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Three Minutes With Mark Cuban 188

Posted by timothy
from the wise-guy-eh dept.
Thomas Hawk writes "Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavericks, HDNET, blogger extraordinaire and all around tech visionary really, really gets it. Read on for his views on Media Center, content delivery via hard drive instead of DVD, movie conversions to HD, Home entertainment, etc."
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Three Minutes With Mark Cuban

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  • His Blog... (Score:5, Informative)

    by IanBevan (213109) * on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:42PM (#10144655) Homepage
    http://www.blogmaverick.com/
  • by Patik (584959) * <cpatik.gmail@com> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:42PM (#10144656) Homepage Journal
    His company's site is even coded with valid HTML [w3.org], something that can't be said for many major sites.

    I love the fact that his channel broadcasts all movies in their original aspect ratio with 5.1-channel sound. And this part made me laugh:

    "We have a show called HDNet World Report where we put cameras in all kinds of hot spots--Iraq, wherever. And when we show a firefight or some sort of bombing, we don't have the reporter say anything. They just say, "We're in Iraq, we're in Baghdad, and there's a firefight going on, I'll shut up and let you watch it." And being able to see it in wide-screen high resolution with 5.1 sound, if you have a tank firing, you hear it coming out of one ear and see it leaving out of the other ear. It's just incredible. Just to be able to see it like you're actually sitting there is amazing."

    • He's a helluva lot richer than Taco too.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:02PM (#10144807)
      Reading that quote reminded me of when I was recently watching the Democratic National Convention on INHD a few weeks ago. It was completely devoid of commentaries, interviews, political polls and what not. I even watched the entire performance of Black Eyed Peas. Anyhow, I decided to surf to a different channel and happened to land on MSNBC. After watching it for a little while and listening to all the various talking heads, it was so obvious to me that you can come away with a totally different point of view when watching it with commentaries versus without. So in response to that quote, yeah, I think it's pretty amazing to watch...

    • Tried validating Slashdot [w3.org]?

      I got the following unexpected response when trying to retrieve <http://slashdot.org/>:

      403 Forbidden

      Please make sure you have entered the URL correctly.



      Big Oooops?
    • I do have one concern about his description of his news footage, and that's with the sound. Are the camera setups they're using recording multiple channels with multiple different microphones? If not - and I tend to doubt it since that would be incredibly difficult on a battlefield - then they must be adding in positional audio effects after the fact, which seems like yet another blurring of the line between news and entertainment. Instead of saying "My God, look at what that tank did to those people," i
      • Could everyone please stop shooting for a second, I need to make sure we have these mics positioned correctly...thank you, I think we have everything setup, please continue...aww, crap, watch where your driving, do you know how hard it is to get that mic just right? Stop, stop, stop...take it from the top...
      • by killjoe (766577) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @10:20PM (#10145859)
        More important question is.

        Does he show the actual carnage or is it just "wowie just look at how our soldiers shoot the terrorists just like that video game".

        I admit most americans would enjoy shootage of their soldiers destroying towns, buildings, and of course thousands of people but they don't seem to want to actually see the bown apart bodies or the mass graves that are dug afterwards.
        • I know when I was in the Marines all I wanted to do was kill innocent civilians. And as I carried my full alice pack on 15+ mile humps I couldn't help but think how much like a video game protecting the freedom for people to be total a$$holes really was. Maybe you can meet some of our servicemen and women at the airport as they come home so you can spit on them and call them babykillers. I've got an even better idea... just go here [army.mil].
          • by killjoe (766577) on Friday September 03, 2004 @11:16AM (#10149878)
            Oh I suppose those 500 pound bombs were delivering cinnamon buns then huh? And those mass graves? do they contain barbie dolls?

            Listen I am sorry that the reality of the situation is so harsh and not to your liking but you can't deny that american soldiers have killed tens of thousands of innocent civillians. Why? To put down some insurgency in fallujiah or najaf. What the fuck kind of reason is that? Why is that your job?

            Are you seriously claiming the US military never kills civillians?

            Oh and keep thinking that you are "protecting people's freedom" I am sure it helps you sleep better. Too bad the only people who deserve freedom also happen to have something you want. The people in Sudan, Liberia, china, north korea, palestine, chechnia etc can continue to starve, be massacred, subjugated and die off in disgusting numbers because you can't be bothered to lift a finger to help them. It's much more important to deliver najaf back to alawi, we just can't let some cleric control a city damnit. Those people deserve to be ruled by somebody we handpicked not some damned cleric!.
          • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Friday September 03, 2004 @11:50AM (#10150196) Homepage

            Actually, a few of them apparently deserve to be called a few names. How are these people [cnn.com] any different than those we claim to be fighting against?

            Torture is torture - regardless of whose side you're on.

      • I don't see why you think picking up realistic sound should require trickery or bulky equipment - my eyes and ears do fine, all packaged into a bone ball no larger than the size of a normal human skull.

        And then there's your concern that a high fidelity, minimal-commentary feed from the battlefield is too.... what? realistic? unrealistic? too much shock and awe, or not enough?

  • by edrugtrader (442064) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:43PM (#10144667) Homepage
    you're damn right mark cuban gets it... he's single and a billionaire. he gets it from 2 or 3 girls at once. he's probably getting it right now
  • by serutan (259622) <(moc.nozakeeg) (ta) (guodpoons)> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:47PM (#10144697) Homepage
    "I can be sitting in the bathroom with my Sidekick, and I'll be reading e-mail."

    Thanks Mark, that's just a little more information than I needed.
  • Its a good idea. I've been offloading pr0n to my 90M bernoulli disks for years now. No, really.
  • I think hes gonna do a some Benefactor TV show, its kinda like that show Trump did...I can't remember the name. kinda dumb
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The same respect I'd give someone who got rich by playing the lottery.

    Come on. The guy got lucky -- that's it, that's all, baby goes to sleep. He's rich due to artificial market inflation combined with "right place, right time". He doesn't have any particular genius or insight to be interested in, just money he stumbled into. I'm about as interested in his opinions and views and upcoming products, as I am in Paris Hilton's. They're on the same conceptual level.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      In other words, you're jealous and would give your left nut to be either one of them for a day. But as the usual geek, you spout crap about them to make yourself feel better.
      • These geeks kill me sometimes! lol They want excellent-paying jobs. They wanna be able to afford all the gadgetry in the world, but they don't want the producers of this technology to get rich. Oh NO! Can't have that! lol
    • I hope you're kidding. Unlike many of the others who got rich overnight, Cuban has managed to retain his wealth, and make it grow. Also, he sold two companies to two larger ones prior to the bust, not just the broadcast.com deal. How many people do you know who win the lottery twice in a row? The man saw an opportunity, and he took it, and I respect him for that.

      • You respect him for what? Not really contributing jack shit to society, but making an assload of cash because he was in the "right place, right time?"

        Sounds like a lottery to me.

        That's the biggest problem with our system - and no, I'm not a "filthy commie" or "god hating socialist," so keep those fucking comments to yourself. But it really says something about us that those who have the most money didn't really contribute in any feasible way - they just are good at manipulating the numbers and the syste

  • by leonara (87228) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:57PM (#10144771)
    This raises all sorts of interesting questions.
    Since folks like Netflix and Walmart have to buy the copies of the movies they rent out, the movies that are distributed via hard disks will need to be licensed copies as well. I wonder how the owners of the rights will keep track of the copies that are put on the hard disks - especially since the intention is to reuse the media.

    The mode of distribution is not also as simple as the Netflix mechanism. Sending hard drives by mail cannot be as easy or cost effective as sending CDs by mail.

    Some of what he says does sound futuristic - it may well become feasible in the future, but would it be possible now?

    • Sure, you can ship hard disks today, but why? DVDs are cheaper per GB, and in 5 years optical storage will still be cheaper per GB than hard disks. It doesn't matter if you can fit an HD movie on a keychain drive because that drive is guaranteed to cost more than $1.
      • Would disks still be cheaper if Blockbuster video was turned into a ATM-sized kiosk? Drive up, plug in your keychain drive, download a few movies and drive away. You could put them in wal-mart, the grocery store, and the gas station for $2000 apiece. For that matter, your workplace could keep one next to the vending machines at work. You could download your movies on the way home from work without even stopping anywhere.

        Sure the drive cost more than the keychain, but the kiosk costs allot less than a s
      • "DVDs are cheaper per GB, and in 5 years optical storage will still be cheaper per GB than hard disks."

        But that's based on the assumption that drives would be used in the same way as optical storage discs. They won't. A drive can be reused whereas a disc has to be pressed and incurs the cost of the distribution and inventory system. There is more to consider than the raw cost of the media itself. Rewritable drives would not have to be created, formatted with content, and stored for a single use (short

        • I guess Cuban's argument makes some sense if you assume that people are renting movies. If people actually want to own movies (assuming that will be allowed in 5 years), hard disks have no advantage.
    • Ready for this? Netflix buys no movies. They cut a deal with the studios for a share of the (still missing) profits. Netflix still can't turn a profit, and seeing as how they don't have to buy the movies, I wonder what kind of crack they dole out in those offices?

  • by loqi (754476) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @06:57PM (#10144772)
    If a fan tells me to trade a player or pick up a player, I can't always do what they say

    I wonder how often he does do what they say? Better yet, if someone spammed a request for a trade to him, would he be statistically obligated to do what the spam told him to?
    • I wonder how often he does do what they say?
      100% of the time he thinks it's a good idea. ;)
    • Re:SimMavericks? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Skim123 (3322)
      I wonder how often he does do what they say?

      Let's just say Mark is not afraid to make trades. Each offseason the Mavs make some pretty big moves, this time dealing Antoine and Antwane, as well as losing Steve Nash. Last year was getting Antoine and Antwane, but giving up Van Exel. The year before it was getting Van Exel. And on and on and on. While he has kept together a core of players - Nash (well, not anymore), Finley, and Dirk - he has no qualms about trying new pieces for just a single season bef

  • In other words "thinks the same as me".

    C'mon many people are visionaries and "get it", just most don't have the bucks and arrogance to fill the media with their views.

  • And being able to see it in wide-screen high resolution with 5.1 sound, if you have a tank firing, you hear it coming out of one ear and see it leaving out of the other ear. It's just incredible. Just to be able to see it like you're actually sitting there is amazing.

    This guy is way, way to excited about war. Mayybe he should enlist.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      This guy is way, way to excited about war. Mayybe he should enlist.


      Can I moderate something as "Flamebait" and "Insightful"?
    • Re:Way Too Excited (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hexcentric1 (688709)
      I don't see anything wrong with showing people what is going on around the world. Grainy images on a small little TV tend to make it less real for most people. Look back a few years; people had seen images of war, but that did not prepare them for the media's coverage of Vietnam. Now people are somewhat desensitized to violence on television; seeing the detail that has been missing may help people realize just how violent war really is.
      • Re:Way Too Excited (Score:2, Insightful)

        by zaxios (776027)
        Seeing the detail that has been missing may help people realize just how violent war really is.

        I don't agree with that - not when war movies have HD level of image and sound quality already. If anything, it just places real war and real death in the context of entertainment - a sort of "I hope you enjoyed 'Bad Boys II'; stay tuned for more footage from Najaf".

        When war footage is packaged in the form of television and juxtaposed to entertainment or news anchors with meticulously arranged hair and placed
  • Well, at least he's tech-savvy.
  • Lucky or Smart? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by puppetman (131489) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:08PM (#10144841) Homepage
    This guy is all about TV. High definition. Content delivered on hard drives. 100-megabit internet connections at home. Nothing he said was that radical, or that interesting.

    People listen to him because he got rich selling his company to Yahoo during the .com boom.

    He got rich, and now people think he has some sort of unique insight. I think he just got lucky with the timing.
    • Re:Lucky or Smart? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by warmboot (608342)
      Timing is a distinct part of making your own luck; Cuban saw an opportunity and went for it -- that makes him smart. The fact that Yahoo! paid him a stupid amount of cash was due, in part, to the luck of the tech boom. More power to him
    • Re:Lucky or Smart? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alphaseven (540122) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:43PM (#10144996)
      I'd say a bit of both, like he was a multi-millionaire businessman before he started broadcast.com (selling MicroSolutions to Compuserve), and he's done okay with the Mavericks. The guy knows what he's doing.

      Less of a fluke artist than that guy that started hotmail and sold it for hundreds of millions of dollars.

      • Re:Lucky or Smart? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by melkorainur (768297)
        > Less of a fluke artist than that guy that started hotmail and sold it for hundreds of millions of dollars.
        Not sure I follow how hotmail's founder is a fluke artist (i assume you mean someone who succeeded just by chance?) The original hotmail, prior to MS, was innovative and an intentional success imho. They had a decent backend that had good uptime back when clustering and high availability wasn't yet widely available. Hotmail and their employees intended to create a product that provided functional
    • He got rich, and now people think he has some sort of unique insight.

      That's America for you. If you're rich, (most) people think you must be really smart. Sometimes this may be true, but often [wordspy.com] it is not. But the sheeple [wordspy.com] don't care; they want to look up to, emulate, and lap up the pearls of wisdom put forth by the rich folks.

    • Re:Lucky or Smart? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DarkZero (516460)
      This guy is all about TV. High definition. Content delivered on hard drives. 100-megabit internet connections at home. Nothing he said was that radical, or that interesting.

      Compared to every other rich American businessman in the entertainment industry who's all about commercials during movies, broadcast flags, content delivered on whatever can lock the user out, and adjusting the "consumer's" internet connection to put a priority on corporate content, he's a genius.

      The guy might not be Einstein, but it'
  • by Potor (658520) <farker1@gmail . c om> on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:10PM (#10144848) Journal
    Whereas with our news, we have a show called HDNet World Report where we put cameras in all kinds of hot spots--Iraq, wherever. And when we show a firefight or some sort of bombing, we don't have the reporter say anything. They just say, "We're in Iraq, we're in Baghdad, and there's a firefight going on, I'll shut up and let you watch it." And being able to see it in wide-screen high resolution with 5.1 sound, if you have a tank firing, you hear it coming out of one ear and see it leaving out of the other ear. It's just incredible. Just to be able to see it like you're actually sitting there is amazing.
    He sells this as if it is content, but in fact it is just the opposite ... At least newscasts generally attempt to give a framework and a grasp of what's happening. He is offering nothing more than an ersatz experience made all the more ersatz by emulation. When will this technology spatter blood on its viewers too?

    I am not against his company, or his use of technology. But I am worried about the commodification of everything, including the battle field 'experience,' which has now been reduced officially to being, like, incredible and amazing. I guess it is, when you command a home theatre.

    cheers, potor

    • But I am worried about the commodification of everything, including the battle field 'experience,' which has now been reduced officially to being, like, incredible and amazing. I guess it is, when you command a home theatre.

      Just like television made the news more personal to the viewer compared to radio broadcasts and just as radio broadcasts made the news more personal compared to newspaper articles. I don't think there is anything wrong with bringing as close a simulation as possible home to the genera
      • "I suspect that your hypothetical 3D blood-spatter system(TM) would be all the more effective in giving the more hawkish among the population pause to consider exactly what it means for both our troops and the "enemy" to declare war and go off to battle."

        I very seriously doubt it. The hawkish are very easily lied to. Today for example I was flipping through the channels trying to avoid bush when I heard him say the phrase.

        "the people of iraq are no longer afraid of being buried in a mass grave" or somethi
        • "I honestly don't think it mattered to the dead or their relatives whether GW or Saddam did the killing. Do you?"

          Actually it does. I think they were more afraid of Saddam. And so there were fewer revenge attacks on Saddam and his minions.
      • Just like television made the news more personal to the viewer compared to radio broadcasts and just as radio broadcasts made the news more personal compared to newspaper articles..

        You imply that his HDNet World Report is a logical extension of the mission of the news media, which is a false premise. Newspapers (and battle field dispatched before them - see Caesar), radio, TV, and then internet news all report; ie, despite bias, they generally try to give a rational and synthesised account of activity. H

    • At least newscasts generally attempt to give a framework and a grasp of what's happening. He is offering nothing more than an ersatz experience made all the more ersatz by emulation. When will this technology spatter blood on its viewers too?

      I've got to ask -- what is it with people who don't want facts portrayed directly? Maybe if people got to see actual combat in high-def, surround sound they'd not get some George Bush hard-on to go kill something every time they don't get their way.

      Look at "Saving P
  • Well (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Grell (9450) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @07:24PM (#10144924) Homepage
    If your only exposure to the guy is through news reports he may come off as a little arrogant, but damn: read the blog.

    He's got a lot to back up that confidence, really insightful on a lot of things, and yet not afraid to admit where he's clueless.

    Impressive dude.

    ~G
  • He was on some interview on TV awhile ago, he's always getting fined by the NBA for arguing with the refs, and shouting vugarities. Smart man though, he set up the selling of his Yahoo stock with a hedging strategy, so Yahoo could be doing good or bad and he would still be okay. He's a smart man to say the least or atleast he made smart choices.
    • It was smart for Mark Cuban to choose to hedge in this case, but the brains behind setting up the hedge resided at an investment bank.

      Hedges of this type are set up by investment banks like Goldman or UBS. They have people who sell these kind of services to executives. I imagine that someone like this connected with Cuban. For a substantial fee they set up the hedge. The goal of the investment bank is to lay off the risk, by selling options, or a moving set of dynamically hedged options so that they

  • and is a ex-hoosier to boot :)
  • by DrYak (748999) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @08:11PM (#10145159) Homepage
    And being able to see it in wide-screen high resolution with 5.1 sound, if you have a tank firing, you hear it coming out of one ear and see it leaving out of the other ear. It's just incredible. Just to be able to see it like you're actually sitting there is amazing.


    Am I the only one who thinks about Ray Bradbury's book Farenheit 451.
    I have suddenly a frightning vision of a future full of brain washed couch potatoe that prefer whatching thing on their TV-wall (buy 3 walls, the fourt to make the room complete is oferred free) because it looks much more realistic than the real life.
    TV-Zombies that admires how much their TV is immersive, how well their ultra-high definition 4096p TV enable to see even the small dropplets of blood from the guy getting his head cut in the background, and how realistic the sound of the machine gun in Surround 16.1.

    BUT no one turns his/her brain ON to realise that there watching an horrible war and actual people dying.

    COMMON YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT BEING KILLED.

    I'm sure there's a conspiracy behind HDTV : governement wanting people to be leniant and just admiring the quality of news in HDTV instead of thinking of the implication of said news. ...now please excuse-me, while I'll getting my thin-foil hat before governement tries to erase my mind by boardcasting lasers from my TV-set...
    { /mode-paranoid: Off; }
  • Mark Cuban is following the curve of all self annointed internet 'visionaries' which is to first get a really good idea out there, sell it to someone with lots of money and then move into media and television because it suddenly dawns on them that their brilliance is best transfered to mass media where the real money is.
  • I recall hearing about "distributing video on hard drives" a while back.

    Why bother? DVD-sized media with more capacity are coming, and compression good enough for HDTV on existing media is already available.

    Besides, hard disk replication would be a pain. We'd be back to where things were in the early days of VHS replication. Huge farms of consumer grade VCRs slaved off one good digital tape player. A bunch of people running around changing media. (Later, better ways to duplicate tape were developed.)

  • Actually, no (Score:3, Informative)

    by K8Fan (37875) on Thursday September 02, 2004 @10:03PM (#10145792) Journal

    I'm a big a fan of Mark Cuban as anyone, but the truth is more important. HD-Net is not the first channel to broadcast exclusively in HD, and Mark isn't even the first to broadcast more than one channel of HD at the same time.

    Unity Motion was the first, a dedicated HD-only satellite system featuring three 24 hour, 1080i channels. In 1998. Dead by 1999 [archive.org]. But I still have one of the receivers.

  • Tech Savvy? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LMNTK (759645)
    I would have to say Mr. Cuban is more of a businessman than anything...what kind of tech enthusiast brags about his new HP Media Center PC? And why all the redundant backups on easily damaged hard drives full of precision moving parts? Seems pretty silly to me. This article is the usual from PC World - profit-driven filler. I'm surprised the article doesn't have more links to buy the stuff plugged in the text. Maybe I'm just being an elitist? -K
    • Mark mentions "key chain drives," so maybe he's referring to RAM drives like USB drives, and not your "tyipcal" platter-based hard drive?
  • I don't see how mark Cuban thinks his stations are worth paying for. The other HD channels do not charge. Hell, even HBO throws in the HD channels with your regular subscription.

    Tonight HDNet was covering the Republican Convention. So was INHD. The difference? I don't have to pay extra for INHD.

    You people that believe that he's a visionary can keep giving him your money.
  • whether HDNet is using, or plans to use, the broadcast flag to prevent taping of content? (Sounds like a "no", since he talks about moving it to a keychain, but I'm curious if the message matches his actions)
  • I can't believe that anyone here really believes that Mark Cuban is really a tech visionary. He's a great salesman and a compulsive liar. Put those together and you get what he really is . . . a con artist.

    Don't waste any more neural output on this guy. Enough people have paid their hard-earned savings/investments and free time to fund his shenanigans. Where is that 4 Billion dollars of value that yahoo paid for broadcast.com? No where useful. It's been wasted on stupid hobbies, sports teams, hookers
  • I ran across some HDTV samples today. Check it out! [microsoft.com]
  • I give mine at least 5, out of respect...

    forget foreplay, postplay is much better, like the all time favourite:

    "Damn woman, get me another pack of smokes I am out" ...

    OK maybe I should just RTFA.

    if(this.topic != this.parent.topic)
    this.mod(Mod.OFF_TOPIC);
  • and I think he's done some cool crap in his life but once you start a reality-tv show, I can't help but thing 'sellout.'
  • Didn't he also send an email to 700 of his closest friends asking that they vote for one of his players to the all-star team, only to leave all 700 of these friends in the "to" line of the email, rather than bcc? Thus, all of them got each others' email addresses and begin the "Mark Cuban" listserv, where people started emailing EACH OTHER, including buying things from each other.

    I don't remember the details and can't find the story online anymore - anyone know it? The total recipient list may have been

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