Computer Channel

There was once a website called Prate, the organ of Jemma Hostetler, that playfully described itself as a "computer channel."

(Pretty sure she never did station idents, though.)

Lots of people have long been working towards various goals collected under the header of "the internet taking over the television." To the point where the line between the two is soon going to be very blurred.

People have been making tv for the internet for a long time — from Rocketboom, The Guild and Boing Boing Video to videobloggers and lifecasting channels. People have been making information services for the tv for even longer, since the days of Minitel and Ceefax.

Apple TV is already working. Google is developing Android software for televisions. Lots of people consider the tv to be just a big screen in your room that needs repurposing. Which is interesting to me for a few reasons, not the least of which being that I betcha more people timeshift their tv viewing on a computer screen than they do on a DVR hooked to a tv screen.

Are tv manufacturers really going to be an endangered species that need propping up with internet-company OS grafts?

He May Have A Razor On Him

First he broadcast the white-faced puppet Stooky Bill — a "stookie," in Glaswegian, is a plaster cast — and then grabbed a kid called Bill Taynton and put him in front of the machine. I like to think that Taynton got a look at Stooky Bill and felt a shot of the Fear, because the light and heat of the machine had blasted it into a cracked yellow ember of its former self. Perhaps the master of the machine, John Logie Baird himself, thought of the day when the Trinidadians of the Santa Cruz Valley thought him a white Obeahman and attempted a terrified assault on his house of strange lights. Perhaps he thought of the night he blacked out Glasgow while trying to make a diamond with electricity.

John Logie Baird put Taynton in front of the machine, the spin of his altered Nipkow Disc growling in the small hot room, and worked his mechanical magic, making him the first man broadcast on television.

When Baird tried to tell the news editor at the Daily Express what he’d done, the hack got the Fear and hissed to his staff: "He says he’s got a machine for seeing by wireless. Watch him– he may have a razor on him."