Lighter posting because of the holiday week.
Televisions have become so plentiful and inexpensive that the profits have largely been squeezed out of them, Andrew Martin reports. More ominously, he writes: “The future of televisions appears to be more about what content they can provide, like Netflix and iTunes, than new hardware features like flat screens or 3-D technology.”
- Nickelodeon, beset by tumbling ratings, is betting on a new show, “How to Rock,” and a new star, Cymphonique Miller, to become a cultural phenomenon and hold off a surging Disney Channel, Brooks Barnes writes. She has a show-biz pedigree — her father is the rapper and music mogul Master P, her older brother is Romeo Miller, formerly Lil’ Romeo.
- TLC has made a different bet, on a new TV genre it calls “found money,” Brian Stelter reports. among its offerings are “Extreme Couponing” and a new “all stars” version of that show, as well as a special, “Extreme Cheapskates.”
The fate of an independent TV channel in Israel — and the $11 million it owes the government — has pitted the country’s rightist governing coalition against the liberal elite, Ethan Bronner writes. The government has refused to postpone Channel 10‘s debts, which could force it to close by the end of January. its supporters see the government’s opposition as tied to investigative reporting about the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; the government sees Channel 10 as a failed business, using politics as a way to escape its debts.
Can libraries and book publishers come to terms on e-book lending? right now, “many major publishers have effectively gone on strike,” withholding their e-books from library lending, Randall Stross writes in a survey of the scene. E-book lending is so efficient (no trip to the library to get, and then return, a book; the books never wear out) that the big publishers fear it will replace too many purchases. Perhaps limiting how many times a book can be borrowed will offer a solution for the major publishers, he argues, but as things stand, smaller publishers are happy to participate.
Google‘s habit of asking brain-teasing, often fantastic, questions to potential employees — how do you survive being reduced to the size of a nickle and being thrown into a blender? — is its own solution to how to make the job interview useful, William Poundstone writes in The Wall Street Journal. he concludes: “Google isn’t looking for the smartest, or even the most technically capable, candidates. Google is looking for the candidates who will best fit Google.” at the bottom he includes a sampling of verified Google questions, with answers.