Events Living Pulp Media

Look Who I Met at Comic-Con

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Auggie Anderson

I spent today, with my daughter, at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Finally. My praise to the organization for providing shockingly accessible accessibility services for the temporarily or permanently disabled. Because of corrective eye surgery two days ago, I fit the category for this Con, and hopefully none other. SDCC graciously gave Molly an onsite pass to be my attendant. In introduction, my impaired vision frames an unexpected encounter with Christopher Gorham.

When the surgical procedures are complete, I expect to have as good eyesight as my youth, but without the need for glasses. I wore a pair of dummy ones today, to protect the operated-on right eye (e.g. plastic with no prescription applied to them). Thus, the left eye is a complete blur without a corrective lens. On the right, my vision for things far away is exceptional. But my personal space, out to about a meter, is blurred out; my visual range will normalize sometime after the dilated pupil normalizes. So, yeah, Molly’s assistance is helpful.  Read More

Culture Pulp Media Society

Red Shirts Mark My Comic-Con Blues

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Star Trek Booth Babes

I won’t attend all, or even most, of San Diego Comic-Con as planned this week. SDCC is the only event I look forward to all year. But an opportunity came to undergo corrective surgery in one of my eyes (the other follows in a few weeks) sooner than expected. I will be at the Con Wednesday night but not Thursday (gonna be under the scalpel—or is it laser—that day) and probably not Friday (when is the post-op exam). Perhaps the surgeon will okay Sunday and hopefully even Saturday.

My eighth year of attendance is a bust, but I am super fortunate to get July 21st for the surgery. I had looked forward to Star Trek’s 50th year, which will get big celebration throughout the four days and Preview Night—starting with the “Star Trek Beyond” premiere. Given my truncated plans combined with my paying to attend (no press pass), I will go as a participant rather than a documentarian for the first time.  Read More

Google Law Mobility

Google, pull the Plug on Europe

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Pokemon GO

Yesterday, Europe’s Competition Commission expanded its legal assault against Alphabet and major subsidiary Google. Four monopolies are under fire: AdSense, Android, search, and shopping services. Trustbusters allege that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to protect its market dominance, which share ranges from 80 percent to 90 percent in each category. Behind the charges is a hoity-toity attitude typical of overly-protectionist EU regulators. What if the information giant gave them what they want?

Imagine this: Google shuts down operations across the entire Euro zone—in a Brexit-like departure, but suddenly with no preparations. Switch it off. Search and other services could remain available in Britain and to all other non-EU countries. The company surely has the means, starting with IP blocking and expanding to other measures. The risk: Confirming just how dominant is Google, because of the incredible negative consequences. But the chaos also would lead to an outcry to restore services, while illuminating how important Big G is to citizens and how greatly businesses benefit, or profit, from the monopolies.  Read More

Google Law

Google Runs Aground European Union Antitrust Objections

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SS Minnow

Alphabet Admirals Sergey Brin and Larry Page had better tell Captain Sundar Pichai to close the watertight doors—lest the search and advertising ship sink in the North Sea, where depths reach 700 meters (2,300). Brrrr. Are the lawyers handing out life preservers? Will paralegals man the water pumps?

Today’s expansion of the European Union Competition Commission’s investigation into Google business practices makes a really bad situation much, much, much worse. Problems are these: Adding advertising to anticompetitive charges; expanding investigation to four monopolies (AdSense, Android, search, shopping services); citing exclusive contracts as violation of the law; and narrowing the applicable market for search shopping competition, thus blowing apart one of Google’s major counter legal arguments. Kaboom!  Read More

Apple Gear Mobility

How Much Storage Does My Mac Need?

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MacBok Pro and TarDisk Pear

The question nags as I prepare to review TarDisk Pear flash memory expansion. The doohickey is available in 128 or 256 gig capacities for either MacBook Air or Pro. It fits neatly and snuggly into the SDXC card slot, which is required; color and finish match, too. Windows users must look elsewhere, though, and many may be glad to. The tech lists for $149 and $399, respectively. But, hey, the Apple fan club is accustomed to paying more for everything.

I will test TarDisk Pear on my 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 3.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. I recently, and unexpectedly, filled up the hard disk with photos and podcast raw recordings. (Hehe, using Chromebooks for so long spoiled me and my awareness of such things.) Doubling storage, particularly with San Diego Comic-Con coming in 14 days, could prove useful for editing audio, pics, and video on the laptop. But is it necessary or contrivance?  Read More

Apple Mobility Music Web

Tidal My Apple Music

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iPad Pro and Tidal

As a Tidal subscriber. I welcome Apple acquisition—asssuming lossless tracks are made available through the fruit-logo company’s music services. Not that anyone should seriously believe the rumors. But one can hope.

Merger talks are typically silent affairs. When they’re serious, you don’t hear about them until there is a deal. Reasons are many, with regulatory being among them when public companies are involved. Acquisition rumors often mean something else: Principal party leaks information about preliminary or ongoing discussions to gauge customer and shareholder reaction; one side or the other is dissatisfied with progress/terms and seeks to apply pressure.  Read More

Aspiration Marketing Politics

The Problem with post-Brexit UK isn’t Leave but Remain

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Union Jack Umbrella

The government of David Cameron and the British intelligentsia will ruin the United Kingdom if they stay the course of their post-Brexit rhetoric. The tone is abysmal. Catastrophic—like a family’s patriarch has unexpectedly died and the women left behind must abandon their estate. Think Sense and Sensibility, where the Dashwood mother and daughters are exiled to the English countryside following the master’s death. They are outcasts. They have no rights to inheritance. They have no future.

But the story’s ending is quite different than its beginning. The UK’s future can be great—better, apart from the European Union than being one of its members. But that chapter may never be written should sour grapes of doom and gloom dominate the post-Brexit narrative. As I often say: In business, perception is everything. Same applies to government, and the image that nations put forth. Too much of the story being written about the UK’s future, which no one without a time machine can predict, is negative. The narrative conveys no confidence that the islands can stand alone.  Read More

Culture Events Pulp Media Society

SDCC 2016 Badge Changes

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Comic-Con 2016 Badge

Well, this is a development. My San Diego Comic-Con 2016 badge arrived this afternoon—and much is changed from previous years. I attend for the eighth consecutive time, and the second as paying attendee rather than press. Previously, badges were given onsite. Now, beforehand, they are mailed out, with built-in RFID that is scanned on event entry. Presumably, the electronically-read tags will reduce fakes and increase movement in, out, and around the venue.

Like last year, I plan to attend all four days and the Preview Night, which is July 20. I count myself lucky to, on Nov. 14, 2015, plow through the random-selection queue and buy a pass. Entire event is a coup. Many people who want to attend get fewer days, if any. I paid $245 for the privilege, and I will work the show as if a press-pass holder.  Read More

Blogging Journalism Media New Media News Media

Why We Need Gawker

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Anton Yelchin as Chekov

I love tabloids like the NY Daily News or New York Post. The editorial style is aggressive; reporting is accurate but snarky-authentic; and headlines typically are punchy and bold. These pubs also push boundaries that more traditional, staid—and, honestly, hoity-toity—papers like the New York Times often won’t.

Gawker Media blogs adopt similar scoop style appropriate to online news gathering; they connect the dots, adding breadth and context to stories all while keeping what I call the Prime Directive: Write what you know to be true in the moment. The approach—think tabloid and wire-service mashup—assumes the reporter doesn’t have the whole story, but writes what he or she has, following up as new info is available. Professor Jeff Jarvis calls it “Process Journalism“, which gets a chapter in my book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News GatherersRead More

Critters Living Photo

Peek-a-Neko

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Peek-a-Neko

Our handsome ginger poses for your late-Caturday amusement, between new sleeping bags. The green is Annie’s—the Marmot Trestles 30, purchased during REI’s big sale a few weeks back. The blue arrived today, and rather quickly from The North Face. I ordered the Aleutian 20/-7 yesterday, expecting delivery in 5-7 days (free shipping). Maybe the company rushes for Father’s Day (tomorrow). Both bags are synthetic fill and fit individuals up to 1.67 meters (5 feet, 6 inches).

I spread them out for comparison, which to Neko meant playtime. I captured the moment with iPhone 6s Plus, cropping out white from the sunlight door behind and applying the Chrome filter in Apple Photos. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 40, 1/30 sec, 4.15mm.

Apple

Welcome Back, Apple

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Apple Logo

Apple’s annual developer conference is underway in San Francisco. Yesterday’s opening keynote was the best since before cofounder Steve Jobs’ death nearly 5 years ago. While pundits poo-poo what’s missing (shiny gadgets), new and improved software and services matter more—and they showcase priorities properly placed.

CEO Tim Cook kicked off the event, by asking attendees to stand and offer a moment of silence for the mass murder victims the previous day in Orlando, Fla. Forty-nine people are confirmed dead and as many hospitalized from the nightclub shooting. He then went on to lay out a clear agenda for the keynote and the conference—four platforms: iOS 10, macOS “Sierra” (formerly OS X), tvOS 10, and watchOS 3Read More