By now everyone has heard about all of the bizarre “zombie-esque” attacks that have been happening across North America as of late, and the hip new drug that is being blamed for it known as Bath Salts. They’re saying that the drug has now made its way into Canada, as several incidents have been cited in Toronto and Calgary. I know everyone has been making jokes about the zombie apocalypse (myself included) and last month the CDC even had to release a statement reassuring people that zombies don’t actually exist. What’s surprising though, is that out of all of the zombie movies we’ve seen over the years, I don’t think anyone has ever thought to make drugs the root cause of the outbreak. We’ve had viruses, toxic gas, demonic possession, radiation, aliens and even cell phone signals, but no drugs as far as I know. Uwe Boll’s The House of the Dead may have come the closest because it takes place at a rave. I don’t know what’s more terrifying, the thought that we may willingly force the zombie apocalypse on ourselves because we dig drugs that turn us into violent lunatics, or the thought that Uwe Boll was the only one who predicted it in the first place.
Recently I’ve been unimpressed with Netflix Canada and their shift in priority from indie and catalogue titles to recent blockbusters, however, the discovery of Tunlr.net has made me very happy again. This site makes it possible to access the U.S. Netflix library from outside of the U.S. (along with Hulu and other services as well). So far it has worked without a hitch for me and I’ve even been able to set it up on my Playstation 3 as well. It doesn’t seem to be illegal per se and it’s also free, so hopefully the service will be around for some time to come.
As we’ve been preparing for our upcoming Batman premium podcast, I’ve been lamenting the fact that the ’60s Batman TV series is still not available on DVD. Recently there was a faint glimmer of hope when it was announced that Warner Brothers had reached a licensing deal for the show, but it turns out that was strictly for toys and other collectibles, not for DVDs. On the bright side, I discovered that Teletoon Retro currently airs Batman most nights at 9 pm and Midnight. Time to set the ol’ PVR.
With the game industry still currently experiencing growing pains related to production pipelines, labour laws and artistic credibility (among other things), I thought this Gamasutra article had some interesting perspectives on the situation. It’s called The Top 10 Things The Game Industry Can Learn from Film Production and it serves as a reminder that the movie industry went through a lot of the same problems many decades ago. Sure, the movie industry still has plenty of problems now (and we all know that it churns out plenty of crap) but I thought the points about crunch time and having a sole creative director were particularly interesting.
Just when you thought hard copies of photos were a thing of the past, Polaroid comes along and puts out a brand new Polaroid Instant Digital Camera. It’s a point and shoot camera with the ability to print a copy on the spot — a clever idea considering that most point and shoot cameras have been rendered obsolete by smartphones. Having recently taken a ton of baby photos that mostly just end up on a hard drive, I think something like this could actually be something more than just a novelty.
I haven’t been paying a lot of attention to new music lately, but I have to admit that I am excited about the upcoming debut album from Divine Fits. Britt Daniels from Spoon and Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade / Handsome Furs are teaming up with drummer Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) for a collaboration that sounds exactly like you would expect from this trio. The album is out August 28th and you can stream the songs “My Love is Real” and “Would That Not Be Nice” online now.
Lastly, a recent ruling in Europe on the resale of downloadable software could have major implications not just for the game industry but for entertainment industry as well. The Court of Justice of the European Union has found that publishers cannot oppose the resale of software that has been acquired via digital distribution, allowing users to transfer ownership to someone else. What remains to be seen is whether or not digital distribution platforms will now be required to create a way to allow people to transfer their software to others, since in many cases there is no easy method to accomplish it. Either way, the death of the second-hand market may have been greatly exaggerated.