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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday Thought

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed." 

~ Albert Einstein

Would you pay for internet content

Internet consumers prefer free content -- so much that they will stop using those sites that would begin to charge.

A new Nielsen survey says 79% of users would no longer access a Web site that charges them. The finding also assumes that consumers can find the same information at no cost. The new report from Nielsen surveyed 27,000 consumers from 52 countries.

Looking at new fee-based areas, the survey shows that 71% of global consumers say that if have to pay for online content it must be considerably better than what is currently available for free.

As for the quality of information, consumers were mixed as to the question about whether quality would suffer if publishers could not charge for content. About one-third (34%) say quality would suffer, but 30% believe it won't. Another 36% have no opinion.

More than three-quarters (78%) believe that if they subscribe to a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV service they should be able to use its online content for free. Once consumers pay for content, 62% believe they should have the right to copy or share it.

Ad-supported content factored into the equation. Some 47% were willing to accept more advertising to subsidize free content. But 64% believe that if they must pay for content online, there should be no ads.

They shoot lots of TV and movies in Las Vegas?

Where has the location work gone?

Nevada depends primarily on theatrical (meaning film) location shoots. We have seen less and less work over the past few years. The recession and its impact on the industry has taken a toll, but so have advancements in the old technology of "blue" or "green" screen and computer generation of locations, background talent and even primary actors.

Background artists have long known that locations can be shot anywhere. In the film "The Hitcher" the role of West Texas is played by Clark Country, Nevada. We have seen Area 51 with pine trees on "Star Gate", Las Vegas long represented by the streets of Greater Los Angeles or by New Mexico sound stages and locations. With the evolution of synthespians (see directly to the right in this blog) and virtual worlds on the Internet, it was only a matter of time before producers replaced expensive field trips with tiny insert stages, state of the art virtual back-lots and background actors who are resurrected from previous tapes or manufactured on a computer.

George Lucas pioneered turning a dozen or two background actors into a crowd, experimenting with the television series "Young Indiana Jones." The films "Gladiator" and "Titanic" took it to new levels by populating a crowded New York dock and the Roman Coliseum with only a handful of background multiplies, manipulated and synthesized wherever and whenever needed.

The Los Angeles Times features a visit to a company in LA whose trade is allowing film and television producers to save money by filming "on location" without leaving LA.

"Actors are inserted or “nested” into the virtual world, by performing in front of high-resolution cameras and a giant green screen. The process occurs in real time so directors can the see the finished product as they shoot, making the necessary adjustments to lighting and camera position — just like on a regular film set."

There is a reason, besides the cost and logistics of location work. "“Everybody wants to sleep in their own bed” said Dennis Hammer, executive producer of the sci-fi drama “Heroes,” now in its fourth season. “This is a technology that, if it’s used properly, can certainly make a stronger case for production staying in L.A.”

Kevin Smith of Mall Rats was kicked off a Southwest Flight for being overweight this morning...what are you thoughts?

2/18/2010 12:22:38 PM

 not to be mean but i could actually picture this happening in one of hs movies. I have not seen all of his movies but the CLOSEST thing I remember is throwing out one of the angels in Dogma and said 'no ticket.' I think that he should be refunded because he is actually not that fat looking. My grandpa is probably twice his weight and was never asked to get off. Go Kevin!

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

When our economy narrowly avoided a catastrophic depression, I began working with President Obama to stop the bleeding and get things moving in the right direction. We've seen evidence of a recovery over the last year, but I know that we need to do more to create and save jobs. And so for the rest of this Congress and for as long as it takes, I plan on introducing legislation specifically crafted to build on the success of the Recovery Act. I got started last week by introducing a bill that's going to save and create jobs, plain and simple.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and it's clear that the projects being funded have helped and are going to continue to help Nevada weather this recession. Whether they say it to the media or not is one thing, but the fact is that both Republicans and Democrats have asked for and welcomed Recovery Act funds to their home states and districts. I know it's done some good in Nevada so far -- funding renewable energy projects, helping struggling families afford to keep their health insurance, and easing the burden on small businesses so they can get back to hiring people.

One thing that won't save or create a single job is simply saying 'No' to common-sense initiatives. Our Jobs Bill is fiscally responsible and would take effect this year, so it should enjoy bi-partisan support. But as usual, I can't do this alone -- Nevadans and Americans need to continue standing up and demanding progress on job creation from their elected officials.

I agree wholeheartedly with President Obama that members of Congress need to focus more on creating jobs for the American people and less on protecting their own. That's always been how I've approached my job in the Senate, so my bill seeks to simplify the entire process by focusing on measures that should have bi-partisan support and will create jobs this year.

Our bill will invest more in infrastructure projects on the federal level, provide Build America Bonds to make it easier for state and local governments finance infrastructure projects, and cut taxes for small businesses who hire currently unemployed workers. Middle class families and small businesses cannot afford any further delays, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate need to work together and pass this bill.

This is only the beginning of our 2010 job-creation efforts in the Senate. By putting together common-sense proposals that should enjoy bipartisan support, we'll get smart investments and tax breaks to the people that need them most as quickly as possible. The power of Silver State lies is our independent spirit and willingness to roll up our sleeves and get to work, and I plan on taking that spirit straight to the Senate chamber to continue to success of the Recovery Act, and keep Nevada moving in the right direction.

Thanks for your time today, and for all you do for Nevada and our country.

Harry Reid
US Senator from Nevada