Wednesday, September 01, 2004


More Jack Valenti Nonsense

Jack Valenti on broadband technology:

If everything stayed just as it is right now, we could probably survive it, because even with broadband it takes at least an hour to bring down a movie. But I visited the labs at Caltech, and they’re running an experiment called FAST where they can bring down a DVD-quality movie in 5 seconds. The director told me it could be operative in the market in 18 months. Well, my face blanched.

Of course old Jack didn't realize that they probably had it plugged into a 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface. FAST is nothing more than some minor alleviation for TCP congestion....

Another howler from the interview:
What would you say to a mom who wants to make a backup of her kids’ DVD movies?
When you go to your department store and you buy 10 Cognac glasses and two weeks later you break two of them, the store doesn’t give you two backup copies. Where did this backup copy thing come from? A digital thing lasts forever.

Uh yeah. Hand a DVD over to an ordinary active kid and guaranteed it'll be full of scratches and foodstuffs within a day, and unplayable within a week, despite immersion in the strongest solvents available for public consumption. Media is impermanent, presumably when Mr. Valenti got his lecture on compression he also got one on oxidation. Fair use, anyone? And the question remains, just what are you selling, a license or media? The content providers can't have it both ways.


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