Saturday, February 04, 2006
"An insurance plan that protects against robot attacks?"
I'm continually amazed by the power of the internet. I was trying to explain an old Saturday Night Live skit to a friend the other night, and couldn't do it. It's tough to explain to someone why something is funny, unless the person has actually seen it. So I turned to my friend Google, and typed "Sam Waterston Robot Insurance Saturday Night Live" into the box. Sure enough, I found transcripts and everything, which I expected. But what's more, I actually found several places that had the skit available in video format on their site. It's pretty amazing that you can type in some keywords about a minute long clip from a TV broadcast from ten years ago, and get multiple places that have the clip preserved in its entirety.
I've heard a lot of buzz about "On-Demand" services, where you can start a movie through your cable box immediately. That's pretty impressive, but the fact that you can find the "Old Glory Insurance" skit in about 10 seconds is even more impressive. I think it's only a matter of time before all broadcasts are archived on the internet. Currently, if you missed a TV show, and forgot to TIVO it, you can download it from a number of places. Obviously there are legal issues surrounding that kind of conduct, but with iTunes now adding television content, it's moving toward legality and public acceptance. Not very long ago, if you really wanted to see a particular music video, you had to watch MTV and wait for it to come on. You'd be waiting a LONG time nowadays, because MTV has pretty much bailed out of the music video business. Luckily, you can now get them for a couple bucks, to watch on your computer, or even your iPod, whenever you want.
Eventually, the bandwidth concerns with downloading full fledged content will be alleviated to the point where we think of downloading a movie the same way we do downloading a song. Quick, easy, and cheap...and with more and more legal avenues to do so. Gotta love progress, despite what Andy Rooney says.