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Posts tagged Entertainment

People prefer electric shocks to being alone with their thoughts
July 21, 2014 | 12:57 pm

Electric_shockI somehow missed this earlier in the month, but our friends at Boing Boing posted a link to this great little story. It's about a study performed at the University of Virginia which aimed to measure how good people are at entertaining themselves. The answer? Not so good. From the story: "They report on 11 experiments. In most, they asked participants to put away any distractions and entertain themselves with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. Over the first six studies, 58 percent of participants rated the difficulty at or above the midpoint on a scale (“somewhat”), and 42...

Amazon was the grinch that stole Britain’s Christmas
January 29, 2014 | 4:25 pm

New research data from Kantar Worldpanel will bring absolutely no comfort whatsoever to the UK's legions of Amazon haters. For the statistics in its quarterly entertainment barometer show that in the UK, "for the 12 weeks ending 22 December 2013, Amazon posted its highest ever market share and now holds over a quarter of the market (26.3 percent), a 5.9 percentage point growth compared with the same period last year." Kantar's coverage is of entertainment products in general, especially videos and music. "Amazon traditionally performs strongly in gifting at Christmas and this year was no exception," said Fiona Keenan, strategic insight...

The ‘Future’ of Entertainment Looks a Lot Like 1995
July 21, 2013 | 8:44 pm

iTunesThis weekend, we hit a milestone in my household: the Beloved finally got sick enough of the limited selection on flat-rate Netflix to venture into the pay-per-movie world of the iTunes Store, which we can access on the bedroom television via the spiffy little Apple TV box. And ... color us disappointed. We made our selection, pressed the play button and got the following screen: 'Ready to Play in 2 hours, 7 minutes.' Um ... really? What followed was almost more entertaining than the movie turned out to be: As the Beloved kept trying to reload the screen to increasingly random predictions (ready to...

Paid vs. Free Entertainment: A Case Study
February 20, 2013 | 12:28 pm

Techdirt has a great write-up about a British children's author, Terry Deary, who is on a misguided campaign against libraries. Deary believes libraries are giving away entertainment for free; he also believes they are severely damaging the book publishing industry. Techdirt's Tim Cushing argues that, notwithstanding some of the fallacies the author is operating under, in fact, many forms of entertainment these days are indeed given away for free. And of course, many others are paid for... I decided to have a quick think about the 'entertainment' we consume in my own household. How much of it do we pay for? How... founder warns media need to abandon print, go electronic
October 25, 2011 | 3:15 pm

levinHere’s another new media magnate warning old media that the time is nigh to ditch the old print and jump into the new electronic world. Harvey Levin, founder of entertainment news site, spoke at the National Press Club on Monday where he told newspaper and magazine publishers to get out of the print business and get on the web. As the Washington Post points out, it does take some chutzpah for Levin to issue prescriptions to traditional news media, given that most celebrity gossip isn’t exactly Pulitzer-quality journalism. But on the other hand, in the six years since...

Elizabeth Bear on the future of web publishing also describes its past
February 27, 2010 | 9:15 am

Elizabeth Bear. Photo taken by Catriona Sparks, used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license Earlier this month, as a guest writer on Charlie Stross’s blog, Elizabeth Bear wrote an essay about “the future of web publishing,” centering around the “hyperfiction environment” called Shadow Unit in which she takes part. I couldn’t help but be amused by the subject of the post. You see, history repeats itself. Bear et al may very well be right about being part of the “future” of Internet publishing—but in the format in which they are writing, they have also stumbled squarely onto its past. To note, I do not mean this in any derogatory sense. Though I have not read...

Two weeks with an Astak 5”: Ergonomic Factors
November 1, 2009 | 2:03 pm

000_0002_00 I have spent the last two weeks reading e-books on the Astak, and am ready to give my first impressions. The Screen First of all, the 800x600-resolution screen. I love the screen. Of course, it is probably the same screen that any non-touch-sensitive e-ink reader has, but compared to the Sony I tested before the difference is like night and day. The touch-sensitive Sony had a huge amount of glare—but on the Astak, the glare is not there. The words are ink-on-paper clear; if the background is greyer than normal book-quality paper, it is not much darker than the newsprint on which...

Paleo E-books: Catchall conclusion – From archives to zines
April 30, 2009 | 4:56 pm

image George Santayana said “Those who forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.” Certainly e-book history has been repeating—the iPhone/iPod Touch and the Kindle are standing in for the Palm PDA and the RocketBook as a new generation discovers e-books just as the early adopters did ten years ago (only a bit more successfully this time). But the history that people have been forgetting (or perhaps not knowing to begin with) is that there was a thriving electronic fiction community years before even the earliest commercial e-books were around to be adopted. Over the last four columns, I have...

Paleo E-books: The Legion of Net.Heroes
April 27, 2009 | 1:45 pm

lnh.logo This is the second in my “Paleo E-books” series looking at Internet writing communities that were producing electronic literature well before “e-books” were first popularized in the late 1990s. In this entry, I will look at the Legion of Net.Heroes (and, to a lesser extent, rec.arts.comics.creative). Like Superguy, the LNH is a shared universe centering on comic book superhero parody. However, perhaps owing to its different origin, the approach it takes is very different. The Legion of Net.Heroes The LNH had its genesis in April, 1992, in one of the free-wheeling discussions that took place on Usenet newsgroups (forums) at the height...