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People, by nature, have some interesting things to say. Here are some of my things. Some about acting. All about living ...

Monday, July 02, 2007

iPhone madness ...

iPhone attempts to usurp the smart phone regime (300 parody).
OK, I got sick of all of the 300 "This is madness!" parodies, too.

But I with the Friday iPhone launch craziness, the fact that I'm a thinking techie guy, and various headlines (ZDnet, etc.), I was inspired to create my own little 300-inspired riff.

Besides, I was feeling a little left out of the whole parody insanity.

Not that I'm wishing Apple any ill -- more power to innovation. It's just that they're not a handset manufacturer, this is their first foray, it has some initial hiccups ("Has variable call quality and lacks some basic features found in many cell phones"), and launching on Friday night, causing weekend activation hiccups to take longer and be more costly (stories range from 6-39 hours) wasn't the smartest thing I've seen done.

And I am miffed at their inarguably impressive ~75% market share for MP3 players -- and I'm miffed because their innovation has been overtaken by geek chic, and iRiver, Samsung, and others (arguably) have better, cheaper alternatives. And geek chic is pointless.

All that said, this is probably the sexiest U.S. phone out there, and once they get past the hiccups, watch out, world!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

YASA: Make your own "Star Wars" ...

Hey, it's YASA -- Yet Another Sign of the Apocalypse:
'George Lucas, creator of "Star Wars," has never hesitated to protect his
intellectual property, which is why some call him "Lucas the Litigator." But
this week, his Lucasfilm plans to make clips of "Star Wars" available to fans on
the Internet to mash up -- meaning to remix however they want -- at
Tomorrow, LucasFilm will make an initial 250 clips (with more coming) from all six films available to fans to "cut, add to and retool". They'll also be providing Eyespot's easy-to-use editing program, which means virtually anyone can play.

What's happening here is the latest in a cultural shift of big media companies adapting to technology, which lets fans take, modify, and republish their property at will. Companies like Viacom are starting to get this and make similar changes, which allow companies to "keep some semblance of control over intellectual property in the digital age."

Oh, there are still rules, of course (they'd be foolish, like a certain car company, to give carte blanche access to mess with their IP). They'll make sure none of the submissions contain nudity, pornography, or the like (both programmatically and with a team of human screeners). And this is all for fun, as LucasFilm's senior director for distribution and business affairs Jeffrey Ulin points out, "If someone tries to commercialize it, that's where we've drawn the line."

Which, to me, is totally reasonable. I have a serious problem with people making bucks off of someone else's hard won (and expensively marketed) IP.

And this all ties into this week's Star Wars 30th anniversary celebration, which culminates Sunday.

And LucasFilm's being smart. The movies are done, and there's a gap before the new Force Unleashed video game and the animated and live-action TV series (all in which I'm trying to get cast). So, they're continuing buzz and fan engagement.

Oh, and the million-dollar question:
"Can I 'fix' Jar Jar?"
According to LucasFilm promptings:
"Don't be shy. Here's your chance to edit Jar Jar."

(As an aside, this is a leapfrog extension of what has done with its "Photo Masher" play area.)

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