Monday, 23 August 2010

3D : An extra dimension of crappiness





As I sit in my cinema seat, and put on my pair of plastic glasses, I am apathetic that the movie I am about to watch is in 3D. 2010 certainly seems to be the year of the 3D cinema, with everything from Toy Story to SAW having a go at making us look stupid in our Corrado Soprano inspired glasses.

I loved Avatar. I will always use it as a prime example of 3D being used to enhance a movie experience, rather than cheapen it with obnoxious reminders that yes, we are indeed watching a 3D movie. This usually involves things flying out at us suddenly, dirt or mud being sprayed, or maybe if we are lucky, a penis courtesy of the much anticipated Jackass 3.

I am not ripping on Jackass for using 3D. In fact, I think it is a fantastic idea, because those guys are doing it all for a laugh, and I have no doubt in my mind that seeing poop, penises and jetskis flying at me will be a visceral experience.

What does bug me, is how people seem to be substituting a great story experience, with a gimmicky and shallow attempt of spectacle over narrative. In fact, most of the time, the 3D makes things look even more artificial then they already are.

Of course, the next big thing, or the next big flop, is going to be 3D TV. Imagine sitting at home, wearing a pair of glasses and watching Eastenders in 3D. Two Dimensions of Pat Butcher is enough thank you. Saying that, before one of the many 3D movies that I have seen this year, a trailer for Sky Sports 3D was shown, and it actually looked pretty sweet. So, I guess the jury is out on this one until it becomes properly established. Personally, I don’t think it is going to be the next big thing. For some reasons I am thinking of Minidisks, and while it was a cool idea, it just didn’t take off. Do people really want to put on some goofy glasses every time they watch TV?

One thing, which at this moment in time is probably still in very early development, is 3D gaming. It does exist in limited form, with a few games supporting it, such as Valve’s ‘Left 4 Dead 2’. It doesn’t seem to have become a serious thought just yet, mostly due to price of hardware, and the ever present premium that comes attached to the novelty.

What we should do, is skip this stage and head into 4D, which according to Wikipedia is:

‘Generated by applying the rules of vectors and coordinate geometry to a space with four dimensions. In particular a vector with four elements (a 4-tuple) can be used to represent a position in four-dimensional space. The space is a Euclidean space, so has a metric and norm, and so all directions are treated as the same: the additional dimension is indistinguishable from the other three.’

Now, I don’t know what the hell that means, but I don’t think us humans will be able to manage it, without 4D glasses, some brain surgery and LSD.

I’m not even going to get into the implications of 3D pornography. That’s for another conversation, and without going into detail, you know that it will either be the worst, or the greatest invention of mankind.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Video Games - Waste of Time or Freaking Awesome


Video Games. I love em.

Sometimes it’s just fun to join in an online game, and join thousands in racing, shooting or even epic quests of nerdlike proportions. Hours fly by as we stare at a screen, moving only our fingers to control the super soldier that we are puppeting on screen. If only my sex life was as easy. Oh wait, it is, but that’s another thing entirely.

I have been playing games as long as I can remember. From jumping on enemies in Sonic the Hedgehog on the Master System to destroying whole buildings in Battlefield Bad Company 2, I am a certified gamer.

I shudder at the thought of all the skills and education I could have amassed during the many years of my life that I have spent staring at a screen, but then again, at least I wasn’t out on the streets killing hookers and shooting cops; nope, I could do all that at home, without the hefty jail sentence and overly friendly bunkmate.

At the end of the day, people do things which they enjoy. Gaming now, more than ever is a huge industry worth billions, and it is only going to get bigger. Gone are the pimply bespeckled nerds, replaced with a demographic that ranges from the age of 0-80. Mostly male though. I will never impress a female with my ability to buy full guns and kit in Counterstrike, in less than 2 seconds.

Now, one of my fondest yet most shameful memories of my time at university is the amount of Mario Kart we played. We played it for hours, every day, without fail. There were three of us, sometimes four, and nothing was more fun than screwing over your friend and winning the race. This, I think, validates games. It brings people together for a great time, in a place where nothing ultimately matters and you can kill eachother with no consequence.

As for World of Warcraft fans – That’s another thing entirely.

Youtube Link of the Day

An extremely cool music video with some amazing and creative animation.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Getting a Job

Photobucket


I’m unemployed. There you go. That’s not to say I sit at home in my underwear, eating cheetos and watching Star Trek (Sorry Josh).

I could probably get a job, if I wanted to, within a week. It I could be getting yelled at in a Callcenter, filling in endless databases with my hatred, or teaching English in some other corner of the planet.

Unfortunately for all those wonderful establishments, I know that if I get a job anywhere, I am going to stay there as long as possible to avoid going through the slog of the graduate jobhunter. That’s why it’s taking me a long time; I want to work in a position that I actually want to do, somewhere that I can progress and forge myself a career. Seems like a lot to ask these days.

It’s proven very tough, in fact this blog is spawned from my efforts to get a job. Sure, no one is going to read the words of an Internet nobody, but at least I can show an employer I know a little bit about blogs and the importance of keeping yourself busy and out there.

My neighbour suggested the peacock effect. He told me a story about a guy who would go into the reception of various businesses, wearing a suit that stank to high heaven and refused to move until he could talk to someone in recruitment, and blag himself a job. I'm not sure how the tale ended - I like to think he was told to go have a shower, and come in the next day.

Now, I’m not that desperate yet, but something has to be done. The job market is a very fickle place, and I’ve got a feeling that getting invited for an interview as akin to waiting for a bus on a rainy cold day, or a policeman while a thuggish man does untold things to you. You will wait and wait, and all of a sudden, 5 will hit you at once.

Well, bring it on. Even my cat is noticing I am at home far too much, and I swear to god he brought in a job leaflet from somewhere.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have a hankering for some Cheetos, and I believe Star Trek will be on at any moment.

P.S. If you are reading, this, HIRE ME. I aint pretty, but I make a mean cup of coffee.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Awesome Minimalist Movie Posters

First off, I did not make these, I am just sharing. Credit goes to google images, and the various places i found them.

Photobucket


Photobucket

Click the link below for more

Youtube Video of the Day

Go ahead and make your day a bit more bittersweet.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Brain Game


Left or right; which are you?




Photobucket

Now obviously these are not concrete pigeonholes, after all the brain is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists, but the term ‘left or right brained’ has become a popular way of explaining the difference between certain personalities and skills.
Left or right; which are you?

No, I’m not talking politics, or what hand you stir coffee with, but which side of the brain you use more.
So picture it, that wonderful yet mysterious grey matter sitting in our head. Draw a vertical line down the middle, creating two hemispheres, the left and the right. Either side has different characteristics that drive our personalities and ways of thinking. They are not mutually exclusive, both sides work together for us to function, but they don’t often operate in equal proportions; people sometimes use one side more than the other

This isn’t to say that we have two personalities crammed in our heads, duking it out for control in an epic mind battle, just that each side brings out different choices and ways of thinking.

So which is which? There are tests that can be taken to indicate which side you are and popular psychology has determined a list of characteristics attributed to each hemisphere. Behold.

Photobucket

Now obviously these are not concrete pigeonholes, after all the brain is still somewhat of a mystery to scientists, but the term ‘left or right brained’ has become a popular way of explaining the difference between certain personalities and skills.


Monday, 26 July 2010

Youtube Video of the Day

Friday, 23 July 2010

Youtube video of the day

Viral Marking – Spreading the word


Photobucket



As we all know, the Internet has become a HUGE platform for advertising and marketing, chiefly because of its capacity to reach large numbers of people with relatively low risk and cost. As traditional methods begin to saturate popular websites, people learn to filter out banners and links like they would motorway billboards and bus-ads.

Viral Marketing refers to the practice of using pre-existing social networks and websites to increase brand awareness and other marketing objectives, by spreading through word of mouth and the network abilities of the Internet. Its name comes from its methods of spreading through computers and networks like a virus, exponentially ‘infecting’ new networks and people with its message.


An infectious practice.


There are two types of viral marketing. One works through social media networks such as Hotmail, Facebook and MSN Messenger, and relies on the word of mouth practice of advertising a product, brand or service. Viral marketing encourages individual to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the influence and exposure of the communication. Like viruses, they have a way of winning by sheer numbers, piggybacking between people and if in the right environment can flourish.

A classic example of early viral marketing is Hotmail.com. They gave away free email accounts, adding a tag at the bottom of each message saying something along the lines of ‘Get your free email at www.hotmail.com’. People would then send emails to other people, who would see this message and maybe sign up for their own free email service, and then propel the message even further. One of the most powerful words in the marketing industry is the word ‘Free’, and this applies very strongly to viral marketing. People are much more likely to sign up and ‘spread’ a product if it is free.


Catching the bug.


Another way in which this practice works like a virus is the concept of delayed gratification. What may not initially yield any monetary results will generate a strong grounding in interest eventually leading to profit down the line. This parallels the incubation period of any biological or computer virus. Another parallel is the scalability of viral marketing, where the brand, message or service can spread like wildfire, from a small entity to something much larger within a gradually shorter amount of time.

The most creative viral marketing campaigns use other’s resources to get the word out, placing graphics on other peoples websites, giving out free articles or trial softwares hosted on other peoples servers, as well as the above-mentioned placement within social networks.


Its mutating!


As with any virus, viral marketing needs to continuously evolve to make sure it remains as effective as it has been. As social networks continue to grow, and communication over the Internet becomes a staple of society the capacity for marketing potential within this area is only going to grow. The nature of networks allow themselves to spread messages with such low risk and cost, it truly is a marketers dream.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Youtube video of the day

The man who sold his forehead

Marketing: Innovative, dynamic, creative and mad. Every now and then, something strange or unique captures our attention, and someone does something truly weird and brilliant, throwing the marketing industry a curveball.

Meet Sam Fischer. He needed some cash.

Photobucket


Instead of working a few shifts at Pizza Hut or getting a loan, he decided to think out of the box. Way out of the box.

In 2005 an auction surfaced on Ebay, the likes which had never been seen before. A man was offering his forehead as advertising space.

Yep.

The winning bidder would then have permission to temporarily tattoo their brand on his forehead and get bucketloads of exposure from the media fallout and general interest. Well, it worked; Fischer was soon on talk shows and newspapers, the logo going everywhere with him. According to his own website, (www.humanadspace.com) he made over $50,000.

Now that’s using your head (sorry).

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Youtube video of the Day

Stuff you wish you had thought of first.

We all have these thoughts; someone invents or discovers something so annoyingly simple that makes them a heap of money. This week, I am talking about none other than:


The Million Dollar Homepage.

Photobucket

Pixels = Money


You know that saying that sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones? Well, Alex Tew from Wiltshire, England came up with a frustratingly easy way to make a million dollars: He created a homepage in which each pixel in a grid would be sold for $1, and business could buy blocks of pixels to have a linked graphic leading to their own website.


That’s it.


What started as a word of mouth campaign between friends and family members soon grew into an Internet phenomenon, reported by the BBC and many other media outlets. After what seemed a very short time, there was only one space left on the grid and the only logical thing to do was to sell it on eBay. Because of the site’s popularity and the huge volume of daily curious users, it was a very sought after space and went for $38,000. At the end of it all, Alex Tew made $1,037,100 in gross income. What a bastard.


A cheap imitation.


Other sites immediately started popping up, offering pixel advertising for cash, but none of them really took off the same way TheMillionDollarHomepage did; most ended up looking sparse and empty. The original site relied on its status as a novelty, and something that had not been done before. No one wants to look at a page of adverts, but Alex achieved the impossible and made it happen; lightning will not strike twice on this one.


Pay up or the pixels get it!

TheMillionDollarHompage gathered such popularity that in January 2006, it was effectively held ransom by an organisation known as ‘The Dark Group’. Their demand was that Alex was to pay a ransom of $5000 , or the site would be subjected to a ‘distributed denial of service attack’. This meant that the website would be bombarded with false requests for information which eventually crashes the system. Alex ignored the threat and sure enough the website was attacked, leaving it closed for a week before new security measures were put in. Incredible.


Here is a dramatic artist rendering of the attempted holdup.



It’s hard to not have grudging admiration for Alex, who made a million dollars out of selling pixels. The idea is so simple, yet it caught on like Velcro superglue. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go and cry because I didn’t think of it first.


Powered by Blogger.