24
Aug
2010

A weekly television series about a zombie apocalypse? I can only imagine what the production costs on this thing are going to be.

Based on the comic book series from Image Comics, The Walking Dead will be a weekly series to be written, produced and directed by Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile).  It centers around a law man named Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) who gets injured in the line of duty and falls into a coma.  When he awakens, he discovers the world has suffered a plague outbreak that turns people into zombies.  (Um … didn’t 28 Days Later do this several years ago?)

Convinced that his wife and daughter somehow survived the outbreak, he sets off on a crusade to find them, encountering other survivors a long the way.

The series premieres on AMC on Oct. 31st, and as I said, I can only imagine what a show with this obvious production qualities is going to cost on a weekly budget.  The make-up budget alone must be gigantic.  Either way, it looks interesting enough to at least check out when it premieres.

23
Aug
2010

writingThere are times when you wonder if there are any brains in government at any level.  The city of Philadelphia is definitely making me wonder.

It seems that Philadelphia has determined since bloggers are earning such huge amounts of money, that we are businesses and they must get a “business privilege license”.  This little license will either cost you $50 a year or $300 for a lifetime one.

All of this came to light according to the Philadelphia City Paper, when Marilyn Bess was sent a letter back in May demanding she get a license due to her blog, Philly Organic.  Ms. Bess works in this site infrequently, and on occasion writes some posts for eHow.  She says over the last few years she has made a total of $50 from her various excursions into writing.

There is one major problem with the situation of her blog, however, and that is the fact that it is hosted on WordPress.com.  For those of you unfamiliar with the site, it is a blog host that allows you to st up a free blog, but it strictly enforces a “no advertising” rule on the site.  Since they host you for free, they don’t see why you should be making any money either.  I’m not quite clear how she made her $50, but it certainly wasn’t from her blog.

It seems Philadelphia isn’t a fan of writers, period.  If you are a freelance writer, you are also expected to get a business privilege license, and then pay the city taxes on your earnings in addition to what you pay the state and federal.  As it is described in the article, any activity done with the potential of making a profit, whether it did or not, is expected to have one of these licenses.

I’m sorry, but they are out of their ever loving minds.  A freelance journalist is nothing more than an employee who just moves around from job to job.  You know why blogs keep us on a freelancer status?  So they don’t have to pay any benefits or anything else on us.  We’re already paying for everything, so, yes, please take some more of our money.

As for blogs needing a license … do you have any clue how much revenue is generated?  This is far from a money making operation.  In fact, I lose money every month.  There is also the question about what happens with the blogs where they don’t identify where they are?  Sure Ms. Bess had her city in the title, but what if the blog has no identifying marks, how are you going to track down every blog?  That isn’t going to work so well, now is it?

I understand all governments are hurting for cash, but come on, there is a point where it just becomes silly.  So, Philadelphia, I’m coming to town next month on vacation, and I will be writing while I’m there, do you expect me to pay you anything?  Good luck with that.

22
Aug
2010

emmyThe first batch of Emmys has been given out, this time in the oddly named “Creative Arts” ceremony as it deals with things like make-up and photography as well as some acting statuettes are given out. Awards are odd.

As you could see from the massive list of 2010 Emmy Nominations I posted last month, there was no way all of them could be given away during the televised ceremony.  The “Creative Arts” categories are done a week prior, and it’s kind of considered where the less important awards are dealt with.  This led to some annoyance from Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor, as the Best Reality Host category got moved to this night for the first time this year.

That aside, there were some notable wins this year such as Betty White winning for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy for her job hosting Saturday Night Live.  John Lithgow won for Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his recent stint on Dexter.  Neil Patrick Harris won for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearance on Glee. HBO’s The Pacific picked up five Emmys, all technical, but still nice.

You can see the full list after the cut.

Continue Reading ->

22
Aug
2010

writingThis week brings you 50 posts from the start of me beginning a new count.  Who knows how many I will get to this time over the next 52 weeks.

FiveMinutePhotographer.com

FunJug.com

Mobile.BLORGE.com

Photo.BLORGE.com

RememberingChristmas.com

SeanPAune.com

SpookieBits.com

Tech.BLORGE.com

TechnoBuffalo.com

21
Aug
2010

writing2,353 articles … that’s how much at least this blogger can produce in a year.

I started keeping count of my article count on Aug. 17, 2009, and through Aug. 16, 2010 I wrote 2,353 blog posts by my count. (I just finally had time to count them up)  I think I may have missed one or two, but that’s the number I’m going with.  Honestly, some of them are pretty short, like those I write for FunJug, but they still take time to work on.

So, how does this break down?

45.25 average per week

6.45 per day

This year is going to be higher as when I started keeping count I was doing 20 to 25 per week, but I’m now running around 50 or so per week, so this year’s count is already off to a higher start.

As I’m now the Editor-in-Chief of TechnoBuffalo, suddenly people seem to think I have some sort of sage knowledge about writing, and I’ve been asked how I come up with so many ideas for posts, and how I manage writing so many in a week etc.  None of these questions are easy to answer, but I do laugh when I think back to working for Wizard in the 1990′s and how I would stress out about writing a 600 word column PER MONTH.  And then when I added a second monthly column at Entertainment Retailing, I thought I was going to lose my mind!  How could anyone write that much each month?  It was insanity!

I now write 500 to 600 word per hour when I’m going at full speed.  On any given day I produce well over 2,000 words, but get into the 3,000 range at times.  My current self laughs at my 1990′s self.

To be honest, even I’m amazed at how many articles I turned out over these past 12 months, but I think it’s safe to say that my blogging days are a long ways away from being over.

20
Aug
2010

Techmeme wasn’t playing nice tonight … darn them.

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20
Aug
2010

It’s episode #109 of Scattercast and I need to sleep in a bed!

AC is still broke … grrrr

Here’s an idea, act like a professional.  What a crazy idea!

Couple other things.

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subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

19
Aug
2010

This is one of those nights where we hit all sorts of subjects, but those are usually some of our favorites.  One of the big ones being Facebook launching its location based feature … oh the pain.

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And a video to go with the title of this episode.

19
Aug
2010

When you think of Las Vegas, what first pops into your head? If their advertising is doing its job, you think of the slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”  You think gambling, gangsters, the Rat Pack, bodies in the desert, legal whore houses (outside of Las Vegas proper) and so on … and, oh yeah, those evil, evil hula hoops!

The Las Vegas City Council wants to ban hula hoops from the area known as the Fremont Street Experience.  Apparently there is talk of restricting people to doing it in something called “free expression zones” so that they don’t impede pedestrian traffic walking through the tourist attraction.  As with any pubic decision like this, there are lots of comments on both sides, and they both make valid arguments, but then you go “… wait a minute … this is Vegas!”

It seems skateboarding and roller blades have already been banned from the area, and hula hoops are being used in promotions for businesses in the area, which drew the attention.  The new rules would restrict people with hula hoops to a 12′ x 100′ area, but some people are saying this is a restriction of free speech/freedom of expression.  You know, I’m all for free speech, but … um … it’s a freakin’ hula hoop.

If this happened anywhere else in the country it would just be ignored, but when you’re a city known for your decadence, then this just gets plain old funny.  Next they’ll be banning Elvis impersonators!

18
Aug
2010

Welcome to the first episode of our new theme nights, Cool Stuff Wednesdays!  Enjoy!  (although this week’s episode starts with me ranting …)

Oh, and make sure to tune in for domain name buying excitement!

And the coolest item of the week:

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Video of one of the cool items:

18
Aug
2010

Each year Beloit College makes a list for its professors about the things the incoming freshman have never known in life. This list has gained some notoriety over the years, and I was reminded of it this week when listening to The Grizzly Bear Egg Cafe podcast and they were mentioning it, so I thought I would address the ones that me feel really old.  Remember, this class was born in 1992 and will graduate in 2014.

1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.

I was not aware they had stopped teaching this in schools.  What the heck?!?

8. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.

Wow … I had forgotten we used to not pay any attention to these folks.

11. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.

Oof, that really does make me feel old.

19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.

This one doesn’t make me feel old, it just makes me grateful the wires no longer exist!

26. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.

I bet they’ve never seen school films with out of sync audio either.  Poor kids.

27. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.

I remember saving up for my first one.

28. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.

I haven’t worn a watch in years, but I still find myself looking to my wrist every so often to check the time.

32. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

Ouch.

50. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.

Thank goodness for that.  I don’t miss screw on caps in the least.

68. They have never worried about a Russian missile strike on the U.S.

This I’m kind of jealous of.

You can see the full list over at the school website.  You can tell they were reaching on some of them, but oh well.  Still, it’s amazing to think how quickly some things have changed, and things that have disappeared from out lives you just didn’t even really notice.  (Although I can’t stress how happy I was to be done with phone cords …)

17
Aug
2010

Steven has not yet accepted “the Jobs” into his life, and I am trying so hard to make him see the light, and how much better his world would be if he just would accept the inevitable …

And otherwise we talk about a lot of very stupid tech news.

Oh, and make sure to tune in for domain name buying excitement!

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Stare into the face of evil …