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Balls to Picasso’s masculinity September 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts.
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For years, Picasso identifies with the image of the minotaur and once went so far as to describe the bull-man archetype as analogous to himself. This mythical creature is conveniently revived from ancient Greece as a grandiose pretext for showing off; for it allows Picasso to hang upon the human frame the formidable head and testicles of a bull.

What kind of courage did it really take Picasso to advertise his randy instincts? How can his manifest indulgence – supported by an establishment of collectors and museums – be construed as an act of resistance?

Never was ancient myth so prostituted in the service of an artist’s delusion, and never were such fantasies turned so successfully to the marketing of conceit and the pomposity of genius. How can we celebrate all that big-headedness, especially when transacted in an age of mass extermination?

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Amazon wins race to offer online movies September 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet, Movies.
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Amazon.com beat Apple to the punch Thursday with a new service that lets customers download movies to their computers and take them for on-the-go viewing on portable media players — but not on Apple iPods.

The Amazon Unbox service is expected to compete head-to-head with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes store, which already offers music videos and TV shows and is expected to include full-length movie downloads soon.

The companies’ race to launch their movie services reflects the changing ways consumers are getting their entertainment.

But industry analysts questioned the prospects of Amazon’s new service because it won’t work on iPods and it could be cumbersome to transfer the technology to the family room TV.

Amazon officials, however, were giddy about partnering with more than 30 studios and networks to offer its customers thousands of titles, including some TV series episodes available the day after they first run. Those will go for $1.99 per episode, while most movies will cost $7.99 to $14.99, Amazon said. Movies also can be rented for $3.99, about what consumers pay at video stores.

With the Unbox, consumers can download a video with a DVD-quality picture, Amazon said. It would enable consumers to buy a show using one personal computer, such as at the office, and download it to another, likely at home. The shows would work on any Microsoft Windows Media video-compatible portable device, including Creative Zen Vision:M.

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Web social site Facebook hit by privacy protests September 8, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet Safety.
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Facebook.com, the No. 2 U.S. social network site that is quickly expanding beyond its college student base, has been met with a sudden privacy backlash by users after it made design changes this week.

By late on Wednesday, more than 500,000 of Facebook’s 9.5 million members had signed an online petition calling for the company to back off a feature called “News Feed” that instantly notifies members when friends update their own sites.

On Monday, the Palo Alto, California-based company founded in 2004 by then Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg, began automatically notifying users whenever new photos were posted by friends. The site also makes it easier to learn about people’s political or social affiliations or dating status.

Facebook differs from its bigger rival MySpace.com by giving members far greater control over every detail they may publish on their individual member profile pages.

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