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Techno

Putting Samuel L. Jackson’s Siri Ad to the Test

Boston-based comedian Paul Kafasis has shared a very funny post on his blog One Foot Tsunami. After endlessly watching the “Date Night” TV ad in which Samuel L. Jackson works with Siri to prepare a romantic evening of gazpacho consumption, he decided to cook up a real-world test.

It was bad enough when Kafasis articulated to Siri the words, “Remind me to put the gazpacho on ice in an hour.” But things got really dicey when he then used a recording of Jackson mouthing the dialogue. Kafasis’ Siri responded with:

- Call Mirium Booksbaum
- Call Anna-Genelle Harev
- Call Ron Ridenhour

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Voice of San Diego Adds Monthly Print Magazine

Thanks to some financial assistance from The Knight Foundation and the technical transom of MagCloud, Voice of San Diego is heading in a very non-traditional digital media direction. The respected regional news source is adding a monthly print magazine.

Free to paying members as a perk and available for purchase to non-members, Voice of San Diego Monthly comes on the heels of the LA Timesdecision to shutter their Sunday magazine. Perhaps the paper can take a page from VoSD and consider re-upping the insert as a similar paywall subscriber benefit. From today’s Knight Foundation blog post by VoSD editor Scott Lewis:

When I discovered MagCloud, I got an idea and couldn’t shake it. Rather than let our stories sit on some virtual shelf, why not offer the chance for people to catch up? We floated the idea to Knight Foundation, which loved it and decided to help with the experiment by funding it.

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Gavin Newsom Promises a Technology-Driven Program

As the current Lieutenant Governor of California reminds at the top of his Hollywood Reporter mini-essay, he had his own radio show when he was the mayor of San Francisco. He says he loved how the broadcast allowed him to relay snippets of workplace conversation and that his return to the media airwaves via Current TV was borne largely out a desire to repeat that experience.

Since his radio days, Newsom has become a much bigger fan and proponent of technological innovation. Something he wants to use to shape his Current TV program The Gavin Newsom Show:

We don’t want this to just be a once-a-week show that’s repeated twice other days… We’re coming up with what I hope will be, in very innovative ways, the ability to reach a large audience and create an important feedback mechanism. Some of my friends in the technology world will come up with interesting, creative ways, and we will experiment with these.

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LA Startup Assignmint.com Promises to ‘Fix Freelancing’

Any of you freelancers out there ever get screwed out of a payment? We know we have. A new site, Assignmint.com, is promising to “fix freelancing.”

How exactly?

According to a recent writeup in Fast Company, the site will offer “a complete pitch-to-payment cloud workflow system for freelancers and their employers. It helps digitally manage work assignments, editorial calendars, invoices, pitches, expenses, contract information, and payment. Freelance journalists, meanwhile, will be able to have access to all their outstanding invoice and payment information in one place. The startup also plans to implement a clip and algorithm service to match freelancers with potential new clients.”

We spoke with one of Assignmint’s founders, former New York Press editor and recent LA transplant Jeff Koyen, who told us more about how the site will work.

“In short, as currently planned, the system will be free for all writers (and, in the future, any kind of freelancer). These are fully functioning accounts, no throttles, no limits. Freelancers can create, send and track pitches, create assignments from the ones that land, then track and manage these assignments all the way to the end. We’re also building editor-side tools — the same tools, in fact. Editors can filter and manage incoming pitches, issue assignments and then handle all related fulfillment (e.g. contracts and invoices) right from their dashboard. We’ll also have premium team editorial accounts that feature more workflow and sharing tools.”

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An Occupier’s Worst Nightmare: Forbes Launches Real-Time Billionaire Tracking

Assets check! Assets check!

That might be the new battle cry from the Occupy front in the face of a ridiculously humbling widget launched this week by ForbesReal-Time Billionaires. Just as the name implies, the website is now tallying the aggregate hourly and daily value of stock market assets held by 50 of the world’s richest individuals.

Thanks to this new feature, it is now also possible at any given moment to confirm whether a certain Chinese mogul is living up to his prophetic name. We’re referring of course to Hong Kong high school dropout Lee Ka-shing.

LAT Database Producer Discusses His LAPD Experiment

The future of journalism was sliced, diced and debated in a myriad of ways this past weekend at the 13th International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ). Held April 20-21 at the University of Texas at Austin, the event featured innumerable keynote addresses and industry panels.

During one discussion titled “From Desk (lap) top Computers and Smartphones to Tablets: How Journalists are Responding to the Mobile Revolution,” LA Times database manager Ben Welsh suggested that he’s aiming for a Minority Report-like future. He envisions layers of computer-assisted reporting – operated by robotic spiders, and explained how he has been experimenting with the concept. Per a report by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas:

“You find a simple, repetitive and moving data stream that updates every day,” Welsh said. His data stream? The Los Angeles Police Department emails he receives at 2:30 every morning.

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Grateful Dead Game Aims to Cultivate ‘Digital Heads’ Following

Burbank based Rhino Entertainment and Asheville, NC game developer Curious Sense have today officially unveiled phase two of The Epic Tour, an online world inspired by the legacy of the Grateful Dead and the band’s devoted “Dead Heads” fan base.

What’s most intriguing here is that Curious Sense crowd-sourced the latest aspect of a game first launched last December. From today’s press release:

Curious Sense created a website in which Grateful Dead fans browsed a catalog of more than 2,500 Grateful Dead concerts, voting for shows they deemed “epic.” After collecting more than 30,000 votes over a period of two months, the fans’ top ten Grateful Dead shows were announced, and those ten concerts will make up the destinations in The Epic Tour.

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Samuel L. Jackson Squares Off Against Siri

Holy cow… This “Real Siri Ad” (with audio NSFW) is right up there with the million and one memes derived from that Hitler scene in The Downfall:

Kudos to Alex Moschina and the rest of the gang at slacktory.com for piecing together what will no doubt be a m#&f&*$&ing monster viral hit.

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Wolfgang Puck Adds to Media Empire with First iPhone-iPad App

Here’s an idea: Let’s fold the Governors Ball into the Academy Awards ceremony and enlist Wolfgang Puck to host the mercifully shorter, looser affair. FishbowlLA has no doubt that he could capably handle the double duty, and now, he’s got the iPhone-iPad app to further promote it to those young-demo viewers the Academy so desperately pines for.

Just as the Brits tend to dominate the annual Oscars ceremony with their erudite and handsomely shot productions, Puck created his Live Love Eat! App with the help of UK firm Gourmet Pixel. From today’s press release:

The App features never-before-published recipes, cooking and technique videos, one-touch calling for reservations, event planning tools and social media integration… “I’m excited to bring my favorite recipes, cooking tips and tricks to our fans who share my passion for food and entertaining,” said Puck. “It’s VIP access to the best of what we have to offer!”

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Casual Remark by Shannon Tweed Sparks Attack of the Groupies

Sometimes, great ideas arise from simple, casual conversation. Case in point: the new iPhone-iPad game Attack of the Groupies.

Per an article in St. John’s, Newfoundland paper The Telegram, when Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed attended the Atlantic Brand Confabulation event there last year, they met Gogii Games president George Donovan. The company, based in Moncton, New Brunswick, has created titles such as Escape the Museum and Princess Isabella: A Witch’s Curse.

Donovan asked Mrs. Tweed-Simmons if she had ever thought about doing a video game:

“I’d played some of those games on my phone as a way to waste time, but that’s it,” Tweed-Simmons told The Telegram. “He said, ‘You should do one,’ and I said, ‘Like what — ‘Attack of the Groupies’ or something? He said, ‘That’s a great idea.’”
The game features an animated Tweed-Simmons fighting off hordes of crazed female groupies intent on getting their hands on her man.

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