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Death to TV part (I forgot): Murdoch to pump money into exclusive online "IPTV" shows

So I am sure that the recent move of Mr. Murdoch will not prove to actually liberate people in any way the idea to pump in 400.000 USD for an "episode based" show to air on myspace is tingling my fingers. With hunred million users forming a uniform target group (read "blind trend(money) followers") Mr Murdoch has a clear possibility to get the biggest audience any episode based moving picture premiere ever had right on on the first hit. Now while I think the piece might only have an entertainment value and will lack true pioneering spirit it does turn a lot of attention to "IPTV" or the internet as a moving picture distribution chanel to the former "couch potatoes" which in turn means the hundred million myspace users are watching at least one episode based entertainment piece less on TV which means less revenue less viewership and an acceleration of the decline of the "hipness" of watching TV in one of TVs most revnue generating target groups. Its endlessly satisfying seeing the gatekeepers slowly drown without any backup plan of their own grasping on which is a heavily declining media death spiral.
Now people could say "Mr Murdoch is hardly doing good to the internet" but I say first he probably has interest himself to see TV drown and in the end as of this year there is no way to play the soley gatekeeper of content on the internet (so netneutrality and greedy governments could change that over the long run) so any attention to motion picture content on the net is good for everyone producing motion pictures on the net. Since the "murdoch approach" is probably some classic TV like programming people will be bored with that but then they are on the net and have a good chance to stumble over more novel humanity advancing art-knowledge- entertainment (one can hope right?).

Overall not the worst of all developments. Further information about this in this article on newsblaze.com.

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Gimp User Interface Study

The Gimp is arguably the biggest thread to Adobe and the biggest hope for a Linux on every desk as the biggest argument by most people that I know is: I can not run Photoshop on Linux therefore I have to stay with MacOSX/Windows - its a bigger problem for the adoption of Linux in my opinion then the lack of games. But then the Linuxusers are telling me "oh but there is the Gimp. Its even more precise and much more powerfull then Photoshop." Yes that may all be, BUT its coherently unusable. The interface is - like most Linux user interfaces that I have seen - total rubbish and absolutely unusable unless you like to inflict wounds upon yourself. Its unorganized, it gets in your way, its ugly (as in "its not clean and coherent"), its unusually complicated. My opinion has been for years "fix the gimp user interface to something dramitcally great and the rest of Linux will follow and Linux might have a chance on the mom and pop desktop and at the same time break the monopoly that is Adobe". A new attempt is under way as this slashdot article points out that installs a surveillance plugin to gimp that reports what you are doing inside gimp to a central server where it is then evaluated by a team of researchers at the University of Waterloo lead by Prof. Michael Terry. While I think its a novel approach to the problem I don´t see how it would fix it. The much better solution would be to get a sample group and watch them work as this is the solution for every userinterface out there. Ask them tons of questions and then GET AN INTERFACE DESIGNER to make the interface and NOT a group of researcher and NOT a group of programmer hippies, because have proven over the last 15 years that they are incapable of making good interfaces. I had a call out for an open interface design guideline manifest a couple of moons ago and I still think that would be a great idea.

"I have nothing to hide" counter arguments

With todays surveillance mania by our oh so beloved governments there is this one big argument cropping up everywhere in favor of surveillance. Its the "I have got nothing to hide" one that uninformed mom and pop spout out in repetition to propaganda mass media brainwash.
I personally usually just say "not at the moment", because what you do today might be illegal tomorrow with a neonaziconservative regime ruling earth.
But since that convinces only some smart people there is more ammunition needed.

Some of that come in a form of a PDF from Professor Daniel Solove.

My favorite is still the the "You have curtains? Yes? Well then it seems you have something to hide!"

There is also a nice slashdot thread about it.

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iPhone: Apple attempts to push the "ref movie" and will likely fail

In a move that I can only comment as "stupidity" at its best Apple tries for the billions time to force developers using quicktime "ref" movies when making movies for the iPhone. Now this is nothing new. Apple tried to persuade webdevelopers to use quicktime ref movies when it first introduced them (quicktime 3 it was when I recall correctly) and with each .5 revision it brings the issue up again. Now the latest push (a desperate one) it tries to tie the issue with the iPhone. Now there are three reason why ref movies at the current state will not be used by any devloper outside the apple campus. First there is no really easy sufficent path to create them. Yes you can use Quicktime Player to make them but I am talking about a workflow. Live Stage Pro (a 1000 USD programm) offers such a possibility (as well as make interactive quicktime and we all know how good these are doing) but its expensive, hard to learn and again offers no automatic workflow. Generally a "drag&drop" application to create a ref movie would be great - but it would need to come with Quicktime Pro - everything else will end up to be just a niche. Second ref movies require the END USER to set the connection speed inside quicktime (on Windows) or inside the Quicktime Preferences in the System Preferences. I do not know a single person in my wide circle of friends/family/bussiness partners who does even know about this setting. The iPhone might switch the setting automatically (from EDGE to wifi depending on what its on at the moment) and if you are doing a website for just the iPhone this might be a non issue - but I don´t see people doing websites for JUST the iPhone ever and because of that you do not want to be using ref movies because the default setting on MacOSX for the connection speed is "Dial Up" so all people coming to your site will see the worst possible resolution even if they have 100Mbit fibre to the home. (note to Apple: determine the connection speed when Quicktime (first?) launches with a connection speed test and this would be much less of an issue) Third we are talking about Quicktime interactive as soon as you make a Ref quicktime and Quicktime interactive is so full of flaws, speed problems and old 1995 code that you want to keep your fingers of it as much as possible. Solution. Make three videos: One for EDGE/DialUp One for 1 Mbit One for 6 Mbit and then put three links on your webpage that should do it. And maybe one day Apple is actually updating Quicktime to something modern and provide the tools to easely make what they are suggesting until then fingers off of "ref" movies. Now if you think I am bitter - I am. I tried using "refs" when they where first introduced but because of the above problems I was never able to use them and seeing Apple "pushing" them again is bringer up the bitterness. the iPhone webdeveloper info page can be found here: http://developer.apple.com/iphone/designingcontent.html the rest of the info seems quite alright.

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