October 2012 Archives

Normally I ignore this stuff, but it's pretty cool that my old company Eventful got Liam Neeson to do this.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Man on a Ledge 2: Starring Felix Baumgartner, brought to you by Red Bull

What might have been...

Ferris Bueller atop the Space Shuttle in LA

NASA really missed out on this. They should've gotten him and a set of really big speakers cranking out Twist and Shout...

Died today. R.I.P.

I met him once, when I was a kid. Probably same year he did Blazin' Saddles. He was involved with a special Harlem Globetrotters show at the Capitol Centre outside D.C. At the end of the game I was able to get onto the basketball court area itself (lots of kids wandering around) and I said hello to him. I think I got his autograph. He was speaking with an ABC Wide World of Sports announcer whose name I forget, and the ABC guy had evidently been holding Karras' wallet for him all during the game. This wallet had to have been 4 inches thick with bills, probably thousands of dollars. I'll never forget it. Karras just took the wallet and put it in his pocket and thanked the ABC guy and they shook hands and Alex said something like "thanks man, see you again next week!" and that was that. For a kid, this was a moment of awe. Here was a real NFL star *and* a movie star, who'd just played against the Harlem Globetrotters, who I worshipped (who can forget the one and only Meadowlark Lemon?) and out of nowhere there's Karras' wallet and I'm thinkin', wow, he has to be a millionaire.

I was not worthy.

Bill Moyer's latest investigation into how the private sector and state politicians are teaming up to enact laws that increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

For years when you went to Google and typed pretty much anything, the first Adwords ad on the right would be eBay touting your search term and how it's available for sale on eBay. For a while it was so dumb you could type garbage like "lkjhlkjhlkjhlkjh" and sure enough there'd be a "Find lkjhlkjhlkjhlkjh on eBay" ad on the right sidebar.

It appears that eBay and Google have moved on past that trick. But now Netflix is pulling something similar, but it's even more misleading. Just now I did a search to see if the Dylan movie "I'm Not There" was available for streaming. I typed in "netflix i'm not there" as my search term, and the first result was Netflix not surprisingly. But look what the link said: Watch I'm Not There Online - yes! Exactly what I want to do, right now!

So I clicked on the ad, er, the link, and was taken to a landing page within the Netflix site (I wasn't logged in yet). Netflix presents a nice page within the "Watch Instantly" section of the site that shows the movie poster and some info about the movie. Cool! Where's the Play Now button?

There isn't one. So I logged in, and got sent to the same page. Still no play button. In fact, the fine print says, "Title not available to stream."

Dirty trick, Netflix. Dirty trick. It's gonna cost you.

How Netflix misleads potential customers with deceptive Google search results

This kind of crap also reflects badly on Google. Netflix and Google: cut it out.

I will never think of this song the same way again.

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.



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The Friendly Orange Glow: The Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture, by Brian Dear
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