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The Making of Browncoats: Redemption, a Firefly Fan Film

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the July 21st, 2009

Joss Whedon’s Firefly and Serenity left a giant indelible mark in the wild west of modern science fiction, leaving rabid fans wanting more, much more. Rather than wait for Fox or NBC to come around and maybe give fans what they crave, some fans have taken it upon themselves to extend the Firefly story themselves. Browncoats: Redemption is not your typical fan flick. This one has a compelling story, a tight script, elaborate well lit sets, actors who know how to act, all shot on RED cameras and to top it all off, for charity! Well into principal production, Redemption is looking a lot like what die hard fans have been clamoring for. Joss Whedon has reportedly given the production his thumbs up, with some of his and Serenity/Firefly cast members’ charities standing to benefit.

Scott Stead, GETV Field Contributor in Washington, DC, visits the Redemption set during principal shooting and speaks with creators/producers Steven J. Fisher and Michael C. Dougherty as well as several of the film’s cast members.

Episode links: Browncoats:Redemption, Scott Stead, Serenity, Firefly, Joss Whedon

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Chris Anderson Speaks for Free

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the July 2nd, 2009

When our pal Kevin Smokler slid us the opportunity to interview one of the legendary thinkers and writers of the geekosphere, we pounced on the chance. Chris Anderson resuscitated Wired magazine back from the brink of the geek deadpool and is notable for coining the term The Long Tail, which he penned a book on. Chris is about to release his second book, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, which is already generating controversy on a couple of fronts.

One never to rest, Chris also recently launched, a site for authors to more easily line up and promote their book tours and for fans to easily find and meet up with their favorite authors. Chris, like us, is also a big fan of ‘maker’ culture and is busy building drone airplanes based on open source hardware. A subject we’ll save for another episode.

Episode links: Chris Anderson, The Long Tail blog, Wired, BookTour, Free: The Future of the Radical Price, DIY Drones, Ning, VQR (criticism)

Video Guitars are the Future of Music

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the June 16th, 2009

Which comes first, the music or the video? The question is moot now that artisan Ben Lewry of Visionary Instruments, has built an LCD video display into his guitar. After several prototypes, his custom video guitars now can run visualizations or movies by simply popping in a USB thumbdrive into a back panel. Visualizations can even be triggered with MIDI signals by playing the guitar. Steven Wilson, of Porcupine Tree, was so taken by Ben’s designs that he’s now rocking a video guitar to sold out shows around the world.

Episode links: Visionary Instruments, Porcupine Tree, Diane Nitschke [photos], Maker Faire

MakerBot Dreams of Evil Darth Vader Heads

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the June 9th, 2009

It’s true. The future is here. Really. Anything you can dream in 3D can be made real. MakerBot’s affordable Cupcake CNC, a slightly larger than a breadbox 3D printer, will take your 3D modeled dreams and make them manifest. MakerBot’s Bre Pettis, a man who knows how a lot about making robots and dreams come true, gives Irina the skinny on what MakerBot is and how it works.

Episode links: MakerBot, Bre Pettis, Thingiverse, Google SketchUp, Blender, Forkbot, Martha Vader, Maker Faire 2009

What’choo Talking About, Todd Bridges?

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the June 4th, 2009

You may not want to run up to legendary American TV actor Todd Bridges and yell “What’choo talkin’ bout, Willis?” (in case you were born in the 90’s, Bridges played Gary Coleman’s older brother Willis on the historic TV series “Diff’rent Strokes” — the molestation episode is classic!) For the past few years, Bridges has joined the ranks of professional wrestling. If he gets annoyed by Willis fans, he just might body slam them! Bridges is known in the ring as Mr. Not So Perfect — and if you check out the internets, you’ll see his grown up days have been exactly that, including some serious criminal charges. That’s why we love him so. Building his own computers from the ground up, playing PC games, and talkin’ smack online, Willis identifies as a true computer geek. Watch the interview to hear his politcal thoughts on Cary Coleman’s run for governor and the current California Governator. Also, watch for his online gamer tag so you can wrestle him yourself! Don’t forget to peep past the credits for a special challenge from the Slutsky.

Episode links: Todd Bridges, Fog City Wrestling

TechCab Confessions: MC Frontalot

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the May 28th, 2009

For our third installment of TechCab Confessions we have uber nerdcore rapper (the one who coined the term!) MC Frontalot take the hot seat, err, back seat of the taxi. For those of you joining us in medias res, GETV’s TechCab series takes geeks for a ride while they confess their technological sins to a live streaming camera for all the world to see. In this episode, we are honored to have Front — as he’s known to his fans — take a break from performing at SXSW and promoting his latest album Final Boss to tell us a whopper of a story for which, we are happy to say, the statute of limitations has TOTALLY and COMPLETELY expired. A great hacker caper of yore, involving the inaugural Lillith Fair, the Levi’s website and an amateur musician’s online contest — all this, and someone ended up in jail after all! We’ll just leave that to the great nerdcore rapper and elegant hacker to tell you the rest.

Episode links: TechCab Confessions, MC Frontalot, essence, Lilith Fair, guest editor: Madge Weinstein, photo credits: jeans, cookie, steel barbie, angy barbie, stiff barbie, pants down, seattle coffee

Woz Plays Serious Segway Polo in the Park

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the May 19th, 2009

This is rewind week as we delve back into the archives to pull out this favorite geek gem from 2006. We attended a hoity toity Segway Polo match for charity with GETV alums Steve Wozniak and Victor Miller where GETV Guest Segway Sportscaster Nicole Shipley (daughter of Veritas Software founder Dale Shipley) asked hard hitting questions about a serious issue with the Segway. The match was part of the 22nd annual Polo in the Park and the money went to the James S. Brady Riding Program for Special Children ? so all kinds of horseplay went on. Yeah, we do hang with chopped liver. MMM, chopped liver. Special thanks to Diego?s Umbrella for the soundtrack. We?ll keep our pants on, thanks.

Episode links: SF Polo in the Park, Segway HT Polo, Victor Miller, Steve Wozniak, Segway of Oakland, Diego’s Umbrella

TechCab Confessions: Julia Allison

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the May 12th, 2009

Now for a second installment of our Tech Cab Confessions series, we have none other than NonSociety’s Julia Allison, who answers Irina’s never-ending query of how geeks have “destroyed themselves of others” on the internet. In case you are new to our Tech Cab, Irina drove around Austin, picking up her victims, oops, we mean fares, who confessed live on camera their deepest secrets and sins to you, our fair viewers. Julia Allison has written for Time Out New York, Star Magazine, Huffington Post, and has reported for MSNBC and Fox. In this confession, Julia drops her guard and dishes on her ex-boyfriend Jake Lodwick (one of the founders of Vimeo), her non-relationship with Kevin Rose, her decision to quit self-promoting herself, her realization that people were laughing at her and not with her, and gives advice to little girls about to embark on a career in internet fame. What a confession, what raw material for guest editor Richard Bluestein to mold into an episode. Who’s Richard you ask? Why, he’s Madge Weinstein, host of Yeast Radio, one of the most popular podcasts in the history of the internet. We think Madge and Irina were related in a prior immigration experience, but they’re all hush hush. They definitely share at least one organ, but they won’t say which one.

Episode links: TechCab Confessions, Julia Allison, NonSociety, Madge Weinstein

1,000 Hypermiles on a Single Tank of Gas

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the May 5th, 2009

Is it really possible to get over 1,000 miles out of single tank of gas? If you are a “hypermiler”, you know this to be true. This week we’re doing something a little different here at GETV. Our new field contributor Scott Stead in Washington, DC, has been following the Ford 1000 Mile Challenge. Scott gets the lowdown on hypermiling from the original hypermiler himself Wayne Gerdes, and NASCAR racer Carl Edwards, who is no slacker for a challenge. Extreme gas mileage using some fairly ordinary driving optimization tricks is something we can all get behind.

Episode links: Hypermiling, Ford Fusion Gets 81.5 MPG, Ford Fusion Hybrid 1000 Mile Challenge, CleanMPG, Wayne Gerdes, Carl Edwards, Scott Stead

CAPTCHA Demystified

Posted in GETV Episode by ekai on the April 28th, 2009

Thanks to our friends at Intel, Irina and editor Kevin flew to Portland where not only did they get to tour the top secret chip-making labs (no camera’s allowed) but they met some disprutive tech guys in the realm of CAPTCHAs. You may not know what a CAPTCHA is, but we’re pretty sure you’ve used one or two or three. OK, so if someone asks you what’s a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) and you wanna sound annoying and smart just say, “It’s a reverse Turing test.” Hee. Basically, it’s a way for the computer to tell if you’re a human or a bot to prevent comment spam on blogs (or on YouTube, etc) or, more importantly, to prevent bots from infiltrating consumer sites. Since the average failure rate of traditional CAPTCHA technolgy is about 20 percent, bots can mess up a lot of shopping. We’ve heard that Ticketmaster loses as much as 12 percent of their sales to potential ticket buyers who drop out because they can’t get past the CAPTCHA. So, if you can ignore Irina’s combover hairstyle in this episode, we check in with the guys from Vidoop and hear what they have to say. Oh yeah, this subject would not be complete without referencing a little Blade Runner and the Voight-Kampff test.

Episode links: CAPTCHA, Vidoop, Voight-Kampff

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