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Marc Canter's vision/nightmare come true

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 by Dave Winer.

15 years ago Marc Canter was a cashed out ex-founder of a Kleiner Perkins startup, rushing through his money in the lifestyle of a rich and famous rock star Hollywood movie mogul. It was a huge bonfire, built around a spectacular vision of commercialism, entertainment, network technology and physical venues like bars, football stadiums, bowling alleys and restaurants.  Permalink to this paragraph

Marc turned his house on Potrero Hill into a demo for his vision. Permalink to this paragraph

I'm writing this from the JetBlue terminal at JFK which is a total realization of the vision. And I totally hate it! Permalink to this paragraph

In front of me is a HD video screen I'm trying hard to ignore, but it won't let me. All around me are similar screens with people sitting around them trying to ignore them. Hanging off the ceiling everywhere are more HD screens showing sports, news, commercials, schedules announcements. Off in the distance is a ruckus of a central hallway, total confusion, people unable to figure out even the most basic things like how to get a coffee and blueberry muffin. I don't dare go into the men's room! Permalink to this paragraph

On the monitor in front of me is one of Marc's favorite ideas. I can swipe my credit card and go to a menu where I can choose from all kinds of food that they will bring right to where I'm sitting. I didn't try it. Permalink to this paragraph

In a few months I'll probably love this place, but right now -- I'm Mr. Luddite. Give me a plain Jane terminal anyday! ;-> Permalink to this paragraph

Update: On the other hand, one thing everyone who reads this blog will appreciate -- free wifi, and it's good. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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