Monthly Archives: November 2009

The internet and the erosion of subscription TV, cable and associated media


The best television is free. So is video when one considers the cost-benefit ratio of what the masses usually get. Crap is the coin of the realm and what passes for content is an unrelenting stream commercialism interrupted by bits of pertinent information and entertainment.

Going without cable or satellite is unthinkable to many Americans — just over 90% of U.S. households subscribe to some form of pay TV. But just as mobile phones have replaced many customers’ land-line service, Vittore said on-demand Internet video will soon whittle that 90% figure down. (Vince Vittore, Analyst, Yankee Group)

But all that is in the process of changing under the unrelenting onslaught of  the internet and associated technologies. Say hello to the more democratized milieu of the world wide web.

We at Cyberaxis are not deluded however. The ancien (media) regime is not dead. Corporations and their governmental cohorts still rule the world, but cracks in the edifice still do appear from time to time: cracks in which hardy foliage grows.

The internet has changed a lot of the rules of the game and the vested stakeholders, both corporate and governmental, are scrambling to jostle for new pole positions. (Read up on internet neutrality, privacy and custodianship of information in the brave new world.) And nowhere is this dissolution, this lysis, more evident than in the area of the old media versus the new.

Cable had a chance earlier in the decade to give us an a la carte service. They chose not to. It may be too late for them. The model is changing so fast they may never get the lost viewers back no matter how nice they decide to play now.  (Everett Hutchinson)

The subscription model of content as purveyed by the cable and satellite industry is being whacked by the internet just like the film, recording and newspaper industry were undermined by the same. The aspect of retributive justice is not lost on many. Free is the new good in the millenium of bits, bytes, hotspots and the brave new world of the world wide web. The Google story is very instructive of what has happened in terms of free content.

Man with laptop on beach.

On the beaches of the world wide web, free is good.  Hallelujah and thank you Jesus!  (Photo by Avava)

As far as electronic content is concerned, start your search here for the yellow brick road that leads to the Emerald City. What we hope for is none other than a living manifesto of liberation ……  Liberation of the new netizen from the chains of the ancien regime.

Start with the Cyberaxis Media Center here.

This list of free TV, video, film and radio  is a work in progress. Links are gonna be added and deleted as time progresses. So if you find something you really like, save it to your bookmarks. Meanwhile, consider this your own Free Media Console. The smoothness of the play will depend of several factors like your connection, settings and or the streaming aspect of the website you are accessing.  In some cases you need to let the video load at little before commencing play. So be patient. We’ll get there.

I cut my cable service completely. I don’t pay for a home phone either. I found out that Comcast does not like that at all. They doubled what I pay for internet and capped how much data I can stream per month. $60/mo for internet is close to ridiculous. I read somewhere that internet only takes up the bandwidth of two channels. That means I’m paying $60/mo for two stinking channels. I hate Comcast. The value of cable has become so inflated, the market is bound for a correction at some point. I hope mobile broadband can give the cable company a run for their money. (Fill Westcott)

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

Appendix:

TV Is Dying, And Here Are The Stats That Prove It (Jim Edwards, Business Insider/Yahoo Finance)

Cyberaxis Media Center (Cyberaxis)

Estimate: 800,000 U.S. Households Abandoned Their TVs For The Web (Tech Crunch)

J.Lo, Oh Ma Lord: Evidence of salacious intent


Evidence that God (the God of creation) is a dirty old man with a three-day stubble. The result? Jennifer “J.Lo” Lopez ……. letting it all hang out like the future of the planet depended on it. Perhaps it does Babu, PER-haps it does 🙂

 

PREACHER: But where de boobs?

DEACON JONES: Who cares, when yuh got Aaah#SNEEZE#! for days?

PREACHER: Good answer deacon, good answer! Someone give de Lord a hand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brock Lesnar Collapses! Does this mean the end of his UFC career?


The story coming out of North Dakota has something of a Christopher Reeve feel to it (figuratively speaking, that is): The sudden fall of a UFC superstar who could have been superman. The shockwaves are amplified by the  suddenness of the fall, which uncannily mirrors Lesnar’s  meteoric rise. And the news vacuum created by Lesnar’s refusal to disclose his illness, feeds the tabloid-inflected imagination.

UFC 91 Mixed Martial Arts

Lesnar: The fall of a megastar who could have been "Superman". But don't Supermen need Super odds to earn their colors? The Christopher Reeve analogy may not be done yet(Photo: AP/Eric Jamison)

Unless you have been living under a rock: It is not news that Brock Lesnar, former WWE star and current heavyweight champion of the UFC had been taken ill towards the end of October with flu-like symptoms, later diagnosed as mononucleosis.  As a result, he was forced to post-pone his heavyweight title defense against Shane Carwin on 11/18/09. The bout was rescheduled for UFC 108 on 01/02/09 before the latest bombshell. The news that is convulsing MMA  right now is that Brock Lesnar collapsed at his  hideaway in Canada with a condition far more worse that mononucleosis. The prognosis, health and career-wise,   is reportedly poor.

The UFC President, Dana White, who made the bare-bones  announcement during a post-UFC 105 fight conference in Manchester England on Saturday (11/14/09) did not mince his words beyond not disclosing what was ailing Lesnar at the latter’s  request:

“(Brock Lesnar) is not well and he is not getting any better. . . . He’s very, very sick and he’s going to be out for a while. He’s got a lot of problems.”

“He’s got mono and he’s got something else wrong with him. I know what’s wrong with him, he just doesn’t want me talking about it,” White said.

“He’s in a hospital up in North Dakota somewhere right now,” said White. “He went to Canada and some bad stuff happened to him, so we’ve got to figure it out.

“He doesn’t want to talk about it publicly, but he’s in bad shape. He’s not well and he’s not going to be getting well anytime soon.”

“I am worried about it. ….You know, I can’t really talk about it right now, but he’s in rough shape. He’s in really bad shape … and we’re going to have to do some stuff to take care of this guy. He is not well and he’s not getting any better.

“He doesn’t have cancer or AIDS or anything like this, (but) he’s got some problems, man.

We’re going to have to send him to the Mayo … or … Scripps (Clinics) , or one of those really good hospitals to figure out what’s wrong with this guy.”

On the issue of the heavyweight title, White made hints at coming changes if Lesnar does not recover soon, which is probably a public relations overture for what’s coming down the pike business-wise.

“If it’s a long wait, we’re going to have to do something,” he  said. “We’re going to have to ….  the last thing I ever want to do is strip a guy who won a title. That’s the last thing I want to do.  I don’t know if we’ll have to do an interim or what we’ll do to fix it.” (Dana White as quoted by The Canadian Press, TSN and Sherdog.com)

Reports after the original flu-like symptoms, had hinted at swine flu as the culprit. But when rumors started making the rounds about a delay of the UFC 108 heavyweight fight on 01/02/10, an announcement went out about Lesnar having mononucleosis which could further delay his return.

That was before the bombshell of Lesnar’s collapse in Canada and his undoubtedly dire health condition. But just how bad is he? Well, you know its bad when Dana White starts hinting at interim heavyweight titles.  What that means in short is that an interim heavyweight title will be set up, pending Lesnar’s recovery – IF there is a recovery, and nobody knows that for sure at this point.

This southerly turn of events is stunning in its human and career dimensions (for reasons already mentioned).  As of  UFC 100, Brock Lesnar was the biggest star in the UFC . The shock waves of his meteoric ascent had lapped the far reaches of the MMA universe. Reason? Lesnar’s sudden ascent, not to mention his size, freakish strength and unbridled theatrics. 

The blogsphere will probably be buzzing with speculation about Lesnar’s illness, but it will probably be irresponsible for anyone to print anything without credible information. But this will probably never stop the cycle of recycled spit being circulated in a  self-sustaining loop.  From that perspective and that alone, it might have been smart for Lesnar and his camp to grab the media bull by the horns and dispense the news on their own terms.  That way the news and the media circus that is bound to surround it, would not be parenthesized  by UFC business bulletins.

Brock Lesnar and wife Rena Mero

The Bear and the Sable: Brock Lesnar and wife Rena Mero, (the former Sable) in "cuddlicious" form.

End of a career? The question that is being bandied about sounds most rhetorical at this point in time. The most probable scenario being that we will never see Lesnar in the octagon again … at least not in the form and guise of the  gladiatorial tear that he was quickly evolving into. Meanwhile, Lesnar will sooner than later have to come out with the news of what is ailing him because neither he nor the UFC can  keep a lead on this much longer.  We believe that the announcement will be made by Lesnar and or a Lesnar family representative if things follow proper course.

Lesnar: Shades of Christopher Reeve?

Meanwhile, we wish Brock  Lesnar well and hope he will get better soon. When the stakes are this high, life and one’s health matter more than anything else.

The promise to help Lesnar, on the part of the UFC, sounds like the right kinds of noises. Beyond philanthropy, it speaks to the magnitude of what Brock Lesnar is currently facing. What remains to be seen is what is behind UFC’s verbal promise.

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com

One-Punch Fedor Emelianenko Knocks out Brett Rogers: The Strikeforce return of the Last Emperor


The end for Brett Rogers (10-1) came suddenly when Fedor “The Last” Emperor” Emelianenko (31-1) unleashed a right cross straight to his chin. Rogers went down in a crumbling heap with Fedor piling on. Referee Big John McCarthy jumped in to stop the fight. TKO!  The time? 1.48 of a second round of the Strikeforce-M1 Global fight at Sears Centre on the outskirts of Chicago, IL. But the realization that this could have gone either way was not lost on the MMA crowd. According the the announcer, Brett Rogers was the first man to see the second round against Fedor since 2006.

The Youtube video has been pulled by CBS. You can try the the slightly blurry one at http://www.blitzcorner.com here:

http://www.blitzcorner.com/MMA/Fedor-vs-Rogers-Video

News Flash: The Emperor lives and so does his legend!; but he really shouldn’t be engaging in these stunt fights at home, even when his last name is Emelianenko. Not at this point anyway. Reason? The combined weight/size difference (with the emphasis on combined) proved consequential throughout the first and parts of the second round.  Fedor, who got tagged and manhandled inspite of stalking Rogers, was bleeding visibly by the end of the first round from Rogers’ left jab versus Fedor’s looping right.  One can easily dismiss size when weight is kept constant but not when the weight/size combination tips critical mass. The evidence was all over the ground battles and cage clinches. Rogers leaned on Fedor rope-a-dope style in close clinches and Fedor could hardly contain Rogers.  It was a bit like the bouncer(Brett Rogers) trying to smother a pugnacious patron.  Fedor’s  attempts at slapping a triangle choke hold on Big Ol’ Brett was bemusedly quaint.

Throughout the fight, Fedor was the stalker and Rogers the stalkee.  Perhaps the weight of “The Last Emperor’s” legend proved too much for the relative upstart. “I doubted myself,” Roger’s said later in his post fight interview. “I should have threw my hands a lot more. That’s the only reason I failed today.” A rematch is a possibility, but Fedor is likely to go for a title fight against current heavyweight holder, Alistair Overeem.

True, Fedor has made a career of beating men much bigger than him, but it’s gonna prove his undoing as he gets closer to the flame of Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin’s mettle. So our advice stands.

Compare:

Fedor Emelianenko’s 232 vs Brett Rogers’ 264  (32lb weight difference.)

Brock Lesnar, 265 vs Randy Couture, 220 (45lb weight difference, UFC 91.)

Lesnar 265 vs Mir 240, (25lb difference, UFC 100.)

fedoremelianenko

Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko: Anatomy of an Old World warrior in paunchy old school guises. The self-deprecating manner is off-set by an iron will and serious knock-out power.

The incongruity of being Fedor: The Last Emperor won, but he looked mortal. Dana White kind of lost a little skin off his nose tonight, but not by much. His  argument still stands because while Fedor would beat the snot out of most in the UFC heavyweight division, he would lose against Lesnar around the time the Brock beat the snot out of mouthy Frank Mir. Why? The weight and mass thingy. Why? Because Lesnar is different from all the other blobs Fedor has overwhelmed in his glory days. Sure he would have a grappler’s chance of submitting The Brock …. the same that Frank Mir had in UFC 81. But that is a pretty thin sliver to build a dream on.

But having said all that, the above argument does not, in and of itself,  discredit the contention that Fedor remains one of  the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. Period.  See the weight thingy again?

Of  icy sangfroid & paunchy, old-world machismo:  What is most intriguing about Fedor’s ascendance is his low-key, balding and almost paunchy, old-world machismo. Contrast that with the chiseled and pumped up displays of what passes for MMA machismo in the UFC, and you have a contrast most beguiling. Fedor chalks one up for the pudgy and balding barflies who could flatten your ass at the local watering hole should you have the temerity to disrespect the ol’ missus. He trains in jungle gyms and looks uncomfortable in a suit and tie. The anti-thesis of roid-inflected athleticism, Fedor hacks back to a proto idea of urban legends and sweaty manos in fatigues who could knock out bullies with a single punch.

Fedor-TKO-Rogers-Dave-Mandel-Sherdog

One For The Ages: The odd-defying athleticism of Fedor Emelianenko notches one more for the record books as he knocks out Brett Rogers at the Strikeforce-M1 Global fight outside Chicago, IL on 11/7/09.

Reflections on Fedor, UFC and the legacy of the Last Emperor:

Whatever happens from here onwards does not matter very much. The legacy of the number one ranked fighter in the world is safe behind a vault of collective memory. All it could use, perhaps, is a little burnishing by way of choosing one’s battles.  At 33 years and counting, Fedor is not a spring chicken anymore. Not by MMA standards. He probably has a couple of good years left in him before the younger whipper-snappers start nipping at his heels. He really needs to choose carefully who he fights from henceforth. The world that made him (read that MMA) needs him more than he needs it, because he has arrived.

Note the jungle gym training at the beginning, the trademark David vs Goliath match-ups and the McDonald supplex that should have killed or paralyzed Fedor. Either Fedor is Superman or one lucky mofo. Oi vei!

UFC & the center of the MMA universe: UFC with its crass posturing and braggadocious loudmouths should be last on his list. Fedor should not allow himself to be thrown into some freak show of the order of Randy Couture vs Brock Lesnar with a 45+lbs weight differential. There really is nothing to prove there. (Given his superior skill set, Couture would have flattened Lesnar’s WWE ass had he come in at a fit 265lbs. You know, the pound for pound thingie?)

One day, not too far from hence,  when the sports mavens  find the center of the MMA universe, UFC will be surprised to find they are not the only ones in there …. Not with the chintzy P.R., lack-luster  bouts and questionable business decisions. (Ref: Randy Couture/Quinton Jackson gripes.)  Fedor’s choices have been right from day one. And the noises coming from the UFC are nothing sour-pussy grapes. The UFC needs Fedor more than a street pimp needs a “ho”. “Nyet” in all adverse circumstances has always … and will always be the right response.

Long live “The Last Emperor”, and the sport that gave fame to his name.

copyright© 2009 cyberaxis.wordpress.com