Samson Blinded: Extreme Jewish Blog Wins Award

Samson Blinded, a blog advocating an ultra-hard-line Israeli approach to Arab nations, received the 2006 People’s Choice Jewish and Israeli Blog Award in the Best Overall Blog category and scored the highest in six other categories including Best Jewish Current Events blog.

Samson Blinded: Extreme Jewish Blog Wins AwardIt’s written under a pen name, Obadiah Shoher, as Israeli law criminalizes racism and incitation. With this knowledge you have some sort of idea as to the views that are put across.

You’ll not be surprised to heard that it’s not a regular read for us, but we’ve given it a once over and Shoher does appear to have some fairly extreme views. We’re told that …

Shoher denies ethnic-blind democracy and argues for expulsion of Arabs
from Israel. He rejects democratic process dominated, he asserts, by liberal and Arab voters, and calls for violent opposition to police efforts at removing the illegal settlements.

On the even more worrying front, we understand that they call for nearly dismantling Israeli army and fully relying on nuclear response to counter possible Arab aggression. Nice!

Many Americans won’t like the cut of its jib either with excepts like this from the current site …

The US-sponsored civil war left over 1.5 million Afghanis dead. Their corpses cause no concern on the Capitol Hill. The fuss is about 400 detainees who are treated at Guantanamo a bit worse than under the Taliban and considerably better than under the Northern Alliance rule. Had they been killed instead of arrested, human rights activists won’t care.

Shoher isn’t just shooting in the dark. The book, Samson Blinded: A Machiavellian Perspective on the Middle East Conflict has been downloaded by more than 170,000 people from 78 countries.

What they heck?
Now we all know that these Best-Of awards aren’t always worth the electrons that they’re written on. They’re often too easy to influence by getting readers to vote over-and-over again, and we would suspect that those with extreme views would have the kind of readers, nay followers, that might have the inclination to do this.

Here’s the reality – The Internet and blogs are for anyone who want to write anything – and that includes things that you might not like. `What’s important is peoples right to express themselves – and that should never be removed.

One thing that you can do is not link to it, thus depriving it of search engine ranking.

Find it at

Playstation: Emmy Awarded

Playstation Emmy AwardedSony’s Playstation has been awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Advanced New Media for pioneering the 3D polygonal-based gaming experience, by the US National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

Now for those who don’t know, there are a ton of Emmys – and why not. The entertainment industry is not only massive and expanding, but there are a huge number of people involved in the creation process, many of whom would go unnoticed without awards like this by those outside the industry, as so much attention is paid to those who appear on screen. The PlayStation’s award falls under the Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards, being presented in Princeton today.

Playstation Emmy AwardedYou can imagine that the awarding of this will make steam come out of the ears of those on the Xbox team at Microsoft

“Emerging technologies in digital media play an important role in the way in which people consume in-home entertainment, and gaming in particular has been a consistent source of innovation in recent years,” said Seth Haberman, Chair of Video Gaming and Technology Awards panel for NATAS. “We felt that the advent of PlayStation exemplified a significant shift in the direction of the gaming and are pleased to recognize Sony Computer Entertainment for its contribution.”

Many of those who’ve been playing games on the PS & PS2 will wonder why it’s taken so long for something as significant as the Playstation to come to the attention of this Academy. The PS is, after all, ten years old.

Playstation Emmy AwardedIs it only the cynical that would think that the timing of this award has anything to do with the wider entertainment business (read film) getting more closely involved with creation of film license games? Or even that they’ve finally woken up to the fact that the amount of money spent on video games out-sizes that spent on film.

Our long held view is that both TV and film are in big trouble when games develop to the point where their characters are given ‘back stories’ and the intelligence to apply them to during interaction in game play. Why would you want to watch TV when you could be in it?

A big congrats to all those involved in the creation of the Playstation. Ken Kutaragi must be a very happy man.

Gold and Platinum Awards for Music Downloads

The US record industry is to further embrace online music sales by giving Gold and Platinum awards to top-selling artists. Musicians and acts selling 100,000 downloads from a licensed online music store will get a Silver Award, those enjoying 200,000 sales will get a Platinum Award. Multiple-platinum awards will be granted to sales of 400,000 and above.

Currently, artists receive a silver disc for 500,000 CDs sold, and platinum for 1 million sold. As legal music downloads increase, the RIAA may have to revise its new digital eligibility numbers as more and more tracks are sold. The Diamond award was introduced in 1999 for sales of 10 million CDs and above – perhaps they will launch a download version of this for 1 million downloads.

The new awards program launches in late August. “This is a gratifying milestone in the evolution of legitimate digital music services,” said Mitch Bainwol, chairman and CEO of the RIAA. “The fact that the marketplace has already advanced this far, and artists have attained this level of success, speaks volumes.”

The original award programme began in 1958, with Platinum discs first appearing in 1976. So the first Platinum disc was obviously a disco tune then.


Vodafone’s Connect Card Wins at Cannes

Vodafone’s Mobile Connect Card, launched in April 2003 has won the Best Mobile Application or Service: Corporate Market at the 2004 GSM Association Awards in Cannes.

The card is essentially a rebadged Option Globetrotter with a Vodafone data service and software suite. The package is designed to provide simple and secure access to company networks and the internet, and is plug and play thanks to the Vodafone dashboard and software.

Vodafone’s new version of the card, the Mobile Connect 3G/GPRS datacard will be available in many areas of Europe in the next month.

ZDNet’s review of the card

TI Wins Emmy Award for DLP

Texas Instruments has won the Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for their Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology. The National Television Academy official title of the award is “Pioneering Development of Mass-Produced Digital Reflective Imaging Technology for Consumer Rear Projection Television.”

DLP produced very high resolution video images and is used in Digital Cinema projectors, some video projectors and a number of rear-projection TV’s (PJTV). It gives an entirely digital connection between a video source and the screen by using a optical semiconductor known as the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD). The DMD is essentially a chip with many tiny mirrors that manipulates light.

Peter O. Price, President of the National Television Academy said “The worlds of broadcasting and home entertainment are undergoing a period of significant change that is characterised by the growing choice being offered to increasingly demanding consumers, and DLP technology is playing a significant role in enabling that change to take place. We see it as a considerable innovation in the market.”

DLP – How it works

Emmy 2003 Technology & Engineering Awards

RTS London Student Television Awards

Last Friday I was one of the judges at the Royal Television Society (RTS) London Student Television Awards.

The nine strong jury was an interesting assortment of people from many areas of the TV industry. Amongst others, there was a live TV producer, an ex-Channel 4 commissioning editor, a senior producer of children’s programming and a former head of education and health at the ITC/IBA.

The entries came from five of London’s media colleges and were categorised in to animation, factual & non-factual. The highest number of entries came from Ravensbourne.

Animation I thought that all of the entries in the category were very well drawn, using sophisticated animation techniques to create thought provoking pieces with strong uses of music. Watching it is the easy part, there’s a huge amount of work involved in their production.

Factual I felt that this was the strongest category, with a very professional finish on some of the pieces.

Most pieces had clearly received a lot of pre-production and a good depth of research that showed in the depth of information of the best pieces.

There’s a lot of concern in TV generally about “young people”, currently those under 35, not watching news and many, particularly at the 18 to 25 end of the scale are not really watching TV at all.

One piece, “Common day”, took an interesting approach of joining factual and fiction. A detailed, informative discussion about a photographic competition was joined to a fictional piece.

I felt this version didn’t quite gel but it’s interesting approach to TV for people who aren’t used to watching TV – putting across facts/education while entertaining. A good programming idea for the short attention span generation.

Non-factual This category was a good reminder of how hard it is to create good TV drama, as there are a large number of elements, which all need to be strong and in the correct balance. There were a couple of very good uses of lighting and one excellent set. The winners of the awards will be announced on Monday 24 February at the London Television Centre.