September 28th, 2015

Today's Activities Include: forgotten home project! mailing DVDs

This morning, A. told me, _after the van was already in the driveway_ that she had something she was supposed to finish this weekend. Because we went to a concert Friday and left as soon as the sitters arrived (basically, when the kids came home from school) and then were preoccupied with birthday party on Saturday (and gymnastics), I noticed there was a pile of stuff on the kitchen table but otherwise completely ignored it. I figured Monday morning was soon enough to sort through it and put stuff in recycling.

Alas! There was a huge birthday week poster project for A. to complete! Looked like potentially an hour or more of work. *sigh* A. didn't want to send it in a day late, so I emailed the teacher in the resource room explaining it, and A. agreed that it would be okay to do the work at school in the resource room. Hooray for resource room and aides! (Hooray for IEPs. Hooray for special education. Hooray for federal law requiring accommodations for autism, because when autism intersects with something falling through the cracks it can get really bad). Resource room teacher was totally cool with it. Aide was super helpful. A. was apparently flexible. *fingers crossed*

In decluttering, I mailed three boxed sets of Muppet Show (original) DVDs to a friend, to see how she feels about them as an adult (vs. the new version of the show). My assertion has been that most critics of the new show have childhood memories of the old show and if they rewatch it as adults, they'll hate the same stuff in the old show that they don't care for in the new one. Here's an actual test case! I can't be a test case, because I was so traumatized by attempting to rewatch the old show that I can't bring myself to watch the new one. Puppeteers. Oy.

The Things People Call the Police About

This is the VERY BEST police blotter ever. Horse by the side of the road. Suspicious car ... using wifi at the hotel next door. Woman pacing hotel hallway talking to herself after 10 p.m. ... she's on the phone. Animal control called ... squirrels in the parking lot. Noise complaint ... charity run.

Honestly, the only "real" issue is probably the physical fight over quitting time, and the participants were referred to the court if they wanted to press charges. Read it in all its glorious blandness:

I really do live in Mayberry. Well, I mean other than the occasional knifing and running-someone-over-with-a-truck-at-the-bowling-alley incident.

How Will We Pay for News Online?

Yeah, yeah, I know: Shirky says it will be advertising, a labor of love, or subscription based. And I know that micropayments have a terrible history.

Blendle started in the Netherlands. A very young man rounded up most of the publishers in the country and got them all to participate in an iTunes like setup. You sign up for free and get some tokens. You can read articles in exchange for tokens. (Oh, _that's_ why I can't read as much on NRC anymore.) When you run out of tokens you can buy more. They've consistently grown signups and signups have converted to buying tokens when the first batch run out at roughly 20%, suggesting the model is viable. NYT, WSJ and WaPo have all invested ? or otherwise helped the company out, and they are currently rolling out in Germany.

Bezos has other ideas, tho, in case this Blendle thing doesn't work.

Next kindle fire will be much larger and have an app with free access to a curated version of the WaPo -- people on other devices will be able to subscribe to the same service.

I'm sure we'll be seeing more possibilities, and I don't think it will be One Service to Rule Them All. After all, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes are splitting the video market, currently, with a number of other participants. Similarly (altho with more skew), the book and music markets are distributed among numerous players.

With all the doom and gloom about the ad-supported web being killed by a combination of bots and adblockers, it's nice to see there are people working on a possible way forward.