Archive for the ‘Links’ Category

Mike’s crashed flying saucer

September 15th, 2010 by Jarmo Puskala

We’ve been exchanging mails with a german artist/builder/badass Dirty Mike. He’s done some awesome airbrush paintings about Nazis on the moon. Baby strollers with tank tracks on the moon are cool, but his current project is beyond awesome.

Last Night I had a creepy dream… I dreamed that a great fuckin nazi-ufo had crashed into my factory-hall… next thing I have to do, is to paint this disaster as a 80 feet Airbrush on my boring wallside.

Couple of days later this picture arrived:

Dirty Mike's crashed saucer

Dirty Mike's crashed saucer

Now if only we had a warehouse with a boring plain wall and some understanding neighbors…

Here’s some more pics of the work in progress.

Mike's crashed sketch

Crashed saucer sketch on the wall

Ufo on the wall

Check out Mike’s page for the project as well.

Re-inventing IRC – come and join us on Twitter.

April 6th, 2009 by Jarmo Puskala

Baby Bird

Baby bird by Allie’s.Dad on Flickr. (CC by-nc-nd)

Back in 2007 Twitter seemed like it was the next big thing, so naturally we joined as well. What’s suprising is that now it’s been two years and if it seemed like a big thing then now it’s becoming mainstream. Since Timo got his own profile it’s been mostly me blabbering on the @energia profile with the occasional wisdoms from Antti.

What’s changed in the two years is that what first seemed kind of like a blog lite for little stupid things and links is turning into a chatroom. Since @sumppi recommended Twitterfon for the iPhone I’ve taken upon myself the quest of being more active at the Twitterverse – after all there are some awesomely awesome movie people there to follow like Stephen Fry, Wil Wheaton and Duncan Jones.

What keeps bugging me is that the more I use Twitter the more it feels like re-inventing IRC. Everyone is going gaga how celebs are using the service like “normal peopl”, meaning that for the first time in the mainstream media they are actually there talking with people themselves – instead of having some PR drone occasionally posting adverts to buy stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a Good Thing – however it hardly seems like a big deal from the Finnish perspective. We’re used to finding every new reality tv celeb on IRC-Galleria and back in the day before geek was cool many superstars of the tech world were on the actual IRC chatting like “normal people”.

Now this is going to sound like the cat lifting it’s own tail – and honestly speaking it is. Our lovely little IRC channel (#starwreck on IRCnet) has been active for almost a decade. Sure nobody knew who were when the channel started but that’s kind of the point. It never was a marketing tool, it was a place where we talked about making the film and where people who were interested in the project could come and follow the progress, ask questions and make suggestions. To simplify the function even more the channel was a place for people with similar interests to talk to eachother.

And that’s what Twitter is becoming. @wilw talks about playing D&D at a roleplaying convention. @warrenellis is being strange and @stephenfry is being a real sport and tweeting about his travels and talking to people. What’s different to what we’ve been doing is the scale. These people can have hundreds of thousands of followers with maybe thousands or tens of thousands actually actively online at any given time. That’s one huge-ass IRC channel. Especially when it’s all mostly centered around the profile of one person. People are using #hashtags as kind of channels, but currently this approach is very unflexible. With a client that works better than the actual Twitter website and a “#channel” that’s not too popular it kind of works. I had fun talking about the oscars on #aa09 – the alternative channel since #oscars was completely unfollowable.

So that’s awesome. We’ve been doing it for a decade and while our channel’s 100 or so users pale in comparison to the number of the Twitter followers of your average “social media guru” it’s been up for 10 years and the people there are just awesome. Many have become real friends of ours and we the people have helped eachother out on many occasions. In my opinion seeing such longevity translate into a social media site would be phenomenal. However there is a snake in the garden. What has in part protected IRC is that’s it’s not quite mainstream – while it might have been used to report on the first Gulf War on CNN Britney Spears has never had a precense there.

So – and I know I’ve made this point before – Twitter is very much re-inventing IRC on the web. And that’s great – because it’s one more tool for people to talk to each other. It’s also easy enough that it has attracted people who usually don’t bother with these kind of things. But it’s still very much a flawed system. The popularity of the superstars is so overwhelming that they can not keep up using it as they do for long.

Our Twitter is still nice and quiet with the occasional interesting discussion and I recommend you follow @energia and @LeonBlank if you’ve got an account. I also think it’ll stay nice and managable for a long time still. But since so much of the activity is centered around the superstars can Twitter survive becoming any more popular? Will it become impossible to be a famous person and actually talk to people? And will that lead to the downfall of the whole service?

p.s. Also to take a page of the Warren Ellis book of public relations I just have to mention I finally got called “penis freak” by some random person on the internets.

Feature film ‘Blank’ released for free distribution!

March 22nd, 2009 by Timo Vuorensola

I think it was Star Wreck that just happened to be the first feature film ever released for free on the Internet. After that, we’ve seen such masterpieces as We Are The Strange and Four-Eyed Monsters being released on the Internet, and now it’s time for a new film to emerge for free, torrent-based distribution: Blank.

I’m quoting TorrentFreak‘s blogger enigmax, under CC-By-Sa -license:

Times are certainly changing and slowly but surely people are beginning to realize that rather than trying to fight piracy and destroy file-sharing networks, the best approach is to embrace your one-time rivals and try and create something positive.

Established in 2000 by director Rick L. Winters, Annodam Productions is an independent film company. A forward looking outfit, Annodam will premiere its latest movie Blank, worldwide today.

Blank is the story of a Johnny, a young boy who witnesses the violent death of his parents and older sister. Roll on some 20 years later and Johnny becomes involved in crime with his adoptive father – who is also a crime boss. While watching a game of poker Johnny discovers who murdered his family and sets about planning his revenge. Johnny unwittingly becomes involved with a pair of serial killers and the whole movie climaxes with a bizarre and shocking end.

While the plot may seems standard Hollywood fare, the way this movie has been financed and is set to be distributed is not – Director Rick L.Winters explains, “The thing that makes this film unique is that it is a co-op based concept where the entire cast and crew worked on a deferred percentage of the film’s gross. In other words, the cast and crew own a percentage of the film’s gross, so the profits are not going to Hollywood executives but instead into the pockets of the filmmakers themselves.”

After receiving several distribution offers for Blank, Rick turned them all down.

“I have seen firsthand the greed that lurks in the Hollywood corporate circles,” he said while explaining that after he released his first film, the cast and crew couldn’t understand why a distribution company was making all the money. So instead, Rick decided to let the audience distribute Blank for him – via BitTorrent.

“This time around the fate of the cast and crew getting paid is in the hands of the audience who watch the film. No Hollywood bank accounts being filled to turn out more crappy remakes,” he said, while adding that the future of film is “in the home market, through peer to peer distribution.”

Today, Blank is released on DVD for $14.99, via online streaming and of course, for free on BitTorrent. “No one should have to pay for a film they did not like,” says Rick. “No one should be denied the right to enjoy the art of film.”

The idea is that if people like the movie after they have seen it, they should go to the Blank website and make a donation. People are asked to donate what they feel the movie is worth, and in return will be invited to follow the production of the next movie, which they will have helped finance through their donation.

Rick told TorrentFreak, “I am excited with the aspects of peer to peer distribution and the possibilities. Giving everyone the opportunity to see my film for free in hope of receiving donations is a little nerve wrecking – wondering if I will receive enough donations to make my next film. The concept is still scary for independent filmmakers who don’t have the big budgets like the big studios and most of the time drain their personal accounts and run up credit just to get their film made, in hopes of recouping the cost of making the film.”

Several large BitTorrent sites including Mininova will be offering Blank, but undoubtedly it will spread to many others too. Rick L. Winters is also writing a book which will document the whole process so that others can use the same methods to distribute their own movies.

“I can only hope for the success of this endeavor to show the world that the revolution of peer to peer distribution can no longer be ignored and the time is now,” Rick told TorrentFreak. “I decided to try the concept of a coop base film in hopes of encouraging other independent filmmakers to come together and create and share the art of film for EVERYONE to enjoy.”

Congratulations to Rick and the crew for effectively ending the piracy of their movies and we wish them the best of luck with ‘Blank’ and all future success.

You can grab the torrent for the movie from Mininova.

Natzional Socialismus in colours

February 17th, 2009 by Timo Vuorensola

LIFE magazine’s photo archives on 30′s Nazi Germany were opened recently, and a lot of very beautiful, yet scary, colour photos of the Nazi regime poured to the Internet. It’s scary, because we are used to see these mostly in black & white, but now that they are in color, it brings the whole subject much closer, and reminds that’s the atrocities of this era are just few decades away. I also admire the washed-out colors of the first color photos from that era a lot.

Nazis in color

Click here to see the full archive.

Here’s a tip: if you want to make these photos fun, just add “Who farted?” as caption to each of them, and they are instantly merry!