Distraction: Toshiba’s Space Chair


Nearly two and a half million other views have seen this — but I had not.
The Toshiba Space Chair Project?
Make sure you watch until the very end.
Will be interesting to see how China beats this.
— Steve Clemons
Hat tip to Gen Kanai for this and his excellent blog.


4 comments on “Distraction: Toshiba’s Space Chair

  1. BigB says:

    That was cool and freaky. But, there’s no sound in space.


  2. questions says:

    Google denies all according to huffpo/twitter post.


  3. questions says:

    WigWag, right on!
    Problems though….
    YouTube lost some 470 million dollars in 2009 according to a quick, umm, google search.
    Google has been trying to find ways to monetize this utterly delightful service that I have used endlessly to track down music, find out how to repair walls before I painted, find out how to paint, how to rip up carpet, how to make and build and do all sorts of things. There are many great yoga routines up under yogayak, my distant nephew and niece bar/bat mitzvah vids. And some beautiful videos displaying Koch snowflake iterations to infinity. Oh, and math and chemistry lessons, too!
    YouTube is a great service! It costs money to provide it, and Google isn’t a)non-profit or b)government owned. So they have to make make money somehow.
    Putting in the “pipes” for the intertubes is enormously expensive as is any utility. Those last few feet from street to door to appliance are really costly to build and maintain. And if the country ever moves to fiber optics, that’ll be another huge cost. Municipal wifi was a mess as municipalities lacked the ability to maintain the service.
    Internet service, and utilities in general, are also part of the infrastructure that makes civilization work.
    AND, unlike clean air, these utilites are not NON-EXCLUDABLE public goods if they are wired services. WiFi is a little different in structure (but if it’s passworded, you could be billed when you get a password, and cookies can monitor imperfectly as well). But wired internet is excludable, even if it is a public good of some sort.
    So we have an inherent tension between necessary utility service and the actual cost of provision, and the fact that there is an easy way to bill individuals for use.
    I see both sides on this one and I’m guessing that some kind of fee structure might make sense BUT
    What google/verizon are doing is first, charging the content providers for speedy transmission and then second adding on a second round of charges to the customers for speedy reception.
    So there is a kind of double billing situation that is extra nasty here.
    My guess is that the kind of consolidation we’ll see will have the main server companies band together into a giant server company run by, say google, and the google server will provide tiered content transmission. THEN the pipeline owners will provide tiered content reception.
    What will be left out will be any small server providers who don’t pay to play. Server space will end up costing more, and the little guys will eventually be squeezed out.
    Then, once the server owners have a pretty good hold on the service, they will be able to start regulating content.
    There will be some preference for right wing crazy over liberal pablum.
    And the whole thing will look a lot like TV by the time we’re done.
    All of this because there is something of a legitimate claim on the part of the hardware providers for a reasonable return.
    With all these kinds of large group benefits, the underlying value of the thing is lost in all the individual decisions of the game players.
    The google-istas don’t think they are fucking over the known world by trying to avoid a half-billion dollar annual loss on YouTube alone. The verizonistas just want customers and if they can get a propriety deal with google, they should go for it. Indeed, every public corp is obligated by fiduciary duty to get the best bang for the buck on behalf of their shareholders.
    When we work solely for our own good and we don’t communicate/cooperate/coordinate with one another, with ourselves in the present and in the future (what will I have wanted to have had by the time I’m nearly dead), when no incentive pushes us towards collective and future goods, we get really dumbfuck long term policy.
    And this structure is everywhere.
    Anytime someone goes against it and says, “Hey, we should maybe plan, coordinate, coerce, enforce, and assure” that person/voice/position is termed the anti-democratic devil.
    What’s a citizen to do?!


  4. WigWag says:

    The space chair is entertaining I guess, but in the technology sector far more controversial and disturbing is the egregious deal Eric Schmidt of Google and Ivan Seidenberg of Verizon are about to make which will send an arrow through the heart of net neutrality.
    According to the New York Times, Google and Verizon are about to strike a deal which allows online content providers (like “YouTube” which is owned by Google) preferential access at higher speeds to Verizon customers if the content provider pays for it. Of course, had this been the deal when Google was founded, it never would have gotten off the ground; online search would today be monopolized by Microsoft.
    Verizon’s behavior, while despicable, is at least understandable; they are trying to make money in the old fashioned way; providing premium access to those willing to pay a premium price.
    Google’s behavior, at the behest of Schmidt, is far more disgusting; they’re a behemoth and they are trying to squelch as much competition as they can. Now that the courts have struck down the ability of the FCC to regulate on-line service providers there is very little that the FCC can do but watch helplessly from the sidelines. Of course, the Republicans, won’t allow Congress to intervene because in their stupidity they hate all regulations; good and bad.
    But the real enemy in all of this is Eric Schmidt. The behavior of his company is literally anti social; net neutrality is extremely important and the fact that Schmidt’s company is the first to attempt to destroy it tells you all about Eric Schmidt and Google that you need to know.
    Here’s the link to the New York Times article,


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