Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Loch Ness Monster Files Show Scottish Cops Were Worried

Loch Ness Monster Files Show Scottish Cops Were Worried: "What lurks beneath the dark waters of Scotland's Loch Ness? Newly released documents on display Tuesday in Scotland show that during the 1930s, police in Scotland were convinced some sort of creature inhabited the Highlands lake – so sure, in fact, that they worried about how to protect it from big-game hunters.

The files from the National Archive of Scotland show that local officials asked Britain's Parliament to investigate the issue and confirm the monster's existence – in the interests of science."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

'Peanuts' Brand Sold by Scripps to Iconix : TVBizwire : TVWeek - Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos

'Peanuts' Brand Sold by Scripps to Iconix : TVBizwire : TVWeek - Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos: "Two months after launching a review of their character licensing business, media giant E.W. Scripps has sold United Media Licensing -- which includes the Charles Schulz 'Peanuts' line -- to Iconix Brand Group -- formerly known as Candie's -- for $175 million, according to Mediaweek.

Iconix includes the brands Candie's, Bongo, Badgley Mischka, Joe Boxer, London Fog, Danskin, Fieldcrest and Charisma among others.

Scripps will hold onto the syndicated editorial features of United Media."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Frazetta siblings resolve dispute over fantasy art

Frazetta siblings resolve dispute over fantasy art: "The adult children of pioneering fantasy artist Frank Frazetta have resolved an ugly dispute over control of their elderly father's body of work.

The family feud boiled over in December when Frazetta's son, Frank Frazetta Jr., was caught using a backhoe to break into the artist's museum in the Poconos. Police say he tried to remove 90 paintings insured for $20 million. Frazetta Jr. insisted he was attempting to safeguard the art from his scheming siblings.

Frazetta, 82, is renowned for his sci-fi and fantasy art, creating covers and illustrations for more than 150 books and comic books as well as album covers, movie posters and original paintings. His work on iconic characters including Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan influenced generations of artists."

Pianist Lang Lang Plays iPad For Concert Encore (VIDEO)

Pianist Lang Lang Plays iPad For Concert Encore (VIDEO): "Piano master Lang Lang performed a surprising, offbeat encore at a concert in San Francisco: the pianist played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Flight of the Bumblebee' on the iPad.

Lang Lang used the iPad app Magic Piano, from Smule, to 'play' his tablet."

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Whedon To Direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ –

Whedon To Direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’ – "I'm told Marvel Studios is in final negotiations for Buffy the Vampire Slayer series architect Joss Whedon to direct Marvel Studios' The Avengers. That's the fast-tracked film that would amount to an all-star team of Marvel superheros, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)."

iPad Observations: Week One

Well, I got my iPad a week ago yesterday and already it has wended its way into my heart. I have a MacBook and an iMac and an iPhone (yeah, I'm a Mac zombie I guess), and this doesn't replace anything. It really does fit a unique niche. Here are some observations so far.

- Watching TV or movies is amazing. I worried about missing Flash, as in Hulu, but I'm good so far. You can watch anything Netflix has as instant viewing on the iPad. I have the cheapest Netflix account they have, and have watched a lot of good stuff already. Pretty much all the stuff I watched on Hulu (a lot of classic TV) is available, like Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Peter Gunn, etc. So I'm happy about that. Also, most of the current stuff I watch is on ABC, like Lost, Flash Forward, Modern Family, and their app is very nice, though still a bit buggy. Then there's Joost, YouTube, etc. etc. 

- I just downloaded GoodReader, a PDF and other document reader, for 99 cents and through iTunes added a bunch of PDFs I had of old comics, TwoMorrows digital mags, and books onto my iPad--they look great. I have had them on my computer forever, but hated sitting at the desk and reading them. Now it's like reading a comic in my hands.

- I also figured out how to sync CBR files to ComicZeal, and now have a bunch of comics and stuff to read with that. Their iTunes store description indicated that Apple had made them remove syncing by US and you had to transfer by wifi, which I was having trouble doing last night, but in iTunes tonight I easily just added the files I wanted to transfer to the file download area and synced it up over USB. I guess Apple changed their mind again on that?

- I also have a nice Vook on Sherlock Holmes (I had been reading some Vooks on my iPhone, but the larger format is wonderful, with the text and the videos). Plus a lot of other reading apps--including Kindle. 

- Google just updated their mobile app for the iPad, so all those functions are now available in big screen--including Google Books, which has zillions of books (including a few of mine!), magazines, and other fun stuff you can read and browse through. Nice!

- I had a Zinio digital magazine account already, and all my previously downloaded mags came over on their iPad app. They have a few free samples. Great fun to read mags on the iPad, which often offer additional features like videos and links.

- The iPad apps of USA Today, BBC News, NPR, Bloomberg, AP, Reuters, and NYT Editor's Choice are all well thought out and very different. But going to regular websites through the Safari browser works well too (unless you run into Flash); you don't have the screen size restriction of the iPhone, and it's almost got a screen as large as a laptop. Using iPhone apps on the iPad doesn't bug me, but they are small (or a bit blurry at 2X).

The biggest disappointment I have so far is that I assumed typing on the much larger keyboard in landscape would be a cinch, but I have found it even more difficult to use than the iPhone keyboard. On the iPhone, I only used one or two fingers. On the iPad I try to type QWERTY style, which I'm very good at, and I am really bad at hitting the keys. I don't expect I'll be doing a lot of writing with the iPad, but if I do I may invest in the keyboard they offer for it.

This really is a great entertainment device.  I have to say it's at least met my high expectations if not exceeded them.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics Left Some Ideas Behind -

Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics Left Some Ideas Behind - "The characteristics of a Jack Kirby illustration are easily distinguished: extravagantly costumed heroes and nefarious villains locked in titanic struggles; foreshortened fists, feet and muscles that seem to pop off the page; intricately detailed settings meant to conjure the ancient past or suggest the distant future."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Google Tablet PC Details: 'iPad Killer' In The Works (PHOTOS)

Google Tablet PC Details: 'iPad Killer' In The Works (PHOTOS): "The rivalry between Apple and Google has intensified as the two companies increasingly tread on each other's turf. Steve Jobs, who accused Google of wanting to 'kill us,' recently unveiled an Apple ad platform called iAd that's set to challenge Google's mobile advertising strategy.

Meanwhile, it seems a Google tablet PC, Google's answer to the iPad, is in the works."

Shocker: Conan Headed Back to TV-- On TBS, Not Fox -

Shocker: Conan Headed Back to TV-- On TBS, Not Fox - "You snooze, you lose: Conan O'Brien is bringing his late-night act to Time Warner-owned cable network TBS, breaking off talks with Fox and making plans to move to cable in November.

O'Brien and Fox had been engaged in serious discussions about launching a late-night show for months, with most indications pointing to a deal eventually getting done. But Fox had always indicated that an agreement came with serious limitations: Less money, no guarantee of wide affiliate clearances and little chance for O'Brien to own his own show.

And while Fox Entertainment executives made no secret of their desire to get O'Brien, other parts of News Corp. seemed agnostic at best -- consistently stressing that an agreement would have to make sense financially.

The comedy-focused TBS, by contrast, made it clear that it really, really wanted O'Brien -- and was willing to step up with a monster deal to land him. His new pact with the network will allow O'Brien to own his own show, a la David Letterman, while also giving him an eight-figure compensation package described as 'bigger than any other deal he's ever had,' one person familiar with the agreement said."

Study: Online Radio Listening Flattens Out

Study: Online Radio Listening Flattens Out
The number of people listening weekly to online radio, 43 million, hasn't grown so far this year, according to Arbitron and Edison Research's annual Infinity Dial Study. That could all change when Apple upgrades iPhone operations system to allow third-party radio apps to play in the background when users do other tasks.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Steven Spielberg Meets 'The Jetsons' : TVBizwire

Steven Spielberg Meets 'The Jetsons' : TVBizwire : TVWeek - Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos: "Steven Spielberg will team with a major cable network on an animated mini-series about the world of the future, reports The Wrap.

The TV project is going to speculate on the world 25 to 100 years down the road.

In a statement about the tentatively titled 'Future Earth,' Discovery said, 'The mini-series will draw from a vast number of sources, including the leading futurists, scholars and great minds of today, to dramatize and explore how various facets of our daily lives -- health and medicine, technology, the environment, the military, the economy and media -- will evolve over the next century.'"

Friday, April 09, 2010

Geek Out!: In search of a better comic book app – SciTechBlog - Blogs

Geek Out!: In search of a better comic book app – SciTechBlog - Blogs

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

ACORN Sting Tape EDITED: Rachel Maddow Dissects Edit-Bay Trickery (VIDEO)

ACORN Sting Tape EDITED: Rachel Maddow Dissects Edit-Bay Trickery (VIDEO): "The hidden-camera tapes of ACORN employees supposedly advising conservative activists disguised as a pimp and prostitute on the best ways to launder their money were, it turns out, heavily edited, as Rachel Maddow documented Tuesday night.

As Maddow notes, conservatives James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles were not, in fact, in costume during their interviews with ACORN employees. They did, however, openly discuss crimes they claimed they were planning to commit, and ACORN employees promptly reported them to the police."

Well, I held off as long as I could

Well, I am a sucker, I admit. I already own an iMac, MacBook, and iPhone, and I'm been anxiously awaiting the debut of the iPad--but figured I'd wait a while. So I went to the Apple store yesterday just to check it out, play with it... and of course ended up buying one. Thankfully I had a freelance copywriting payment that covered the cheapest model and I didn't get any accessories. Yet.

The Apple store (Lenox Mall) was buzzing, but they had several iPads in stock and there wasn't any line, though the guy said Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were  crazy, as was Tuesday morning. He helped me set it up right in the store and I was good to go.

I played with it all evening, synced it up, and downloaded a bunch of free iPad apps, which are very cool, including the Marvel, Comixology, iVerse, and Comic Zeal comics reading apps (the only app I actually paid for is the new version of Comic Zeal for iPad). I got several eBook apps, newspaper apps (some of the news apps are really nice), Zinio magazines (I already had an account--they are spectacular on the iPad).

The only problem I had was watching the ABC video app, which froze up and I had to reset the iPad--freaked me out at first, but I understand some of these new apps are buggy. I'm sure they'll sort it out. Also, it does seem that the WiFi signal is a bit weaker on the iPad than any other computer when you get to the furthest reaches of the house, but it wasn't a problem.

So far I haven't regretted it in the least!

The iPad in the Eyes of the Digerati - Room for Debate Blog -

The iPad in the Eyes of the Digerati - Room for Debate Blog - "Does the iPad offer designers and users a new medium, or is it merely an iPod Touch on steroids? How much does the form factor of a device drive the creation of new kinds of content and how that content is read, heard and watched?

* Tim O’Reilly, O’Reilly Media
* David Gelernter, computer scientist
* Liza Daly, software engineer
* Craig Mod, programmer and designer
* Sam Kaplan, iPad app creator
* Emily Chang and Max Kiesler, designers and Web consultants"

Monday, April 05, 2010

Can the iPad spur a comic book revival? / The Christian Science Monitor -

Can the iPad spur a comic book revival? / The Christian Science Monitor - "Comic book publishers hope the iPad will promote a return to the golden era of comic book reading."

Columns: Don't say 'social justice' - Opinion -

Columns: Don't say 'social justice' - Opinion - "Call it what you will, but people of all religious traditions can agree that God smiles on those who help people in need. Even better: Interfaith cooperation is budding in America today."

Garfield Says Adieu, AdReview - Advertising Age - Garfield's Ad Review

Garfield Says Adieu, AdReview - Advertising Age - Garfield's Ad Review: "After 25 Years, Ad Age's Iconic Critic Is Hanging up His Stars, but Not Before Recalling His Hits and Misses -- and Yes, Having the Last Word"

An icon in the ad business.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

5 Ways The Google Book Settlement Will Change The Future of Reading - Futurism - io9

5 Ways The Google Book Settlement Will Change The Future of Reading - Futurism - io9: "If you care about the future of books, you need to understand the Google Book Settlement. It's a complicated legal document, but we've talked to some of its architects, detractors, and defenders - and break it all down for you.

The Google Book Settlement could easily be the twenty-first century's most important shift in how we deal with copyright in the world of publishing. To understand it, you need a little back story on the previous giant shift in copyright law, which happened about twelve years ago."

Bob Herbert - We Still Don’t Hear Dr. King -

Op-Ed Columnist - We Still Don’t Hear Dr. King - "“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “because my conscience leaves me no other choice.”

This was on the evening of April 4, 1967, almost exactly 43 years ago. Dr. King told the more than 3,000 people who had crowded into Riverside Church that silence in the face of the horror that was taking place in Vietnam amounted to a “betrayal.”"

Friday, April 02, 2010

Marvel Comics for iPad: Hands-on Review - Boing Boing

Marvel Comics for iPad: Hands-on Review - Boing Boing: "Video and screengrabs in this post: a first hands-on experience of the free Marvel Comics app for iPad, produced with Comixology (who produced a popular iPhone app). Word is that more than 500 titles will be available through the application at time of launch on Saturday. The pre-launch copy of the application I'm testing shows many titles offered at $1.99, and a number of selections also available for free."

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Successes (and Some Growing Pains) at Hulu -

Successes (and Some Growing Pains) at Hulu - "People briefed on Hulu’s plan believe it may test the subscription approach with its iPad app. They could not say when such an application might be available.

Mr. Kilar declined to talk about any future Hulu products, but he waxed enthusiastic about the coming wave of ultra-portable tablet computers like the iPad."

iPad Reviews: Raves For Apple's Latest Product

iPad Reviews: Raves For Apple's Latest Product: "iPad reviews from technology writers began surfacing Wednesday evening, with most offering glowing appraisals of Apple's latest product. However, one caveat was consistent: iPad's inability to play flash video.

Walt Mossberg, the personal technology reporter for The Wall Street Journal, suggested that the iPad could help touchscreen computers overtake the mouse"