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Taking the notion of four eyes to another level

Posted September 30th, 2011 in broadcast television, cable television, Facebook, Twitter, wireless communications and tagged , , , , by Alton Drew

I’m all for app development, creativity, and free market capitalism, but this piece in The Wall Street Journal caught me Afro-Carib-Irish eyes this afternoon.

Seems like broadcast and cable channels are considering developing applications for wireless devices that would allow viewers to interact with TV show actors and advertisement.

Just imagine Bobby Bubba sitting on the couch with the iPad on his lap and the 100 inch flat screen in front of him. Also imagine First Lady Michelle Obama having a fit as she tries to convince home slice to get off the couch.

If you work from home and have a couple kids buzzing around, you should be able to deal with the added distraction apps can provide.

I can see a broadcaster leveraging a platform like Twitter or Facebook to deliver content to listeners or viewers wherever they may be, while eliciting their comments. I guess the big difference is that with the app, a broadcaster can engage real time with the viewer while advertisers hawk their products to Bobby Bubba.

I for one don‘t care for the intrusiveness and would rather that businesses that I regularly patronize, like my grocery store, or gas station, offer me a free download of their app. That way I know who is bombarding me with ads, but I wouldn‘t mind so much because I already have a relationship with the advertiser.

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Opponents of the AT&T/T-Mobile merger take a quantum leap

Posted September 27th, 2011 in AT&T, Broadband, Congress, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, wireless communications and tagged , , , , by Alton Drew

Mark Gibbs wrote a piece in Network World concluding that proponents of AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile is likened to a quantum leap into another universe; a universe of the disingenuous, to summarize Mr. Gibbs.

Mr. Gibbs’ argument sounds like an attempt to mix matter and anti-matter. What Mr. Gibbs fails to acknowledge is that it is not Congress’ intent to use the courts to roll back the evolution of the mobile broadband access industry, or to ensure that a carrier stuck in the last decade because of its inability to deploy true 4G service survive in an industry where AT&T and Verizon are prepared to deploy real 4G services throughout now and 2012.

And I guess that opponents to AT&T’s attempt to purchase T-Mobile have a different interpretation of Newton’s law of gravity. When T-Mobile’s parent, Deutsche Telekom, says that they are ready to leave the U.S. market should this deal not go through, and have demonstrated their seriousness by curtailing investment in T-Mobile, we actually expect them to stick around and hire more employees? Sounds like the author is living in the universe of unreality.

Deutsche appears to be a bell weather of what’s happening in Europe today. Given their banking crisis, I take Deutsche at its word that they intend to cut their losses, meaning they intend to cut their customers loose.

Guess who will be there to snatch them up: the biggest whiner in the house, Sprint-Nextel. What will be the argument then?

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Civil rights groups, minorities aren’t looking for broadband handouts

Posted September 26th, 2011 in Broadband, NAACP and tagged , , , , by Alton Drew

Ernest Johnson of the Louisiana State Conference of the NAACP laid out a simple and straightforward argument about how important it is to deploy broadband facilities to the underserved minority communities of Louisiana. What struck me as disturbing were the number of bigotry-laced comments included at the end of Mr. Johnson’s article, which you can find here at this link.

Could one of the barriers to broadband adoption be the perception that minorities want broadband handouts? That minority consumers want broadband for free? I can put that one question to rest with one word.


Let’s keep it real. We are not naïve that there are citizens out there that live in the dark ages. I am not afraid of the comments. Quite frankly I’d rather they be aired so I know exactly where the cockroaches are lurking.

What would really be scary is if policy makers allowed this type of bias to enter into their broadband policy decisions.

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Are you reaching your listeners through their “MIAT”?

Posted September 25th, 2011 in broadcasters and tagged , , by Alton Drew

One change of mindset consumers of broadband services need to make is to move from consuming services to producing services. In a knowledge economy that has left 14 million Americans behind, it is time that we get smart with our smart phone usage.

That’s one conclusion we came up with at the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters conference held in Washington, DC last week. Not only do broadcasters need to start incorporating social media platforms into their broadcast platforms, but consumers need to start taking a broader look at their broadband wireless technology.

Hence the term, mobile information access terminal, or MIAT. Granted the term won’t make the hall of fame for catchy phrases, but as nomenclature for a dynamic concept, it’s easy to remember.

In the knowledge economy, the fast exchange of knowledge and information is essential to competition, whether you are a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, or a farmer pricing a bushel of corn. Accessing information and exchanging it quickly over wireless broadband should create additional value for producers and investors in terms of revenue and income.

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Facebook changes shouldn’t bother you

Posted September 24th, 2011 in Facebook and tagged by Alton Drew

I am not surprised by the changes Facebook makes, nor should we be up in arms about how a private organization goes about conducting its business. Facebook is an information aggregator, displayer, and distributor. Information is a product, and Facebook gathers it and sells it to the highest bidders. We should either learn to exploit it for our own gain, or as the author suggests, log-off.