November 27, 2005

four docs

Channel4's four docs is first out the door in the UK with a comprehensive user-generated content site targeted at documentary film-makers. Submissions have to be four minutes long and factual.

I haven't been able to actually download any content as yet, nothing like peer-to-peer in evidence, but the site looks well thought out and informative. No information on how many docs have been submitted as yet.

Posted by .M. at 04:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2005

World Cinema Online

UK online distributor, World Cinema Online, has around 30 titles available for purchase and/or 5-day rental. Like the BBC's iMP, the service relies on Microsoft DRM. World Cinema Online - Legally download essential independent and classic films
Posted by .M. at 11:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 14, 2005


Soundpoint is a MIDI motion-control interface being used for installations and educational projects.

ArKaos : Interactive Visual Technologies

Soundpoint's website describes it as "the invisible expanding kyeboard in space". Much more groovy!

Posted by .M. at 09:33 PM | TrackBack

November 12, 2005

DubPlate Drama

First comics, now the PSP moves into TV terroritory. DubPlate Drama is being billed as the world's first PSP (video) drama. Episodes will be premiered on PSP and then on terrestrial TV 24 hours later.

Posted by .M. at 05:45 PM | TrackBack


Following on from Sony's decision to go with blu-ray as the optical disc storage technology for PS3, now Warner Bros and MGM have joined the Blu-ray Disc Association this week, making this increasingly likely as the new defacto standard for Hollywooden content.

No frequently-asked-questions on blu-ray interactivity support but the word is out that Java will be supported in all blue-ray DVD players which means that the constraints of the DVD-Video experience are soon to be forgotten.

Posted by .M. at 05:05 PM | TrackBack

Mechanical Turk

Amazon's beta Mechanical Turk site, where humans sign up to do menial tasks that still befuddle machines, is a revelation and a sensation rolled up into one fantastic marketing opportunity for the online giant. The registration process for signing up as a Requester (i.e. you get to use the Amazon system to request your own workers in return for a percentage) is unavailable due to load. Stay tuned for some interesting developments to be sure.

Now what I'd like is a system for assembling a virtual team for the purposes of making a movie. We have been trying with Sanctuary but there's more than a few issues with culture clash. I'm betting that Amazon, proud owners of IMDb, have something up their sleeve.

Amazon Mechanical Turk - Welcome

Posted by .M. at 12:36 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2005

Video codec wars

Broadband video take-up is set to explode but what codec do you use? Some insight into why Macromedia chose On2 VP6 for Flash 8 and Apple went with H264 for Quicktime 7.

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BBC drama interactives

The BBC is conducting interactive video trials around Spooks and Shakespeare Retold and looking for feedback.

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November 10, 2005

Software Making-Of Videos

Documentation has come along way in recent times.

* From punchcards to PCs, there's always been programmers with attitude "Why should I write comments? I can read my own writing and the best documentation is the code itself".
* Then computer networks allowed elegant (and crap) solutions to be commented on more widely. Sometimes via elegant comments.
* Funny manuals start to appear. The Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister and other gems encouraged linguistics fans to spontaneously self-organise.
* Geek culture blooms. The Internet is fully responsible.
* Open source projects explode in number. Some even manage to stay useful.

then fast forward to events in the last 12 months where we have:

* A video tutorial showing "How to build a blog engine in 15 minutes with Ruby-on-Rails" (a Ruby web framework))
* Followed swiftly by "how to build a database-driven wiki in 20 minutes in Turbogears" (an equivalent framework for Python)
* Followed shortly after by a "how to implement your own online music store in 20 minutes" (again Python/Turbogears)
* Not to be beaten by "Aardvark'ed: 12 Weeks With Geeks", available to buy soon on DVD, documenting the complete lifecycle of a software product from concept to paying customer.

Every couple of years I get all excited thinking that a major shift in public conscious around the Internet is about to happen. And then the penny drops. I'm reminded by some kind soul that programming will remain in its black geek encrusted box because most people simply just don't care.

I accept that but I'm also willing to bet, today at least, that we're going to see a dramatic shift in perception in the next five years. Since when exactly were programmers racing each other to release movies about their code? It may never be Hollywood but software development has got a lot more palatable to the masses in recent times.

Switched-on developers realise it's all about bums on seats. No doubt cheesy special FX intros will follow.

Posted by .M. at 09:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2005

Google Creative Commons search

Not wholly unexpected, Google releases its own Creative Commons search facility.

Posted by .M. at 10:54 PM | TrackBack

November 02, 2005

Creative Archive artist placements

The Creative Archive project is offering two placements to artists to make use of material from the BBC Archive and Creative Archive collections respectively. Creative Archive Licence Group

Posted by .M. at 04:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2005

Spielberg gets a desk at EA

Spielberg is Wired proclaims interactive storytelling blog, Grand Theft Auto. It seems that Electronic Arts is calling in the big guns to make the next emotional breakthrough in gaming. I'm all for seeing the future of films and games fuse into one in the way Spielberg and Zemeckis have predicted, minus the obligatory cute kid factor.

Posted by .M. at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack