Forty-seven years after her death, Edith Piaf is soundtracking the biggest, darkest, most bombastic blockbuster of the summer. Composer Hans Zimmer has revealed that Inception’s entire soundtrack, from the booming trombone theme to the strains of rising dread, originates from one of the chanteuse’s most famous songs.
Anyone who has seen Christopher Nolan’s movie will recall Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, the song used to signal a “kick” to another reality. But Piaf’s famous ballad does not just permeate Inception as a sample – it’s in the soundtrack’s DNA.
“Just for the game of it,” Zimmer told the New York Times this week, “all the music in the score is subdivisions and multiplications of the tempo of the Edith Piaf track.” The clearest example is Inception’s theme, which an enterprising YouTuber has already deciphered, speeding up the booming trombones to reveal Piaf’s Gallic melancholy. “I was surprised how long it took them to figure it out,” Zimmer said. “[It] wasn’t supposed to be a secret.”
“Years ago, I bought a Palm Pilot (remember those?), thinking that I needed to have one to become more organized. It didn’t work out at all. Instead of making me more organized, it simply created more stress about updating and working with it. After a while, I gave it up. To this date, I am employing the well tested combination of a Moleskin organizer plus creative chaos.”—Conscientious Extended | Photographers and Social Networking (via Instapaper)
“Still, he admitted that he could occasionally be rough on office furniture, and said: “Very often people say things to me on the phone that frustrate me. I sometimes hang up phones with an excess amount of enthusiasm after a call hasn’t gone my way.”—Congressman Pushes Staff Hard, or Out the Door - NYTimes.com
“In the last 15 years, music has ceased to be the center of people’s cultural life. We both come from a generation in which music was where it all got acted out. The other arts were somewhat in the rear. Music has had its day. A lot of music now doesn’t really have an independent existence separate from the places it’s played in.”—3.05: Gossip is Philosophy (via Instapaper)
“History is changed by people who get pissed off. Only neo-vegetables enjoy using computers the way they are at the moment. If you want to make computers that really work, create a design team composed only of healthy, active women with lots else to do in their lives and give them carte blanche. Do not under any circumstances consult anyone who (a) is fascinated by computer games (b) tends to describe silly things as “totally cool” (c) has nothing better to do except fiddle with these damn things night after night.”—3.05: Gossip is Philosophy (via Instapaper)
Remember the Google Buzz fiasco? In their eagerness to roll out their latest whizz-bang new killer feature (by the way, does anyone still use Buzz?), Google didn’t bother to think about - or deliberately chose to ignore - the potential privacy implications of their model and ended up exposing everyone’s contacts. A predictable outcry followed, and Google was forced to walk it all back and put in the protections that should have been in there from the start.
But that’s all in the past now, and Google have learned their lesson, haven’t they? Well, no. Because now they’ve launched Google Social Search, another exciting innovation we didn’t need that … leaks all your contact information all over again.
How does it do that? If you’re logged in when you search for something, Google will show results that are somehow related to your ‘social circle’. Google assembles your social circle by the usual connectivity voodoo - digging through your Gmail contacts, your Google reader subscriptions and so forth. So far, there’s no great cause for alarm. But Google also includes second-order contacts - friends of your friends - in the results. And that’s where the trouble starts.
To illustrate the problem, suppose you are a married man who has been secretly carrying on with the local femme fatale. Your wife does a search for that charming little restaurant where you celebrate your wedding anniversary, and uncovers a glowing review written by that shameless hussy, accompanied by a helpful note from Google explaining that she shows up in the results because she’s a friend of yours. Marital ructions ensue.
Or you’re considering leaving your job at WidgetCo and have been sending out copies of your resume. When your boss searches for something, his social search results suddenly include half a dozen recruiters and the CEO of rival GadgetCorp, all tagged as contacts of yours. Problematic, no?
The possible scenarios go on and on. Subscribe to a mailing list for wombat fetishists? One lucky search hit and the whole world can know about your fondness for those winsome marsupials. And so on. And so on.
Friend-of-a-friend (FOAF) leaks are one of those nasty social networking gotchas that most users don’t think about. Apparently Google didn’t think about this one either because - even after the Buzz mess - they went ahead and engineered it straight into their new baby. What they didn’t do, of course, is provide any way for you to opt-out. There’s no mechanism for saying “No, dammit, don’t expose my list of private contacts to all my friends.” And unlike Buzz, which at least you had to start using before it could out all your contacts, Google Social Search will go ahead and expose your friends without you lifting a finger. I guess they call that progress.
So here we go again. Once again, we need to make a noise and get Google to undo their latest piece of thoughtlessness before it starts messing up people’s lives.
Ladies and gentlemen, the always brilliant Angus.
social google product is an oxymoron. they have only two services which could stand on their own: search and gmail. both of them look like shite and are only a little bit better than alternatives.
“With such grand designs, isn’t Vernon Hill, one of the bank’s founders, tempted to build an IT system of his own? “I hate programmers,” replies this dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneur. “They only cause trouble.”—Banking and IT: Computer says no | The Economist
“The world of statistics rewards an honest search for the truth, not dilettantism, and I’d advise any designer moving in statistical circles to pick up some basic stats theory, or at least partner with someone knowledgeable.”—
“People commonly use the word “procrastination” to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what’s happening as merely not-doing-work. We don’t call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working.”—The Acceleration of Addictiveness (via lkt)
“Furthermore, nobody in the free culture movement is attempting to silence the ASCAP president. The remedy for misinformation is more information–last month’s ASCAP fundraising letter was linked by many free culture blogs, Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig offered to debate the ASCAP president […] and right here, we’re linking to the ASCAP president’s letter–go read it, blog about it, post the link–make sure the ASCAP president is not silenced!”—
“Zacharek further remarks that Nolan’s lifelong reliance on Hans Zimmer’s score as a means for anchoring our interest into what we’re seeing on-screen makes Nolan less fit for “directing” and better suited for “directing traffic.”—The Inception Reception | The Film Crusade
“And also, when you shoot digital, you can chimp; you can look at the image on the camera. Imagine Cartier-Bresson if he was trying to take a picture and all of a sudden he looked down. He would lose that next moment. A really good combat photographer chimping in the middle of the field could get a bullet in his head. I am surprised that no one has been shot yet.”—Stanley Greene’s Redemption and Revenge - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com
Q: Let’s face it, a lot of photojournalists now have full-time assistants who do nothing but Photoshop their images. But you are not saying that these photojournalists are inserting objects into the frame or removing objects from the frame; it’s mostly burning and dodging, right?
A:No, I am saying they are putting things into the frame and taking things out of the frame. Absolutely. I definitely think they are doing that. You have a bucket or a chair in the original picture and all of sudden the color changes because it goes better with the form.
I have always loved the Afghanistan pictures that I have seen that have been Photoshopped. I mean, all of a sudden, Afghanistan has clouds. Every time I’ve been to Afghanistan, it’s been a flat sky. But all of a sudden, you’ve got God skies. Where did those come from? All of a sudden we’ve got colors that we didn’t even know existed.
“We all only live once. So we are obligated to make good use of the time that we have and to do something that is meaningful and satisfying. This is something that I find meaningful and satisfying. That is my temperament. I enjoy creating systems on a grand scale, and I enjoy helping people who are vulnerable. And I enjoy crushing bastards.”—
“I gave up my job, my career, my clearance, and I staked my freedom on a gamble: if the American people knew the truth about how they had been lied to, about the myths that had led them to endorse this butchery for twenty-five years, that they would choose against it. And the risk that you take when you do that is that you’ll learn something ultimately about your fellow citizens that you won’t like to hear—and that is that they hear it, they learn from it, they understand it, and they proceed to ignore it.”—
Daniel Ellsberg, one year after the release of the Pentagon Papers.
“The first stage involves creating a simple dummy website with just five pages featuring product details. They then drove traffic to that via paid search to see how many people would visit that site and whether they intended to add any of the products to their basket (when shoppers did this they would be greeted with a message saying that the shopping basket wasn’t quite ready yet).”—Ad firm becomes largest UK parrot cage importer
“Our original goal as founders for the company was just to earn as much money as our friends were earning working for soul destroying consulting companies like IBM or PriceWaterhouseCoopers”—Scott Farquhar bootstrapped Atlassian from $0 to $60M in revenue. (via brycedotvc)