Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Not "The Guy"

Ms. Nancy's day out. Sometimes the hat doesn't fit.

It happens all the time in the creative arts; you take on a project with the best of intentions, contracts are signed, handshakes and smiles are exchanged. Somewhere down the line, things aren't working out - the "vision" changes, or the executive staff changes, or you just don't get your work done on time. Finally, the realization creeps in that indeed, you're not "The Guy" for this job.

The hat doesn't fit.

Restaffing, in ANY business, is a terrible process, and an occasionally traumatic one at that. Psychologists will invoke Kubler-Ross to describe the various states of mind people generally endure during these kinds of transitions; the span from denial to acceptance.

For professionals in the creative arts, it's in our best interest to get to the "acceptance" stage sooner than later. Failing to do so can stress the personal relationships upon which commercial endeavors are built. As I've stated before: it's about relationships.

And in the interests of preserving those relationships, sometimes the best thing you can do is acknowledge you're not "The Guy", the hat doesn't fit, and graciously move forward. Because, truth be told, few things make you look more foolish than a hat that doesn't fit.

Photo by Zooomr's ljosberinn.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Songfight to Song Fame

One of my favorite places for uncovering emerging talent is Songfight. Many a musical gem has been mined there (even I had an entry.....once....), and one of my continuing favorites, Melvin (aka Michael Wickware) has met with some success after a number of his songs have been signed to a film project headed by huckster Tom Green.

So from all three of us here at Jeremiah Jacobs Ltd, we wish Mr. Wickware a huge congratulations on finally making an inroad to the professional music business. I think it's long overdue.

Photo by jsompinm.

Monday, July 16, 2007

DIY Cooking: Bubba Bowls

A short vid I made showing how I create "Bubba Bowls", an easy (and yummy) comfort-food dish. These are kind of like KFC's Famous Bowls, except I don't use brown gravy.

Thank you to Josh Woodward for having his (excellent) music available via Creative Commons for endeavors such as this one.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Feature request: Online photo search

Seems like a no-brainer, but I'm amazed that nobody's implemented it yet (to my knowledge.) When I'm searching for a photo, I'd like to be able to filter by frame - i.e., I'd like to be able to search photos shot only in portrait, or landscape, or maybe even search by X-to-Y ratio (16:9, etc). The reason I think this is useful is sometimes I've got a space to fill that's already determined by layout, and it would be nice to only preview photos that already meet the physical layout requirements.

Flickr's busy censoring, so I bet Zooomr's got time to try this ;)

Thank you for listening.

Length matters.

Photo by Flickr's Focus On Me Via BoingBoing comes an interesting intellectual paper on copyright (warning: PDF), specifically examining the length of time a copyright owner's monopoly on his/her work will last. Currently, the U.S. system (the predominant model throughout the world) allows a work to be monopolized by the rights-holder for the duration of the owner's life PLUS 75 years (thank you, Sonny Bono).

Researcher Rufus Pollack has come to a different conclusion, however, suggesting the optimal term for copyright monopoly is fourteen (14) years. From his abstract:
The optimal level for copyright has been a matter for extensive debate over the last decade. This paper contributes several new results on this issue divided into two parts. In the first, a parsimonious theoretical model is used to prove several novel propositions about the optimal level of protection. Specifically, we demonstrate that (a) optimal copyright falls as the costs of production go down (for example as a result of digitization) and that (b) the optimal level of copyright will, in general, fall over time. The second part of the paper focuses on the specific case of copyright term. Using a simple model we characterise optimal term as a function of a few key parameters. We estimate this function using a combination of new and existing data on recordings and books and find an optimal term of around fourteen years. This is substantially shorter than any current copyright term and implies that existing copyright terms are too long.

While interesting (and probably correct, for that matter), this will be completely ignored by the traditional media systems who've come to depend on infinite copyright to enrich their shareholders and ceaselessly litigate against small-time infringers. The good news is, there's already an alternative in place (more or less) that gives a wider berth to legitimate uses of cultural ephemera: Creative Commons.

I have seen the future, and it is Creative Commons

Because....length, matters. :)

Photo by FocusOnMe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

(Re)Evolution of "Rain"

"Rain" as performed (originally) by SWV. Live. Often imitated. Really often. Now revolves underneath Chingy's (award winning) hit "Pulling me back." Here's how to play the chords.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Ubuntu! At last, Ubuntu!

Summary: Ubuntu rocks.

I was inspired by this video to download a version called Feisty Fawn, and after finally picking up some new computer parts at the local crack den (aka "Fry's"), set out to my first Linux desktop install.

It's really as easy as it looks, provided you have a basic understanding of how computer components relate to each other (i.e., know the difference between RAM, hard disk, CPU, etc). The install took about ten minutes (slow CDR drive), and about another 5 minutes of updates (there were 72 updates when the self-updater checked on the first boot.) Basically, if you've got a bootable hardware configuration, you can have Ubuntu up and running in about 20 minutes.

By "up and running", you're good to go for 95% of the things most people use computers for: media management (photos, music, videos), word processing, web browsing, basic gaming (cards, crosswords, math games), etc. If you're the kind of user that does most of your computing online (blogging, email, banking, etc) through a web browser, Ubuntu runs like a limber lynx- on a $300 computer!- and I'll bet most users won't know the difference.

Web Video: A Feature Request

YouTube. UStream. Metacafe. Current. Love 'em all.

Here's a humble feature request: I'd like to be able to bookmark not just the video, but a specific point (or series) in the video's timeline. Currently, web users have to link to the video, and notate the link with "forward to 10:23" or something similar. Someone watching the video has to let the thing cache all the way up to that point to watch.

Being able to link directly to points in a video's timeline would make for a handy feature, methinks.

Can you think of any other features that would be handy for web-based video providers? Leave 'em in the comments.

We all scream for UStream!

Last month I toyed around with as a solution to videoconferencing. I've been long seeking a solution that will allow me to conference with multiple people and multiple mediums (read: video and audio.) Ideally, I'd like to be able to switch between a cam and a screen capture, ala Camtasia, and broadcast in stereo audio (FM quality at LEAST). The idea being that I can work remotely with producers; they can listen to cue's-in-progress and give notes while I'm in the production process. My current workflow involves "flattening" mixes to files (usually an MP3 or Windows Media), emailing said file, then waiting for notes on that before continuing. Short circuiting that process a bit would be....nice.

I'd toyed around with UStream, but it's limitation was that it (understandably) wants to use a voice-quality, mono source. While this is probably good for the bulk of Ustream broadcasts, it would be nice to at least have the option (paid even!) to broadcast in higher-quality.

But I digress..... I tried out Ustream again today, this time using my mic to pick up whatever was in the room. I'm not sure exactly what about me is compelling enough to want to watch me noodle around in my studio, but it can't be any more boring than watching Chris Pirillo surf the internet.....