China defends screening software

June 9, 2009

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

The Great Firewall of China just got an upgrade…
– FlashAddict

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

By Michael Bristow
BBC News, Beijing

China has defended the use of new screening software that has to be installed on all computers.

Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the software would filter out pornographic or violent material.

Critics have complained that it could also be used to stop Chinese internet users searching for politically sensitive information.

But Mr Qin, speaking at a regular press briefing, said China promoted the healthy development of the internet.

All computers sold in China – even those that are imported – will have to be pre-installed with the “Green Dam Youth Escort” software.

‘Poisoned minds’

The news came in a directive from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the new regulations will come into force on 1 July.

The directive says the newest version of the software has to be pre-installed on Chinese-made computers before they leave the factory.

Imported computers must contain the software before they are sold.

The aim is to build a healthy and harmonious online environment that does not poison young people’s minds, according to the directive.

Mr Qin defended the move on Tuesday: “The purpose of this is to effectively manage harmful material for the public and prevent it from being spread,” he said.

“The Chinese government pushes forward the healthy development of the internet. But it lawfully manages the internet,” he added.

The Chinese government regularly restricts access to certain internet sites and information it deems sensitive.

The BBC’s Chinese language website and video sharing website Youtube are currently inaccessible in Beijing.

Critics fear this new software could be used by the government to enhance its internet censorship system, known as the Great Firewall of China.

But a spokesman for one of the companies that developed the software, Jinhui Computer System Engineering, rejected this accusation.

“It’s a sheer commercial activity, having nothing to do with the government,” Zhang Chenmin, the company’s general manager, told the state-approved Global Times newspaper.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8091044.stm


The Lear Jet repo man

June 6, 2009

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Pretty wild story I came across today…
– FlashAddict

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Business has never been better for the fearless pilot who takes back millionaires’ expensive toys.

By Marc Weingarten

June 6, 2009 | It was snowing hard when the bank called Nick Popovich. They needed to grab a Gulfstream in South Carolina now. Not tomorrow. Tonight.

All commercial and private planes were grounded, but Nick Popovich wasn’t one to turn down a job. So he waited for the storm to clear long enough to charter a Hawker jet from Chicago into South Carolina. There was just one detail: No one had told Popovich about the heavily armed white supremacist militia that would be guarding the aircraft when he arrived.

But then again, no one had told the militia about Popovich, a brawny and intimidating man who has been jailed and shot at and has faced down more angry men than a prison warden. When Popovich and two of his colleagues arrived that evening at a South Carolina airfield, they were met by a bunch of nasty-looking thugs with cocked shotguns. “They had someone in the parking lot with binoculars,” Popovich says, recalling the incident. “When we went to grab the plane, one of them came out with his weapon drawn and tells us we better get out of there.” Undeterred, Popovich continued toward the plane until he felt a gun resting on his temple.

“You move another inch and I’ll blow your fucking head off,” the gravel-and-nicotine voice told Popovich.

“Well, you better go ahead and shoot, ’cause I’m grabbing that plane.”

A shot was discharged in the air.

The gravel-and-nicotine voice again. “I’m not kidding.”

“Then do it already.”

Popovich’s first rule of firearms is pretty simple: The man who tells you he’s going to shoot you will not shoot you. So without so much as looking back, he got on the plane and flew it right to Chicago. “My job is to grab that plane,” Popovich says. “And if you haven’t paid for it, then it’s mine. And I don’t like to lose.”

Nick Popovich is a repo man, but not the kind that spirits away Hyundais from suburban driveways. Popovich is a super repo man, one of a handful of specialists who get the call when a bank wants back its Gulfstream II jet from, say, a small army of neo-Nazi freaks.

For the past three decades, Popovich has been one of a secret tribe of big game hunters who specialize in stealing jets from the jungle hideouts of corrupt landowners in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil and swiping go-fast boats from Wall Street titans in Miami and East Hampton. Super repos have been known to hire swat teams, hijack supertankers and fly off with eastern bloc military helicopters. For a cut of the overall value, they’ll repossess anything.

But Popovich is the most renowned of them all — the Ernest Hemingway of super repo men. “Nick is the best of the best,” says Doug Lipke, head of the bankruptcy group for the law firm Vedder Price, who has called Popovich on numerous occasions to retrieve jumbo jets from fat cats with thinning balance sheets. One time, Lipke needed a plane repo-ed from Michigan and flown to Chicago. “All the electrical went out on the plane and Nick was flying at night,” he says. “He flew that plane back with zero electricity — no lights, nothing. There aren’t many guys that would be able to do that.”

Today Popovich, 56, is co-partner of Sage-Popovich, a repossession firm. (Sage is his wife, Pat, also the firm’s president.) Their clients include Citibank, Transamerica and Credit Suisse, and the firm annually earns, Popovich says, “into the low-to-mid seven figures.” That estimate isn’t ridiculous when you consider that the most difficult jobs can net Popovich anywhere from $600,000 to $900,000. Popovich’s specialty is big planes, jumbo jets, mostly; he’s repo-ed 1,300 of them in his career. And that’s just the solo gigs. Throw in the 65 repo men who work for him, and the number reaches closer to 2,000.

His mandate is simple. Someone misses a few payments. The bank wants to recover its plane. There will be an attempt to set up some kind of debt payment plan. Failing that, collateral has to be ponied up. If there is none, then an account executive reaches out to Popovich. But Jumbo Jets are expensive — a 747 will run you anywhere from $125 million to $260 million — and people who try to acquire such toys are loath to give them back. If the deadbeat gets wind that the bank is sniffing around his plane, he’s likely to spirit it away before anyone has a chance to grab it, and then it becomes a cat-and-rat game that can take months to complete.

And times have never been better. When lenders opened the sluice gates of easy credit throughout the last decade, high rollers went out and splurged on Gulfstreams and yachts. When the job goes away, the bonuses dry up and the stock market tanks, it’s a long and nasty downward spiral that leads to Popovich’s door. “Oh, those guys are a real piece of work,” says Popovich of the fallen Masters of the Universe. “We’ve had to fly halfway around the world just to find a plane we were told would be in Dallas. You have to think like a crook to find them.”

These days, Popovich is fielding assignments as fast as he can handle them. “We’ve got a lot of business right now,” he says. “We recently recovered planes from Okun and Nadel.” Popovich is referring to Edward Okun and Arthur G. Nadel, two Bernie Madoff-manqués that have been accused of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from unsuspecting clients who thought they were safely investing their money ($300 million in Nadel’s case, the largest alleged hedge fund fraud in Florida history). Among the booty that Popovich was hired to return were two Gulfstream IIs and a Lear Jet.

A good super repo man has a skill set that’s some mad hybrid of cat burglar, F.B.I. agent and con artist. And there’s real danger that comes with the job,  not just ticked-off homeowners wielding baseball bats. According to the American Recovery Association, there are, on average, one or two repo-related deaths a year.

In 2006, a Czechoslovakian-made Albatross L-39 combat jet lifted off from Sitka, Alaska, and crashed into a trailer park in the small community of Ketchikan, Alaska. The pilot was found dead 100 yards from the destruction, still strapped into his seat. He had no identification on him. His profession was listed as repo man. In Minnesota, a boat repo specialist named Kim Zarbinksi was repelled when the angry owner of a 40-foot yacht refused to give him his boat. So Zarbinksi resorted to sterner measures. He hired a SWAT team to help him grab the rotten booty.

You want stories? Popovich has volumes. And tells them without a note of bragging or conceit. On a recent warm afternoon, the unfailingly polite repo man and I are strolling through his cavernous warehouse in Gary, Ind. It feels like browsing a Costco run by the Pentagon. There are airplane parts as far as the eye can see — jet engines sit on shelves next to wheel casings and propellers. The detritus of a recent job sits in gigantic vats — hundreds of headphones in one, telephones in another.

Right now the warehouse is overflowing thanks to his most ambitious job to date: “stealing” a fleet of 240 corporate helicopters from a chain of flight schools for a tidy six-figure fee. Nevada-based Silver State was one of the country’s fastest growing companies, mainly because its owner Jerry Airola was constructing a pyramid scheme as tall as the Cheops. When everything collapsed, Popovich was hired to retrieve 240 copters from 51 locations around the country. In 24 hours, Nick and his 125-member crew had to change the locks at all 51 Silver Star schools, then move in 125 flatbeds to haul not only the copters but everything else they could carry — furniture, spare parts, computers, simulators.

“The copters were a mess,” says Popovich. “Some of them hadn’t been flown in months. Once we shipped them all back to the warehouse, we stripped the worst ones for parts for the bank. I figured that at least we were putting them to good use that way.”

Inside his 120-acre, ranch-style compound in rural Valparaiso, Ind., Popovich recalls some of his most notorious adventures in disarmingly soft-spoken and courtly tones. There was the time in the ’80s when he was thrown into a Haitian jail cell. Jail stints came with the job, but this time was different.

Inside the cell, Haitian cops had turned Popovich’s face inside out. The pain was ungodly. His shoes were gone. He was starving. And Popovich was sitting in a cage surrounded by 35 prisoners spitting epithets in his face. His only priority was to avoid getting hurt any worse than he already was. In his experience, that meant behaving like a total maniac, lashing out at the nearest prisoners and threatening to kill anyone that came near him.

The charge was the attempted theft of a 707 jumbo jet and he was facing 20 years to life. The jet in question belonged to a Caribbean tour company that went bust. After a few missed payments, the bank had called Popovich, who had tracked the plane from the Dominican Republic to Haiti. The gig promised to be simple. Popovich even spotted the battered silver-and-blue jet on the tarmac as he taxied into Port Au Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture airport on a sweltering February afternoon. All he needed was an hour to check the avionics, an open runway and a flight plan. It hadn’t worked out that way.

By the third day of his imprisonment — sometime after the American embassy politely informed him that the bank employing him wouldn’t put up $100,000 in bail — details started to come back. The tracer fire pinging the plane’s wings like popcorn kernels. Men with bayonets slamming on the fuselage. A police cruiser skidding to a halt right in front of the jet, blocking the runway and preventing Nick from taking off. The cops beating him senseless and throwing him in Penitentier National prison. And now, here he was.

On the seventh day of his incarceration, Haitian President Baby Doc Duvalier was overthrown and the rioting masses swung open all of the cell doors. Bruised, bloody and sleepless, Popovich hobbled out of his cell. As he taxied down the runway for the second time. he couldn’t help thinking that what they said was true: Flying home is always the easy part.

Reared in Hammond, Ind. — just a few miles from his current Valparaiso home base — Popovich got his pilot license when he was 16 because his father thought it might be useful some day. It was the only time he ever said “yes” to Dad. He tried Indiana University for a semester but it didn’t take.

Then in 1975 he met two men named Toby Howard and Billy Day in Wichita while hanging with some mutual friends. A pair of hustlers, they had all kinds of ideas for how to get rich quick. Popovich followed them for six months, hawking faulty tire repair kits that would explode in winter and some multilevel marketing schemes. The contacts he’d make through Howard and Day led him into small-time arms dealing. Popovich bought out a Utah company that had been indicted for weapons violations and turned it into a thriving business. “We built .22 caliber weapons into briefcases with micro switches and laser sightings,” he says. He sold his guns to the Canadian Special Ops and maybe to a few places he shouldn’t have. He mentions something about being “in South America at the wrong time.” He also drops a hint about conducting business in Iraq.

Popovich became a Braniff pilot in 1976. But that was boring. So he quit. He wouldn’t find his true calling until 1979, when a banker friend asked for his help getting back a Cessna 310 from a small-time chartering business. “I flew down there, grabbed it and got paid for it. I didn’t think anything of it,” he says. “I dropped off the plane and the guy calls yelling his head off. He says, ‘You didn’t ask for enough money! Send me a new bill but multiply it by three!'”

A few days later, Popovich found $145,000 in his checking account. A super repo man had been born.

Sage-Popovich now has 65 super repos, ranging from former crop-dusters and commercial pilots to Marines and airport mechanics. One of Popovich’s aces, Ed Dearborn, flew for Air America, the CIA’s covert Vietnam-era airline, and even helped build landing strips in remote jungle outposts in Southeast Asia. A good year is five popped planes; Kevin Lacey, one of Popovich’s best men, grabs 10 when he’s on a roll.

Now that Popovich has worked with some of his guys for 20 years or more, he has learned to take good care of them. When Lacey was imprisoned while attempting to snatch a jet in Brazil a few years ago, Popovich made sure the local hotel shipped edible food to his cell until the legal mess could be cleared up. It was the least he could do, given the fact that Lacey had been dragged in humiliating fashion right through the passenger terminal in handcuffs. “The inmates in Brazilian jails have more guns than the police,” said Lacey. “It’s best to make friends with them quickly.”

Because Lacey is a master mechanic, he is an invaluable resource for lenders. If a plane is sitting on blocks, its windows cracked and its avionics blown out, Lacey can fix it and fly it out. He’s also pretended to be a mechanic on numerous occasions; it gets him inside the plane and up in the air a lot quicker. That plane in Brazil required the use of a “claw hammer and rusty pliers” for Lacey to fix it.

Like most super repo guys, Lacey works freelance and flies just about everything with two wings. He’s certified in eight types of aircraft. The Air Force would be lucky to have him, but the repo game is far more thrilling. And a lot more lucrative.

The money is pretty good, depending on the size of the plane and the complexity of the repo. But for Lacey, the job is its own reward, despite the fact that many pilots consider it an unseemly profession. “My tact and my diligence are my greatest weapons,” he says. “I have to think and react before someone else does, or I’m sunk. Often, they will be on the lookout for you, so you find yourself chasing something while someone else is chasing you.”

The super repo business is extremely time-sensitive; Popovich must calibrate his maneuvers with military precision or else the entire operation crumbles. The minute Popovich gets a call, he has his team prepare a “Repo Book,” which contains all of the relevant documentation necessary to take back a plane. An airport won’t let you fly off with a jumbo jet without all kinds of paperwork: lease terminations, powers of attorney, customs bonds and certificates of insurance. (There’s a reason Sage-Popovich has eight lawyers on retainer.) Within an hour of the initial contact, everything is accounted for, all the way down to the catering for the crew.

While the Repo Book is assembled, Popovich will get his scouts on the ground to figure out where the plane is. The company has people all over the globe who are more than happy to track down an item for him for a small fee. More often than not, the aircraft will turn up in a major airport or commercial hub, and from there it’s easy sailing: Show up, hand over the documentation, get in the cockpit and fly away. Popovich estimates that three-quarters of his jobs go off exactly that way.

The rest are stickier affairs — starring angry owners, armed security, even intransigent airport workers, who will be out tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid fuel, landing fees and maintenance costs if a plane suddenly goes missing. In that case, half the game for Popovich is sneaking on to the aircraft and flying it out before anyone’s hip to what he’s doing. “That’s why you never, ever use the plane’s two-way radio,” says Popovich with a laugh. “People might get wind of your plans before you even have a chance to secure your seat belt. If you need to file a flight plan, you use your cell phone to call the tower.”

One time, he pretended to be a limo driver picking up a client. When airport security turned its back, Popovich slipped off his black overcoat and eight-point chauffeur cap and finagled his way onto the plane.

Aircraft on a runway is a lot easier to grab, but the walk to the cockpit is longer than the Bataan Death March. You might as well radio the tower before walking up to a vacant jet without permission, because you’re inevitably going to get busted. For a repo job in Miami, Popovich commandeered a catering truck from a friendly driver and the crew let him on board unbidden. On numerous occasions he has loaded his guys into a baggage cart, dropped the curtain and driven up to the cargo hold. From there, it’s a slinky stretch on hands and knees from the luggage compartment into the cockpit.

Really tough targets require sterner measures. In 1998, Popovich was hired to repo two jets in the possession of Francois Arpels, scion of the Van Cleef and Arpels jewelry empire. Arpels had leased two Boeing MD-81s for a charter service he started called Fairlines, but failed to make his payments.

“I landed in Paris and contacted Arpels to see if we could work something out,” says Popovich. “Arpels tells me, ‘I’m Francois Arpels and this is Paris. You will never find the planes.’ I looked him right in the eye and told him, ‘Frankie, they are all but gone. Trust me.’ He hated the fact that I called him Frankie. That really got under his skin.”

Using his European scouts, Popovich tracked one plane in Milan; the other was sitting on the tarmac near Terminal One at Charles DeGaulle Airport. The MD-81 was covered in official-looking documentation written in French, so Popovich just ripped everything off and hopped in. Big mistake. The airport cops stopped him as he was taxiing and threw him in a cell overnight. The next day, a French magistrate had handcuffs slapped on Popovich and ordered him returned to Chicago. “I was more determined than ever to grab those damn planes,” he says. “You push me, I push back harder.”

A few weeks later he snuck back into the country, convinced a captain with an Air Afrique fuel bus to fill up Arpel’s Boeing and flew it out. But the Milan plane was trickier. The engine was behaving erratically, and no sane person should fly a bird with a hinky engine. Popovich had a replacement engine in Munich (engine-swapping is a common occurrence in the business) and the only way to get it would be to make the 50 minute flight and pray.

As his pilot Ed Dearborn climbed to altitude, Popovich remembers sitting in the back, furtively stealing looks at that shaky equipment. “The whole time I sat there thinking, ‘If that engine lets go, I’m fucked.'” When they got to Germany and opened it up, the mechanics estimated that another couple of hours of airtime and the thing would have melted down. Along with Nick and his guys.

Popovich even met his wife on a repo. He was casing an exotic car company in Chicago when a leonine blond walked in to the dealership. “We all looked at each other and said, ‘A hundred bucks for the first guy that nails her,'” he says. “Twenty million dollars in business together later, here we are.” The couple’s two boys, Zachary, 18 and Max, 20, work for Sage-Popovich when they can. Zachary attends college and does repos in his spare time.

Popovich’s daredevil days are behind him for the most part; now he’s working with a new generation to do the job. He would like his two sons to go about it a little differently than he did. Maybe a bit more cautiously, for starters. He wants his son Zach to take over the business one day, but “he wants to open a bar in Sun Valley instead.” He has in mind an exit strategy, though he’s not sure when, if ever, he’ll implement it. Life is too good to stop now. Just pick up the paper — every day word breaks of another investor, another pyramid scheme, another crook who has a date with Popovich.

Tooling around Valparaiso in his Bentley, with Bob Dylan playing softly in the background, Popovich tries to put into words just how great it feels to pull off a big repo job. “It’s like a giant chess game, and the stakes can be your life,” he says. “It’s always a different challenge, a test of how smart you are. Can you outfox someone else? There’s always going to be some covert action involved. And you throw a big payoff in there, well, it’s just intoxicating.” He pauses. “Repossessing a giant, gleaming multimillion dollar plane is kind of like courting a beautiful woman. Sometimes the chase is better than the catch.” And the chase is never complete.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/06/06/lear_jet_repo_man/


Tales of the Past III – by Martin Falch

January 15, 2009

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

I will be showing clips from and talking about Tales of the Past III, a Machinima Film based on the video game World of Warcraft to my Video Art class at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design tomorrow for our Previous Inspiration Presentation project.
– FlashAddict

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Tales of the Past III, by Martin Falch is the ultimate achievement in fan-made Machinima Film based on the Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, World of Warcraft. Martin spent over a year and a half single handedly piecing together the overall visual majesty of the film, from screen capturing from the game itself, editing hundreds of hours of footage, painstakingly doing all of the special effects, to labourously directing dozens upon dozens of other virtual actors on live game servers for massive group sequences. He also had professional voice actors volunteer their time and efforts to help piece together the emotional tone of the characters and organized an incredible array of songs for the soundtrack that effortlessly leads from sequence to sequence.

While most World of Warcraft Machinima Films are rudimentary and poorly strewn together with freeware software, Martin Falch has set the bar for all aspiring Warcraft Machinima auteurs to shoot for, myself included.

Opening Scene:

The Ashbringer:

These are the Duranin:

Final Battle:

Trailer:

Movie Plot and Download Links:
Since the death of Yimo and the shattering of the Orb of Visions, the Horde and the Alliance have accepted an unstable peace agreement. However, old hatreds stand in the way of cooperation and at the same time, chaos erupts as the Lich King finally takes action. In the meanwhile, Blazer travels to Northrend to hunt down Mograine, the Death Knight, and retrieve the legendary blade that may decide the fate of Azeroth – The Ashbringer…

After 1,5 years of production, Tales of the Past III is finally complete. Having spent an average of 3 hours every single day on the movie, there have been times where this whole project was frustrating rather than enjoyable. However, looking back on the whole project, I’m glad that I started and I’m glad that I managed to get through it! Also, having watched the entire movie, I’m really satisfied with the outcome and I hope you feel the same way! Now, since the movie is huge, I hope you’ll take your time to read through the block of text here!

http://warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=53953

Milestones:
Martin Falch is number 4 on the all-time Warcraftmovies.com download list currently at 2,361,104 total downloads.

http://warcraftmovies.com/halloffame.php

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

1.000.000 downloads
Posted: 28 July 2008 @ 09:39 (CET)

Hey people! Just wanted to inform that TotPIII has now reached 1 mio downloads on Warcraftmovies.com, making it the second movie ever to archive this (number 1 being Leeroy) – I just want to say thanks to all the people commentning on it and sending me mails, it’s been awesome with all the support and nice words. Also a big thanks for the people informing their friends/guilds/forums about it in order to spread the movie around!

I’ve mentioned this before, but hopefully I’ll be able to make new story line machinimas later on, perhaps some relevant opportunity comes up for the case – having just watched the most brilliant film I watched in a long time, The Dark Knight, it’s a bit tempting to get back to machinimating. However, until then I hope you’ll enjoy the little Synergy Contest submission I’ve made, which should be up today – I’ll post the link here when it is. As mentioned it won’t be anything fancy, but it’s a bit different from what I’ve tried making before and the whole thing about following someone elses script has been both a challenge and interesting!

Again, thanks alot for all the support!

– Martin

http://www.talesofthepast.com/

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Soundtrack:

“I was… the Ashbringer.”

* (0:38/–:–) Legendary – King Arthur Soundtrack – 02 – Woad To Ruin

* (–:–/6:00) The Blade – King Arthur Soundtrack – 04 – Hold The Ice

* (–:–/–:–) The Ashbringer In Battle – Pirates of the Caribbean 2 – Hans Zimmer – 08 – a family affair

* (–:–/–:–) Betrayed – 01 – Age of Music

Discord

* (–:–/–:–) Saurfang’s Challenge – Hans Zimmer- The Contender (Main Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) Rexxar’s Journey – Trevor Rabin – Armageddon – Launch

The War Begins

* (–:–/–:–) Council of War – The Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion Main Title Music

* (–:–/–:–) Two beers per kill – Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s chest – 07 – Two hornpipes (Tortuga)

* (–:–/–:–) eternal_silencetheme_ngm_by_mike_cameron_force

* (15:16/16:44)”No! He must no scape!” – 10 – The Peacemaker – Devoe’s Revenge Take 3 Take 2.wav ; Hans Zimmer – Devoe’s Revenge

* (–:–/–:–) X-Ray Dog – Clash Of Arms(1)

* (–:–/–:–) The Last Samurai (Soundtrack) – 09 – Hans Zimmer – Red Warrior

* (–:–/–:–) Edgen+discovery

* (–:–/–:–) Movies – Hans Zimmer – The Last Samurai – Spectres In The Fog

* (–:–/–:–) “To Hell With This Mission”-The Last Samurai (Soundtrack) – 03 – Hans Zimmer – Taken

* (22:40/24:50) Starsailor – Way to Fall

* (–:–/–:–) 01 – Danny Elfman – Introduction

* (–:–/–:–) Mograine – Immediate Music – Epicon (Hybrid)

* (27:43/29:46) Harry Gregson Williams – Metal Gear Solid 1 End Title: The Best Is Yet to Come

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 06 I See Dead People In Boats

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 02 Singapore

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 03 At Wit’s End

* (–:–/–:–) Serphentos and Rexxar Travel – 10 – In Search of the Grail

* (–:–/–:–) Saurfang and Rexxar – Theme – Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

* (–:–/–:–) Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 11 I Don’t Think Now Is The Best Time

* (38:10/40:46) Ambush – Saw Soundtrack – Final theme

The Emerald Dream

* (40:58/43:20) Quite A View – Star Wars Episode II – Attack Of The Clones – 02 – Across The Stars (Love Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) “This is why I chose you!”13_-_Hans_Zimmer_-_Barbarian_Horde

* (–:–/–:–) Metal_Gear_Solid_LegendoftheSnake_OC_ReMix

* (–:–/–:–) Memories – Naruto OST – 08 Sadness and Sorrow

* (46:00/46:40) Gronn Slayer – Naruto – Strong And Strike

* (–:–/–:–) Naruto – Main Theme

* (–:–/–:–) Warcraft 3 – Comradeship

* (–:–/–:–) “Let us cast it, into the flames of Blackrock Mountain!” – Lord of The Rings – Main Theme

* (–:–/–:–) The Plan – Pirates of the Caribbean 3 – 05 Up Is Down

* (52:42/55:37) Coco Lee – A Love Before Time (Mandarin)

* (55:45/59:26) The Final Trial – Godspeed You Black Emperor – Moya

Armies Unite

* (–:–/–:–) Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater (Soundtrack) – 211 – Norihiko Hibino – Last Showdown

* (–:–/–:–) Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater (Soundtrack) – 210 – Harry Gregson – Williams – Lifes End

* (–:–/–:–) King Arthur Soundtrack – 05-Another Brick in Hadrian’s Wall

* (1:03:50/1:05:03) Monori In Death – Nightwish – End Of All Hope

* (–:–/–:–) Immediate Music – 48 – Orch & Choir Rise – 3

* (–:–/–:–) 31 – Asteroid Chase – The Shuttle Crash

Final Push

* (–:–/–:–) Too late… – Naruto (Orochimaru’s Theme)

* (–:–/–:–) The Lich King’s Power – Naruto 15 – Orochimaru’s Fight

Blazer, returned as the Ashbringer

* (1:07:40/1:09:45) Return of the Ashbringer – Hans Zimmer – King Arthur – Hans Zimmer – Crimson Tide Theme

* (–:–/–:–) Ash and Frost Part 1 – X-ray Dog 50 – Tightwire Orchestral

* (–:–/–:–) Ash and Frost Part 2 – Immediate Music – Blasphemy 2.0 (Choir)

* (1:13:50/1:14:30) Remember Them When in Hope you Doubt – Immediate Music – With Great Power

* (1:14:32/1:14:55) “If you think that’s cool…” – Immediate Music – Desperate Hour

* (1:14:56/1:15:28) Phoenix and Frost Wyrm – Immediate Music – Serenata (Choir)

* (1:15:29/1:15:53) “Nice One!” – Immediate Music – Liberation! (Choir)

* (–:–/–:–) “I smell demons coming…” – X-Ray Dog 44 – Secret Agent

* (–:–/–:–) Monóri vs. Serphentos – Soundtracks – Mission Impossible 2 – Hans Zimmer – Injection

* (–:–/–:–) X-Ray Dog 21 – Big f’n Drums

* (–:–/–:–) “No match for me!” – Immediate Music – With Great Power

Victory of the Ashbringer

* (1:17:05/1:18:10) Retribution – Trust Company – Downfall

* (–:–/–:–) Arthas Reborn – Batman Begins Soundtrack – Corynorhinus

* (–:–/–:–) Blazer’s Final Sacrifice – Metal Gear Solid 3-End theme Harryson Gregson Williams

* (–:–/–:–) “Honor Them!” – Theme Songs – Naruto – Hokage’s Funeral Scene

* (–:–/–:–) “We had a deal…” – King Arthur Soundtrack – 02 – Woad To Ruin

* (–:–/–:–) The Tale Ends – TavernAlliance02

* (–:–/–:–) 04 – Danny Elfman – The Story…

* (–:–/–:–) 10 – Danny Elfman – The Tree of Death

* (1:26:06/1:27:58) Credits – Nightwish – Ghost Love Score

http://www.wowwiki.com/Server:Dunemaul_Europe/Tales_of_the_Past#Soundtrack_TotP_III


DIVA 202 – Back to Skool…

January 7, 2009

Jeff Wall – Vancouver based photographer – featured on the cover of vanity fair (went to school with Ian)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Wall
http://moma.org/exhibitions/2007/jeffwall/

Fungible – ability to take any piece of a production and send it overseas where it can be done faster and cheaper
Fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution, where one unit of a commodity can be exchanged for another unit of the same commodity in the same quantity and grade. Examples of highly fungible commodities are crude oil, precious metals, and currencies.”

Damien Hirst ($230 million – sold directly to auction – subverted the gallery system)

– The asking price for For the Love of God (below) was £50,000,000 ($100 million or 75 million euros). It didn’t sell outright,[32] and on 30 August 2008 was sold to a consortium that included Hirst himself and his gallery White Cube.

In December 2008 Hirst threatened to sue a 16-year old boy for £200 because he incorporated pictures of For the Love of God into grafitti stenciles and sold them on the Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damien_Hirst

Marcus Garvey
– “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Garvey

– What makes digital art history compelling is that it is as much shaped by science and technology as it is by traditional art history.

– Digital art history is thus inextricably linked to the industrial-military complex, research centres, as well as consumer culture and associated technologies.

Leonardo Da Vinci
– Drawing showing cannon trajectories over castle walls

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper (USNR 1906-1992)

– PhD in Math from Yale in 1934
– joined naval reserve in 1943 and assigned to bureau of ordinance
– went to work in UNIVAC (universal computer), and wrote the first compiler
– co-invented COBOL and gave us…
– photo # NH 96566-KN (First computer “bug” in 1945)
– found an actual moth in the relay tape for the computer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper

Dr. Vannevar Bush

– wrote “As we may think” – coordinated science to warfare
– build a computer back in 1929 – Differential Analyzer
– used the computer to design bouncing bombs used to destroy German dams during WWII
– envisioned a device called The Memex – basically an analog version of the PC, the web and google

– picture of the memex in LIFE magazine – circa 1945
– his essay predicted many technologies
“Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped in”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vannevar_Bush
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_We_May_Think
Earth versus the flying Saucers

– Hollywood used the actual computer for this film
Marshall University Differential Analyzer

Claude Shannon


– one of Bush’s graduate students – known as the “Father of information theory”
– A Symbolic analysis of Relay and Switching
– introduced to George Boole’s algebra as an undergrad
– proved that boolean algebra and binary arithmetic could be used to simplify the electromechanical relays then used in telephone
– enabled engineers to transform circuits from analog to digital realm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_Shannon

Theodor Nelson

– an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology. He coined the term “hypertext” in 1963 and published it in 1965. He also is credited with first use of the words hypermedia, transclusion, virtuality, intertwingularity and teledildonics. The main thrust of his work has been to make computers easily accessible to ordinary people. His motto is:

A user interface should be so simple that a beginner in an emergency can understand it within ten seconds.

– invented the words hypertext and hypermedia in 1961 – networked Docuverse

Douglas Englebart
– best known for inventing the computer mouse, as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs; and as a committed and vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems.

First computer Mouse

Early Macintosh Mice

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Engelbart

Marcel Duchamp
Rotary Glass Plates, 1920

L.H.O.O.Q.

– found imagery and appropriate it – READYMADE
– precursor of digital art practice
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Duchamp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.H.O.O.Q.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readymades_of_Marcel_Duchamp

FLUXUS ARTISTS
– a name taken from a Latin word meaning “to flow”—is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music and visual art as well as literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is often described as intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in a famous 1966 essay.
– series of instructions to reach an event

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLUXUS

John Cage

– pioneer of chance music, electronic music and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde and, in the opinion of many, the most influential American composer of the 20th century
4′33″ (Four minutes, thirty-three seconds) – the sound was different wherever it was played because it was silence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cage
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4%E2%80%B233%E2%80%B3

Grahame Weinbren

“The Digital Revolution is a Revolution of Random Access”
http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/6/6113/2.html
– Random Access is a basis for processing and assembling information
http://media.rmit.edu.au/students/projects/iiki/index.php/Grahame_Weinbren
http://www.yale.edu/dmca/dhtml/lectures99/weinbren.html

Sonata

– created by Grahame Weinbren, is an interactive narrative that is controllable by the viewer’s touch. The installation was exhibited internationally between the years of 1991 and 1999. Containing classical narratives of passion and violence by Tolstoy, Freud, and the Apocrypha, Sonata requests viewers to create their own narratives through interaction, and thus their own interpretations.

By touching the screen at any moment throughout the piece the viewer will affect the way the narrative continues. This includes viewing the narrative from a different perspective, superimposing future footage, or allowing a split-screen effect to show two different characters simultaneously.
http://media.rmit.edu.au/students/projects/iiki/index.php/Sonata

On Time

– one of the four short films produced for Garage Flicks. Directed by Ted Chung, with the screenplay by David Bradley Halls, and produced by Bianca Bodmer, Rich Ho Kok Tai, Elena Titova, and Vincent Schmitt. The credits also show their ‘Project mentor’ as Grahame Weinbren – his works, in my opinion, share similarities with the story of On Time. Sonata in particular as it experiments with future knowledge, just as On Time does.
http://media.rmit.edu.au/students/projects/iiki/index.php/On_Time

Howard Wise
EAI : Electronic Arts Intermix Funded by a number of American state agencies, federal agencies and organisations, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) was founded by Howard Wise in 1971 to support video art. It is a non profit making organisation. As well as video art, it now rents and sells audio, CDs, CD-ROMs and other interactive media works by artists. Web projects are also featured online. The searchable online catalogue includes artists’ biographies, descriptions of the works, QuickTime excerpts and ordering information. The website consists of an alphabetical list of authors and titles; a new artists / new titles section; audio and interactive media; selections from the video archive; streaming video, where excerpts of the video collection can be viewed; and a Resources section, which includes bibliographies and information about exhibitions and events. The Features section includes Web projects, which can be viewed online.
http://www.eai.org/eai/index.htm

John Whitney – CATALOG

– computer generated pictures in 1965 – used analog military computer equipment to create his short film CATALOG
demo reel of work created with his analog computer/film camera magic machine he built from a WWII anti-aircraft gun sight.
– Also Whitney and the techniques he developed with this machine were what inspired Douglas Trumbull (special fx wizard) to use the slit scan technique on 2001: A Space Odyssey


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Trumbull
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slit-scan_photography

Slit-scan is an animation created image by image. Its principle is based upon the camera’s relative movement in relation to a light source, combined with a long exposure time. The process is as follows:

  1. An abstract colored design is painted on a transparent support
  2. This support is set down on the glass of a backlighting table and covered with an opaque masking into which one or more slits have been carved.
  3. The camera (placed high on top of a vertical ramp and decentered in relation to the light slits) takes a single photograph while moving down the ramp. The result: at the top of the ramp, when it is far away, the camera takes a rather precise picture of the light slit. This image gets progressively bigger and eventually shifts itself out of the frame. This produces a light trail, which meets up with the edge of the screen.
  4. These steps are repeated for each image, lightly peeling back the masking, which at the same time produces variation in colors as well as variation of the position of the light stream, thus creating the animation.

Naturally, this effect is very time-consuming, and thus expensive, to create. A 10-second sequence requires a minimum of 240 adjustments.

Billy Kluver
– art and science should colaborate
– was an electrical engineer at Bell Telephone Laboratories who founded Experiments in Art and Technology. Klüver lectured extensively on art and technology and social issues to be addressed by the technical community. He published numerous articles on these subjects.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Kluver
http://www.conceptlab.com/interviews/kluver.html

Techno Viking – original has now gone viral

World of Warcraft spoof

They’re taking the hobbits to Isengard techno spoof

http://technoviking.tv/

THIS IS SPARTA!

http://failblog.org/

THE ONION

– macbook wheel – the onion spoof
http://www.theonion.com/content/index

DIGITAL ART 2ND EDITION – CHRISTIANE PAUL

RED VS. BLUE

– Halo machinima movies

The Original Human Space Invaders Performance

– props to Julaluck (aka Bob) for finding this golden nugget!

MY SECOND LIFE
– created by Douglas Gayeton – hbo bought it for $6 million – Who is the Creator?
http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/molotovalva/interview.html


Pink Floyd – The Wall

September 23, 2008
Pink Floyd - The Wall

Pink Floyd - The Wall

I first tried to watch, “Pink Floyd – The Wall” back in grade 8 or 9, but I simply couldn’t get into the music at the time as I found it too much to take in at the time. It wasn’t until after my mom passed away back in 1994, that I gave the film and the music another shot and I was simply awestruck by the spectacle of the film and the power that the music had over me.

Like the fictional character Pink, I had experienced personal madness myself the day my mom passed away and had to choose to view her body at the cancer clinic in Vancouver. As I walked into the room, I dropped to the floor and lost complete control over my emotions and wailed like a baby for God knows how long. So you can understand how I was drawn to the themes in the film and the music that reside within the songs from Pink Floyd.

Here are 4 songs/scenes from the film that are particularly memorable for me along with the accompanying animations by Gerald Scarfe:

Mother

Empty Spaces

Goodbye Blue Sky

Comfortably Numb


Thursday’s CrossFit WOD

September 12, 2008

This one made my legs weep in agony and despair…

“DIRTY 30”

30 x Squats (body only, no bar)
30 x 20 lb. Kettle Bell weight
30 x 2 foot box jump
30 x Burpies (jumping jack down to a pushup)
30 x 20 lb. Wall Ball (throw a medicine ball up against a wall about 10 feet high and catch it)

TOTAL TIME = 15:04

Afterwards, Johnny was /cry /pain /agony