Well, the new TV season is under way, and it's safe to say that the new shows are about as dumb as the old ones. Now, of course I realize that some people are going to point to some example of some show that they think is intelligent and incisive. Well, you may be right; there might be one or two winners out there. But overall, TV is dumb - always has been, even in the days of Shakespeare. What else do you think he was referring to when he wrote "Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere"?
Clearly, our old orb needs folks who can raise the intelligence level of TV, to make it a real force for good. And, thanks to Orb (http://www.orb.com), a program that lets you set up your own virtual "broadcast studio," you can spread some intelligence over the "airwaves" by designing your own mix of video, music, photos, news and TV programming.
The idea behind Orb is to turn your always on, always connected PC (Windows XP/Vista required) into a "broadcast center," which you or others can "tune in" to remotely. After you sign up, you get a "Mycast" portal page, where you can arrange your broadcast mix, including Youtube videos, photos and slideshows, RSS feeds, music, documents, weather, news - whatever entertainment options you prefer. You save your settings on your personal Orb portal page, and when you log into that page from a remote computer, you can watch, listen to or read anything in your portal.
The system is similar to many other Web-based account portals, but you can add a lot more entertainment content here. You can store your own videos or include links to Youtube or other videos; you can record Internet radio/TV on your home portal, and then listen to it remotely; and if your computer has a video card that can receive terrestrial TV signals, you can use Orb to watch and record terrestrial TV stations broadcasting over the Internet, in dozens of countries around the world (there are 13 channels in Israel, believe it or not). As long as your computer is on and the Orb application is active, you can connect from a remote location anywhere in the world.
And on any Internet connected device, as well - including PDAs, and even cellphones. If you don't want to pay for enhanced 3g video download services from your cellphone service provider, just install Orb for free at home and use a browser (like Opera Mini) to log into your Orb account on your phone, using a GPRS connection. If you have a PDA with wi-fi or other Internet access, you can play your entire music library (indexed by Orb, of course) to listen on the road, without uploading , downloading or copying files. Maybe if enough people use Orb and start putting out intelligent programming, Hollywood will notice? Naaah...
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