THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
YOUR FRIDAY TIME-WASTER: The Movie Game! Fans of Fark's Photoshop Fridays should be doubly amused. Do I have the answers? Yes; I'll link to them... Monday. Heh heh heh...
SXSW: A TRUCKLOAD 'O' BANDS -- The list is enormous.
PETE DOHERTY, late of the Libertines and Babyshambles, recently dumped by Kate Moss, is arrested on an assault charge. No Rock 'n' Roll Fun has the backstory. Meanwhile, Billboard reports that the Libertines are pressing on without Doherty: "What remains to be seen is whether Doherty will ever return to the Libertines. Contrary to popular opinion, the singer/guitarist hasn't been kicked out of the band he co-founded with Carl Barat. However, his return is by no means guaranteed, leaving the status of replacement member Anthony Rossomando uncertain."
ARCADE FIRE (and Final Fantasy) did a fill-in for Maroon 5 on Tuesday's Late Night with Conan O'Brien. On Wednesday, they performed with David Byrne, doing their cover of "Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place).
THE SITCOM AS WE KNOW IT is "a dead format whose time has come and gone," says Portia de Rossi, star of Fox's Arrested Development. Tom Poston, the Newhart veteran, who stars as a dying clown who stays in a closet on the new NBC comedy Committed, says the medium itself is corrupting the next generation of writers. "It used to be that good writers wrote about what they knew; they wrote from their lives, so the comedy was based in something real. These days," he says with a heavy sigh, "young writers are raised on TV and movies, so that's what they write about. And it's fake. It's recycled material."
FREE NEWS: The Christian Science Monitor and the Online Journalism Review look at whether online news sites should charge for their news or archives.
OOPS! Mistake Calls for Evacuation of Connecticut.
GRADE THE NEWS complains that Bay Area newspapers and television stations continue to emphasize "the weird, the fluffy, and the gruesome." As if there is some other kind of news in San Francisco. Thank you, I'll be here next week, too. Tip your bartender.
SUPER BOWL: This year, most Super Bowl advertisers are playing it safe. Ford is pulling its ad that depicts a clergyman ogling a pickup truck after receiving complaints from a support group for victims sexually abused by priests. A special episode of The Simpsons airing after the Super Bowl will "point out how TV and the NFL showcase obnoxious behavior even as they go through the motions of condemning it."
GOOGLE CLOUT: How much is it worth to a company's bottom line to place near the top of Google's search rankings? A lot, as it turns out.
FISHBOWL L.A. mockingly blurbs the cover of the Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair.
ON THE PITCHFORK: A fine review of Chris Stamey's A Question of Temperature: "[T]he final result is one of Stamey's best solo joints and a fun, solid record, so the ancillary benefits make it more than worthwhile."
HARDCORE PORN will be served up by the usually conservative Adelphia system. But the funniest part of the news is buried in the penultimate graf of the story: "Playboy is gearing up to supply a variety of programs on demand that will keep subscribers running up the bill. One goal: to increase the seven-minute viewing time historically clocked by the average person who orders an adult pay-per-view movie..." Here's a hint: more programs will not meet this goal. Try putting coupons for certain well-advertised pharmaceuticals in with the cable bill. Also, publicizing the seven minute figure is going to humiliate your customers.
CHAOTIC MARKETS: A model that assumes stock market traders have zero intelligence has been found to mimic the behaviour of the London Stock Exchange very closely. This result does not mean traders are buying and selling randomly, but suggests that market movements depend less on traders' strategies and more on the structure of the trading system itself. The observation could be useful in the real financial markets. For example market volatility could be lowered by giving incentives for people who place limit orders, and charging people who place market orders.
THIS LOOKS LIKE A JOB FOR SUPERMAN: Thieves with hypnotic powers on crime spree in Russia!
THE FRENCH KEEP ASKING FOR IT: The re-lighting of the Eiffel Tower has been copyrighted, so that you technically must pay to photograph it at night.
WHO DID SADDAM VOTE FOR? No one, but he could have if he had turned up at a polling station, officials said. The former dictator was eligible to vote as an Iraqi citizen with no criminal record. Despite being accused of crimes against humanity and genocide, he has not been convicted. Life imitates Stripes.
JACKO JUSTICE: There's money to be made from the Michael Jackson trial, writes Danny Schechter. How many "experts" will build their careers on the media exposure? How many books and TV movies will result?
I APOLOGIZE: A hospital that accidentally placed the amputated leg of a deceased patient in a plastic bag with the personal belongings of another patient apologized Tuesday. A spokeswoman said officials were trying to determine how the error may have occurred.
ANGELINA JOLIE: Tinseltown lesbians are whispering that there is something fishy about her. Really, must someone destroy all of our myths?
PODCASTING: Podsiphon is updated daily with free, and legal songs from sources all over the internet. In fact, you probably don't even need an iPod to download its MP3s.
THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE: Criminal complaint alleges that a teenager robbed banks in New York and Connecticut for her boyfriend.