Frozen moments in an age of technological wonder

Posted by bryanzug - 2007/04/17

There are moments that, ages from now, you will remember exactly where you were at when you heard the news.

Like last night.

I was driving back to my hotel in Palo Alto from the Web 2.0 Expo at San Francisco’s Moscone Center West. I turned on the alternative station and heard Loveline come on with Dr. Drew.

I could tell something was different as they started the show — there was a quick note that they had rescheduled the guests for the evening (two porn actresses) and were going to take calls about the Virginia Tech shooting.

What ‘Virginia Tech Shooting?’ I asked myself.

I listened for a few minutes. Not much info. I scanned the FM stations. Nothing there but entertainment. I switched to AM and moved from news site to news site, picking up details.

What a sad moment.

This AM as I listened to CNN while getting ready to head back to the conference, I heard an account from a professor in the building where most of the murders occurred.

He described hearing gunshots and barricading himself into his office. He detailed how he went to watch video on CNN’s web site to get an idea of what was happening around him.

And I am at one of the biggest tech conferences to ever focus on how we, as an industry, create things like streaming media tools, etc. — and how they [might]((http://chris.pirillo.com/2007/04/13/live-internet-video-stream/) be used.

I honestly never imagined that one — streaming video to monitor a massacre in your immediate proximity.

Stranger still is the fact that, after the Dot Com Crash, I worked at Real Networks for a year — monitoring the live performance of those CNN feeds — rallying the troops when surges brought things to a halt — triaging the system when it all went to hell.

I was the guy who woke up the Real news chief when the space shuttle broke up on re-entry in 2003. The team I was on monitored the video readiness as the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq and the fall(?) of Bagdad.

Sigh — may you live in interesting times is both a blessing and a curse.



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  1. Wait… you were tuning into Lovelines and you could tell something was different? Lovelines? My whole image of you has changed… I feel kind of sick inside now.

    Comment by Kelly — May 22, 2007 #

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