Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Comics News: Captain America on "Captain America" at WonderCon SF

Related searches: Captain America, First Avenger, Captain America, WonderCon SF, The Fantastic Four, Chris Evans, Jon Hamm, Marvel Comics

WonderCon SF was held last weekend and from all accounts it was not only a blast, it may have set an attendance record. With the wave of movies based on popular comic book characters, there were more costumes of those characters in movies slated for release, like The First Avenger: Captain America.

As reported in this space, The First Avenger: Captain America is a movie based on the Marvel Comics hero of the same name. The First Avenger: Captain America, to be produced by Marvel Entertainment and directed by Joe Johnston (The Wolfman) has a release date is July 22, 2011, as of this writing. Chris Evans, "The Human Torch" from The Fantastic Four movie series is signed to play the government-serum-enhanced WWII soldier Steve Rogers.

But what do fans think of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers? I asked that of a number of fans at WonderCon SF, including one who had no problem being on video. That Captain America said he liked the choice of Chris Evans, who "was the only good part about The Fantastic Four."

But what about Jon Hamm, the star of the TV series Mad Men, which has developed a cult following? "I think Chris Evans adds a certain amount of youth to it. Because if you think about it, a soldier on the battle field is going to be pretty young" (Evans is 30 and Jon Hamm is 40). I didn't find anyone who disagreed with "Captain America" on Chris Evans, so it seems like fans are now ready to give Evans the thumbs up.

Stay tuned.

More big earthquakes projected for 2010 than 2009, 2008, and 2007

As reported in the blog post on the 7.7 Indonesian earthquake of today, an analysis of online information published by the US Geological Survey revealed this information:

In all there have been 23 "significant earthquakes" of above 4 on the Richter Scale in 2010 thus far, according to the US Geological Survey. And of those, 17 have been over 6 on the scale. There were 72 "significant earthquakes" in all of 2009 and 58 in 2008, and 56 in 2007.

If this rate continues according to this blogger's calculations, there will be 92 "significant earthquakes" for 2010, 20 more than in 2009 and 44 more than for all of 2008, and 46 more than in all of 2007.

The skeptic would offer that this current trend of "significant earthquakes" could be slowed by a lull, but even excluding 2010, the number of "significant earthquakes" has increased from 56 in 2007 to 72 in 2009 in looking at the USGS information.

One reason for this increase in number may be improved earthquake sensing technology. Indeed, the USGS reports that this is the case. But there's a problem in the basic logic presented by the USGS, a large earthquake has damaging impacts such that more sensitive technology would make no difference, a large quake is just that: big. People know when an earthquake larger than 6 on the Richter Scale strikes. Moreover the USGS points to improved technology between 1931 and today, not within the last decade.

So we come back to the apparent fact that we have more earthquakes of significant (read: large) size projected for 2010 than in over the last four years.

Stay tuned.

Sumatra Indonesia Earthquake 7.7 on Richter Scale

Continuing what has been an incredible and incredibly horrifying string of large earthquakes starting with the 7.0 Haiti Earthquake, then earthquakes in Guatemala, Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, and just this week the 7.2 Southern California Earthquake and now the Sumatra Indonesia Earthquake at 7.7 on Richter Scale, and it's just the first week of April.

This is the second time in 2010 Indonesia has suffered from a "significant earthquake."

In all there have been 23 "significant earthquakes" of above 4 on the Richter Scale in 2010 thus far, according to the US Geological Survey. And of those, 17 have been over 6 on the scale. There were 72 "significant earthquakes" in all of 2009 and 58 in 2008, and 56 in 2007.

If this rate continues according to this blogger's calculations, there will be 92 "significant earthquakes" for 2010, 20 more than in 2009 and 44 more than for all of 2008, and 46 more than in all of 2007.

According to The Times Online UK, the Sumatra Indonesia Earthquake struck at 5:15 AM or 22:15 GMT, 125 miles away from the coast of the city of Sibolga and 29 miles below the surface of The Earth. As of this writing there were no reports of major damage or casualties, and tsunami warnings were stopped.

Stay tuned.

Google can fix News Media's big Internet problem

Related searches: MSM, news media, Google, Google AdSense, Google news, blogger, youtube, youtube partner, Rupert Murdoch, New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.

At times it's good to take a step back and look at how news media's changing. Yes, it's done everyday, but I'm referring to this blogger pulling away from what I now call "The systems approach to blogging" for a moment to reflect on the changes in media I've seen. While there are many small news media developments that are really interesting, the one large one that bugs me is what I've referred to before: the fragmentation of news media and the involvement of Google.

Again, the "fragmentation of media" is news media created by many individuals and groups, often for niche markets or interests. What's happening is that as more people discover blogs and how to use them, as well as social networks and mobile social networks, it's harder for any one news outlet, individual, group, or company to make money. And Google's adding to this problem.

In protecting one news media group, Google's making it harder for other news media organizations and individuals to make money online. Google is protecting established news organizations online at the expense of smaller and newer ones. How? With Google News.

Google News favors established news websites. But what if it didn't do that. What if what was posted was the result of a pure automated content analysis, and whatever was posted first that met the criteria was listed? That would open up more media platforms and push out established media. It would force larger media organizations to partner with existing blogs and perhaps buy them, or vice-versa.

Why? Because smaller but smarter media publishers would have a fighting chance to generate traffic and earn ad dollars from that volume.

Why Google and not Bing or Yahoo for this approach? For several reasons. First, Google still controls, as of this writing, Google controls approximately 70 percent of the search engine market. And even with the advent of Bing, Google's search engine share doesn't seem to be threatened one bit.

Google also owns Blogger and has Google Adsense, the online advertising platform that's almost symbiotically linked to Blogger. Google could actually increase its own ad revenue base by leveling the news playing field. And it could give Google News placement priority to content that was created by Google account holders who were YouTube Partners. That program is also part of Google AdSense, go Google wins again.

While Google takes full advantage of its integrated web systems in this way, bloggers win by being able to see a simple reward for hard work and teaming up. The bigger the blog staff and the more active the blog, the more traffic it draws.

Who loses? Established news websites that do not understand how to write for the Internet, that's who. Google has been protecting and coddling these news organizations for far too long, and in the process slowing their growth in the Internet business.

The problem is too many journalists and news organizations don't understand that when they're writing online, they are in effect creating a new web page. The basic rules of web site design for search are consistently violated and so often that it's criminal. Titles have nothing to do with the subject of the article post. The subject name, the primary keyword, at times doesn't appear in the first paragraph and it it does, it's there only once.

I could go on and on.

Google leveling the playing field would force old media organizations to ship up or get out. And it would work as a breakwater against media fragmentation by essentially rewarding teams of bloggers.

What would Rupert Murdoch think about this? Not much, probably. What about Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the publisher of the New York Times? Can't imagine he would be thrilled with the change. But it would force those organizations, and others, to produce better content that can be found on the Internet.

Over time, it would also force media consolidation, and help smaller media teams to actually have a better chance be rewarded for being competitive, and that reward is to earn a living.

Nicollette Sheridan's One Shining Moment 2010 with Marc Cherry

Related searches: Nicollette Sheridan, One Shining Moment 2010, Marc Cherry, ABC Studios, Jennifer Hudson

Nicollette Sheridan, who's famous for being on Desperate Housewives is getting her "One Shining Moment 2010" with Marc Cherry. Nicollette Sheridan is suing Marc Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives for $20 million in a wrongful termination claim.

Sheridan charges that Marc Cherry hit her and then killed off her character "Edie Britt", thus getting rid of her, when she tried to complain about it.

Whatever the case, ABC Studios is standing behind Marc Cherry according to EOnline: "While we have yet to see the actual complaint, we investigated similar claims made by Ms. Sheridan last year and found them to be without merit."

The lawsuit covers assault, wrongful termination, and gender violence. It reads that Cherry hit her across the head and face. Yikes. Here's a copy of the lawsuit you can read: LAWSUIT.

I'll post another blog on this after reading the suit in depth. Meanwhile, here's the video of Jennifer Hudson singing One Shining Moment as part of CBS' video to end the amazing 2010 NCAA Championship and Duke v. Butler, a game for the ages.

Stay tuned.