there are 10 posts from April 2009

April 30, 2009

lost and lostpedia

The folks at Lostpedia have a great interview with Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, the producers of Lost. I just loooove the fact that the writers / producers of the show actually rely on Lostpedia every once in a while for information about their own show…

You know, obviously one of the questions that Carlton and I get asked very often is like “Is there a Lost Bible that has all the details of the show? Is there a database?”, and our answer to that question is “Yeah we have this guy named Gregg Nations, who is the keeper of all the information”, but there is also a website that is like Wikipedia, that is sort of fan aggregated, that has sort of every little detail about the show … When we’ve visited the site we are incredibly impressed with sort of the level of detail. There are occasions where we basically say “What was Juliet’s husband’s first name?”, and if Gregg is not sitting in his office we will log into Lostpedia to get that answer.

One of my favorite meta-discussions with fellow Lost fans is debating just how much the show’s arc has been pre-determined by the producers and writing team, and how much they’re making it up as they go along. And yesterday a few of us at the office realized – if the Lost producers are relying on Lostpedia for information about their own show…is there an opportunity for Lostpedia to hack some misinformation into the show itself? And if that happened, would that information then become Lost canon, which would mean that Lostpedia then needs to treat their misinformation as real information?

Thinking through a self-referential hack like that hurts my head…it’s almost like trying to figure out how time travel works.

April 28, 2009

bart swingers

A great shot from a local take on Caroline Woolard’s Swing on the Subway piece from 2006. There’s a Flickr pool in case it happens again… As the kids say, [this is good].

April 27, 2009

live by the sword, die by the sword

So I’ve been slowly making my way through Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica (I’m a laggard), but for whatever reason didn’t buy the entire season at once through iTunes, instead purchasing the episodes a la carte either from my laptop or from the AppleTV at home when I had a chance to watch another ep.

Until last night, when Season 2 disappeared from their catalog. I’m sure there’s some crazy contractual reason why this happened, but now I’m stuck with one of two options. I can either buy the entire DVD set for the season, which means I’ll have paid for the season one and a half times. Or I steal borrow the remaining episodes from a friendly neighbor in order to make my way through the season.

Live by the sword, die by the sword: I bought into the Apple digital media ecosystem, and probably shouldn’t be surprised when something like this happens. At the same time, the fact that what was there yesterday, available for purchase, isn’t there today makes very little sense to me. Paging Chris Anderson: wasn’t this supposed to be the land of infinite shelf space?

April 23, 2009

wasted real estate

As someone who spends an awful lot of time producing words, I find it ironic that even though technology costs have declined to the point where I can have a monitor with enough pixels to word process a document in “2 page side by side” mode at 100% resolution, I rarely, if ever, work in a word processor.

Browser textareas just don’t work quite the same way.

April 23, 2009

this is good, recently

I’m a compulsive saver of links. Links I save for no particular reason other than their general greatness I tag on delicious as thisisgood. Here are five recent ones. If they’re not new to you, then you can derisively snicker “seen it” and move right along.

  1. I’m leaving forumville forever. Discuss.
  2. Ezra Cooper on the job of being a production assistant on The Shining. “KUBRICK: No! Keep typing!” (There, I’ve spoiled the punchline. You’ll have to clickthrough for the setup.)
  3. A fantastic Talk thread at Serious Eats: What do you collect? There’s the usual lists of course (fiestaware, hot sauces, etc.) but also a few gems like this one: “I think I have the world’s largest collection of grasshopper pins.”
  4. Flowing Data on how to fix the uncommunicative table. I have no idea if those circles are actually a fix, but wow, they sure are pretty.
  5. And, finally, I know, everyone’s into Fuck You, Penguin. But I really loved the one about how Egotistical deer think they are always making your day. “It’s really because deer are huge attention whores.”
April 23, 2009

random reruns

I love this new experiment from Ben Brown: Random Reruns.

Making the leap from normal TV to internet TV means you lose the ability to just turn it on. In order to watch something on Hulu, even in the background, I have to search, sort, browse and select through thousands of choices. Do I want to watch a new episode of 30 Rock? Or maybe an old episode of He-man? It takes way too much thinking!

Put in your Hulu username, and Random Reruns will randomly serve up a show from your list of subscriptions. I love anything that injects a little more randomness into the media diet.

April 21, 2009

getting hatted by project upstream

This may be old news to all of you, but it was new news to me. While enjoying my morning coffee, up popped this instant message.

Expedited Coho

Hmm, I’d never heard of this person “ExpeditedCoho.” And the message didn’t seem like your normal AIM bot, looking to start a chat about hot things. A little Googling turned up that this was the work of Project Upstream.

Project Upstream is an organization dedicated to promoting social ideals through the use of exciting new technology. Our most well-known service is our swarm of robotic fish, which connects AIM users to each other.

Which means that when I replied “Hello, ExpeditedCoho” Upstream connected me to another AIM user in their database, and, presumably, cloaked my username as another *Coho. Randomness ensued:

ExpeditedCoho: I IMed you first. If I deny this later, I’m lying.
msippey: Hello, ExpeditedCoho.
ExpeditedCoho: who art thou?
msippey: michael
msippey: but i’m sure my screenname appears to be something that ends in “Coho”
msippey: we’ve been randomly connected through project upstream
ExpeditedCoho: wait which michael
ExpeditedCoho: i dost not understand

There’s a great LiveJournal community all about Project Upstream, with a perfect FAQ.

Q: What cool lingo do you use? I’m so confused!
A: “Salmoning/Trouting/Cohoing” is being IMed by a fishbot (see, similarly: “salmoned”/”trouted”/”cohoed”). “Hatting” is being hit by–you guessed it–a hat bot (also see: “hatted”). “Project Upstream” is the name of the group that created the fishbots. The “Hatmaster”/”Salmonmaster”/etc. we use to refer to the creator of that specific kind of bot, and an “operator” is a person operating the bot (not necessarily the creator).

I love the Internets.

April 20, 2009

steve reich wins the pulitzer

Steve Reich won the 2009 Pulitzer prize in Music for Double Sextet. This makes me insanely happy, and just heightens the anticipation for eighth blackbird’s upcoming recording. Until that arrives you can listen to an excerpt at Carnegie Hall’s website, or watch eighth blackbird’s first rehearsal of the piece on YouTube. Reich was interviewed for NPR’s All Things Considered this afternoon; he was typically gracious.

April 17, 2009

JJ warns George

George Lucas and JJ Abrams, originally uploaded by Joi.

“So I just wanted to give you a heads up – the Lost guys are gonna work in a plot point in Season 5 where one of the characters rewrites Empire Strikes Back. Nothing personal…. but we gotta play to the fans, y’know?”

April 14, 2009

please support quality online promotional video

I’m spending $3.99 to support the makers of this most wonderful promotional video1, and you should too.

I don’t have a need for an iPhone application that only publishes Twitter posts, but, like you, I am a thinker, a taste maker and a very important business person, and I have a burning desire to support quality online video starring the guy who shows up to frequently ask something. So please, support quality online promotional video and buy Birdhouse for your iPhone today.

1 Via Techcrunch, where that frequently asking guy appears to have dropped in on the comment thread as “anon.” (Hi, anon!)

Anyone who needs to store drafts of 140 character messages for later review is an idiot. The whole point of Twitter is lightweight real-time messaging. If you are actually going to be putting thought into what you are writing, you are probably better off publishing to a real blog, instead of an echo chamber like Twitter.

$3.99 for that piece of junk? I could code that in a day.

You should go do that, anon! That would be fantastic.