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CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #76

As I write this there exists a substantial threat of strikes in the film and TV business -- first from the writers guild, then from the actors guild. Well, I'd like to make a prediction. I predict that after all the yelling and finger-pointing is over, when the smoke finally clears, the single issue that will actually be the cause of these strikes will be... the internet. The folks who run the conglomerates that own the companies that produce the various entertainment products have seen the future. And that future, despite the NASDAQ's current problems, is the internet -- what's on it, who owns what's on it, and, most importantly, who profits from what's on it. As the future of this incredible, planetary network is being fought over, I can't help but think back to the first time I logged on in 1989. For a nominal sum, I signed up for Compuserve. If I recall correctly, I had 2400 baud. There was a dial tone, a horrible noise, then, miracle of miracles, a world of goofy teenagers chatting with each other via badly written sentences. I sat there and marvelled that my little computer was suddenly linked to other little computers in faraway places. I marvelled, then I logged off. It was incredibly slow and boring. Well, it's not slow and boring anymore. And it may put a lot of people out of work for a very long time. Which, IMHO, isn't a LOL situation. :>)

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1st Aired: 13 Mar 2001

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