22 December, 2007

Techno Tuesday

OK, it's Saturday, but a friend in SF just turned me on to this site.

‘Techno Tuesday’ by Andy Rementer began as an exercise in drawing comics and complaining. In fact it still is, after it’s inception in January of 2006. The comic, which is based on technology and the modern world, originally appeared on the Fabrica blog. And has since been published elsewhere online as well as in print.

Turn the beat around: STOP BIG MEDIA!!!!

The Bush-appointed FCC voted last Tuesday to loosen media ownership rules so media titans like Rupert Murdoch can swallow up more local news outlets. They did this despite a huge public outcry--when the FCC asked for public comments, 99% opposed media consolidation!

Congress has the power to step in, and a bipartisan group of 26 Senators already announced they'll try. We need to show the rest of the Senate we want action.

Sign a petition from MoveOn.org urging your Senators and Representatives to ask Congress to stop media consolidation.

WSC Show #44 - Diversity Day: Interview with Monica Macer

In the last episode of this podcast I said it would be the last in a series of interviews from the themed picketing event entitled “Diversity Day” at Paramount Studios. But I was mistaken because this is the final episode in this series. Today I speak to Monica Macer who has written for three hit television shows including "Lost," "24" and "Prison Break." Recorded Wednesday, 12 December 2007.
Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

21 December, 2007

The Elf Strike

Ashton Kutcher's Christmas Card


I swear, the AMPTP is one step away from getting a blog. And they need one 'cause whomever wrote this latest open letter doesn't grok netiquette and the meaning of "ALL CAPS".

At any rate, in an effort to be fair and balanced, here's their open letter.

And FWIW here's my open shout out to the AMPTP:

Will you guys (or a reasonable facsimile and representative thereof) appear on my podcast and have a chat? I'm not a WGA member, but in an effort of full disclosure, as a member of SAG I am WGA sympathetic. I'd really, really love it if you came on my show and answered a few questions. I want to help you tell your story. And just so's you know, you would be considered a guest on my show and afforded all the respect due as someone invited into my own home.

Think about it.

This is an open invitation.

MediaBytes 12.21.2007

Interesting stats on Veoh, Shelly. Since Michael Eisner is a member of Veoh's leadership team, I'm curious if that's why he poo-poo'd the writers strike last month when he went on Fox News and said "I see stupid strikes and I see less stupid strikes. And I see smart strikes. This is a stupid strike."

Oh, and BTW...watch free, full-length episodes of your favorite shows on Veoh including:
  • Cane
  • CSI
  • CSI: Miami
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Rules Of Engagement
  • Numb3rs
  • Shark
  • The Unit

CNET Year in Review: Media giants fight back

Greg Sandoval of CNET blogs about Big Media's efforts to control digital media in 2007. He summarizes the YouTube copyright lawsuit filed by Sumner Redstone and even touches upon some noteworthy events in the music industry this past year. However, he fails to even mention the brouhaha taking place in Hollywood. Tsk! Annoyed by this, I went to check their masthead and find out if they were owned by Fox or some other such nonsense. But in fact, they are not. Where ya been Greg?

WSC Show #43 - Diversity Day: Interviews with Sherri McGee, Teri Jackson, Kellie Griffin, and Warren Hutcherson

In today’s episode we’ll conclude our series of interviews held at the Diversity Day themed picketing event that took place at Paramount Studios. Featured are Sherri McGee, Teri Jackson, Kellie Griffin, and Warren Hutcherson. Recorded Wednesday, 12 December 2007.
Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

The Mobile Entertainment Industry Podcast with JFRobinson

I just discovered a new podcast that I want to share. It's entitled "Everything about the Mobile Entertainment Industry" that provides in-depth discussion with the top executives in the Mobile Entertainment Industry. Hosted weekly by mobile entertainment innovator, producer and consultant, JFRobinson.

In the current episode, Robinson discusses the WGA strike and the health of traditional television networks as well as their place in the new Digital World Order. More info in this article: The Traditional TV Networks: Terminally Ill or Just Not Feeling Well?

Internet TV Platforms Come of Age

Jeremy Allaire, the CEO and founder of Brightcove, offers his perspective of the industry of Internet TV by looking back at 2007 and also looking forward 2008. Here's a snippet:
2007 showed us that video isn’t just for aggregators—it’s fundamental to the Web. The last 12 months saw an explosion in video publishing across a wide array of websites. Video is becoming so pervasive that if you have a web property without video something is wrong with it.
Read the entire article here.

20 December, 2007

The AMPTP Responds: "Divide And Conquer"

From trulydangerous

This message brought to you by the AMPTP.com (not .org -- the funniest story to come out of this strike thus far).

I've got a doctor's note.

It's official. I'm full blown sick. What started as a mild case of laryngitis Sunday evening is now some full-on bugaboo. So, by captain's orders I've powered down production of this blog to minimum and am focusing solely on getting the podcast out daily.

Having said that, a couple of interesting developments on the tech side of things came out in the blogosphere today that I wanted to share. I know you don't get your breaking news from me and that's probably good. Go read DHD or UnitedHollywood for that. And if you want to be fair and balanced, go read the AMPTP's blog. Oh wait, they don't have one. Doh!

OK, top on my list today is:

Hulu is currently in private beta, but today they started offering invites through many of the popular tech blogs, including ReadWriteWeb, GigaOm, Webware, Mashable, Download Squad and TechCrunch. My invitation to join arrived a few days ago but I've been too sick to play with the other kids in the sandbox. Go check it out for yourselves. I'll join you guys later.

Second up: Today NewTeeVee com announced that Wil Ferrell's "Funny or Die" just received $15 million from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and unnamed institutional backers.

The most popular video is "The Landlord" and to-date has had over 50 millions views. Check it:

Also worth checking out is "The Landlord Criterion Edition" where Ferrell and his partner in crime Adam McKay provide behind-the-scenes commentary:

WSC Show #42 - Diversity Day: Interviews with Stacey McClain-Fields and B. Mark Seabrooks

This episode is a continuation of Diversity Day at the picket lines in front of Paramount Studios. My guests today are writers Stacy McLain-Fields and B. Mark Seabrooks. Recorded Wednesday, 12 December 2007.
Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

19 December, 2007

WSC Show #41 - Diversity Day: Interview with Jason George

Today's episode is a continuation of Diversity Day at the picket lines in front of Paramount Studios. Here, we’ll hear an interview with actor Jason George. He is one of four vice presidents currently serving the American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (AFTRA) and if anybody from the leadership of WGA is listening, he’s got a parting shot for y’all at the conclusion of this podcast. Recorded Wednesday, 12 December 2007.
Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com


Wow. I just got in from seeing "I Am Legend" at the new Arclight Cinemas in Sherman Oaks with my friend N. Afterwards, we discussed the significance of the year 2012 in the Mayan calendar, singularity and the bird flu. (The bird flu was N. stirring the pot. I told N. I can't listen to that shit or it will freak me out too much). So, after an evening discussing the post-apocalyptic future, I was already a little anxious when I come home to read the following in the UK Guardian -- the first result in a Google news search:

11.30pm GMT / 6.30pm ET
FCC opens door for US media consolidation
Elana Schor in Washington Tuesday December 18, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lifted limits on media ownership today, clearing the way for Rupert Murdoch and other magnates to buy newspapers and TV stations in the same city.

The FCC's vote fires the first shot in a high-stakes battle with members of Congress from both parties who have accused the agency of aiding the consolidation of US media, to the detriment of minority businesses and the public interest.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin pushed through the relaxed ownership rules with the backing of fellow Republicans, while the two Democratic commissioners pleaded with Congress to "save the FCC from itself".

Read the entire article here.



Update: 12:50 a.m. - OK...I'm officially freaking. I just went out in the rain to get my recorder out of the car to mix the next podcast and this raccoon was scurrying by the door as I opened it. I thought it was one of those "infected" from the movie I saw tonight. It scared the shit out of me! Fucking hell.

18 December, 2007

D U Hulu?

I still haven't heard back from Eugene Wei , the Director of Product Management at Hulu (see this blog post for reference). For those of you just tuning in, Hulu is an online video on demand service and it's a joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp.

OK, so like I really didn't expect him to respond, but I was kinda hoping he would.

Anyway, today I finally received the green light from Hulu Beta and in my in-box is an invitation to participate. Well, like finally! It's been like three months since I first pestered them about this.

Woooot! I'm in! (Happy dance, happy dance!)

But like, I don't have time to check it out right this very minute, but perhaps over the holidays I'll have some time to play around on it. Expect a report back in a few weeks.

WSC Show #40 - Diversity Day: Interview with Kimberly Myers

In the next series of podcasts we’ll be hearing from men and women of color on the picket lines at Diversity Day in front of Paramount Studios. Today, we’ll be talking to Kimberly Myers, the Director of Diversity for the Writers Guild of America. Recorded Wednesday, 12 December 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

The Future of the Internet by Tim Berners-Lee

Please indulge me as I am still on a quest to get back to the future. In a post I did yesterday, I enjoyed a chuckle as the blogosphere got their panties in a bunch about Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Internet, and his criteria for contacting him. It all began because somebody wanted to know what his take was on the future of his little invention.

So I found this testimony that Berners-Lee gave last March before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. And here's a snippet in which he delivers his vision of the future:
"In the future, the Web will seem like it's everywhere, not just on our desktop or mobile device. As LCD technology becomes cheaper, walls of rooms, and even walls of buildings, will become display surfaces for information from the Web. Much of the information that we receive today through a specialized application such as a database or a spreadsheet will come directly from the Web. Pervasive and ubiquitous web applications hold much opportunity for innovation and social enrichment. They also pose significant public policy challenges. Nearly all of the information displayed is speech but is being done in public, possibly in a manner accessible to children. Some of this information is bound to be personal, raising privacy questions. Finally, inasmuch as this new ubiquitous face of the Web is public, it will shape the nature of the public spaces we work, shop, do politics, and socialize in."

Read the entire testimony from Tim Berners-Lee here.

17 December, 2007

The Future of the Internet

After reading some drama on the blogs today, I have to ask myself what the hell am I doing running around asking Star Trek writers the future of entertainment as it pertains to the Internet? It's illogical!

The way to do it, IMHO, is exemplified by whip smart journalist Nicole Ferraro, who had the white hot bright idea to go straight to the source and contact Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet (um, sorry Mr. Gore) directly!

Her experiences (as recounted in this blog posting) in tracking the esteemed Mr. Berners-Lee is priceless. Oh, you go girl!

The follow-up blog post from Stephen Saunders, who's Ferraro's boss and founding editor of the Internet Evolution, is just as awesome.

Yay WGA!

From dougeboch

This is a silly video and I love it. It got a hearty chortle out of me at the end. This feels like something I would have done in junior high with my friends. Not saying it's sophomoric...I'm just sayin' I'm feelin' the guys that produced this. Yay geeks!

As Strike Wears On, More Screenwriters Explore Internet Ventures

The current story as of this morning on PaidContent.org is by Joseph Weisenthal who writes:

"At least seven groups of striking WGA members are shopping internet-based ventures along the lines of Will Farrell’s FunnyOrDie.com, reports Los Angeles Times. The business models, however, have yet to be worked out. Some see these ventures as a breeding ground for content that could then be licensed to TV, a la Quarterlife. Others see them as self-sustaining online-only plays, possibly tying into social networking sites for distribution."

The parting shot of the article is:

"Once the strike is resolved, some writers undoubtedly will opt for the relative security of the studio system, but as the article makes clear, a growing number are now committed to going into business for themselves."

Read the entire article here.

2008 Top 10 Internet Trends

Today, venture capital firm M/C Venture Partners released its "top ten trends" to watch in 2008 for the Internet and communications sectors.

Number 1 on the list:

1) “Mobile broadband is becoming the medium to bridge the digital divide worldwide,” said James Wade, managing general partner, M/C Venture Partners. “Many people in the world, even developed economies, don’t have regular, affordable access to the Internet for a variety of reasons, but mobile phones and the business models around them are profitably penetrating even the low income sectors of the economy. Now more than ever, people of many means can use mobile phones to enable their lives. Quite simply, mobile broadband will democratize communications.”

WSC Show #39 - Interview with Anonymous Writer

In today’s episode I talk to an anonymous writer at the picket lines in front of Paramount Studios. In this recording I omitted the name of the person he was with in an effort to conceal his identity. Recorded Monday, 10 December 2007.

Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

16 December, 2007

WSC Show #38 - Interview with Claudia Lonow

In today’s episode, I speak with writer Claudio Lonow at the picket lines in front of Paramount Studios. I first met Claudia at the Fremantle Rally over a week ago. We then met up again at the close of the Star Trek picketing event earlier this week. Recorded Monday, 10 December 2007.
Producer/Host: Tanja Barnes
Music: "Ay Mambo" by Falik
available on Magnatune.com

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