Global TV Tech Buzz: Star Wars Identities At Telus World Of Science

It is Oscar weekend, and so we are celebrating in the geekiest way I know how, with a segment all about Star Wars.

Star Wars has made a bit of news this week as it was revealed Harrison Ford is on board to revive his Han Solo character. Well into his 70s by the time Episode VII will come around, it will be interesting to see if he can still make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.

Mark Hamill revealed that George Lucas made each of the main players a promise that none of their characters would be re-cast should they choose not to come back. Hamill says he’s game for a Luke Skywalker reprise. Still no word from Leia or Lando.

With mastermind of the re-booted Star Trek behind the Star Wars controls, it’s also interesting to note that William Shatner has made himself available for the Star Wars film. Now that would be an interesting twist.

STAR WARS: IDENTITIES

A traveling exhibit of Star Wars art, costumes, and movie memorabilia would have been enough to bring out the crowds. Toss in a bit of science, and you have something that works for everyone.

Star Wars Identities examines how the world around us affects our personality. Tracing the growth of Anakin and Luke, it examines genetics, environment, mentoring, personality, and choice. Luke and Anakin had very similar challenges through life, but approached them very differently, and the results were equally opposite.

You wear a wrist band and make the choices for your character as you wander through the exhibits. You start with choosing your race, and end with deciding whether or not to accept the Emperor’s offer and join the dark side.

THE EXHIBITS

From the original R2D2 to Leia‘s bikini, it’s all here. Han Solo‘s frozen carbon form. Anakin Skywalker‘s pod racer. Yoda. Chewbacca. C3PO. Stormtroopers. Droids. Darth Vader. The collection of costumes, models, and artifacts is amazing.

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But it is the collection of art work on the walls that tells the truly interesting stories.

Jabba was originally a biped, Darth Vader is a hybrid of two original ideas, Han Solo started as an alien, Luke Skywalker was once Luke Starkiller, and .. was even done as a female.

VISITING THE EXHIBITION

Star Wars Identities ends at the Telus World of Science in Edmonton at the end of March. This exhibit is NOT coming to Calgary. Only 75 people are allowed in the exhibit every 15 minutes. You cannot just show up and expect to get a ticket. Go online and book a time so you don’t spend hours in line or, worse, show up to find it is sold out.

geoblocking oscars appAPP OF THE WEEK

It is Oscar night and there is an app for that. The official Oscar app will take you beyond the telecast with more than a dozen streaming video channels from the red carpet to backstage. It’s getting rave reviews, but it is a US app only. All the cool features won’t work in Canada.

So, instead, play Angry Birds Star Wars.

Instagram Needs You More Than You Need Instagram

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I told you so.

Back in April, went it was announced that Facebook was buying Instagram for $1B, many of the digerati warned that the internet giant was making the purchase to take the content and information of users to sell.

This week, with an updated Terms of Service for Instagram announced, the prediction came true. Never mind the Mayans, you have to watch Zuckerberg.

Andy Ihnatko: “Once again it bears repeating that an agreement with any tech company for any service — free or paid — is no different from an agreement with any other kind of madman. At best, they’re going to stick to the original terms. But it’s likely that at any point, they’re going to alter your deal…and it’ll never ever be altered to tilt things in your favor.”

Wired: “The bottom line is that Instagram is reserving the right to use your photos as it sees fit, without permission or even notification, in advertisements and promotions. It hasn’t said it owns them, or that it will do that – it just can.”

CNN: “Hammering the point home, Instagram changed the current language about users granting a “limited license” for use of their content. The new terms make it a “sub-licensable” agreement, again making it clear that Instagram can give content to third parties. It could, for instance, let a major retail chain buy Instagram photos of people shopping in their stores to run in an ad.”

After the backlash came the echo of people saying the collective angst of the internet was overblown.

Well let me ask you this: if you have a choice between Company A and Company B for providing similar services that are free, and Company A says it wants license to your work to use for ads that it may, or may not tell you about, while Company B doesn’t ask for that license, and lets you control your content – which would you choose?

I recently had content go viral. More than 3 million people have viewed my video of the Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss. I have a licensing agreement (as anyone can) with YouTube to monetize my videos. When ads are placed on or around my content, we share the revenue. Win/win. Facebook‘s idea of making money does not involve sharing revenue with users. Win for them, lose for you.

I know first hand what happens when you sign off rights to content to a third party. I entered my son’s photo in a Cheerios contest. He lost the original contest, but General Mills retained rights to the image and are now using him as the face of a national campaign in the spring. Total compensation to me? Bragging rights and a few boxes of Cheerios. Totally within the rules, not necessarily totally “fair.”

Instagram needs your images and metadata and geotagging information to feed the Facebook beast. Facebook wants to know every. single. little. thing. about you. The more it knows about you the better it can not only sell to you, but the higher the asking price for you. Facebook‘s game is to use user’s information and content to sell to advertisers and to target advertising at users. I have no problem leaving a breadcrumb to be better targeted, I have a problem when my content becomes a part of the ad.

Instagram needs you, you don’t need Instagram.

If you like social networks based around images, use Flickr. It will even let you do all the filter-y things that you could on Instagram. If all you like is to take artsy photos of mundane things, use Camera+, it will even let you push the content to Facebook and Twitter to inundate your friends with pictures of sidewalks, signs, and cats.

It’s hard to quit Facebook because it has 1B users, and everyone you know and love is there feeding the beast, I get that. It’s easy to quit Instagram because so many other places want to give you the same stuff that Instagram gives without all the icky strings.

I quit Instagram yesterday. Nuked the entire thing and I’m not looking back. I don’t even miss it, you won’t either.

Here is a segment I did for Global Calgary on the new Terms of Service:

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