Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wonder Woman Refuses To Die Gracefully, Picked Up By CW

I never had a thing for Wonder Woman and that can be easily understood. Even in the heyday of the Lynda Carter fame, which would be the peak popularity for the character, our Wonder Woman had little to offer. Despite this, attempts at resuscitation of the character for the TV or film version of the superheroine have been pursued relentlessly.

One of the problems is the fact that Wonder Woman is supposed to be a lot of things to a lot of people. To borrow a phrase from Parks and Recreation, she is supposed to be “as respected as Mother Theresa, as powerful as Joseph Stalin and as beautiful as Margaret Thatcher.” Comments aside on Thatcher’s beauty, Wonder Woman has been continuously plagued by various psychoses that many comic heroes suffered from: namely that their lame interpretations remained a steadfast in popular culture, while the comic book versions of the characters experienced vast changes.

The TV version of Wonder Woman has always been just terrible, but the recent 2011 pilot really took the cake. Adrianne Palicki in title role as the heroine that dresses in cheap vinyl chasing the “bad guys,” but is also a head of a successful empire that funds its operations by selling Wonder Woman dolls (yeah, you heard that right, merchandising!), only to go home to be single, sad, watching romantic movies and petting her cat…well, that is a marketing package worthy of Mattel and Mars Bar Quick Energy Chocobot Hour!

On this version of the “feminist icon,” engineered by David E. Kelley, you could probably build an entire academic career, peeling away at this melange of “savvy” marketing mixed in with a lot of bad choices and cliches.

Despite the failure to capture an audience with the pilot, David E. Kelley persisted in pitching the show, while admitting that it may have been “flawed.” In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly says ” I still believe it’s viable for a television series. I think it’s ripe to do it. We made mistakes with ours. My only regret is we were never given a chance to correct them. We had a lot that was right about it and a great cast.

In time, we could have fixed what we had done wrong, we just didn’t get that chance. All my series have been a work in progress to a certain extent where you figure them out by episodes three, four or five.
We produced it at warp speed and it’s a special effects show and it took more time than we were able to give it. The genre was very different for me and I had a lot to learn; my learning curve probably would have gotten better. I’m sad we didn’t get to do it but I do believe it can work for the CW. They’re smart to try it.
I do believe in the potential of the series and I wish them well with it. I think it could be a great success.

Yes, you heard it right here. CW is picking up this disaster, but unlike the other networks, there might be something to this idea.

The CW successfully dragged the Superman origin stories through teen-land for a long enough time to not only grow a different type of Superman, but to garner a huge following among the target audience, as well as among the more discriminating comic book fans.

The Smallville success though, may not be applicable to Wonder Woman, as the character will need to be paired down, more nuanced, and revised to such an extent that it will scarcely resemble its origin. And that may be a good thing after all.

After all, who needs a magic lasso, a pair of “invincible” bracelets, a projectile tiara and an invisible plane, and what do those items have in common anyways?

Future 2080: Strawberries that make lace, spray-on runners

From strawberries that are both edible and spin their root yarn into fine lace, to spray-on shoes, the future, according to tech forecasters from the Textile Futures Research Centre looks mildly encouraging. Even futurologists and forecasters though are developing concepts and technologies hinging on premises of scarcity of resources, and severe climate change, so beware…

Cable Industry Tells Data Caps Have Naught To Do With Internets

Despite experts pointing to fallacy that data caps have anything to do with so-called “congestion curbing tools,” such as data caps, ISPs continued with the myths that data caps are there for our own good and that paying more for broadband is how god intended it to be.

Well, the cat is out of the closet now, as former FCC boss Michael Powell, who is now president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA,) in other words, a chief lobbyist for ISPs, admitted to the fact that data caps are more about enormous, shameless, outrageous profit-chasing because they are – wait for it – in the business of making money:

“Michael Powell told a Minority Media and Telecommunications Association audience that cable’s interest in usage-based pricing was not principally about network congestion, but instead about pricing fairness…Asked by MMTC president David Honig to weigh in on data caps, Powell said that while a lot of people had tried to label the cable industry’s interest in the issue as about congestion management. “That’s wrong,” he said. “Our principal purpose is how to fairly monetize a high fixed cost.” (via TechDirt)

This Gordon Gecko-inspired explanation is a simple and effective one, confirming what we all knew, and what technology experts long-ago stated – the broadband caps have naught to do with p2p traffic or limitations of technology. For one, AT&T’s exemption of its own video content from otherwise limited, capped access is a tell that ISPs are not only in the business of making money, but that they are also in pursuit of creating new “walled garden” approaches to media in order to monetize on content distribution. All this, however, has very little to do with congestion.

DNA Databases Contain Privacy Loopholes That Could Change Everything

Nature.com reported today that there is a loophole in privacy policies of DNA databases used for research. In other words, the databases, used for public and private research, though supposed to contain anonymous members, can in actuality be used to reveal identities of individual participants.

As a response to the findings, parts of the data associated with individuals has been removed, but many say that removal of information is only a tip of a much greater, legislative issue that will require addressing, and that may have long-term repercussions not only for research, but DNA databases and privacy in general. “I don’t think removing data from the public domain is any kind of answer,” says computational biologist Eric Schadt at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, “we should be up front with participants that we can’t protect their privacy completely, and we should ensure that the most appropriate legislation is in place to protect participants from being exploited in any way.”

Research at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have proven that one can deduce and confirm the identity of individuals, based on cross-referencing available DNA data and publicly available data, making the essential anonymity elusive for the participants.

Read more here.

Isaac Asimov’s “Visions Of The Future” Available, Free

“The line between science fiction and true science is often thin and sometimes difficult to define… [that boundary] is constantly moving as science redefines science fiction. The dreams of just a few years ago are today’s commonplace events.It is this boundary that was the lifelong fascination of Isaac Asimov. The mission of this series is to examine that boundary — that moving target.

Isaac Asimov launched this video project two years before his death. It synthesizes his visionary concepts with his scientific roots. This first volume contains the highlights of his last major interview, and serves as both a mission statement and a tribute to one of the greatest science and science fiction writers ever known.”

Watch it now, free: