Screenmancer Staff Arguing The Big Input?
No, Just Covering Tech News
Then Arguing About Big Input vs Small Input (;
As We Get Gear Up for

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

SCREENMANCER is a Gathering Place For People Who Make Movies, Technology & Science.

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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.

SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies (and technology)




a Screenmancer Exclusive


Q & A with John Dethridge, Coder/Commentator


Also on Google+.
by Screenmancer Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA: Three days from now, Google’s Pro Coder John Dethridge will make his debut as Code Jam 2014’s Live Stream Commentator. So we thought we would catch up with him between his native Australia, which John left last week, and Google’s Mountain View Office. He will fly into Los Angeles for Code Jam pre-prep tomorrow, but for now, he was gracious enough to make time to share an insider look at the event on Aug. 15, Google’s Code Jam 2014, the Onsite Finals in West Los Angeles. A few quick facts about John, beside being from Down Under, he began his Google odyssey as an employee by competing in Code Jam for three years while he was still a student. On the last try, he interviewed for the Blue/Red/Yellow while at the Onsite Finals back in the day. Besides, coding, John has some alarmingly normal habits, “like hanging out with friends… Swimming.” But don’t let that patina of normalcy fool you, Dethridge is among the top coders worldwide and on the team of Googlers who “volunteer” their free work time to cook up these insanely difficult – though solvable within four hours (!) – code conundrums.

Here’s John with Screenmancer on The Large Input vs the Small Input, whether you can tell country of origin in someone’s code, and whether competitive coding will make ESPN any time soon:

Q: What’s the difference between the Big Input and the Small Input in layman’s terms?

So, mostly what it is, is these preliminary (challenges) are problems are difficult to solve, but you need more than a program that gets an answer. We care about getting answer, but (it has to be efficient.) The large input is testing that. Some problems, say as part of a Google Search, need to be fast. So it’s not good enough just to find the right answer.

Q: What about Google Search, how often is that algorithm updated?

I don’t work on Search myself, likely 100’s of updates per year. A whole team is dedicated to just that.

Q: Language of choice?

I use C++. When I was in school (laughs) [at age 8], I used Basic! Later I used some other things. At work and programming competitions, C++.

Q: What about C# (C Sharp)?

I’ve never used C#. Microsoft developed it, some use it.

Q: Have you ever seen any languages that just blew you away, unique coder-generated ones?

One of the interesting things is that we let people use whatever language they like. Very occasionally, in the early rounds, people use really esoteric languages – almost as joke – but it doesn’t work later when it gets harder. Some people will solve a problems in one of those languages. or every problem in a different language for fun. They are just having fun.

Q: Fun? That’s funny! How do you guys build these challenges – like the drummer one, somebody into bands?

Anyone at google can volunteer to join the Code Jam team – often people are thinking about algorithms. Like ‘How would I answer this?’ Then it has to be right for the (contest). If it is difficult enough, but not difficult enough, then ‘oh this would make a good problem.’ We want the problems to be unique, not to be something they have seen over and over again. Again, easy enough so you can solve it within the context of a four-hour competition.

Q: Who solves them first, or do you reverse engineer them, put a question to an answer?

Sometimes we’ll have an algorithm that we already have – then change the program in that way.

Q: Do you think coding will ever been seen as a big sport worldwide?

It’s a sensation already. Time will tell. There’s a lot of people interested in Computer Science, and people who are just enthusiasts in general, who think it is interesting. I don’t think it will be on ESPN any time soon…

Q: What do you do for hobbies, or are you always coding?

Nothing out of the ordinary. Spending time with friends. Board games and computer games. I enter program competitions myself. There’s one called Top Coder, also IPSC (Internet Problem Solving Contest). We look at other competitions, and see how different they are. We wouldn’t want to be a lot easier, or so difficult that nobody can solve the problems. We have an idea of how it is out there.

Q: How about the difference in styles between Australian coders v US coders v Russian coders? Or, why are there so many high rankers from Belarus and Russian Federation?

I can’t tell where someone is from, geographic region, just from reading their coding. That’s an open question. We have people entering, literally ten’s of thousands, from all over the world. So in the early stages, we have good coverage of most territories.

Q: Are there ever any straight up hackers with a digital red flag attached that you guys sweep up by accident?

No. Nothing like that.

Q: Do you recommend entrants be fluent in a few languages?

I think it is okay to be familiar and comfortable with just one. And use that through the whole competition. Generally as a software engineer, it is a good to know a few for your real job in programming.

Q: Okay. Two front-runners, last year’s Champion “mystic” and newcomer “Gennady.” What are the differences in their approach as coders to the Code Jam competition?

Uhm. That’s a good question. I’m not sure if there is a lot of difference in the way they code.
Gennady has only just finished high school. He did extremely well in high school competitions, and he has done really well in a lot of (open adult) competitions as well. Great to have him here for the Code Jam finals.
I don’t want to play favorites. A lot of these people in the final 26 have done really well in other competitions. So any of these people could win.
Some years people will finish (in record time), like every problem. Sometimes it happens, and then they just get to bask in the fact everybody is still working. Then they get go to a Google micro kitchen. Grab a snack, coffee or something. Just kind of sit back.
I fly out tomorrow (to LA). I’m really looking forward to it; seeing what they think of the problems we have put together for them.

The Onsite Finals will be held in Google’s West Los Angeles Offices on Aug. 15, and John Dethridge will be there for the Play-by-Play action.

SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies (and technology)

[Or think of us as Second Screen-mancer as we watch live and watch the Live Stream.]

Thanks to the Google Team, Meghan, Emily, John, and the Competitors for making time for this series on Code Jam 2014.



Google’s Code Jam 2014? First in LA with Coder/Pro John Dethridge on Play-by-Play’s

a Screenmancer Exclusive

Google’s Code Jam 2014? First in LA with Coder/Pro John Dethridge on Play-by-Play’s

Also on Google+
by Screenmancer Staff


LOS ANGELES, CA: Hey, so, on Aug. 15th Google’s Code Jam comes to Los Angeles for the first time, with a past pro coder, Australian native John Dethridge now a Googler, as a commentator on the action. Also a first, having a guy on Play-by-Play – wait, you’re not excited enough.

If 26 sweaty guys cracking their mental knuckles doesn’t sound thrilling, imagine minds from 120+ countries, letting it rip in roughly 75 programming languages. The 26 count represents 25 finalists plus last year’s winner “mystic” already slotted in.

All this, and coding in Python to Ruby to C++, PHP, Java, but also LOLCODE and GolfScript, to DIY-code-ese. Emily Miller, Code Jam Program Manager, says it best. “What’s awesome about Code Jam is that you can use any language.”

As an insider tip, the Code Jam platform itself was built using Python and JavaScript on top of Google App Engine, they say.

There’s a “War Room,” adds Miller. “The War Room is for the Code Jam engineers who monitor the contest. The Code Jammers compete in a much larger competition room.” Those are the killer coders from all over the globe who will descend on Google’s West LA offices for the finals.

Back on March 11, Registration began, with a worldwide sweep of timestamps to allow as many different zones to accommodate night and day coder schedules. And 45,000 amateur and pro coders punched the clock. Friday, April 11, was the key Qualification Round. Next three sub-rounds to Round 2 on May 31, followed by the treacherous Round 3 on June 14.

Truth be told, after the Qualification Round, it was pretty much a killing field, according to one coder who got knocked out early. What happens is, the problems become less an audition/recruiting tool for Google, but more a hellacious sojourn into virtual head-scratching.

Take this year’s Deceitful War, the 4th problem in the Qualifying (read: easiest) Round. It starts out so harmless:

“Naomi and Ken sometimes play games together. Before they play, each of them get N-identical-looking blocks of wood with masses between 0.0kg and 1.0kg (exclusive). All of the blocks have different weights. There are lots of games they could play with those blocks, but they usually play something they call War…”

Normal people at this point might be wondering, ‘what color are the blocks?,’ or, ‘will there be a homicide involved?’ But Google’s crack coding team who writes these beauties – and by the way, they do this is their “free 20% time” (!) at work – has other ideas.

Google’s crack code creators introduce puzzling parameters like “Both blocks are destroyed in a fire,” for example. Hello, what?

You see why this competition is exciting?

For the same reason we want people who are seven ft. tall to play basketball, you are dealing with the Big Brains here, globally.

Last year’s winner from Belarus “mystic” is re-upped for the finals. (Photo: See guy with long hair, his back anyway.)

“Gennady,” a comet-shot prodigy who is only recently old enough (you have to be over 18) to actually attend the event. But it’s not like he is a newbie.

“Gennady.Korotkevich” is the guy’s official handle. He is currently ranked #3. After the 2013 3rd Online Round, he was ranked #1, and qualified for the Finals but wasn’t able to attend. He also qualified for the 2012 Finals

Now “Gennady” will make a run for the money right here in Los Angeles.

So many geniuses, so little time. Handles run the gamut from “radeye” to “zbrakitty;” Unfortunately moniker favorite “darthsausage” was eliminated. (But it shows the pop-techie creativity of these folks, in naming themselves alone.)

Although nobody from the US has ever won this thing – which Google took over from Top Coder in 2008 – this year one American has made it all the way to the big showdown.

With so much gray-cell power in the room, you wonder they don’t go hive-mind just for grins.

“At this level, we really don’t have any cheating,” Miller states, preemptively, while discussing the danger of having so many brilliant minds in such close proximity. (ESP not a factor, either, ps.)

Right now, those brilliant minds are trip planning for their stay in LA. Then it will be show time, The Onsite Finals. Whereby The 25+1 Finalists will download their respective code-related libraries (Windows or Linux), perch themselves at their guarded workstations and proceed to let fingers fly on complex algorithms, dynamic programming, and “real world situations” begging for code. Excited?

Emily Miller is. “This is the first year we are live-streaming. With John Dethridge doing the commentating. So Wish me luck!,” she jokes.

According to the Google Team working on Code Jam, “John (Dethridge) will also conduct interviews with the Signals and Chrome teams that work out of the Google LA office as a part of the live stream (to show the real-world applications of some of the coding magic). A second Googler, Christian Howard will be a second commentator.”

As for Google itself, the blurb begins with “Lights, Coding, Action!” on code dot google dot com. And lays down the basics with:

“The 2014 Code Jam World Finals are almost here! On August 15th, the reigning champion, Ivan Miatselski (mystic), will make his return to the Finals to face off against the top 25 Code Jammers in Los Angeles. The winner will walk away with $15,000 USD and automatic qualification for the 2015 Code Jam World Finals.”

Screenmancer will cover the Onsite Finals, give you an Advance Insider look with John Dethridge and friends next, plus we will put you in the hot seat with 25+1 of the best and brightest programmer/coders in the world on Aug. 15, Live from Google LA.

Catch all the “Lights, Coding, Action!” here – and wait, the color of those blocks? GOT IT! Blue. Red. Yellow. Googler colors, of course!

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SCREENMANCER is a gathering place for people who make movies (and technology)

[Or think of us as Second Screen-mancer as we multi-platform the Live Stream for you.]

Thanks to the Google Team (Meghan, Emily, et al) for making time for this Exclusive Series on Code Jam 2014 here on Screenmancer..