Walt built Disneyland because he wanted a park where kids and grownups could play together, where ripoff midway games and nauseous midway rides took a back-seat to storytelling, wonder and art.
California Adventure was built by repurposing rides from other parks, buying off-the-shelf rides from midway suppliers, and tossing in a bunch of those awful ripoff midway ring-toss games. Many of the rides are either kid or adult-specific, and the park offers little by way of storytelling, wonder or art, having no strong thematic continuity and attractions that you can find in your local travelling carny.
Disney's Parks and Resorts Chairman weasels around on this:
"People want new stories to be told," Pressler said. "But there are also some truths. When you try to push the envelope a little in terms of sophistication, it doesn't resonate as well inside the park as outside the park."Vomitous coasters, ring-toss and whirling swings are "sophistication?" Link Discuss
1. Do you care if a few giant companies control virtually all entertainment and information?Link Discuss (Thanks, Howard!)
2. Do you care if they decide what kinds of technological innovations will reach the marketplace?
3. Would you be concerned if they used their power to compile detailed dossiers on everything you read, listen to, view and buy?
4. Would you find it acceptable if they could decide whether what you write and say could be seen and heard by others?
Here's my message to the record industry and its allies:
I'm not a thief. I'm a customer. When you treat me like a thief, I won't be your customer.
1. A computer - or "machine intelligence" - will pass the Turing Test by 2029.Link Discuss
Ray Kurzweil vs. Mitchell Kapor ($20,000)
2. In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times' Web site.
Dave Winer vs. Martin Nisenholtz ($2,000)
3. A profitable video-on-demand service aimed at consumers will offer 10,000 titles to 5 million subscribers by 2010.
Jim Griffin vs. Gordon Bell ($2,000)
4. By 2030, commercial passengers will routinely fly in pilotless planes.
Craig Mundie vs. Eric Schmidt ($2,000)
5. By 2012, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times will have referred to Russia as "the world leader in software development" or words to that effect.
Esther Dyson vs. Bill Campbell ($10,000)
6. By 2010, more than 50 percent of books sold worldwide will be printed on demand at the point of sale in the form of library-quality paperbacks.
Jason Epstein vs. Vint Cerf ($2,000)
7. The universe will eventually stop expanding.
Danny Hillis vs. Nathan Myhrvold ($2,000)
In twenty years, the only playable versions of these games will be the cracked ones, which guarantees immortality to the craxors who insert splash-screens with paeons to their psuedonymous technical studliness, and obscurity for the companies that actually wrote the games. Link Discuss (via The Adventures of AccordionGuy in the 21st Century)
BOHICA (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again): Every two years, the technology industry turns itself upside-down and reinvents itself and generally emulsifies all socio-economic order. Hence, BOHICA. Discuss
Significant "Digital Copyright" legislation is currently in the public consultations phase.Discuss (via The Adventures of AccordionGuy in the 21st Century)
This is the process: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/rp01100e.html
This is the consultation paper itself: http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/SSG/rp01099e.html
This legislation will impact all of our lives on both the professional and the personal level. In the smaller sense by creating rules and regs. to control/define much of the legal (and not so legal) freedoms that we take for granted on the Internet.
In the larger sense it impacts us by formalizing a new balance between the interests and rights of creators vs. brokers vs. consumers of intellectual "property".
If you want to say to your grand-kids, "I was there when they wrote that piece-of-junk || excellent bill", you might want to attend these hearings.
There is, however, one sobering statistic which may eventually cause even Congress to balk at the studios' arrogance. US domestic spending on computing technology is running at $600 billion a year, while Hollywood generates a measly $35bn.Link Discuss (via Intersting People)
To concede the demand for copy protection would be tantamount to compelling a huge, dynamic industry to march to the soporific beat of a technophobic industry desperate to preserve its obsolete business models.
New research carried out in nine cities around the world shows that the thumbs of people under the age of 25 have taken over as the hand's most dexterous digit, said The Observer.Link Discuss (via /.)
The change affects those who have grown up with hand-held devices where the thumbs are used for keying in text messages and emails.
Well, time to add another notorious pirate organization to the list of defendants: Apple.
"Mac OS X's Preview program is able to ignore the security settings in an Acrobat encrypted file and do whatever it wants with the file. And if OS X's Preview can do this, then any program can be written to exploit this security hole. ... The process of destroying the security settings in an encrypted PDF document is surprisingly easy and straightforward."See the link below for explicit, step-by-step instructions for gaining access to the files you've purchased, even if the person who created them has set "protection" flags that defeat fair use, format-shifting, excerpting, and the Doctrine of First Sale. Link Discuss (Thanks, Seth!)
Entourage Email Archive (EEA X) is a simple and fast utility for archiving emails and attachments you have received or sent using Microsoft Entourage. Entourage Email Archive X can archive your email in three different ways:Link Discuss
* 1 - Archive email and/or attachments in the Finder
* 2 - Export or append email in a text file
* 3 - Export or append email in tab-text format
(for this function a freeware FileMaker Pro template is enclosed in EEA X folder)
* Settings 1 produce produce a Finder-structured-folders archive where emails and/or attachments are grouped by day.
* Settings 2 produce a long “paper trail” file that can be viewed with a robust text editor like BBEdit, Apple TextEdit or Microsoft Word.
* Settings 3 produce a tab-text file that can be imported into computer database programs like Filemaker Pro.
O.K. Now I believe that the internet has penetrated every corner of the planet. Here is the virtual shopping center for Pitcairn Island. Actually, the stuff doesn't look bad. Natural, tropical honey, dried fruit, nice earrings and wood carving---and you support the shrinking population of this last place on earth.Link Discuss (Thanks, Pat!)
Don Marti, an activist who protested the arrest of a Russian programmer under the DMCA last year, said he and other activists met with Google on Thursday to discuss the situation.Link Discuss (Thanks, Pat!)
"Google invited us right in," said Marti, whose ad hoc group is called "Mountain View, California, Xenu Independent Study Group."
Google had the Web site back up before the group arrived at its Mountain View offices on Thursday afternoon, he said.
"We're discussing Google's DMCA policy and trying to keep this from happening again," Marti said. "Google should be a fair and accurate representation of what's on the Internet."
It takes the president a while to get to the point, which begins with his review of a popular TV sitcom he has just watched, apparently for the first time:Link Discuss (via On Lisa Rein's Radar)
"Archie is sitting here with his hippie son-in-law, married to the screwball daughter. . . . The son-in-law apparently goes both ways."
Nixon seems to have concluded, against all evidence, that Meathead is bisexual. Possibly it is the length of his hair. Another character in the show, Nixon reports, is "obviously queer. He wears an ascot, and so forth."
The president is outraged that this filth should appear on TV:
"The point that I make is that, goddamn it, I do not think that you glorify on public television homosexuality. You don't glorify it, John, anymore than you glorify, uh, whores."
The president asserts that America is in jeopardy from this Archie Bunker gay thing:
"I don't want to see this country to go that way. You know what happened to the Greeks. Homosexuality destroyed them. Sure, Aristotle was a homo, we all know that, so was Socrates."
Amazon communicates using images and links rather than text descriptions.Link Discuss (via Camworld)
From 1999 through 2001, Amazon used more images and fewer text descriptions than Barnes and Noble. In 2002, both sites used about 560 words per page, yet the density of words was 33 percent lower on Amazon; Amazon distributes the words across the page as links rather than bunching them together in paragraphs. Over time, Barnes and Noble is becoming more like Amazon in this respect.
If, as the show's theme says, "Knowledge is Power," then "Schoolhouse" is only a lesser superhero. The often overly simple songs chosen for the live version — ranging from grammar rock to folksy math ballads — aren't going to help anyone pass a math test and probably won't win many friends among history teachers either.Link Discuss
Add to this lyrical mess frenetic choreography and actors valiantly but unsuccessfully singing out of vocal range, and information is a rare commodity.
But, oh, does this cast want to win its audience. One would be hard-pressed to find anyone onstage without his Mouseketeer smile on full-blast. Though low on budget, ReACT's cup of cheerleader spirit runneth over.