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Netflix: Grab Terra Nova NOW

Dear Netflix,

I hear you’re thinking of picking up the sci fi series, Terra Nova, and developing a new season. My advice is DO IT IMMEDIATELY.

This is a move that could take your own business out of the doldrums and reestablish Netflix as Top Dog in Internet show biz. Consider:

1. Of all the new TV series that Netflix might develop, none present such great potential for so little risk. Terra Nova is no pig in a poke, but a proven, high-profile hit, well on its way to becoming a blockbuster.

2. In its first season, Terra Nova has developed enormous momentum. Especially in the second half, it’s become stronger with each new episode. The series has been through its growing pains, found its strength, developed its characters and the last few chapters have been undeniably dazzling. You would be grabbing this property precisely at the right moment to cash in on all this hard work.

3. Terra Nova possesses that rarest of qualities, CLASS. This is a show that creates real excitement without resorting to cheap sensationalism. It keeps you glued to the screen with a gripping storyline and world-class acting by stars like Jason O’Mara and Stephen Lang — all this and dinosaurs too.

4. Terra Nova is filled with great role models for kids, and its message of doing the right thing will resonate with young families. Not since the days of Bonanza and Star Trek has there been such an imaginative and ambitious family series -- one that kids and parents want to watch together.

5. In just one season, Terra Nova already has attracted a white-hot core of devoted fans who will flock to Netflix.

Get the picture, Netflix? In grabbing Terra Nova, you gain an incredible draw for new subscribers and you make a magnificent statement. You're saying that Netflix stands for top-tier quality, world-class entertainment and classy, exciting, involving first-run shows.

But you must act now, before the team that created this magic breaks up. It takes not just stars, but a lot of behind-the-scenes talent to make a hit, and Terra Nova is no exception. The timer’s ticking — grab Terra Nova NOW.


Why not "iPad 3"

As awestruck Apple-ologists feverishly try to decipher why the new iPad is NOT called iPad 3 but "just the new iPad" -- I'm gonna take my own whack at the Gordian Knot.

WHY? Because 3 is an unlucky Apple number -- remember the Apple III computer? No? Exactly.

PLUS if you call it iPad 3, that numeral obscures the more important number -- 4G, as in 4G LTE wireless!

So I'm betting they were calling it iPad 3 right up until they saw the ad copy, selling 4G wireless. Someone said "Wait guys! People thought iPhone 4 was 4G, just because of the model number. Same thing here. No way we put 3 in the name."

Then they considered iPhone HD. Nah, that's too lame for what this baby delivers. Eventually they ran out of time or patience.

How 'bout just the new iPad? Same way we name the MacBooks.

Done and done.


Tim Cook makes his mark

I'm not sure anyone else appreciated this, but today Apple CEO Tim Cook did something that totally won me over.

For the first time in iPad history, I was able to pre-order the IT machine -- an LTE-equipped, 64GB model -- just a couple of hours after the announcement, and have it delivered in a week. No queuing, no swearing, no sifting through Twitter for clues about who might have one. Just smart inventory management, adequate server support and improved lines of communication with the wireless carriers.

Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I'll betcha lunch it arrives on time too.

Thanks, Tim.


Rush Radio vs. Social Networks


Rush Limbaugh still doesn’t know what hit him. When the right-wing radio ranter called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and “prostitute,” something snapped in the minds of many Americans.

And then something really interesting happened. Instead of feeling powerless against a hate-talker with a radio network, they realized they had networks of their own. Instead of simply sounding off at the dinner table, they did so on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, and on their own Websites.

And a campaign to boycott his advertisers materialized overnight.

As soon as I heard about the incident, I turned to Twitter myself. Moments later, I found things were happening faster than I could dream them up.

I thought up a hashtag, #boycottRush, only to find it already appearing in countless tweets.

I wondered who his advertisers might be, only to find a freshly minted WordPress blog called It furnishes you with a list of advertisers, a suggested email to send, and a paragraph of Rush-talk to get you in the mood.

Over dinner last night, I mentioned I might write one such sponsor whose products I actually use. When I woke up the next morning, a New York Times article informed me this outfit has already pulled its ads.

NYT also reported a statement from Rush that “I chose the wrong words.” The Times called it an apology. The advertiser said they weren’t coming back.

I can’t be sure what’s coming next, but here’s what I think:

I think Rush is being hit head-on by a MONSTER TRUCK CONVOY of newly empowered, Internet-linked citizens who suddenly realize they have networks of their own. I think they’re loving it to pieces. And I do NOT think they’re going to quit now.

They taste blood.

It’s been a long time coming, but it all came together this year. First with the astonishing grass-roots uprising against SOPA, covered in some detail (some might as obsessively) by your devoted correspondent. Then the Susan G. Komen Foundation decision to drop support of Planned Parenthood, reversed a few days after thousands of socially networked contributors dropped THEM like a hot rock.

Third time’s the charm. As I write this, nine advertisers are reported to have dropped Rush Limbaugh, up from a reported five yesterday.

I don’t think it’s overstating to say the most listened-to radio show in America is being brought to its knees by a bunch of decent, respectful, angry-as-hell and networked individuals like you and me and our Facebook friends.

As if in a comic book, we woke up today and found we have a new superpower. Suddenly, we possess the power to organize and do mighty deeds in unison, all in the blink of an eye.

I’m not saying it’s good. I’m not saying it’s bad.

But I’m pretty darned sure that it’s barely begun.


iPad 3 shortages and the law of self-fulling prophecy

I’m not saying that Apple is this smart—wait, of course they are. Digitimes has just reported that, “according to industry sources in the supply chain” we may expect long lines and longer waits for the coveted, craved, not-even-announced-yet iPad 3.

What, not AGAIN? Yes, say the sources, poor hapless Apple has been plagued with production delays. This, despite hiring three different vendors to make the ultra-high-res iPad 3 screen. Despite other rumors that they’ve been producing and stockpiling iPad 3s since last fall.

In fact, they claim, iPad 3 production lines may not be running full blast until “the second quarter,” which could mean April, May or June…

But wait, is the world’s largest device-maker really this dumb? Has Apple’s brilliant ops-expert and CEO Tim Cook been so brutally blind-sided that he never saw this coming?

Or is he so smart that Apple itself leaked the story? 

It wouldn’t have been lying—I mean, I’ll bet that screen really is the devil to make. But you’ll notice the “sources” said nothing about iPad 3 inventories. And I find it inconceivable that Apple would kill demand for iPad 2, unless it had substantial supplies of the next insanely great thing.

So maybe, just maybe, Apple has whipped up a self-fulfilling prophecy:

1. You leak stories about “production delays,” so people rush to get theirs while supplies last…

2. Then, even if stores have massive stocks, when crowds appear, they have to line up…

3. Next,Twitter fills up with stories of long lines and multi-week waits…

4. People who were hesitating join the feeding frenzy…

5. Et Voila! The mere expectation of shortages creates them…

And five days before the thing’s even announced, people like me who vowed “I’m going to wait this one out” are thinking hmmm… maybe I’d better show up at the opening gong.

Nah, no way I will.

Hmm, but on second thought...