Not Giving Up On The Great Google Prophecy

You can read a far more brilliant analysis by Greg Rose on why the punditry on the trickle of data from the 700 MHz auction is all wrong here. Briefly, Greg maintains that this slow convergence on the reserve price over several weeks of bidding is what to expect from a serious auction, and that the failure of parties to bid heavily on C or D Block in the early rounds with so much activity going on in the smaller blocks is a sign of a strong auction to come. Little players on the side are active for the specific licenses that they want, while the large bidders slowly stalk each other up to the reserve price on the major block.

For me, having stacked much on the Great Google Prophecy, I will cheerfully admit to being too close to things to judge objectively. But here are two tidbits of food for thought.

1) Google CEO Eric Schmidt made the evolution of the wireless net a centerpiece of his speech at Davos. How likely is it that Google CEO would hype the importance of wireless if they were not planing to win licenses?

2) Most analysts predicted Google would come in, bid the reserve price for C Block, and leave. They haven’t. So far, no one has bid the reserve price for C Block. Instead, the price has crept up gradually. Now it could be that Google will only bid high if it must, for fear of getting stuck with licenses it doesn’t want. But if that is the case, why show up at all? “To save face with the FCC?” Yes, but we will know after the auction when the identities of bidders and round by round information is revealed if Google never bid. So the “save face” excuse doesn’t really hold water. Rather, it seems likely that they are bidding like everyone else, i.e., like bidders that want to win.

Straws in the wind, perhaps. But no worse than the straws of data everyone else is trying to spin into gold.

Stay tuned . . . .

My letter to the Today Show about Coulter

Well, I don’t get telvision in my home, and I haven’t seen the Today Show in 25 years, so I don’t suppose I could threaten to stop watching. Anyway, here’s the letter I sent to the Today Show on the occasion of the latest outrage by Republican shill Ann Coulter. I haven’t gotten a response yet.

NBC and the Today Show’s producers know well by now that Ann Coulter is an inflamatory hate-monger. That is her schtick; that is what she does: she spews hate and mocks those who are in pain, especially those who are in pain as a result of service to the United States of America.

So now she has slandered the so-called “Jersey Girls”, the group of September 11 widows, who, thrust into a role that none of them sought, and at a great cost that Ms. Coulter is unable to comprehend, being herself neither wife nor mother, have dedicated themselves to the noble task of trying to save us the kind of pain that they have had to endure.

Will NBC apologize for inviting that wretched Coulter onto their show? Will they apologize for condoning and enabling slander?

Most importantly, will the Jersey Girls be given the chance to respond to this hateful, vile, obscene, America-hating, cruel lying harpie, Coulter?

NBC’s producers, and managment, and staff — including you, whoever you are reading this note– bear some measure of responsibility for Coulter’s remarks. Especially the hosts and the producers. Were this the first time that Coulter had done this kind of hateful stunt, you might be excused on the grounds that you didn’t know what a horribly deranged person she is. But you have no excuse now, in June, 2006. Everybody knows that shit-stirring is Coulter’s stock-in-trade. She is a shit-stirrer; that is what she does. If you invite a clown to perform on the the Today Show, you expect a clown’s performance. And if you invite Coulter, you expect coprophilia. Well, congratulations, you’ve made the Today Show into a bucket of shit. You can either accept this situation — who knows, you may love the aroma, may even love painting your face with faeces– or you can attempt to clean and disinfect and air out your studios and your reputation.

For NBC to begin to redeem itself, the Today Show must perforce allow the slandered persons a chance to respond. Under whatever studio conditions they stipulate.

That’s only step one. Other steps towards rehabilitation are evident to any persons possessed of common decency.

Frankly, I have a hard time imagining that the Today Show will ever again be, in my eyes, anything but a moneygrubber’s cesspool. I would be delighted to be proved wrong.


John Sundman
Vineyard Haven, MA

DRM on the brain

Hmm… well, been stumbling over piracy and DRM stories all day, so I figured I’d pass along the joy.

First up, Cory Doctorow does the Daniel in the lions’ den thing and tries to convince the folks at Microsoft that anti-piracy techniques like Digital Rights Management are ineffective and worse, (from Microsoft’s standpoint) bad for business. It makes a good primer for many of the issues being discussed regarding copyrights, copy protection, and the full-court press by the RIAA and MPAA to legislate away some of the American citizen’s rights, because they are inconvenient.

Meanwhile, back in the other Washington, Orrin Hatch (well known composer and sometimes legislator) is introducing a bill that might make any device that could be used to violate copyrights illegal. As with most other cases these days, this one is sold as vital to protect our children (which is, of course, just behind preventing terrorism as the excuse du jour for taking away your rights).