  With a background in the music and marketing industries, this network looks to have a huge impact on listeners and hopefully will benefit them in more ways than one. Listeners will be able to access this network this November at www.RockStarRadioNetwork.com.

Google’s new iOS app a direct challenge?

  Google released an improved app for Apple’s iOS that could well become a threat to Apple and Safari’s control of web-surfing on the iPad.
  The updated Google app significantly improved on the basic search process, coming much closer to the kind of ‘instant search’ users experience on computers and laptops.  It has voice search capability, and integrates a dynamically served search results that evolves with keyword entry.  However, the real integration is with the applications button, which gives the user access to the full Google suite of Web apps, including Gmail, Picasa, Google Earth, Blogger, YouTube, Reader, News and Google Docs – which lets you open and edit documents saved across the various Google platforms.  As such, the new Google for iPad is approaching the functionality and integration of an alternative desktop on the iPad.
  As long as Apple’s iOS interface remains a collection of discrete apps, the new Google for iPad may provide a strong alternative for those seeking the kind of integration promised in the iCloud.

Source -  Google’s Trojan App,  Mobile Insider

A Digital Rubber Stamp - Printbrush

Post contributed by Zuri Walker -

In 2000, Alex Breton was approached to create an invention by Europe’s largest rubber-stamp company seeking a way to link with the digital world. Rather than creating a new rubber-stamp, Breton produced what is now the world’s smallest handheld printer, the PrintBrush. The device is capable of printing on any surface, does not require paper and weighs less than nine ounces.  It achieves the function of a rubber stamp - replicating content on multiple surfaces anywhere, anytime - while allowing the image or message to be changed instantly.
  While it took ten years to perfect the original model, it quickly provoked interest in Europe. A newer model, A4, which will print color and contain a camera for better printing of images, is set to release 2012.

Social Media and Sports

Post contributed by Tate Russell -

Jonathan Lee recently contributed a post to the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society blog about the benefits of social media in sports. The blog mentions how athletes and sports organizations are increasing their activity on social media sites to increase their popularity among their fan bases.   
  According to the blog over 400 million people use facebook and it is an incredible tool to communicate with fans. It was mentioned that during the 2009 NBA finals the Boston Celtics tweeted the events of the game for up to 50,000 followers. This is important in how it relates to media because the Celtics have to have a member of their staf who can competently and effectively communicate to the masses. 
  We also are seeing increases in the sports organizations making announcements via social media and communicating with fans. These statements are often critiqued by media outlets and so it is advantageous for these organizations to have staff members who understand how media will react to statements. This allows sports organizations to communicate with as little media backlash as possible because of the people they hire with knowledge of communicating through these outlets. 
   Athletes also employ individuals to help them effectively communicate through social media. Shaquille O’neal is one of the most active athletes to use Twitter. He has been known to tweet fans hi s location and tell them the first person to meet him will receive free tickets. O’neal hired the Sports Media Challenge based in charlotte to help him best use social media in a way that will create positive public relation between himself and his fans. When the blog was published Sports Media Challenge had helped him earn 2 million followers.

Source - Benefits of Social Media in Sports,  National Sports and Entertainment Law Society blog

Photo Sharing with Color

Post contributed by Summer Johnson -

In March 2011, the first Color apps for smartphones debuted. Color is a new picture sharing app that connects multiple smartphones within a certain range to digitally share and sync photos in real time. The app then sorts pictures of individual events in a timeline and shares them with the nearby synced phones.
  Although Color meant to revolutionize picture sharing and connect more people in an exclusive interactive way, some believe it gives users too little privacy. In an article for Forbes, Andy Greenberg, reports security researcher and Veracode chief technology officer Chris Wysopal  had already hacked Color the night it debuted. By using an iPad hacked to allow third party applications in combination with another app, FakeLocation, Wysopal was able to change his own geographic location on Color to view all pictures in any geographic location he chose.
  When Greenberg contacted Color’s spokesperson, John Kuch, about the hacking, Kuch explained that Color has never offered privacy, and said that it has always been public.
Although pictures create about 20% more interaction on social networking sites like Facebook (as stated by Buddy Media in Stan Bashmashnikov’s article, The Future of Photo Sharing),  technology may be ahead of itself until applications like Color can offer more privacy to its users.

Sources -  The Future of Photo Sharing,  Social Media Week

Cable Nets doing really, really well

  Research firm SNL Kagan found that many top cable networks did quite well in 2010 – with an average cash flow margin of 41%.  Of the 180 cable networks examined, a few reported net losses, and others (principally sports networks) had high programming rights costs that limited profitability.  Still, Kagan labeled the performance as “amazing.”  They also suggest that profitability will continue to increase, reaching 41.9% in 2011 and 44.9% in 2015.  (Cash flow margins are the percentage of revenues that remain after deducting operating expenses, taxes, and debt payments).
  Kagan estimated that some 30 cable networks had cash flow margins over 50% in 2010, with Nickelodeon leading the way at 64.6% (all those reruns are pretty cheap).  Local Scripps Network’s Food Network ran a 60% margin and HGTV came in at a reported 57%.  Cable news channels Fox, CNBC and CNBC World were in the over 50% club.
  Kagan projected that by 2015, 58 cable networks would achieve cash flow margins of 50% or more, with another 61 falling in the 40-50% range.  That would mean that 2/3s of the networks considered would have cash flow margins over 40%.
  While these numbers are high, they are within historic media profit margins, at least until the last couple of decades.  Large market daily newspapers often showed cash flow margins in the 25-40% range in the ‘good old days’, and still average in the 15-20% range.  At least until competition increased with the rise of digital media. Top market network-affiliate television stations almost uniformly had cash flow margins in the 50-75% range, and cable systems had cash flow margins around 40%, until the debt service piled up in the mergers & acquisitions frenzy starting in the mid 1980s, combined with the need for network rebuilds and upgrades, ate up most of the cash flow for the larger MSOs.  But today, it looks like the business to be in will be in focused networks.

Source -  An Amazing Story of Cable Network Margins,  Broadcasting & Cable

NBC joins Sports Fray

Post contributed by Tate Russell -

Today NBC sports announced that they will begin NBC Sports Fight Night starting in January hosting quarterly boxing events. Within this announcement it was also noted that NBC will rebrand their sports network Versus as NBC Sports. NBC is looking to reintroduce boxing as a mainstream sport where it has not been since the 1970’s. They are setting out to create exciting and completive fights in the hopes of becoming an authority in boxing coverage. Having content like this will be integral for the success of the rebranded NBC sports that will become a 24/7 sports network intended to compete with media giant ESPN. NBC Sports has already absorbed the online content of Versus. 
  The complete change will be implemented on January 2nd. The first major event NBC Sports will broadcast will be on January 7th with the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs. Sporting events NBC traditionally broadcast on their primary network like Notre Dame football, the NHL, and Sunday Night Football will carry the NBC sports brand similar to ESPN on ABC sporting events. What makes this important is that it could mean that ESPN has a legitimate competitor in the 24/7 sports news network. NBC has the resources to compete with ESPN and already has deals with the NHL and may expand their role with the NFL. With the addition of primetime and high level boxing they could become an emerging presence in sports media.

Sources -  NBC Sports Group Presents Fight Night Boxing Series,  Sports Media News

They're dreaming of an iChristmas

Post contributed by Alex Aubuchon -

Anyone wondering about Apple's dominance in the tablet computer and phone markets needs to look no further than Nielsen's latest market research into the Christmas wish lists of children aged 6 to 12.
  Apple products took the top 3 spots for popularity – 44% of children surveyed wanted an iPad (compared to 25% who wanted a non-iPad tablet computer), 30% wanted an iPod Touch (with no data reported on a percentage that wanted another mp3 player; assumed to be less than 10%), and 27% wanted an iPhone (compared to 19% who wanted a non-iPhone smartphone and 12% who wanted a basic mobile phone).
  I believe this ubiquity of Apple products on childrens' wish lists is mainly due to Apple's incredibly effective branding and marketing strategies. People just KNOW what an iPad is, what it does, what to expect from it, whereas consumers have to read and carefully compare between other tablet PCs such as the Blackberry Playbook, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, and the dozens of other Android-powered tablets all competing for a share of the tablet market. Because of the wide variety of models for a similar product, no one tablet has been able to market even half as effectively as the iPad (although it should be noted that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the only Android-powered tablet I could name, due to its aggressive marketing strategy in recent months).
  Nielsen's research also yields some more interesting revelations for holiday shoppers this year – Nintendo's 3DS will likely prove to be a more popular device than initially predicted, with 30% of children adding them to their wish lists. And older Nintendo models still hold lots of clout with the children's market, with older DS models beating out the Playstation Portable 22% to 10%.
  And in the world of motion-based gaming, the Kinect for Xbox 360 is the clear leader, with 23% appearance compared to 11% for the Nintendo Wii and just 10% for the Playstation Move. Due to the lackluster interest in the Move and the vast improvement of the current state of PC gaming hardware compared to the hardware in the current generation of game consoles, I believe a new iteration of the Sony Playstation could be coming sooner than many expect.

Source:  US Kids Looking Forward to 'iHoliday' 2011, Nielsenwire blog

Update - In table format -
Source -  The Apple of Their EyeMedia Post Research Brief

Interest in Buying in Next 6 Months (% of Respondents by Age Group)
Product % of Ages 6-12 Interested in Buying % Ages 13+ Interest in Buying
iPad Touch
Tablet computer
Nintendo 3DS
Kinect for Xbox 360
Nintendo DS/DSI/DS Lite
Television set
Smartphone (non iPhone)
Sony Play Station3/PS3 Slim
Blu-Ray player
Microsoft X-Box 360
Other mobile phone
Nintendo Wii
PlayStation Move
PlayStation Portable
Source: Nielsen, October/November 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blackberry Playbook's e-mail client sneak peek

Post contributed by Zuri Walker -                                                       

Most analysts were puzzled when Blackberry launched their entry into the tablet wars, the Blackberry PlayBook, without a native email-client, calendar, or contact manager (basically the things business professionals buy a Blackberry for).   However, screenshots of the new services were spotted at a Blackberry Innovation Forum held by Research In Motion or RIM. The software is not set to update to the Playbook system until February 2012. Blackberry users were very surprised to see screenshots of the email-client in action being as though they received no notice via email, contact or calendar manager. The current Playbook’s base model was set at a price under $200 at Best Buy and has not created much interest against competitors such as the iPad2. However, the updated version is set to include an Andriod app converter.

Source -  Blackberry PayBook's long-awaited email client spotted in new screenshotsSlashgear.com

Photo Tech - Liquid Lens

Post contributed by Summer Johnson -

Technology has broken another barrier in photography with the design of the liquid lens. Although the liquid lens has been around for some time, the technology was produced only on a high-power scale. Recently, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY, have developed a low-power liquid lens for small point and shoot cameras with only two drops of water that change shape by use of sound waves.
  The use of a liquid lens benefits small cameras because it allows them to focus without any moving parts (like the zoom on a camera) or repositioning.
  Researchers test the lens by a long method involving filling the lens with water, locking it in a pressure chamber, and generating sound waves into the chamber.  The sound waves reform the surface of the liquid in the lens to create an image. Their findings lead researchers to believe cameras that use liquid lenses “could take tens of pictures at the press of a button and let software sort out the one that’s most in focus.”
  Although researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have only produced low quality images, they plan on upping their quality by using a different liquid in the lens. Some companies, like Phillips and Varioptic, have already produced these lenses for small cameras and camera phone; however the same liquid lens technology has been used in a high-power form for biomedicine device that finds lesions underneath skin. 

Sources -   Low-Power Liquid Lens, Technology Review

Even $299 too much for Google ChromeBook

Post contributed by Alex Aubuchon -

Google recently announced that it is dropping the price of its ChromeBook laptop computer to $299, just in time for the holidays.
   The ChromeBook, manufactured by both Samsung and Acer, is essentially a web browser with a screen and keyboard. The computer doesn't have a traditional operating system; instead, its “Chrome OS” pseudo-operating system just runs the Google Chrome web browser, through which the entire computer operates. This means there is no software installed on the computer. Chrome's selection of apps functions as software, all of which is stored through the user's Google account.
   The obvious drawback to this system is that it essentially requires an Internet connection to function. ChromeBooks do support both WiFi and 3G internet, but if you're separated from the Internet for any reason, there's precious little the machine can do – Google has created a Gmail offline app that allows users to read and manage their mailbox while offline; Google Calendar and Google Docs have similar offline functionality, but other than those three applications, there is little a ChromeBook user can do offline.
   Even at $299, the ChromeBook is a tough sell. For around the same price, buyers could get themselves an older model Samsung Galaxy Tab, offering similar functionality with the ability to use Android apps offline. And for just a hundred dollars more, an array of tablet computing options open up, including the industry-leading iPad 2. The Kindle Fire is also in the running as a ChromeBook alternative at only $199. And for $300, a savvy buyer can find themselves a host of true Windows netbooks and laptops, each of which offers infinitely more functionality.
  Google seems to be targeting prospective tablet buyers with this product, offering essentially a tablet with a full keyboard in a single unit. But if it looks like a laptop and has the portability of a laptop, it should have laptop functionality as well.

Sources -  Google drops price of ChromebookWashington Post.com
Google product page

Theaters switching to digital projectors

Post contributed by Jacob Haskew -

As technology increases some older technology, as trustworthy it may be, would eventually become outdated. The digital projector is now the front runner in movie cinemas over the 35-millimeter film projector. After 122 years of being the projector, it is quickly being replaced by digital. 
  In a study by the IHS, film projectors were in more than 99% of theaters in 2004 and 85% 2009. What changed the game in the projector protocol was the Movie Avatar. Due to the success of the movie, many theaters would not want to be without them especially considering the future possibilities of movies. This could be a good move for theaters because in the future digital formats would be cheaper than rolling film. The technology would be easier to use than training employees how to properly handle film and transcribe it. Digital formats require less upkeep and simplifies things possibly meaning the theater would not need as many employees, potentially increasing their bottom dollar. I liked film projectors but its good to see the movie industry keep up with the times.

Growth of Hispanic Markets

Post contributed by Richard Graves  (some expansion by Ben Bates) -

Companies currently marketing toward Hispanics are seeing revenues increase more than companies who are not.  A study by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies suggests that those who include Hispanic-targeted marketing proportionally see significant benefits.  This information can be a boon to people who decide to start marketing to Hispanics:
  However, the study also showed that only 5% of total print, radio and TV marketing budgets are directed to Hispanic media outlets, while Hispanics account for 14% of adults in the U.S.  What's worse is that more than half of the top 500 agencies currently spend less than 1% of their budget on marketing to Hispanics.
  This suggests that there is a huge upside to the potential of Hispanic marketing in the U.S. It's an underutilized market that media with declining revenues could take advantage of.  And it's a market that is not likely to subside soon.

Source -  Increased Spending on Hispanic Ads Boosts Marketers' Revenue, AJAA Survey Says,  AdAge.com

Apple turns iPhones into recording studios

Post contributed by Alex Aubuchon -

Earlier this month, Apple released a new version of their GarageBand software for iOS – creating a version of their popular music production software that is compatible with the iPhone 4 and 4S. 
  GarageBand has been available on iPad and iPad 2 since March of this year, and consistently amazed reviewers by allowing them to compose music in just a few button clicks, and with no prior musical experience whatsoever.  And yes, the GarageBand app has loads of features with the casual user in mind. Smart instruments allow for computer-generated drum tracks, melodies, and backing chords based on a few parameters designated by the user, and these allow anyone to effortlessly compose music.
  But the app provides plenty of appeal for the serious musician as well, with features such as drum machines, a full-fledged guitar amp modeler, sampler, audio recorder, and an 8 track non-linear mixing studio all in one. It’s features like these that have attracted attention from several high profile musicians – for example, Bjork’s latest album Biophilia was partly recorded and mixed on the iPad version of Garageband.
  The app’s appeal isn’t limited to musicians, though. A fully functioning audio recorder and 8-track mixer means that anyone can record and edit professional quality audio on the fly. This could be of use to field journalists, who could simply plug in a microphone, recording and editing SoT’s without ever needing to access a laptop.
  The fact that a non-linear audio editor can function on today’s smartphones means that a non-linear video editing application such as iMovie (which, by the way, is also available on iPad and iPad 2 currently) could be ported to smartphones in the near future. And when that happens, journalists will be able to record and edit audio AND video using solely their smartphones – transitioning from a “backpack journalist” to a “back pocket journalist” – and at only $5 for the full GarageBand software, it won’t break the newsroom’s bank either.

Sources -  Hands-on with GarageBand for iPhone: 8-track studio in your pocketArs Technica
GarageBand for iPhone: First Hands-On ImpressionsWired.com

Big Ten Goes Mobile

The Big Ten Network has just released an app for the Apple iPhone and iPad that will give users access to live games, as well as access to on-demand access to its video archive.  The new channel, called BTN2go, will work as part of the 'TV Everywhere" initiative, which means that users will need to have authenticated access to the Big Ten Network through their cable or DBS provider.  So far, Dish Network and DirecTV have joined cable MSOs Time Warner, Charter, and Bright House in offering access to BTN2go.
"As mobile technology has advanced, BTN2Go is what our fans are asking for," said Mark Silverman, president of BTN. "BTN2Go gives authenticated subscribers the option to watch BTN while away from home at no additional cost."

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Connected TV Growth, Globally

A new study of some 3,000 consumers in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. suggests there is strong viewer interest in, and adoption of, "connected TV" devices.  Global consulting firm Bain & Co. recently released a study predicting that in 2014, 60% of households will have TVs with some form of Internet connection.
  The study's lead researcher suggested that while interest and adoption levels were strong, there was little room for additional revenue gains, unless new business models and new forms of content emerge.
  "The permanent media revolution continues," said Patrick Behar. "But media and entertainment companies must pursue aggressive content development and diversification strategies to unlock new consumer spending."  The study showed strong interest in shorter form videos, as long as viewers did not have to pay for them.  Interest in "webisodes" was significantly higher in Asian markets, with about three-quarters of respondents in China and India expressing interest.  Further, much of the expressed interest would replace traditional TV viewing.
  The study also found strong interest in using connected devices for game playing, with more than 60% of current players indicating that they would likely increase their game playing with connected devices.  Further, there's a huge generational gap, with those under 35 more than twice as likely as those over 55 to see their game playing activities increase.

Dish Network makes Blockbuster deal

Post contributed by Monica Newman -

Dish network has partnered up with Blockbuster to allow customers to receive access to Blockbuster’s movie pass with a Dish Network subscription. It is an additional $10 to customers and with it you get access to movies on your TV and computer, movies sent to you through the mail or you can pick them up from a local Blockbuster store. Blockbuster claims that they receive movies before Netflix and Redbox.
  This deal could be huge for both Dish Network and Blockbuster. Dish Network has been losing customers to DirecTV and Blockbuster has suffered with the competition of Netflix and Redbox.

Source -  Dish Network, Blockbuster unveil Blockbuster Movie Pass all-inclusive entertainment service,  engadget.com

[I'll note that the subscription rate of $10 is higher than both Netflix's and Amazon's streaming rates, but lower than the new combined by-mail and streaming Netflix fees.  Ben Bates]

Tips For Interviews

Post contributed by Austin Moyers -

Here are a few interview tips for sports hosts from Talkers.com  -
  • You don’t always have to over prepare questions for interviewees. It doesn’t hurt to come into the interview a native curiosity. However, a good middle ground for interviewing is to ask the basic questions and follow up accordingly. This also establishes a natural rhythm to the interview, and makes it easier to ease into the more serious issues you may have with your interviewee.
  • There is no need to establish your own credentials with a subject. It can lead to citing your own opinions rather than inquiring to the interviewee.
  • If you fear the interviewee is going on to much, and could be boring your audidence, it is alright to interrupt the person. Make sure you do it the right way though. Be polite and respectful.
  • Most of your audience probably already knows your own views. There is no need to truncate a quest’s reply.
  • Lastly, be careful about arguing a point with your guest. Sometimes this makes for great radio or television, but you run the risk of drowning out interesting comments by those who are actually on the front line.
[I'll add my own summary interview tip - in interviews, be more of a listener than a talker.  Pose the question, but then get out of the way, and listen to the response rather than thinking about what your next question will be.  Ben Bates]

Source -  Interview tips for sports hostsTalker.com

Should news by a public good?

Post contributed by Jonathan Guess -

In a recent article Trevor Buttworth, a writer for Forbes.com, predicted that the mindset about journalism will be shifting shapes in the near future. And the reasons for this are a bit more complicated than one would think at first glance. Recent performance by the the democratic system and the US government in general has left many people very unhappy with the way our system is working.
  People are not buying into the mass media bias anymore. We all realize that we have to take all of the news we get from mega-outlets like Fox News and MSNBC. The bias is as obvious as the sky is blue; so where are we going to go for good, unbiased news in these modern times where there are so many different sources?
  The where isn't what I'm trying to get at, its the why. Why are people changing their perceptions of the importance of journalism? It is "a public good, not a private good. It is," said Buttworth "like military defense, physical infrastructure, education, public health, and basic research.... it is something society requires, and people want, but the market cannot generate in sufficient quantity or quality. It requires government leadership to exist."
   Who'd a thunk it, journalism doing what it is supposed to do, state the facts no matter what they might be or who they may be about. We can only hope that this is where journalism progresses, as a policing tool in stead of a money making machine. After all, keeping the government in check will bring in the big bucks anyways. So why not?

Source -  The Future of JournalismForbes.com

Barnes & Noble Enters Tablet Fray

Post contributed by Betsey Poore -

The new Nook Tablet, which was originally planned to be released on November 18, will now be released on Wednesday November 16. This applies to both customers who have pre-ordered the Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet for in-store pick-up and for those who chose to have it shipped to them. 
  The Nook Tablet is priced at $249 which is significantly less than Apple’s iPad, but still not as inexpensive as Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet plans on making money the same way that Amazon plans on making money through the Kindle Fire—an online store.
  The Kindle Fire, which was expected to be shipped out on November 15, was actually shipped out a day early, on November 14. Amazon officials said that the Kindle Fire was shipped out early to keep up with the high demand.
  “We’re thrilled to be able to ship Kindle Fire to our customers earlier than we expected,” Dave Linp, Vice President for Kindle at Amazon.
  It is clear that the release of both the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire anticipate big sale numbers this holiday season.  This raises the question of who will compete. Is the Kindle Fire going to try and compete with the much more expensive iPad, or will its biggest competitor be the Nook Tablet?

Sources -  Nook Tablet shipped earlyMashable.com:
Kindle Fire shipped early,   Mashable.com

Amazon's Expanding Prime

Post contributed by Nick Spooner -

Amazon is so confident about Prime, that they are willing to lose million of dollars each year. Currently Prime costs $79 a year for the quick shipping program.
   So will Amazon's loyalty to their program payoff? With so many other options of online shopping analysts believe it will not. Not to mention the likelyhood of Amazon users to spend the $79 of shipping each year.   
  But the benefit of using Prime for amazon users can be drastic. You can obtain a digital book-lending service for those Prime customers who also have a Kindle reading device. So basically Amazon is trying to build a product that requires one of their products to base off another and so on. From a business point of view, this is genius. But the odds of this happening are slim.
   Right now their are 10 million Amazon Prime subscribers, and Amazon believes this is going to continue to grow. So the opportunity of success is there. Amazon has gone from an online supplier of books to basically an online mall. Even though they are competing with companies like Apple, the opportunity of success is there for those loyal customers they do have and look to obtain.

Source -  Amazon 'Primes' Pump for LoyaltyWall Street Journal

Google Plus - Geared for Grown-ups?

Post contributed by Christopher Thomas -

With the growing phenom that is social networking, many companies are trying to enter a market that has been predominantly owned by the likes of Twitter and Facebook over the past five years. Most networks have minimal success trying to out-whit these social monopolies. That could soon change, however. Google+ entered the market in 2011 with the hopes of offering consumers and advertisers an alternative to traditional social media networking.
  Unlike Facebook, where individuals connect with close friends and relatives, Google+ is more geared, at least for now, toward business networking on a large scale. And its much more complex than Facebook, too. This new site will aim brand pages and companies in a network that has opened in exclusivity to the public. Facebook boasts nearly 800 million users. Google+, conversely, reaches only 40 million. The hope is that frivolous advertisements and a crowded “wall” won’t take over the network. This should allow individuals to find the information they want and connect with the business’s they choose in an effective and efficient manner.
  Sounds easy right? Actually, Google+ has taken an innovative approach to surfing the internet and the network. With the likes of “+” correspondents, YouTube, Android, and Google Chrome, users will be able to directly connect, link, and load a variety of media forms directly through their web browser. Picasa is its photo engine, YouTube its video.
   The hope is that Google+ will find its place within a market that has been dominated as of late. At least for now, their innovative ideas should give them a chance to make an impact soon.
  Only time will tell.

Sources -  Google Plus vs. Facebook: Who's Winning?Huffington Post
Everything You Need to Know About Google Plus and Photos,  Wired.com

"Sports Guys” In Sports Talk

Post contributed by Austin Moyers -

This may come as a disappointment to guys like me who are not athletes but would love to get into sports talk radio, but a lot of people around the nation are calling for more former athletes to be on the shows as opposed to regular people like you and I.
   In a unfortunate way this does make sense. You can turn on any sports talk show and here some Joe ripping apart an athlete for his performance. What does this guy know bout what an athlete goes through? Bringing in more athletes to do the shows brings a more credible opinion to the show.
  However, for the regular sports fan/journalist, this is terrible news because this will take jobs away for us trying to break into the industry. I understand that the everyday sports broadcaster doesn’t fully understand what a current athlete goes through like an former athlete would, but you don’t have to be a former athlete to form a formidable opinion on a player or game.
   Regardless, station managers are looking for more former players to be on air so we’ll see how far this goes down the road.

Source - We need more jocks in sports talk radio (and I don't mean former disc jockeys)Talkers.com

Paton at MediaNewsGroup - A difference maker?

Post contributed by Jonathan Guess -

John Paton took control of MediaNews Group and had visions to make his papers profitable in other ways than going digital like many papers have. It would seem that Paton has used some kind of magic to get his papers to make profits again, which rose almost 200 percent in his first year at the helm in 2009.
  Paton has become known as a great media thinker. He issued Flip cameras to all reporters at Journal Register papers, helped create a newsroom cafe that's open to the community in Torrington, Conn., and has been pushing to dumb ancient proprietary newsroom software in favor of free, Web-based publishing tools. He financed a lab to foster employee innovation, and the company has formed partnerships with a number of Web companies to provide news and information.
  We should expect to see this trend flowing through the rest of the country's papers. Reducing cost and thinking outside of the box when it comes to generating revenue has made men like Paton hot commodities in the news world, a sign that papers may still have a chance if the right people are chosen to lead them.

Source -  Newspapers' Digital ApostleNYTimes.com

Google TV Gets Music App

Post contributed by Monica Newman -

Google has launched a program that lets users play their Google music in the background while they surf the web or use other applications. The application comes just one day after Google launched Google Music. This service syncs with Google cloud which allows users to play their music across their computers or android phones without hassle.
This brings another major player to the table for Google TV. Google TV already integrates YouTube, Google Search, and Google Chrome, among others..
The feature will bring in revenue by featuring advertisements. It is available for download on android phones. 

Source -  Google TV Gets Google Music AppeWeek.com

Slight editing by BJB. For some other Google TV news, check this post.

On Fire, Tablets and Video

A new report from video technology firm Ooyala complements a recent Pew Research Center study of tablet users.  The Pew study focused on how tablets are changing news use patterns and habits, although also reporting that 13% of surveyed tablet users reported regular use of tablets for watching video.
The Ooyala report suggests tablet users average 30% more time spent viewing, compared to those watching Web videos on computers.  In addition, tablet viewers are twice as likely to watch the whole video, suggesting that tablets use is more engaging. Viewers are also more likely to watch longer videos and shows on tablets, reinforcing the idea that  people use tablets and computers differently.

Sources -  Tablet Users Go All The Way with VideoVidBlog
Ooyala,  Videomind Video Index Report, Q3, 2011

Top Ten List - Social for Mobile

Tis the season for Top 10 lists.  Dan Berkowitz has one looking at social media trends for mobile devices (smartphones, tablets).  Why mobile? Research firm Gartner recently projected that in 2015, there will be more mobile connections in the world (7.5 billion) than people (7.2 billion).  Combine that with the expansion of social media and its use, and you have "mobile social" or "social mobile."  Here's his list, with suggestions for apps.
  1. Social fashion - Get your friends' opinions as you shop ( Go Try It On)
  2. Tagging - Share your opinions ( Pinterest)
  3. Social TV - What's better than TV - TV while you're sharing your thoughts (IntoNow)
  4. Getting answers - getting feedback from friends or experts ( Opinionaided)
  5. Personalized recommendations - getting local with GPS  (Foursquare)
  6. Social Local - sharing where you are and discovering what you share (Sonar)
  7. Geo-Gaming - games based on where you are (Traveler’s Quest or Life is Crime)
  8. Augmented Reality - combining the real with the virtual through overlays
  9. Near Field Communication - the potential for direct connections with nearby devices
  10. Facial Recognition - a new use for that built-in camera - "Is that who I think it is?" (Face.com)
It's going to be interesting, to say the least.

Source - Ten Mobile Social Trends For 2012Social Media Insider

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Using CGI Players in Sportscasts

Post submitted by Austin Moyers -

   The days of using chalk boards and drawing circles on the screen to break down a team or player’s game is fading away to new technology. A few years back, researchers at the Innovation Lab at Disney World's recently revamped ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex have developed an easy way for ESPN's on-air basketball analysts to go over plays and interact with virtual versions of NBA players.
   Machinima artists have been using video game engines as cheap and easy ways to animate films. ESPN's tech follows the same principles, using an Xbox 360 and characters rendered from EA Sports' games to create on-air avatars that real-life broadcasters interact with to demonstrate plays and strategies.Now, the same technology is being used by the guys on NFL Live, College Gameday, and various other shows. It is the same basic structure of a video game, but the players are being added onto the screen with the analysts. This gives the audience more of an interactive feel than they have ever had before. Also, in this day and age, video game players being on the screen is sure to attract more attention than a chalk board.

Source - High-Tech Sports Broadcast Technology Uses CG Players for ESPN AnalysisPopular Mechanics

3D-TV Technology In Sports

Post submitted by Austin Moyers -

   The first real strides in filming sports is underway. The attempts have not been so easy however. So far, the fast pace of the games have proved troublesome for the technology. However, as we all know, technology is always advancing.
  As it improves, people are starting to jump on board. The Rugby Union appointed 3DLive as Official 3D Broadcaster for the New Zealand tournament The Auckland-based company will deliver a live 3D feed of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Semi-Finals, Bronze Final and Final. The NFL first filmed a game in 3D back in 2008, but they had to beam the game into theatres. Can we get it on our 3D tv’s? Well just last year in England, a soccer match was beamed into nine different pubs, but that still isn’t the level that we are looking for. Well finally in 2010, the NHL was able to stream a game in 3D straight to the home. So now there is obvious advances.
  Now we’re seeing ESPN and other major networks start their own 3D channels. However some critics still don’t love it. There are numerous complaints about the technology not keeping up, and some angle shots are poor in 3D Is it just a passing fad?

Lytro offers light-field camera - A new approach to photography?

Post submitted by Summer Johnson - 

    With every new technology, the world of communication changes. Photography has changed dramatically in the last ten years with innovative technology introduced to the masses like digital cameras and photo altering software. Photography will change again in 2012 with the introduction of the first light-field camera, the Lytro Camera.
    Stanford University captured the first light fields 15 years ago by using an advanced supercomputer with multiple cameras attached to it. They have finally condensed the technology into a portable camera that will be produced for the masses in 2012. The Lytro Camera is special because it captures an entire light field whereas normal cameras only catch a single light plane. A light field is “all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.” (lytro.com) The Lytro camera catches these light fields with a Light Field Sensor and a Light Field Engine 1.0. The Light Field Sensor captures 11 million light rays in a single picture. The Light Field Engine 1.0, created by algorithms, mimics the original supercomputer Stanford used in its research labs, and replaces many small camera parts in traditional cameras with powerful software that records the color, intensity and vector direction of the light rays.
    These two pieces of technology will allow users to focus there photos “after-the-fact” on their camera screens or on their computers later. Because this camera focuses photos later, it eliminates the need for an auto-focus motor most cameras have. The auto-focus motor usually causes delays in the shutter speed, which can cause the “perfect moment” to slip away in a thousandth of a second. The elimination of shutter lag can also improve the quality of photos in low light setting. Lytro Inc. also claims that capturing light fields instead of planes will allow users to switch between 2D and 3D views.
    This new technology will change the way photographers are viewed forever. Before the Lytro camera, when cameras were first developed, it took several hours to get one exposure of a photo that eventually faded off the page. New technology led to a permanent photo that still took multiple hours to create. (Think of all the old black and white photos of people not smiling and staring at the camera. They couldn’t hold their smiles for the time it took to create an exposure.) Long story short, technology led to cameras that required consideration to lighting, shutter speeds, aperture and focus. These key elements are what photographers spent so many years learning and perfecting to produce a “good picture”. When the public has access to a camera that does it all for them, it lessens the need for professional photographers. Society will no longer need the knowledge or experience from the professional photographers; they will have at their finger tips with a single-button light-field camera and their computer. 
    The technology will revolutionize picture taking. Imagine an iconic photo, Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, for example. What if Lange had accidentally had her camera out of focus just a little bit? The focal length was just a little short. It would not matter if she had a Lytro camera. She would have just snapped the picture and gone about her merry way. There would have been no consideration, no skill and no passion behind the photo--just another snap shot.  Or what about the photo of Jack Ruby shooting JFK’s alleged shooter Lee Harvey Oswald in the alleyway? What if the photographer had his camera focused on the bricks of the alley instead of Ruby shooting Oswald? The Lytro camera could fix that without any the knowledge and skill required to take such a picture at such an unexpected event.
    The Lytro camera is a disgrace to professional photographers, all their years of knowledge, skill, training and experience they use each time they create beautiful and shocking images remembered by all, forever. It celebrates amateur photography by sprucing it up with some powerful software, and disregarding the passion the real photographer expresses when behind the camera. The Lytro Camera debuts in early 2012 in three vibrant colors starting at $399, and the software is included.

Source - Lytro unveils radical new camera designcNet News

Ed. - The Lytro is a new means of capturing images as a 3-D field rather than a focused plane.  It allows the photographer the ability to also extract 2-D focus planes (i.e. normal photography) from the 3-D image.  And it still requires a photographer's eye to frame and select what points of time to capture a picture.  I see it more as extending a photographer's toolbox rather than being dismissive of professional photographers.  For a more significant impact of technology on photojournalism, check this earlier post. -BJBates
I left the title off of first version - now added.

Oregon to test iPad Voting app

Post submitted by Nick Spooner -

  Oregon has become the first state in the nation to allow voters to use the Ipad for voting. They are trying to use it for senior citizens and the disabled. This is not the first time that apps have been created for voting purposes. As with all technology, convenience is the key factor in allowing those people in need to use the Ipad.
  One factor that they also have put into consideration, is the fact that it is much cheaper to do this type of voting then the system that the state was using. Whenever you can save the government money, it is always a plus.
  This type of system is a test to see how it could possibly work for the nation as a whole. If it goes well, then it might be adopted by many other states.
  This is just another example of how technology has changed decades of tradition. Can you imagine voting in the next election on an electronic tablet? I would never have imagined 4 years ago, but in today's society dominated by technology and convenience, anythings possible.

Source -  Oregon the First to use iPad for touch screen votingCNN.com
Ed. Note - The story is about using iPads as a portable touchscreen voting device rather than people being able to vote on their own iPads.