Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

Stop SOPA: Protect Your Online Rights!

PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House, and is moving quickly through Congress. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the internet, in the name of protecting “creativity.” The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites; they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.” The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year. That’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

PROTECT-IP/SOPA Breaks The Internet

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Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s Co-Founder and visionary, who helped usher in the era of personal computers and led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday at the age of 56. Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with cancer, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment. He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. After leaving, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company in August. “Unfortunately, that day has come.” By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and a wide range of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet.

Steve Jobs: Rebel, Icon and Genius

1984 Apple Macintosh Super Bowl Commercial

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The Infamous Mark Zuckerberg Nervous Breakdown

The Infamous Mark Zuckerberg Nervous Breakdown

You’ve all seen that spooky Social Network trailer with the choral cover of Radiohead’s Creep.  It works on the real-life Mark Zuckerberg, too.  Here’s the infamous video of his nervous breakdown at the D8 Conference set to the same music.  Zuckerberg broke out in a profuse sweat last month at the conference when he was pointedly asked about Facebook’s privacy lapses.  By the end of the clip, he’s so flustered that he removes his hoodie which perpetually encases him like armor.  Inside was a creepy symbol, which one interviewer initially thought looked similar to an Illuminati-like emblem.

The Infamous Mark Zuckerberg Nervous Breakdown

And for comparison, here’s the original trailer for The Social Network:

The Social Network Trailer with Choral Cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”

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Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

Well, I ended up missing most of the Super Bowl, as well as almost all of the ads that went along with the Big Game.  But I did catch the Google ad and it’s a knockout, a real triumph of story over the technical wizardry that’s usually showcased in Super Bowl ads.

Parisian Love: An American Finds Love in Paris

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A Special Super Bowl Sunday History of the Internet

Oh my…it’s Super Bowl Sunday again! Football, football, football everywhere. What’s a poor soul to do who’s just not into this locker-room Super Bowl football sort of stuff? Do you have to just slink away into the kitchen and try to hide from all the drunken mister macho clamor? Nope, this one here’s just for you! Now I’m getting educational on you…watch this great little video and learn all about how the Internet came into being and developed. Plus, after watching this, you’ll sound super, super-smart as you dominate the idle chatter at all of this weekend’s After-Super Bowl cocktail parties. Everyone will absolutely marvel at your stunning techno-chic brilliance!!

A Special Super Bowl Sunday History of the Internet

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Aspen Magazine’s Final Issue: The Asia Issue (1971)

Aspen: The Multimedia Magazine in a Box (10 Issues, 1965-1971)

Aspen: the Multimedia Magazine in a Box

Aspen was conceived by Phyllis Johnson, a former editor for Women’s Wear Daily and Advertising Age. While wintering in Aspen, Colorado, she got the idea for a multimedia magazine, designed by artists, which would showcase “culture along with play.” So in the winter of 1965, she published her first issue. “We wanted to get away from the bound magazine format, which is really quite restrictive,” said Johnson.

Aspen published 10 issues between 1965 and 1971. Most of the issues arrived in a notebook-size box stuffed with articles that had been printed individually rather than stapled together. But it was the nature of its contents that made Aspen magazine stand out like a ski lift in a cornfield. Each issue was as likely to hold postcards, posters and phonograph records as essays. Among the magazine’s 235 contributors were many prominent figures on the 1960’s cultural landscape, including: Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, John Cage, Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Merce Cunningham, John Lennon, Marshall McLuhan, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol. Each issue had a new designer and editor. “Aspen,” Johnson said, “should be a time capsule of a certain period, point of view, or person.” The last Aspen, issue number 10, was devoted to Asian art and philosophy.

If Aspen was an art director’s dream, it was also an advertiser’s nightmare. The ads, stashed at the bottom of the box, were easily ignored. And although Aspen was supposed to publish quarterly, in reality the publication date of each issue was as much of a surprise as the contents. “All the artists are such shadowy characters,” publisher Johnson said, “that it takes months to track them down.” After issue 5+6, there were no more ads in the magazine. Perhaps Aspen was a folly, but it was a vastly pleasurable one, with a significant place in art history. The list of contributors included some of the most interesting artists of the 20th Century. And as a paragon of creative publishing, Aspen was a true wonder. Its contents, however, are all but lost; few copies of Aspen have survived.

The Asia Issue contained fifteen numbered items, no advertisements and no editorial credits. It was published in 1971 by Aspen Communications Inc., NYC.

Music Audio: Peter Walker/White Wind:

Aspen Magazine’s Final Issue: The Asia Issue (1971)

Clearing Autumn Skies Over Mountains and Valleys, Kuo Hsi, China 11th Century

A Mountain Village In Clearing Mist, Ying Yu-chien, China, 11th Century

Tagasode (Whose Sleeves?), Anonymous, Japan, 17th Century

Noh and Kyogen Plays, Three-Panels, Anonymous, Japan, 17th Century

Waves, Two-Fold Screen, Ogata Korin, Japan (1658-1716)

Thou art That, Hindu Temple Sculptures, India, 11th Century

Vaishnava Painting, Indian Miniature Paintings, Northwest India, 18th Century

The Yama Tanka, Hanging Scroll, Tibet, 18th Century

Aspen Magazine’s Final Issue: The Asia Issue (Number 10, 1971)

Aspen: A Guided Tour of the Multimedia Magazine in a Box

Kenneth Goldsmith, the founding editor of UbuWeb, gives us an audio guided tour of Aspen Magazine, which is now housed permanently on UbuWeb. The tour includes an in-depth look at the films, recording, sculptures, writings and images that this remarkable publication produced. Published 10 times between 1965 and 1971, Aspen billed itself as the first three-dimensional magazine. Most of the issues arrived in a notebook-size box stuffed with articles that had been printed individually rather than stapled together. However, it was the nature of its contents that made Aspen magazine stand out like a ski lift in a cornfield. Each issue was as likely to hold postcards, posters and phonograph records as essays. And among the magazine’s 235 contributors were many prominent figures on the 60’s cultural landscape, includingAmong the magazine’s 235 contributors were many prominent figures on the 1960’s cultural landscape, who included: Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, John Cage, Philip Glass, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Merce Cunningham, John Lennon, Marshall McLuhan, Yoko Ono, Lou Reed and Andy Warhol.

An Audio Tour by Kenneth Goldsmith:

Aspen Magazine (Artists, Authors, Audio, Movies, Interactive Exhibits and Advertisements): The Complete Index

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IgniteNYC: Reprogramming Techie Nightlife

IgniteNYC: Reprogramming Techie Nightlife

Allen Salkin has written in The New York Times about a new form of social networking for technology and new media people. IgniteNYC is one of those networking sites, part of the new techie party scene. Last Tuesday night at IgniteNYC, a large crowd pressed forward to watch the soldering contest as it entered its final stages. A dozen men, gripping hot irons, sweated over circuit boards at M1-5, a TriBeCa bar. Their goal was to win a race to put together a primitive remote control, the prize a lump of resin embedded with flashing blue L.E.D.s.

As four camera people from three Web video sites circled them, the crowd sipped glasses of dark beer and wine. Who would be the first contestant to jump up, point the remote at a television resting on a side table, and turn it off? Such tension!!

The contest was the first of a series of proceedings at IgniteNYC, the kind of new techie event that originated in Seattle in 2006. Later that night, there were super-speedy PowerPoint presentations, and from the laptop and smartphone-bearing legions who had aligned themselves on a banquette, a barrage of live blogging.

IgniteNYC is part of a new social networking group for techies in New York City called, Tech and New Media Folks. A decade ago, a typical party for New York City techies would have been held at a fancy club to celebrate the start of a web site. There might have been minor celebrities, go-go dancers, an open bar and expensive giveaways, all to build brand-awareness, which it was believed, would somehow, someday, lead to profitability.

But when the Internet bubble collapsed, so did the Silicon Alley 1.0 party scene. Now, young internet entrepreneurs, with some enterprisors from the old days, and a few members of the city’s creative class are engaged in a new type of party, such as IgniteNYC. The new techie parties are devoted to unveiling ideas. And these days, many of those ideas are about producing and delivering video content.

IgniteNYC: The New Techie Nightlife

The New York City Soldering Championships

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