Screenmancer Staff Arguing The Big Input?
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Unicornicopia: The Digital Promise, The Trollverse vs “Hatewashing”

SCREENMANCER Cybercrap OP-ED: When connectivity became a viable environment for the rise of the Internet more than two decades ago, the potential for utopian connections between remote places and cultures was baked in.

Call it Unicornicopia. Never had mass communication across nations held such promise. And yet, here we are with this new phenomenon that has grown from venting in the Trollverse* to out-and-out “hatewashing.” 2GuyTrolls16Its analog twin is brainwashing, but with a vitriol-dispersal radius unavailable to opinions offline. It’s almost impossible to reflect on the 2016 Presidential Election without revulsion, due in a large part to hatewashing. Same with Brexit, Mass Shootings, even the new Ghostbusters franchise. Yet, does this represent who we are as Digital Denizens? Better yet, how do we fix it? And better still, how do we separate legitimate online grievances from hate speech?

Let’s look back at the origins of the term itself. The word “haters” came from popular culture, not just pop song lyrics with“player hater” references, but as a new “street cred” way to define the enemy in an argument. That’s a simplified etymology. Fact: the hater concept became central to how interactions happen on Social Media.

Hate-mongers are nothing new. Wars and radical insurgencies have been started by same throughout history. In the off-line world, where names are put to comments and opinions, polite terms have historically couched raw hate-speech. It’s the digital equivalent of mob rule on the Internet though — because if no one knows who you are, how can you be held accountable?

Likewise, there are very good reasons for the lack of accountability on the Internet. How can whistleblowers and secret sources be protected without anonymity? The rise of Anonymous has made its presence felt globally based on that premise. For good and ill. TrollGuy16Unfortunately hatewashing foments cyberbullies, terrorist cells, cyberstalkers, even corporate sabotage. So what can be done? Here are a few ideas to rein in the Trollverse and return to the promise of Unicornicopia,(read: Digital version of Atlantis) where everyone can express an opinion without being pilloried:

1) Link Trolls with digital certificates, this process would vet emails. Yet there would be no censorship. If however there was a subpoena, the information would be available, but not to curb comments.

2) Disqus et al inspires someone to create an algorithm for repeat offenders in hate speech, to flag the accounts and compile data. Social Media accounts linked to email accounts that traffic in hatewashing become cross-linked in a larger database.

3) None of the above. We play nice, self-monitor our comments to return to #Unicornicopia. New hashtag included for the RT. lol.


What are your suggestions and opinions on the topic? Post to the comment section below.
(*Trollverse here refers to trolls online, trolling their own universe, not the band.)

Screenmancer is a gathering place for people who make movies, technology, and like unicorns better than trolls.

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From Punch Cards to Stunt Hacking to Alex Gibney’s ZERO DAYS & Symantec’s Eric Chien on Stuxnet

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

You have to hand it to filmmaker Alex Gibney (GOING CLEAR), he has taken on everything from Eliot Spitzer’s political downfall to the Enron debacle to Lance Armstrong’s doping to soft-money “super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff to Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, not to mention Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti. So it comes as no surprise that Gibney goes from wrestling Xenu to rattling the NSA’s cage with ZERO DAYS, his new “thriller” documentary about cyber-warfare phenom Stuxnet. ZeroDaysPoster16Released by Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media and Showtime, ZERO DAYS screens in theaters July 8, also on demand at Amazon Video.  Gibney’s doc defines Stuxnet as “self-replicating computer malware (known as a ‘worm’ for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the US and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately [mutated] and spread beyond its intended target.”

If that’s not enough to get your smartphone wiretapped, who knows what is? And that’s why this doc is really tricky: it names not only names, but Nation States. Plus it lets us know that among the three probable classes of cyber-attack originators, nation-states are the most dangerous. The two other classes being: cyber-criminals, and hacktivists.

But c’mon, for the rest of us workaday non-security-classified folks out there, it is a little difficult to fully grasp the “Olympic Games”-scale virus unleashed on Iran’s nuclear power facility — as detailed in Alex Gibney’s documentary ZERO DAYS via expert interviews — without some backstory on the issues involved. In a moment, Symantec’s brilliant code-cracker Eric Chien who is featured in this film with his boss Liam O’Murchu will chime in, for now let’s rewind the digital clock to analog times for some perspective.

Clear your mind, take a breath, and think about the technology issues from a long angle. Think about the progression from English mechanical engineer Charles Babbage (1791-1871), who with assistance from mathematician Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), came up with the first mechanical engineering computer, the Difference Engine, as a starting point. Mechanical computing (i.e.; tabulating polynomials, i.e. figuring out huge numbers calculations) in the Industrial Age leads to punch cards that control looms in the textile industry. This hold-over method, punch cards, remains in place even up until the 1980’s as analog goes 100-percent digital. A fast-forward timeline means punch-card key machines to vacuum tubes with wires to British polymath Alan Turing (1912-1954), who in the 1940’s added to the war effort by not only “cracking” the German U-Boat message encoder, Engima, but understood and foresaw the possibilities for “large scale digital technology” via the encrypted telephone messages between Churchill and Roosevelt. That said, all the elements are in place to usher in the world of cyber attacks. Consider the sabotage possibilities in the first punch-card driven looms.

If you’re familiar with “spook hardware” such as the Enigma and its US/UK code-breaking counterparts from WWII, ZERO DAYS scope is an easy leap. You just need an update on the acronyms and players we now face in Cyberwar. Cyber attacks, cyber terrorism, and all other penetrations into our enterprise-grade technology require counter measures — only now we’re talking software, or code, and the stakes are world-breaking with the nuclear weapon card in play.

Another helpful insight before seeing ZERO DAYS is the US’s relation to the Shah of Iran. Because before he was deposed, the Shah of Iran received the first piece of their nuclear technology from the US, in support of power generation. The Christian Science Monitor did a round-up once that put dates on the whole mess. “In 1967, under the ‘Atoms for Peace’ program launched by President Eisenhower, the US sold the Shah of Iran’s government a 5-megawatt, light-water type reactor… the foundation of Iran’s nuclear power program.” The Shah reigned from Sept. 16, 1941 until Feb. 11, 1979, when he was toppled by the Iranian Revolution. However questionable the Shah’s regime was, it’s axiomatic that something would go wrong once the largely secular world of his rule fell into theological hands as the 1980’s began.

Next things go from theological to zealot by US estimations, and then there’s Sept. 11, 2001. Allegations are Iran is inching its way toward the “bomb,” because it’s not a huge stretch from power-reactor fuel to weapons-grade material. You can see why the US Government would consider cyberwar in the wake of 911, especially since the hardware and software for their nuclear program comes mostly from the West (read: a way in via upgrades to the tech). Plus, would anyone ever find out? Someone high up likely gambled on the wrong side of “No.” So malware was secretly engineered, somewhere, to attack the centrifuges at Iran’s Natanz facility. Alex Gibney’s take on it is, “I started out making a small film investigating ‘Stuxnet…’ What I discovered was a massive clandestine operation involving the CIA, the NSA, the US Military and Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad to build and launch secret cyber ‘bombs’ that could plunge the world into a devastating series of… attacks on critical infrastructure, shutting down electricity… this science fiction scenario…”

That’s Mr. Going Clear for you, outing the whole gamut of international players from “three-letter agencies” to nation states. Gibney steps into the lion’s den, where most of us would shiver and recite the Cowardly Lion’s “I do believe in spooks, I do believe in spooks” from the Wizard of Oz. But then you talk to someone like Eric Chien, Technical Director of Symantec’s Security Technology and Response division, who was among the first handful to discover and name the Stuxnet virus, and it becomes clear that the message of ZERO DAYS is not rehashing old news about the perils of technology.

Although it is public record that Belorussian engineer Sergey Ulasen was the first responder to report the then-unnamed Stuxnet virus as a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) reboot over there in the Iranian nuke-related nest of computers; the message of this film is really about the knowledge gap between policy makers and digital purveyors, who, at the speed of technology, will reshape the world for us if we don’t watch out. 2016-06-28 11.17.02In person, Eric Chien is incredibly personable, a youthful exemplar of next-generation digital professionals (read: Not Nerds) in business casual attire with stand-up bangs and a friendly, open demeanor. He twists his wedding ring briefly, the only sign that being nervous is normal under the weight of the controversial topics involved. Then Chien uses his outdoor voice, launches into a patter that suggests he is used to briefing Subcommittees and Fortune 100 clients on the in’s and out’s of tech topics, which he does in real life. “We make Norton Anti-Virus,” he begins, to kind of define Symantec. He also apologizes that colleague Liam O’Murchu couldn’t make it. “He had his hands on it first,” Chien adds, meaning Stuxnet.

“Normally what we do, day-to-day, is we look at the latest (cyber) attacks. About one million a day. A lot of it is handled through automation, which automatically create fixes for them. When we come across some big attacks, we share (with stakeholders)” pieces of the code for others to monitor or give feedback on. “Recently someone tried to transfer $1 BN from the Bank of Bangladesh,” he said. This discovery brought back some similarities to the adrenaline of the Stuxnet discovery. It’s fascinating to watch Eric speak frankly and transparently from the super-secret cyber-crypto world where “pen tests” — penetration tests of security systems — make these reverse-engineers just as tricky as their malware-making counterparts. “You never want to roll out your own crypto,” he corrects. “You really want it to be peer-reviewed.”

Chien will let slip a few telling details that demonstrate how John le Carré his day job is, like “when you have black motorcycles, wearing all black following you, behind you, you start to wonder.” Or, on why Stuxnet wasn’t part of the Snowden leak, he casually mentions, “Edward Snowden didn’t leak this because those files are stored on a different server.” Then, ironically, Chien says he is not under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement), because “we don’t have a two-tiered system. We share this information with our clients… we would never work for hostile nations.”

This charming ambassador of tech will also note that ‘zero-day’ is a term that basically means the virus is discovered at the same time the vulnerability is revealed that makes the exploit even possible. (Think of it as a hole-in-one golf shot, but nobody knew there was a hole there until the ball hit. Now you’ve got two problems.)  “Stuxnet had not one, but four zero-days in it,” Chien emphasizes, “even one zero day is rare, but four?” This is how “we knew nation states must be involved.” But breaking the code, finding out what this virus was supposed to do “was the needle in the haystack. I mean it had a (kill) date in it, but it was not easy to figure out.” Then Symantec’s wizard recites that oft-quoted refrain that while most attacks take his team about “three minutes to crack, this one took three months.”

“Liam (O’Murchu) is the first one who picked it up. I then pulled it as well.” The first approach was “What is this thing? Is it trying to like hold my computer for ransom? Steal some documents?” But the most impactful theory was covert espionage. “As we began to rip (the code) apart, we saw that it was (targeted at) Siemens PLC.” PLC stands for programmable logic controller, which, from Siemens controls functions for a very specific piece of hardware, in this case the rotating nuclear centrifuge at Natanz in Iran. “We ordered the exact same model of PLC. We were expecting something the size of a mini-frigerator. But when the box came, it was the size of a book!”

There’s something admiring in the way Eric Chien describes the puzzle pieces from the dark side that Alex Gibney has detailed in ZERO DAYS. “The code was perfect, there were no errors in it, that’s how we knew it was a nation state,” Chien admits. “The way Alex incorporated the exact pieces of code (from Stuxnet) at exactly the right moment it is being discussed on screen really impressed us.” By “us” Eric Chien means the super smart people working on encryption, the white hats.

When pressed, Chien adds that most technology-related movies and TV projects are “ridiculously inaccurate,” but not ZERO DAYS. Or the USA Network TV show Mr. Robot, which he admits to watching, a huge endorsement.  But if you ask who his favorite hackers are, Chien demurs. “Today it’s just stunt hacking, I don’t find that interesting. Doing something just so you can show you can do it. Like hacking a PLC to show you can do it.” Then he pauses, “you know Captain Crunch? I liked him.” Captain Crunch (a/k/a John Draper) was Steve Jobs‘ favorite hacker, the guy ‘who stole from Ma Bell’ back in the old days of blueboxing by “whistling” analog tunes into a phone receiver to fool the network into thinking it was a digital tone to allow free long distance. Then if you ask: ‘Do you think smart people will take over the world, since there is such a knowledge gap with policy makers?’ Symantec’s distinguished engineer will smile, and come back with “the world is not a meritocracy,” as if the concept of brains over brawn has been debunked throughout history.

In one parting quote, Chien remarks “there’s something to be said for obsolescence. Because when Russia tried to shut down (the grid) in the Ukraine, their technology was so old, they could actually go to each site and crank it back on by hand.” That’s not in ZERO DAYS, but Nitro Zeus is. So now you’re armed with enough information on the backstory to grasp the enormity of ZERO DAYS. A must-watch, Gibney’s newest premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and opens July 8. To find out more, visit the official site here for screen times and venues.


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Crowd Waits to Hear

What’s Coming Next at Screenmancer? Watch This…

SCREENMANCER VIDEO PROMO ALERT: When we celebrate (gulp) Screenmancer’s 20th Anniversary next year in 2017, the technology for All Things Interwebs will have come so far a round-up on developments will be moot. But let’s just say we’ve gone from a 486 world to IOT (Internet of Things). And if that’s not enough to spin your head around.

Coming Soon… Screenmancer Wow Point Oh

We’ll try to come up with a few digital surprises and free stuff for you — because, while Google’s YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, and The Zuckerberg (who all came late to the party online) have made shit-tons of money, we at Screenmancer have tried very hard not to make a profit, lol, since 1997. And we’ve succeeded brilliantly. Because this is how the Digerati started. Once Upon a Router, when everything was free, open access, open source, an interconnected hive mind of thinkers and makers did amazing things for grins – not-for-profit. That said, after two decades, we might just join the cash party… just to keep the pixels lit and the lights on, anyway.

Some Eyecandy Data on the Interwebs FYI

More to come as Screenmancer announces advances on the doings for the 2017 events.


SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies, science, and Margaritas… since 1997.

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Finding Dory, Gender Fluidity, Also Ellen DeGeneres & Some Sexy Stats

SCREENMANCER GENDER THEORY: Okay so, Screenmancer is all about Digerati for Digerati, thus here we will present an argument for the rise of gender fluidity and why this is important in the Digital Age via Finding Dory, the Disney movie that is currently blowing away box office records for biggest June opening ever.

We can thank Ellen DeGeneres for coming out with this hit, and coming out, you know, in other ways too. (Smiley face.) There’s a running theme in here, fluidity, fish, finding ourselves, plus it all works out. Now, free your mind, forget everything you know in the offline world, jump into this digital ocean.

Remember a time when all the nurseries were pink and blue awaiting You Know Who? Before the Digital Age, just about everything was set in stone, literally, offline brick-and-mortar even. Then came the commerce wave in 1999 that blew every business up the tornado of digital innovations? Well, now we are mostly up in The Cloud we know and love today. Along the way, real offline people lost their “given” and “surnames,” came up with crazy usernames and thereby became digital presences.

But what else happened with this transition behind the screens? You guessed it, gender became either unrelated or irrelevant to the User (note that is a gender neutral noun). Carl Jung, yes, that Jung, defined a process known as individuation. In “Jungian psychology, individuation is the process of transforming one’s psyche by bringing the personal and collective unconscious into conscious,” according to

In other words, our transition into Digerati consciousness may necessitate deep personalization not just in the hardware and software, but for users to define themselves as well. Something to think about. We fine tune ourselves as users as we fine tune our consciousness as digerati. You can tune a piano, but you can also tuna fish… okay, we tried. Now for the sexy stats, they are courtesy of Graphiq, which rocks in the visual search presentation department.

Go Find Your Inner Dory, that’s the moral of this story.

Screenmancer is a gathering place for people who make movies and wild speculations.

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Alex Gibney Has ZERO DAYS, a Stuxnet Doc, on Deck for July 8

SCREENMANCER CYBER/FILM ALERT: Here’s what we know so far — Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media and Showtime will release ZERO DAYS in Theaters, on Demand, on Amazon Video, and on iTunes July 8, 2016. ZERO DAYS is directed by Alex Gibney, the fanatically precise director who helmed STEVE JOBS: MAN IN THE MACHINE and won an Academy Award for 2008’s TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE.

Here’s a Screenmancer First Look

Directed and Written by Alex Gibney

Starring: Colonel Gary D. Brown, Eric Chien, Richard A. Clarke, General Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen, Chris Inglis, Vitaly Kamluk, Eugene Kaspersky

Official description below…

Alex Gibney’s ZERO DAYS is a documentary thriller about the world of cyberwar. For the first time, the film tells the complete story of Stuxnet, a piece of self-replicating computer malware (known as a “worm” for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target. ZERO DAYS is the most comprehensive accounting to date of how a clandestine mission hatched by two allies with clashing agendas opened forever the Pandora’s Box of cyberwarfare. Beyond the technical aspects of the story, ZERO DAYS reveals a web of intrigue involving the CIA, the US Military’s new cyber command, Israel’s Mossad and Operations that include both espionage and covert assassinations but also a new generation of cyberweapons whose destructive power is matched only by Nuclear War.

For more info: click here.

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SCREENMANCER STEAMPUNK ALERT: (Los Angeles—May 17, 2016) Coming off the coattails of screening at the Steampunk World’s Fair and heading into screenings at Clockwork Alchemy and the Seattle International Film Festival, Samuel Goldwyn Films announced today that the company has acquired Worldwide rights to VINTAGE TOMORROWS, a documentary film that investigates the trajectory of the constantly changing steampunk movement.  VINTAGE TOMORROWS began its festival journey at San Diego ComicCon in 2015 and will be released globally a year later July 19, 2016 on VOD and digital by Samuel Goldwyn Films.  The film is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. GoldwynlogoAccording to Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films: “We live in a world of mass-produced product yet everyone is looking for individuality.  VINTAGE TOMORROWS showcases uniqueness of character and creativity in a fascinating world that brings the past as well as the future together in a refreshing and entertaining format.”

Filmmaker Byrd McDonald stated:  “Our documentary VINTAGE TOMORROWS showcases the amazing minds and artistic creations of dozens of individuals in the steampunk community.  We are overjoyed to be partnering with an indie-doc champion like Samuel Goldwyn Films.  Their expertise in distribution will help bring this vital and relevant cultural movement to a global audience.”

VINTAGE TOMORROWS examines the Steampunk movement’s explosive growth, origins, and cultural significance, from its sci-fi beginnings into an aesthetic and DIY movement that influences art, fashion, design and music globally.  Through in-depth interviews with the writers and artists credited with galvanizing the movement and the cultural historians and social scientists investigating the phenomenon, VINTAGE TOMORROWS poses the fundamental question: What does Steampunk tell us about history, community and our complicated relationship with technology?

The movie includes a prominent collection of Steampunk’s pioneering voices, including writers William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, China Miéville, Cherie Priest, Gail Carriger; graphic novelists Paul Guignon and Anina Bennett, musicians Abney Park and Erica “Unwoman” Mulkey, artist/maker Shannon O’Hare and the Neverwas Haul gang, and over 20 other denizens of the subculture.

VINTAGE TOMORROWS is directed by Byrd McDonald and produced by McDonald, Alan Winston, and Sean Hutchinson.

ABOUT Samuel Goldwyn Films

Samuel Goldwyn Films is a major, independently owned and operated motion-picture company that develops, produces and distributes innovative feature films and documentaries.  The company is dedicated to working with both world-renowned and emerging writers/filmmakers and committed to filmed entertainment that offers original voices in uniquely told stories.  This is best exemplified by the Academy Award® nominated THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and SUPER SIZE ME, AMAZING GRACE and Julie Delpy’s hit comedy 2 DAYS IN PARIS.  Past Goldwyn titles include: HARRY BROWN starring Michael Caine, the box office smash FIREPROOF and the 2010 independent hit MAO’S LAST DANCER.  Samuel Goldwyn Films also released THE WHISTLEBLOWER, a powerful, ripped-from-the-headlines thriller starring Academy Award® winner Rachel Weisz, and the 2012 critics’ darling ROBOT & FRANK, starring Academy Award® nominee Frank Langella and Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon.  Additional Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: DIANA VREELAND:  THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL; Gilles Bourdos’ RENOIR, the lush film about the famous painter’s later years and France’s official submission for the 2014 Academy Awards®; Jason Wise’s cult-hit film SOMM; 2015 Academy Foreign Language Film Award® nominee TANGERINES; the Israeli dark comedy THE FAREWELL PARTY; Sacha Jenkins’ FRESH DRESSED; the Sundance cult-hit LILA AND EVE starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez; Damon Gameau’s eye-opening THAT SUGAR FILM which takes on the sugar industry; and Morgan Matthews compelling drama A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND. Current Samuel Goldwyn Films releases include: Chris Bell’s expose PRESCRIPTION THUGS; Andrew Renzi’s Tribeca Film Festival favorite THE BENEFACTOR starring Richard Gere; the widely anticipated Jason Wise follow-up SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE; Toronto Film Festival’s Gala Presentation HYENA ROAD directed by Paul Gross; Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt’s octave-fueled documentary HAVANA MOTOR CLUB; and Los Angeles Film Festival 2015 Audience Award recipient HOSTILE BORDER by co-Directors Michael Dyer & Kaitlin McLaughlin.  Upcoming films including Mark Sawer’s sci-fi comedy NO MEN BEYOND THIS POINT and Ted Balaker’s docu CAN WE TAKE A JOKE?.

[Editor’s Note: More to come on Steampunk. Live links above for Clockwork Alchemy happening shortly and Steampunk World’s Fair, which just happened.]

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Here’s How We Know The Price of Words Is Going Up: Facebook, For One

LOS ANGELES, CA: 03/11/2016 — On April 12, Facebook will open its Instant Articles to all (pro) writers, whereas they’d only offered this to major media outlets before making the new deal structure with writers public. TheZuck16You can get informed by The Wall Street Journal, it spells New Revenue Stream for writers. Even the throw-back word “articles” is indicative that there’s a new respect for blue chip content online.
Okay so here at the intersection of Entertainment and Technology, call it EntTech, we at Screenmancer have had a front row seat since about 1997; that said, we know what else is next, and now you will too.
The transition from Freemium to Premium Content has finally arrived. After years of the devaluation of everything written by humans, and some very fancy bylines, the price of words is about to get hiked up by a lot. RyanGMeme

How do we know this beyond Facebook’s latest chess move, you may ask? Who remembers Anita Stewart? Or Florence Lawrence? How about Lois Weber? Exactly. As soon as the money came in to early Hollywood, those two top actors and top director were adios-ed right out of the industry. Notice the sale in January of IndieWire, taking along Anne Thompson‘s TOH!, to Jay Penske. You can read the PRNewswire on it. Clearly Penske had already mogulized his position with the purchase of Deadline, founded by Nikki Finke, and had Arianna Huffington not already sold The Huffington Post he’d be a likely candidate for that property. See a pattern here?
When the boys rush in to buy media companies, this can only mean one thing: Big Money is Coming. And there is the subtle tingle of bells and whistles not previously thought to be worth anything, of sudden value. This is happening online right now. Nikki Finke’s new venture, a Hollywood Fiction site, Hollywood Dementia was launched on about Aug. 2015, to the initial derision of some. Writers of indisputable literary worth, read: William Faulkner, and Michael Tolkin (The Player) are just a few names among many glittery bylines.
Again, the concept met with some resistance within the industry. But, lo and behold, as of March 2016, CNET is now publishing tech fiction, opening with “The Last Taco Truck in Silicon Valley” by Michelle Richmond, the online magazine hopes to herd its 30+ million eyeballs to this new feature each month. KonnerDunhamYou can peruse the Old School New York Times spinning the intellectual gloss on it here. But Finke was there first, followed by Lena Dunham’s Lenny Newsletter with Jenni Konner that runs fiction now too, along with non-fiction and interviews. These early adopters have seeded the Cloud, and now let’s hope they are among the Compensated when the Freemium to Premium rainmaking happens.
Because the endgame is to monetize those formerly discounted content luxury items — Fiction, Storytelling, Creative Non-Fiction — and round out the myopic brains of not just the CNET digerati who now seek to find that liberal arts education they missed on the way to becoming 24/7 Code Jockeys, but for millions on Social Media who have advanced beyond Troll Valley. Now they want something good to read, and it has to be thrilling because the Boredom Threshold for the visual, the compound emoji, and TTYL’s has been reached. Scientific American agrees, and figured this out almost a decade ago with a study that shows “Bored people tend to score low on measures of self-awareness. They find it difficult to accurately monitor their own moods and feelings and hence understand what they truly want. These findings fit into the psychodynamic model of boredom, whereby people repress their true wants and desires and therefore cannot locate satisfying activity.” Interwebs to the rescue, that is. SteveJobs
The late insanely great Steve Jobs had this boredom thing all figured out, and he’d no doubt be at Apple with an astounding new iContent gizmo if he were still on the planet. “I’m a big believer in boredom,” told a WIRED reporter once, “Boredom allows one to indulge in Curiosity.
“Out of Curiosity comes everything,” and it still holds true. — SCREENMANCER CEO

Screenmancer is a gathering place for people who make movies & technology & owns the Intersection of Entertainment and Technology, EntTech,

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Marketwired Gives Screenmancer the Lowdown on DEW 2016

The Chernin Group’s founder, Peter Chernin shares some news.

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwired – February 16, 2016) – IDG World Expo and Digital Media Wire’s third annual Digital Entertainment World (DEW) today announced the three-day Los Angeles conference wrapped last week with attendance leaping by nearly 20% over last year and a full one-third higher than the inaugural 2014 event. Over 1,800 attendees mixed with C-Level thought leaders at the intersection of technology and entertainment who participated in more than 100 sessions, turning DEW into the top-trending topic on Twitter in Los Angeles on its first full day of sessions at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

The conference concluded Thursday with journalist and entrepreneur Jon Erlichman, CEO of unique live-streaming service Parachute TV — Periscope’s first TV channel — crowned the winner among the 12 finalists of the DEW Startup and Pitch Competition. DEW recognized Parachute TV, which through a single Periscope account offers more than 50 scheduled shows per week and is planning to create more than 30 hours of original content, as the most innovative global startup.

Parachute TV will receive a $50,000 prize package, including one-year of free premium hosting service on Rackspace; an exhibitor package and four all-access registrations; an invitation to the San Francisco office of IDG Ventures for a two-hour consultation with senior partners of the firm; a marketing services package from Digital Media Wire; as well as legal services from Baker & Hostetler.

2016 DEW HighlightsDEWPanel16

The three days and five industry specific tracks at DEW featured a number of high-profile conversations featuring senior executives from top media and entertainment companies. The discussions covered the future of content monetization, the emergence of virtual reality, as well as monetization challenges and opportunities they face. Highlights included:

•Internet celebrity Logan Paul delving deep into his relationships with brands and authenticity.

•The executive team behind Otter Media, the joint video venture from AT&T and The Chernin Group making their public debut on stage with executives from Fullscreen and Ellation as well.

Bento Box Entertainment co-founders Scott Greenberg and Joel Kuwahara choosing DEW as the venue to announce the creation of a new young adult animation production arm — Bento Box Digital Studios — and plans to create a 2D animation VR channel with Littlstar.

Kristin Patrick, Global Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo gave a conference-goers peak into the company’s global content strategy.

Additional top-tier names speaking on the main stage this year:

Ocean MacAdams, Vice President, GoPro

Brett Bouttier, President, AwesomenessTV

Ross Levinsohn, Board of Directors, Tribune Company, Millennial Media, ZEFR, DramaFever

Ralf Jacob, Chief Revenue Officer, Verizon Digital Media Services

Adrian Sexton, Interim President & COO, Endemol Beyond USA

Jimmy Chamberlin, Drummer, Smashing Pumpkins / CEO, BlueJStrategies

•And more (registration for next year includes signing up for panels as well as attendance.)

DEWwheel16Ned Sherman, the executive producer of Digital Entertainment World, also produces and curates New York Media Festival, which evolved out of his DMW Week and takes place each fall in Manhattan. In 2015 — its first year under the New York Media Festival brand — attendance rose from 1000 to 4300+ registered attendees across 24 city-wide events including three conferences, an innovation track, nightly industry VIP dinners, open houses at Conde Nast Entertainment, iHeartMedia, The Orchard and others, as well as several parties. Here’s a list of speakers: 

For more information about DEW, including a complete list of speakers and the full agenda, visit DEWExpo.

SCREENMANCER thanks DEW & Tinzar Sherman for the wrap-up.

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You & The Universe’s Primordial Soup Flowing at CERN

SCREENMANCER NEWS RELAY — Researchers have recreated the universe’s primordial soup in miniature format by colliding lead atoms with extremely high energy in the 27 km long particle accelerator, the LHC at CERN in Geneva. The primordial soup is a so-called quark-gluon plasma and researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have measured its liquid properties with great accuracy at the LHC’s top energy. The results have been submitted to Physical Review Letters, which is the top scientific journal for nuclear and particle physics. 

A few billionths of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was made up of a kind of extremely hot and dense primordial soup of the most fundamental particles, especially quarks and gluons. This state is called quark-gluon plasma. By colliding lead nuclei at a record-high energy of 5.02 TeV in the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider, LHC at CERN in Geneva, it has been possible to recreate this state in the ALICE experiment’s detector and measure its properties. You“The analyses of the collisions make it possible, for the first time, to measure the precise characteristics of a quark-gluon plasma at the highest energy ever and to determine how it flows,” explains You Zhou, who is a postdoc in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute. You Zhou, together with a small, fast-working team of international collaboration partners, led the analysis of the new data and measured how the quark-gluon plasma flows and fluctuates after it is formed by the collisions between lead ions.

Advanced methods of measurement
The focus has been on the quark-gluon plasma’s collective properties, which show that this state of matter behaves more like a liquid than a gas, even at the very highest energy densities. The new measurements, which uses new methods to study the correlation between many particles, make it possible to determine the viscosity of this exotic fluid with great precision. Ursuppe

You Zhou explains that the experimental method is very advanced and is based on the fact that when two spherical atomic nuclei are shot at each other and hit each other a bit off center, a quark-gluon plasma is formed with a slightly elongated shape somewhat like an American football. This means that the pressure difference between the centre of this extremely hot ‘droplet’ and the surface varies along the different axes. The pressure differential drives the expansion and flow and consequently one can measure a characteristic variation in the number of particles produced in the collisions as a function of the angle.

Mapping the primordial soup 

“It is remarkable that we are able to carry out such detailed measurements on a drop of ‘early universe’, that only has a radius of about one millionth of a billionth of a meter. The results are fully consistent with the physical laws of hydrodynamics, i.e. the theory of flowing liquids and it shows that the quark-gluon plasma behaves like a fluid. It is however a very special liquid, as it does not consist of molecules like water, but of the fundamental particles quarks and gluons,” explains Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, professor and head of the ALICE group at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje adds that they are now in the process of mapping this state with ever increasing precision – and even further back in time.

1: You Zhou, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, has, together with a small, fast-working team of international collaboration partners, led the analysis of the new data and measured how the quark-gluon plasma flows and fluctuates. It has been an impressively quick analysis of a very complex phenomenon and they have achieved a remarkable result.

2: The figure shows how a small, elongated drop of quark-gluon plasma is formed when two atomic nuclei hit each other a bit off center. The angular distribution of the emitted particles makes it possible to determine the properties of the quark-gluon plasma, including the viscosity. (Credit: State University of New York)

Jens Jørgen Gaardhøje, Professor, head of the ALICE research group, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, +45 3532-5309, +45 2099-5309,

You Zhou, Postdoc in the ALICE research group at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen,

Gertie Skaarup
Redaktør, Editor in Chief
Niels Bohr Institutet

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a Screenmancer Exclusive


The Great Tablet Race, What Does ‘Awesome’ Look Like? Up to You!

Also on Google+.
by Screenmancer Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA: Ever since “vi0let” (a/k/a Kim Dong Hwang) snagged the first P-1 Visa, that’s the US welcome card reserved for athletic royalty, eSports have had a shot in the arm. At 300 APM (actions per minute), yes, this Korean Pro Gaming Champ is up there in the nosebleed seats of elite athletes. He got the P-1 last year, after League of Legends maker Riot Games literally arm-twisted the US Govt. to recognize pro gamers. Based on this, you’d think things were beyond awesome in the Gaming World. But at LA Games Conference 2014, the word “lukewarm” was thrown around in terms of ‘what up’ with the industry. Clearly, the economic body blows sustained in 2009 aren’t completely healed, apparently, when video game sales slowed to a crawl. Yet, all eyes are looking to the tablet to remonetize the day. Thus the days of the Great Tablet Race have begun. Here are highlights from LA GC 2014 held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 1, a day-long dazer.

The Great Tablet Race: The Stakes, The Shakes

At LAGC, the wry Michael Cai, “the other Chinese fake (English-equivalent) name Michael,” moderated a panel on “The Rise of Tablet Gaming: What Does the Future Hold?” He prodded (the other) Michael Zhang, CEO of ZQGame, Chris Petrovic of Kabam, Supercell’s Kristian Segerstrale, and Facebook’s new company man Steve Carlin to weigh in on All Things Tablet. First, “It’s its own platform,” Carlin said, as opposed to the smartphone or other mobile choices. Followed by “it’s the value proposition.”

Consider the math, if gamers will pay $60 for console, but only $6 to $9 on a smartphone version, research shows they will likely pay $15-20 for a tablet version. Even with the lack of joystick pressure sensitivity issues. Granted, converting Free-to-Play diehards will be a trick on any platform.

Which brings up the Freemium to Premium Download question. Cai said “8 years ago” he was all about the FTP model, but now he believes the stars will line up for tablet monetization. Steve Carlin of Facebook, having come lately from Ubisoft was quick with the glittery stats, including: “we have 1.3 BN gamers, 1 BN mobile… we can help you get the word out about your game.”

“What does awesome look like?,” Segerstrale hypothesized. “We will see games made (exclusively) for the tablet in a few years… How fun is it, that’s my most important metric.”

As far as ‘secret sauce,’ some LAGC panelists agreed on a minimum game launch of $250K, times two for marketing budget – not including money thrown at a game over the length of a title’s lifespan. The range was up to $2 M USD plus marketing. Yet the possibility of a dedicated crew of bored engineers hatching a winner for zilch is also on the frontier of future tablet games.

Big picture question? Besides not having to drag your console to a LAN party, tablet-specific consumer behavior needs to be mined for those huge payday dreams to come true.

Who Put the Cookie in the Cookie Jam?

Meanwhile, in the same room later, Kyu Lee from Gamevil USA, Jon Walsh (CEO) of Fuse Powered, Immersion Developer Evangelist Bob Heubel, Michael Ritter of SGN, and Scopely’s Andy Kleinman were goaded by Clinton Foy to come up with language around “Succeeding in the Smartphone Market: Making Successful Games for iOS and Android.”

Kyu Lee laid out the cold hard facts that “if you don’t update your game every week (at least in South Korea), they will start to bash it.”

Out of nowhere, a friendly fire shoot-out between Canadian optimist Jon Walsh and realist Cookie Jam SVP Michael Ritter on cost-per-user erupted. Walsh threw around .40 per, while Ritter weighed in heavier at $2 per user. Walsh then played to the aggregate with, “If you can get (even) $1 from every user. At 10 M users. That’s $10 M.” Ritter quipped, “is that in Canadian dollars.”

Developer Evangelist Bob Heubel aired his grievances about in-your-face ads and pay-to-jump-a-level intrusions plus other annoyances from the gamer’s perspective. “Beat the level,” was one panelists’ rejoinder, as the discussion slid into the tricky territory known in Hollywood as ‘product placement.’ How to stuff the sausage with brands is how the video game-makers view it, and until the sophistication of seamless product integration is mastered, the magic of brands remains ineffectively leveraged.

Discovery: New Demo… Those Who Don’t Know They Are Gamers?

Which brings us to Pro Gamers vs Joe Gamers, in terms of Discovery. In short, discovering new players/comsumers is key to driving revenue, however, it ain’t easy. Thus, from the LAGC 2014 monetization panels came the specter of a new demo – Those Who Don’t Know They Are Gamers. Imagine your average non-technical person burning up screen time in the airport on Words with Friends. They wouldn’t call themselves “gamers” per se, but they are revenue plot points all the same. “I play the same games as my mother and sister,” a panelist offered, meaning the gender gap is closing among those who don’t consider themselves gamers. Conclusion? Gamers as a label still has that negative nerd-in-sweat-pants bedroom image to overcome; whereas, when marketing to a broader audience the Tablet Sophisticate patina rules.

Save Your Seoul! West Looks East.

South Korea (SoKo) is still where it’s hopping in real-time, messaging-integrated, player-density rich revenue streams. Player density and intensity, if the aforementioned P-1 Visa-toting “vi0let” is any indication. SoKo continues to be a bleeding edge environment for market-testing. In the West, real-time, multiplayer, with messaging is on fire too.

Save the Whales, Maybe Dolphins and Minnows Too…

Okay, so, while game execs continue overfishing out the users seas by Whale Hunting, tracking those individuals who spend between $10K and sometimes even $100K on a single game – Digital Ahab just got a new whale, the Influencer. “Save the Whales,” attributed here to Clinton Foy, means the trend is breaking through to a new reverence for metrics. Dmitri Williams, CEO/Founder of Ninja Metrics (who incidentally won DEW 2014 Start-up Challenge), is Dr. Know in this area. (Or, for many,Dr.-Know-More-Than-You; he does hold a PhD.)

To the question “do you think the majority of game execs here at LAGC understand the concept of influencer vs whale?,” Dmitri Williams responds on reflex. “Everyone understands the idea of influence just from their daily lives, but I don’t think most execs realize that it’s something that can be measured and leveraged against the bottom line.”

Luckily, a fellow Ninja Metrician spelled it out in practical terms: if someone spends $100 and that’s who you focus on, you may miss the $5 player with 1000 friends brought in by said players influence, which translates to more LTV (Life Time Value) for the lower spender. Thus the $5 player is the one you perk-out and work to retain, as they represent the tip of a monetization iceberg.

In Sum, All Okay

The money panels floated the word “lukewarm” for growth, but that is actually good news. At least it isn’t dire. In other newsbits, Peter Levin, who just arrived at Lionsgate and took part in the “Investor’s Roundtable Luncheon,” said ‘there’s not a lot of roadkill to clean up.” Meaning, in his new job, Levin gets to coast into the successful waters of the Hunger Games and Twilight franchises… and the day wrapped up with free t-shirts and knuckle taps all around.

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