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Links of interest for October 31st 2008:
- War and Social Upheaval Cause Spikes in Zombie Movie Production [io9 – Chart Porn] – “There’s been a huge spike in the production of zombie movies lately, and many of them seem to be inspired by war. Everything from 28 Days Later to Zombie Strippers make explicit reference to wartime, as did seminal 1968 zombie flick Night of the Living Dead. Is there really a connection between zombie movies and social unrest? We decided to do some research and find out. The result? We’ve got a line graph showing the number of zombie movies coming out in the West each year since 1910 — and there are definite spikes during certain years, which always seem to happen eerily close to historical events involving war or social upheaval.”
- Beatles make digital debut in new game [The Age] – “The Beatles are coming to a game console near you. For the first time, the legendary group’s music will be featured in the lucrative video game market in a deal with MTV Games and Harmonix, creators of the Rock Band series. The game is scheduled to make its debut in time for next year’s holiday season. “The project is a fun idea which broadens the appeal of The Beatles and their music. I like people having the opportunity to get to know the music from the inside out,” Paul McCartney said in a statement. The game will not be titled Rock Band, but will work with the existing instruments – a guitar, drums and microphone. Game developers were cagey about whether new instruments, such as a keyboard, would be incorporated.” (One final frontier for Paul McCartney to get royalties … and, yes, I suspect when this comes out he’ll get a few of my hard-earned dollars!)
- Hulu, Dr. Horrible Make Time’s 50 Best Inventions of the Year [NewTeeVee] – Dr Horrible is a horribly good idea, it seems!
- Election ’08 Fanfiction – US election fan fiction and even slash fiction … Obama/Clinton is one thing, but Obama/McCain … hmmm. [Via Waxy]
Links of interest for October 24th 2008 through October 26th 2008:
- (SPOILER) What happened when the lights went out. [Whedonesque] – Joss Whedon talks straight to the fans about Dollhouse: “Sadly, this is not a naughty post. It’s just Joss nattering on again. I thought it was time to check in with you once again, gentle viewers. Or readers. Or pictures-looker-ats (that might be viewers). Also listeners, sniffers, haberdashers, Olympic hopefuls, the elderly, the youngerdly, and the mighty state of Oregon (go Oregon-based sports franchise!) Welcome all. Welcome… to me. What’s me up to? I’m glad me asked. Me’ve (I’m not doing that any more) been working on a little show called Dollhouse. Yes, perhaps you’ve read about how it’s blazing an untrammeled path to surefire success, with nary a hitch or a hiccup, just pure blazing blazery, comet-like and meteoresque. What’s that, you say? You’ve read other things? Dark, Yog-Sothothy rumors about shutdowns and delays? Poppycock! They’re true. But I never pass up a chance to say “poppycock”. “
- Flunking Spore – John Bohannon [Science, 322 (5901): 531b, October 2008] – Apparently Spore fails to live up to the expectations of scientists and the promotional material for Spore might have been a little disingenuous: “So over the past month, I’ve been playing Spore with a team of scientists, grading the game on each of its scientific themes. When it comes to biology, and particularly evolution, Spore failed miserably. According to the scientists, the problem isn’t just that Spore dumbs down the science or gets a few things wrong–it’s meant to be a game, after all–but rather, it gets most of biology badly, needlessly, and often bizarrely wrong. I also tracked down the scientists who appeared on television in what seemed like an endorsement of Spore’s scientific content on the National Geographic channel. They said they had been led to believe that the interviews were for a straight documentary about “developmental evolutionary” science rather than a video promoting a computer game “
- The Medium – The Hitler Meme [NYTimes] – The New York Times on that Hitler (Downfall) meme: “On YouTube, we’re in a bunker, and the enemies are always, always closing in. The ceilings are low. The air is stifling. A disheveled leader is delusional. This is the premise of more than 100 videos on the Web — the work of satirists who for years have been snatching video and audio from “Downfall,” the 2004 German movie of Hitler’s demise, and doctoring it to tell a range of stories about personal travails and world politics. By adding new English-language subtitles, they transform the movie’s climactic scene, in which Hitler (played by Bruno Ganz) rails against his enemies and reluctantly faces his defeat, into the generic story of a rabid blowhard brought low.”
- YouTube Enables Deep Linking Within Videos [TechCrunch] – “It’s not a big new feature but it’s certainly one that will come in handy: YouTube will now allow you to send users to a specific point in a video by appending a short tag to the end of a video’s URL. It’s pretty surprising that this functionality wasn’t available earlier, as Google Video introduced the same feature over two years ago. YouTube users have been forced to rely on third party services like Splicd to do the same thing. To specify a point, append a tag to the end of your video link with the following syntax: “#t=1m45s” (you can change the numbers before the ‘m’ and ’s’ to edit the minutes and seconds, respectively.”
- Woman in jail over virtual murder [BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific] – “A woman has been arrested in Japan after she allegedly killed her virtual husband in a popular video game. The 43-year-old was reportedly furious at finding herself suddenly divorced in the online game Maplestory. Police say she illegally accessed log-in details of the man playing her husband, and killed off his character. The woman, a piano teacher, is in jail in Sapporo waiting to learn if she faces charges of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating data.”
- Fan fury at Nine [TV Tonight] – Australian “Fans of Fringe who were unaware the show had been pulled from Nine’s current schedule got a rude shock last night and vented their anger in online messageboards. They were universally vehement in their displeasure with Nine’s programming. This site alone now totals 95 posts in one thread alone. Over on Nine’s own messageboard there were more furious comments: Fringe Dweller: C’mon channel 9, have some balls and tell the people why Fringe has been pulled! Oh I’m sorry, you don’t care about what people like. Maybe we could lose one of the four hundred different versions of CSI. God Bless ‘Two and a Half man’ where would you be without them. Maybe you can rename yourselves to Channel Two and a Half Men CSI Malibu!!! Why I’m at it, you pulled Fringe and we still have to put up with that The Strip crap.”