Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tessa Dick Presents: It's a Philip K. Dick World!: California killed my Amazon store

This news has been posted in many places, including Tessa Dick's blog, about sales tax collection in California:
In an attempt to collect sales taxes from stores outside the state, the California government has decided that my association with Amazon gives them a physical presence in California, thus requiring Amazon to pay sales tax to California when people buy things from out-of-state merchants.

So Amazon has terminated all California affiliates. Of course, this means that our state government will not get the sales taxes, and they will lose a huge amount of income tax.
As Tessa adds, people like herself "the little people" are the ones getting hurt. Read more, including Amazon's response to their California affiliates, here: Tessa Dick Presents: It's a Philip K. Dick World!: California killed my Amazon store

Also see pigligpstick's blog on this.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Falling Skies

 After viewing the third episode, I'm done. I was done midway through the first episode, but hoped the show would improve. Obviously, it didn't.

It was worse than V, (the remake) but that's not fair to V, for V knew exactly what it was. V was "Murder She Wrote" with Reptilians, but that's okay. V knew that. It was predictable and very made-for-TV-ish but I liked it anyway.  It didn't take itself too seriously; just seriously enough, with all the earnest resistance fighters and the FBI suits and those lizard-aliens, and the comic book stuff, like the "soul shredder" machine.

Falling Skies takes itself too seriously. Their definite corny made-for-TV vibe, complete with hackneyed music, screams cheese all the way but it's clear the producers think that's a good thing. By the middle of the third episode I turned to my dear one and said "All they need is a slice of apple pie and a dog in this scene" -- the syrupy upswell of music and familial bonding was so damn potent. Good solid Americans fighting the fight against the invading aliens. The latter which are the only good thing about the show. Pretty cool looking multi-legged lizardish aliens called "skitters" kidnap children and use them for their own devious agenda.  (hmmm, echoes of the excellent Torchwood arc Children of Earth.)

Aside from all that, there isn't enough about the aliens reason for invading earth. Clearly Falling Skies intends to focus on the humans all the way and wants us to see things from their perspective, sucking us in to the human drama cheese first. But, except for a few vague throw away hints about the "skitters" and their robot thugs, we don't know where the aliens are from, why they're here, what their intents are. And what about the rest of earth? We can only assume all of earth is in the same boat as Anytown, U.S.A and our band of human do-gooders.

I found the show boring and insipid.

Falling Skies, TNT, Sunday nights, 8:00pm

Saturday, June 18, 2011

AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out

Very good article on the sleeze tactics of corporate greed and willfull ignorance. I "liked" their FB page to show support.
When it comes to an article, what AOL cares about is the title, and the “keywords” that will make the article more likely to show up among the top results on Google. You type phrases into “Google Trends,” and it suggests the most popular combination of words associated with that topic. You then stick those words into your title and first paragraphs. Rinse, wash, and repeat. The article itself was just ballast.
“LADY GAGA PANTLESS IN PARIS” is the example given in “The AOL Way” internal documents. That’s the best possible title. A buzz-worthy topic, a sexy result. It mattered little if Lady Gaga was actually pantless in Paris; it only had to relate somehow to the article as a whole. The entire title could be a come-on, a tease. It might well turn out that Lady Gaga was neither pantless, nor in Paris at the time. The important part was that the reader would click on those words to read the rest, thereby producing ad revenue for the websites. Words didn’t matter; stealing other people’s work also didn’t matter.

AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out

Female of the Species: CFZ Publishing

Female of the Species: CFZ Publishing

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Game of Thrones: Will the Beasts Rescue the Good?

I'm hooked on the HBO series Game of Thrones. Funnily enough, I didn't want to get into watching the series when it was being advertised for two reasons: one, I feel I watch too much television as it is (though probably don't) and didn't want to get into another series, and two, the genre didn't really grab me. My husband really wanted to see it though so I gave it a try. I was hooked from the first few moments.

For those watching the TV series, you know that last Sunday's episode was one hell of a shocker! I don't think there have been more than half a dozen television series with such outright, in your face shockers. And for those who've read the book series by George R. R. Martin, you'll know what follows, but for myself, I haven't read the books (not yet, now I plan to) so I can only speculate on future episodes.

Things look bad for just about everyone; war has already started in battles here and there and it looks like one end all war is coming. Not to mention the low humming sub-theme of "Winter is Coming..." which can only be bad. Evil spirits, assumed to be long extinct if not outright non-existent to begin with, have been waking up. Yes, things are grim indeed. Very grim.

Within the mix of imps (who is one of the sexist characters on television, okay, that might be weird, but  many women agree with me), kings, queens, heroes, villains, intrigue, betrayal, sex (good old fashioned lust filled something for everyone sex), there are the creatures. The beasts. The animals.

There are the Dire Wolves, beautiful and magical animals, one in particular. The Dire Wolves are fiercely loyal, warrior-like in the protection of their "masters," bound in an almost spiritual manner to their owners, and possess preternatural abilities, including a psychic connection.Then there are the Dragon eggs; like the Dire Wolves, no longer extant. Thought to be outright fantasy, or at least, no longer existing, three eggs lay in a chest as a novelty. They are beautiful and a curiosity, and yet... there is the hint that they may awaken.

Will it be the beasts in this story that help rescue humans in Game of Thrones? Dragons and Dire Wolves; will we see more of them in future episodes? I hope so, and I think we will.

Related posts:
Game of Thrones Second Episode: Dire Wolves
Game of Thrones: Dragon Eggs