A pair of recent government reports are taking aim at violence in entertainment media. The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission in separate studies call for greater restrictions on the distribution and marketing of violent movies, TV shows, video games, and music with explicit content.
As an oxymoron, Technology forecasting may deserve a place alongside such chestnuts as business ethics and airline food. That's especially true when the technology relates to media - which is subject to the whims of consumer taste and so even more resistant to accurate prognostication. Nevertheless, industry predictions, especially bullish ones, retain near-mystical power for the role they play in driving business plans, justifying strategic investments and boosting marketing budgets.
As I write this I've got a stack of gripping, action-adventure books piled high on my desk. No, they're not part of my summer vacation reading list. And they're not novels, though they tell some epic tales of heroic figures engaged in mighty conflicts, some of which might have been deemed science fiction if published a few years ago. They're business books.
When Sports Illustrated came out with its 43rd annual swimsuit issue in February, the beauteous subjects didn't just grace glossy printed pages. Rather, the company transformed the magazine into a multi-platform extravaganza with streaming video, a TNT special, iTunes videos, cell-phone wallpapers and an on-demand cable channel - all featuring the same swimsuit models as the long-established print issue.