Electric Shadow

Disney and the Future of TV

I've been picking at a piece musing about what Apple's play really is in streaming, since their "announcement" of Apple TV+ was more an announcement of a vague intention. I'm glad I didn't bother posting anything before the Disney+ event, because that gives a pair of theories I have (which might be two stages of one theory) more solid ground to stand on.

This is the only appropriate context in which to think about Disney+. While obviously Disney+ will compete with Netflix for consumer attention, the goals of the two services are very different: for Netflix, streaming is its entire business, the sole driver of revenue and profit. Disney, meanwhile, obviously plans for Disney+ to be profitable — the company projects that the service will achieve profitability in 2024, and that includes transfer payments to Disney’s studios — but the larger project is Disney itself.
— Ben Thompson at Stratechery, a site you should subscribe to immediately

Ben Thompson makes me more certain that some of my questions are headed in the right direction. Disney is a lifestyle brand with a culture all their own. So is Apple. No one outside of Cupertino knows the answers to my questions, but the two paths are clearer now.

Is Apple going "Netflix from scratch", or are they buying a studio library to compete with Disney(ABCFoxESPN), AT&T(WarnerHBO), and Comcast(NBCUniversal)? What happens if Amazon or Netflix beat them to it?

The first doesn't preclude them from doing the latter, whether this fall or down the road.

Remember "nobody wants to watch video on an iPod"? Today it's "why would Apple want to own a studio?", but part of the answer is that Disney has made the idea of charging more than $7 a month for one of the biggest content libraries on the planet a non-starter.

Something I haven't seen anyone mention yet: who says Apple didn't anticipate Disney leveraging their massive studio catalog and disrupting streaming service pricing?

What if that is the very good reason they didn't announce launch date, price, or much outside of brief looks at attached name-brand talent? What if everyone missed that, from those defending Apple's boring non-announcement to people like me who went "what the hell was the point of that?"

How to Support Electric Shadow

Here are the best ways to help directly support the relaunch of Electric Shadow (both the podcast and this column):

I. Subscribe & Listen, Review & Recommend

  1. Tell friends about Electric Shadow. Pick specific episodes you know they'd be into. Sending a link helps more than you think!
  2. VERY helpful: write a review in iTunes/Apple Podcasts that has something specific to it...an episode or moment you especially enjoyed.
  3. EXTRA helpful: upvote the best reviews you see in iTunes/Apple Podcasts. The show has been on hiatus for a while, and this makes a difference.

II. Sign up for a Membership

For just $5 a month, get early access to "Workprint" cuts of upcoming Electric Shadow episodes, and assorted "Special Features".

At launch, members get four "Workprint" (details on the linked page) episodes and the first installment of "Studio Notes" in the Special Features feed.

III. Like & Retweet The One Tweet

Twitter is...different now. Just getting a tweet seen by anyone takes a lot of "engagement".

IV. Follow/"Engage" Electric Shadow on Twitter/Insta/FB

The convention/film festival gigs and interview opportunities I get look at not just social media follower counts, but more importantly, engagement (likes and shares and retweets). Below I've laid out a menu of what's most helpful:

V. Additional Financial Support/Sponsorship

Depending on the volume of Membership signups, those funds can help offset things in various categories below. That said, you never know what resources people may have unless you ask.

If interested in one-time tipping or sending money, I have PayPal and CashApp.

Sponsorship

I work with a variety of known podcast sponsors, and the podcast will continue to feature ads. I'm interested in doing the sort of weekly feed sponsorship as implemented on sites like Daring Fireball for the purpose of the column/blog. If you are yourself or you work with a company that does podcast sponsorship that is interested in any of this, get in touch.

Equipment

I make the podcast on a 2012 Retina MacBook Pro whose graphics hardware has failed multiple times, and the backup hardware I have is older than that. My mobile/travel recording "rig" is missing things that would make group interviews and junkets more doable. The unusable iPad I have is also from 2012.

  • "Old Keyboard" Retina MacBook Pro (new/used/size they matter not)
  • compact mobile recording equipment (do you know someone at Shure, for example)
  • current-model iPad Pro

Travel

There are "high-value target" events, festivals, and conventions where I do not have the organizers or a client covering my travel costs. An array of things can/could be helpful include but aren't limited to:

  • interview access to talent (preferably longform)
  • airline miles
  • lodging/accommodations

‘Swamp Thing’ teaser trailer drops on heels of show ending production early in Wilmington

The show was scheduled to premiere on a new DC Universe streaming service at the end of May. Leaders in the film industry expected it to shoot several seasons in Wilmington.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show has been cut from 13 episodes to 10 because of creative differences at its streaming platform, DC Universe.
— Ashlea Kosikowski for WECT6 in Wilmington, North Carolina

DCUniverse's Titans is better than I expected based on their advance promotion, and Doom Patrol is great (it would fit well on HBO, honestly). As WarnerMedia makes its plans for whatever their version of Disney+ is going to be, I hope the Bellheads at AT&T don't just dump projects like Swamp Thing on account of clearing out the work of the previous regime.

None of us speculating know precisely why they cut back the order of episodes, but more is not necessarily a good thing in all cases when it comes to seasons of TV. A common note from even the avowed fans of the various NetflixMarvel shows was that they could have been done in shorter seasons of episodes.

"Give it another dozen episodes, you'll like it" is no longer a thing.

"You Are Not a Publicist": @danielwcarlson

To this point, selected annotations of items in a thread by Daniel Carlson on Twitter:

In 2011, I organized a panel for SXSW called “You Are Not a Publicist,” in which I tried (semi-successfully) to work through the issues facing modern film critics and talk about the pressure to be part of the promotional process.

I don’t think I was saying anything new, or anything that wasn’t already on the minds of a lot of people in the game (full time or freelance). It’s a tricky thing, knowing that the work you do to try and talk about a movie can and will be co-opted as branding.

I think where I came down (then and now) is that all you can do is honestly talk about how you feel, what you like, what you see. And to be aware of the degree to which you are crafting content that isn’t a reflection of yourself but a promotional tool to be used and monetized.

I remember a very specific point in the rise of movie blogging where there was money to be made from being the best aggregator of the most prominent content. Page views were everything. Friendliness with the right publicity and marketing people translated to access that was refused to others. The "game" was for the "throne" of King of the Moment.

Anyway, I’m thinking about all this because my timeline isn’t so much filled with people talking about Game of Thrones as it is with people creating content that can be branded and sold to bolster HBO.

Movie/TV blog advertising evaporated in part because the rise of social media gave millions and millions of copywriters their printing presses, and the aggregate became completely un-critical, un-journalistic, and cheap (more like free) in bulk. This isn't meant as a criticism, it's just what happened.

On social media, the user is the product. Just by being here and typing this for free, we give Twitter (or Facebook, or whomever) value.

The critic/writer version of that has to be when you go beyond covering something, beyond championing it, to acting as a full-fledged PR rep.

The difference is: you know you’re the product on social media. But when you’re doing what’s basically unpaid work for HBO, you make yourself think you’re working for yourself or an outlet, instead of the studio reaping the reward.

My very handsome friend has elucidated why I'd rather shift back to producing more #content in a space I own than generate more grist for the various social media industrial mills than I have to for my actual stuff to get noticed.

I binged the entirety of Game of Thrones over about two weeks a while back, taking notes as I went about things I predicted and noticed and so on. Instead of posting a massive thread on Twitter, as I would have previously, I'm going to post those heaps of #hottakes here and drive people to it from Twitter the best I can.

Yes. The answer to the question you are asking is yes.

Content Is Coming

Not that there aren’t a few caveats to the veritable content bonanza. “I wouldn’t say Game of Thrones was ‘guaranteed’ traffic,” Hibberd cautioned. “It may be the most traffic-driving show out there but because of that every outlet is writing about it constantly, so you have to stand out with content other sites don’t have or grab breaking news with speed that others aren’t matching.”
— James Yeh, for The Outline

Game of Thrones is more than what may end up the last "cultural moment" show. It may also mark the peak (nadir, depending on perspective) of the race to create Collective Attention Content, a term I made up as I typed it. Saying that this feels like final race to be "first!" in media meta-coverage is just an invitation to be proven wrong by someone on TikTok.

How many times can you "break the internet?"

How many pieces are left?

Podcast: "Flirting in Hodor", with Kristian Nairn

The timing of Electric Shadow coming back coinciding with the return and conclusion of Game of Thrones was dumb luck. Equally lucky was having interviewed both Hodor and Bran Stark within a year of one another during Thrones' long hiatus.

The next episode in the feed, coming the week of 22 April, is with "Bran", Isaac Hempstead-Wright.

Members already have access to the uncut version of the latter, which is pretty close to the final.

Podcast: "Space Odyssey", with Keir Dullea & Gary Lockwood

I spent much of last year's comic convention circuit as surrogate nephew to Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, best-known to most as Dave Bowman and Frank Poole in Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. I recorded each live audience Q&A I did with them, selected the best "cuts", and made that the big return from hiatus episode of Electric Shadow.

Feels good to be back. Lots more to come.

Podcast Platform Himalaya Raises $100 Million, Launches Apps With Tipping Function

Himalaya’s main investor is Ximalaya, China’s biggest spoken word audio platform. Other investors include General Atlantic and SIG. Himalaya has also struck content partnerships with the Dallas Mavericks, Starburns Industries and Studio71.

Translation: a Chinese mega-company is throwing a ton of cash after cornering the western equivalent of the market they already own in China.

News of Himalaya’s launch comes just as Spotify is doubling down on podcasts: Earlier on Wednesday, the streaming music service announced that it has acquired podcast studio Gimlet Media and podcast monetization startup Anchor.

Translation: the arms race for podcasts and audio content in general is now truly begun, and the same people loading up on podcasts will be moving on breaking Amazon/Audible's audiobook monopoly, too. They want a bite of microtransactions that podcasters are funneling through other places that don't hide the numbers the way that megaplatforms do, too.

The two companies appear closely linked, but Vincer was quick to declare independence when asked about the relationship between the two companies this week. “We have access to the expertise and resources of Ximalaya, but are lucky and thankful to operate with an independent vision and unique goals,” he said.

Declaring you're not something you very plainly are on your face is a Trump tactic, and one that I intensely dislike.

Response from the Himalaya VP of Global Partnerships and Marketing quoted in the article.

Marvel's Ike Perlmutter Pushed in Court for Documents About Trump Lobbying

Now, Peerenboom is hunting for any evidence of undue influence that Perlmutter has exerted on law enforcement and the Trump Administration. He’s also seeking communications between Perlmutter and Cohen, who pled guilty and is set to serve three years in prison for campaign finance crimes in connection with pay-offs to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. At a deposition, Perlmutter appears to have admitted to talking to Cohen about his litigation with Peerenboom. The court documents also reference an email to Cohen on Dec. 29, 2018, which has been designated as “confidential” by Marvel.

Ike writing an email to Michael Cohen and Marvel deeming it "confidential" has a variety of implications that it'd be stupid of me to try to read like tea leaves, but that's sure as shit going to get interesting.

For those who don't care about the palace intrigue of two major Hollywood studios merging into one and further eliminating competition and watering down movies into "product", Ike Perlmutter is one of the absolute worst people involved in the comics business. If this sort of high-profile litigation helps further limit his influence, or hopefully leads to shoving him out of the Chairmanship, great. More importantly, it'd be great to lock the guy up for decades of bribery and plutocrat-grade malfeasance.

The Kasowitz team (currently defending Trump in the defamation case from a former Apprentice contestant) tells the judge these communications are “clearly relevant” and are also seeking any gifts to law enforcement. In support of the latter demand, Peerenboom’s lawyers point to how a bribery probe being conducted in New York recently revealed that a New York Police Department detective had helped Perlmutter renew a license for a gun. The cop got tickets to premieres of Marvel movies.

Nothing like using NYPD officers as errand boys.

How Disney Is Making 21st Century Fox Disappear

Pamela McClintock & Paul Bond with Lacey Rose at The Hollywood Reporter:

The result: The number of major studios is about to go from six to five. And as the closing date nears (one longtime employee calls it “D-Day,” as in Disney), any exec sighting or piece of gossip increases the tension: When Iger and Lachlan Murdoch took a stroll through the lot several weeks ago, staff emails and texts chronicled their every move. When Rupert Murdoch lunched by himself at his usual table in the corner of the commissary, employees tried to pick up clues from body language. Many also describe a feeling of emptiness on the 53-acre lot, with parking garages clearing out well before traditional quitting time. Some executive parking spaces stay empty all day.

People focusing on the Marvel characters that will now be able to punch Thanos in the face could care less about what the Disney-Fox Studios merger means for the broad landscape of media production. It goes beyond "but think of the 4000 Fox employees", so it doesn't even rely entirely on the audience having a minimum of compassion. Sure, Netflix replaced Fox as the sixth MPAA signatory, but what is more dire is that there is one less major buyer/maker of movies and TV. The "six majors" were Disney, Universal, Fox, Warner, and to a smaller extent Paramount and Columbia/Sony. Most of Fox's executive talent, the buyers and dealmakers, have already ditched for Netflix.

When the dust settles, the iconic 20th Century Fox movie logo (and that audio fanfare) will remain only as a label within the Disney stable guided by Emma Watts, now vice chairman and president of 20th Century Fox Film. She and her production team are expected to make as many as four to five films a year for theatrical release, far fewer than the typical 12 to 14 titles that Fox has been turning out annually. Disney also is bringing aboard specialty division Fox Searchlight, headed by longtime chiefs Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley. And Elizabeth Gabler’s Fox 2000 unit has received an invitation to join Disney as well. All four will report to Walt Disney Pictures chairman Alan Horn.

It was widely assumed that Disney would keep a version of the Fox studio brands around since so much of the library they've just purchased is distinctly Not Disney Friendly (Die Hard, Alien, Planet of the Apes). They could have cobbled all the Fox stuff across existing off-Disney brands Hollywood Pictures, Buena Vista, and Touchstone.

I wonder about the long-term branding involving the word "Fox", since it's not going to be scrubbed off of Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, and the other couple chunks that the Murdoch family held onto. My money is on Disney rebranding to "Searchlight" and "20th Century" (or "21st Century"), possibly using the latter for a renaming of the Hollywood Studios (which was Disney-MGM Studios for 20 years) section of Walt Disney World, which will be home to the Star Wars Galaxy's Edge theme park. 20th Century Fox started as Twentieth Century Pictures, and Disney is big on the story and history of their panoply of brands.

Numerous Fox film folks have already bolted, including top production exec Kira Goldberg, who left in December for Netflix. One insider estimates that a dozen or so execs from the film side have landed at the streamer in the past two months alone. “This is all unprecedented,” says a top entertainment lawyer. “Nobody knows who will have a job. They all know they are being downsized. Once Disney finally owns it, they will figure it all out.”

Disney knew they'd lose a lot of Fox's top in-studio talent from the jump. This was always about bulk IP acquisition in the ongoing arms race of content stockpiling. The only similar-scale acquisition they could have made would have been Warner. Imagine all the things that would've been missed amid people shitting themselves over whether Captain Marvel or Shazam (formerly "Captain Marvel") would win in a fight.

To be honest, I think it's only a matter of time before Disney buys Warner, either as a result of "the experiment" not working and AT&T spinning them off, or Disney buying all of AT&T.

I know. The idea terrifies me, too.

Evan Narcisse on Heroes and Afrofuturism

AC: Christopher Priest had this legendary run as a writer on Black Panther. Were you there from day one?

EN: Yes I was. 1998. I was there from that first issue under the Marvel Knights banner. I think I’d put together that Priest was the same guy who I had loved on Power Man and Iron Fist. In my late high school and college years, the lightbulb went off in my head that I should be following creators and not characters. With Priest, I knew that I could trust his sensibilities. Now that I’m writing the character myself, one of the things that I realized is that Priest really took the character back to these foundational understandings that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby put down. The Panther was a cunning strategist. In his origin issues of Fantastic Four, it says he’s been planning for years for his encounter with people from outside Wakanda. Priest brought that concept forward and turned T’Challa into a master strategist, turning the book into what I call a primary example of superhero statecraft. You got to see these big political issues in this fictional universe play out. What would it be like if one country had a superteam of heroes that went all over the world, inserting themselves into various melodramas? How would a guy from a hidden country interact with them? He would want to figure out what they were capable of.

I interviewed my friend Evan Narcisse, writer of Rise of the Black Panther, for the Austin Chronicle. This is ~1300 of the 4000 words I transcribed. The long version might make its way online at some point.

HBO and the Sandstorm

Thinking a bit about Amazon today got me to thinking a bit about HBO.

Six months ago, Amazon Prime Instant picked up The Wire, Rome, and loads of HBO "back catalogue" original programming.

HBO Go is still not available for Amazon FireTV, but I think that's only the result of some sort of exclusivity deal expiring. Come 2015, HBO's standalone streaming service makes that moot.

Contrary to what Steve Burke says, I think it's ridiculous for HBO to not start gunning for Netflix in the standalone streaming arena. His spin almost reads like a Mafia Don making an idle threat, "when you been part of 'the family' for so long, why gotta go make trouble?" HBO chief Richard Plepler is right in noting that "hundreds of millions" have been left on the table due to a combination of cable bundle "Families" not actively driving up HBO subscriptions and HBO choosing not to go direct-to-consumer.

Sitting on the "first run" Iron Throne of original series has kept people bowing and paying into The Bundle for years. I've long opined that the sleeping giant is HBO's enormous back catalogue of made-for-HBO narrative and documentary movies, many of which haven't re-aired in years (some, decades). Many of them have rarely, if ever, been readily available on home video in any form, with the recent exception of blessed Warner Archive DVD releases. Couple all of that in-house content with HBO's multi-decade relationship with literally every studio in Hollywood.

The thing I keep seeing repeated is "Netflix should be scared of what is to come," but I think that's wrongheaded.

Even as an eventual little brother to HBO, Netflix has enough going for it that they can survive for a bit yet while they make some strategic acquisitions and beef up their offerings so as to not get pushed off the playing field. Netflix should be wary and think long-term, but they're radically more forward-thinking than "Cable" networks and "Cable Bundle" providers.

"Cable" complacent content businesses are the ostriches that'll get swept up in the sandstorm.

Fire Stick

Amazon got something right with their Fire TV streaming box, and I did not expect to say that when it was announced nearly seven months ago on 2 April. I was just pissed at my laggy Roku 2*.

It has completely replaced my Roku 2, and with the exception of AirPlay-ing apps (like Warner Archive Instant) from iPhones and iPad, it's also replaced my AppleTV**.

Amazon Fire TV has the baseline triumvirate needed for one of these boxes to work for me:

  1. responsive, fast internals (loads high-bitrate 1080p content in a snap)
  2. an RF remote
  3. an actually-growing, competitive "app channel" marketplace (still missing favorites like Acorn TV and Warner Archive Instant, but they'll arrive)

Most importantly, it doesn't stop working after an update (Apple), or suddenly decide it hates Hulu (Apple and Roku), or block content marketplaces that compete with them (like Apple does through "curation").

Plex, my media-serving behemoth of choice, works like a champ with no workarounds. The remote wakes my TV so that all I have to turn on with another remote is the surround system.

The announcement of and two days of $19-for-Prime members pricing of the Amazon Fire TV Stick is a big deal. I ordered one the moment I saw the news.

The regular price of $39 is only $4 that of Google's no-remote-included ChromeCast. The Amazon stick does the useful things a ChromeCast can do plus what a Roku Stick can do, but radically faster due to much better internals.

This is Amazon's comparison chart, showing Fire TV Stick doubling (or more) Roku Stick in:

  1. processor cores (very important for HD video decoding)
  2. memory/RAM
  3. flash storage (at 8GB, 32x as much as Roku's shockingly small/cheap 256MB)

Missing from the chart is that...if we're all honest with ourselves...ChromeCast is Only For Us Nerds.

*which Roku refused to swap for a 3, which came out a month after I got mine

**affectionately known as "AppleTV could not connect" in my house

Julia Marchese: I Will Not Be Censored.

This past Monday morning I was called to a last minute meeting by Julie McLean – the new general manager of the Bev – who informed me that, although I had only started my new position less than two weeks before, she had come to the conclusion that I was not manager material. 
Effective immediately, I was to be demoted to snack bar, with no shifts guaranteed. In layman’s terms: I won’t fire you, because then I would have to pay unemployment, but I simply won’t schedule you – which forces resignation.

I woke this site back up to post about my friend Julia Marchese's documentary Out of Print, about the vital role of repertory cinema and theaters like The New Beverly. I went to bat for what I thought were good intentions by the new management. Reading this blog post from her, it seems like poor decisions by the new ownership regarding public relations got lumped on the head of the wrong person, who now finds herself without a job.

Listen to Tarantino recently talking to my friend Elvis Mitchell on KCRW's The Treatment. He should have had a game plan and public statements like this ready to go back in September. My bias is plain as day, but it feels like scapegoating your biggest grassroots supporter isn't the best way to engender goodwill. When you have a draw like Tarantino's, it may not matter to him. Maybe Julia was actually somehow a shitty employee. I haven't seen all sides, but I became friends with her because of her warm greeting the first time I walked through those doors.

Out of Print is now free to watch (globally) over on Vimeo. Use password "fightfor35". When I spoke to Julia over a month ago, I told her "self-distribute it yourself to rep houses across the country. Package it as you appearing with the film. Focus on changeover 35mm venues. Start booking soon, once you know the premiere date at the New Beverly. Sell it later in VHX-style merch bundles, like the Stripped guys are."

For my dedication to the New Beverly, I am rewarded with no job, $47 in my bank account and a finished documentary film about a place that no longer exists.
Out of Print is a film I made about how important 35mm exhibition is and how special revival cinemas are – I illustrate this case with showing you ONE special cinema – The Bev.
I have been struggling to make this film since 2012, and am proud to say it is finally finished.
I was planning a big premiere at the New Beverly in January – on a 35mm print.
Obviously, that isn’t going to happen.

Even with it being "out there, for free", I still think it's worth theaters booking it. The unique nature of repertory theaters and their audiences (who want to see something on film and with a Q&A) make it viable.

Out of Print is, sadly, a completely different and more relevant movie today than it was a month ago. Now, it's a period piece.

Out of Print

Below is the trailer for Julia Marchese's documentary Out of Print, which looks at the vital role of repertory cinema and her beloved employer, the New Beverly Cinema.

I've seen the finished film, and like it a lot. Despite various controversies that have been invented out of the internet having nothing but gossip and speculation to go from, the change in ownership to Quentin Tarantino, until now only the landlord, is something I look forward to very much. The moment I heard that a digital projector had been put into the previously film-only venue, I got very worried indeed.

I'm conflicted about the expected departure of Michael Torgan, the son of Sherman Torgan. I've never met Michael and never did meet Sherman. I know them by the reputation of the rep cinema their family ran from the late 70's until Tarantino's taking it over this year. The legacy they built is the reason why I made absolutely sure that I'd get to see a double feature at the New Beverly on my first trip to Los Angeles a few years ago.

If Michael not calling the shots means a theoretically substantial and long-long-term bankroll can keep the place open? That's one thing. To do so without having to go "commercial" and let the devil that is DCP take over another 35mm holdout...well, that's another entirely. I guess I'd take that long-term security for the New Bev, but I cannot possibly fathom Tarantino not genuinely wanting Michael Torgan involved going forward in some capacity. The Torgan family is the heart of what the hardcore New Bev audience have loved about it for decades, and I'm again assuming but rather sure Tarantino feels the same way.

In the interest of complete disclosure, I've spoken with Julia recently but only about Out of Print. I'm flying blind on a second-party remove as much as everyone casting aspersions in either direction, or claiming to know all beyond doubt.

I've spoken with or sent internet telegrams to various people I think know a version of what's really going down. I know for a fact that the digital projector is out of there. I am very glad this is the case. I feel for folks who spiritually want their features to screen at the New Bev, but are shooting all-digital. I get that they want their movie to show at their favorite church. I don't think that's as important as building up the New Bev as a stronghold for 35mm. 

Change is hard, and this situation especially seems beyond delicate. I want to believe everyone involved can get past ego, entitlement, "being right" or whatever.

Bloopers of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD had a rough first year. They got to some good stuff late in the run, but most people had checked out by then. I look forward to seeing how they re-start the engine for season 2, especially with what I think is a Kree-brained Coulson.

Rian Johnson Sings "Yoda", Also Writes/Directs STAR WARS

He's writing and directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, and at least doing the treatment for Episode IX. Deadline's report conflicts with what The Wrap says (that he's only confirmed to write treatment on IX), but it's early days.

He also brings the house down when he sings Weird Al at karaoke. This was shot by a mutual friend. I was front of stage center singing my head off.

Thund3rbolt

MacRumors reported a while back on the alleged second update to the Thunderbolt standard since introduction. This news is the reason that even if fancy new Macs I otherwise want come out later this year, I won't get them if they don't have the new "Thunderbolt 3".

The computers I use have Thunderbolt 1, and accessories that use Thunderbolt 2 are only just becoming available. It's also a new form factor connector:

The site says Intel's new Thunderbolt controller, code-named Alpine Ridge, will see power consumption reduced by 50 percent, support for PCIe generation-3, and charging capacities of up to 100 watts. Backward compatibility will be maintained through the use of connector adapters, but the new Thunderbolt connector itself will be reduced in size.

Thankfully, I'm in no danger of needing new computers any time soon. I would be tempted by an amazing new take on the MacBook Air. I've wanted one of the new Mac Pros since they dropped last year. I did buy a new i7 Mac mini back in March for ESN, and only because I couldn't wait.

I hope they don't announce something amazing that has "plain-old" Thunderbolt 2. Then again, the move to an even slimmer MacBook Air would require a move to slimmer Thunderbolt and USB (if there is USB at all) ports, as they're the thickness limiting factors now.

Hm.