Electric Shadow

Search Analysis: March 2014

One of my favorite things about the metrics I get on the site are the sometimes bizarre search terms people use to find the site. Yet again, the most search engine traffic I get is from people trying to subvert region coding on Blu-rays.

"so many flash points is the planet on the brink"

Hope you've packed a bag. #supertrain

"pocahontas tattoo ideas"

They either ended up on this Frame post, or the super-huge and images-heavy Best in Blu-ray 2012 article I posted last April. There is a 2013 installment coming, and it technically isn't "late" yet. Those things take time.

"moises chiullan brother's death"
"moises chiullan brother's autism"

Whoever searched both of these used Bing.com, and that the most I know about them. This was a weird thing to see, but not as day-derailing as I think it would've been even a year ago.

"does peter weller have a phd?"

Hell yes he does, that's Doctor Peter Weller to you, citizen. I'm posting a Q&A I moderated with him at Dallas SciFi Expo as a Screen Time soon.

"jiro horikoshi evil"
"the wind rises moral repugnance"

Three months ago, I hit back at critics who accused Hayao Miyazaki of artistic thought-crime. People are still talking about this whole "moral repugnance" thing.

"the world's end marmalade sandwich"

Some people are obsessed with this trio. They're like robots.

"expanding earth theory podcast radio interview"

In the coming months, all these interviews from the old Giant Size (like the one with Neal Adams) and the old Screen Time will move over to the Artist Edition and (new) Screen Time feeds at ESN.

An Open Response to Ultraviolet CTO Jim Taylor

I got a surprise the other day when I read the comments section of the MacWorld posting of an article I wrote about Veronica Mars, Kickstarter, and Ultraviolet. The Chief Technology Officer of UltraViolet parent company Rovi chose to respond publicly and call into question my basic journalistic integrity. After the cut, I've included his lengthy response, and my 1300-word shredding of said response, both of which can be found on the original MacWorld post.

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Señor Cagamilliones' Fun in a Chinese Laundry

The latest dispatch from Steven Soderbergh's Extension765 mailing list announces him as "Señor Cagamilliones" or, "Mister Shitmillions" in English. This made my day/week/epoch.

His latest "blog" "post" gives an infuriatingly terse and potent bit of appreciation to the genius of Josef von Sternberg. In so doing, Soderbergh reveals how another great filmmaker may have been directly inspired by something we would now consider a mere "DVD" "Special Feature".

The footnotes include favorite quotes from von Sternberg's autobiography for those who can't be bothered to read it (me):

“I have always found it less troublesome to conquer myself than to attempt the conquest of others.”  Josef von Sternberg, Fun in a Chinese Laundry 

“In our work money has often stood in the way of something that might have lasted a little longer than money ever can.”

“And often I recalled Whistler’s words, whenever I was faced with a task which could not have been foreseen by me when first I read them: ‘It takes endless labor to eradicate the traces of labor.’ "

ESN: Electric Shadow Network

I thought I'd share some more details about my soon-to-launch little podcast network. All three shows (and two companion feeds) start the first week of February 2014, with new episodes posting weekly.

This post will be updated with info until the site launches at ESN.fm


Electric Shadow

When Screen Time went through a format overhaul, it transformed into what I'd wanted it to be all along (panel plus limited-length interview). That show about movies, TV, games, and "moving images on a glowing screen" is now Electric Shadow, which doubles as the signature branding of the new network as seen in the title of this post.

Electric Shadow is the original title I had pitched. It comes from a literal translation of the Chinese word for cinema. I wanted something evocative that bucked the trends seen in the names of other shows and publications dedicated to any of the above kinds of storytelling. Screen Time becomes the feed for the unedited, "director's cut" versions of the interviews that make up the back segment of Electric Shadow.

Episode 1
panel: Horace Dediu and Guy English
topic: TBD, but expect something about Nintendo wedged in

Episode 2
broadcasts live: Monday, 10 February 2014 at 11am CST
panel: David LoehrMerlin Mann, and Matt Zoller Seitz
topic: Wes Anderson and Fantastic Mr. Fox (which is receiving a Blu-ray special edition release from Criterion on 18 February 2014)


Giant Size

Much like its most recent iteration on 5by5, this show also follows the same panel plus limited-length interview format as Electric Shadow, and will have its own "uncut interview" feed, probably called something like "Artist Edition". I have a few other ideas, but welcome suggestions.

Episode 1
panel: co-host John Gholson and Merlin Mann
topic: how to get into reading the X-Men

Episode 2
panel: co-host John Gholson, David Sparks, and Casey Liss
topic: getting in or back into comics as an adult, reading recommendations


Thank You For Calling!

This will be more conversational, and looser in style. Some weeks will be one-on-one, some will be panels. Addressing sub-topics within the Customer Service industry is something I think has the legs of a long, long, long-running series. People who work in customer service, whether retail, call center, chat support, or whatever else are encouraged to email or leave a voicemail [(240) 285-9623] to tell their story on future episodes of the show.

Episode 1
panel: Brent Simmons
topic: Network Solutions charging $1850 like a threat (see his blog for more updates), and supporting customers as an indie

Episode 2
panel: John RoderickLex Friedman, and Brent Billings
topic: airlines, why we hate them, who holds the power, and what to do


More to come later this week on a variety of fronts. Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive so far.

More Nips, Tucks, and Thoughts

I've consolidated almost all of the category and series links in the sidebar under one gigantic expandable features button. I resisted creating the various subcategories and sub- subcategories under it, but I may end up going back that route, especially since some more series will begin this year.

In Liu of multiple "deals" posts, I have opted to add text headings to referral links in the sidebar. The first I've added is "worth pre-ordering". This will revolve, as will the "already available" section, which will include three or four topically relevant things to get, based on post and podcast content. I'll be adding a dedicated Amazon referral store link to the sidebar as well. I want to make sure that the top level buttons are as few in number as possible.

Another thing that I've given thought to is actually using the Tumblr account that shares a name with this site. It would mostly be a way for people who live on Tumblr to follow this site in the way that they follow everything on Tumblr (through excerpted posts). I would occasionally post things that only appear on the Tumblr, too. For example, I would never put an animated GIF on this site, but that's what Tumblr was born to host. Well, it was made for that and Doctor Who slashfic.