Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Newspapers and technology

Interesting piece in The Economist:

Newspapers and technology: Network effects | The Economist:

"The internet may kill newspapers; but it is not clear if that matters. For society, what matters is that people should have access to news, not that it should be delivered through any particular medium; and, for the consumer, the faster it travels, the better."

It's patently obvious

According to the New York Daily News, patent analysis by Thomson and Reuters points to a real upswing in patents related to 3D viewing. Now, whether this in turn means that the technology is a definite winner is, of course, a bit more contested. But the effort is certainly there...

"* 3-D TV in Your Living Room: It will only be a matter of time before you can enjoy 3-D television programs from your couch. From 2003 to 2008, patent activity in the 3-D television space grew by 69%. Breakthrough new technologies include lenticular lenses, which create a more natural 3-D viewing experience without the need for special glasses.

* Capture Moments With 3-D Photos: 3-D photographic technology is also on the rise; it grew by 57% from 2003 to 2009 as the digital camera industry works to combat declines in other areas.

* 3-D Glasses Are Big Business: A great deal of 3-D cinema innovation has less to do with movie production than it does with ancillary products. From 2003 to 2008, patent activity in the 3-D cinema space grew by 45%. Areas receiving the most attention include: projection systems, specialized glasses, cleaning apparatus and registration systems for glasses."

More (and a distressing habit of spelling 3D as 3-D) here.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Bugger Avatar

[via sfx]
"According to New Zealand’s Dominion Post Peter Jackson is secretly developing a sci-fi film based on the Mortal Engines books by Philip Reeve.

The newspaper claims that Weta Workshops is already busy with designs, but a spokesman for the company would only respond, “any comment should come from Peter.'

The article also points out that Jackson has also optioned the rights to the historic-fantasy Temeraire novels by Naomi Novik, which tell an alternative version of the Napoleonic Wars where tame dragons are used for aerial attacks."

SFX: the leading science fiction, fantasy and horror magazine:

Friday, 18 December 2009

And so...Xmas

Well, not yet. But if you're tried to get anyone in the broadcast industry on the phone or raise them via email today, you'll know that Xmas has started early this year - about a week early. It's Friday the 18th of December, and everyone is either snow-bound and at home or down the pub.

Might as well join them. Peeking through the looking-glass to January, 2010's looking manic.

Monday, 7 December 2009

An imprefect science

Fascinating insight into how things can go wrong in the broadcast chain from the BBC's tech guru, Andy Quested.

Yes, Doctor Who should have been in 5.1! Something the dubbing mixer pointed out quite forcefully on the Monday morning after transmission. Before he contacted me I had discovered the programme was only in stereo on the server but the delivered tape had the full surround audio. After a bit of investigation we discovered someone had routed one of the server ingest video tape players to another area and changed the audio replay options to a non-standard mode. When the machine was routed back to its normal role the audio set-up was not reset and the next programme in the stack for loading was Doctor Who."

[And yes, 'imprefect' was a joke]

More at the source. BBC - BBC Internet Blog: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Encoding: Before we start

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Somali pirate stock exchange

This is the point where the world actually turns into a Bruce Sterling-written satire.

Somali pirates have set up a stock exchange to attract investors, according to Reuters Here's one woman's brief story:

"Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel.

'I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation,' she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband in alimony.

'I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the 'company'.'"

Wonder when the futures market will kick off?

Somali sea gangs lure investors at pirate lair | Reuters