No one likes paying for cable. But the rise of the pay-TV business model led to the revolution in quality we’re currently enjoying from HBO shows like Thrones, as well as basic-cable programs like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Years ago, when channels only received revenue from advertising, they made shows to reach as many people as possible, whether viewers loved them or just tuned in because they happened to be on. Cable changed those incentives, rewarding the creation of shows viewers felt strongly enough to pay for (indirectly in the case of channels like FX and AMC). That made nuanced drama profitable on television—and the best television more sophisticated than film. Sometimes, you really do get what you pay for.
NO ONE LIKES PAYING FOR CABLE. BUT THE RISE OF THE PAY-TV BUSINESS MODEL LED TO THE REVOLUTION IN QUALITY WE’RE CURRENTLY ENJOYING FROM HBO SHOWS LIKE THRONES.
Shows like Game of Thrones cost big bucks. Each episode of the first season reportedly had a budget of more than $5 million. Most such shows don’t attract all that many viewers compared to cheaper mainstream programs like American Idol. And if Game of Thrones sounds like easy money, remember that it has to generate enough profit to make up for Romeand John From Cincinnati. If HBO sold every show by the episode right away, it would have to charge a premium for hits to make up for its inevitable misses
The navy is using 4G mobile technology to battle Somali pirates. I hope they get more reliable service than I do!
The Navy’s 4G system will be used for multiple purposes. According to industry journalMilitary Intelligence Technology, one sample use for 4G could be helicopters transmitting sensor data to Marines in small boats preparing to board vessels infiltrated by pirates or terrorists. Marines and sailors in the Expeditionary Force will be provided with custom Android handsets equipped with a basic whiteboarding app in addition to standard voice/data/camera capabilities. The Android handsets can be used to transmit non-classified information only; Naval Air Systems Command is working with the NSA to create a solution that will allow the phones to transmit classified data.
A Kuwaiti national uses fake names and sells other people’s copyrighted stories in the Kindle Store, shedding light on black hat hacker forums—and the theft, taboo sex, and swindles festering in the recesses of Amazon. Just another day in the world of self-publishing.
In response to our story on the new video game project, MMOWGLI from the U.S. Navy.
Neal, great article on MMOWGLI. Fascinating. As a partially disabled Army tactical intelligence officer (parachuting accident) who was a paratrooper and Special Forces qualified and served with both infantry and Special Forces units on active duty, I applaud FAST COMPANY for digging in deeply to report on such interesting topics. Thank you so much for writing such a thought provoking piece. If FAST COMPANY has not done so, you might want to check out what the U.S. Army is doing with “Mirror Imaging”, you might find it equally interesting.
I can assure you that were no Rambos in my SF Group. We were cerebral, highly educated, highly motivated and well trained professionals who loved our nation and all of our fellow countrymen and, for that matter, all innocent people everywhere. I saw a lot of Third World heartache during my intelligence / SF tour in Latin America and got my greatest reward in life by laying my rifle and pistol aside and coordinating medical care and feeding for starving, sick children and their desperate families. Their own governments would have let the starve or shot them down in a heartbeat. Probably Option B. Whew.
I would ask your company to consider checking out www.woundedwarrior.org and deducing the worthiness of that charity. It’s a remarkable one. As an Army veteran with a dysfunctional right arm and right leg, I believe in WWP’s cause wholeheartedly.
Best wishes to you and to all of your colleagues at FC, a fantastic read online, I may just have to go for the print edition, too!
P.S. Chaos creates more customers who need help. Help them, and they’re yours for life. Turmoil is terrific, because terrified customers need to be reassured that help is just an email, phone call or text message away. Unterrify them, and they’re yours for life. Hard times bring out the best in decent and good people who find multiple ways to extend helping hands to those in need of advice and counsel. FAST COMPANY is always jam packed with thought provoking material. It would be fantastic if your FC brain trust could think about multiple ways to advise your readers how to keep calm and focused and to thrive during times of economic, political and social chaos and turmoil instead of being afraid or paralyzed by such events. It’s really, really easy to look at the massive, unprecedented changes rocking the entire Middle East and wonder in anxiety, “What’s next?” or “What’s going to happen to my ‘fast company’ next year?”
The United States Navy has begun crowdsourcing ideas for fighting Somali pirates through a new video game project. The game platform, called MMOWGLI (Massive Multiplayer Online WarGame Leveraging the Internet—not a reference to Jungle Book), is the product of years of research, will include more than 1,000 military and civilian players, and is planned for launch on May 16. It marks the first major effort by the American military to integrate both crowdsourcing and gamification into traditional military wargames.
It was developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in order to test the feasibility of using massively multiplayer online games to help solve difficult strategic problems.