Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Burst of Weirdness

Multiple items this week!

:: Via FanDumb, I see that Vladimir Putin recently toured a new intelligence headquarters in Moscow. Nothing weird about that, really, except for the insignia inlaid on the floor of the lobby:

If anyone can tell me why the Hell the Russians have put a big Batman logo on the floor of their new intelligence HQ building, please do. I'm all ears. I wonder if the passwords to enter various areas in the HQ are quotes from the old Adam West Batman teevee show?

:: PZ Myers points out a bit of modelcraft that mixes geek culture with a love of candy. An intrepid individual has constructed a model of Helm's Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers out of candy.

:: This isn't weirdness per se, but it interests me to see that the "format war" between Blu-ray discs and HD-DVD may well be over, because of the decision made by the industry not usually mentioned as a big driving force behind the development of content-distribution technologies: the porn industry. And yet, the involvement of the porn industry is almost never mentioned in articles I've read that discuss things like the development of paid Web content or, going back farther, to the Betamax/VHS format war. Steven Den Beste noted (scroll down a bit):

Porn has led the way in new media for the last 30 years or more. It was porn which established the pre-recorded videotape industry, for instance. In more recent history, the first successful commercial web sites selling proprietary content were selling porn, and they worked out all the necessary details about accepting payment and creating per-customer logins and preventing those logins from being abused by being spread around and protecting their content from non-members.

Porn led the way on selling downloadable video online, too. The first download-and-burn-your-own DVDs were full of nekkid wimmen. There have been "mainstream" conventions regarding commercialization of the web where successful porn site operators were invited to speak to explain to "legitimate" site operators how it was done.

Interesting stuff. (Of course, I'm one who isn't sure why we need a new format already in the first place. Don't people like to own things for more than a handful of years anymore before having to replace it?)

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