I figure a the yellow pages are sort of telecom, right? So, they should have good internet. And they do.
Suck it, Valenti.
“This isn’t just about business. This is about overthrowing dead culture.”
- Steve Jobs, from The Pirates of Silicon Valley
As the concept of intellectual property fades into obscurity, the people of planet earth have reached a major milestone. I don’t think this has ever happened since the creation of that McCarthyistic dinosaur we call the MPAA. A national movie chain has rejected the MPAA’s restricted rating of Bully and gone their own route. It seems AMC feels pretty strongly about the nature and cultural significance of this film. Consequently, they’re skipping the simpleton rating system and going it on their own.
And that’s our play of the day.
Usually, when a film is released without a rating by the MPAA, it’s because it contains so much mature content — usually sexual in nature — that it was going to get an NC-17. In turn, major theater chains have traditionally treated unrated films as if they have an NC-17 rating, and won’t screen the film for any audience.
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris will no longer take part in a national foreclosure probe of some of the nation’s biggest banks, which are accused of pervasive misconduct in dealing with troubled homeowners.
Harris removed herself from talks by a coalition of state attorneys general and federal agencies investigating abusive foreclosure practices because the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers were not offering California homeowners relief commensurate to what people in the state had suffered, Harris told The Times on Friday.
Pisses me off.
A woman who commissioned young artists to create the mural on a bare wall beside her house was fined $360 by L.A.’s Department of Building and Safety and faced an additional fine of $1,925 if the mural wasn’t removed.
Seriously? This is LA city dollars at work? Fix the @*%& roads already!!
This is one department that can have its budget cut. For show.
If you’ve used Google Maps in a major metropolitain area, you may have noticed one or two “neighborhood labels” that seemed bizarre and new to you even though you know the area quite well.
Here is a link to Home Junction on Google Maps.
As best as I can determine, some of these names go back to the 1960s. The reason I think that is because of a little area in west Los Angeles that on Google Maps is labelled Home Junction.
If you look at the intersection of the Santa Monica freeway and the San Diego freeway (I-10 and I-405 respectively), Google Earth has a little label for the area and that label says “Home Junction.”
In fact, if you drive around the area where National crosses under the 405 there is one of those weird blue City of LA signs denoting that you are in a “named region” of the city. It also says, “Home Junction.”
Home Junction? WTF is that? I like to think I know the west L.A. area quite well — between the different neighborhoods and their historic origins — I find that stuff interesting. Palms, Sawtelle, Mar Vista, Rancho Park — it’s my albatross.
So, what I’ve pieced together is this: the junction was so named because it was the meeting point between the spur line and the main trolleyway that once connected Santa Monica with downtown Los Angeles. The spur line connected to the Veterans Administration facility via a little street called Sawtelle. Back then the VA was called “The Old Soldiers’ Home”, hence, Home Junction.
The Chiat/Day relationship with Steve Jobs and Apple is nothing short of legendary. That legend goes something like this:
Chiat was hired by Apple to create the (also legendary) Ridley Scott-directed, $1 million, only-aired-once-cause-it’s-so-goddamn-special 1984 commercial that introduced the Macintosh line of computers during the Super Bowl.
was forced out of left Apple, he used some of his newfound wealth to put Chiat/Day on retainer as his personal ad agency; basically, he took them with him when he left the company.
The ad agency used some of that money to build a new office building.
Completed in 1991, Chiat’s Gehry-designed building on Main Street in Venice is a globally-recognizable structure that boasts office space of 71,935 square feet teamed with the iconic presence of Claes Oldenberg‘s enormous binocular edifice arching over the original parking entrance. The building is within sight of the original design space of Charles and Ray Eames, a stone’s throw from one of our favorite Austrian’s old hangout spots (e.g. Gold’s Gym), and across the street from the original Venice Short Line Ocean Park Yard trolley station (it’s now an MTA bus depot and you can still see some original rail tracks from before the buses took over).
In 1996, the ad agency left that building and moved to Playa del Rey. Jobs was running NeXT computer when that company was bought by Apple. TBWA/Chiat-Day created a self-contained subsidiary called Media Arts Lab. This new organization would be dedicated to a single client, Steve Jobs.
Apple’s New Rivalry
“Make no mistake: Google wants to kill the iPhone. We won’t let them.” – Steve Jobs addressing Apple employees in early 2010
Apple (Jobs) seems to thrive on competition. See Microsoft (Bill Gates) for more info. Jobs has always had a reputation for being the “cool kid” amongst the tech giants. Your cute lab partner in chemistry class? Steve’s ex-girlfriend. And like any good Alpha geek, he’s got a chip on his shoulder. Just let him think he’s in charge and everything will be cool.
I’m still researching the origins of their personal relationship, but they’ve been neighbors for years. Schmidt was a big deal at Sun when they developed Java and then went to run Novell before leaving to head Google. He’s taught at Stanford. It seems like the guy has been in the Valley since grad school.
Fast-forward to 2010. Rumours develop of a rift between Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs.
It’s like watching Lex Luthor fight Dr. Viktor von Doom: baaaaaad aaaass (I leave it up to you to figure out who’s who in that simile)
- June 2007: Schmidt joins Jobs on stage as he introduces the iPhone.
- Labor Day 2009: On a pay phone in the Nevada desert, Jobs asks Schmidt about the “Google mobile phone”; they decide to start seeing other people.
- August, 2009: Schmidt abdicates Apple’s board as Google’s Android phone poses the first credible competition to the white-hot iPhone.
- March, 2010: as the two companies’ philosophies diverge, the two titans meet al fresca in Palo Alto to discuss … stuff?
- February, 2011: In Woodside – Silicon Valley’s ranch-ey township-cum-Liechtenstein – Jobs and Schmidt attend el Presidente’s tech dinner party (conspicuously absent: Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina)
So, this post will never be done. I have to publish it now or I will never stop working on it.
But the saga continues…
UPDATE: An anonymous source at Google confirmed that this theory is not unlikely. Internally, Googlers are a little jealous of the unstoppable climb in Apple’s share price. Coupled with the its fanaticism, the reality distortion field (RFD) at Apple breeds contempt amongst the faithful toward any perceived non-believers.
It’s really fascinating to watch the recreation of Atlantic City during it’s “hey day” and I can’t help but be mesmerized by the backdrops for the exterior scenes shot there. I’ve always had a soft-spot for historical boardwalk scenes. Not really sure if it’s some weird obsession with the Monopoly boardgame or the secretive aspect of built-in speakeasies of the era.
I’m entranced because of its resemblance to the original appearance and intent of the boardwalk that stretched through the annexed communities of Ocean Park and Venice.
Jeff Stanton (the Historian Laureate of Ocean Park and Venice) lends his insight into the boardwalk’s origins as property of the firm in which Abbott Kinney was a partner:
Park Casino (actually a restaurant and tennis club) on June 23, 1891. Several months later they decided to purchase the surrounding tract of land for $175,000 from Captain Hutchinson, a British Army officer. The man had acquired the beach front property in the late 1870′s when he foreclosed on a series of loans made to the Machado family on parts of their La Ballona Rancho.
I bumped in to a guy on Saturday who said he worked for Clearwire. We got to talking about Sprint and 4G handsets. I asked him about the “private beta” 4G deployment in Los Angeles. He confirmed its existence and that it was working, but generally only available to employees of Sprint, their relatives, and other people who’d be unlikely to complain if something went wrong with the service. I asked him when it might be publicly available, because the last I’d heard it was due in August. Last time I checked August was here. He let me know that the new target date was December. Which would make a lot of sense to time it to coincide with the Christmas shopping season.