Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Techdirt's Mike Masnick

I recently had a nice visit with one of my favorite tech analysts and bloggers: Mike Masnick of Techdirt.

techdirt

While Masnick’s company consults with companies on a range of tech-related issues, which it discloses, it manages to use its site to do hard-hitting and pungent analysis of many top issues–often taking aim at the practices of its own clients. In fact, Techdirt is often more honest and insightful than some sites that have no such affiliations.

Here is his tough take on the recent MTV abandonment of its Urge music service and deal with RealNetworks, for example, which cuts right to the chase:

MTV has had an awful lot of trouble over the years trying to become the MTV of the Internet. It seems that the company rested on its TV laurels for way too long, and then totally misunderstood what the online world wanted, originally insisting that its archive of video would make it a player in the space. More recently, it tried to get into the music download business, but offered a me-too package that wasn’t even remotely compelling. Almost no one used it. So, it should come as no surprise that MTV is now killing off its Urge music offering, that was launched together with Microsoft, and instead focusing on a new joint venture with RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music service. Of course, once again, it’s going to face the same questions as before about what differentiates this from anything else out there, and once again, it seems likely that MTV won’t have a very good answer.”

And, in this video, Masnick talks about the recalcitrance of old-media companies to come around fast enough, even after all this time, to the realities of the digital age:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik