Andrea Chang on the rise of YouTube as a star-making platform:

That has upended the way viewers, particularly those in the prized younger demographic, watch content: YouTube now reaches more U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 than any cable network, according to Nielsen.

That’s staggering. Imagine what it means for cable television five or ten years from now…

And imagine how much every television/media company would be willing to pay for YouTube right now if it were an independent entity…

michaelbartholomew asked:

Hi MG, after reading "Twitter's Small Chance To Maim Email" I just wanted to offer a thought for an alternative method of maiming email: paid emails for all non opt-in emails. All opt-in email contacts could email each other for free while everyone else would pay say $0.99 per email. This could help eliminate spam while generating revenue for the email provider. What do you think?

Bill Gates once had a similar notion (though based mostly around the massive spam problem in the early 2000s). Sadly, it didn’t end up going anywhere.

When I posted my remote control rant the other day, Doug Harris pointed me to this great Christopher Mascari post from 2008 detailing the history of TiVo’s remote. One anecdote:

The designers were adamant about keeping the remote’s button layout as simple as possible. But with the DVR’s numerous features, the designers needed to create lots of extra buttons. To keep things straight, each button needed to have a distinctive feel, giving the ability to control the remote without even looking at it, which Newby described as a “key Braille-ability” surprisingly helped by the “blank finger parking spots between keys” that were equally important.

I owned a (second generation) TiVo and I can confirm that it did indeed have a brilliant remote. Nearly everything about it felt perfect. So I could not be less shocked to learn how much thought and care went into the creation of that remote.

And naturally, TiVo’s big-name television manufacturing partners hated it.

Brian X. Chen looks a bit into Apple University:

In “What Makes Apple, Apple,” another course that Mr. Nelson occasionally teaches, he showed a slide of the remote control for the Google TV, said an employee who took the class last year. The remote has 78 buttons. Then, the employee said, Mr. Nelson displayed a photo of the Apple TV remote, a thin piece of metal with just three buttons.

How did Apple’s designers decide on three buttons? They started out with an idea, Mr. Nelson explained, and debated until they had just what was needed — a button to play and pause a video, a button to select something to watch, and another to go to the main menu.

The Google TV remote serves as a counterexample; it had so many buttons, Mr. Nelson said, because the individual engineers and designers who worked on the project all got what they wanted. But, Apple’s designers concluded, only three were needed.

Ah yes, I remember that remote well. And another great argument for the VP of Devil’s Advocacy

Also, humorous timing of this given my own rant about remotes. (I still personally find the current Apple TV remote too simplistic. It’s nearly impossible to “type” with. But if it added voice input…)

I said to [reporters] at the Open, I didn’t think we were going to see the new Tiger era, as in someone creating their own kind of Tiger-esque era just yet. I guess you could say — I’m not eating my words, but I’m certainly starting to chew on them right now.
Graeme McDowell, talking about Rory McIlroy’s PGA Championship win yesterday. McIlroy’s second straight major, and fourth overall — by someone just 25 years old.

Om Malik on the more mainstream press wading into the Bay Area to cover tech:

When tech was hot at the turn of the century, Vanity Fair showed up lugging along its neon lights and fog machines. A few years later, when Google went to the stratosphere, the pattern was repeated. Has the New York Magazine, having run out of stories about New York and its insecurities and is sending reporters by the plane load to cover Silicon Valley — each one hoping to write about this tech-thing! Have Wolves of Wall Street become so docile that they don’t merit a proctology exam?

Great post.