What Michael Meant to Me

Posted: June 26th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , | 4 Comments »

When I was growing up, the television sat across from the bed in my parents’ room, and they controlled what I watched. They made time for Sesame Street, Lamb Chops and Mr. Rogers, but for the most part, I just sat alongside them while they watched hour upon hour of news, broken occasionally by cooking shows. In other words, all we saw was public television. All commercial channels except Disney and CNN were strictly verboten, and MTV was the epitome of the consumerist culture from which I was sheltered.

In the summers, we often visited family friends who had a house, a pool, horses and a few acres of land in Long Island. Their daughter was exactly my age (we actually wound up together at college) but much more independent. She played tough single-shooter video games, wasn’t afraid of bees, and had her own basement to watch–I marveled–anything she wanted. It was there that I first turned on MTV. Read the rest of this entry »

The mob is coming for you

Posted: October 18th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Technology, Video | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s a pyrrhic victory when I find a cool new tech tool: more fun to be had but also more ways to procrastinate. Still, that doesn’t stop me from adding new sites to my diet:

Mobdub.com is a new (beta) startup where users add live captions to videos. You click on the video while it’s playing (say 39 seconds in) to add a caption, a relevant factoid or link and the next user sees your caption as a cartoon speech bubble embedded in the video, 39 seconds into the clip. For now, the clips on the site are all election related, but eventually–the founder tells me–there will be more diverse content. Other plans include sharing the software with other video sites, so that videos on YouTube! or hulu.com will have “dubbing” too.

When I showed MobDub to my sister, she thought it was a cool cross between Wikipedia and YouTube!. But when I saw it, the first thing I thought of was VH1’s PopUp Video. And anything that recalls ’80s music is in my good books.