Colbert: Mo Betta Than Dowd

Just when you’re so tired of reading Maureen Dowd’s whiny, sassy scribblings, she saves the day by handing her column off to Stephen Colbert, who is busy getting as much ink and face-time as possible in the wake of the release of his book. (Last year, Dowd, penned a Rolling Stone cover story on the Colbert/Stewart phenomenon)

So leave it to Colbert, to sum up the entire NYT Sunday Op-Ed experience in under 100 words:

I’d like to thank Maureen Dowd for permitting/begging me to write her column today. As I type this, she’s watching from an overstuffed divan, petting her prize Abyssinian and sipping a Dirty Cosmotinijito. Which reminds me: Before I get started, I have to take care of one other bit of business:

Bad things are happening in countries you shouldn’t have to think about. It’s all George Bush’s fault, the vice president is Satan, and God is gay.

There. Now I’ve written Frank Rich’s column too.

Hilarious. Lo, Rich’s Op-Ed today on the shadiness pervading Iraq — still — unbelievable — is a must read, as his columns generally are. As for Colbert’s “new bestseller,” I am America (And So Can You)!, I have absolutely no intention of reading it. I have, however, obtained the audio version — narrated by Colbert, of course — to listen to on an upcoming road trip (road trip tbd). I’ve listened to the introduction, though, and so far, so good. Time permitting, I’ll post a snippet for your aural pleasure.

Earlier in the week he admitted to Larry King that the book was a tool leading up to his seeking of a presidential nomination “from both parties.” (Video here and below). Continue reading “Colbert: Mo Betta Than Dowd”

AT&T Charges for Mobile Use of Wikipedia?

suck it at&tWhile browsing ESPN Mobile on my mobile phone, I’ve been hit lately with text ads teasing me to “Get WikiMobile on Your CU500!”

My first instinct was to clickthru. I love Wikipedia and use it all the time. I’ve contributed content. I’ve also donated to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that keeps the juggernaut wiki afloat. I’m also surprised I’ve never used it on my phone considering how adaptable it is to small text screens, ala Snap Previews WikiShots.

But when I click through, I see “Get Wikimobile, Cool Tool, $2.99 per month.” Now I am aware of a very cool-looking wiki production tool called WikiMobile sold from an EU based site. This is clearly different, as you can see from the teaser-text at right. Of course, the fact that I’m supposed to want to by $3 so I can find out who “Britney’s exes” were is where most 3G mobile-Web-browsing Americans are going to feel insulted. For me, its just depressing to confirm that the open source, mob-managed, infinitely free and user-supported Wikipedia is being exploited by AT&T.

Does AT&T’s WikiMobile have anything to do with Wikimedia other than abusing Wikipedia’s GNU license to republish the content for profit? I can’t find anything anywhere stating that Wikimedia is complicit in this agreement and/or receives a cut of the profits. Assuming that if it smells like bullshit and looks like it, it may as well darn be, I implore Wikimedia to make Wikipedia publicly available as optimized for the mobile Web. Hey Colbert, you got my back?

PostScript: While I do subscribe to AT&T Wireless, I am not a DSL customer and am not subject to those sketchy, infringing terms of service. That said, you’re welcome to terminate my service, T, if’n you really are that stupid.

New Radiohead: Pay What You Want

Another stroke of brilliance from Radiohead is on the way… and in possibly their most genius move yet, it is being released independently by the band — that’s right, sans label, and one would assume sans DRM as well. The download can be pre-ordered for _.__ — or whatever you decide you want to pay! More genius, the CD will not be available until December, but the digital download releases October 10 — in ten days!


Radiohead — In Rainbows.

NYT Retires TimesSelect Pay Wall

new york times select now free foreverAnd all the greatest content shall be free!

No doubt Murdoch will open up WSJ.com to all as well. Both the Times and Journal were the only daily newspapers to successfully implement a paid subscription model, the Times reportedly generating over $20 million in revenue over the course of the two year TimesSelect experiment.

But the advertising landscape has changed, especially as ad sales models shift away from the pageviews to total time spent. This on the same day that AOL, which stands to benefit greatly from Nielsen’s total time spent measurements, announced a realignment of its ad strategy and a physical move from Dulles to Madison Avenue.

PaidContent breaks down the TimesSelect numbers here.

While I’m glad that I’ll no longer have to read another Frank Rich column out of context, cut-and-pasted on some random blog, I’m even happier that the excellent multimedia content on TS, as well as Kristof’s spin-off blogs (like this one written by my friend Will) will be free for the world to read.

So, are my beloved TimesSelect podcasts going to return… or what?

MORE: NYT;s letter to readers — the Pay Wall comes down at midnight EDT on the 19th. Also, Gillmor, Jarvis, and Ingram react.