Author Archives: wazou7303

Even Pirates Pay

Here’s our (Than and Dorian) final project, Even Pirates Pay. We’ve designed this site to help you explore and struggle with the ethics of your file-sharing habits. The site mimics The Pirate Bay in appearance, but its functionality has been hacked in favor of directing you to articles that discuss issues of file-sharing and copyright. Enjoy!

http://peninsula.pomona.edu/cec/piratespay/

Here’s an informational video we put together to go along with everything else. It’s included as one of the random links.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqpvZ8Uekk8[/youtube]

Border Security from Home?

Here’s an interesting take on solving our immigration woes and harnessing the cult power of the internet: security cameras that anyone can monitor over the internet and in the safety of their own homes. One user in the article notes, “It’s no different than watching ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ reruns.” Not sure if that’s supposed to be talking up the camera or trashing ‘Raymond’ reruns, but it’s pretty funny nonetheless. So how about we spend the week protecting freedom and national security these instead of starting these final projects?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/03/12/border.security.cameras.immigration/index.html

Wolverine & Movie Piracy

Here’s an interesting article on movie piracy that I ran into over the weekend:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/05/01/wolverine.movie.piracy/index.html

Is anyone else tired of all these superhero/mutant films? There have been a few good or at least entertaining films, but I feel like new Marvel films or the like are always coming out and it’s gettintg a little obnoxious. By Wikipedia’s account, Marvel Studios alone has released 20 flicks since 2000 with 5 more currently forthcoming or announced in the next couple years (including a Spider Man 4…great). What Marvel comics haven’t made it to film yet? I understand Hollywood’s model here: find something that works, build a brand around, and remake it over and over and over again. There just seems to be a lack of sincerity, originality, and creativity on Hollywood’s part and it doesn’t entirely surprise me what people end up doing in response, especially given how easy technology makes a lot of this. This is obviously a two-way street, as studios feel vulnerable, films are extraordinarily expensive to make, and sometime conservative approaches make sense.

Omegle

“Omegle is a brand-new service for meeting new friends. When you use Omegle, we pick another user at random and let you have a one-on-one chat with each other. Chats are completely anonymous, although there is nothing to stop you from revealing personal details if you would like.”

http://omegle.com/

This is an interesting play off the anonymous nature of the internet. I got this link from College Humor’s hot links. I don’t think you can view comments on content without an account, but I often find their comments to be hilarious and often better than most of the site’s content itself. A couple examples from this link:

This was really awkward. talking to strangers face to face is a lot easier than this.”

I dunno, every time I said I was an under 18 female, not a cop, people kept disconnecting. I just won a rap battle by copying and pasting 8 mile lyrics, and I found my dad.”

This is a pedophiles dream.”

I told him I’m 12 and asked him if he has candy. He said he has chocolate and wanted to know my full name and address. Chris Hansen should pay a visit to that web site.”

E: “ Someone just shouted CHF?! at me then went offline. What does CHF mean? :/
J:
“Congestive Heart Failure. You f@#$ing killed him.”
E: “
I SHOULD HAVE REPLIED SOONER D:”
S: “
Ellie, this is serious. You’re going to have to find a lawyer.”
E:
“I kept trying to find one but none were online D:”
D: “
Try omegle.”

There’s a number of other very funny and often very explicit comments on the site.

I like this one more…

http://doihaveswineflu.org/

This is a great mockery of how people and the media tend to overreact to things like this. I love it.

Procrastinate Away…

Because clearly no one is getting final papers and projects piled on them. Here’s “Greg Rutter’s Definitive List of The 99 Things You Should Have Already Experienced On The Internet Unless You’re a Loser or Old or Something.” It looks like most of these links are youtube videos. I wonder how they’ll hold up or how quickly broken links will develop (if they haven’t already). I feel like this could take weeks to tackle:

http://youshouldhaveseenthis.com/

Enjoy!

Descriptive Machinima Title

I’ve heard about Red v. Blue before and may have seen some of their work, but it was definately very cool to read a Times article about the machinima genre and be able to sit down and enjoy a few episodes. It’s definately helped me ease into Sunday homework. Anyhow, reading about machinima was very refreshing. For one, it’s very clever appropriation, particularly in Red vs. Blue, whose production quality I found to be of very high quality. The other thing I found very refreshing was the way in which the industry (Bungie/Microsoft) reacted t this new art form to a much greater degree than anything else we’ve talked about. RIAA is obviously running pretty poor PR. Youtube isn’t doing much better. Hooray for middle ground and the video game industry embracing machinima. Here’s a copy of the Warthog Jump video that the article referred to, if anyone’s interested (not the poster’s disclaimer on the right side in the info section)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQIQljaAc0

It was great to hear about “My Trip to Liberty City,” which I thought was a pretty funny use of machinima and appropriation of GTA. The author’s tone of voice and narration is pretty funny. I love how he interprets parts of the game through his Canadian tourist point of view. Here’s a copy of that:

http://www.machinima.com/film/view&id=561

I also found the Times author’s suggestions of the future of machinima and CGI pretty interesting. I’d love see where those goes and to see if something of any value to major studios emerges. It think it’s a very clever idea to go about creating a virtual world that serves are your studio. Instead of using existing video games, I wonder if a useful interface could actually be designed to allow animators to easily set up and run scenes real time.

Piratebay Jailtime

Edit: Oops, someone beat me too this. The second link is worth reading nonetheless.

This was pretty significant new of the past week, if any of you didn’t pick this up:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/04/17/online.piracy.for.against/index.html

Four administrators at Pirate Bay were taken to court in Sweden and their initial sentences were handed down this week. They now face jail time and a $3.6 million in fines. The court did not order them to shut down the site. I think this is a pretty interesting turn of events in this case and I’m curious to see how it affects things from here on out. I think the feeling is that while copyright files aren’t directly being shared and there are perfectly legal and very useful was to use Pirate Bay, the site is setup in a way to encourage and facilitate illegal file sharing. I’m curious to see what happens in appeal.

CNN ran this article along side the one above:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/04/17/online.piracy.for.against/index.html

The article contains arguments for and against file sharing that I think very effectively capture a lot of the ideas we talked about in class. Here are two great points in the pro section that I thought I’d include:

Cinema is doing better than ever. They calculate losses by looking at the number of downloads and imagining that all of them would have been a purchase if they hadn’t been downloaded first

In today’s economy, innovation and new expression comes from the margins, from unexpected directions. Giving access to all is the best way to promote the creative diversity that makes society resilient to changes and shocks. –Magnus Eriksson, Co-founder Piratbyran

Sophie Project: “The Long Tail”

Here’s my Sophie version of   Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail:”

http://pages.pomona.edu/~nmv02006/The Long Tail.spbf.zip

Is Google Making Us Dumber?

I think I ran into this while going over College Humor’s hot links. Be forewarned that some of these entries are potentially offensive. The site is a blog that documents various search results that Google will suggest as you begin typing your search. The site takes advantage of a pretty obvious loophole that exists within Google’s algorithms and the programs that determine what’s relevant to qualify as a viable suggestion. I think it’s reasonably fair to say that loopholes like this always have and probably always will exist. They just become a little more apparent digitally when they show up as predictive search results of the web’s most popular search engine. I wouldn’t take any specific entry too seriously, but I find the collection as a whole pretty amusing.

http://www.gdumb.com/