Tagged: technology

Amazon Now Sells More eBooks Than Paper Books

Yesterday. the future arrived.

[[[Amazon]]] announced that eBooks are now the most popular sales format on Amazon.com, outselling the joint sales of hardback and paperback books. Since April 1, 2011, for every 100 print books Amazon has sold, it has sold 105 Kindle editions. It took Amazon just about four years to make that statement come true, and it represents the tipping point.

Related to that, the Association of American Publishers released new sales figures for March 2011, and eBook sales were up from last year, but down from February 2011. March eBook sales totaled $69.9 million, compared to $90.3 million in February 2011. Still, this was a big increase from March 2010, which saw $28.1M in sales (a 145.7% increase).

And yes, they’re cannibalizing paper sales.

So far, we don’t have numbers on what it’s doing for comic sales, although Apple has stated that the most in-app purchases have come from comic book programs, although no one’s quoting hard numbers yet. But it will only be a matter of time and display technology.

As for me, I don’t feel like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic quite so much anymore.

Disney Promises 15 3-D Blu-ray Releases in 2011

Disney Promises 15 3-D Blu-ray Releases in 2011

Personally, I could care less about 3-D movies let along 3-D television, but as this technology rolls out and we’ll be hearing more about 3-D TV during this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, expect more announcement such as the one below.

BURBANK, Calif. — January 3, 2011 — Continuing its leadership in the advancement of 3D entertainment and marking the most significant title commitment to the growing Blu-ray 3DTM market, The Walt Disney Studios today announced plans to release at least 15 of its films for in-home viewing on Blu- ray 3D in 2011.

Among the stellar list of films to debut on 3D include beloved and celebrated animated classics THE LION KING and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, recent theatrical releases including the visually stunning high tech adventure TRON: LEGACY and acclaimed box-office smash hit TANGLED, plus many others to be announced that will release day-and-date and packaged with the Blu-ray 2DTM version.

“As our contemporary library of 3D content continues to grow, and the original artists and filmmakers meticulously „dimensionalize‟ their work for release on the Blu-ray 3D format, we will be offering movie- lovers the most incredible in-home entertainment experience they will ever have,” noted Lori MacPherson, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. “In addition to offering new releases day-and-date in 3D and further cementing our leadership in the marketplace, we‟re thrilled that consumers will have the exclusive Blu-ray 3D experience of two of the most celebrated Disney animated features, THE LION KING and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, in their homes.”

Also included among the titles slated for release in 2011 are BOLT, MEET THE ROBINSONS, TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, G-FORCE and CHICKEN LITTLE. These titles will join Walt Disney Studios‟ recent 2010 Blu-ray 3D releases ALICE IN WONDERLAND, DISNEY’S A CHRISTMAS CAROL and STEP UP 3, bringing Disney‟s list of available Blu-ray 3D titles for the home to nearly 20 in all.In addition to the film being in 3D, each disc will include thematically linked 3D menus, 3D previews of coming-attractions trailers and an introduction to the eye-popping world of Disney Blu-ray 3D featuring beloved characters Timon and Pumbaa from THE LION KING.

3-D TV and Gaming: Apple To The Rescue?

So far, sales of 3-D TVs haven’t exactly set the world on fire. Maybe… just maybe… that might change. Maybe.

Our friends at Apple have told the London Daily Telegraph they’re working on new 3-D technology that would function without special glasses. Oh, and it handles holographic images as well.

Apple’s patent reads: “An exceptional aspect of the invention is that it can produce viewing experiences that are virtuallyindistinguishable from viewing a true hologram. Such a ‘pseudo-holographic’
image is a direct result of the ability to track and respond to observer movements.”

OK. Wow. They didn’t say when this technology will become available, but Apple hopes to apply it to computers, to televisions and to movie screens.

Leander Kahney, who wrote a book called The Cult of Mac, noted “As well as
watching 3-D movies, Apple’s system would have a ton of applications in science, engineering, design and education, while 3-D iPhones and iPads would be killer. It’s easy to imagine things like amazing 3-D textbooks and instructional videos. 3-D gaming on an iPad would be an incredibly immersive gaming experience.”

The problem isn’t technology. It’s content. Thus far I haven’t come across a single movie that motivated me to spend the money to see the 3-D version, and of course my 3-D cable channel remains unlit. I’m not sure what it’ll take to get my business, but if 3-D follows the trends of previous media launches, it’ll be the porn industry that makes it happen.

Les Paul: 1915-2009

Les Paul: 1915-2009

(CNN) — Les Paul, whose innovations with the electric guitar and studio technology made him one of the most important figures in recorded music, has died, according to a statement from his publicists. Paul was 94.

Paul died in White Plains, New York, from complications of severe pneumonia, according to the statement.

Paul was a guitar and electronics mastermind whose creations — such as
multitrack recording, tape delay and the solid-body guitar that bears
his name, the Gibson Les Paul — helped give rise to modern popular
music, including rock ‘n’ roll. No slouch on the guitar himself, he
continued playing at clubs into his 90s despite being hampered by

“If you only have two fingers [to work with], you
have to think, how will you play that chord?” he told CNN.com in a 2002
phone interview. “So you think of how to replace that chord with
several notes, and it gives the illusion of sounding like a chord.”

“The world has lost a truly innovative and exceptional human being
today. I cannot imagine life without Les Paul,” said Henry Juszkiewicz,
Chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. “He would walk into a room and put a
smile on anyone’s face. His musical charm was extraordinary and his
techniques unmatched anywhere in the world.”

I had the privilege of seeing him perform live– he was doing that for years, playing in a jazz club in New York once a week, giving unlabeled and almost unheralded master classes on how to create. Yeah, people would pony up big bucks to see Eddie Van Halen or Jimmy Page or the latest flash in the pan, but here was the guy who had been playing the electric guitar longer than anyone, by definition.

It’s hard to thnk of someone in comics who was at the level of Les Paul was for creating new technology and ways to tell stories. Steranko is about as close as I get. Who’s your nominee?

We’re off to I-Con 28

We’re on the road again this weekend, this time to I-Con 28, which is all over Suffolk Country this weekend (no, it’s not at Stony Brook Univeristy this year, major repairs going on, don’t ask) and various ComicMix folks will be out in force.

And many many more friendly folks– David Mack, Keith DeCandido, Peter David, Larry Hama, Jeness Crawford, Bob Rozakis, Greg Pak, Jane Yolen, Holly Black, the list goes on and on and on.

I-Con is home to one of the wider spectrums of fans, from anime to science and technology, and generally draws about six thousand people a year and is never the same from year to year. So if you’ve never been there, give it a shot. Tell them we sent you.

Sci Fi Finally Green Lights ‘Caprica’

Sci Fi Finally Green Lights ‘Caprica’

In an overdue announcement, Sci Fi Channel has formally picked up Caprica as an ongoing series.  The show, a prequel to Battlestar Galactica, will star Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Paula Malcomson and Polly Walker in a story set fifty years prior to BSG.

Variety describes Caprica as a “Family-drama-themed series will focus on the Earthlike planet of Caprica as two rival families deal with, among other topical issues, the broader implications of their society’s emerging artificial intelligence technology sector.”

Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, along with Remi Aubuchon (24) will executive produce as they have on BSG. Caprica‘s pilot was co-written by Aubuchon and Moore and directed by Jeffrey Reiner (Friday Night Lights).

A promo for the series can be found at the Sci Fi website with a “Coming Soon” despite the trades saying it won’t air before 2010. Production will begin in the summer of 2009 while BSG will begin airing its final ten episodes in January.

"Battlestar Galactica was absolutely our flagship show. It put us on the map and helped transform the perception of the network," Sci Fi president Dave Howe told Variety. "We want people to come to this who have never heard of Battlestar Galactica. I think, because (Galactica‘s) backdrop was space and spaceships, there was a barrier to entry for some viewers. Caprica has none of that. It’s an intense family drama set on an Earthlike planet, in the near future, speaking to a lot of the ethical dilemmas that we as a human race are going to have to face very shortly."


Miller & Gough to Rebuild ‘Robotech’

Miller & Gough to Rebuild ‘Robotech’

Smallville’s fathers, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, have been signed to adapt Robotech into a live-action feature for Warner Bros. No director, cast or production dates have been released.

The 1980s anime series ran in America courtesy of Harmony Gold USA and was one of the first noteworthy anime series from that era. It was actually the combination of three separate series created by Tatsunoko Prods. In order to satisfy the needs of American television syndication.

As a result, it became a “sprawling sci-fi epic, Robotech takes place at a time when Earth has developed giant robots from the technology on an alien spacecraft that crashed on a South Pacific isle. Mankind is forced to use the technology to fend off an alien invasion, with the fate of the human race ending up in the hands of two young pilots.”

The Hollywood Reporter
notes that Akiva Goldsman and Chuck Roven will produce with Tobey Maguire and Drew Crevello. Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark) wrote a previous draft before the studio turned it over to the duo that has worked on Smallville and also did early drafts for Iron Man, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Spider-Man 2.

Scientists One Step Closer To Invisibility

Scientists One Step Closer To Invisibility

CNN.com has reported that scientists are having continuing success in developing invisibility technology.

The scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, are to going to release their findings later this week in the journals Nature and Science.

The technology to avoid not only human sight but also radar and other forms of detection has understandable military applications. For instance, just imagine: invisible ninja!

Or is that repetitive?

Want more? Check out the link!

Robert Downey Jr. to Star in ‘Cowboys & Aliens’?

Robert Downey Jr. must have enjoyed his foray into comic book films as Tony Stark in the breakaway success of Iron Man. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Downey is in talks to star in another long-in-development comics property, Cowboys & Aliens.

While the armor-clad Marvel Studios’ film rises above the $500 million mark in ticket sales, Downey is looking at the Western/sci fi mashup from the Platinum Studios comic by Fred Van Lente and Andrew Foley. The property now is at Dreamworks/Universal after bouncing around the studio circuit for about a decade, but now is supposedly set for a 2010 date.

The story centers on an Old West battle between the Apache and Western settlers, including a former Union Army gunslinger named Zeke Jackson (Downey), that is interrupted by a spaceship crashing into the prairie near Silver City, Ariz.

The story draws a parallel between the American imperialist drive to conquer the "savage" Indians with its advanced technology and the aliens’ assault on Earthlings, who must join together to survive the invaders’ attack. …

The most recent draft by "Iron Man" and "Children of Men" writers Hawk Ostby and Mark Fergus clearly hit the right notes, as the project looks to gain its major players quickly.

No word on how this affects plans for the planned Iron Man sequel. As you’ve read here at ComicMix, that one is supposedly set for May 2010, which would mean a crowded plate for Downey.

King Arthur, Iron Man, and Brooks Brothers, by Dennis O’Neil

King Arthur, Iron Man, and Brooks Brothers, by Dennis O’Neil

To…oh, say, King Arthur, if he ever existed, you would have superpowers. I mean, look at you. You can travel 100 miles an hour (but that red light flashing in your rearview mirror can’t be good) and you can cause a blank pane of glass to light up and show you what’s happening on he other side of the world, or what happened last week, or both, and you can twist your wrist and cause flame to appear atop that table-thing in the kitchen, with no protracted fussing with flint and stone… To Arthur, it would appear that you’re employing magic.

Living when he did, Art never read another Arthur’s observation that any form of technology sufficiently advanced would appear to be magic, at least to lumps like us. (I refer to Arthur C. Clarke, but you knew that…) So Arthur, (the king, not the science fiction writer) might watch you doing your stuff and conclude that you must be magic and because you’re magic you must be special. He wouldn’t know that you bought your powers, at a discount, at that big, ugly mall about a mile west on the freeway.

Remember, he had a special sword, Excalibur, and he had it because he deserved to have it. And so it was with other talismans, amulets, and assorted weapons and mystic hoo-haws that super good guys got hold of during their adventures down through the ages.

Which brings us to Tony Stark.