This is an incredible performance and superbly done special effects. I have a hard time believing not everyone is in on the show and that they are all actors, not real customers.
. . . whatever, this is one of those.
The Bodymetrics Pod, which launched in the United States during the Denim Days celebration at a Bloomingdale's in Los Angeles, uses Kinect for Windows to digitally ogle your curves and body-map your butt. This is all in the name of hooking you up with a pair of jeans that will flatter you rather than make it look like you crashed into a denim factory at 55 mph.
Here is an excellent tribute to him by the excellent Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
UPDATE: From the Wall Street Journal:
Mr. Kim died from fatigue during a train ride on Saturday, a weeping television announcer said.
I didn't know that riding in a train took that much out of you.
UPDATE II: Here is Kim Jong Il's legacy.
The number of prisoners held in the North Korean gulag is not known: one estimate is 200,000, held in 12 or more centres. Camp 22 is thought to hold 50,000.
Most are imprisoned because their relatives are believed to be critical of the regime. Many are Christians, a religion believed by Kim Jong-il to be one of the greatest threats to his power. According to the dictator, not only is a suspected dissident arrested but also three generations of his family are imprisoned, to root out the bad blood and seed of dissent.
My neighbor just put up hundreds and hundreds of new Christmas lights. Now I have to go out and buy hundreds and hundreds more lights and spend the time putting them up. Where is Robert Frank when you need him?
As I shopped at Wal-Mart today, I passed by a display of $5 DVDs. I recalled having paid $89 for the first movie (VHS) I ever bought, one of my all-time favorites. I had no reason to pay even $5 for one of these DVDs given that I already subscribe to streaming Netflix, and if a movie I wish to view is not streaming, I can have it mailed to me as part of my subscription service.
Book ownership (i.e., purchases) may soon follow the path of the VHS and DVD.
Amazon is considering a Netflix-like service that would let people pay an annual fee to get book "rentals," according to a published report.
Rather than go to either a bricks-and-mortar or online bookstore, or better yet, buy an e-text version online, I can just download a copy as a rental from Amazon.com. This is apparently - and needlessly - scaring publishers.
Quoting "people familiar with the matter," the Journal said some publishers worry that such a service would cut down on the number of people buying books and hurt their relationships with other distributors.
Video rental stores vastly expanded the sales of DVDs following the introction of video rental stores, in large part from sales to rental outlets. Some rental outlets also paid large royalties to movie companies. The same would be true of books from Amazon renting online versions. Taking up Amazon on their offer to rent Kindle versions of their books will a) increase the number of their books read (i.e., demand and quantity demanded); and b) produce royalties for their products at zero marginal cost to the company.
The real question is, will movie companies still be around in ten years?
Russ Roberts sings praises for Kung Fu Panda 2.
Obviously animated films like this have improved over time. But it isn’t just the animation but the ability to visually tell the story as a director, that makes a film like this so entertaining and beautiful.
I will respond by singing the praises of market competition and decentralized power as major causes of this transformation of computer animation over the last four decades, but not necessarily the only causes.
If you've not read David Price's Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company, I highly recommend it. (Another good shorter read is Ed Catmull's piece in the Harvard Business Review, "How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity.") Pixar's successful business model is largely based on a more horizontal corporate hierarchy that develops talent from within, allowing for more cooperative learning and benefitting from knoweldge of particular time and place that each individual worker brings with him or her.
Its success also comes from commitment to developing the story as well as the technical craft. This commitment has prevailed since the very beginnings, before it even became known as Pixar. The result is twelve feature films with only one apparent flop and twenty one short animations.
The following is a good discussion of Pixar with Ed Catmul, Brad Bird, Alvy Ray Smith, and Andrew Stanton.