The reality of software patents, from a pseudonymous employee in Microsoft's future planning think-tank:
Right now anything you make violates someone's software patent. Nothing you do will not violate something someone holds. ... MS has a huge legal team that will do an evaluation before something is released to see what the predicted cost of infringement will be. I've never seen a number that reads 0 from that prediction, even for the smallest of features.
Part of a fascinating series on getting stuff manufactured in China. Much, much more is done by hand than you'd think; even tasks that could be handled by machines are cheaper with $1.80/hour workers.
Great statistics (for the US):
90,000 shirts shipped a month!
On the rim of the war zone, a new Mecca of conspicuous consumption and economic crime, under the iron rule of Sheikh al-Maktoum. Skyscrapers half a mile high, artificial archipelagoes, fantasy theme parks--and the indentured Asian labour force that sustains them.
Interesting and informative, especially compared to the kind of shallow "wow" travel-writing found elsewhere.
Studios gamble on blockbusters for the advantage of other corporate divisions, while lower-budget films still do spectacularly well and get better critical response to boot; old business models are dying or dead, but the luxury cinema and distribution for portable screening are on the rise. Le CinÃ©ma est mort, vive le cinÃ©ma!
The founder of ADV goes on at length about the importance of the fanbase, then comes out with this:
When ADV thought a Scooby Doo-esque series called Ghost Stories would be a dud, it issued a version with an intentionally inaccurate translation of the script--redubbing the characters to be more American (the leader now has attitude, and the boring sidekick was made into a born-again Christian)--knowing that would stir powerful passions. Authenticity being the Way of the Otaku, fans obliged by erupting in a furor.