So basically the news sucks because viewers are children.

The Atlantic has a piece about analytics. They point out that people SAY what news they want to watch and read, but then the analytics say something completely different. We say we want vegetables but then eat nothing but candy.

Since Journalism isn’t really about news(was it ever?), but about advertising, can a capitalist system actually produce good hard news? Is there a market for it? Should there need to be?

If we say, forced all the broadcasters out there to deliver between 6PM-7PM an hour of news with “NO COMMERCIALS”, would it be watched, or would the population just turn to cable for that hour?

I think those of us that want ‘hard news’ are in for bad times.

Had a fun vacation, in spite of Delta.

First the story of my first day of vacation.

8:30 AM: Awoke a bit later than I would for work, but still with plenty of time to get to the airport for my 1:05 flight to Atlanta and on to Manchester.

11:30 AM: I was all checked in and through security. Nikki was on her way to Columbus for a nice week with her family.

1:05 PM: Discover there is a mechanical problem with the plane. I use the 1-800 number handed out by the Delta staff to get put on the 3:05 flight.

2:20 PM: Finally get to the front of the line to get my new boarding pass.(In retrospect I should have gone to the other gate to do this.) Get new boarding pass printed, but the clerk tells me the original 1:05 flight is working and boarding. She helpfully puts me back on the original flight, and prints out ANOTHER boarding pass for the 1:05.

2:50 PM: Told to get off the plane because the ‘fix’ wasn’t approved by the FAA.Call the 1-800 number again, but told the 3:05 is full and I cannot change to that flight.

3:30 PM: Told the part to fix the plane is being flown into Jackson and the flight should launch at 5:30PM. I had a VERY long layover in Atlanta but this is really pushing it. I get second flight changed from Manchester to last Boston flight.

5:30 PM: Given two slices of semi-warm pepperoni pizza. There really isn’t any place to eat in the Jackson airport past security so I feel we’ve earned it.

5:50 PM: Told the ‘part’ they flew in from Atlanta is the wrong part. Flight delayed till 8:30. No hope of making any connecting flights. I ask for my luggage back. My luggage, however, made the 3:05 flight and is now in Atlanta. Having no keys to get into my own home I call Nikki to make the 3 hour drive back to Jackson to take me home. Delta helpfully puts me on the first flight out of Jackson the next morning.

9:00 PM: Nikki picks me up from the airport and we have an exhausted dinner.

5:35 AM (Friday): I wake up get my carry-on and Nikki takes me to the airport…AGAIN.

7:30 AM (Friday): I’m finally on a plane ready to go to Atlanta. But wait, there is a problem! Luckily</sarcasm> there are two Delta technicians that had flown in last night on the plane (I WONDER WHY!?) and they are able to fix the problem in 10 minutes. My vacation finally starts. I’m already stressed out and miserable. Thanks DELTA!

Comcast getting it wrong…AGAIN.

So I received the following mail(snail mail)

Dear Valued Comcast Customer

During a recent audit of our billing system, we discovered that we have not been billing you for one or more of your Digital Transport Adapters (DTA). With your subscription you are eligible to receive one DTA at no charge. Each additional DTA is billed at a rate of $1.99 per month.

We are now correcting this error and will begin billing you effective with your next billing statement. If you feel that we have made an error in our records, please feel free to contact our 24-hour customer service department at 1-800-Xfinity.

Thank you for choosing Comcast.

Sincerely,

Comcast

 

The problem is, I only HAVE one DTA! I’m being charged $9.95 each for a HD DVR(bedroom), and a HD Set Top Box(living room). I have those two boxes and one DTA so I called up their 1-800 number. The lady on the other end of the phone was nice, and explained the situation to me. HOWEVER, her explanation is NOT what is in that letter. She’s telling me that Comcast now is charging for EVERY DTA. No free ones at all. So basically Comcast changed what they were billing, not the count of DTAs at my house but the fact that I HAVE a DTA. Comcast changed their network to require a DTA and now they are charging EVERYONE to use those DTAs. This is bullshit.

The really sad part is, I’ve never hooked up that DTA. It’s in the guest room and I haven’t set up that TV. This nickle and dimeing is really pissing me off. They upped their Sales Tax and Franchise Fee this month too with no warning. An extra $5-6 on my bill every month with NO benefits to me. Lovely.

So much for the integrity business.

Really wish I could believe that SOMEDAY those responsible will pay, but I don’t.

Just read Matt Taibbi’s latest piece about the ratings agency’s complicity with the financial crisis.

A ‘money’ quote:

2008 was to the American economy what 9/11 was to national security. Yet while 9/11 prompted the U.S. government to tear up half the Constitution in the name of public safety, after 2008, authorities went in the other direction. If you can imagine a post-9/11 scenario where there were no metal detectors at airports and people could walk on carrying chain saws and meat cleavers, you get a rough idea of what was done to reform the ratings process.

 

He ends with this:

But we know now that it was no accident. What happened to the ratings agencies during the financial crisis, and what is likely still happening within their walls, is a phenomenon as old as business itself. Given a choice between money and integrity, they took the money. Which wouldn’t be quite so bad if they weren’t in the integrity business.