Tuesday, January 18

Ahh! My Back!

The trouble with opening my big fat mouth, as I've found out time and again is that I generally land myself into trouble - even when it doesn't seem that way to other people. For a demonstration, let's look at today's little retreat at the Shang in Putrajaya. On the one hand there were several notable pluses:

1) I managed to convince the audience we needed the shift in syllabus content.

2) There weren't many voices of dissent, since the crowd were people whom I knew well (especially their weaknesses).

3) There was a guest speaker from the Media Studies dept, which I've been aching to liase with, and who came up with some pretty crazy ideas for our new programme.

4) I managed to diss the hell out of our policies and procedure. Very satisfying.

Now, for the tiring news:

1) For being so convincing, I now have to draft an extended version of the course outline for use in the subsequent semester.

2) Crowd was equally comfortable delegating multiple tasks to me - something I have to fix in the future.

3) Have been voted adhoc chairperson for student activities pertaining to multimedia content.

4) I get reminded why it's so freakin hard to get anything done in this place.

All this ended a little after 5, and when I stumbled home I was only too pleased to remember I have an 8 am class tomorrow. Oh, the humanity. So, since I can't be bothered to even think, much less blog I present to my dear readers some things that are precious to me (okay, so I lied about the precious part).

For one thing, I never knew Bill Gates did centrefolds (Link). I can't say he looks absolutely sexy or whatever - but let's face it, the guy has seen more money than I ever will in my whole lifetime. That, and the fact that he continues to laugh even when losing money just kills me. Photos are circa 1984. In a less than stellar development, evil copyright abuse rears its ugly head again (Link) as more and more independent documentary producers are finding out that they can't use footage they've been using for ages - simply because archival footage now costs them a bomb.

In an age where libraries are turning their backs on some of their best customers (for the money, of course) the documentary industry seems to be losing one of their best used sources of material. Are there ways to get around this? Sure, if you've got the dosh. Here's another one:

"The legal defence in the United States of "fair use" means that footage can be used if the documentary is specifically critiquing that footage. So, a documentary-maker could use a clip of Gene Kelly splashing around in Singing in the Rain, if the documentary is commenting on Hollywood musicals and that one in particular, Else says. A documentary on rain, however, couldn't use the clip. But having to use "fair use" as a legal defence means that the documentary-maker is coming under legal pressure. Many simply can't afford the legal fees to get out of that kind of situation."

What this means, ladies and gentlemen, is that by the time some of us have kids, they'll be watching reenactments of historical events instead of recordings of said events. How wonderful. So in the spirit of preserving our copyright free images, here's a gander at the new version of Picasa (Link), thanks to Google. Now, everyone can post pictures.

Well, it's time to go. Have a good one, folks.