Notes / Category / Commentary

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Movie Studio Angst Over Content Delivery

The story goes: movie studios have seen their revenue from home entertainment media sales fall off a cliff; during the same time, Netflix nurtured a successful subscription service through streaming content and DVD mailings; movie studios realize their best interests lie in digital content delivery and have sought to re-price their licensing agreements with online providers; Netflix, in turn, having no choice, enter into these contracts and pass the costs to its customers; these very customers react negatively to the price increases and leave en masse; in order to clarify their long-term strategy Netflix announces it will divide its streaming service (Netflix) from its DVD mail service (Quickster), further angering its customers.

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Vanguard of Neo-Analog Culture

I appreciate Mr. Tenner’s thoughts and his coined term of “neo-analog culture.” As physical books move away from being vehicles of information to unique objects waiting to be discovered, I would like to understand the true motivation behind the rediscovery of the analog printed object through the push-back of digital media. Bibliophiles have always put a great value on rare editions of books—more as an artifact to be collected. But, what is described in the source article is more akin to a cultural study of human interaction in the form of the hand-crafted printed object. Is the motivation sentimentality? Nostalgia? Historicism? A pursuit of authenticity?

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Faster, Faster Frame Rates

To better understand what a faster frame rate would look like, watch a movie on a 1080p HDTV with a 120hz or greater refresh rate. It is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison, but it gets you close to what you should expect. Two good examples would be the blu-ray discs of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and District 9. Considering the high production values of the former, the audience gets a you are there experience; while the documentary film-style of the latter is well served by the higher refresh rate. It should be noted that Neil Blomkamp shot District 9 on the Red One camera and the Sony EX1 camcorder.

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A Setback for Righthaven

In the case before the court, where Righthaven sued the Oregon-based Center for Intercultural Organizing for posting an entire article from the Las Vegas Review Journal about the deportation of illegal immigrants, the federal judge James Mahan took the initiative and ordered the plaintiff to show cause why the case should not be dismissed under the U.S. Copyright Law’s fair use exception. He did this despite defendant’s lawyers not contesting the plaintiff’s claims.

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HTML5: Interpreting a Specification

In my efforts to recode this site for HTML5 I found myself confused by the meaning of various elements of the specification. And here, I thought it was me. As evidenced by the commentary in the linked thread, I will go forward and interpret the specification on a case-by-case basis.

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Build a Tumblr Blog with EE

Andy Johnson of the design studio Shaping the Page wrote an exceptional tutorial on using ExpressionEngine to build a simple Tumblr blog. He explains how his studio uses the approach outlined in the tutorial for the Journal section of its site.

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The Stench of Death

I can’t say I spent much time in a Blockbuster store to have developed an archive of memories, so I have no strong feelings about Blockbuster’s inevitable ruinations; but, Mr. Seitz’s sense of loss could be echoed for other types of brick-and-mortar stores: the music shop or the book store. While a Barnes & Noble store has yet to attain the air of decay permeating a Blockbuster, it will only be a matter of time, now that Kindle books sales have started to outnumber hardcover book sales.

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End of Photojournalism

As Edward Tenner points out: “That’s what some people are saying about text, too.” Again, what is at stake here is the narrative. Photojournalism at its core is about the art of the story—where the photographer is given the freedom to capture the intimate particulars of an event in order to evidence a universal truth of the human condition. The magazine spread or folio book are still the best way for someone to experience these collection of images. But, I do think the internet will offer the opportunity to explore other methods of presenting the story when we stop thinking of the web as a series of linked pages and more as interconnected but absolute experiences.

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The Scaling of Type

Much like Mr. Dadich, I have never—and I mean never—adjusted the text size of any website. And although I appreciate and understand the issue of accessibility and the concern over readability, as a reader I would not consider overriding the graphical decisions made by the designer of a site or author of its content. For me, this issue of type scaling goes beyond an argument of accommodation; it’s a struggle over who has rights to content, the reader or the author.

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Hitchcock and the Sleight of Hand

The notion that a film director has a duty of fair play to his audience as it pertains to the truth content of the film’s narrative shows the level of craft and consideration Hitchcock had for his work. Certainly, preserving the narrative continuity of suspense at the expense of lying to the audience was the right decision—a masterful and beautiful lie.

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Pathology of Looking

There are two ideas to consider here: the notion that an individual who cannot make, or chooses not to make, creates through the act of sharing in the form of on-line curation; while, the individual who can make chooses instead to curate as a means towards influence by way of imitation. I would say that both intentions are born out of the same pathology—the covetous of seeing.

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Type Service: Typekit

The font service was created by Jeffrey Veen of Small Batch, Inc. and was in an initial beta period during most of 2009 with the final release occurring in November. Since then, the service has been used prominently by major websites, including the New York Times with its Times Skimmer, and a number of blogs and personal sites.