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 Cinéma est mort, vive le cinéma!
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.