Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

February 20, 2010

two videos about filmaking

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 8:59 pm

There were two videos that I came across recently that showed two aspects to current filmaking techniques. The first was
Stargate Studios Virtual Backlot Reel 2009 and the second as The making of Old Spice’s commercial: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. What is interesting about them are the way they show two different aspects to movie production. The virtual backlot reel show how common simple video techniques like chroma-key (bluescreen) technology is. How common it is that the street scene, etc. that you see in  a TV show or movie has some amount of trickery done. The dissecting of the Old Spice commercial shows how much can be done with little or no trickery, and how much effort a production team will go through to avoid it. I’d be interested in knowing what tips the balances one way or another. When it is more cost effective to build special sets, rigs, etc just to avoid using special effects, and when chroma-key and CGI become more effective than trying to build it in real life.

February 19, 2010

Friday Squid Blogging

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 8:33 pm

Has anyone else wondered if Bruce Schneier’s “Friday Squid Blogging” is some sort of Steganographic message delivery?

Me neither.

February 17, 2010

like rats off of a sinking ship

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 10:50 pm

The New York Times is reporting that Kevin Eubanks is going to leave the Tonight Show soon after Jay Leno returns as the host. It really doesn’t matter that much to me, since I stopped watching the Tonight Show soon after Branford Marsalis left the bandleader position.

February 15, 2010

Again, but that trick never works!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 1:31 pm

In the article Microsoft starts over in phone software the writer Ashlee Vance says “The product marks a rare moment when Microsoft scrapped previous versions of its software in favor of building something new from scratch.”

I don’t see that as a very rare thing. I see Microsoft as a company that is very willing to scrap existing products and technologies to start over. Some that I can think of are:

  • Multiplan to Excel
  • MSN the non-internet “online service” (compare to Compuserve GEnie, Prodigy, etc) to MSN the internet portal. (and with that Internet Studio/Blackbird and abandoning all the developers they signed on to develop for it.)
  • Windows 1.0 to Windows 3, (and for that matter Windows 3 to Windows 95) were probably as big of a jump as Windows Mobile to Windows Phone 7.
  • MS-BASIC to QBasic to Visual Basic to Basic.net
  • COM to .Net.
  • Project Longhorn to what eventually shipped as Window 7.
  • Microsoft Play-for-sure to Microsoft Zune.

Or for that matter, the long path that the PocketPC (for the PDA market) has taken to to the Windows Phone 7. Any other examples that anyone can think of?

The sentences before and after this quote seem odd to me as well first he says “Microsoft is trying to draw attention away from the application model and focus more on software that’s closer to the company’s roots.” and then “Microsoft has spent the last 18 months trying to add gloss and sophistication to a product that had suffered ridicule as being clunky and too wedded to the company’s personal computer roots.” Which is it trying to move closer to the company’s roots? Or trying to add gloss and sophistication because the existing product is too close to the companies roots? It seems odd to me that something that is described as being the “application model” is straying away from the Microsoft company roots. (Early on, Windows vs. MacOS was described as MacOS being “document centric while Windows being Application Centric. OpenDoc was designed to be Component centric to be a move away from Windows application Centric approach.)

(update on Feb 16: my friend Chris pointed out that I used the wrong gender for the writer Ashlee Vance: s/she/he/g)

February 13, 2010

You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 4:50 pm

Sometimes words have an air of trendiness to them. When they do, people start using them in a context beyond their original meaning, just to catch on to that trendiness. At that point either the word loses its meaning or a new word will come up to replace it.

Todays example: “hyperlocal” This article in the Boston Globe: Spilling the beans on McDonald’s coffee campaign describes their ad campaign as hyperlocal. Most definitions of hyperlocal that I’ve heard describe sites like Everyblock.com or Boston.com’s latest revamp of the Your Town feature. Basically the kind of stuff that Adam Gaffin has been doing in UniversalHub before there was a term to describe it. The McDonald’s ad is aimed at all of New England. How can that be considered hyperlocal?

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