No cable, No Net, No fun

A cable repairman managed to cut off our cable service Friday afternoon while repairing a neighbor’s service.
It took Comcast until Saturday evening to get another repair guy out to repair the damage of the first “repair guy.” I don’t know exactly what happened, but I now have an orange cable running around my yard now because they couldn’t find the one that was connected to my house and working fine until the first cable guy arrived. And my neighbor has a white cable running from the cable box at the corner of my yard across the street to their house.
And while I’m on my mini-rant about Comcast: They need some serious work on their customer service folks. The second repair guy was a lot better for the company’s PR than any of the customer service folks we dealt with.
Back at the NAA Connections Conference earlier this year in Dallas, I listened with some amusement to a session on a Yahoo experiment where people had to give up the Internet and video tape how it went. It was funny how they went from this “will be no sweat” to “just let it end” — until it briefly happened to me.
It’s like when the power goes out, except you don’t need candles.
Barely three channels of over-the-air TV (my wife Amy said it got so bad, she watched GOLF), no e-mail, no IM, no checking the Web, no working from home. It makes one realize how pervasive the Internet has become.
Amy told our 15-year-old Mark, it was like living in the 70s. He said it was boring: Imagine life without ESPN Sportscenter and IM.
Our 20-year-old said, fine, he was spending the night at a friend’s house.
We survived, but just barely.
Did we do any of those things we never have time for because we’re surfing, e-mailing and vegging in front of the TV. Nope.

AP News Alert: Disintermediation is here

Please pardon this disintermediation … we’re just changing all the rules.
Does the venerable Associated Press get disintermediation in its core business?
A couple E.W. Scripps executives I work with think not and made some provocative arguments in OJR last week. They envision a Napster model in which Internet technologies are used to open the system and drive down costs.

If AP had its collective head firmly inside the 21st Century, it already would be moving at least parts of its services in the Napster direction. But AP is like any business confronted with a disruptive technology. Its first inclination is self-preservation, not cannibalization.

Give it a read. If you want leave a comment on Bob Benz’sSuffering the Benz” blog.
The react from AP? Still trying to tell if the smoke was white or black or just resulted from spontaneous combustion. We still have a wire feed.

New Knoxnews

We launched a redesigned knoxnews.com last Thursday.
Long days, little sleep, lots of coffee = looks great.
The designers and programmers that made it happen on the corporate side did a great job.
It’s a radical departure from what we had and, to some, it’s moved away from what they think a newspaper site should look like.
See for yourself.
An update: Noticed a nice note on Jay Small’s site with some insightful comments.

And the largest digital camera makers are….

Disruptive technologies have a funny way of being disrupted themselves.
Digital cameras disrupted the business for film for still photos and now finds itself disrupted by cell phone manufacturers.
This item from “om malik on broadband:”

… in 2004 the sales of camera phones were four times the total digital still camera shipments.

Of couse, that leaves the question: What technology will disrupt the cell phone juggernaut?