David Blaine: Inside Like A Fish


Yikes. Check out these shots of David Blaine’s hands after living in his fishbowl for nearly a week. Imagine what, um, other parts of him look like.

I haven’t made my way up to Lincoln Center to see him yet, but I think I better get up there before his skin starts falling off.

And bring some Palmolive.

Lincoln Center: The Empire Strikes Blaine [tr]
David Blaine at Lincoln Center [tr]

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CBS Launches Innertube Streaming Video Service

The nonstop diaspora of the TV networks to the Web continues with CBS to be the next shoe to drop, opening up its own streaming media service it calls Innertube. In addition to showing episodes from CBS primetime programs, the ad-supported service will also stream content from CBS kin such as CBS Paramount Network Television, King World, and Showtime. The company also plans to show episodes of series that didn’t quite make it on primetime.

Using a Flash-based player, its interface is not quite as refined as ABC’s, and its compression quality is a little bit on the funky side. But unlike ABC’s interface, Innertube scales up to full screen quite well. The site is just a stub so far with just three clips onboard, but you can tell it’s primed for expansion. Neat. Streaming video: it’s the new cable.

CBS Innertube Site

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Red Hot Chili Peppers angered by Net leak


The Red Hot Chili Peppers have lashed out at a music pirate who leaked the funk-rock band’s upcoming album onto the Internet, and urged fans not to download it illegally.

The band’s spokeswoman said on Wednesday the offender was being tracked down. The group’s first studio album in four years, "Stadium Arcadium," is still on track to go on sale on Tuesday via Warner Music Group’s Warner Bros. Records, she said.

In a rambling open letter, the band’s bass player, Michael "Flea" Balzary, said he and his colleagues would be heartbroken if fans downloaded the album beforehand.

"For people to just steal a poor sound quality version of it for free because some a–hole stole it and put it on the internet is sad to me," he said.

"I can not put in words how much this record, ‘Stadium Arcadium,’ means to us, how sacred the sound of it is to us, and how many sleepless nights and hardworking days we all had thinking about how to make it be the best sounding thing we could and now, for someone to take it and put it out there with this poor sound quality it is a painful pill for us to swallow," Balzary added.

If caught, the leaker could face the same fate as two men indicted by the U.S. government in March on allegations of making parts of an album by rock singer Ryan Adams available on the Internet before it was released.

Under a provision of the 2005 Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which makes it a separate crime to pirate music and movies before their official release date, they each face up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

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The band’s spokeswoman said she did not know how the album was leaked. Warner Bros. often distributes advance copies of albums to journalists in special envelopes that declare the recipient responsible for any misuse of the CD once the seal is broken. The discs are watermarked and bear the recipient’s name, which makes leaks easier to trace.

Leaks are sometimes also traced to recording studios and post-production plants.

Story Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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Jellyfish speaker: an immersive experience

Damn, I can’t believe I wasted my speaker-as-tripod-from-War-of-the-Worlds joke on those round speakers from Anthony Gallo Acoustics, because this jellyfish speaker from designer Kota Nezu is dying for a reference. About the size of a small stool (and he’s got some jellyfish versions of those, too), the Jellyfish Sonic has a cavity that’s full of water. When hooked up to a music source, it doesn’t just play music; it also creates ripples in the water tank, which in turn produce a cool wave effect beneath the fishy speaker thanks to the built-in light. The leggy little guy appears to have only a single full-range driver, so its acoustic abilities are a tad suspect, but there’s no question it will turn heads in any listening room — especially if you put some goldfish in it. — Peter Pachal

Jellyfish Sonic, via Yanko Design

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Entertainment Island creates poolside theater

Spending many thousands of dollars on a TV and home-entertainment setup is great, but unless you have a huge picture window in your living room it’s generally hard to rub your ostentatious purchase into your neighbors faces. Without everyone on the block being able to see it, what’s the point? If you have $17,000 to spend, you can now bring the home theater experience outside this summer, in plain view of the Joneses, with the Frontgate Outdoor Entertainment Island. Featuring a JVC 42-inch plasma TV, Clarion surround sound speakers and a subwoofer, a Sirius satellite radio receiver, and a DVD player, the Island is the perfect addition to your McMansion’s backyard. With the touch of a button the TV raises and lowers into the galvanized steel-framed, stucco- and ceramic tile-decorated, wealth-announcing Island — and the whole thing can be cleaned off with a hose! Order now, as it’ll take 10 to 11 weeks to get delivered, precious time that could be spent showing everyone you’re the richest family in whatever county in north Jersey you live in. — Adam Frucci

Outdoor Entertainment Island from Frontgate, via Übergizmo

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Ultimate Guide to Online Video

What do you want to watch?

The answer used to depend on limits — what day it was, what time it was, what channels you got. A handy little thing called TV Guide laid it all out. Television was a one-way medium – big broadcasters pushing content into our living rooms at a specific time and place.

Not anymore. Online video has arrived, unleashed from the networks, cable companies, and media giants. Thanks to growing bandwidth, easy access to the means of production, and cheap storage, it’s exploding all around us and becoming a very real, very different way to experience news and entertainment.

Even the old guard gets it (sort of). From Desperate Housewives on your iPod to MTV Overdrive, the networks are racing one another to get their broadcast programs online, while also creating Web-only content.

WebTV Guide

Video by Genre
Video site picks grouped by flavor; from animation to sports.

The New Networks
YouTube may be the best, but it’s not the only game in town. A channel guide for the web.

Vlog Picks from Vloggers
Stars of the scene, including Amanda Congdon of Rocketboom, share what they watch when they’re not being watched.

Make Your Own Vodcast
Some tips on getting your video out there and how to look good doing it.

Interview with Google Video’s Peter Chane
GV’s care-taker spots the money in free online TV.

But don’t let them fool you. What’s happening here isn’t just TV online. Gone are the rigid 30- and 60-minute blocks; now the clip is it – be it 30 seconds or eight minutes, we’re watching only the money shots. Gone is top-down broadcasting; instead, the network has been, well, networked, with thousands of creators and places to watch, from single-serving sites like Rocketboom to slick aggregators like iTunes and blinx. And gone, too, is the at-this-time, at-this-channel programming; now we’re not only time-shifting with DVRs, we’re space-shifting as well, watching stuff on our laptops, iPods, and cell phones – even loading it back onto our TVs.

Missed Oprah squashing James Frey? No matter – you could catch the choice bits of the gotcha episode on YouTube later that afternoon. Want to see the best shorts by SNL‘s "Lazy Sunday" guys? You won’t find them on NBC – try The ‘Bu on channel101.com. Still watching Must See TV on Thursday nights? How quaint.

Sure, a lot of the material is junk: dorm pranks, nip slips, America’s silliest home videos. But some of it is brilliant: House of Cosbys, Kevin Sites’s hot zone at Yahoo! News, archives of cold war propaganda films. Some people look at the sheer amount of material and see a mess. But we see, amid the flood of content and competing delivery services, a new medium emerging, one with fewer gatekeepers, more producers, and – somewhere – something for everyone. And that’s the point: The mess is the message.

That doesn’t make it easy to sample. So we’ve created a Me-Vee Guide – a way for you to understand, navigate, and participate in the online video explosion.

What’s on? Whatever you want.

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“Lost” found free on the Net

Missed the latest episode of "Lost"? Now you can watch it live online, without shelling out for a download from iTunes.

ABC went live this week with a new service that offers streamed versions of four television shows–"Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Alias" and "Commander in Chief"–on the Web, complete with nonskippable commercial breaks.

The program is, for now,, just a two-month trial–one that happens to coincide with May sweeps). Bloggers were generally pleased with the video quality and ease of use. Could offering television online finally be the way to beat file sharing?

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~ I hope it’s in good quality.

Snoop Dogg in custody after London airport fracas

Snoop Dogg is one of rap’s biggest stars.

LONDON, England (Reuters) — American rapper Snoop Dogg was in police custody on Thursday after being arrested with five other men following a disturbance at London’s Heathrow airport, a police source said.

The 34-year-old star, a former member of the notorious Los Angeles Crips gang, was held after a fight broke out when police were escorting him and his entourage out of the airport on Wednesday evening.

Scotland Yard said seven police suffered minor injuries, including a fractured hand, after they were called to the airport at around 6 p.m. (1700 GMT) to deal with a disturbance involving some 30 people in a British Airways business lounge.

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