June 15, 2011 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Warning, the following piece concerns the touchy subjects of Casey Anthony and Sarah Palin. This isn’t however my views on them per se. Most of you can, by now, divine my takes on a irresponsible party-girl parent believed to have drugged and killed her kid, and an irresponsible party-line-towing girl who’s probably never heard of William Dawes and probably thinks the Townshend Acts were a side project of The Who’s guitarist. No, no opining on those subjects here. Rather, this is about the media coverage of said subjects.
If you don’t live in Central Florida, consider yourself lucky (for more than one reason), in that you haven’t been subjected to the non-stop media coverage of the Casey Anthony Trial. That is, unless you watch nothing but HLN – then you’re screwed (for more than one reason).
From 9-5 (and then some), Monday thru Saturday, network TV is held hostage by court proceedings. It’s the OJ trial all over again. Everything is preempted. No soaps, no gameshows, no talksho… hmm, what was the problem again?
Ok, so the trial is on par with anything produced in a studio geared for those home sick from work and school. But Saturday?! I thought the courts adjourned for the weekend. Do we really need this cutting into Saturday Morning TV too? Not that there is anything good on Saturday morning anymore.
Ok, look, so I blew my argument out of the water. The trial isn’t cutting into anything important. That doesn’t change the fact that all this coverage is grossly unnecessary. HLN has the same coverage, with the same inane analysis as all the rest. Isn’t that enough?
Networks, are you really trying to boost your ratings with this drivel? It’s not a ratings war if you’re all broadcasting the same program. And your ratings mean nothing if you’re not showing ads. And HLN, you’re taking commercial breaks?! Who the heck gets sponsors for a horrific murder trial?
I mean, this isn’t some world unifying moment that deserves simulcast – like a new Pope or Hands Across America. This is grizzly imagery and long boring interviews that caters to a select few morbid individuals… like pay-per-view wrestling. Which brings me to my point (finally!).
There is, alas, an audience for this. Why else would the nightly “world” news programs re-cap the day for those who didn’t DVR it. Why not make it pay-per-view? It’s already a highly billed spectacle, why not make some money off of it? You know, recoup some of the $500,000 already blown on this ordeal so far.
Don’t think it would fly? Tell that to the black-friday-style masses (link to CNN) waiting in line at the courthouse for front row seats. Everyone wins! The state makes money, all the jilted crime groupies get a good view (sans the proximity to other crime groupies), and children on summer break without the refuge of Cartoon Network won’t get scarred for life from the gritty pictures of a three-year-old’s rotting corpse.
Now on to coverage of other grizzly details… Mama Grizzly details (har har har ).
Over the past week now, “journalists” have been dispatched to Alaska where 25,000 pages of Sarah Palin’s emails were released to the public. This C.F. is result of a mess of Freedom of Information Act requests filed back when it may have been relevant in 2008, and deals with her time as governor of Alaska.
And, like most fishing expeditions, everyone came back empty handed. They come home, only to sit around the anchor table and spin self-indulgent yarns about the harrowing experience about how the big one got away. Needing validation, they turned this non-event into a self-referential meta-story (aka fish sticks), featuring video clips of dozens of paper boxes on dollies and all sorts of folks leafing through mounds of paper.
Mounds of paper? Of E-mails? Mounds of paper… 24,000 pages worth of E-mail… ELECTRONIC MAIL!
Why the dryad would you print out 24,000 pages of E-mail? And then fly TO said E-mail? This is the blankety-blank digital age folks. Come on!
Maybe I’m looking at this from a copy-jockey’s perspective. Someone comes to my counter and wants 24,000 pages printed, it’s a big deal. A champagne-corks-flying-burn-the-mortgage-the-farm-is-saved deal, especially in this economy. Assuming state and/or media outlet contract pricing, its like .04 a page (roughly average amongst the big 4)… That’s $960 bucks right there. And, since there was at least 17 separate FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests (link to ABC News), I can only assume by the sight of all those boxes more than one set was made.
Let’s assume just the major players got them: ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, the AP, Reuters, The NY Times and CNN. That’s nearly 200,000 pages – over $7000 in pulp and toner, nevermind the plane fares, lodging and pooper-scooper fees after the journalists crapped themselves over the possibilities!
And then scanning it? Some news agencies have scans of printed emails up on their website. Digitally scanned images of printed documents that were digital to begin with? Words cannot fashion a decent simile for this, it’s so stupid. Print to PDF anyone? Anyone? Adobe Acrobat X Pro’ll run you less than a set. CutePDF is flippin’ free!
Again, walk into the average copyshop, that’d run you .25 a page… 6 grand.
So, for one set printed out and scanned back in you could distribute 50 preloaded Kindles, or around 2000 custom gold-plated laser-engraved 4gb flash drives.
Maybe next we can put the scans into a text-to-speech reader, and press a 300 vinyl record collectors set. Better yet! Platinum records! Send it off into space ala Voyager. It’ll give aliens something to listen to after watching the myriad of TV transmissions from the that stirring daytime serial, The Case Against Casey Anthony.
August 29, 2010 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Seventeen years is an unfathomable amount of time to be fathoming, especially when there’s undies to be packed. It’s enough time to be born and go college picking. It’s enough time to age a really fancy cheese. It’s enough time to get to Mars and back and run around the talk show circuit.
And yet, it’s been that long since I’ve been to that rhinestone oasis that is Las Vegas. ‘Twas the summer of ’93, and was the launching point of an unforgettable months long road trip with my dad. A road trip that spawned my love of jackalopes and disdain for the Wisconsin Dells. They know what they did.
Being 13 at the time, I obviously didn’t have an appreciation for the neon around me. I also didn’t have a blog and smart phone to send in constant updates and posts, committing my experiences to the electronic ether. Neither did anyone else at the time, come to think of it. Something else to not fathom in this day and age.
Oddly enough, the Vegas of the present, from what I can see of the cable travel logs, would appeal more to my 13 year old self. Luckily, I never much matured past fifteen.
Accompanying me on this trip is my long time attorney-comma-spiritual-adviser-slash-good-luck-charm – Dr. Toad. Many summers ago I liberated him from a Jersey shore skill crane, and since then he’s become a mascot on such gaming junkets – helping to win skee ball points and release captive brethren from vending machines.
How much aid he brings to this venture is up in the air. Lately the good doctor’s been saying he’s not been feeling like himself. He says he feels like a little stuffed mushroom man. I tell him of course he does, he IS a little stuffed mushroom man.
For some reason he never believes me when I remind him of his metaphysical state.
C’est la vie…
But the gaming will be only a small part of this trip. The main focus will be upon Photoshop World – the three to four day pixel manipulating madness. I chickened out last year, and the fall edition was in Orlando… which meant a lot of commuting : /
I have no idea what to expect. I mean, I’ve been using Photoshop for years. That’s no big deal It has only been in recent months that I’ve actually entered the fringes of the Photoshop community… forums, blogs and the like. But now I hurl myself into the heart of it. Should be interesting.
It’s really the first vacation I’ve gone solo on, so my stomach is full of butterflies who’re celebrating new years eve a bit early. But it’s more than a vacation. It’s more than learning a crap ton of Photoshop and connecting with people (theoretically) on my wavelength.
This is practice.
Journaling from a distance. Moblogging some call it. For the whole week I’ll be attempting to get my Tweet legs blog daily about this event. Get a feel for it, ’cause in a few years I hope to cover the the 2012 London Olympics for the New World Otter here. And, if I can’t do it here in my homeland… how can I expect to do it in a place that doesn’t speak American?
More to follow, now to try to get some zzz..ZZZ…zzz And when I get back, I really need to fix this place up… its in no shape for regular postings : p
April 22, 2010 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Well, we all know that C.E.O.s want more greenery in their office, whether it be the almighty dollar or just a nifty little putting space in corner. But, in honor of Earth Day, let’s talk about non-decadent green – environmentally correct office products!
Here’s just a small smattering of what’s out there Read more
November 28, 2009 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
There are a lot of senior citizens in my area. This is, after all, Florida. And contrary to popular belief, not all of them are technologically challenged. One of my neighbors was a lead programmer on the DARPA net project after his days doing communications on a nuclear sub. So they can know their stuff. But, a majority don’t.
One such case still baffles me. It was the morning of the launch and an older gentleman (in his 80′s) was eagerly waiting at the door. First in line; a queue of one. That was a bit disappointing since 5 guys had worked 11hrs overnight, getting the place looking like the Microsoft equivalent of a Mac store. Read more
November 22, 2009 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
So a month and a half ago I bought a brand new computer because nothing was wrong with my previous one. Not a thing. Ergo, it had to go. It was XP and reliable, and I needed Vista, so I too could share in the woes and gripes of the customers that came in the store. I like to try to empathize, even though my senses of apathy and contempt have way surpassed my conventional 5 senses.
May 27, 2009 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Today I am a plumber.
But not just any plumber… I am a vigilante plumber. The Phantom Plunger. I didn’t choose this life of clearing errant drains, it was thrust upon me out of desperation – for, no matter where I go there seems to be a jammed potty. A jammed potty that needs JUSTICE… or a good snaking. Read more
May 11, 2009 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
My place of employment is in a unique position in this spiraling economy… we are desperate for new hires! I am not at liberty to mention where I work nor the geographic local it’s in. Suffice it to say if you come across a sun bleached, weather beaten, semi-laminated sign saying “We’re Hiring”, chances are you’ve found it.
Goodness knows its not for lack of warm bodies beating down our door. We average about seven applicants a day, and print out about 50 applications a week. So far, however, the warm body bit has been the only qualification these dregs have met (and some I doubt have that much going for them). Read more
August 14, 2008 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
Some of you (none of you) have been wondering, “Ryan, where’s the name ‘Rokuzen’ come from?” Well, in the spirit of filling space, here’s the scoop:
In 1998, my first year in college, I was the proverbial noob when it came to the Internet(s). Thought it only being about two years old in mainstream years, I really hadn’t missed all that much. It would take me an additional three months to realize there were computers in my dorm’s basement that were available for student use. Not too swift on the uptake me.
When I began making friends they began asking me what was my email? Screen name? Aim? Concepts I had no clue about. The closest to these was my Mechwarrior call sign on an un-networked computer in another state. It wasn’t till a nerdly-wise pal came to my aid… mainly because she was tired of tracking me down the old fashioned analog way (read: foot). Thanks Laura!
Screen name…. identity for the internets… but what?
July 24, 2008 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
July 11th, Dalas Texas… all was going as smooth as could be (read: not very) during a county commissioners meeting until the Santa Ana winds brought in a stiff breeze of stupidity.
During the meeting the conditions of the growing bureaucracy were compared to a black hole. That’s when the breeze blew clear through the ears of Commissioner John Wiley Price and out his mouth who exclaimed it was more like a “white hole” and demanded an immediate apology for the metaphor. Some judge decided to chime in too. Both Price and the judge are black. (news source)
March 13, 2007 by Ryan Livingston · Comments Off
It was reported today by various news outfits that Viacom will be suing Youtube for the tune of ONE BILLION DOLLARS (keep that number in your head for a moment) for copyright violations and that type of stuff.
Viacom is complaining that the site is using material from such hits as the Daily Show, South Park, Spongebob, David Letteman, etc etc, without permission.
They are complaining now… This instant… Only recently…