Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Zeevex Use Of Little People At GDC 2011 Disturbing

While there's a lot going on at 2011 The Game Developer Conference here at Moscone Center, and videos and interviews yet to be compressed and uploaded, this issue had to be pushed forward, now.

A company called Zeevex, which offers a micro-payment transaction service that can be used in online games and other types of digital content, and seems to be an attractive alternative to PayPal, is at GDC.

Zeevex is using a rather unusual and unfortunate way to promote its product on the floor of the Game Developer Conference: it's employing little people as part of an effort to get show goers to put on Mohawks. If they're spotted with the Mohawk, they win some kind of prize.

Oh, and you can't just put on the Mohawk, either. You have to win the right to wear it by - get this - playing a kind of slapping game with one of the little people. I only made the video so you could see what I was talking about, but could not bring myself to play the game - it's too insulting and I was just not with it. I tried to mask my feelings just to do the video. While it's a kind of game in the sprit of GDC, that it employs these poor people is just shameful.

I think the man who seemed to be leading the band of people knew I wasn't really "hip" with what they were doing just because I was making a vlog while he was talking, and sported a GDC badge that reads "MEDIA."

But with all that, the band seemed to be navigating GDC without mishap. It's not that people don't have a problem with what Zeevex is doing - people in the media room I talked to did - it's just that people are too focused on whatever else they're interested in.


Well, off to the Blacks In Gaming function. Yep. Another party.

Nikky Talks about Carbohydrates

Homework from Debby: "Google the carbohydrates: I want definition of all the different types. then I want a list of foods that are in each category."

All information obtained through google searches and various health web sites. These are just my notes to show to you all the hard work that goes into a detox - it's worth it. Debby helps me educate myself about what is going into my body with her little projects for me. Ignore the grammar - this is strictly a blog post that should be regarded as a page from a notebook or diary, good information maybe a bit scattered, but worth reading. I reworded everything I read and researched into my own words.


A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the general formula Cm(H2O)n, that is, consisting only of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, the last two in the 2:1 atom ratio. Carbohydrates can be viewed as hydrates of carbon, hence their name.

Major classification of carbohydrates Debby are--


Monosaccharides--> glucose, fructose, galactose
glucose is the main sugar metabolized by the body for energy
galactose combines with glucose to form lactose in milk - it is converted within our bodies to glucose by the liver to provide energy.
fructose is absorbed and converted into glucose by the liver just like lactose - it's also like fruit, honey, and high fructose corn syrup.

Sucrose , Lactose, Maltose
Lactose - forms from condensation of glucose and galactose . It's a beta-glycosidic bond that some people can't digest which is why some people are lactose intolerant
Sucrose - found in common table sugar and composed of glucose and fructose. It is an excellent natural preservative found in jam and sugar cane and even maple syrup.
Maltose - It is used in alcohol production through a process of fermentation. Glucose, maltose and other sugars are converted to ethanol by yeast cells in lack of oxygen. Uncommon in nature but can be formed through the breakdown of starch by the enzymes of the mouth.

Carbohydrates with more than two simple sugars are oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. Responsible for storage of glucose and other sugars in plants and animals.

Oligosaccharides -> Raffinose and Stachyose. Composed of repeating unites of galactose, glucose and fructose. These are in beans and legumes. They cannot be absorbed through the small intestine - they are metabolized by bacteria in large intestine to form unwanted gaseous byproducts.

Polysaccharides - Complex carbohydrates. Naturally allowing for storage of large quantities of glucose. Starch is major storage. Potatoes, beans, bread, pasta, rice. Some forms are indigestible like gum.

Nucleotides - Sugar of importance in DNA and RNA. Breakdown of glucose for energy and can be used for the synthesis of compounds.

Carbohydrates give us energy, dietary fiber, break down the fatty acids.
Biological recognition processes

Monosaccharides ->
Orange Juice
maple Syrup
Candy Bars
Sweet potatoes

Disaccharides -- citrus fruits, milk, vegetables, beans

Debby Kaplan is amazing. Make sure to visit her web site

IPad 2 Apple Announcement

On March 11, 2011 the IPad 2 will be launched and available in stores. USA TODAY reports that Steve Jobs promises faster performance chip and front and rear facing camera for photos and video chats - they will also be thinner.

The price of the Ipad 2 will probably be starting around $400 and will come with cool new cases that are in different colors.

Also new information includes:

The new iPad uses a new A5 chip that Jobs says is twice as fast, along with a promised nine times faster graphics performance. It comes in two colors, white and black, and is 33% thinner and lighter, at 1.3 pounds instead of 1.5.
Apple will offer a HDMI connector, allowing iPads to plug into flat screen TVs. Unlike most devices, which offer slots, Apple will offer a $39 accessory that fits into the iPad 30-pin opening, and connects to a TV.
The electronics icon also offered a new kind of protective case, a "smart cover" for the iPad, based on magnets, which slips over the iPad and puts the unit to sleep when not in use. The case can be used to prop the iPad up as well when on an airplane, for instance.

99ers & Tier 5 Advocates: U-CUBED is advocating hard for JOBS

****Attention 99ers & Tier 5 Advocates: U-CUBED is advocating hard for JOBS - what are you doing to HELP?

In a site wide communiqué with all members of U-Cubed yesterday, Executive Director Rick Sloan encouraged all members of the Union for the Unemployed to take back their rights now.

The inspiring proclamation was titled: "Necessitous Men Are Not Free Men" and read in it’s entirety:
"True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men.' People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
1944 State of the Union Speech

Dear UCubed Leaders and Jobs Activists:
The three sentences quoted above led into FDR’s demand that Congress consider a Second Bill of Rights. For Roosevelt, the litany of economic rights included:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation
  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation
  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return that will give him and his family a decent living;
  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad
  • The right of every family to a decent home
  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health
  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.
  • The right to a good education.

What was the stated reason for this presidential initiative? Roosevelt said it was designed to forestall “the grave dangers of a ‘rightist reaction’ in this Nation.”

Roosevelt knew all too well the role necessitous men played in the rise of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Hideki Tajo and Joseph Stalin. He had watched the demise of the Weimar Republic in Germany, the rise of fascism in Italy, the spread of militarism in Japan and the murderous march of communism in Russia. Each dictator had clawed their way to power by abusing those unemployed in the Great Depression.
A decade earlier, Roosevelt had battled America’s home grown demagogues – Senator Huey Long, Father Charles Coughlin, Gerald L.K. Smith, and Dr. Francis Evert Townsend. They, too, sought power by appealing to necessitous men. From Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth Plan and Father Coughlin’s National Union for Social Justice to Dr. Townsend’s $200 per month old-age pension plan, each had attracted massive followings by Glenn Beck-like rants on the medium of the day: radio.

Roosevelt, who had been called a traitor to his class, knew that the forces of “rightist reaction” would use any and every excuse to wrestle power from the people, at first little by little and then when the time was right in large bursts. Their lobbyists would rewrite his New Deal regulations; their congressional allies would dismantle his New Deal programs; their judges would reinterpret settled law; and their presidential candidates would kowtow to corporate executives, promising to cut corporate taxes and red tape – all in the name of “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

So the Second Bill of Rights was meant to protect “We, The People” long after FDR left the world stage. Think about what it would mean today if Congress had acted and two-thirds of the states had ratified his language.
Unemployment benefits would be a constitutional right, not bait for a filibuster. The right to a useful and remunerative job would be backed by decades of legal precedents. Businesses would be afraid to pay sub-minimum wages. The right to a good education would be enforceable in, and protected by, federal courts. The right to adequate medical care would not be subject to whims of insurance companies.

But don’t just think about it. Act on it.

Ask your Senators and Member of Congress to sponsor a joint resolution that defines your economic rights.
In Unity – Strength,
If you are not yet engaged in U-Cubed Please DO SO TODAY:

U-Cubed on:





Take a look at this info from NELP: ...these findings do suggest that for unemployed workers, as well as for those seeking to move up in the labor market or entering it for the first time, the current distribution of job opportunities has deteriorated, compared to before the recession."
"Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

[The donation button below is for Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

99ers, We Must Organize and We Must Fight

This "99ers, We Must Organize and We Must Fight" article appeared today in the From the Trenches World blog and echoes what I have been reporting for nearly a year.

"The mainstream propaganda is all abuzz with the effects current world events are having on the New York Stock Exchange. If any of you took the time to download and watch Zeitgeist III – Moving Forward you know that the stock exchange is in no way an indicator in reference to our economy. It is in fact no more than the ultra rich’s score board to show who is steeling the most from whom.
There has not been one damn word in reference to the 99ers, though it does seem we may be gearing up for another Middle Eastern war at a million dollars a year per soldier. Of course there is no expense too great when it comes to helping other countries. Hell, we’ll just add it to our debt. Our grandchildren can afford it.

I swear, I just want to get a bullhorn and stand out in front of the White House and scream at the top of my lungs, “We are not stupid enough to believe another word you say, you bat-eared son of a bitch.” The fact is neither Obama nor any other scum bag serving in our government has ever seen a hungry day in their lives. I wonder how much we paid for the latest party Obama threw to honor the legacy of Motown. These bastards are beginning to make Marie Antoinette look like Mother Theresa.

God knows we do not want a French style revolution in our country. But I’m beginning to believe that the elite do. You see starving us out in the cold just isn’t killing us quickly enough. If our enemies could only find a way to get we the people to divide ourselves into two camps and start killing one another, maybe they could get us out of the way faster which would allow them to get back to enjoying their lives of luxury.

If the United States goes into Libya and our Congress allows the expenditure without Obama showing how it will be paid for, it must be considered the final wad of spit in our faces. And I’m telling you I believe they are going to do it, as the CIA has already helped the rebels to form a new government. They would not have gone to this trouble unless they had a plan that involved spending billions more dollars that could be going to help the 99ers.

I don’t know how but we have got to find a way to assert the power we possess – now. Wouldn’t it be nice if the CIA would come and give us money to organize a rebellion against the totalitarian dictatorship we are living under? But then that is never going to happen because it is no longer America for Americans, but rather America to the highest bidder.

We cannot let up. We cannot slow down. We must organize and we must fight."

[You can read the rest of the article HERE]

So why is it that the millions of Americans screwed over for so long by Washington and the corporate elite refuse to take to the streets and DEMAND their rights? Have we not had enough of the rich "HAVES" taking every advantage that money can buy them at the expense of the American poor and middle class? What is it going to take to revolt?

Cindy Paoletti, long time 99er advocate came up with a novel idea to have ALL UNEMPLOYED in America stop spending money for 2 days this month, in a type of economic protest on behalf of 99ers who Congress and Obama continue to allow to suffer inexcusably. She has been Tweeting the following: #99er boycott Mar. 15 & 16 Don’t spend money anywhere! PLZ - need support from employed people too and it is catching on like wildfire. Please tweet out to all fellow unemployed on your Twitter list and to ALL Politicians & Media contacts as well.

We must do everything at our disposal, including using social media - YES - BUT we also MUST get out in the streets and fight for our very survival. The only thing that is going to wake up Washington is for millions of Americans to take to the streets in every corner of this country and make known that we are MAD as HELL and are NOT GOING TO TAKE it ANYMORE - And KEEP DOING SO until We WIN this fight.

Too Rich to Fail?

Budget shortfalls in many states have helped shine the spotlight on fiscal responsibility, but as we've seen in Wisconsin when there are political careers on the line rhetoric tries to muscle its way into the spotlight, too. There is no guarantee of objectivity left in commercial "mainstream" media in the U.S. anymore; the chase after "bottom line" success has also chased truth and journalistic standards into full retreat.

Now elected so-called leaders want to chase education into full retreat, too. With the full complicity of ratings-driven networks who will present any side of an issue if they make a buck today, the folks who can afford to pay as much for their kid to attend an elite private academy every year as the rest of us can justify for a graduate school have decided public schools and the people who teach them are no longer a priority.
" the derivatives market alone, $600 trillion is in play. That’s why the players, and the Chamber of Commerce, are lobbying so hard to be left alone..."
from "$6 Trillion in play: derivatives markets"
18 February 2011 at realitytax
We bailed out Wall Street bankers after the 2008 crash caused by years of risky business put our economy in a tail-spin, supporting their lavish lifestyles, sky-high salaries, and jaw-dropping year-end bonuses; in exchange they demand we reduce taxes on the ultra-rich while our bridges crumble, potholes proliferate, and we're reducing the modest paychecks and threatening the retirement benefits of public school teachers? In the land of opportunity? Seriously?

We've let corporations and lobbyists build a system where the rule is that some are not only being asked to pay less than their fair share, but they're also too rich to fail. What's next, taking away the collective bargaining rights that made this country great by building the middle class into the engine of the world's greatest economy? We can do better than this; on behalf of our children we must do better than this.
In 2009, "America’s top 25 hedge fund managers earned an average of $1 billion each — enough to pay for 20,000 teachers."
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich
3 May 2010

Political Correspondent Thomas Hayes is a former Congressional Campaign Manager; he's a journalist, photo/videographer, entrepreneur, and communications consultant who contributes regularly on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community, who incidentally stands in solidarity with the citizens and workers in Wisconsin refusing to let their Governor's self-created budget "crisis" and new spending priorities be re-cast as a reason to undermine contractual obligations and collective bargaining agreements.
You can follow Tom as @kabiu on twitter.

Academy Awards: Oscar Ratings, Re-Branding, and Sarah Silverman

The Academy Awards, the grand annual show presented by The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is in trouble. The Oscars have posted a dramatic 9 percent loss in total viewers over 2010, and seems to be trapped in a "movie-dependent" phase of viewership performance. It's not just that The Oscars drew just 37.6 million viewers in 2011, down 5.7 million viewers from 2010, but that the overall change in Oscar viewership over the last 20 years is down.

Between 1988 and 1998, the average per-show annual viewership was 49.612 million. This was a period when The Oscars had just four hosts, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and David Letterman. During that period, Crystal was The Oscars host six of those ten years and viewership never dipped below 40 million; the best year was 1998, when the blockbuster The Titanic, drove numbers to a high of 57.25 million.

But there was another dynamic driving these good viewing numbers: the long-term loss of the primetime broadcast network viewing audience was continuing a pattern that started in the 1980s with the introduction of cable television.

According to my analysis of Nielsen data, during Oscars "high" period from 1988 to 1998, the primetime broadcast viewing audience dropped from 40 percent in 1988 to just about 30 percent in 1998. In 1988, 8 percent of the total primetime viewership was going to cable; by 1998, that jumped to 25 percent; today it's just over 50 percent.

The amazing success of Titanic that year, plus The Academy's use of a "rotation" of hosts, still including the popular Crystal and Goldberg, but adding Steve Martin in 2001 and 2003, arguably masked and delayed the impact these structural changes in viewership had on Oscars ratings. But in 2003, Steve Martin was the host for an Oscar telecast that was a ratings disaster, pulling in just 33.04 million viewers.

That was the first year The Oscars pulled in less than 40 million viewers since 1987, but it would not be the last year. For six of the past 11 years, Oscars viewership has been below 40 million and average per-show annual viewership between 1999 and 2009 was 44.165 million. The question is why?

Cable, the Internet, And Shifting Hosts

There are three reasons: first, the aforementioned impact of cable television in shifting primetime network broadcast viewers to cable, second, the growth of consumption of Internet-related content, and third, The Academy's break from having one host or "rotating hosts" and toward trying new hosts every year. Only Jon Stewart hosted twice during this period, and while Steve Martin served as a host again in 2010, the second time should be marked with an asterisk because he was paired with Alec Baldwin.

Over this time from 2003 to present, the Internet population, the number of people online, has grown dramatically. That has formed another alternative form of entertainment that arguably competes against primetime network broadcasts for viewers. According to ComScore, about 22 percent of the World is online at any one time, and in December of 2009, that number surpassed 1 billion.

What's Oscar To Do?

Over this time, viewing performance of the Academy Awards has been more and more guided by movie box office success.  So much so that two of the the last three best viewing years for the Oscars, 1998 and 2010, were paced by massive blockbusters in Titanic and Avatar; 2005 is an outlier, and can only be explained by the once-and-never-more appearance of comedian Chris Rock as The Oscars host.  That year had The Aviator bested by Million Dollar Baby for Best Picture.  Neither movie was a blockbuster; Shrek and Spider Man 2 were, taking in $441 million and $373 million respectively, and those films were not Best Picture nominees.

Mr. Rock was not retained as a host because he insulted some of the stars in the audience.  This is not to say that Chris Rock is the answer, only to frame the issue: how to form an overall brand for The Oscars that's beyond the host or the movie, and embraces technological change such that The Oscars can be viewed online, not just on television.

Selling The Oscars: An Approach

One thing missing from the "selling of the Oscars" is the presentation of the show as a lifestyle.  What draws viewers is just that: who's wearing what, and what parties are being held.  It's almost as if the actual telecast is taking a backseat to this interest in style.  And there's nothing wrong with that at all; it's just the way it's evolving.

The approach to meet this challenge starts with The Oscars host.  While I said that it's important to get beyond the host driving ratings, I did not say that switching hosts annually is the answer; it's not.  It communicates a lack of stability that's harmed The Oscars brand for the future, unless this practice is stopped.  The Academy must identify one host and sign that person to a five-year contract, thus stabilizing that part of the ratings flux problem.  Moveover, given that the most successful Oscars hosts have been comedians, that person should be a comedian.

Additionally, that person should be a known person, not an unknown.  The host should be such that the mere mention of the person's name causes buzz.  There are two people I think should be at the top of the list: Sarah Silverman and Dave Chappelle, two of the hottest comedians.   Silverman's social networking platform, featuring a Twitter following of 1.3 million, can help promote The Oscars during the weeks before the telecast.

Yes, help promote.

The other part of this new approach is a pre-show social broadcasting (not networking) effort, that looks to drive videos, blog posts, and photos in a package that presents the "Style Of The Oscars," which I'll discuss more below.  But the fact is The Academy's 20,000-plus Twitter followers are not large enough to drive needed buzz on their own; Silverman's 1.3 million, and that of other Oscars presenters, can help - if they're employed.  The Oscars host and presenters must help, and that has to start three-weeks before the telecast.  To help that effort, The Academy has to arrange for promoted Oscars-related hashtags over that period of time.

That this was done only on the day after The 2011 Oscars was a shameful waste of money, given that The Oscars were going to be blogged, written, and tweeted about anyway.

The Academy also failed to use videos on YouTube, (where The Academy lacks a channel), and other video-sharing sites in the pre-show marketing effort.  What must be shown is the set of commercials that will be used on television, along with selected "retrospectives" from past Oscar winners - this is where the lifestyle and tradition of The Academy Awards are communicated.  Some of those videos should be used in The Oscars telecast, and The Academy should have viewers vote online for the ones they want to see on Oscar Sunday.  

Finally, the telecast itself should reflect the fact that The Academy has "official Oscar parties" being held around the country.  The way to do this is to first announce that three special city locations will be randomly picked for Oscar Sunday.  Then, on that day, in a segment of about two minutes, The Oscars hosts connects the partygoers with the audience in the Kodak theater, where the patrons at the parties get to applaud the Oscar nominees live.

I don't think it's a good idea to have a spokesperson for each Oscars city party, just some way of letting them know a few minutes ahead of time that they are "the city" and for them to be ready to applaud on cue.

As silly as this may sound, it's something that, if it is continued, will become a hallmark event of The Oscars, as it helps to breaks down the "wall" between The Oscars and its audience, and keeps everyone engaged.   Moreover, its a way for The Academy to show the fans it appreciates their involvement.  It also accomplishes the objective of bringing the party into the telecast.

Finally, The Oscars must be live streamed.  People should, if they want, be able to see The Academy Awards on their smartphone.  ABC Television should not stand in the way of this, else, they hamper the long-term ad revenue success of The Oscars.   The Academy Awards must become "multi-platform" and be everywhere, not just on broadcast television.

The objective is to create an approach that helps move The Oscars beyond being driven just by the host or by movie box office performance.  Yes, that dynamic will remain, but my assertion is a full plan that includes one host for five years, a coordinated social broadcasting effort that includes the host and presenters, and the use of video, and methods to bring the "party" of the Oscars into the telecast without harming the flow of the show, will help improve ratings overall and maintain The Academy Awards as the premiere entertainment awards program.