The Past Week in Review: for May 24, 2011
Graffiti for the digital generation? There’s an app for that.
Photo credit: Graffiti by Ezo, photo by the Daily News
We search for the more interesting and provocative news and views of the past week…just so you don’t have to.
Our look at the most relevant news items from the prior week includes Web distribution of movies, gear to help field production, and a non-aerosol method of painting your graffiti tag.
Moving Movie Distribution to the Web
In his article on GigaOM, Pulp Fiction and Other Miramax Classics Coming to Netflix, author Janko Roettgers says that starting in June Netflix will be streaming select movies from Miramax’s library. While a majority of the Hollywood studios are still holding back from wide scale distribution, Miramax had already signed a deal licensing its catalog to iTunes earlier in the year.
More Power, Recording Options
AbelCine, one of the city’s leading rental and sales houses for all manner of video gear, now manufactures too. The company is selling a line of power hook ups—introduced at NAB 2011–that make for a more flexible way to power camera accessories in the field.
Their UniBob Universal Power Breakout Box, for example, is about the size of a fat camera battery and allows a number of accessories to be powered at once. The unit takes in power via a large Lemo-8 connector, which delivers over 300w each in both 28v & 14.4v power. There are three 28v outputs and three 14.4v outputs.
On the AbelCine blog you can also find a useful comparison chart that lists a number of the camera mounted HD recorders that turned up at NAB 2011. Their Camera Mounted Recorder Comparison Chart, with details on recording format, media, and inputs, also includes info on Codex and S.two recorders for those who want to shoot in ARRIRAW, Arri’s 14-bit RAW Uncompressed format that can be output from its Alexa camera.
Web Distribution, Taking it to the Cloud, Web Animation
If you are involved with putting together web distribution setups, you might be interested in reading Derrick Harris’ Microsoft’s VidLab Shares Its Tricks to Killing Latency.
While there is nothing especially unique about Microsoft’s methods, such an overview can still be useful to get a sense of what goes into moving huge video files through the various servers and transcoders that make up a large, modern web distribution system. Harris notes that VidLab launched with a 300TB array in place, while today it’s grown to become a 3.5-petabyte data warehouse.
There has been a lot of talk and probably more than a little hype on the importance of moving to cloud services. The cloud already offers solutions for storage and open access computing, while Apple’s upcoming Lion OS and Google web-only Chrome OS will move us further into that virtual world. To help in getting your bearings, check out this article by Derrick Harris on GigaOM, which offers up the most salient details from a report by analyst firm Forrester.
The report ranks some 16 private-cloud products from companies such as VMware, HP and IBM. The report is said to not go into very precise comparisons because the nature of the private cloud market is still so young.
While the future of web animation is supposed to reside with such open source software like HTML5 instead of Flash, many have felt frustrated about the slim pickings for software to create those apps.
In the article Skip Flash, Build Animations in HTML5 With Hype from Mashable, we get background on the new software app Hype. The Mac app doesn’t require any coding, but is said to be easy to use for anyone comfortable with software such as Keynote or PowerPoint.
Graffiti, of course, has long been a part of the New York scene, although after years of clamping down on the aerosol art form, less and less of it turns up save for the occasional Banksy bombing.
This might be a good excuse to at least call for a resurgence of graffiti for the digital age, in this case as an AR app. Yes, there’s now an app for that: McCann SF built one for the iPhone for the San Francisco Arts Commission. As this article on Digital Pivot has it, you only need the GraffCity app along with the iPhone’s accelerometer to turn iPhones and iPod Touchs into virtual aerosol cans.
Street artists, as the article points out, can “make their mark without worrying about the mess and hassle.” Well, that doesn’t sound like much of a street artist to me—at least to a New Yorker’s sensibilities—but with its AR angle, this might harken to a future digital city view that we will all partake of at some point.
(If you do want a charge from some true NYC aerosol artists, here’s an article from the Daily News that celebrates the aesthetic, including Ezo’s work, featured on this page.)