Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Mark Cuban Already Knows How to Tap Dance

Oh how very delicious comes the news that once obstreperous Internet entrepreneur and now obstreperous Mavericks owner Mark Cuban might appear as a contestant on the guilty-pleasure television show “Dancing With the Stars.”

According to Sports Illustrated, Cuban might join–I have truly died and gone to heaven–singer Wayne Newton and “Beverly Hills, 90210″ star Jennie Garth in the reality show phenomenon, which is actually a pretty tough challenge once you get beyond all that glittery spandex tight pants flaunting and focus on the difficulty of learning how to dance that well in front of huge audiences.

cuban

Of course, the Internet chattering class has been more riveted by Cuban’s recent “fight” with VC Fred Wilson and really the whole of the digerati, after he basically said the Internet was “dead and boring” in a post on his Blog Maverick site. (Cuban is pictured above almost perfectly.)

He actually only used those terms to get people all pissed off–a typical Cuban tactic–in this post, but was actually making a great point about the Net becoming a utility and how that is a good thing.

I would agree. Just because I did not ooh and ahh over the fact that my blow dryer was powered by the electrical grid this morning does not make it any less amazing.

It’s just there, as Cuban notes about the Net now, writing, “The days of the Internet creating explosively exciting ideas are dead for the foreseeable future.”

He does go a little far in saying that the Web is not evolving (maybe not as dramatically, but it does still change more drastically than most mediums and will change much more in the years ahead).

But, ever the fight-picker, he came back yesterday with another juicy one right to the kisser of Silicon Valley–which did, to be fair, hand over a fortune to him for his (let’s be kind, shall we?) nascent Broadcast.com many years ago.

Still, who can match Cuban’s frenetic defense of his incessant Web use (all punctuation and spelling as he wrote it):

Ive been inundated with spam on Myspace. Used flicker. Used Digg for sourcing news and laughed at the unending ridiculousness of its posters. Used and posted to Youtube, Google Video, DailyMotion, Veoh, Flickr, Slideshare, used every bittorrent client, got bored with twitter after 7 minutes, signed up for other findme, find you, this is where I am, this is where you are, type app I could find, and the lists go on and on. I read techmeme, techcrunch, extremetech, and tons of other tech sites and I make a point to try every and any new site that seems the least bit plausible or interesting. I spend far far too much time on the net just to make sure I keep up and know whats going on.”

Having covered Cuban back in the day and interviewed him onstage at the very first D: All Things Digital conference, this was a nice reminder of what a pleasure it was to cover such a right-back-at-you character.

In other words, Jennie Garth better be very careful or she is sure to get a sharp elbow to the midsection very, very soon. Wayne Newton is, of course, doomed.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald