SPUD DUD

The possibilities for interactive TV are exciting – shop, learn, book airline tickets, communicate with friends – it’ll all be possible. But in the short term, interactive TV will fail. Why? “Simply put, we like to watch. Period. Over the years, viewers have developed a seductively passive relationship with the small screen. They’re couch potatoes for a reason; they sit, they click, they veg.” – Boston Globe 07/30/00

DIGITAL SHORTS

They still have tiny audiences, but short digital movies are hot right now. “Not just showing them, but clamoring for them; building businesses around them; showcasing them in film festivals; nominating them for Academy Awards, and, perhaps most significantly, paying for them.” – Chicago Sun-Times 07/30/00

  • ON THE OTHER HAND: An internet movie “George Lucas in Love” that cost  $25,000 “premiered last October on MediaTrip.com, one of several new Web sites that offer short films to Internet users. An instant hit, it was streamed to 150,000 homes in its first three weeks, and more than 1 million to date.” Now for sale on Amazon, it consistently outsells Lucas’s latest “Star Wars” installment. – San Francisco Chronicle 07/30/00

MEDIA LAB COMES TO DUBLIN

Tod Machover and MIT’s thinky Media Lab have set up shop in Ireland. “They believe Dublin will host the creation of an entirely new, large-scale art form that combines a variety of media. ‘We need to figure out what comes after theatre, what comes after cinema,’ Machover says. ‘We’re hoping to develop a large part of it in Ireland.'” – Irish Times 07/28/00

MOVIE HEARING

A group of deaf movie fans has sued movie theatre chains under the Americans with Disabilities Act, seeking to force the theatres to accommodate them. “We’re looking for some form of captioning for the hearing impaired to be able to access first-run movies at the same time as the non-disabled.” – Wired 07/28/00

TIMES AXES MIRAPAUL

The New York Times has discontinued Matt Mirapaul’s column on art and technology. “The column was one of the first in the mainstream press to report on the intersection of art and technology, including ‘Web-based art exhibits, interactive music, hypertext fiction and other expressions of digital creativity.” – Wired 07/28/00