Second screen

It's not that we need a second screen, it's that we have an inadequate first screen.

If we're watching a great movie, we're engrossed, swept away. We're not even thinking about the phone in the pocket or purse. We're not wondering what's happening on Facebook or Pinterest. We're not even thinking about that.

That's the point, isn't it?

"Binge viewing"? It's called "watching"

House of Cards promotional photo

When Netflix published the entire first season of the Americanized “House of Cards”, it was considered a radical act. Netflix has recognized how people recently have been “indulging” in “binge viewing” of old TV series, opiners said.

At the root of this phrase is a Puritanical attitude that television is supposed to be watched piecemeal, in dribs and drabs. You’re not supposed to watch an entire season at once, you heathen! You’re indulging! You’re binge viewing!

What nonsense.

Consider that Americans have watched on average 34 hours of television a week. In that context, how is spending a third of that watching a 13-part series “binging”?

Video professionals, just get a (new) life already! (Apple isn't looking at you.)

That's the message coming from Apple fanboys and apologists, going by the blogs out there, regarding the limitations of Apple's "update" to Final Cut Pro. Pick just about any thread on the Creative Cow forums and you'll see masses of discontent, frustration, anger, resignation ... and not one iota of joy.

Brian Charles:

In a final death blow, Apple has removed the link to the Pro Apps updater. Excellent news for those who recently purchased Studio 3....

Marvin Holdman:

Still a bit miffed at the fact that they expect me to "know" that their "upgrade" won't open FCS3 projects. Still say this product should NOT be named Final Cut anything, it is NOT Final Cut.

and Peter Blumenstock:

On journalists' & pundits' attitudes about new media: It's the privilege, stupid!

Plaque for Common Sense

For years now we've seen people entrenched in, married to, paid by or validated by old media attack new media, "those bloggers," Twitter, Facebook … the Internet in general. It's been fading lately as publishers especially have started to embrace and integrate new media into their publishing strategies. But there are still holdouts, many of whom seem not just ignorant but willfully ignorant.

Malcolm Gladwell's weak dismissal of "weak ties"

Gladwell's New Yorker article was the buzz on Twitter. One excerpt:

The evangelists of social media don’t understand this distinction; they seem to believe that a Facebook friend is the same as a real friend and that signing up for a donor registry in Silicon Valley today is activism in the same sense as sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960.

…proving that old media journalists are as adept as anyone in the straw-man rhetorical technique.

Sookie, the empowered

There are two vampire phenomena happening right now in entertainment: the Twilight saga, with the popular books becoming popular movies, and the True Blood Series, with the increasingly popular books adapted into an HBO series. Both have a young female heroine who is romantically involved with a vampire. Both are set in present day America.

There the similarities end.

One is set in the Pacific northwest. One is set in the parishes outside of New Orleans. One seems intended for teens. The other very much for adults. But the real difference is in the women at their respective centers.

Carmen Siering writes in Ms. Magazine that Bella, the heroine of Twilight, fails as a feminist hero.

Battlestar Galactica returns with Cylons galore

Warning: Spoilers!

If you've been like me, wondering where the hell Battlestar Galactica has been going, the return of the show this weekend has (will) probably answer(ed), and with some excitement and a few huge revelations.

Yes, I'm going to talk about them here. That's why the spoiler warning above.

Revelation 1:

The planet (presumably Earth, though we have seen no real objective proof -- no half-buried Statue of Liberty....

..."Earth" was nuked some 2,000 years ago.

Personally, I think the show would have been better served if they had left us on the cliffhanger last year just arriving at Earth. Then there would have been a lot of anticipation.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog ends today (kind of)

Have you seen it yet? This is not something to miss! Personally I love the music, but the real charm is the humor. Neil Patrick Harris is the perfect comic hero/villain.

If you've not heard of this show, it's a little ditty by Firefly and Buffy creator Joss Whedon and cohorts, created as something to do while the writer's strike stalled all production in Hollywood.

Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.

Laura's unofficial sci-fi geek Lords of Kobol lineage DVD collection

Some items are must-haves for any science fiction fan (and aren't all geeks and geekettes to some extent sci-fi fans?). We already know that Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television. Now we can celebrate not just this fabulous show in high-definition video, but those shows and movies that led to its creation (according to me -- Ron Moore may have different ideas).

Let's start at the top:

  1. Battlestar Galactica - Season One [HD DVD]

    If you've stumbled across the show broadcast in HDTV on the UHD cable channel, you know that Galactica is really something else when you can see all the detail.

    Price: $69.95

Ron Paul gets disruptive

I can't say I'm a Ron Paul supporter, but this New York Times "analysis" by Julie Bosman of a Ron Paul television ad caught my eye as being a bit off the mark. Consider this:

The advertisement has a low-budget, unpolished feel, but that is unlikely to bother many of Mr. Paul’s supporters, who tend to be extremely devoted.

Let's pause right there. Ms. Bosman's assumption that only "devoted" supporters would appreciate a low-budget television ad strikes me as nuts, or at least naïve. I don't know anybody who likes the premasticated schmaltz sausages that pass for political commercials these days. They tell us nothing, really -- and are, in fact, some of the most tedious and boring crap (excuse me) on televison. If prescription drugs and iPods were sold like this, Pfizer and Apple would be out of business.



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