For decades we have used keyboards to communicate and express ourselves in the digital world. Relatively recently, the focus of user input has shifted towards multi-touch interaction, at least for a select group of devices and tasks. Now it seems that handwriting is about to get a boost in the virtual space.
Wacom is releasing a cross-platform standard for sharing handwritten notes and drawings. This is even more impressive when we consider that users will be able to experience and interact with how their collaborators are sketching something or writing a note. Imagine sitting in your hotel room with your tablet in your hand, while watching in real-time how your child creates a drawing on his device at home. Technology is getting increasingly focused on the human factor, and I believe this is the exact way to follow.
People who already know me probably know this story, as I like to tell it. Couple of years ago I have been completely a dog person, and I wasn’t very keen on cats. I found them to be always so cold, impersonal, without any true attachement. But something changed at a point, and I became… well, both a cat and a dog person. THe truth of the matter is, cats and dogs are very different creatures, with different needs and a set of specialized skills to go with those. So I was happy to find this following documentary (sorry, it’s only in German) about the skills and brains behind cats and dogs, how they evolved to being domestic pets and how this evolution influenced they character as companions.
[Abenteuer Erde – Hund oder Katze – Wer ist klüger?]
I enjoy comedies. And who doesn’t? Wait, scratch that… I know many people who don’t voluntarily go to see comedy movies or comedy plays in the theater. But for me, life is not worth much without a smile or a heartfelt laugh. See? 🙂 And while like any entertainment media that can spread laughter with good taste and some wit, I recently realised that I might have a favorite comedy actor: Bill Murray. Sure, I have many other actors I like, but most of Bill Murray’s roles and the way he plays them have a mix of fun, knowledge, social charm, loneliness and human desperation that make him simply outstanding compared to all others. And yes, he has played many more serious roles, but somehow all these traits and his abilities to act them out managed to shine through and make him a believable character in any setting or story. Eh, maybe it’s just me…
In case you don’t know so much about the great Bill Murray, check out the following clips:
So it seems McLaren are the first to bring their world in to the cartoon universe. The following includes 12 (funny!) episodes of the McLaren focused cartoon entitled Tooned:
The main stars are Lewis Hamilton, James Button and Professor M… plus of course a set of guest stars. I must say, I really like the fact that they used the original drivers to voice the characters. But judge for yourselves.
I didn’t want to let this pass unnoticed. So as you may or may not know, a couple of days ago Futurama, the other brain-child of Matt Groening, got cancelled… again. After running for five seasons and being cancelled in 2003, the show seemed to still have a pulse. After a couple of DVD movies, Futurama got aired again in 2010. However, while having a constant stream of followers, it never reached the same success again as in the first try. Where will all the geeky fans turn to now? The Big Bang Theory? Well sure, but it’s still won’t be the same…
As you might already know, in Germany the movies are dubbed and not subtitled, at least not usually. And one of the biggest names in dubbing in Germany is Rainer Brandt. So why is he so famous? Well, besides the long and successful career that he has as a writer, dialog writer and voice actor, he is mostly famous for basically revolutionizing how dubbing was done in Germany. As he says himself, there are different types of movies. In some, the translation has to be 1-to-1, precise and perfectly following the original. However, in others, one can and even should adapt. One such example are comedies, where the different humoristique styles might not fit into the German one.
Let me give you one example. Have you heard of Bud Spencer? Well, if you’re not Italian or German, the odds are not in your favor. Most Italians would know of this actor, as he is also Italian and famous in his country. He shot many movies during his career, some of which he also written or directed. Some of his movies fit also into the italo-western genre, that was sweeping across Europe at the time.
However, coming back to the popularity of Bud, he is also extremely well known in Germany. I’m not saying that he is not well known in other European countries (heck, most of my friends from various corners of Europe know of him), but his success in Germany is outstanding compared to other regions. So why is this? Well, besides the style of his movies, his acting, his carisma, and many other great traits, in Germany there was an additional factor that helped his movies become popular: Rainer Brandt. He didn’t only write and direct the dubbing for his movies, but he also rewrote some parts of the dialog to fit the German humor or to simply be able to port them to the German language. Additionally, he added dialogue in places where there was none, where the actors would stand with their back to the camera and their mouths would not be visible, or where they would move in a funny or surprising way. This was really the genius that catapulted Bud Spencers movies a bit higher, as well as movies from Louis de Funes, The Persuaders, etc. Here’s such a sequence, a comparison between the original dialogue and the German dubbing:
You can find a nice interview with Mr. Brandt here (part 1, part 2), where he talks about his success, the creation process, the friendships and the passion behind his work. And more or less the same here:
Remember how The Social Network (2010) was called the Facebook movie? Well, it seems this year there’s a Google movie coming out. And here’s the shocker: it’s a comedy and it’s kinda a recruitment film. Whatever, as long as it’s with Owen Wilson, I know I’ll be laughing.