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The emergence of Hollywood came from fleeing Patents

For my research in "Live Cinema" I am reading that real good Book "History of Film" by Jerzy Toeplitz. In the chapter "the american film in the beginning of its career" Toeplitz describes how Hollywood came into existence. In 1908 the Motion Pictures Patents Company was found to make patent claims to all institutions, people and technique that uses Film as a medium. The original founders of what must be the original of the Motion Pictures Association of America included the Edison Manufacturing Company, Biograph and Vitagraph.
Now the fun part - for circumventing the patent claims and the payment to the Motion Pictures Patents Company producers and customers of the film-renting business went to the west because it was hard to claim patents there in the early 20th century - it was still wild and lawlessness ruled. The book goes on on how the the patent trust was misjudging customers demand for better quality movies and gave rise to the independents of that time - and therefore is "responsible" for Hollywoods raging success.
This is exactly what happens at the moment and judging the historic pretext and the disappearance of the original trust and the companies involved can only give hope that the current "copyright war" will see the same fate.


Stanislav Lem died age 84

One of the best science fiction authors ever died today. He was a great inspiration for me to look at the genre science fiction and no other author has defined this genre as as this talented polish man had done. Yet he became a science fiction and modern science critique pausing people to take a break and think again about our future and that all might not so bright and careless as it seems.
A very great interview from 1996 with him is on telepolis.

Rest in peace you who made the robots dance.


Indy Media, Food Not Bombs on FBI Terror watch list

What can be seen as a development that was foreseeable but noone believed it would come this far the FBI has put Indymedia.org and the peaceful protesting group "Food Not Bombs" on its terrorist organization watch list. Interestingly enough this causes no outcry what so ever in the american society, no big media is reporting about it and no demonstrations are staged. To remember: Indymedia.org is an independent - so leftist - media outlet letting everyone have a word about current politics - Food Not Bombs serving food in protest of the war.
I recommend reading Arthur Millers "The Crucible" if you want to know where this goes. And I wonder who else is on this watch list - bloggers, individuals who spoke out against the military or the war or about peace on earth or against gene manipulation or about peak oil or about corporate fascism. We are diving into the worst case scenario fast here.


CNN on heavy decline says Gallup

One of the biggest companies responsible for the "Presidential approval ratings" and other more or less interesting polls is ending its partnership with CNN. The reason? - excuse me if I have to give a link to the Drudge Report - CNNīs viewership is on a heavy decline and the gallup people are leaving the sinking ship so to help their brand stay afloat.
Now why would that be interesting? Because Gallup thinks if they run their own "e-channel" they get more viewers then on CNN - or to spell it out in plain words: Gallup thinks that internet TV is already a better market then TV.
Thats a revolutionary development to say the least. Gallup is a polling station they must have one of the best statistical data on american tv usage and they think they can reach a bigger audience in the net then over the air. I am flabbergasted - this is all happening much faster then even I imagined. Gallup itself is talking about "a hurricane of change" they face and their new "e-distribution" is their answer.

Propaganda is legal - in the US and its enclaves

When an American Military Commander puts a public relation firm to work to fabricate stories and paint a picture of his mission mostly with pink and then pay newsoulets that struggle with survival (I guess the advertising market for print publication in Bagdad is more then shitty at the moment) this is perfectly legal and ethical a new finding says. The finding also suggests that this is legal everywhere in the world - even in its homeland - as there is no rule against such action. Now the question is: How much news is NOT propaganda from the american military? What kind of news can be trusted? What articles are planted all over the world? What publications did ever recieve money from America to paint the pink american dream into their black and white media.

Failure of Warplans

In a recent press meeting President Bush said something that is so insightful that it should be an admission against all and every war:

"Listen, every war plan looks good on paper until you meet the enemy, not just the war plan we executed in Iraq, but the war plans that we have been executed throughout the history of warfare."

So i would say we look at the history of warfare and say warfare in itself is a failure. Let there be peace then.


...is the beginning - elevating Live Cinema into the mainstream

My six month diploma project will try to combine what I have learned in my study and in my over 7 years of VJing. In official close collaboration with vidvox the diploma project will depart from the "old" VJing metapher and dive into the new realm of "Live Cinema".


The project description:

Live Cinema - a project as symbiosis of theory, technology and practiced synesthetic art viewed as spatial, textual and visual evolution and convergence of two communication-, design-, culture- and art-forms.

So what I want to do is to fuse "cinema as we know" it with "VJing as some know it". All that together with a written theory and a complete project that will be performed sometimes in very early September 2006 on a newly developed "live cinema" software program that is tailored by vidvox to meet the demands an interactive, reactive storyline would need. I am very exited about this project as it forays into a new media realm first outlined in the book "Live Cinema Unraveled" by Timothy Jaeger and the narrative VJ sets shown at AVIT 05.
Since most of my focus for the coming month will go into that project I have made a new Blog where I post progress and findings related to Live Cinema and also a Wiki where I will archive my findings. For the course of the project most texts will be in german - sorry I am still living here and have to drop off the theory part in german - yet if you feel like you have something substantial to contribute feel free to do so in german and in english - just register at the wiki or post a comment on the blog.
If you see lack of posts here on this blog it means there is probably much more going on at the live cinema research as the world of politics and future technology has to step back for the moment if its not related to that other project (which it still will through the story).
I will also write (and partially have already written) a story myself - I will post it to wiki and blog in addition I will post each and any progress I will make, including storyboards, unfinished production shots and when all is done one recording of the whole "film" and hope to get lots of critiques and helpful comments. I wish for interested people to join me in the roller-coaster ride to help define a new art branch. Please donīt be affected by the german language barrier - I try to cross post things in german and english and after the project is done and if it is actually successful I will translate everything in the wiki for the international artists interested in that field. I hope that at the end of the project both the wiki and the blog will continue to be a community resources for the time to come.

The Wiki: http://livecinema.prototypen.com/wiki/
The Blog: http://livecinema.prototypen.com/blog/

The end....

I have finally made it to the point in my communication design study where I am done with all official courses and "just" have to tackle that last project to get my diplom degree for design (german degree somewhere in the middle between bachelor and master). For much too long I sat in those rooms and listened to various people telling me about the tricks and tools of the design trade. I have listened to endless theories and have been involved in so many projects in the meantime that I lost count - and let me tell you not all where inspiring or cool or hip (designing the corporate identity for a tv channel for people over 50 is definitely in the unhip category - but was still quite fun). There have been projects that where utterly cool at the time (one of the first was realizing a marketing campaign for a new cigarette brand - the outcome where some hilarious short cinema commercials and a poster campaign - after a frustrating week of yelling at each other in the team) and some that never made much sense but brought my thinking much forward (the invisible interface for the project "Inhalt im Rauschen" programmed with max/msp/nato 0.55++).
Overall I can say yes I have learned a lot in my school time - about a third from my teachers, a third from my fellow students and a third from the actual projects. So I still donīt agree with the school policy to force you to take some courses that absolutely where horrible and made you really think twice if design is what you want to do the rest of your life. Yet I am happy to have been through it and despite the last project in front of me I can look into a future in my trade with a lot fundation to draw upon.
I would like to take that space here to thank a couple of people who guided me through, have been inspirational or fun to work with.

Teachers: Prof. Michael Bette for enlighting me on the concepts of color and psycholigic perception of the world. Prof. Angelika Margull for not getting tired showing me how to draw, Prof. Klaus Dufke for his dedication to the moving image medium (even so I am in disagreement of some of the pop.culture concepts of him, his dedication is admiring), Prof. Betina Müller for dedication of detailed Typography - even so I have not finished the last two projects I have learned soo much about Typography in her courses and I even like Typography and I think that is a result of her teaching, Prof. Matthias Krohn for the low-profile approach to design and the systematic dissection of the creative process and last but not least the youngest Prof. Boris Müller for actually getting some vibe going at the school again and encouraging me to stick through the final courses.

Students: Annett, Katja, Wibke, fRED, Michel, Olli & Sven, Andre, Alex, Mythos, Beppel, Steffen, Jörg, Björn and Stex and all those that I properly canīt think of right now but have been equally important - feel thanked for the great very inspirational fun time inside and outside school with you. The lengthy hot discussions long wakefull nights and the final sometimes beyond strange projects will stay in my mind for the years to come.

I hope for a bright future for all of us so that all the suffering actually made some sense.

Study Interface Design and simplify the world

CommandLegoInteface.png incompixow1_0.pngI have started studying Communication Design some long time ago as I was coming from the computer side and had an affection for creativity due to my exposure with the medium video - so Communication Design appealed to me as a path to my life. The school I choosed was the University for Applied Science in Potsdam (for all who donīt know - Potsdam is a medium sized city just on the south-western outskirt of Berlin and known for Cold-War spy exchanges and Prussian Kings). The design department at the the time was very energetic and the general feel in that old Prussian/Russian military complex that had been declared a school shortly after the wall came down was very inspiring. Much has changed over the last 6 years there - the old building have been renovated and a huge new modern laboratory complex has been build. The design department when I started there had two different but very complimentary courses - Communication Design and Product Design. You had to take a lot of crossover classes to get a degree in each of these. Yet over the years the energy has gone away in the traditional design market and that was reflected in our school as well. To renew the schools bid to be a leading design faculty they integrated a third and more modern part into the department - Interface Design. While I got bored with the uneventful classes in traditional communication design and even more bored with any product design classes the lecture offers for Interface Design grabbed my interest. Two project that I am most proud of came out of those classes - The Command Lego Interface (55 MB mpeg4 video) and The Pixow Screen Saver. If I would have the choice today I would love to get a full scope on interface design with all its facets and especially inside that product/communication designer environment it makes a lot of sense - from what can be seen in the other interface courses the outcomes are usable chic portals to the digital world. As I am struggling with overly complex ugly interfaces every day I would like to encourage anyone thinking about studying design to consider Interface Design as her/his bright future in the hope that the miseries of an over-complex world can be tackled by talented people.

If you seriously thinking about studying Interface Design the application deadline is April the 1th and I can highly recommend this fresh department either if you want to get into actual hardware interfaces (think cellphones, iPod clickwheels and the like), game interface designs, web design or have that ultimate idea that has not yet seen the light. The close proximity to Berlin (30 min by local train) is a very beneficial inspirational source for everyone that needs that metropolitan feel to get into a creative mood.

The website is completely in german but foreign students are very welcome. You can get into a Bachelor or Master of Arts degree.

Find the application here.

More Projects from the course here.


Open University goes open Content with Creative Commons

group2.jpgCreative Commons Licensing Sheme is spreading like a wildfire - more and more musicians, artists and content creators in general publish their creative output under the license that makes it easy to retain your copyright and give away some copyleft to your audience. Now the biggest online University in Britain - The Open University - together with the BBC and Hewlett Packard is starting the "Open Content Initiative" and will publish ALL their learning materials in the coming months for everyone to see copy distribute learn from share add and discuss without any DRM without any restrictions. I surely hope this sets an example and all and every school in the world would adapt the CC license as mandatory to let the flow of information stream into the heads of the knowledge hungry without hinderance and let a century of progress follow. My hat goes to the Open University for their brave endeavor.

Update: On another front the Creative Common License has been upheld in a Dutch court. This is a big development as it means that at least in Holland you have now legal assurance that the Creative Common license protects your Creativity and lets you copy rip mix burn appropriately licensed work without a "police is around the corner" hassle.

The "MagSafe" or why I will never buy a Apple 1.0 product in my life again

magsafe001.jpgApple is overall a great company - at least better then 99% of its competitors in many fields - but there are things this company never ever seems to get right and most of it has to do with its self imposed secrecy. By not allowing user testing on a broad scale in fear that their "revolutionary" products will be revealed to the public they are taking the risk of huge failures on any new technology they impose. After the Titanium G4 Rev 1 fiasko (the frame has now been shattered multiple times, the motherboard has cracks the hinges have completely fallen off - all after 3 years of using - the machine lies in a grave now) I decided to never ever buy a Rev 1 product again - I fall for the G5 - I thought "well its a tower what can go wrong" and bought the G5 dual 2.0 Ghz Rev 1 - and until this day I have a loud noisy tower under my desk that has "chirping noises" that have never been resolved - sometimes they drive me insane. This time around so - also because I lack the funds - I will not jump the gun as the stakes are much much higher then ever before for Apple and that a component failure at a complete architectural change is almost unavoidable. The iMac Intel did fare well until today and there have been only scarce reports of any MacBook problems - but as I reported a couple days ago in my own hands on MacBook review the "all to apparent problems" have shown up in this guys MacBook already - the same chirping "drive me mad" noise that plugs my G5 and the too easely unplugged "Safe Poweradapter". Yet today must be the official Intel Switch Rev 1 GAU for Apple. Readers report of froozen USB devices on the Intel iMacs - especially happening in games - yesterday a guy showed photos of the "you are safer with our easier then smashing a cake unpluggable poweradapter" that was completely fried and also fried the machine! I can clearly see how this happens - if you have the machine on your lap and the powerplug is just slightly tilted it would get off the contacts and a electric arc would form as it does with any other electric plug system that is not 100% attachted - sometimes you see it on old wall plugs when you plug in a connector you get a bright spark - now you can sustain that spark if you plug in the connector not 100% just like 99.9% and a powerfire will occur shortly later. I for one hope to god that apple pulls that feature - as said before in a live performance setting this thing is the absolute problem on a table fully of wires and never enough space or time to setup your thing. Also I think Apple should test technologies like this with its target group and not only its high paid engineers who never seem to use their laptops in a "bed" setting. I like the idea of the MacSafePlug but it is just not working at all in its current incarnation - maybe a round version that plugs in a little deeper would be the way to go?
Anyway its absolutely not surprising to see what happened to Apple as this has happened every single time Apple made a new enclosure or had a vastly different architecture inside their machines - Powerbook 5300, iBook G3, PowermacG4 PCI, PowerMac G5, Powerbook G4. Lets see what Rev 2 brings and maybe just wait until they bring out a real outstanding machine and not just a bridge to go from old to new.


Biometric Passport in Germany a failure

As heise online reports today the campaign against Biometric Passports in Germany has been a success! There have been much fewer applications of Biometric Passports then in the years before for the normal Passport. The officials say that most people got an old Passport "because it was cheaper" while that was definitely a reason to get the old Passport there have been so many people that I know of getting the old passport because of the Biometric debate in Germany has gotten very widespread and information has created the kind of fear of a big government that normally only terrorism produces.
The outcome for now is that your application office will get a Biometric Passport reader that allegedly displays all information stored on your Biometric Passport - if you happen to need to get one. Even so I donīt buy into the offer as it is provided by the very same governmental sources that want that database filled with your fingerprints, irisscans , 3d model and soon probably also your DNA its still a success of the campaign against the Biometric Passport. Now if we could convince the government to roll back the Biometrics and RFID capability or at least give applicants the option to get the old passport then this would be complete victory - sadly this wonīt happen. I for one donīt need a new Passport until the year 2012 - by then so my hope the world might have awaken.


US Army: Peak Oil is imminent

The "Peak Oil will win the bet for human self destruction" camp has a big fan. The Energy Bulletin says that a public document (PDF 1.2MB) by the US Army reveals that the biggest military institution in the world is fearing that the constant flow of fresh black gold will soon start to stutter. The US Army is a huge "Oil Addict" with its millions of vehicles, factories and camps running on the premise that the liquid comes in cheaply. The strategic report reveals that the oil industry has been hiding the fact behind "skewed" statistics. The "official" version of the Oil Industy is riddled with mistakes and misleadings. For the "official" projected Peak Oil point in time the exploration of new oil fields would need to increase five fold - in the last years it has steadily been declining besides new technology.
Now with the US Army basically saying exactly the same thing as the Peak Oil "advocates" there is still no big media research or reporting. I mean I understand that they are all lining up behind the power elite - but Peak Oil is something everyone in a developed environment should at least have a thought about - and especially those that are powerfull today should fear the energy crisis as the world would not be in social order as we know it today anymore after the oilprice surges to something like €250 per barrel.
The positive effect is also shown in the document of the US Army. Apparently the report suggest that the Army should go "energy efficient with less carbon fuel and green energy alternatives as soon as possible. Fear can drive innovation.


Robot Sea Serpents coming to eat you

SeaserpentRobot.pngThe news of robotics donīt stop rolling in. Every day you see creepy automated creatures entering our event horizon. The packmule (that I was presenting drawing a year ago) has made it into the field and the newest of them all is really eerie. A sea serpent that can actually swim and crawl on land has been succesfully tested and videotaped. ACM-R5 runs on a lithium ion batteries and can dive. A video is available on the TechBlog.

End of TV - where does all the fuss come from?

Over years some internet types have proclaimed that the end of the masscommunication era will come to an end soon and that TV for its part as the last incarnation of significance in this era will fall. I personally did a live video broadcast to 5 simultaneous users in 1999. So all the fuss about "IPTV" or internetTV or iTV as in iPod is more then half a decade old - there have been endeavors by big companies like Microsoft to bring IPTV to the home 5-6 years ago in the bubble age - none of them worked and all projections about the TV overtaking the internet (anyone remember the ugly setop boxes which you could surf on? the browser got old just at the time when you bought one and you couldnīt upgrade) or the internet taking over TV.
Yet in the last year we have seen more and more coverage of the interenet TV revolution and I am a voicy advocat when it comes to predict the death of TV in this decade. Yet I have wondered where all this renewed interest into this matter comes from. An article on arstechnica made me think. It seems to be the Telcos themself seeing a chance to tip the whole entertainment communication iceberg towards their fiber lines. In America they have fierce competition from the cable providers who had the advantage of a coax cable infrastructure that has been good at scaling up the speed to the home and have eaten the Telcos Voice services for lunch with their uneventfull rollout of Voice over IP services. So now in return the Telcos want to get a bite out of the cable companies by getting into the Television delivery market. They are making big noise by doing so drawing lots of attention to their concept of Multicast IPTV and I think that is where a lot of the heat lately comes from.
Yet as I read through the article on Arstechnica I found so many stumbling blocks that I think the recent push of big companies into IP TV is about to fall as flat as the last one - because anybody up there seems to think that IPTV has to look exactly the same as current TV. This is the point where I am seeing there mistakes haunting them into their own dug graves. Yes its true that "live shows" and some other obscure formats need a continuus stream - but if you get a 25 Mbit connection to your home all of the sudden on demand and "view as it downloads" looks much more interesting because you can take out the biggest problem of TV - its schedule. You can choose the shows you wanna watch whenever you wanna watch them - news, comedy and about 95% of TV shows today have absolutely no need to be "broadcasted live" they are on tape before broadcast anyways. That in turn means that the whole "we bring you 300+ channels of streaming television to a new $200 settop box that will be old in less then a year when we roll out a new version of the service" will fail as well as the old "$200 dollar setop box where you could browse the net on your TV". I do firmly believe that people actually do want choice and total control over their time and that is where the current TV model falls as flat on its face as it could ever fall flat on a face and that future "IPTV" that is based on streaming channels is about to utterly fail. Yet again Apples/Googles concept of downloads together with a few sites offering streamed "live shows" and the platory of indies selling their stuff on their own or finding other clever ways to market their moving picture creations will be the way to go in the future and the time tiered television concept will be a dark shadow of the past.
Yet the roadblock for all this are still the telcos - who first of all would like their own model to succeed because then they are not only getting money from the consumers who pay their line but also from the producers who probably have to pay hefty fees to get a spot in the setop box and the telcos would be in control over the content - something that is of tremendous political value when you look at how the Bush administration uses the media for their propaganda and look how certain companies in support have gained so much market value (FOX) since the first inauguration of THE President. So having control over who displays what and when will help push through some nifty legislation outlawing the free internet as we know it that could threaten the telcos. If politics do not help for the Telcos vision to win then they are presenting us with the other hammer they still have in the closet: Tiered pricing. That so much traffic goes through their backbones is a thorn in their eye and they want to get money from everyone offering anything that uses bandwidth - everyone ever encoded a video for the net knows that it is indeed a bandwidth killer - with the right kind of pricing the telcos could cut out any other IPTV service then their own and with television corporations not really wanting the net to take over their cake and eat it all at once they will heavily support any move by the telcos to limit indies and creative concepts to fly off.
Yet all is not bad yet and the above is true for the US - in Europe things will go along the same lines but much much too late to change the true revolution coming from within and seeing sweden having a new political party that was formed from the users of a very very well know bittorrent tracker trying to overthrow the copyright laws and openly speaking out for the freedom of the media I do see a bright future for true independent programming without limits on this side of the pond.


End of TV: Speciality programms to the net first

As a recent article in the New York Times points out there is a trend - away from the popular darling iTMS - that TV shows and programming that has not the multimillion mass following is going to the net first. Shows that have not - according to blurry TV industry polling - reached the threshold to be "on air" are going "on net". This includes old shows that got canceled and odd things like sailing shows.
My knowledge of the TV industrie that I have grown into tells me that this will tip the media consumption to these kind of shows in a heart beat - while overall some shows might fair well on a forced programm schedule TV execs did everything to get the cheapest shows the highest ratings - putting them in high value time slots etc. If people are forced to choose their programming in the near future I think current TV show successes that make the majority population dumber have a much bigger problem of gaining access then smaller high speciality shows that target a specific audience and the niches are lots. Everyone has a hobby or does a sport or has a certain interest that is not entertainment oriented - if you could build knowledge or see how others fair in your area of interest wouldnīt you choose such a show over pure dumb entertainment like those cheaply produced early evening shows? Wouldnīt you tune into a news show that actually is critically of what is says over the "modern" entertainment news shows forced down your throat on forced time programming TV of the last century?
The media is picking it up as if we are walking into a case of natural evolution - I for one predict a revolution that is spells the death for television for a less controlled more critical more diverse media of the future - a media with dissent and the same "moving pictures appeal" of the modern day couch potato producer.

Welcome to Sibiria

winter2.jpgwinter.jpgScientist talk about global warming and that one of the effects that comes with it is that northern Europe will cool of into an Sibirian ice desert as the gulf is not transporting warm air. Well Berlin is part of northern Europe and what we are experiencing at the moment can be seen as an introduction of whats to come. We have mid March, normally for the rest of my life at this time the first flowers start to blossom the trees become a little green and the birds are chirping wildly.
This year all is different. We have mid March and about 30 cm of fresh powdery snow. Nighttime temperatures are around -7 Celsius and are supposed to reach -10 next night. I love snow and I think I might take out my snowboard and build a little kicker on the hill (anyone wanna come along?) in the back of the garden - but seeing some color other then white would be a welcome addition now. Things are supposed to stay like this over the next week and after that metereologist are not sure yet. The Alps are still struggling with too much of the white stuff - something that in recent years was always to sparse. If you are a Snowboarder - its the best season ever to go powderriding - but be aware of the avalances - the risk is super high. (the grain on the left picture is heaven emptying even more snow into the garden at this very moment)

Just in time comes a report in the guardian about the abrupt rise of carbon dioxide on the north pole and the accelerating ice melt that causes disruption on the gulf.


American Newspaper Propaganda

What great times we are living in. The american newspapers can get away with such a blatant in the face propaganda campaign its beyond believability. An article on the NewYorkTimes about a meeting of the Republican Party "showcasing" their candidates quotes Senetor McCain - the guy who lost the race for presidential candidacy against Bush in 2000 - with the following sentence:

"Anybody who says the president of the United States is lying about weapons of mass destruction is lying"

well I thought we settled in the worldwide media that there have been no weapons of mass destruction and that everyone in the white house knew about it. Its a fact not something that still has to be proven - then again we have been used to hear those "allegations" from the Republicans for quite a while now - what really stuns me is that the New York Times prints this sentence - seemingly out of context at that - without further commenting or telling the dear reader at least that there is an issue with that sentence - a practice you see in about every interview of a Democrat - accusations or tiny little wordings afterward that question a certain position. It seems dissent in America is absolutely lost and even the most blatant lies still make it straight through the media without any editing. And the sentence even accusing others of lying is just too much to bear.

Civil Liberties vs. National Security

In a recent overview of a panel discussion hosted by the Chicago Friends of Israel there was two panelists Richard Posner and Andrew McCarthy speaking for National Security and Geoffrey Stone holding a voice for Civil Liberties. Well arguments on both sides manifested and all as to be read in the corresponding Ars Technica Article that summarizes the panel discussion quite nice. What is interesting so is the last commend by Andrew McCarthy an outspoken National Security fetishist:

"we have to grow up and accept the fact that we have to accept some intrusion on our liberties if we're going to save the system that is the guarantor of our liberties."

Great... Give up Civil Liberties to save them? Who else finds that statement the most stupid idea ever? Who else thinks that this aint making any sense whatsoever? And there seem to be people out there - yes even the majority of people - following that bullshit ideas - talk about descending of civilisation.

Hands on with a MacBookPro

Yesterday I had the chance to have a hands on with bigger version of the Apple MacBook Pro. First impression is that its just like a G4 Powerbook. Apple really did some miracle thing by just swapping out the internals and for the normal user everything seems to be the same. If you look closer there are some prominent differences that seem awkward. First of all the poweradapter is HUGE. I mean its about half the size more then the original leaving you to lug around a brick that seems heavier and bigger then my Apple Newton! Second its quite loud. The fan sounds like the fan in my aging Titanium - and that is really loud. Then its hot. I wouldnīt say its hotter then the G4 but the heat is spread over the whole enclosure and using it on my lap made me sweat. I am not so keen on the magnetic powerplug. While it seems firmly attached wants you slightly jank it upwards - something that regularely happens when on your lap - it unplugs right away. You just ask why you donīt have any battery left after a while until you noticed the automatic plug has been pulled out. Looking at a performance setting in a club with lots of cables on the table and the powerbook cramped in small space I see that as a HUGE problem - I really have better things to do then check for the powerplug every five minutes... I just see VJs and musicians gaffa the sucker onto the enclosure.
The computer did impress its new owner who just had an aging old PC before. So I would call him switcher and almost first time computer user. The iSight that wanted his photo in the registration prozess, photo booth, keynote and the templates of Pages have impressed him - he is studying bussiness stuff so thats what is his main concern. He was amazed that he actually wanted to make a presentation because it was so much fun -applaud to Apple in the category "Impress First User Experience". As a bussiness student he could "see his investment worthwhile".
I did not have the time yesterday to check the speed of the machine, will do so more thouroughly next week. The UniBinaries that come with it (iLife, iWorks (is that even Uni?) etc) where as fast as the normal G4 (purely subjective) and didnīt seem to cause any problems. Impressive was the OpenGL speed and the quality of the realtime rendered output - good graphic card that sits inside is responsible for that and billion lightyears ahead of the one in my Titanium. What Apple - after 8 years of complaining from my part - still has not understand is the "OpenGL beam sync issue". Connecting the sucker to a DVI flatpanel and choosing a high resolution and then playing some quicktimes resulted in always present "tearing" of the pictures with fast scenes or brightness changes - its just a simple flag to set and most 3rd party apps do that now even in VJ programmer amateur land why canīt Apple enable that flag? Its really disturbing detail. Other then that the machine is of the G4 aluminium quality with the exception that the displays open easier and probably will hold better on the hinge (yes there are people with a G4 powerbook where after 1 -2 years the display breaks off the hinge). I for one will wait out until they have friggin version with Firewire 800 or a similar capable interconnect technology otherwise the HD will be the limiting factor in the multi channel full rez videomixing that we are looking toward.


Rosetta speed A concern for majority of Mac Users!

Even as Macworld spreads the fud of the Rosetta developers after an interview at the Intel Developer Forums I strongly believe that 1/3rd speed slashing Rosetta and the whole transition has deep implications for Mac users that do more then using the machine as a modern typesetter or an expensive HiFi part.
There are still virtually no Intel versions of ANY professional Programm out there. No Publishing, No Vector art, No Video, No Audio, No 3D. What this means that in the last 3 month all vendors of such product either have a wait and see stance or are actively porting their huge codebases over to intel. Apples claim of a "seamless transition that takes only half an hour for the average application" can be called as extreme fud... What else that means that at the moment there is SubZeroInnovation to be found in any Mac version of such programms. That means that in the last three month and the coming three to six month we will see SubZero features added to the High End market of professional applications. With Apple still making over half the money in computer purchases on pro equipment I would counter the claim that "Rosetta speed is of no concern to the users" as MacFUDworld does. Its not that there is a huge demand for UniBinaries at the moment with apple shipping only one Pro Hardware that is even crippled (no FW 800) for Pros just about this week. The more fundamental problem is that a lot of really Pro Apps not coming from Apple have already a feature set that is way behind their Windows counterpart or are highly more unstable then Windows versions. Another six month away those will be even more buggy and have even less features because the developers needed the time to get the code running on two different platforms a daunting task for programms like Maya for exemple that has more lines of code then MacOSX. Also this kills the possibilities for new Apps coming to the mac before the transition is complete. Take the renderer market for example. Multiple render solutions exist for Maya on the PC side yet on the Mac only the absolutely too slow for a small company Mental Ray that comes with Maya or the Pixar/Jobs/Apple owned Renderman that is highly expenisive is available. Other renderer where forthcoming but seem to be put on hold to come out probably Intel only in six month leaving the PowerPC users in the dust - a PPC/Intel devide is propable in six month creating a compatibility nightmare for the current small office mac users.
Not all is bad so. There will be new Apps writen in the meantime especially with Apple tech as UniBinaries that have the potential for true innovation against big players and some decade old codebases will finally have to be cleared (photoshop?!) and put into modern programming metaphers using modern day OS technology. I still have a very mixed feeling and think the next two years will be a mess on the Mac if you are a pro and rely on lots of software to get your thing done.

The day TV died …

… will be marked in history as the day that was yesterday. Apple puts a subscription system into the iTunes music store for TV downloads and per se its not subscription. Its more like a bundle price for more then one TV show of a certain kind and drive down the cost per show to something like 62 cent... Now with rocketboom showing how TV news can be made without a TV station behind it and Apple showing how people can get their favorite shows at a price point that almost makes sense without any advertising and long lost hours and no roadblock apearing on the horizon and maybe an Apple Portable TV (yes I for one do believe the fullsize Video iPod rumors on the web are true - they make hell lot of sense at least) you are set to a media revolution. Noone is forced to watch anything - the diversity will spread once Apple allows Indies to sell their shows too. The "Anyone can be a publisher" metapher will likely come to fruition and everyone may be earning money - more or less - through a modell like that. The pitfall? Apple will rise to global entertainment power and be a monopoly - I for one think an Apple monopoly in the entertainment market (music and TV) is as bad as a Microsoft monopoly in the OS market - even if it only is because they are an american company and I do not like to see forced content from a fascist state. Other then that Apple seems the only capable company of overlooking distribution problems, technical difficulties and has the talent to convince the big guys from giving up control so its the only company set up to make this media revolution happen - as long as TV dies a faster death I am for the moment all for it. And yes I for one still think a real movie distribution would even rock me - I have never bought a single song through iTunes - I just listen to webradio and get mixes from "friend DJs". I have no iPod. A movie store would lure me in. I mean I pay like 1-5 euros for a DVD rental per day around here - most of the time I double and tripple that because I forget to return the suckers... So a movie store where I OWN the a copy of a certain movie for like 4.99 Euros or the like or a "subscription" of 10 movies per month for 19.99 Euro that I can keep after watching would be killer and Apple would have gotten me to become a Apple Entertainment Customer too.
Imagine a world where TV shows will be produced and continued on their TRUE value because each and every viewer finances it. No marketing trailer hype artificially inflating the value of a show - its all down to the real quality and value for the customers. I see golden times ahead for actual usefull programming - but maybe the couch potatos have already degenerated to a point where this is just pure philosophical and Big Brother would be the best seller on iTunes TV store?
Then there is a George Lucas - rising to richness through a multibillion dollar imperium of six well know space sagas - telling the world the time for multimillion dollar movie productions is over - the next years will see an indie movie revolution with budgets of maximum of 15 million dollars. This view fits perfectly into an iTunes Movie Store concept and is a wise foresight - seeing all the KingoKongo remixes fall flat on their faces money wise and new triology phantasie books with original content are in short supply.
So seeing all this it seems we are on the eve of the revolution that will lead to a complete reorganisation of media distribution in the next five years and the media conglomerates have to put on that warm jacket - the creativity corner in the ring is waiting for that final punch.