Bletchley Circle: Enigma meets The Killing, with art direction by Mad Men. Impeccable in every way. Also: this photo rocks.
Why I Love My Team: Reason #213
Adam: I want a Tardis.
Christina: You could make your own. My friend Lisa just did a blog post with 37 Dr. Who craft ideas.
Adam: Does it work?
Christina: Are you a Time Lord?
Christina: Well then.
Alana reunites with Flo @ Glastonbury.
I could not love this photo more.
I’m very sympathetic to attempts to increase security against organised crime, but you have to distinguish yourself from the criminal.”
Tim Berners-Lee, speaking with The Guardian, on the NSA and GCHQ.
Have I mentioned Episodes? We stumbled upon it in the wake of Breaking Bad and found a perfect counterbalance to the anxiety-provoking Heisenberg roller coaster: a smart, gentle comedy; deftly written and carefully directed, with a near-perfect cast; assembled to tell the story of two Brits imported to LA to reproduce their hit UK series for an American audience. (Disaster ensues.) Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan are winning as the distressed duo (as is, surprisingly, Matt LeBlanc as their American star), and the assorted players are fantastic, from Mad About You’s John Pankow to newcomer and scene-stealer Kathleen Rose Perkins (taking Carrie Fisher’s “other woman” from When Harry Met Sally to new and better heights.) On Netflix. Two seasons, with the third in production. Highly recommend.
The long game.
If I were an Amazon competitor, I’d actually regard Amazon’s current run of quarterly losses as a terrifying signal. It means Amazon is arming itself to take the contest to higher ground. The retail game is about to become more, not less, punishing.
Closing graph from a great post by Eugene Wei on Amazon’s long game and how it both befuddles and bores the pundits. Worth the read.
The biggest single problem since 1980 has been that the publishing industry has been led by the nose by the retail sector. The industry analyzes its strategies as though it were Procter and Gamble. It’s Hermès. It’s selling to a bunch of effete, educated snobs who read. Not very many people read. Most of them drag their knuckles around and quarrel and make money. We’re selling books. It’s a tiny little business. It doesn’t have to be Walmartized.
I think I like Andrew Wylie. #
Susanne Bier’s Love is All You Need is, in fact, all you need. Finely crafted, understated, and ever so lovely.
And, good god—Trine Dyrholm! Meryl Streep’s Danish soul sister. Find of the year.
How would major historical events be different if everyone involved were modern teenage girls?
MG#2: ”I’m sorry, you can’t just declare yourself the pope.”
MG#1: ”Well I totally just did, because I totally just AM.”
MG#3: ”I’m the pope too, now!”
MG#2: ”Ugh, shut up, Tracy. No one wants you.”
Today and tomorrow.
So here we are, living in a two iPhone world. Both the iPhone 5S and the 5C are just what we expected, but they hide within their designs some key insights to Apple’s future. The iPhone 5C is the iPhone for today, where growing segments of people might not care about the iPhone’s cachet or its processing power so much as the ability to own a new, different, funky, and thoroughly personalized gadget. The iPhone 5S is the iPhone for tomorrow, where, thanks to sophisticated sensors and smarter software, we won’t need to take our phones out of our pockets nearly as often in the first place. #
"Show me the data!"
Liesl Copland, WME agent and previously of Netflix, notes that lack of data from on-demand services is hampering the ability for filmmakers to gauge the viability of their projects or better negotiate upfront deals.
Movies tumble into “analytic black holes” when they are viewed on subscription services like Netflix, on-demand providers like the cable companies and iTunes, or an advertising-driven distributor like SnagFilms, she said.
“Reporting hasn’t evolved with the rapidly increasing viewership patterns,” Ms. Copland noted. “There is still no uniform reporting system that aggregates all data on, say, a film or documentary across all of its platforms.”
Aside from advocating that DoD services actively share their data with creators, Copland is pushing for a tag that works across platform and aggregates viewership and viewing patterns.
That kind of change might have to be forced, she theorizes, by the Hollywood guilds, which are now preparing for a round of contract negotiations in which digital issues — of a kind that brought the film industry to a halt during the hard-fought writers’ strike of 2007 — will be central.
“Transparency could have a watershed moment in those negotiations,” suggested Ms. Copland, if studios could be boxed into demanding, and disseminating, more information from the digital platforms.
Apps and books face these same hurdles, of course. Apple and Amazon share next-to-nothing with developers and authors.
“For the moment, this space is equivalent to a landfill in an earthquake,” said Ms. Copland.“All the patterns go haywire.”
War: the continuation of politics by other means.
Writing in The Chronicle, Benjamin Ginsberg thinks about why violence works:
People say that problems cannot be solved by the use of force, that violence, as the saying goes, is not the answer. That adage appeals to our moral sensibilities. But whether or not violence is the answer depends on the question being asked. For better or worse, violence usually provides the most definitive answers to three major questions of political life: statehood, territoriality, and power. Violent struggle—war, revolution, terrorism—more than any other immediate factor, determines what nations will exist and their relative power, what territories they occupy, and which groups will exercise power within them.
Hank’s toilet epiphany.
Those opposing trajectories form Breaking Bad’s examination of masculinity, which is one of many thematic threads throughout the series. Hank’s slow acceptance of his place in law enforcement, his limitations and strengths as an investigator, combined with Walt’s cancerous arrogance, allowed for Hank’s toilet epiphany. Two brothers-in-law, a stereotypical macho man and a seemingly passive man beaten down by life, were transformed. Walt found the terrifying glee of power, and Hank found the freedom of humility. #
Bookstores: Amazon’s free discovery system.
“I still go to regular bookstores,” Ms. Takada said, “but a lot of times I just browse, find something to buy, then go home and download it on Amazon.” #