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NerdTV Introduces Internet TV Series


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NerdTV Introduces Internet TV Series


Robert X. Cringely

In the spirit of reaching audiences wherever they can be found, PBS said it will launch a downloadable television series. NerdTV features author and PBS columnist Robert X. Cringely's interviews with intriguing personalities drawn from the world of technology. The 13 one-hour shows will be made available weekly beginning September 6, and all episodes will remain to be available at PBS' NerdTV.

In addition to the unusual platform, NerdTV is being distributed under a Creative Commons license, an increasingly popular alternative to traditional copyright. This gives viewers the legal right to do such things as download the shows, burn them to DVD, copy them for friends or put them on peer-to-peer networks.

Cringely said that downloadable video is a viable but little-used option for television distribution, especially now that more than half of U.S. homes with Internet access are using broadband. "The strength of this new medium can be found in how it serves niche audiences," he said. "This is where Internet distribution shines."

His first guests include PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, original Macintosh programmer Andy Hertzfeld and Sun Microsystems co-founder and the father of Berkeley UNIX, Bill Joy. "NerdTV will have an uninterrupted hour with the smartest, funniest and sometimes nerdiest people in high-tech," Cringely said. "These are people who have changed our lives whether we know it or not."

Cringely wrote the documentary "The Triumph of the Nerds: The Rise of Accidental Empires" and the best-selling book on which it was based, "Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date."

Viewers will be able to choose from MP4 video of the whole program, highlights for a general audience and highlights of interest to a more technical audience. Audio-only formats also will be available, including AAC, MP3 and Ogg Vorbis.

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