// Category Archive for: Science and Technology

Assemblog: February 22, 2013

Published on February 22nd, 2013 in: Assemblog, Books, Copyright/Piracy, Feminism, Film Festivals, Gaming, Horror, Legal Issues, Movies, Science and Technology, The Internets, Trailers, TV |

Inside Llewyn Davis

New this week on Popshifter: Paul takes Men’s Rights Advocates to task in his article on Women in Gaming and tells tales of pro wrestling redemptions; Chelsea loves Lady Lamb the Beekeeper’s first full-length album RiPLEY PINE; I fawn over new releases from Parenthetical Girls, Dawn McCarthy & Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Iceage, share the latest from Big Black Delta, and review French Horn Rebellion’s newest EP Love Is Dangerous; and Hanna admires both the humor and scientific methods found in The Marriage of True Minds from Matmos.


Assemblog: February 15, 2013

Published on February 15th, 2013 in: Assemblog, Film Festivals, Horror, Movies, Music, Science and Technology, Science Fiction, The Internets, Trailers |

Kiss of the Damned (full poster)

New this week on Popshifter: I reveal a behind-the-scenes video on the making of the upcoming What The Brothers Sang album by Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy and weigh in on Suede’s new single and video; Paul praises Spotify but has stern advice for Prince; Cait has the scoop on the terrific new Omnivore Recordings George Jones United Artists singles compilation; and Elizabeth reassures us we can still call television “television.”


TV Is Dead, Long Live TV: Why We Should Still Call It Television

Published on February 15th, 2013 in: Science and Technology, Streaming, The Internets, TV, TV Is Dead Long Live TV |

By Elizabeth Keathley

I think the moral lesson behind The Booth at the End is: Don’t over think things. It’s also worth noting that while neon signs still use tubes to convey messages, this is no longer true of modern TVs.

Two weeks ago I wrote a piece acknowledging Netflix as our new media overlords for the occasion of the premiere of House of Cards. The success of the first independent series produced by Netflix, along with the continued success enjoyed by web series and Hulu-produced content, has some scratching their heads about what to call this new viewing experience. I have an answer to this question: when enjoying The Booth at the End on Hulu or MyMusic on YouTube, one is watching television.

This search for another name for what we are doing while we enjoy Very Mary Kate or Husbands is pointless. That many consume this entertainment via a screen on what we now call a computer rather than on what we have traditionally called a television is immaterial.


The Age of Permanent Prosperity: Spotify is the Greatest Thing

Published on February 12th, 2013 in: Current Faves, Music, Science and Technology, Streaming, The Internets |

By Paul Casey


When I had a talk before about why compilations needed to die, I was concerned about their tendency to solidify tastes rather than challenge them. I would stick to a handful of albums and obsess about arranging them, producing classy covers, and finding people to absorb my musical missives in good humor. Even though I have made attempts every few years to shake myself up and haul in new music to replace old, it was still such a costly exercise that I was rarely satisfied.

For those who have had Spotify available to them for several years, please forgive me for pointing out the obvious: It is possibly the greatest thing ever. Here in Ireland, being a largely backwards outfit, we have only recently been given the chance to put an ear towards such a severe streaming catalogue.

Ten euro a month is nothing for the quality of the service provided. Twice as much could be charged and it would still be an obscene bargain, especially for those humans who are still attached to the idea that financial recompense is a fair deal for created things. There are problems and quirks with Spotify of course, and a lingering question over whether this kind of subscription service can ever provide a living for artists. Seeing as the Internet has made solipsism the thing with music, I will ignore these for the moment and expand on how I have personally benefited from this service.


My Vinyl Addiction and the Perfect Turntable

Published on January 7th, 2013 in: Music, Science and Technology |

By Danny R. Phillips, unrepentant recordaholic


Hi, my name’s Danny and I’m a vinyl junkie. Not the vinyl slapped on the front seat of a 1973 Chevy Malibu. No, I’m talking records man, RECORDS! From my earliest memories, I have loved the dark wonder of the LP. I would sit surrounded by my mother’s collection, everything from The Faces to Supertramp, Everly Brothers to The Bellamy Brothers. I recall listening to records for hours on end, ignoring Sesame Street, often wearing a pair of those 1970’s “earmuff” headphones, tightened to the last notch to accommodate my five-year-old head, pressing them tight with my hands so that not a note could escape.


Assemblog: December 7, 2012

Published on December 7th, 2012 in: Assemblog, Canadian Content, Feminism, Movies, Music, Science and Technology, Streaming, The Internets |

jennifer lynch despite
Despite The Gods

New this week on Popshifter: Danny is not very fond of the film 360, out now on home video; Chelsea is over the moon about the new Big Dipper album, Big Dipper Crashes on the Platinum Planet (and shares their new video for “Robert Pollard”); Lisa voices unpopular opinions about It’s A Wonderful Life; Cait raves about the new white vinyl 7″ from Concrete Blonde; I express admiration and frustration for Take This Waltz; and Elizabeth talks about Community, Disney, Netflix & Verizon in a new installment of “TV Is Dead, Long Live TV.”


TV Is Dead, Long Live TV: December 7, 2012

Published on December 7th, 2012 in: Media, Science and Technology, Streaming, The Internets, TV, TV Is Dead Long Live TV |

By Elizabeth Keathley

In his keynote speech to the XOXO Festival this past September, Dan Harmon, creator of Community, had this to say about the death of television:

“You don’t want to monetize the Internet. You’re having fun right now because it can’t be monetized. You’re getting away with murder on the Internet. You’re doing wonderful Rodenberry-ish things on the Internet because it has eschewed money and all the crappy people are back on TV wasting everyone’s time while Rome burns to the ground.”

I disagree with Harmon about several things he said in this speech, but I’ll start with the money thing because it’s so easy to disprove.

producer dan harmon
Dan Harmon created a great television show, but now says TV is dead.
A video of his speech is at the end of this article.


Assemblog: November 16, 2012

Published on November 16th, 2012 in: Assemblog, Critics/Criticism, Feminism, Movies, Science and Technology, The Internets, Toys and Collectibles, Trailers, TV |

james bond mirror skyfall

New this week on Popshifter: Cait has the scoop on the newest Marshall Crenshaw single and subscription service, reviews the reissue of 1985’s Romance from David Cassidy, and is delighted by The Edie Adams Christmas Album; I have good things to say about School of Seven Bells’s new EP Put Your Sad Down as well as The Barrens on Blu-Ray; and Elizabeth outlines your options if you’re thinking of ditching your cable TV subscription.


TV Is Dead, Long Live TV: November 16, 2012 – A Guide To Cutting The Cord

Published on November 16th, 2012 in: Science and Technology, Streaming, The Internets, TV, TV Is Dead Long Live TV |

By Elizabeth Keathley

The latest in our ongoing series on the life and death of linear television, a.k.a. old-style appointment television, TV that only moves forward in time. For previous installments, go here.

This installment will outline your best options for cutting the cord to your cable or satellite subscription.


First You Ceefax, Then You Don’t

Published on October 25th, 2012 in: Retrovirus, Science and Technology |

By Emily Carney

goodbye ceefax

Back in the halcyon days of broadcast television in the UK, a BBC teletext service called Ceefax (which stood for “See Facts”) was devised in an effort to provide viewers with the most current, continuously updated information possible, encompassing news, financial information, weather, and sports. It debuted in 1974.

Ceefax was actually the first teletext system used in the world. The system was originally limited to thirty “pages” of information and had a wonderfully eight-bit, low-tech (at least to viewers in 2012) vibe. It resembled being trapped in a Radio Shack Tandy computer. Occasionally viewers even were able to enjoy some cheesy, TRS-80-style “print @ lineā€¦” graphics in weather maps, among other things. It was pretty cool for its time. Eventually the BBC put on some smooth-as-silk easy listening tunes to go with the pages.