Posts Tagged ‘really’
The amiable Scrubs actor’s crowdfunding project has resulted in both major fan support and some serious criticism. So, what’s the truth?
Via: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
How did the smiley doctor from a cult favorite sitcom become the biggest lightning rod in Hollywood and on the internet?
Last month, Zach Braff launched a Kickstarter drive to finance a new feature film, Wish I Was Here; he had already written the script, about a struggling actor trying to balance fatherhood and his artistic ambition, and he would serve as director and star as well.
The film hit its $ 2 million goal in just a few days (it’s now at $ 2.6 million), but it also earned him scorn. Bloggers and industry members snarked over Twitter — Tim Heidecker wrote out a particularly cruel fake scene for the film — and independent filmmakers debated whether the influx of celebrity-driven projects would bring more attention to Kickstarter (as Braff had promised) or deplete the pool of money for those that truly needed it.
“We've been living both under the microscope and in the spotlight at the same time,” Stacey Sher, the producer on his film, told BuzzFeed, noting her surprise at the attention the campaign has garnered.
Braff took to Twitter and media appearances to quiet the storm, but it began anew on Wednesday with The Hollywood Reporter's report from Cannes that the movie had secured “traditional” financing from Worldview Media. The reaction was swift; bloggers called for the over 38,000 people that have backed Braff's film to pull back their pledges, since it seemed that he didn't really need their cash at all.
Once again, Braff had to put out a fire. The money from Worldview, as he wrote in a note on Kickstarter and Sher told BuzzFeed on Thursday, is not so much financing as it is a loan, meant to help him start production while he awaits the funds he earned on Kickstarter and from selling the rights to distribute the film to foreign countries, a process happening at Cannes right now. Worldview isn't giving him money to make the movie so much as giving him a bit of cash now in exchange for repayment — with interest — in the future.
“Normally, when you pre-sell a film in foreign, you end up going to secure a bank loan because you cannot get that money until you deliver the film,” Sher said. “So that's what is referred to as gap financing. A bank takes a service charge for that. It usually takes 10 weeks to secure a bank loan. Because of our schedule for making the film, which is, we begin principal photography in the first week of August, we don't have the time to get at traditional bank loan against our foreign pre-sale agreements… Worldview will provide that right away for us in exchange for the same kind of fees a bank would get and other things a bank wouldn't get because we don't have enough time to get a bank loan.”
This particular project has been about a year in the making, though Braff had been working on scripts since Garden State proved a surprise hit in 2004. In 2011, free of his commitment to the hit sitcom Scrubs, the New Jersey native mounted his theatrical writing debut, the Off-Broadway play All New People.
“He did his play that summer in New York, which also grew out of the frustration of him being a personal iconoclastic filmmaking voice, but it didn't really translate readily to what's going on right at this moment in mainstream Hollywood,” Sher says. He also began writing with his brother Adam the script that would become Wish I Was Here, which he finished last summer.
Braff has explained that the project, a follow-up to his sole previous directorial effort, 2004's Garden State, was too personal for him to subject it to the creative interference — or meddling — of the financiers that usually back independent films.
Sher read it this past winter and signed on to produce along with her business partner, Michael Shamberg. She was surprised, she says, that they weren't finding the money to mount what was not a sequel to Garden State but at least, as she calls it, “an emotional kindred spirit.” Today, Hollywood places a much higher value on tentpole action movies, the big summer blockbusters like Iron Man and Transformers that can return megabucks around the world if successful; they swing for the fences, hoping for a grand slam instead of stringing together solid singles and doubles.
And so, Braff and Sher took stock of what they thought producing the film would require, financially, and saw an uncertain road ahead.
“Foreign sales is a very quirky market, and what is valued and what isn't valued explains the kind of packages we get in the multiplex sometimes, where people go, 'How did that cast come together?'” she says. “Well, it's a function of how you pre-sell foreign and the eccentricities and complications of independent film finance. And basically we just decided to take a risk.”
In March, Rob Thomas launched the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign, breaking crowdsourcing records with a nearly $ 6 million haul. It became clear that Kickstarter could be used to finance a multimillion-dollar movie, though without the built-in fan base of the cult CW hit, there was some uncertainty whether Wish I Was Here could be one of them. There has also been an element of critical derision of Garden State, a sort of backlash to what was seen as a defining indie film that is now both loved and tweaked for its quirks, which made things even more uncertain.
They decided to take the leap, anyway, and made the crowdfunding site one of three avenues they'd take to reaching the $ 5-6 million budget. The other two would be whatever they could earn in foreign distributor fees, and then Braff's own money, which Sher calls “a very large contribution.”
“I'm not taking a fee on the film, people aren't taking fees, and those that have to take fees are working for scale,” Sher says, defending her star against charges that, as a millionaire making a continuous income via Scrubs syndication, he's lining his pockets' with fan money. “That's one of the things that has been odd about some of the stuff that's been written.”
In his note last night, Braff explained the financing situation and then offered fans a chance to take back their money.
“Let's be frank. There are people out there who don't want this to work. There are people out there rooting for me and you (if you're a backer) to fail,” he wrote. “There are bloggers writing hateful things about me. I can take it. I'm kind of used to it. I hope you can. But if you feel misinformed or you no longer like this, you can cancel your support anytime in the next 8 days.”
Before he wrote that note, it was announced earlier Wednesday that Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad had been cast in the film, something that Sher says was a product of the unique approach they have taken to making the project.
“Worldview has no creative control over the film. None of our partners have creative control over the film,” she says. “When people say Zach found full financing, that's just not true. If we wanted to give everything away, the fact that his film could be taken away from him, that he wouldn't have control over who he cast, then we would have taken the traditional model… Because of our 38,000 backers to date, we can cast Josh Gad for a part that somebody would have wanted a much larger star for based on foreign value.”
Most stories based on the THR report have been updated with the clarification Braff provided last night, with criticism at least slightly muted for now.
The SEC is currently evaluating Slated, an online exchange with which investors can put money into a film project and receive financial returns, not just the prizes — T-shirts, digital downloads, set visits — that can be offered to Kickstarter contributors. That could quiet the criticism that projects like Braff's receive, though Slate's launch date is still in question.
There remains a debate to be had over whether it's helpful or right for mainstream filmmakers to be using what was initially meant to be a platform for truly independent artists to make their projects outside the mainstream system. Perhaps more importantly, whether the enthusiasm for these seemingly unlikely projects will change traditional financiers' minds about funding them also remains to be seen.
FuelBand vs Fitbit: Which Exercise-Tracking Device Is Really Better
The sensor sends information from the shoe to the band about where you've run or walked, your heart rate, calories burned, and pace. It comes in white/black, red, yellow, and black/blue. iPod Nano ($ 149 from Apple, syncs with Nike+ data.) Nike+ Kinect …
Read more on San Francisco Chronicle
An excerpt from Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen's “The New Digitial Age”
Microsoft's Kinect, a hands-free sensor device for the Xbox 360 video-game console that captures and integrates a player's motion, set a world record in 2011 as the fastest selling consumer-electronics device in history, with more than eight million …
Read more on MSNBC
Microsoft & Pizza Hut Pair Up For Xbox 360 App – Speak Your Orders with Kinect!
The app will include the restaurant's full menu and customers will use the standard controller or gesture control through Kinect's motion sensor to scroll through the options and can verbally call out additions to their orders as they appear on screen …
Read more on Gadget Helpline (blog)
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Question by Gears 2 Pro: What are some really good cheats for Guitar Hero 3 on Wii?
on youtube I’ve seen a few people playing on expert on songs like through the fire and flames and they weren’t even touching the guitar so i kinda want something like that but i’ll take anything that comes to mind.
Answer by ironskull41
go to gamefaqs.com
What do you think? Answer below!
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Tech companies promised to hire graduates of a new San Francisco job training program in exchange for tax breaks. The question is, how do you break into the same tech world that cast you out — or wouldn't normally welcome you in the first place.
Last Thursday, about 175 people filled Zynga’s downstairs basement, sipping free wine and beer, listening to a DJ spin house music, playing video games, and schmoozing. The party, called “Nerd Underground,” was the first of a series of monthly networking events to be held at big tech companies around San Francisco.
The guest list had filled up quickly, and people who didn't RSVP were being turned away at the door. About 50 employers and recruiters showed up from tech companies in and around the city — not quite A-listers like Twitter, Google, or Facebook, but solid companies such as Practice Fusion, Say Media, CBS Interactive, and OneWorld Communications. People were getting leads, or at least it felt that way: A creative director at Zynga, for example, showed me a nicely designed business card she had just received from a designer. She is hiring, and she plans to follow up.
The attendees of the event weren't your standard twentysomethings. Many were older, in their forties and up — ancient to youth-obsessed start-ups and tech companies accustomed to hiring straight from top universities. Some had been out of work for years, having held senior tech jobs in the past. Other attendees were much younger, coming to Zynga's vast, whimsically decorated headquarters from some of the city's most impoverished neighborhoods.
The crowd came from TechSF, the city's new technology job training and placement program. In April, when they graduate, they hope to rejoin the same tech and start-up community that either cast them out or never welcomed them in the first place.
But breaking into the tight-knit group of mostly white, college-educated men, most of whom have preexisting social ties, isn't just a matter of learning how to program or write a résumé. It's a much harder problem than that — and one that Silicon Valley doesn't seem keen to solve on its own.
“It has been four years of frustration. This is the first time that I can say, 'OK, I am moving forward,'” says Linda Roberson, who worked for years in urban design but has been unemployed since she graduated from a masters program at the University of California Berkeley in 2008. “I know the engineering world, what my résumé needs to look like, how to get a job. I don't have that in the tech world.” Her challenge is a common one: to “translate what I have done into what I can do.”
At this point she says she'd be happy to have an internship, as long as she would be doing real work, and not just answering to a “young person on a power trip.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has heralded TechSF as the “cornerstone of [San Francisco's] economic strategies.” He has promised that the program, funded largely by a $ 5 million federal grant, will place 2,500 longtime unemployed and underemployed San Franciscans in tech jobs over the next five years. The program is focused on two disparate groups: inner-city youth, aged 18 to 24, and longtime unemployed workers aged 40 to 60.
Currently there are 125 enrollees, representing every zip code in the city: The program is 58 percent male, but more than half of enrollees are members of a minority group. The program is still in its infancy. The first class doesn't graduate until April, so there are no hard numbers on job placement.
In exchange for the so-called Twitter tax breaks, five big tech companies — Twitter, Yammer, ZenDesk, One Kings Lane, 21Tech, and Zoosk — promised to hire local San Franciscans and participate in “at least one event” with TechSF, by giving a lecture at a training event, attending a networking event, or speaking on a career panel. Several companies have explicitly agreed to hire TechSF interns too.
The real challenge for TechSF students isn't learning how to program in Ruby or use SalesForce software — though the program offers referrals for a wide variety of technical training courses. It's gaining social capital — learning all the intangible skills required to navigate the cultural world of tech, which is less hierarchical, predictable, and formal than many other industries. It's knowing when to challenge your boss or how to make a presentation; it's knowing the nuances of networking, how to work in a project team, spearhead new projects, and how to physically hold yourself in an interview — even what to wear and how to talk.
According to a 2011 Silicon Valley Workforce Investment Board survey of over 250 tech companies, when asked whether they would prefer a candidate with better technical skills or one who is “more adaptable, able to learn quickly, and ready to take on new tasks” — a description most closely describing a recent college grad — employers preferred the latter.
“The cultural fit is equally important as the skill set. It is not just getting hip on technology, but letting people know about the cultural changes. That is the kind of feedback we plan on giving to TechSF,” a Zendesk spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “There is a different way of communicating. It is just a more casual culture, desk collaboration is the new style of working, and people don't interview in suits.”
San Francisco is known as a high-tech city, but particularly in the low-income neighborhoods where computers and high-speed internet connections are scarce and many parents are immigrants, there isn't the same pervasive online culture. “The digital divide has gotten worse because tech is that much more pervasive. Our young people aren't programmed to do online searches or banking — all the little things people take for granted,” says Villy Wang of the Bayview Hunter's Point Center for Arts & Technology (BAYCAT), a job training and placement program for inner-city kids. “A lot of people think the hardware is the solution, but it's whether they grow up with a tech culture.”
“It is an important quality knowing how to speak and when to speak. How do you learn to do that? It is having initiative to teach yourself and come up with solutions, having the ability to receive and give criticism, and having a sense of confidence,” says Wang. “But they are thrown into a community where they are constantly reminded of other kinds of vocabulary and other systems that don't empower them to feel that way.”
The city has partnered with organizations including BAYCAT and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) a non-profit tech training and placement programs aimed at adults.
BAVC and BAYCAT double as production companies, which means students get actual job experience before going out on their own. “When I saw that BAVC has direct connections with so many firms, I took it seriously,” says TechSF student Roberson.
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When upon 1981, John Waters tried to engage his cult-ish fans with a scratch-and-sniff “Odorama” card to complement the movie Polyester. This TV is not that– in truth, it’s a distinctly higher-tech method to real Smell-O-Vision. Created by a team of Japanese researchers at the Tokyo College of Agriculture and Technology and demoed in prototype type at IEEE’s Virtual Reality conference, the set uses 4 corner-mounted followers to break the 4th wall and develop an immersive olfactory experience. By merging and readjusting vapors fed through these 4 air movements, the group can rather realistically fool viewers into thinking the aroma is coming from localized locations of the display. We can just hear parents of the future now: “Stop sitting so close to the display, Johnny. You’re gonna lose consciousness from the fumes.” Ah, the future …
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Sculpteo, a French 3D printing business, is now providing custom iPhone adapters for older iPod docks, permitting you to include link to your old Bose, Sony, JBL, and other docks with the brand-new Lightning port. Certainly you require a Lightning adapter but the $ 17 pieces will make it much simpler for you to link your phone to these older docks.
However the most fascinating thing here is that this basically develops a sort of interstitial hardware. Rather of buying a new dock (or a new infant gate or a brand-new yard parasol) you could get and print or download and print your very own spare parts. This obviously gained ’ t put your neighborhood hardware store out of company and 99 % of the world gained ’ t buy this Lightning adapter, but the reality that it ’ s readily available is essential.
“ This tale and this adapter is opening a new industry of 3D printed spare parts for a great deal of various gadgets. Battery covers, clips, docks, handles … a great deal of things could be lost, or become unusable because some various other gadget changed or has actually been upgraded, ” stated Sculpteo creator Clement Moreau. “ We actually see 3D Printing right here as a method to work smoothly in a moving environment, where huge business have really good reasons to change criteria from time to time. ”
This is print-on-demand hardware, made for an extremely certain function with a very particular audience. Due to the fact that they don ’ t have to hold inventory, you could essentially offer customized dock adapters. This one is a one-size-fits-all but you might feasibly print brand-new ones for oddly-shaped ports or even adapters for different phones. It makes no sense to make 50,000 of these at a factory in Asia however it makes best sense to dump out few hundred to those in demand.
This is hardly an earth-shattering announcement. Unusually enough, as a Makerbot owner I ’ d actually prefer to be able to download and print my own copy of this adapter as opposed to buy one for the ridiculous price of $ 20. I gained ’ t, however still. This statement does raise a great deal of intriguing points about where the hardware company is headed. And when I can revive old docks with simply a small piece of plastic I ’ m a much happier guy. And, when somebody unavoidably develops a complimentary copy of these things, we ’ ll need to begin asking ourselves exactly what copyright truly means in a period when we can print anything at any time, from iPhone dock adapters to firearms.
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Chinese Ministry Critical Of Android’s Dominance — But How Much Power Does Google Really Have In China?
China’s technology Ministry is worried about the dominance of Google’s Android platform, according to Reuters. The news agency links to a whitepaper authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which contains the above graph — so it’s not difficult to see what the Ministry’s issue is: Android has grown from a standing start in 2008 to saturate the local market, taking 72.4 per cent in Q3 2012 (Gartner sourced data).
According to Reuters, the Ministry’s whitepaper is critical of China’s dependency on a platform it argues is ultimately controlled by Mountain View. “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android. While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google,” the whitepaper states.
It also claims that Google has deliberately impeded the progress of some Chinese companies seeking to develop their own operating systems (presumably by forking Android) by delaying code sharing, and accuses Google of using commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies. The paper goes on to pile praise on homegrown companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei for creating their own systems.
Google declined to comment on the allegations in the whitepaper when contacted by TechCrunch.
Alibaba’s Aliyun OS was going to be used by Acer to power a Chinese smartphone planned for launch last year — but cancelled, at least in part, after Google intervened. (Google argued that Acer was building what it described as a “non-compatible” Android device, having previously committed to building compatible devices.) Presumably this is the sort of commercial pressure the whitepaper is critical of.
Alibaba also declined to comment on the Chinese whitepaper when contacted by Techcrunch.
Another graph in the whitepaper pegs the Aliyun OS’s share of the 2012 Chinese market at around one per cent — versus 86.4 per cent for Android:
Reuters speculates that the Chinese government could be planning to impose regulations on Android to try to rein it in and give Chinese companies a chance to take some a greater share. That could also be good news for smaller foreign players such as Finnish startup Jolla, which is using the MeeGo open source OS as the foundation of its new Sailfish platform. Jolla is targeting its debut smartphone at China first, as well as setting up a base in Hong Kong to build an alliance around Sailfish. It has also attracted investment from China.
The smartphone market in China is undoubtedly huge — Jolla’s CEO describes it as a “300 million device market”. China also passed the U.S. as the world’s top country for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets last month so it’s also a growing market. But while Android undoubtedly dominates the OS landscape not all Chinese Android-powered device are equal since a large proportion of homegrown mobile makers heavily customise Android and do not carry any of the standard Google services such as its Play store.
Analyst Enders Analysis created the below chart last year depicting Android page view data, sourced from Baidu, which illustrates how smaller Chinese device makers are increasingly dominating China’s device landscape — accounting for 39 per cent of the page views on Baidu properties in September 2012 vs just 22 per cent for the otherwise globally dominant Android OEM Samsung:
“Almost none” of the ‘other’ category of devices in this chart have Google services on them, according to Enders analyst Benedict Evans — so you could say that while Google’s platform is huge in China, Google itself may have far less influence than Android’s spread suggests because such a large swathe of locally made Androids are cut off from its services and thus can’t generate advertising sales for Mountain View.
In a recent blog post discussing Google’s failure to deliver any Android activation data since September 2012, Evans also notes that: “The great majority of Android devices sold in China, which are probably a third of total Android sales, come with no Google services installed, including no Google Play, and hence are not even included in Google’s activation numbers, since signing into Google Play is what counts as ‘activation’.”
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Dennis Tito is planning an ambitious private flyby of Mars for 2018 that will carry all kinds of logistical challenges during its proposed 501-day span, not the least of which is shielding the crew from radiation without consuming valuable resources. The team’s solution is a clever one, if not especially pretty: human waste. While the walls of the Inspiration Mars spacecraft will initially be lined with water-filled bags to guard against cosmic rays, their contents will be gradually replaced with er, byproduct that will be dehydrated through the bag (possibly using polyethylene) to reclaim and purify water for drinking. As water-based materials are better at stopping radiation than metal, the approach theoretically represents the best of all worlds with less bulk, a simpler life support system and maximum room for supplies. If the Inspiration Mars group can keep the bags working at high efficiency in space, it won’t have to worry about its travelers’ safety; their comfort with being surrounded by their own waste may be another matter.
Source: New Scientist
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Hire Salespeople Who Can Really Sell
According To The Harvard Business Review, Most Salespeople You Hire Waste Your Time, Your Prospects Time And End Up Quitting. Only One Out Of Four People Who Call Themselves Salespeople Are Really Salespeople. Find Out Before You Hire Your Next Seller.
Hire Salespeople Who Can Really Sell
Alt-week peels back the covers on a few of the even more curious sci-tech stories from the last seven days.
The appeal of gold, the unpredictable weather condition and the power of invisibility. Exactly what do these three things have in usual? We ‘d say their practically universal attract the mankind. Science advances in all three of these locations in this edition. On top of that there’s a really, incredibly, enormous prime number. This is alt-week.