Why the cloud has me fearing Wall-E more than Skynet

Everybody who has watched The Terminator knows about Skynet, the computing system that becomes self-aware and decides to destroy humanity. But I look at cloud computing and automated systems and I fear something much more depressing: the total leisure paradise of the movie Wall-E.

Vid-Biz: CBSSports, YouTube, “Mapple”

CBSSports.com to Stream SEC Basketball Games Live; select games from the 2008-2009 SEC College Basketball regular season to be shown live online starting Dec. 13. (emailed release)

YouTube Launches Abuse and Safety Center; will focus on providing tips and multimedia resources for dealing with cyberbullying, online harassment and hate content. (YouTube Blog)

Simpsons “Mapple” Clip Generates Nearly 2 Million Plays; the TV show attracted 8 million viewers, while the actual MacBook green ad that appeared during the episode only did 230,000 plays online. (Visible Measures Blog)

CBSNews.com and CNET to Merge Newsrooms; still no word on layoffs or how the web sites will be altered. (paidContent)

Discovery Doesn’t Believe in Long-form Content Online; speaking at a UBS conference, the CEO says there is no business model to support longer shows yet. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Joost Pops Up on DivX Set-Top Box; plug-in allows you to watch video from the web TV platform on your television set. (ZatzNotFunny!)

Create a Flight of the Conchords Lip Dub; contest asks you to lip-synch your version of the “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenocerous.” (Flightlipdub.com)

Off-Topic: What To Watch This Summer: “Wall-E”

My inner nerd is thrilled at the prospect of Pixar’s upcoming movie “Wall-E.” Rich Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Capital who is typically very stingy with praise is waxing eloquent about the movie after watching the preview. In a note to his clients this morning, he writes:

….Investors have been wary of Wall-E’s box office potential given Pixar’s risky bet on an offbeat main character, who rarely speaks during the film. Nonetheless, the film substantially exceeded our expectations and was well-received by the audience.

We believe Pixar hit the mark, delivering a very rich story in Wall-E.: We see the film appealing to younger children who will be drawn to the quirky but extremely lovable characters (especially Wall-E).

The love story between the two main characters and the presence of a solid female character (Wall-E’s love interest, Eve) should also appeal to girls of all ages. Finally, we believe the film will resonate well with older audiences who will find much to like in Wall-E’s character and antics, the love story and the film’s other messages (e.g. the environment).

Our only concern: There is somewhat less action and the pacing is somewhat more measured.

Looks like this could be Steve Jobs’ other big summer blockbuster hit. Sure he doesn’t run Pixar anymore, but he owns a big portion of Disney. Greenfield expects the movie to make $550 million to $600 million (or more) at the box office worldwide, and says it “should be a solid contributor to Disney’s DVD sales in FY Q1 2009.”

Ive + Eve

If that picture from Pixar’s Wall-E looks somewhat familiar in all its white glory, it is because it’s design was developed in part by Apple’s own Jonathon Ive. He was called in as a consultant to the process. Here is an interesting comment from Ive:

I wanted Eve to be high-end technology — no expense spared — and I wanted it to be seamless and for the technology to be sort of hidden and subcutaneous. The more I started describing it, the more I realized I was pretty much describing the Apple playbook for design.

The article also states that Ive was secretive about Apple’s goings-on and would not comment on the future of technology designs. If you want to see more, Wall-E opens on June 27th.

[Via Fortune]