Cruise is a member of Scientology - which by the way is not a Church but a weird commercial organisation. This information needs to be kept in mind when wondering about Cruise´ political opinion.
It was just recently that his film team in Berlin was denied to shoot at original places because of his membership in a totalitarian organisation. Of course, finally they were given the go-ahead. But it seems his political background does matter and has implications for his work in some countries.
when these things happen, i am always sorry for my anti-ad stance ... delete my entries! i am gonna click through from now on!
While you Kiwis are all sleeping, I just need to note a further thought from my breakfast table - just to oppose the flood of pro-ads entries ;)
mainly, this is directed @ James Graham.
See, PA once started out with a consistent, clean and modern layout. Easy to read (because text is what its all about here), nice to look at, fast loading. The header has always been a trademark of PA, even that those kind of headers became very popular meanwhile.
Now you go and downsize - the header! The header is a header. It´s the entrance to your web site. Not only did you put corporate interest above your header (!), but also you made it even bigger than your header. It is now omnipresent. It looks as if Vodafone (or whatever pops up ther randomly) runs the site. As a producer, you must be aware of this and familiar with the psychology of user interface design. What is your opinion on this?
I could live with these side ads (if they integrate well with the site). But you make a statement when you place a large ad atop your site that competes with and outperforms the header an any further content on the site.
Those ads destroy the layout and functionality of the site. They are very much to the disadvantage of PA, if that narrows PA to any other site out there.
You started with carfully chosen ads. Local ads. They were even interesting to me, I like them! And guess what: I followed most of them! Because they are local and something special, out there in the internet. But then Vodafone & co kicked in ...
No matter how much used most of the commentators here are to this kind of visual compression - it devaluates the effort by the developers, being put into a consistent and superb layout and functionality.
At the same time I can follow RB´s explanation, absolutely. Dont forget: I am only raising a personal view on the issue, as a reader and audience. I do not question your integrity to run this site in whatever way it is best.
And no, I would not pay to read PA. I need to pay my local newspaper already. I can not pay for each and everything I read. The pay threat is also inconsistent with the long going dispute and opinion here on PA on NZ Heralds decision to lock up commentary behind a pay wall. Why would you chose exactly that model? Its the internet! ;)
Yes, I know the cost argument. In the west it beats dead any criticism against too many ads everywhere.
I have been working in Multimedia for years, almost exclusively internet. PA has always been quality and back then it wasn´t probably much more expensive to run the service than it is today. It just didn´t have so many features as it has today.
I can understand that you need to make money to run the thing. Thats ok. If those ads are really the only way to keep PA online, then thats how it is. It was just my personal confusion as I seem to be so old fashioned in so many ways ... it was just a general concern. Keep those ads coming, I will switch to Lynx ;)
May I also note on the subject of the "compression desease" - by the way, it occurs to me that another article on "visual compression" on the internet might go well with the discussion of mass compression of audio material -
I think it´s a very old subject and I can remember the time when - during my apprenticeship as a radio and tv technician - we were reading in books - of FM radio technology and that it was such an advantage to AM in terms of dynamic range.
In the 80´s only few stations were heavily compressed - at some stations - especially those GDR stations, which were using old analogue technology - you could still have almost 1:1 dynamic range from the record player in the studio, as far as translates into FM. Ok, there was much noise in the low ranges, but it was still better than the "audible foam" that todays stations beam across the country. And think of the costs and effort thats being put into high quality audio equipment in radio stations, just to compress music that apparently has already been compressed.
It started with the car-optimzed radio stations. And so is probably the thinking of your major labels who mess up music recordings in the way you desribe. The CDs must be car-compatible. In a car you can not listen to a wide dynamice range, you need everything as one static block of noise ...
I stopped listening even to special music shows on FM, as even those shows are so heavily compressed that you can hear the airconditioning of the studio before the host comes on - in silent moments so to say, when the mic is open.
But who needs dynamic range these days? Not for your kitchen radio, not for the blurry speakers of your computer or your mp3 player. These devices can not replay good dynamic range anyway.
Excuse when I lost orientation with all the blinking ads, popping up lately on the public address ... but dont you think it goes a bit over board with the ads here? to replace your header with an ad that´s even bigger than the pa head - it just boggles the mind of a long time hardnews reader ... sorry for this interruption. couldn´t find the right place to vent this ... but it´s so sad to see that also pa gets platered over with ever distracting ads ... i mean, i really know that vodafone runs new zealand, you don´t need to put it here too. do you?
I discussed the Tickling Elmo video in my friends LJ some days ago and found that it mainly appeals to Anglo-American humor - apparently. I think it pulls up a connotation that could make your laughter get stuck in your throat. I can not find it funny - although in very superficial way it might be.
Good to see that at least in New Zealand the Greens are still a serious alternative ... ;)
Excellent piece! But is it on the TV, in the cinema?
It´s a pitty though that none European cities were put into relation. Because then Auckland would be invisible - on that scale, shown in the clip.
It is interesting to hear that Danish prof who says he feels transported (by car, eh!?) back in time when visiting Auckland.
When I lived in Auckland, I was first impressed with the highway system. Then I figured there was no public transport and then it was a real hassle to live in this city. Except for the view and spare time with the beach in reach.
So I moved to the southern Shore and Devonport area, just to make sure not to rely on a car when going into town. Because the only system that actually works are the ferries, even if totally overpriced (look at the IJ ferries in Amsterdam: they are free, run 4 different lines and maintain a 5 to 15 minute frequency).
Eventually I got sick of the eternal stupid discussion of public transport options in Auckland. A lot of good plans but the next year it started from scratch and the paved over yet another reserve for more motorways.
And then this plan for the "Express" Bus system, installing stops far away from passengers at Motorways. And people actually applauded to this plan. A car drivers perspective on both sides - the planner and the public.
Or just look at the various different and incompatible tickets for several different bus companies, like Birkenhead Transport and Stagecoach and whatever is running a few buses in town.
It took me a while to realize that this must have been going on for decades.
It took me only a few days of everyday life in Auckland to realize that there is no publiuc transport in Auckland, except of a few ferries and a few Buses. Still I took these Buses, spending hours on getting anywhere or looking for the timetable or route information. You cant even spot the stops very well. In the morning Buses drive through stops because they are overcrowded. In the early afternoon Stagecoach Buses mutate into school Buses, in the late evening - err, sorry, no Bus service at this time.
Now, if you put in the fact that NZ has not even got any sane environmental law that would limit and controll car and truck exhausts and where cars instead are being sold, without catalytic converters and particle filters, I don´t wonder about the thick brown layer of fog over the city on winterdays and a high rate of chronic cough and related diseases.
In fact I would even extend the message of the video to all of New Zealand. The public transport system is less a system than a chaotic, sporadic patchwork of corporate profit interest. There are so many examples that I could go one forever.
No car, no chance. Green clean New Zealand? Yeah, right. Even the GDR did better.