Digital Insider

Howard Blumenthal's blog about technology, change, media, education, travel, food, and other interesting ideas.
Apr 17
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The Other Stuff

Tubi TV Teaser from adrise on Vimeo.

Although Netflix, YouTube and other video providers offer a whole lot of stuff, I’ve often wondered where the other stuff resides, why we’re not seeing so many old TV series and movies, and why so little that is produced and distributed outside of the U.S. is offered to U.S. audiences.

TubiTV (dreadful name) is about to change…

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Apr 14
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Free Love and Independent Thinking

Free Love and Independent Thinking

‘tain’t often that artist Marcel DuChamp, Woody Guthrie, Henry Miller, R. Crumb and Walt Whitman show up in the same book, but as I write those names on a list, the linkages are clear. They’re all artists for whom self-expression has been a defining characteristic, frustrated by lack of acceptance,  iconoclastic in ways only a mother could love.

So here’s Walt Whitman. He dropped out of school at…

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Apr 03
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A Second Visit to John’s Island, and Bohicket Road

A Second Visit to John’s Island, and Bohicket Road

In December, I wrote an article about a book about a watercolor painter named Mary Whyte. Along the way, I found out about an early book which is, in its way, even better than the first one. Here’s the link to the first article. Here’s what I think you ought to know about the earlier title, “Down Bohicket Road.” But first, here’s the cover:

Down Bohicket Road

It’s a lovely picture, posed, a local woman who became…

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Apr 01
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Mysteries of the TV Spectrum Auction

Mysteries of the TV Spectrum Auction

Let’s say you live in Columbus, Ohio, and you’re watching TV with rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, not via cable or satellite. If you live in the green area, you won’t have any trouble receiving a clean signal. In the yellow, you may need an outdoor antenna. If you live in the orange or red zones, you will certainly need an outdoor antenna, and if you’re red, you may still have a tough time. Of course, every over-the-air TV channel broadcasts with its own distinctive coverage pattern— the result of the physics of the specific channel frequency, the antenna height and location, terrain, quality of your home antenna and home receiver, interference with other signals and with physical objects like buildings and mountains. Television broadcasting is a complicated business!

Let’s say you live in Columbus, Ohio, and you’re watching TV with rabbit ears or a rooftop antenna, not via cable or satellite. If you live in the green area, you won’t have any trouble receiving a clean signal. In the yellow, you may need an outdoor antenna. If you live in the orange or red zones, you will certainly need an outdoor antenna, and if you’re red, you may still have a tough time. Of…

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Mar 30
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My Favorite Rectangles

imagesThe old ratio was 3 by 4: a reliable compression of reality, the extra window in every household that looked out at the world. It offered a limited view, controlled by powerful producers and directors, versatile performers, intense journalists who learned the trade by explaining why and how the Germans were bombing the guts out of London during World War II. Very few people were allowed to put…

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Mar 27
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Grandpa, what’s a camera?

Grandpa, what’s a camera?

Infographic-1920-1200-ver-2-0-1024x640This infographic comes from a website called Lensvid, which is filled with interesting photographic stories, inspiration, reviews and more.

The site attempts to explain what happened, but their editors as as mystified as I am. Clearly, smart phones are having an impact— why spend the money and tote around a separate smart box when the phone contains a perfectly fine snapshot camera.

But there are…

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Mar 26
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The News About The News

The News About The News

the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Kai Mörk

News coverage of a press conference, not a TV camera in sight. But most people still get their news from their TV sets. Attribution: Kai Mörk. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Germany license.

During the past twenty years, each of the network’s evening newscasts have lost half of their viewers. These days, about 18 million Americans—that’s 18 million out of 240 million American adults—watch the…

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Feb 08
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Notes to Self: Things to EatMy brother just traveled to the other side of the country. I asked him where he was taken to eat.…View Post

Notes to Self: Things to Eat

My brother just traveled to the other side of the country. I asked him where he was taken to eat.…

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Jan 28
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Two Books About School…but not books about reading, writing or arithmetic. Not exactly.
Both books tell surprising…View Post

Two Books About School

…but not books about reading, writing or arithmetic. Not exactly.

Both books tell surprising…

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Jan 23
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The Opposite is TrueWhen my car dealer contacted me for a recall, I made an appointment. Then, the weather forecast…View Post

The Opposite is True

When my car dealer contacted me for a recall, I made an appointment. Then, the weather forecast…

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Jan 21
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Post-CES 2014In the old days, I used to go twice a year: once to Las Vegas in the winter and once to Chicago…View Post

Post-CES 2014

In the old days, I used to go twice a year: once to Las Vegas in the winter and once to Chicago…

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Jan 05
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Dec 22
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All I Want for Christmas (or immediately thereafter)

Heck, the stores are too busy, and there’s no law that requires all of the good stuff to show up on December 25. Here’s a rundown of fun stuff on the holiday list. And yes, I’m allowing myself just about anything I want, regardless of whether (a) I need…

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Dec 15
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Thanks, Harry
My old desk does an arabesque in the morning when I first arrive.
It’s a pleasure to see, it’s…
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Thanks, Harry

My old desk does an arabesque in the morning when I first arrive.

It’s a pleasure to see, it’s…

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Dec 13
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Old-School SelfiesGosh, I am so tired of hearing the term “selfies.” It’s been named ‘word of the year’ for Oxford…View Post

Old-School Selfies

Gosh, I am so tired of hearing the term “selfies.” It’s been named ‘word of the year’ for Oxford…

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