Earlier this week, I wrote about the negative impacts of the Internet on society. Today’s news chum deals with a similar subject: the impacts of the Internet and technologies on industry and academia:
- Let’s Go To The Movies… Let’s Go To A Picture Show. Technology is having a big impact on your local theater. The model is changing: people have discovered there are many different ways to go see a movie. The theater an aging industry that’s been run more or less the same way for generations, and it’s competing with a host of technologies and distribution channels that make it unnecessary to schlep to the multiplex at a set time. But strangely the business is hanging in there, largely due to big-budget, multiple-picture franchises. People are going to the newer theaters, impacting older multiplexes. Even then, the industry tend is towards upscale theaters with reservations, plush seating, drinks, and other fancy amenities. This is raising ticket prices to between $18 and $20, with even higher prices for 3D movies. People wonder why I go to so much live theatre, and I tell them I can get tickets usually for prices comparable to movies (especially through services such as Goldstar). I’m paying $17.50, with service charges, for tickets to Company in North Hollywood. Why go to the theater when the theatre is so cheap!
- You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio. The movie theater isn’t the only place impacted by radio. Modern technologies, such as satellite radio, Internet radio, and MP3 players are killing terrestrial radio, which is increasing seeing commerical bloat… which further drives people away. You can’t easily get portable radios these days (when was the last time you saw someone listening to a “transistor radio”); the primary listening place for radio now is the automobile. And even auto manufacturers are moving away from AM and FM — for example, new Fords will be able to play music off the Amazon Cloud. Radio will soon only be used for traffic reports and news, and that is most likely only because Google News and Google Traffic Maps makes one take their eyes off the road. These changes also have an effect on artists: as music streaming has grown, artists have seen their royalties drop (because the streaming services don’t pay the same royalties as radio).
- In The Classroom. Even the classroom isn’t immune. The Daily Cal at UC Berkeley has an interesting article on how the classroom is being transformed. Large lecture sessions are being webcast (my daughter is in one such lecture for her Astronomy class), and interactions with the instructors occurs via Twitter and other mechanisms. Many find this approach liberating; I’d find it annoying.
- Strip Searches and Privacy. Even the lowly power strip is not immune. DARPA has funded a power strip that can be used as a launching point for network attacks. Presumably, this is via the power protection for the network lines or people using networking over electrical wiring, but still…. (and in a related article, it appears the LA Times at one point was serving malware off their deals site, but isn’t anymore). The “smart” powerstrip could conceivably monitor what you do as well. But privacy is at risk from many things… from proposed car black boxes to those e-readers that people like so much.