Archive for August, 2009

Nice bit of old school fun this: take children’s classic building material Lego and mix with a flash back of early gaming icons. The result is 8-bit Trip:

(via the Guardian)


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Tech support

Having the occasionally dubious honour of being ‘Deputy CIO’ I get quite a lot of queries about how to do things with computers – so today’s XKCD resonated very well.

If you couple that with the ‘turn it off then turn it on again‘ maxim and dip into the instructions occasionally, most IT problems go away…  Miraculous!

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Finally, after months and months of….well, very little, the Avatar campaign has finally kicked off with the much-touted movie’s first trailer. You may remember my very first blog post on Chivalry House enthusiastically hyping that this will change movies and cinema technology. Forever.

And it’s not just self-confessed cine-geeks swept up in this. The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph…. everyone is talking about this movie. Fans seeking free tickets to a 15 minute sneak peek at cinemas crashed the movie’s website. There was an advert in the Metro, not for the film itself, but the trailer. A dedicted advert for a trailer? Since when does this happen?

From a marketing perspective this is pretty darn effective. Not since The Dark Knight’s viral campaign has so much buzz surrounded a drip-feed of movie snippets and trailers.

And here the trailer is.

Will it be worth the hype? Or this is just excitement and a PR machine running on overdrive?

I’m with the former….just.

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My always insightful brother, wearing his hat as MD of Slingshot Studios, home of such films as the upcoming Infidel starring Omid Djalili, was asked for his advice on what it took to start innovative companies by Richard Wray of the Guardian… Here’s some of what he said:

Advice when starting an innovative company: work out what the points of industry and consumer resistance to your proposed innovation will be (i.e. vested interests, legacy technology or organisational structures, consumer behaviour etc). Assume they will be uncompromisingly disinterested or actively opposed to change.  Work out a SPECIFIC and TESTED plan as to how you will overcome that opposition. Put as much time into that as you do into the innovation itself.

A lot of the people with great ideas you see (on Dragon’s Den and elsewhere) only get as far as the innovation itself. Overcoming cultural change or the perception that things need to be done in a certain way is a massive challenge in all contexts, whether raising money for a startup or deploying a new process or technology within a business. Throw off the status quo, rebel against the man, man.

More on the Slingshot blog and perhaps in the Guardian this weekend. Keeping eyes peeled for brotherly fame.

Cross posted at Division6.

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Mascots tend to be quite annoying but this one also appears to be pretty stupid.

Can’t insert the clip directly into this post, but check out the clip on the BBC here.

Also, just because we can, here is Usain Bolt smashing the 200m world record. Commentary isn’t in English but you get the idea. He is fast.

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There’s a story today (11th August 2009) that is on the front covers of eight of the UK’s national papers, both red and white tops. It’s the lifting on the ban on reporting Baby P’s killers. I won’t go into details of the story, because I think everyone knows what happened, and there’ll be enough places covering it today for the events and actions of the parties involved to be familiar to most.

What I’m interested in is this: did we need to know what they looked like? We know what happened – the coverage of the trials last year ensured that. Do we need to put names and faces to actions? The NSPCC doesn’t believe so, arguing that by identifying those involved more trauma will be heaped on the victim’s siblings. Does knowing what the offenders look like benefit the public in anyway? Where does the public’s right to know begin and end?

That was the line used during the Max Mosley/NOTW case. The NOTW claimed it was in the public’s right to know that the head of one of the world’s largest sporting bodies paid to get spanked. Mosley said it wasn’t. The case is now closed, Mosley the winner, but it doesn’t change the fact that, whatever their motivation in breaking the story, key people at the NOTW believed that the public’s right to know was a credible defence.

I understand that I am extremely fortunate to live in a country where freedom of speech is a given and the freedom of the press is a proclaimed to be a pillar of its democracy. But is it our duty to know everything because other countries deny their citizens this basic right? Does the public really have a right to know everything?

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Crap dress-up

Over on Brands2Life’s private Creative Cache, I recently referred to cosplay within a wider post. Whilst over on Lily Pad Creek, my personal creative cache, I posted some pics from the New Zealand Body Art championships, where you can see a kind of cosplay done by the pros. But for every gem there’s a gimcrack, and on the wonderful Offbeat Earth you find a collection of crap costumes made by grown-ups. Warning, if you were ever the kid at Halloween with the worst costume (oh, yes, that kid was me), then this could wretch up some bad-tasting memories. That said, there’s a kind of charm about bad costumes. Hell, if you’re not a pro, then slap togetehr whatever farcical costume you can, put your tongue firmly in your cheek, and rock it out.
Death Star swallows giant humanoid

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