The Morning TV Show Format

O.A.R. was on the VH-1 Morning Buzz show this morning. They were performing a new song I hadn’t heard before, so I watched the show.

It was painful. Not O.A.R. They were great, even with a stripped down four piece version of the band. (Chris and Benj were absent.) It’s the television show: A cheap, stripped-down, grasping-at-straws-for-content version of Today or GMA, which are similar poor shows just with bigger budgets.

I don’t watch much television anymore, and I definitely don’t watch any of the morning shows. So while I’m familiar with the format from so long ago it feels like a previous life, I haven’t sat through an example of it in years.

It’s bad.

In the half hour or forty minutes I saw, host Nick Lachey and his two co-hostesses ran through a ridiculous number of spots, one more hollow than the next. There was the bartender showing them how to make fancy mixed drinks. There was the pole dancer showing the three hosts how to pole dance (I notice the second hostess stood by and never got on the pole — she must be the smart one). There was a three minute interview with Akon, following by two questions asked from tourists on the street. Nick Lachey sang 20 seconds of a song coming out of a break. An even more annoying co-host helped introduce O.A.R. and smiled like a doofus when Lachey teased the next show. Lachey went out into the “crowd” of about 20 people in Times Square to answer a couple of Tweets, and then took a selfie or two with the people.

Bam bam bam bam. Don’t blink or you’ll miss a segment. Better idea: Blink and you WILL miss a segment. One more vapid than the next. Lachey reading his questions off index cards is painful, especially when he can’t pronounce the name of an artist he just referred to as a “major” one, like he had never heard of Matisyahu before.

Later on, I listened to a Nerdist podcast where the host and friends interviewed Donald Fasion for an hour.* Sure, the topics were a bit scattered, but there was a flow of conversation that didn’t seem scripted or rehearsed. It felt natural. It was funny. It was entertaining. I learned a thing or two and had a couple fun flashbacks to things I had forgotten about. Obviously, they went into the podcast with topics to discuss, but it wasn’t carefully planned. All the proof you need of that is the awkward way it ended, like all Nerdist podcasts. There’s about three rounds of good-byes before the tangents stop and they actually end the recording.

Morning Television is the true vast wasteland, showing us on a daily fast-forwardable basis just how scattershot and minimally attentive television audiences are assumed to be. I’d rather sit in a chair, close my eyes, and listen to a podcast, where there’s no commercial breaks, no need for multiple segments, the freedom to talk about anything using whatever language they see fit, and a sense of spontaneity not created by cringe-worthy audience interaction.

Give me podcasts or give me — well, boredom!

Apple’s Healthbook and Diabetes

This is Healthbook, Appleā€™s major first step into health & fitness tracking | 9to5Mac.

9to5Mac has a scoop of what might just be coming up in iOS 8. It’s called Healthbook, and it’s one central place on your phone to put all your health data.

The most interesting section to me, of course, is the “Blood Sugar” part. Some immediately jumped that it meant that (A) the iWatch is coming and (B) the iWatch would magically check your blood sugar readings.

That last part is never going to happen. But — there’s a solution here for diabetics that’s awesome, if Apple can pull it off. There are things called CGM — Continuous Glucose Monitors. They stay attached to you around the clock and measure your blood sugar levels through your interstitial tissues every minutes. They then beam the numbers to another device you keep on you to show you your readings. The insulin pumps these days can read those numbers, but the displays make for an ugly look into the data. Imagine a custom iOS app with nice graphs and tables of data? It would be much easier to use, and more likely for a diabetic to use it.

There’s no reason the iPhonecan’t graab that signal, aside from the proprietary nature of the data format? If Apple can strike a deal with the medical device manufacturers who make the CGMs, they can unlock those signals and make apps that show you how you’re doing.

I’m not sure if Apple would go so far as to add this data to the iOS 8 framework — I’m sure HIPPA would not make it easy, and users would at the least have to approve it on an app by app basis — but it would be nice if they could…