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12 July 1999

Never forget that your time is your own. By all means give it to other people when you can, but don't ignore the cost to yourself.
-- Ian Lance Taylor, on Slashdot

I'm sure there's more to it than I'm seeing, but on the face of it this lawsuit seems pretty silly:

What's Iomega thinking? "Let's see, the Orb drive stores more than the Jaz, is faster than the Jaz, has cheaper and more durable media than the Jaz, and the drive itself costs about 40% less than the Jaz. Clearly, they're using our technology! Sue!"

Log-ish sites worth checking out: pyrAlert!,, nubbin.

The web design crowd seems pretty interested in Scott McCloud these days. Here's an interview excerpt from a few years ago:

  • Scott McCloud interview [The Comics Journal]
    HARVEY: Do you feel that you're a technician rather than a storyteller?
    McCLOUD: I think maybe I'm neither. My father was an inventor, and I think that in the long run, I've picked a similar path. As to whether I'm an artist or not, I'd say yes, but then it's all in how we define art. In my heart, maybe I'm more an inventor than anything else. I love creating new things.

A completely different sort of comics artist (also excellent) is Donna Barr, creator of Stinz and Desert Peach. Her interview gets a bit deeper:

  • Donna Barr interview [The Comics Journal]
    LOWE: Have you ever regretted becoming a comic book writer/artist?
    BARR: Never. Daily. Hourly. I will cut my wrists before I give up; I will quit, screaming, tomorrow. Catch me at the right time and get any answer you want. Like the Bible.

    "You begin to confront some of the atrocities of Nazi Germany." This is such a strange comment. It sounds as though somehow these atrocities were unknown, and I'm revealing them. ... They're in all the movies, and all the books. What am I doing that's new? ... If anything, this is the first issue where I just go with the flow. I don't think I deserve the credit. ... Nazis are profitable, stick a camp in a book and people will think you're profound. In Israel, exploiting the Jewish tragedy for your own ends is called "Holo-Kitsch."

    ... He raised his voice to inform me -- and everyone on the bus -- that if he had been living at that time, he would have hid Jews in his attic, and he would have defied the Gestapo. So there! After I got over the initial confusion, I asked ... "Yeah? How commendable. So how many El Salvadorans you got hiding in your basement?" That shut him up.

Isn't this interesting...

  • Conjures Up Transatlantic Battle Over British Book [SF Gate, seen on Medley]
    The U.S. edition of "Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban" isn't scheduled to appear until September 8. But it was flying off the shelves yesterday in London, and it quickly jumped to the top of the sales chart at Amazon's British site. ... [U.S.] shoppers quickly figured out that the latest Harry Potter was up for grabs at, and jumped at the chance to take advantage of this latest example of the global economy in action.

    "This is an example of people getting the book they want when they want it," said Bill Curry, a spokesman for the online bookseller. "The world is going to have to change to keep up with the Internet. The Internet makes the notion of territorial rights archaic."

    ... even though the cybershopper has not in fact set foot in Britain, Curry pointed out that Amazon's British servers are on British soil, so in that sense, you have made your purchase abroad.

Okay, that last point's a bit dodgy, but the larger point is well worth making: arbitrary, artificial barriers to purchases are easy to bypass thanks to the Internet. If the US customers are willing to live with Britishisms in their edition of the book, why stop them from buying it?

I hadn't visited Cinescape before this weekend. They've got a bunch of cool bite-size reports on various things. Unfortunately, their frame- and JavaScript-based interface makes it very hard to point to any one article (they tend to redirect you to the front page). Grr.

[...some twiddling...] Aha! If you turn off JavaScript, you'll be able to follow these links successfully:

  • Connery As Gandalf... Again? [Cinescape]
    Sean Connery was rumored to be the favorite to play Gandalf, then it was leaked that he won't be G, and now the rumor's very alive again. I wouldn't mind Connery, but personally I'd rather see Max von Sydow be Gandalf.

  • An editor wonders if The Matrix can be declared a classic yet (maybe so, says I): The Phantom Masterpiece [Cinescape]
    I've come to realize that sometimes we're too hard on things that are new when comparing them to the memory of the old standby ... and not the old standby itself. Now, in the middle of a genre classic binge, watching a new sci-fi masterwork nearly every night, I feel confident putting The Matrix in a class with Star Wars, Planet of the Apes, Aliens, The Day The Earth Stood Still and other genre icons.

    Despite that it's heavily violent in some parts (which is very un-P.C. right now), I think the years to come will be very kind to The Matrix. Perhaps upon further review we'll notice the depth to the story, and that in its own hip, leather-clad fashion, it too taps into our collective mythology.

  • Rick McCallum Talks 'Star Wars Episode 2' [Cinescape]
    On how far along George Lucas' Episode Two script is:
    "He's about 1/2 done, and I am hoping it will be finished by September."

    Also, there are hints from many different corners that Darth Maul might be back...

  • Straczynski Talks TNT (cancellation of Crusade) [Cinescape]
    "On numerous occasions they wanted one of our characters to become a sexual explorer, so whenever they met a new race he would have sex with them ... You know, to get the sex and violence quotient up there. ... We -- I -- simply refused to do it. And when we wouldn't make it that kind of a dumbed-down version of a science-fiction show, they said 'Do 13 episodes and that's it.'"

  • Gilliam Talks Prod Future [Cinescape]
    Terry Gilliam comments on a number of projects in the works, some rumored, some believed to be long dead... (Good Omens, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, Watchmen, Defective Detective, A Scanner Darkly)

  • Jar Jar In 'South Park' [Cinescape]
    "We saw this thing and we didn't know what it was, but we saw it goin', 'Is the people gonna die' and we looked at each other and said, 'People are gonna hate that thing,' So we put it in our movie and, sure enough, everyone hated it."

Seen on Slashdot, The Matrix will have followup movies:

  • Keanu returns in double deal [Entertainment News (au)]
    The film's co-director Andy Wachowski hinted last month that the movie was always intended to be one of a three-part series. "We always conceived The Matrix as a trilogy," he told a Canadian newspaper. "We could do a prequel and a sequel to this episode or two prequels or two sequels. The story and characters lend themselves to any number of permutations and combinations."

    The two sequels are expected to be made back-to-back and released within months of each other in a complete break with cinema marketing tradition.


Aside from Gandalf, the cast for The Lord of the Rings is taking shape (seen on Ain't it Cool News and Cinescape):

Tuesday's a skip day. See you Wednesday.

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