Daily Marauder


THIS WEEK: THE ARTIST MEETS ONE RIGHT LEG by Marauder

THIS WEEK: THE ARTIST MEETS ONE RIGHT LEG

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Monica Almeida/The New York Times

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Is it just me? I can’t be the only person alive who doesn’t understand the intrigue of The Artist…can I? It’s a silent film with a sickly sweet message crammed with actors pouring their emotions out like water from an unbridled hose. Simply stated, I’m not a fan. Clearly, the Academy does not agree; the Artist picked up 5 wins last night at the Oscars. At the very least, actor Jean Dujardin could have given us a throw-back to Roberto Benigni Oscar mayhem, but apparently Italians have a bit more joie de vivre. The Artist aside, the Oscars along with Billy Crystal, just felt a bit washed up last night. I enjoyed the 4 hours of Whitney Houston’s funeral the weekend before far more than the night honoring a bunch of films that, for the most part, were mediocre.

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Maybe the solution is to crowd source the nominees rather than giving the power to the Academy. Maybe then, there would be some actual surprises outside of Angelina Jolie’s right leg. Speaking of that, please Ms Jolie. PLEASE EAT. Till next year I suppose.

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In other news, the Samsung Galaxy Beam projects on walls, Facebook plans to release premium ads, The Oatmeal puts HBO on blast, and HTC releases the One X prompting Gizmodo drool.

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THIS WEEK: HOUSTON, WE HAVE LINSANITY by Marauder

THIS WEEK: HOUSTON, WE HAVE LINSANITY

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Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images / February 18, 2012

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Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday drew more star power than the Grammys the weekend before including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, R Kelley, Bobby Brown, and Aretha Franklin. Wait, those last two weren’t there. Bobby Brown left because of a “seating incident” and Aretha Franklin had leg issues even though she performed in concert that very night. [raised eyebrows] I thought Kevin Costner’s words concerning his work with the star on the Bodyguard were intriguing. Not only were they clearly heartfelt but they demonstrated the challenges of being a worldwide star. Incidentally, both the Grammys and Whitney Houston’s funeral both clocked in at 3.5 hrs.

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After being in NYC for 10 days, I attempted to mimic that city’s RIPocolypse love. From snow storms to Whitney’s death, everything on Foursquare is a RIPocolypse in New York City. I also wanted to see if a location of this nature would trend in Los Angeles like it trends in NYC. One problem. It never showed up in search results. I contacted one of the co-founders of Foursquare who told me the search results take a bit to update. 3 days later. Same issue. I know we’re on the opposite coast and a little bit farther south than where digital hearts show their affection, but damn it, we Angelinos are digital nerds too. Where is the love?!

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Apart from the digital snafu, I also noticed how polarizing Whitney Houston was when I asked friends to check-in to my newly dubbed WhitneyHoustonRIPocolypse. Some were eager to jump on and some simply flat out said no, not because they didn’t want to break out Foursquare, but because they didn’t “feel the love” for Ms. Houston. I do find it intriguing that certain folks feel so negative towards the pop singer because of her demons with drug abuse. I certainly don’t condone it. That said, entertainers, while making a ridiculous amount of cash, are owned by their audience, incapable of living away from prying eyes. Entertainers have the ability to inspire so many but they are human beings like all of us. Let’s be honest, we all have our demons. So, with that, I will continue to want to dance with somebody and yes, my love is your love.

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Along with the pop star’s farewell, the din of Linsanity, an homage to the popular NY Knicks player Jeremy Lin, has been reaching fever pitch. Unfortunately, ESPN made the mistake of running a racially fueled headline on Friday bringing Lin fans to punches. Thankfully for the fans, the Harvard alumnus finally joined the social network and took the dive into his first public Facebook page.

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In other news, a warmer winter has slowed sales of typical winter purchases, gossip surrounding the coming iPad 3 announcement on March 7th has erupted, and Twitter gets yet another boost from Apple, this time with the release of the Mac operating system Mountain Lion. Take that, Facebook overlords.

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THIS WEEK: DELAY TO GRAMMY & SPEED TO TWEET by Marauder

THIS WEEK: DELAY TO GRAMMY & SPEED TO TWEET

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First thing’s first, Happy almost Valentine’s Day with a little love from Google and some geeky Valentine’s Day cards.

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By now, you’re well versed in the loss of Whitney Houston Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton directly before a pre-Grammy event being thrown by the man who discovered her: Clive Davis. I recommend reading the rest of this post with the following background track. Whitney Houston’s voice has been making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end since I was a little girl. She also convinced me, incorrectly I might add, that pink eye shadow was a fantastic decision for a 7-year old. May she rest in peace.

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Last night, Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to the talented Houston belting out “I Will Always Love You” in a truly sweet and very simple performance. For all of the producers of the Grammys, please take notice of what happened in your show last night. The sad passing of Ms. Houston brought emotion back to your show. Music is the fabric which connects us together and recognizing this stitching is what transforms a show from meh to great.

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Unfortunately, CBS didn’t get the memo about the connecting powers of music. While the east coast was watching the Grammys live as it was happening in LA, the west coast had to wait 3 hours to watch a show which was happening, for some, in their own zip code. So, let me address CBS directly. Delaying your broadcast of the Grammys on the west coast is one of the most ridiculous, vile things a broadcaster could possibly do. Here are some tweets from Piers Morgan of CNN, Brian Stelter of the NY Times, & Shira Lazar of What’s Trending (formerly on CBS) outlining the failure.

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If you want to know why the entertainment business is stumbling, here is one of the best examples. While we were all tweeting away about the Grammys on the east coast, our digital counterparts on the west coast were sitting and watching the events unfold in 140 characters of text rather than in video. By the time the west coast was ‘allowed’ to watch, many social media enthusiasts had already ‘watched’ the show. The reason live events, like this one, are so powerful is based heavily on the connection we feel to family, friends, and strangers alike in different time zones taped together by the social networks. Facebook and Twitter sit us all down on our community couch, and like in Coolio’s ‘Fantastic Voyage’, we somehow all fit. Last night CBS, you disconnected us. You put us in competition with each other. You delayed a show on the west coast which was happening live IN THAT MARKET. You ran tweets on your own live feed which literally ruined the biggest moments of your own show for that audience. Please don’t cry to me about the legal ramifications continuing to persist an antiquated model. Fix it.

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Back to Miss Whitney. What you may not know about her death is that it was reported 27 minutes before major news outlets on Twitter. This, along with stories like it, represents a significant shift in the reporting of news, one that has rested in the hands of professionals with journalism degrees and now has shifted to anyone with a smart phone and a Twitter account. But slow down Gossip Girl. It’s not that simple. Twitter urges us to believe that speed should always be prioritized. Speed is pretty tasty especially when Keanu Reaves is starring. That said, there are several examples of Twitter setting the stage for misinformation.

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One such example is evident in the reporting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ “death” beginning with a tweet from NPR. Of course, Ms Giffords was shot but not in fact killed. NPR’s tweet created a cavalcade of tweets from other major media organizations including the Huffington Post and Reuters. What this represents is the classic antagonism between speed and quality. Major news organizations like the New York Times and others have to weight the information in front of them and double-check the sources before they can officially report on anything. Citizens on the street don’t have to double-check their sources and therefore speed to tweet before asking any questions whatsoever.

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So, which is better? Should the NY Times run a Twitter feed of a news story in progress on their site even before that news is verified? I try to play anthropologist on my own behavior when I’m trying to track a story of this nature. I immediately access my own Twitter feed with the anchor text of whatever I want more information about, in this case “Whitney Houston.” The sources I find there are partially verified by the fact that I follow them, increasing their accuracy at least in certain respects. I have become an editor of my Twitter feed, attempting to verify accuracy on my own, rather than waiting for the NY Times to do it. Why? We all want to be the first one to ‘break’ a story to our friends, confirming that we are in-the-know and on top of events like this one. I found out about Whitney Houston’s death in Providence, RI while visiting my mother. She had gone into a bathroom in the restaurant we were eating at and came out armed with information that another woman had told her after reading a text on her phone. While in the car on the way back home, I verified the news on my social networks, again, playing editor to the information supplied.

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In other news, Pinterest experiences the slap of the hockey stick to 10MM users drawing substantial growth from the middle of the US, one dad teaches his teenager a lesson with a 45 and her laptop. Apple rises to the top, and Redbox reverse engineers to add a streaming service.

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MISC by Marauder

MISC

Clive Davis, the renowned hitmaker, is giving up his corporate role as head of Sony’s BMG division and control of its RCA Label Group, in a shake-up that reflects the new realities of the music business. Davis, 76, is making way for Barry Weiss, a younger exec known for controlling costs. (Iwantmedia 4/18, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/business/18music.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 4/18)

Clive Davis at his traditional pre-Grammy party in February in Beverly Hills, with Alicia Keys, left, and Whitney Houston. Mr. Davis is celebrated for his ability to deliver best-selling albums. Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Universal Studios Home Entertainment took the wraps off of the studio’s first slate of movies and TV shows produced for the Blu-ray format, to be released day-and-date with standard DVD editions. Season 2 of Heroes on Aug. 26th will mark the first global Blu-ray release, followed by a pack of Universal feature films including The Incredible Hulk, Wanted, Hellboy II and the latest Mummy movie. (Cynopsis 4/18)

Heroes 2




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