the demo reel

bionic antboy

bionicantboy

While progress continues on The Practical Dead, I’ve also started work on another web comic project, Bionic Antboy, which you can check out at www.bionicantboy.com

the practical dead

The Practical Dead

While work elsewhere is still ongoing (see valis.net and rgbfilter.com), I’ve launched a new web comic called The Practical Dead, made in collaboration with RGB cohort and drinking buddy Ryan Fox.  Creating it has been a great outlet to flex the old analog art muscles, and step away from After Effects and Photoshop.

visit rgbFilter

rgb

Hey all, although I plan on keeping dougplanet.com alive, and hope to update it with portfolio stuff, my energy has been focused on rgbFilter.com for a while. I highly recommend you check it out.


rgbfilter.com

God2.0 Comic series

As it says at the top of the site, most of my time is spent over at rgbfilter.com. One of the projects we’re working on is a web comic, and you can check it out there!

<<PREVIOUS – Click the image for the larger version!


Nuff said!

Jumping The Gun: an editorial

What do the Tiger Woods incident, the Black Screen of Death story, the Apple Tablet and Arriana Huffington squaring off against Rupert Murdoch all have in common? They highlight examples of why, whether you run a ‘real’ press corps, TV news, or are an online blogger, you need to spend at least two or three minutes doing some research before posting something.

In the case of Tiger Woods, it’s an example of television news not even being on the ball on something that’s ‘leaked from the gossip pages to mainstream news’ as one Toronto newscaster put it. In the noon broadcast, the TV Talkback segment of Toronto’s CTV branch was going to do a poll on whether Tiger Woods should speak up on the whole ‘thing’. In an example of showing how ‘old media’ can be behind on the times, Tiger Woods (or maybe his legal counsel) had posted just such a statement hours earlier. Chalk one up for ‘new media’ (which is an archaic term in it’s own right).

The Black Screen of Death (KSoD) story is one that’s been around for a few days. The long and short is that after the blog of anti-malware provider Prevx announced that the latest round of security updates for Microsoft’s operating systems (Windows 7, Vista and XP) were causing a black log in screen for ‘millions’ of people. This story spread throughout the tech blogosphere, even though there was no real evidence of this. Online news sites that actually took the time follow up found that there was no major spike in consumers having an issue with the dreaded “KSoD”, and for those who did suffer from it, malware was the root cause. Prevx itself has actually issued a quasi apology for the nonsense their initial blog post caused.

The KSoD story is like the mirror image of the Apple Tablet story. All bluster and no substance. The only difference is that the Apple Tablet has been rumoured to be due out next quarter for the past 2 or 3 years. The amount of virtual ink wasted on unsubstantiated speculation for the new devices is staggering. To reiterate all the links here would be a daunting task, and not provide you, the reader, with any new insight, so I’ll refrain from that. I guess we can all give thanks that all the ink was virtual, meaning that very few trees died in service of the non-news of the year.

Finally, on December 1st old-media mogul Rupert Murdoch and new media rock star Arianna Huffington squared off on whether news should be free or ‘for pay’. Obviously Murdoch is on the ‘for pay’ side, to the point where delisting his news properties on Google, and inking a deal with it’s competitor Bing is a possibility. Huffington is on the other side of the fence, believing in the power of citizen journalism, and people writing online for free, or little pay.

It would be easy to side with Huffington on the matter, after all, I think journalism school is a waste of time, and crushes the independent spirit, and the quality of television news is abysmal.  In the rush to embrace the new, we stand a chance of losing something important. One of the most vital capabilities of a well funded news organization is its ability to let their journalists really investigate a story, sometimes for months, to bring real insight to the matter. Citizen journalists are an amazing source for breaking news, but if we were to depend on this for all our news, we’ll probably never see another Watergate story break, or Pentagon Papers or Iran/Contra scandal be exposed to the same levels.

Part of the blame lies with the old media, which isn’t the same as it used to be as most news organizations are merely tentacles of vast multi-headed, multinational conglomerates, too afraid to talk about someone like Sibel Edmonds. At the same time, the financial realities of an online news organization is that it’s difficult to financially back an endeavour of Watergate levels.

Finally, readers don’t get to get off easily either.  As we all demand more content for less money, we can only expect that the quality will suffer.  We collectively also have a habit of following what everyone else is saying, especially if we’re twitified.  When it comes to investigative journalism, it seems we’re more content to watch the whole ‘he said – she said’ model play out until someone posts a relevant link.

That doesn’t mean that the outlook is bleak.  Even though online news is relatively new, there are outfits finding a way to tread through the whole revenue vs. real work minefield.   In the meantime, it’s up to old media to find a model that works for them.  Personally, I think Murdoch would be crazy to delist from Google, but that battle is as time worn as the old man screaming at the kids to get off his lawn.

CRTC Hearings Continue – Let your voice be heard!

Originally posted over at rgbFilter.

As we’ve covered many times in the past, Bell has continued to put a stranglehold on innovation in Canada’s DSL infrastructure, as we’ve seen our rankings in the world continue to slip further back. Although slow in coming, the CRTC hearings continue regarding Bell throttling 3rd party wholesale customer, and public input for round two is open, until June 22nd.

The following letter was sent out by TekSavvy CEO Rocky Gaudrault to all customers, and details exactly how to submit your comments to the CRTC.

Dear Customers,

In March 2008 Bell started throttling its Wholesale Customers (TekSavvy among a group of many) without notice. We attempted to have the CRTC force Bell to stop as it removed our ability to do business and give Market choice. The throttling was done in the name of congestion, even if Bell, at

the same time launched higher speeds (which they did not share with their
wholesalers) and also dabbled with launching IPTV, which consumes even more capacity.

The CRTC sided with Bell in November 2008 but launched a Public Hearing to discuss Network Management Practices, clearly showing they made a decision on throttling without having all the details in hand to do so. As a result we launched a request to reverse their decision from November (The Review &
Vary) in May 2009.

The only way we are going to make a difference at this point is to get full public support to stop companies like Bell from bullying the market and the regulators! The Telecom and Cableco Monopolies control 96% of our marketplace, so if we don’t stand up and voice our concerns, this will become a two party dance where choices and services are going to be completely removed and rates raised to unreasonable levels!

Here are the details on how to submit your comments:

1) Go to:
http://support.crtc.gc.ca/crtcsubmissionmu/forms/Telecom.aspx?lang=e

2) Select “Part VII / PN ” from the drop down list and then click “Next”

3) In box entitled “Subject” line, insert “CRTC File #:
8662-P8-200907727″

4) In the box entitled “Description / Comments / Questions”, insert any comments that you may have on the review and vary application.

5) If you would like to attach a document, select “yes” and follow the instructions for attaching a file.

As indicated in the Title, I believe the deadline is June 22nd, so don’t wait to long

PS – R&V details here:
http://www.crtc.gc.ca/recherche-search/?q=8662-P8-200907727

Couldn’t agree more!

rgbFilter 017 – Drag Me to Cells

The latest episode of the rgbFilter podcast

If you were planning on upgrading to a new smart phone this summer, we recommend that you give a listen to the mobile section of this episode to get an overview of what’s new or soon to be released.

We also take a look at Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me To Hell”, “inFAMOUS” for the PS3 and “Punch Out” for the Wii, and more!

This episode marks some upgrades and changes to the production end of the show, so you’ll see and especially hear a marked increase in quality (so we hope). We’ll also be adding a WMV feed at a full 720×408 resolution.

Enhanced Interrogations R Us

Ash is back, in infomercial form.

Canada Pirate Haven?

Today marks the first time that the United States has marked Canada as a ‘priority’ problem in the fight against intellectual property theft. This puts the largest trading partner of the US in the same rogues gallery of pirates that includes Algeria, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia and Venezuela amongst others.

What is most interesting about the Jolly Rogers of the North though is that of major concern is…

Washington also wants Canada to put an end to the flow of pirated and counterfeit movies and DVDs that cross its porous borders. In particular, Washington wants Canadian customs officers to be given the authority to seize pirated materials rather than have to seek a court order each time they suspect a shipment. The flow of pirated and counterfeit material not only enters Canada from abroad but much of it winds up crossing into the United States. [from The Globe & Mail]

Colour me skeptical, but if illegal DVDs getting into the US is a major concern, shouldn’t the US do a better job of defending it’s border from the discs? It’s not surprising that the IIRA (Illuminati of the copyright world) that encompasses the MPAA, RIAA and major software makers such as Apple and Microsoft are all pleased as punch about the decision, even though in the opinions of some Canada actually has better copyright laws than the US as IP lawyer Howard Knopf pointed out last year.

The same Mr. Knopf also points out in an article today that the US has also ignored WTO rulings and quotes Sir Hugh Laddie from a London Times article…

“Of course there is counterfeiting in China, but the same goes on in the US and Europe. Pro rata, the biggest source of pirated computer software in the world in the US.”

The song remains the same though…

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