Phone Publishing

Japanese cell phone users are using their phones to read books. “Several mobile websites offer hundreds of novels — classics, bestsellers and some works written especially for the medium. It takes some getting used to. Only a few lines pop up at a time because the phone screen is about half the size of a business card. But improvements in the quality of liquid-crystal displays and features such as automatic page-flipping, or scrolling, make the endeavour far more enjoyable than you’d imagine.”

A Look Inside SF’s New deYoung

“Scheduled to open Oct. 15, the beautiful $202 million M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, is about 98 percent finished. The interior of the 144-foot-tall twisting tower, which will contain classrooms and a library, still needs work. And the exterior landscaping has yet to begin. But the main building of the 300,000-square-foot city-owned museum is all but done.”

TV Schedulers Abuse Viewers

The way American TV networks schedule their programs makes many viewers nuts. “Scheduling is one of those gigantic industry blind spots. Those who engage in it like to believe they understand the wishes, motives and tendencies of viewers, but history has proven this to be a grand lie of the mind. The most accepted theories of scheduling have more to do with tried-and- allegedly-true industry beliefs or archaic reasoning than they do with the actual needs of real people.”

Denver Quits Summer Festival

Denver has decided to cancel its 13-year0-old annual summer performing arts festival”The free festival attracted more than 100 performers and thousands of visitors to the Denver Performing Arts Complex over two days each September. But the festival, which costs a minimum of $125,000 to stage, drew fewer than 30,000 last year, said cultural affairs director Denise Montgomery. That figure is down more than 50 percent from the 60,000 who attended in 2002.”

SXSW Just Keeps Getting Bigger

“In its 19th year, SXSW, which started on Wednesday, has broken attendance records. Four days and nights of panel discussions at the Austin Convention Center and showcase gigs at 60 venues around the city have drawn more than 1,300 bands, 8,000 paid registrants and 1,600 journalists from around the world. That isn’t counting the thousands of people who come just for the parties and the unofficial shows…”

Spamalot An Instant Hit?

Spamalot, the musical, opens on Broadway. “It seems safe to say that such a good time is being had by so many people (including the cast) at the Shubert Theater that this fitful, eager celebration of inanity will find a large and lucrative audience among those who value the virtues of shrewd idiocy, artful tackiness and wide-eyed impiety. That includes most school-age children as well as grown-ups who feel they are never more themselves than when they are in touch with the nerdy, nose-thumbing 12-year-olds who reside within.”

La Scala Crisis Grips Italy

The crisis at La Scala has escalated out of control, and Italy is fascinated. “The crisis has gripped Italy the way steroids in baseball have the United States and stunned many with its speedy onset, coming just three months after the giddy celebration of a three-year renovation of the 18th-century house. The crisis stemmed from the dismissal last month of the general manager, Carlo Fontana, whose relations with Mr. Muti were rocky.”

Picasso The Writer – Now In English

Picasso was a prolific writer, and once joked he would be remembered as a “Spanish poet who dabbled in painting, drawing, and sculpture.” Now his writing has been published in English. “Picasso’s literary output has been little more than a footnote to public awareness of his artistic contribution, but ‘it’s the work of an accomplished poet. It was not trivial work. It’s part of the history of experimental poetry in the 20th century’.”

Looking For A Better TV News Model

Audiences for America’s evening newscasts has been declining for some time. It’s not difficult to see why. Maybe it’s time to try something different. “Nightly network news no longer needs to emphasize the day’s breaking news. The Internet and audience that has fled there graze on mainstream media, blogs, and other information nuggets throughout the day.” For a better model? How about CBS Sunday Morning – a thinking person’s news program…