Link Dump

Just the usual link dump of interesting stuff from the depths of ye olde internets:

  • TV’s Streaming Bubble Has Burst, a Writers Strike Looms, and “Everybody Is Freaking Out” – A pretty accurate sentiment, as I do think we’re about to see some consolidation in the streaming space (after an absurd push for streaming that was never really supported by reality – though I guess the pandemic threw a major curve into the mix), and we’re definitely seeing a return to theatrical releases, but then all of it could be derailed by the writers’ strike (and, to be clear, I’m on the writers’ side on this one – their asks are eminently reasonable and it feels like studios have already lost more money than they would have if they just paid their writers. I seriously don’t understand Hollywood’s outright hostility to writers.)
  • Netflix’s DVD End Is a Warning Sign for Film Lovers – Of course, streaming isn’t going away… and this is a sad milestone, but one I think we could all see coming. For the record, I did have a DVD subscription because they actually had a deeper library than streaming does (though in recent years, it was thinning out).
  • Hollywood’s Coming “OS Wars” – This article proposes an interesting idea about the future of streaming: that the real competition will be on home screen aggregators like Roku or Fire. I’m not entirely convinced, but any improvements in aggregation, navigation, curation, and discoverability on streaming can only be a good thing.
  • Trafficking the News – This review of Ben Smith’s book “Traffic” signals a potential end for online journalism’s absurd push for traffic for traffic’s sake.

Having now worked in journalism for almost 20 years (he typed, arthritically, bones turning to dust at the mere thought of it) and having lived through various cycles of how journalism pays for and propagates itself, I’ve never been more sure of anything than the idea that chasing traffic for traffic’s sake has been disastrous and that cultivating a base of subscribers is the only way forward. But there are dangers there as well.

  • Star Wars by Wes Anderson – I keep seeing AI generated videos and they’re almost always filled with horrifying grotesques, but this one is almost pitch perfect. It turns out that the approach was to use AI to generate still images in a proposed style, then add some minor motion and sound to them, and stitch them together (at least, I think that’s what they did). It turned out pretty great, though it’s also obviously patterned after the SNL parody from a few years ago. Anyway, the Owen Wilson as Darth Vador “Wow” moment is pitch perfect.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie Battles The Pope’s Exorcist At The Box Office In A Troubling Display Of Italian-On-Italian Violence – I know it’s a few weeks old and the article itself is just normal box office droning, but it’s a perfect headline.
  • Into Thin AirPods – Have you ever lost an Apple product and wanted to use the Find My app to mete out vigilante justice? A bit anticlimactic, but it’s a fun read.

This is the part where I say I’m aware that everyone—Apple, law enforcement, any friends with good judgment within earshot—strenuously discourages ever, under any circumstances, trying to do vigilante justice with the Find My app. If you so much as mention the possibility, like four people will jump out of the woodwork with stories about someone they knew who was shot or assaulted trying to confront a thief in the act. I’d like to emphasize that I’m firmly on the side of reason, and a steadfast believer that having crime done to me is not an occasion to show off how brave I am.

But! I have watched Veronica Mars so many times.

That’s all for now, Happy Mother’s Day!

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