Apple’s Move Into Original TV Programming Will Radically Change the Whole Company


| Particle Debris

Page 2 – News Debris For The Week Of September 4th

AI at Gunpoint

Thanks to Siri and competitors, we think a lot about artificial intelligence (AI) and its evolution. Companies of every kind are thinking about how AI principles can be utilized to provide a competitive edge. What we don’t hear much about is the use of AI by governments. That’s probably because the work is highly classified.

And then the question arises: how advanced is the work by governments compared to that we hear about in the enterprise? And what if a government believes that it needs to appropriate trade secrets in the name of national security? Here we go: “Elon Musk: Governments will obtain AI technology ‘at gunpoint’ if necessary.

The new battlefield between nations is cyber warfare. No doubt, nations will perceive that AI agents will be the new frontline troops. In our modern technology, if you can conceive of something happening, it will.

AI concept

The new cyber warfare soldier?

More Debris

• What is the potential for 8K TV? You might scoff and claim that all we’ll ever need is 4K/UHD. Customers can’t be expected to get excited about 8K so soon after they’ve jumped from 2K to 4K. However, that’s a hasty assumption. As TV technology develops, we’ll see higher and higher resolutions married to larger displays of constant cost. I can see a day when our TVs will cover an entire wall, like the mirrors in a dance studio. We’ll look back on these tiny 4K/UHD TVs with a 65-inch display as relics of the early 21st century. That’s how I’m thinking now when I see” “Sharp is bringing 8K TVs to market later this year because 4K is so 2016.

The evolution in size and pixel count will continue until we all have real holodecks in every home. Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” We’ll do it.

• We’ve heard that Apple sees India as its next big market for iPhones. The notion isn’t lost on Apple’s competitors. “Google Teams With China’s Xiaomi to Win a Billion New Users in India.

At one time, Apple wasn’t very clever about how to work with the culture of foreign countries. But that’s all changed now and Apple is a formidable competitor in every foreign culture and market. Good luck Google.

• Cars have revolutionized our culture for the last 100 years. But that may be changing soon as the cost of ownership, especially for young people, becomes more and more of a burden. Here’s an interesting article at The New York Times about how one college campus is thinking about the future of transportation. “On the College Campus of the Future, Parking May Be a Relic.” I can imagine how, at one time, Apple envisioned itself a part of this future culture. Unfortunately, the company ran into problems that have prevented it from pursuing it. Or so it seems for now.

• Not only is Roku the market leader in Over the Top (OTT) boxes for streaming video on demand (SVOD) on the internet, but now they’re pouring on the coals with plans for a $100M IPO. It constantly amazes me how Apple let Roku become so dominant in this market. I’m guessing that Apple’s new emphasis on creating original content will light a fire under all the new Apple TVs to come.

• Speaking of the new Apple TV, new code findings, reported at AppleInsider reveal that Apple’s iTunes store will be offering content with High Dynamic Range (HDR). HDR creates a dramatically better picture, over and above the mere resolution gain of 4K/UHD TVs, and so this is a good sign that Apple is all-in with the 4K/UHD revolution. See: “Imminent arrival of HDR iTunes Store content reaffirmed in new code findings.

• From time to time, we hear about the design and evolution of Facebook. In this London Review of Books John Lanchester takes a deep look at several books that describe the culture of social media, Facebook, and how they’ve come to strongly influence society. Even elections. Check out “You Are the Product.

• Finally, this exemplary report by Mark Gurman shows us just “How Apple Plans to Change the Way You Use the Next iPhone.

Apple Inc. plans to transform the way people use its next high-end iPhone by eliminating the concept of a home button and making other adjustments to a flagship device that’s becoming almost all screen, according to images of the new device viewed by Bloomberg News and people familiar with the gadget.

The home button on the iPhone has been with us since it launched in 2007. It’s only natural that technical evolution should take us un new directions. This is going to be exciting,


Particle Debris is a generally a mix of John Martellaro’s observations and opinions about a standout event or article of the week (preamble on page one) followed on page two by a discussion of articles that didn’t make the TMO headlines, the technical news debris. The column is published most every Friday except for holiday weekends.

2 Comments Add a comment

  1. wab95

    John:

    As one who does not watch much TV, I have a hard time getting overly excited about either streaming services or hardware (4K, 8K, 16K? – wake me up when we get to the holodeck, then I’ll be all in); however, my role of as a husband and father keeps me in the game. I purchased Comcast and Netflix upon moving my family to the US, and at the behest of my wife, purchased a then state of the art flat screen TV with surround sound. Duty sorted. Were it up to me, my iPad Pro with an internet service would suffice.

    That said, I am concerned about net neutrality, or the lack thereof, for all the reasons that have been discussed at TMO and elsewhere over the past months. Despite all the market dynamics and ‘capitalism at work’ arguments in favour of disbanding it, many with which I concur to a point, the one incontrovertible argument against it for me as a consumer is cost. The costs of differential treatment and access, be it to Netflix, HBO or any content providing competitor, will be entropic – they will flow downhill to consumers, some of whom will eventually get priced out of at least some services. This is why governments institute either price regulations or regulate industry behaviours.

    Take rent. In most high income countries, governments institute policies that regulate rent, such that landlords are not free to charge whatever they wish or raise the rent, without warning to whatever they decide. I have lived (and do live) in countries where that is not the case, and where a landlord can charge one tenant one amount, and another a different amount, simply because he’s a foreigner and can presumably ‘afford it’. This is the argument many have made regarding Netflix and ISPs. Utilities are another example. The moment a company is come countries realise that a ‘rich’ foreigner is the customer, the bill mysteriously goes up several fold – even when I’m travelling and not using a single light bulb. Were I subletting my spare rooms abroad to others and charging them for the service, I would have little choice but to be entropic and pass those costs on to my tenants. This is what happens in a relatively non-regulated environment where market dynamics alone control the price of what many consider an essential service, like housing, utilities, fuel or, I would argue, internet access.

    At some point, the model becomes unsustainable for the current market, and forces compel a reversal (contraction), a collapse or a new market steps in to the rescue. In the case of unregulated rents, it is usually large corporations who pay exorbitant rents in the cities in LMICs, while the millions of ordinary citizens, formerly the critical mass of rent paying urbanites, are displaced to ‘informal housing’ also known as urban slums, squatter settlements and favellas. Before anyone celebrates these alternatives as ‘market forces at work’, those of us who live in LMICs can point out that both of the latter responses, market collapse and new markets, can create substantial social and political instability. These are not cost-neutral, benign alternatives to inclusive, sustainable markets. How this might play out in the context of content consumption in high income countries might be surprisingly costly, politically and socially.

    Non-paradoxically, the same driver that leads to displacement may restore balance and inclusivity, particularly if it interacts with greed and rapaciousness. If individual companies, like Disney, continue to follow the model of HBO and others to not only develop their own content but charge separately for it, at some point supply will exceeds demand, specifically sheer consumer purchasing power, at which point supply will contract. If it does so sufficiently, and becomes non-sustainable for the individual content creator model, the market might resort to the Netflix model or some derivative thereof.

    My thought for Apple is to leverage their content creation, should Apple go that route in earnest, to become a major player as an inclusive content platform or streaming service.

    Regarding AI, while I believe that Elon Musk is wrong about many, if not most, of his doomsday AI predictions, I concur with his assessment that at least some governments will seize top tier AI technologies at gunpoint on the pretext of national security if necessary, or no pretext at all where the rule of law does not apply. AI, not devices, including computers and other non-smart infrastructure, are the future of power and capability, and will markedly change not simply the human-technology interface, but the balance of power as well.

    Welcome to the post-PC era.

  2. svanthem

    8K huh?

    I’ve got the big flat panel smart(?) TV w/surround sound that can show the truly lame content in stunning resolution complete with even-more-lame commercials showing every 10 minutes or so. Rent or purchase a quality movie? Are there any (new ones?)

    I see Apple’s produced content thus far is “Carpool Karaoke” and “Planet of the Apps.” I’m not getting it, but then I’m sure I’m not the target audience.

    Android hardware is claimed to be the cat’s-ass but Apple fans (count me as one) opine that it’s the OS that is the differentiator. How is this any different?

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