Silly season spawning an endless flow of OTT and online video rumors

Maybe it’s Spring; the Moon’s tidal pull. Perhaps it’s leftover sleep depravation from the time change. Whatever, it’s unquestionably silly season.

Yesterday’s rumor in the Wall Street Journal (citing anonymous sources) that Amazon was launching a free, ad-supported Web-based TV service? Debunked by Amazon. In an email, Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts told Variety’s Todd Spangler: “We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service.”

The Journal had reported that Amazon would fill the service with original series and possibly licensed TV programming.

The rumor follows on the heels of another rumor earlier this month (which also cited anonymous sources) that said Amazon and Comcast were in talks about a new streaming television service for Apple.

No direct denial from Apple, but the news is waaaay overblown. And it’s quietly winding down as time erodes its urgency.

Also in the rumor mill…

Amazon is releasing a new set top box. OK, that’s an old one, but it resurfaced this week because Amazon is having a press event (a FACT!) next week in New York. The rumor gained some cred because the head of Amazon’s Kindle division will present “an update on our video business.” And that, well, that could be anything.

Shoot me your take on what it could be and maybe I’ll send a VideoMind t-shirt to the best entry. Of course, that’s just a rumor.

The only thing missing this month (and we still have a few days to go), is a report that Apple’s long-awaited HDTV is on the way. Let me know if you want to start one, and I can feed you all the supply-chain notes that will make it seem like the real deal.

A long time ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I worked for newspapers (those things that you used to wrap fish in and line the bottom of bird cages).

The newspaper chain I was with – and it wasn’t alone — had a stringent ban on anonymous sources because, well, they couldn’t be trusted. It would be a good thing to bring back because rumors are a lot like vaporware… conceptually, they sound great. But, usually, there’s nothing there to back it up.

So, yesterday at re/code’s code/media event in Santa Monica, I had a chance to meet Mike Judge and to watch 10 minutes or so of his new comedy that’s coming to HBO, “Silicon Valley.”

Judge, the creator of “Beavis & Butt-Head” and “King of the Hill,” and director of “Office Space,” talked about his own experiences in the Valley when he worked there as an engineer in the 1980s and how that influenced the new show.

“Look at these billionaires,” he said. “They are introverted and socially awkward and no one is saying no to them. It’s kind of perfect for comedy.”

Hilarious. And you can quote me on that.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn