Bob Dylan’s Interactive Video for Like a Rolling Stone

DylanRollingStoneVideo

Bob Dylan has seen fit after 48 years to create a music video for his brilliant song, ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ He’s made an interactive television channel-surfing nightmare of an interactive video that takes you into the basement den to slouch on the couch and watch hours of scintillating daytime television. It’s the perfect thing for anyone driven to insanity by daily app updates and 24 hour breaking news.

The producers of Dylan’s video, Interlude, have built the interactive piece with Flash. The interface is simple and effective. You may get into trouble with the heavy video streaming if you start pausing and restarting. If you do, reload the page and start again. Flash won’t play on Apple mobile devices, but Interlude has a free iPad app that will play the video… sort of. In reality, the iPad app is unusable and presents the user with no intelligible interface whatsoever. So if you are trying to watch Dylan’s bombshell of a music video on an iPad, you’re just out of luck.

I appreciate this because it’s been an obnoxious few years of listening to idiots whine about the bugs of Flash while hearing scant mention of how the powerful animation and coding environment empowered many young people with small or no budget to produce incredible visual stories, some of which spawned television shows. In the history of the web there has been no piece of software that even comes close to the creative explosion set off by Flash.

Dylan’s video gives us many channels on what appears to be daytime television that we can hop between while watching every anchor, actor, athlete, reality TV moron, pundit or spokesperson lip-synch to his song. It’s as if some maniacal hacker got into the airwaves and plastered Dylan’s song on top of every broadcast. Or perhaps the viewer is simply distracted and the multiple inputs of song and television merge into one general dream impression. It’s depressingly brilliant. It turns the TV into the internet.

You can also watch it on Bob Dylan’s official web site. It was produced by Interlude.


 
 

Worldwide Protest as U.S. Government Threatens to Censor Internet


Today Candlelight Stories joins with other sites to protest two proposed laws in the United States, called SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act. On January 24th, the U.S. Senate will vote on the PROTECT IP Act to censor the Internet, despite opposition from the vast majority of Americans. These laws give corporations the ability to sue any web site they feel threatens their copyrights in some way. They could essentially shut down any site simply by pointing a finger. So corporations would use this power to harm smaller competitors. The U.S. government could shut down any site or blog it had the slightest problem with. Censorship as practiced in places like China would suddenly become the norm here in the United States. China is a nightmare. We don’t want to do things like they do.

A free, open, uncensored Internet is a basic and fundamental right that must be preserved here in the United States if it is to have any chance at all on a worldwide basis.

Join us to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

Here’s a massive list at the Center For Democracy & Technology of organizations, companies, web sites, blogs and individuals who are opposed to the censorship bills.

At the links below you can send your protest to Congress and learn much more about these bills and how they seek to end the open Internet.

Take action by contacting Congress via the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

AmericanCensorship.org has a large selection of ways you can take action and black out your web site in protest.

Take action by contacting Congress via Google.

Sally Saves Christmas

Some of the readers of this site will know that this story is the original piece of material behind Candlelight Stories. Back in 1994, I sat at a very flimsy folding table in a Los Angeles apartment with a box of pastels, crayons and ballpoint pens to scratch out a pile of illustrations that vaguely added up to some kind of Christmas tale. I still have all those original drawings in a big department store box. The interesting thing about the illustrations for me is the series of actions that they caused which led me directly into the various skills and technologies that I have used and made a living from ever since. After finishing the illustrations and creating a large bound book to give as a Christmas gift, I scanned the pictures and decided to try to put them into a slide show. I had an early version of the Mosaic web browser and soon realized that I could use my AOL account to post things in a folder that could be accessed by the web browser. Having done that and been very impressed with myself I showed it to my non-technical friends and received some half-hearted congratulations and was asked how I could ever hope to make any money that way. Within a few months I received a letter in the actual mail from the USA Today newspaper requesting permission to put an illustration and a web link in a listing of good things on the web. So I said they could and they printed their thing. So I began to add new things to the web site as I could.

It’s pretty much the same today. You just make a little thing and stick it on the web to see who likes it. But back then it was a little like magic. My web experiment grew quickly and when the higher-speed DSL technology first came into Los Angeles I jumped on it and got myself a Digital Alpha server and put it at the end of a DSL line in my own home to serve the web site. According to the company which was the first one up and running in L.A., I was the first person to attempt running a web server over the DSL technology in Southern California! They gave me totally free ISP service for several years in exchange for a little advertising. I’d actually have late night conversations with their engineers – sometimes from their cars as they made their way to hubs and switches in the dead of night to fix something. Imagine that kind of technical support today with your blog host! Won’t happen! This all worked well for a time. But then the DSL technology began to fail and I quickly realized it was a dead-end technology with too many players involved on the back end who could not adequately maintain the service without blaming each other for failures. But my point is that during that time, with that kind of approach, one could really get a sense of being visited by the world. I could watch the lights blink as people came onto the server to visit. There were times, during serious outages of some sort or other, when I’d throw the big Alpha server into my car and drive it to some other location for a temporary connection. Amazing. Fun.

It’s still fun today. That’s why I still post this odd little story every Christmas. It’s the original first thing of this site.

Star Trek – Infinite Space: Free Browser Game Preview

This looks pretty good. There’s a new free browser game called ‘Star Trek – Infinite Space‘ coming this summer. You of course get to command either a Star Fleet or a Klingon ship. The explosions look impressive, as do the starships in this little preview.

Sally Saves Christmas


Some of the readers of this site will know that this story is the original piece of material behind Candlelight Stories. Back in 1994, I sat at a very flimsy folding table in a Los Angeles apartment with a box of pastels, crayons and ballpoint pens to scratch out a pile of illustrations that vaguely added up to some kind of Christmas tale. I still have all those original drawings in a big department store box.
Continue reading

Boing Boing, Censorship, and Hypocrisy: Commenters, Watch Your Language!

This article incorporates adult themes and language.

This is a flat-out attack on the hypocrisy and thin-skinned holiness of a major blog that purports to stand for freedom of expression and open ideas.  The blog is BoingBoing.net.  I’ve had my problems with the site before, having made comments that their moderators found to be excessive or too foul-mouthed for their rather puritanical tastes.  I say puritanical and I mean exactly that.

Boing Boing has a problem with genitalia.  You’ll see why in a few moments.

Continue reading