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Monthly Archives: December 2007

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Cloverfield Viral Campaign Chalks up Streets

Well Cloverfield is trying to keep up its mystery with a new viral campaign that seems to involve neatly chalking “What is Cloverfield” in quotation marks on sidewalks in white chalk along with its opening release date while demystifying the question by hanging a Cloverfield poster nearby. It’s not exactly the most brilliantly original tactic around but I sorta will admit to liking it. I think the Cloverfield hype is hollow at the center and the movie itself is basically Blair With Project meets Godzilla but at least the marketing campaign comes off as being more interesting than the movie, something JJ Abrams would certainly know something about after working with Damon Lindeloff on Lost, whose own marketing is a good deal more intriguing than the series itself has really been in quite a while. Of course it’s going to take more than chalk marks on sidewalks to make Cloverfield deliver especially since the movie is keeping its rather silly title and the explosions and devastation are a little too 9/11ish for my taste.

AOL Puts the Bullet in Netscape

The original OOB browser, Netscape still has that familiar nostalgia with its wheel and stars logo, but Microsoft managed to successfully crushed it and past Netscape 3.0, the browser became increasingly unusable. Netscape managed to deal Microsoft’s monopolistic ways a serious blow with a Senate investigation that temporarily brought Bill Gates to heel but in the end it didn’t help and Netscape’s last stop was a baffling purchase by AOL even though AOL already had its own disastrous browser. By the time it was all said and done, Netscape was more bloated than ever while Mozilla had reemerged from Netscape’s origins to successfully battle the Microsoft Internet Explorer behemoth. I have fond memories of Netscape, it was my first graphic browser and the only browser I used for the longest time. Somehow I slipped into using Microsoft Internet Explorer until Firefox came along to stomp Bill Gates back into the dirt. Now Netscape like Prodigy and so many standbys of the early popularized days of the net are gone.

Living in an IP World

These days everything seems to be copyrighted, companies are being brought down by patent trolls or big companies hoarding patents, senators are calling for jail terms for copyright violators, there are entire organizations dedicated to hunting down copyright violators, everything is simultaneously being copyrighted and patented from the sublime to the absurd, like using a laser pointed to amuse cats and yet copyright and ip has never been so disregarded as it is now and the two are of course connected, when you try to build an ip world, more and more people opt out of it. Now the loser countries of the third world seem determined to get on board with Egypt trying to copyright the pyramids apparently, let’s face it what else are they going to copyright, there isn’t exactly a huge market in pirated Egyptian movies or music or a lot of companies violating Egyptian patents. Egypt has pyramids and by glump, they’re gonna keep you from copying those pyramids.

Google and Privacy Don’t Go Together

The problem with Google’s Don’t Be Evil motto is that Google is a company that on a surface level provides free services to users and pays for it by exploiting their information, from ad sales to consumer profiles, Google parasitically lives off the information it indexes by indexing the information of those who access it. As such Google can no more avoid being evil than Columbian drug dealers can avoid being mean to people. Just as a loan shark’s business involves breaking people’s legs, Google’s business involves invading your privacy. The Google Reader dustup featured a Facebook style backlash against Google for a Facebook style move, not helped in the least by Google’s arrogance, but then Google is the company that thinks everyone’s information should be free for it to distribute, except for the personal information of its own executives. Don’t be evil is more like a memo that no one at Google ever paid attention to.

Can Spider-Man Save the UN?

The UN has major problems such as UN personnel sexually molesting little girls and trading food for sex with refugees in Sudan, widespread corruption and the fact that UN Human Rights Council is basically a bunch of brutal dictatorships who oppress their own people. Now the UN has closed its investigations into itself and intends to resolve all its problems by calling on Spider-Man. Yes, that Spider-Man. Sadly the UN has not been taken over by a crazy Marvel fan, which would at least make for some mild entertainment. Instead the UN will try to improve its image by commissioning comic books that show Spider-Man and other Marvel superheroes working together with the UN to make the world a better place. My overall impression would be that

A. This once again features Marvel sinking to new depths to pimp out their characters

B. This makes for the most boring comic book ever

Bhutto Will Kill Your Computer

Well that certainly didn’t take long, there’s already malware in the wild exploiting Bhutto’s assassination apparently which is pretty damn fast work for malware, at some point some particularly evily bright chap will just link his engine of computer death to Google News and churn out polluted videos and websites for any top story. Nude pictures of Rachel Nichols surface? 2 seconds later there’s a hundred sites offering video, stories and pictures complete with keyloggers and trojans. Mubarak sits on a tack? Get your Mubarak sitting on a tack videos and news stories complete with trojans? The King of Thailand has smelly feet? Yup you got it. It’s a fast media world and the bad guys work even faster. Of course Benazir Bhutto’s death is in a rather different category than the usual exploits focusing on naked pictures of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears, but it just demonstrates that the baddies adapt.

Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman 10 Delayed Again

Grant Morrison’s All Star Superman has been one of the more fascinating and frustrating series to date, from a first issue that was pretty much on fire to 2007 that saw the series drift further away from Superman’s mortality and Lex Luthor’s plots to getting bogged down in a 2 issue Bizarro world focus, when really even one issue of Bizarro world is too much, a closing issue that had two Kryptonians land on Earth with the usual “Humans are apes, we’ll rebuild Krypton over their bones” bit that is as much a cliche as anything else, so much so it could have been lifted from Smallville (bad enough that black kryptonite was) and now issue 10 that might hopefully redeem the soggy mess that Grant Morrison has dipped the once promising All-Star Superman into, is now delayed into February from January, that is definitely not promising. I’m sure plenty of people are still waiting for it but it’s not exactly promising.

Bhutto Dies, Candidates Discover Pakistan

Right now it seems like anyone running for public office, particularly that shiny Presidential slot in the oval office, has a statement to make on the death of Benazir Bhutto. John Edwards has played fast and loose with the Logan Act by making a phone call or claiming to make a phone call to Perverz Musharaff telling him to keep going with the whole democracy thing, just what a dictator wants to hear from a second rate political candidate who can’t even win a party primary. That’s like Mario Biaggi calling Khaddafi to give him advice on elections.

Hillary Clinton is of course touting some sort of meeting with Benazir Bhutto she once had, which no one else seems to be able to verify. Frustrated Clinton haters will now have the chance to spend a decade hunting down absolute proof that Hillary Clinton never met with Benazir Bhutto but some Pakistani warlord who offered Bill Clinton 10 million dollars in exchange for an ounce of Uranium, by which point no one will care anymore.

Meanwhile not to be left out, America’s crazy senile uncle Ron Paul issued a statement claiming the whole thing could have been avoided if we all used the gold standard and stopped annoying those turbaned people or some equally ridiculous thing. Ron Paul commenting on international affairs does actually remind me of my senile uncle going on about politics, except that he usually made more sense than Ron Paul does at least when he let go of his obsession with the Freemasons and that he had less fans that Ron Paul.

Meanwhile Bhutto is still dead and the race still continues.

Kiera Knightley Battles Lens Flares, Nature in The Duchess

Just when you feel a need to proclaim the ever abiding spirit of Merchant-Ivory dead, comes yet another flat monotoned adaptation of a historical member of royalty engaging in torrid romances, the sort of thing the BBC churns out to appease the old folks at home and then shovels off on the CBC and PBS. Well Kiera Knightley who apparently got too bored to keep playing a corseted pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean, instead found better diversion delivering absurd romance novel lines like “You can’t ask me to fight nature and my own heart”, at least Domino was more entertaining that this, but as usual nothing says class like violin music and apparently lens flares on the The Duchess title. I’m assuming that at least The Duchess is Coming tag line is meant to be a pun or I’ll have lost all respect for the British film industry.

Kristin Kruek to Play Chun Li in Street Fight Movie

Well Kristin Kruek’s movie career seems to have maximized her ability to take advantage of her ambiguous ethnicity and since apparently Street Fighter producers couldn’t find a single Chinese actress in all of the United States, Kristin Kruek is up for playing Chun Li, a character best known for wearing traditional Chinese clothes while somehow doing upside down spin kicks balanced on top of her head. Of course College Humor has a far superior episode series on Street Fighter that any movie producer with a brain should have adapted. Instead I’m sure we’ll get another lame attempt at the latest version of Dead or Alive, minus any actual neat scenes and with a fraction of the eye candy actualized. After playing an Indian or is that Pakistani Muslim and a small town Caucasian girl, Kristin Kreuk is expanding her horizons by taking on a Chinese role. I’m sure blackface will be next for her role in Dreamgirls 2.

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