So as it turns out, these pesky little blog posts don’t just write themselves. I’m falling behind again, partially due to lack of time, but also because I haven’t been feeling the urge to write anything “off-topic” as of late. I have a handful of drafts started on a handful of different topics, but I can’t seem to find the motivation to finish them off. Perhaps weekly mega posts are a more realistic goal. We are hoping to redesign Film Junk sometime in the near future, and I’d like to set it up so that it doesn’t require daily attention from me. At any rate, I am now trying to avoid writing a review that I need to write for Film Junk, so procrastination has inspired me to pass along another batch of random links right here instead.
I know I’m EXTREMELY late to the party on this, but I recently discovered Grooveshark and have been using it to listen to music at work a lot lately. I’m not sure how much longer it will be around for since they’re currently being sued by all the major labels but it made me realize how close we are to storing absolutely everything in the cloud. We don’t have Spotify yet in Canada, but another streaming music service from France called Deezer is supposed to be launching here soon.
Speaking of the cloud, the Megaupload shutdown and subsequent arrests are continuing to send shockwaves through the online file sharing community. Filesonic has also recently disabled sharing along with a number of torrent sites such as BT Junkie. And yet, reports continue to indicate that online piracy has not decreased as a result, and hacker group Anonymous now claim to be working on their own file sharing service. Something tells me that the RIAA and MPAA are fighting a battle they can’t possibly win.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is developing his own TV series about a rock band on the verge of breaking up who enlist the help of a therapist to work it out. That’s funny… sounds a little bit like a certain Metallica documentary we already know and love. FX have picked up the show, which is a half-hour comedy co-written and executive produced by Dana Gould (The Simpsons). Consider me interested.
Valve launched a Steam mobile app a couple of weeks ago for both iOS and Android. It mainly just lets you keep in touch with friends on the network and purchase games, but I can’t help wondering if there might be something more planned down the road. Would it be possible for Steam to start selling mobile versions of games through this app as well? I’m not sure that Apple would allow them to bypass the App Store like that, but it’s certainly an intriguing thought. For now, the app just makes it even easier to binge on Steam sales… perfect!
After years of neglect, it appears that The Cartoon Network and Adult Swim are finally moving forward with plans to launch in Canada. The move is part of a partnership with Teletoon, the Canadian specialty channel that already currently airs a lot of their programming. There was a time when I would have killed to have access to The Cartoon Network just for the retro cartoons, but now all that stuff is easy to find on DVD or elsewhere. I guess it will be nice to not have to wait a year to see new seasons of Adult Swim shows though.
If you grew up on 8-bit video games, specifically the Nintendo Entertainment System, you owe it to yourself to play Abobo’s Big Adventure. This fan-made Flash game packs a ton of nostalgia into a polished package that is surprising fun to play. It kind of makes you wonder why Nintendo doesn’t do something like this and bring all of their characters together into one game… the more obscure the better! I think I might even have to invest in an NES USB controller just to get the proper Abobo experience.
Perhaps the weirdest news story I read all week had to do with a scientific study on “flow” — that is, the state of mind while performing a task where you are at the peak of concentration and focus. It turns out that by zapping certain areas of the brain, they can simulate the flow state and increase your skill in a particular activity, allowing you to perform at the same level as someone who has had years of practice. Basically, it’s like you can “level up” without actually putting in the time. Pretty soon we’re going to be popping in brain implants to install new abilities. I’m so glad to be living in the future.