Director James Cameron gave his exit interview to National Geographic shortly after he emerged from his yellow submarine and became the first person in history to take a solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Can’t wait to see the footage of what he found down there.
While author-filmmaker Keya Morgan continues to put the final touches on his upcoming Marilyn Monroe twin bombshells, including this week the first-ever on-camera interview with one of the deceased movie star’s bodyguards, we’ll have to make do with the next best thing. That would be Virtual Marilyn (pictured).
She’s actually been around since 1996. But late last month, in this 50th anniversary year of the Hollywood icon’s death, the U.S. Copyright Office officially confirmed VM2′s originality. From today’s press release:
“The U.S. Copyright Office’s registration of VM2 as a virtual actress adopting the persona of Marilyn Monroe is a milestone in the convergence of Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the Internet,” declared Becky Altringer, manager of digiconmedia.net, the holder of exclusive licensing rights to the newly registered copyright. “Advances in computer generated animation and global broadband Internet links now make it viable for a virtual personality to ‘live’ in cyberspace and interact with a global Internet audience.”
Apple couldn’t have staged it any better. When Rich DeMuro encountered satellite truck problems this morning while reporting from San Francisco about the 10 a.m. PT unveiling of the latest iPad, he found a synergistic solution.
Using his iPad 2 and a Skype connection, the KTLA Morning News reporter was able to beam back down to LA, no problem.
Google has decided to consolidate its Google Music, Google Books and Android Market online properties under a single banner: Google Play. The new digital superstore launched today.
As TechCrunch notes, Google had spent loads of time and energy in recent months trying (unsuccessfully) to brand Android Market. But Google simply has too many digital items to shop outside the smartphone realm. The consolidation has the potential to put Google on par with iTunes. Interestingly, though, unlike iTunes, Google Play is cloud-based. Meaning content can be accessed from any device without the need to clog up space on your hard drive.
FishbowlLA alum Tina Dupuy has a nice piece in CityWatch on the emerging Livestream–unedited raw video streamed live online–trend in covering grassroots political movements–especially Occupy Wall Street.
I asked [UpTake] founder and director Jason Barnett, who’s trained hundreds of “citizen journalists” (they call themselves UpTakers), if it’s unusual for protesters to morph into journalists because they downloaded a smart phone app. He explains, “It’s the natural byproduct of livestreaming. You’re forced into the role of the person handling the truth.”
There are no edits. There’s only what’s happening at that moment and maybe some commentary or explaining, says Barnett. If sunlight is a disinfectant, livestreaming is a laser.
“People are tired of being lied to by the media,” says [Occupier] Tim Pool, who adds, “Transparency is paramount.”
But here’s the rub: As Occupy tries to find itself, transparency and more specifically livestreaming has become a double-edged sword. Yes, all occupiers love when the police are being filmed. But not so much when they are caught on livestream doing illegal acts.
In the wake of Newt Gingrich‘s ridiculous plan to set up an American moon base by 2020, San Diego CityBeat’s Dave Maass attended the “Future of Astronauts (Colonization)” panel at the SpaceUp San Diego “unconference” on space exploration at the Ansir Innovation Center last weekend. The piece spends quite a bit of time presenting a rather dark, dystopian view of the future of privatized space travel.
Writes Maass: “The darkness is in the socio-political implications of a space race that could mirror the colonization of the Americas, with all the death and exploitation that came with it. Indentured servitude. Corporate rulers. Space cults.”
But, despite all those reservations, Maass eventually gets to the real question that’s been brewing in the back of his mind.
How long until reporters are invited to junkets on space yachts?
“Fifteen years,” [I'm told].
Did I say the future is dark? Retract that. Where do I get in line?
Hate how Best Picture at the Academy Awards often goes to films that are in no way, shape or form the best movie of the year? Well, there may be some solace for you if your film of choice gets jobbed. USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab has teamed with IBM and the LA Times to measure social media buzz relating to this year’s Oscars. Culling worldwide Twitter sentiment, the hope is to accurately identify the “people’s Oscar” winners in the major categories.
From the release:
The project relies on new sophisticated analytics and natural language recognition technologies to gauge positive and negative opinions shared in millions of public tweets.
The website for Third Street restaurant Il Covo lists the loose English translation for its Italian name as “den of thieves” or “lair.” But after reading Jessica Gelt‘s recent LA Times article about how this establishment and others around the city have been overtaken by Smartphone-wielding customers, FishbowlLA is inclined to look up the Italian for “end of civilization.”
Then again, we’re not in the business of catering to LA’s multi-tasking parents, studio execs and Cedars-Sinai superstars. For those who are, like Il Covo general manager Eric Rosenfeld, it’s now all about accommodating device-totting diners. For example, his restaurant provides small plates on which customers can place their Smartphones, so as to avoid spillage:
“If a diner would like to have their phone on the table, we want to protect it as much as possible,” Rosenfeld explains, adding that many restaurants in Los Angeles even keep a discreet stash of iPhone and BlackBerry chargers on hand and train servers on how and when to approach a diner on a phone and what to do if a phone is in the way when it comes time to deliver a plate. (The hard and fast rule is never put your hands on another man’s phone.)