Posts Tagged entertainment

Weekly Tags, # 7

On one of the blogs I frequent for the discussions the talk of late has been about the power less ness of the blogoshpere.  Or rather the way the blogosphere can sap the energy from acting by just blogging about acting.  One meme that appeared was the apparent lack of cross cultural exchange, ie., that everything we see (I see) comes to us through a westernized point of view.  So like a born-rich person really can’t say that they understand poverty, we can’t really say we understand what the rest of the world is really going through.  It is a point of view that is hard to deny but doesn’t seem right nevertheless.  Take for example, this blog I found on Memorial Day.  Trace back the links from the commenters and you should see what I mean.

Right now I am listening to UBUWEB.  Kenneth Goldsmith taking me through a collection of sounds and thoughts from the years 1983 to 1993.  I may not be getting cross cultural but I am crossing time cultures.

It is enough to split your personality which may be what is going on here at the SchizoFrenetic site.  With a point of view on the marketplace but quite definitely aware of the political arena too, our careerist Zak gives me quite a bit of cross culturality too.

But this site represents my week travels best I think because the week included T and I heading up to West Hollywood to listen to Nicola Griffith and Kelley Eskridge read from their writings.  Walking the streets with people of the same sex and comfortable in themselves with themselves has to be as cross cultural as you can get in this country that still has some doubts about who we all are.

My final mention for this week is TED talks.  I was pointed to it after beginning to read Jill Bolte Taylor’s My Stroke of Insight.  Technology, Entertainment, Design is a site that disproves the point of view that the internet doesn’t represent action by doing what it is about.  Grown out of a 1984 conference in Long Beach it now sponsors international array of speakers at the annual and sold out meeting.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

In addition, TEDGlobal sponsors world wide activities, and the TED Prize offers $100,000 each to three conferees to a wish to “change the world.” 

Blogging may seem like a static exercise from where one can yell, laugh, cry, and piss and moan from the silence of your lonely room but as I hope you can see from the journeys above that ain’t the half of it.

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Electronic Wonders?

It is definitely a new age.  Yesterday, I was sitting in a comfortable chair and reading my book dejour at Borders when I noticed a new display being setup.  On a two-sided kiosk, a RCA Small Wonder Camcorder, a Matsunichi 7″ Digital Photo Frame, a Sansa 1GB Express Music Player, a Sony Clock Radio w/iPod Speaker Dock, a Sansa Music Shaker for Kids, and last but not least, a Sony Book Reader were displayed and ready to test drive.  The reader even came with a 40% discount on your first downloaded Audio-book.  As I walked over for a closer look, an eager clerk intersected my path with a smile and an invitation to help.  I nodded no and went closer.

The camcorder fit snugly in my hand and immediately brought to mind how easy it would be to turn this on an unsuspecting world.  But that world would need to be deaf to not hear the audible clicking sound of its operation.  And that thought brought me to thinking about the way our world has yielded its sense of privacy.  Like Bill Maher has pointed out we can go back to worrying about that when the idiots give up their cell phones.  Or as this review at C-Net pointed out “While its video quality is only so-so, RCA’s Small Wonder EZ101 will appeal to technophobes looking for an idiot-proof way to quickly send video e-mail clips to friends and family.” 

Next in line was 7″ digital photo frame that implored the user to insert a memory card loaded with pictures and let the auto-slideshow begin.  You know I actually remember a time when people rolled their eyes at the boredom of watching someone’s home movie.  Now apparently we can’t wait to see what naughty little blooper some friend has caught on film.

Meanwhile, the Sansa 1 GB Epress music recorder was waiting for me to eagerly put the ear pads in place and listen to my favorite songs, record my own songs, or simply plug it into my computer to get ready for my next youtube/facebook, whatever. 

For a small and inexpensive player, the Sansa Express offers an impressive array of features. As noted above, there is voice recording and memory expansion. The Express also has an FM tuner with autoscan, recording, and up to 20 presets. It supports MP3, WAV, WMA (including subscription), and Audible files as well as playlists. You can even create an on-the-go playlist on the device. Alternatively, use Windows Media Player or drag and drop to transfer those and other files. Music is arranged handily into the Creative step-down interface structure. Menus are basic, but the top one is icon-driven–a nice touch. You do not get album art or photo viewing with the Express, nor is the player technically compatible with Macs, but we were able to transfer an MP3 from a MacBook Pro (the player did not dismount properly, though).

What the world really needs though is another iPod speaker dock which Sony seems ready to offer with its new 2 alarm clock radio.  Not only will you be able to iPod your listening and control it with a wonderful labor saving remote but it charges your iPod while you sleep.  Just think you’ll be able to go everywhere white noising out your world and making more money.  Oh wait, did that sound too cynical?

It wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was) that one could enjoy your own battle of the bands as each group of beach goers brought their own boom box to share the joy.  Nowadays that problem is solved with headphones or earjacks and now Sansa has added a way to keep the kids occupied with its new Shaker device.  This one is great on oh so many levels, first it’s for the little kids to start their lifetime appreciation of music even earlier than when they use to dance to the commercials on tv.  Second, it has great built in obsolesence since the memory size is only 512 MB and the battery needs changing every 15 hours.  And finally, it’s rumored to be child proof but that flap at the base doesn’t look that sturdy.  Ah well, with a price range of $27 to $35, don’t worry it’s easy to replace.

Last on the list was the item that originally caught my eye – the Sony Reader.  Unfortunately, the kiosk setup was not actually online so there was no way to test drive the reader myself.  One confusing note was provided when I discovered that the specs for the Reader were printed out on the back of the promo literature for the RCA camcorder and reverse but once that was cleared away I could still take a look and decide whether this like the other items listed above was worth its $300 price or just another in the seemingly endless stream of needless but consumerist advances that today’s economy seems to demand.

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