Friday, July 29, 2005

Rafat Ali says Flash 8 is on the way with enhanced video capabilities:
Macromedia plans to unveil its Flash 8 software early next month with an emphasis on enhanced video capabilities that some think could become a strong alternative to the present trinity in the market. The company has promised big changes in Flash 8, and many of them center on its video capabilities. Flash 8 boasts a new codec, On2 Technologies' VP6, that it claim will provide dramatically improved quality over the Flash 7 video codec. Flash 8 also supports alpha transparency, which lets authors combine Flash video with text, vector graphics and other Flash elements. Also, as always, Flash's cross-platform appeal...
Full article on Flash 8.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Steve Jobs has been demurring about the next evolution of the iPod, but things are happening.

Today’s a scoop bonanza on Apple’s rumored upcoming video iPods. No sooner did I post an item earlier today on Apple’s plans to make music videos available through iTunes than my fellow B2.0 editor-at-large Paul Sloan shoots me an e-mail saying that he’s confirmed exactly the same thing. But my man Sloan, who wrote our April cover story predicting the video iPod and other upcoming Apple products, says that the content for the video iPod could be more than just music videos. According to him:
Steve Jobs has spoken with Disney President and soon-to-be CEO Bob Iger about ways to license various Disney content for a video iPod, according to an internal Disney email I have obtained. That could include anything from clips from ESPN and ABC News to short cartoons.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Biologist Kenneth Miller has an eloquent response to Cardinal Schoenborn's recent and rather ill-conceived op-ed on the Church and Evolution (linked to in Miller's article).

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Superb summary of the 'debate' between creationists and evolutionists.
On the polemical creationist side, the sin is intellectual dishonesty. It begins innocently as a wise recognition that faith must precede reason, even if the faith is only in reason itself (as Gödel showed, reason cannot prove its own validity). But under pressure from a contemptuous academic elite the appeal to faith rapidly becomes anti-intellectualism and what Socrates identified as a great sin, "misologic" or treason against the Logos, against reason itself -- in religious terms, a sin against the Holy Spirit. Under further pressure it resorts to rhetorical dishonesty and hypocrisy, to an attempt to appropriate the garments of science and reason, and so we get "creation science", the misuse of the term "intelligent design", the whole grotesque solemn sham of pseudoscientific periodicals and conferences on creation science, and a lame parade of scientific titles and degrees. A lie repeated often enough convinces the liar, and many creationists may now have forgotten that they are lying at all.

Update: Meanwhile, some Catholic scientists are asking the new Pope for clarification.

Whenever creationism pops up among Catholics, I think of Saint Augustine's warning (in his commentary on Genesis--I had mistakenly thought it was City of God). Christians can't afford to be stupid about science. It only exposes the faith to ridicule.

Like we need that....

Monday, July 11, 2005

You know, I understand that journalists are busy people. But if this is the best (registration required) that such leading lights of conservative commentary can do when it comes to evolution (and thank God at least there's Charles Krauthammer)...then I have seriously over-estimated how well read they are.

Disappointing to say the least.
This looks like good news for me and other independent film producers.
The acquisition of CustomFlix could give independent filmmakers a broader venue for selling their work. Amazon already sells CustomFlix titles, but a spokeswoman for the online retailer said that they would be "better integrated" into the company's catalog and eligible for promotions that CustomFlix titles currently aren't.
CustomFlix already distributes Everyman, and will be handling Bag of Knees for me as well. Hopefully both films will get even more exposure now...
Peter Broderick, a consultant in Santa Monica who advises filmmakers on distribution, said that it remained to be seen whether many consumers would be able to find CustomFlix videos on Amazon but that he was excited about the potential.
I can tell Mr. Broderick personally that based on my sales records for Everyman thus far, the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Why We Fight Dept. Christopher Hitchens uncovers the shallow ignorance of another knee-jerk appeasement-monger....

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

There's nothing like a false dichotomy to delude yourself into signing on to a subscription service:
Bottom line: To fill an MP3 player with music today - and variety is what I want - I could spend $1000 for 1000 songs over at iTunes, or $15 per month at Napster. I'm going with Napster.
Speculist doesn't get it. I mean, who's filling their iPods right away with 1,000 songs? Who isn't downloading more of their songs from CDs they already own than going to iTunes?

Count me less than impressed with subscription based anything these days. I already have monthly payments I have to make on a house, utilities, cable, ISP, etc. That's the big turn off with things like Napster. I don't want another friggin' monthly bill.

Apple gets it. Napster doesn't.
Rafat Ali on the challenge that Podcasting presents for advertisers:

Podcasting Presents Ad Challenge: The same portability that makes podcasting appealing makes it difficult to track with meaningful metrics beyond the number of downloads. That's one of the obstacles podcasters will have to overcome to take podcasting to a level of advertising beyond experimentation. Pheedo CMO Bill Flitter told ClickZ some advertisers are trying custom 800 numbers or offer codes to get a handle on the response rate from podcasts. Pheedo has a 30-podcast ad network that has drawn six advertisers so far. FeedBurner is trying the same technology it uses to track RSS feed readership.

Still, what's most likely to push podcasting as an ad medium are the moves into the space by Apple and other major companies.