Grease Live director calling camera shots is as impressive as the show itself

One of Grease Live’s Associate Directors posted a brief video showing her calling the show shots. People often think about how hard the actors/dancers/singers had to work in front of the camera, and forget that there’s a whole other world behind the camera, who have just as much rehearsal and choreography.

I was impressed by what Grease Live managed to accomplish, even though there were several things that made me cringe, as a big fan of the 1978 movie. Just lots of beats and reactions that I’m so used to that didn’t happen in the live version.

I know, you can’t reproduce that moment in film when you’re doing a live TV show, but so much of what was done in the live show seems like it was meant to be a remake of the movie that when something didn’t hit the expected beats, it stood out even more.

But I did enjoy the live show; it was both technically and creatively interesting, and probably the best of the live musicals that have been popping up over the last few years.

Sprint installs MDM profiles on new iPhones without customer permission

Johnny Kim on Twitter:

Hey @sprint @sprintcare, what’s up with sprint installing MDM profile on a new iPhone 6s at the store?

Twitter is blowing up over this, and Sprint seems incapable of understanding the issue.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) profiles are usually installed by companies managing a large number of devices and allow them to control and configure them (for example, to turn off certain features like, or to automatically add email accounts). There’s no real reason for an MDM profile to be installed by Sprint on a personal device.


On top of that, Sprint seems clueless about the issue, and their responses on Twitter are—at best—tone deaf, and in fact seem actively obfuscatory, like they’re trying to hide something. Many people are accusing Sprint of using response-bots, and it’s not hard to see why customers would think that.

Jar Jar Binks: trained Force user, Sith collaborator?

I’m not sure if I want this to be true or not; from Reddit :

Here I will seek to establish that Jar Jar Binks, far from being simply the bumbling idiot he portrays himself as, is in fact a highly skilled force user in terms of martial ability and mind control.

Furthermore, I assert that he was not, as many people assume, just an unwitting political tool manipulated by Palpatine– rather, he and Palpatine were likely in collaboration from the very beginning, and it’s entirely possible that Palpatine was a subordinate underling to Binks throughout both trilogies.

And finally, given the above, I will conclude with an argument as to why I believe it is not only possible, but plausible that Jar Jar will make a profound impact on the upcoming movies, and what his role may be.

This might have come up with the most amazing and unexpected Star Wars theory I’ve ever seen, is thoroughly well researched, and may change how I view the prequels forever.

Pandora streams Serial Season 2 in five minute chunks

In this Investors Business Daily article on Pandora’s acquisition of TicketFly was this tidbit that Pandora

[…] would become the exclusive streaming partner for season two of hit podcast “Serial.”

The launch date for Serial’s season two wasn’t disclosed, and that podcast will still be available for download from other sites. Pandora will make Serial’s season one available in its entirety for listeners starting Nov. 24 […]. Each episode will be broken into five-minute chunks, allowing listeners to more easily pick up where they left off, go back to re-listen, or skip ahead, Pandora said.

What does this mean, five minute chunks? Do they mean each episode will be broken into separate five minute chunks? That there will be built-in end points every five minutes to make it easy to pause and resume?

Wired says the show

will be available in five-minute chapters on Pandora, tailored to listeners accustomed to the length of a song, rather than an hour-long podcast.

That strikes me as odd. Will season 2 be written to accommodate that five minute structure? Will each “chapter” have an opening and closing? Will their be ads on each one of the chapters? (“Chapter 4 of Season 2 of Serial is brought to you by….”)

The Pandora press release says

Pandora engineers focused on bringing “chapterized” content to the platform for the first time.

So engineers did something to make this work; is this automatic? How will that affect the flow of the story? Will you “break” in the middle of a sentence or (worse!) an ad?

And what’s with this whole “exclusive streaming partner”? Almost every podcast player app will stream content if the hosting server supports byte-range requests; are they saying they’ll be hosting Serial season 2 on a server that doesn’t?

Everything about this is confusing to me.

9th-grader arrested after taking homemade clock to school: ‘So you tried to make a bomb?’

Dallas Morning News:

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

In the meantime, Ahmed’s been suspended, his father is upset and the Council on American-Islamic Relations is once again eyeing claims of Islamophobia in Irving.

This kid may well be scarred for life, all because he has a Muslim name and is brown-skinned. If a young white boy had done this, there’s no doubt in my mind that none of this—none—would have happened.

Andy Ihnatko is infuriated, rightly, and there’s a hashtag (#IStandWithAhmed) supporting the young inventor.

The world I live in continues to depress me. How may brown-skinned kids are going to read about Ahmed and decide it’s too risky to pursue something different, to stay away from technology or engineering?

This is not the way to encourage more diversity in STEM.

What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women

Newsweek’s recent cover story:

[…] fortunes being made now and business models and corporate cultures forming today will be with us for a century to come—and women are for the most part sidelined. Zuckerberg, Gates, Thiel, Musk—these are our Carnegies and Morgans and Rockefellers, whose names will be on museum wings and university halls 100 years from now. And there’s not a female among them.

Too many talented women being forced from the field (or never allowed in) by boors and sexist jerks. A depressing counterpoint to Grace Hopper’s contributions to computer science. Where would we be without her dedication and intelligence? Let’s hope her name is remembered in a hundred years.

Ars Technica: Password complexity rules more annoying, less effective than lengthy ones

I’m not at all shocked.

I detest sites with requirements to include “one lower case character, one capital letter, one number, no multiple identical consecutive characters, at least eight characters…”

(These are actual (partial) requirements for an Apple ID password.)

The whole username/password thing needs to be abandoned. They, along with stupid security questions are little more than security theatre.

(The article is from 2013, but the sentiment remains.)