Friday, February 20, 2009

Technology & Entertainment News: Charlie Boswell & AMD Prepare to Launch the Fusion Render Cloud Supercomputer

Before I learned the innovative plans that Director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD--Charlie Boswell-- had to launch a Fusion Render Cloud Supercomputer, the only thing I knew about AMD is that it's a reliable chip that makes my HP computers run well. Ahem, even on Vista... (well, okay some of the time but that's really not AMD's fault).

AMD: The Future is Fusion

As a film lover and one who is always stoked to discover the newest technological devices on the market (which I can seldom afford)-- from iPods to iPhones to Blackberries to Mini PCs to Tablet Computers to Blu-ray Players and HD-- I'm one of the only women I know who is far more ambitious to wander around an electronics megastore than I am to go to the mall any day of the week.

While I won't even pretend to fully grasp the following announcement fully-- I must say the idea of offering viewers, gamers, and filmmakers (just to name a few) the opportunity to have access to alter and toy with whatever we're experiencing-- is thrilling to my inner-geek.

Normally, I'd say, "inner-nerd" but Boswell-- who's coined the phrase Global Nerding as something against which consumers and innovators must both fight-- but his plans working with not just AMD but Lucasfilm, Dell Computers, HP, and Electronic Arts are truly groundbreaking.

Check out the videos below and be sure to read the full story-- one that came directly from the source as I'm in awe, extremely confused, but totally impressed.

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An Interview With Charlie Boswell:
Director of Digital Media and Entertainment at AMD


You can check out what Charlie and AMD are doing with filmmakers, musicians, gamers, and artists here:

Visit Boswell's Blog

AMD Live!

Click Here to Learn More About Global Nerding

AMD and OTOY's Video Demonstration:
“Don’t Just Play Movies, Play In Them."

Ignite Gaming Performance

(Video Game Widget & Demo)

Read the Full Story
January 8th, 2009
(From the Press Release)

"Today at CES, AMD (NYSE: AMD - News) President and Chief Executive Officer Dirk Meyer and OTOY Chief Executive Officer Jules Urbach unveiled a plan to revolutionize the deployment, development and delivery of HD content through the “AMD Fusion Render Cloud,” a massively-parallel supercomputer. The announcement took place during AMD’s Industry Insider Series keynote at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, where AMD was joined on stage by industry luminaries such as Lucasfilm, Dell, HP and Electronic Arts.

“AMD has a long track record in the supercomputing world. Seven out of 10 of the world’s fastest machines, including the fastest two computers on the planet, are powered by AMD hardware,” said Meyer. “Today, AMD is pleased to announce a new kind of supercomputer unlike any other ever built. It is being designed to break the one petaFLOPS barrier, and to process a million compute threads across more than 1,000 graphics processors. We anticipate it to be the fastest graphics supercomputer ever. And it will be powered by OTOY’s software for a singular purpose: to make HD cloud computing a reality. We plan to have this system ready by the second half of 2009.”

"The system is being designed to enable content providers to deliver video games, PC applications and other graphically-intensive applications through the Internet “cloud” to virtually any type of mobile device with a web browser without making the device rapidly deplete battery life or struggle to process the content. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will transform movie and gaming experiences through server-side rendering – which stores visually rich content in a compute cloud, compresses it, and streams it in real-time over a wireless or broadband connection to a variety of devices such as smart phones, set-top boxes and ultra-thin notebooks. By delivering remotely rendered content to devices that are unable to store and process HD content due to such constraints as device size, battery capacity, and processing power, HD cloud computing represents the capability to bring HD entertainment to mobile users virtually anywhere.

"The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will also enable remote real-time rendering of film and visual effects graphics on an unprecedented scale. Gaming companies can use the AMD Fusion Render Cloud for developing and deploying next-generation game content, to serve up virtual world games with unlimited photo-realistic detail, and take advantage of new delivery channels as open and diverse as the web itself.

“Hosted on AMD’s powerful new AMD Fusion Render platform, OTOY’s revolutionary software has given birth to the world’s first practical, scalable graphics supercomputer capable of true server-side HD cloud rendering. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will allow directors like Robert Rodriguez of Troublemaker Studios to break through existing CPU-only and graphics processor-only render bottlenecks which have imposed limitations on the creation of true eye-definition assets,” said Charlie Boswell, Director of Digital Media and Entertainment, AMD.

“I use big technology to stay ahead of the artistic curve and that technology has been and continues to be AMD’s. Having the means to create interactive eye-definition movie and game assets with the AMD Fusion Render Cloud and to then to make them available to a broader audience through new distribution methods will bring about a renaissance in content creation and consumption,” said Robert Rodriguez, Director, Troublemaker Studios. “Imagine watching a movie half-way through on your cell phone while on the bus ride home, then, upon entering your home or apartment, switch over to your HD TV and continue watching the same movie from exactly where you left off, seamlessly, and at full screen resolution,” continued Boswell. “Imagine playing the most visually intensive first person shooter game at the highest image quality settings on your cell phone without ever having to download and install the software, or use up valuable storage space or battery life with compute-intensive tasks. Those are just some of the experiences that AMD and OTOY plan to make possible with HD cloud computing of visually rich entertainment content.”

“By fusing industry-leading CPU technology with computationally dense, massively parallel graphics processors, the AMD Fusion Render Cloud can rival the world’s most powerful industrial computing devices, but require just a fraction of the floor space, power envelope and cost associated with many of today’s leading supercomputers,” said Jules Urbach, Chief Executive Officer, OTOY. “Combined with the power of OTOY’s revolutionary and flexible software platform, the AMD Fusion Render Cloud can transform the entertainment industry and remove the technical barriers between consumers and first-rate content experiences.”

"The AMD Fusion Render Cloud will be powered by AMD-optimized hardware including the AMD Phenom™ II processors, AMD 790 chipsets and ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 graphics processors, for unprecedented compute density and power efficiency. The AMD Fusion Render Cloud is an excellent example of AMD’s Fusion strategy, combining its partners’ dreams with AMD innovation, to bring powerful technologies to mainstream markets through the combined power of graphics processors and CPUs in a single platform.

“At Electronic Arts, we have been lucky enough to be a part of the creation of a number of changes in the world of personal computer gaming. From the first PCs to CD gaming to the advent of Internet gaming, we have embraced each new evolution of technology as an opportunity to bring new experiences to our customers,” said Richard Hilleman, Chief Creative Officer, Electronic Arts. “OTOY and AMD are at the cutting edge of thin client gaming, and we look forward to the new customers we can reach and the new interactive expressions that emerge from revolutionary technology like the AMD Fusion Render Cloud.”

AMD plans to provide the hardware and engineering resources for the AMD Fusion Render Cloud, with OTOY providing technical software development and a middleware layer."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Music Videos: Glasvegas

Ever since I was sent the debut album from Scottish band Glasvegas, it's been stuck on repeat in my CD player-- instantly addictive with that irresistible combination of retro surf sounds and dreamy contemporary indie rock-- the CD offers a musical rush to listeners' ears with one invigorating track after the next.

Check Them Out:

Also Available

Glasvegas on iTunes
(Click the Icon Below)

(Copyright Sonia Grace; Photo Source Link)

Update from Columbia Records:

"Proclaimed by NME as "Britan's Best New Band," the combination of their incredibly sonic and layered music, along with James Allan’s heartbreaking lyrics and vocals has the band poised to win over the US as well. Glasvegas was co produced by singer James Allan and Rich Costey (Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Muse) in Brooklyn , NY over the Winter and Spring of 2008. The band also recently stole away to Transylvania to record a Christmas EP, which was available over the holidays."

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  • 3/23 The Parish; New Orleans, LA
  • 3/24 The Loft; Atlanta, GA
  • 3/25 Cat’s Cradle; Carrboro, NC
  • 3/26 Black Cat; Washington, DC
  • 3/27 The Note; West Chester, PA
  • 3/28 Music Hall of Williamsburg; Brooklyn, NY
  • 3/30 Webster Hall; New York, NY
  • 3/31 Paradise Rock Club; Boston, MA
  • 4/2 La Tulipe; Montreal, QC
  • 4/3 Mod Club; Toronto, ON
  • 4/4 Magic Stick; Detroit, MI
  • 4/6 The Bottom Lounge; Chicago, IL
  • 4/7 Varsity Theater; Minneapolis, MN
  • 4/9 Bluebird Theater; Denver, CO
  • 4/10 Avalon Theater; Salt Lake City, UT
  • 4/12 Commodore Ballroom; Vancouver, BC
  • 4/13 Neumos; Seattle, WA
  • 4/14 Wonder Ballroom; Portland, OR
  • 4/16 Great American Music Hall; San Francisco, CA

Official Biography Courtesy of Columbia Records

James Allan - Vocals
Rab Allan - Guitar
Paul Donoghue - Bass
Caroline McKay - Drums

"Glasvegas frontman James Allan coined the band's name -- a post-modern mash-up evoking the industrial working class grit of his native Glasgow and the glittering high-rolling no-clocks no-windows 24-hour-party promise of Las Vegas -- "…before I even had a song. In the past, Scotland was quite good at putting itself down, everybody sang with a vague American-ish accent. I wanted our band name to be proud and unapologetic. Certain words just roll off the tongue."

"Indeed, certain words and music just roll from the mind of James Allan and through the propulsive, majestic and unapologetic vision of Glasvegas, one of those rare bands whose sound, sensibility and attitude connect directly with the hopes and aspirations of its audience.

"The group's self-titled debut album, produced by James Allan and Rich Costey (Interpol, Muse, Franz Ferdinand, Mew), entered the UK album charts at #2 shortly after its release in September 2008 and Glasvegas -- the band, the sound, the state of mind -- is being heralded as "The Greatest New Rock and Roll Band in the World" (NME, June 21, 2008).

"For James Allan, whose pre-Glasvegas resume includes a couple of years on the dole, music offered a way to express the thoughts and sounds in his imagination and a way out of a working class environment that offered unemployment as often as labor.

"His earliest musical inputs came from his older sister, Denise, who turned him on a range of sounds from Madonna to Kate Bush to Bob Marley, and his mother, who hooked him on the classic pop, soul and rockabilly of artists like Roy Orbison and the Righteous Brothers. "I never bought any records myself," he remembers, "I'd listen to the music that other people were playing."

"Sharing an innate love of wordplay and the musical qualities of a well-turned phrase with the 18th century Scottish poet Robert Burns (another unapologetic Scotsman from humble beginnings and transformative talents), James began his first poetic experiments at the age of "9 or 10," turning in a poem "about school being so gruesome." The positive reaction from his teacher "stuck in my head… I didn't get a lot of compliments in school because I was quite naughty."

"It was a natural jump for James to begin linking his poems to the pop melodies he could hear in his head. "A boy my sister was going out with bought her a guitar," he remembers. "I strummed it and it felt quite good. I learned a few chords. Where we come from, nobody plays guitars or stretches themselves in that way, so when I told my family I played guitar, I thought it was this big event…that was my version of coming out of the closet…and everybody just said, 'Alright. Cool.'"

"James' first musical cohort turned out to be, naturally enough, his first cousin Rab Allan. "Our mums are twin sisters," says James, "but not identical. One's got blond hair and blue eyes; the other's got brown hair and brown eyes. Rab and I grew up together. Someone gave him a little classical guitar and we started playing music. We were like the Glaswegian Everly Brothers."

"Paul Donoghue, the future Glasvegas bass player, was in the same year in school as Rab while Caroline McKay, the future Glasvegas drummer, worked in a vintage clothing store often frequented by James. "We became friends at first," James remembers. "She looked like something out of a movie. She always looked like she should be in a band or something but she'd never played drums. We all used to go to Caroline's house and just sit and listen to records and have a good time. We'd listen to a lot of music that we loved that the clubs never played…Jerry Lee Lewis, Suicide, Dion & the Belmonts. We bought a drum machine first and gave her one drum. And I started writing songs. We just had fun."

"Before long, James was recording demos at home "on a little computer hanging together by a thread" and Denise, James' sister, began managing the fledgling ensemble. "She's never worked in the music industry before," says James. "Denise was really encouraging and thought we were destined to travel the world."

"An early Glasvegas performance at Glasgow's King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (a 300 capacity hall renowned throughout the UK as a new talent showcase and prescient host to shows by then-emerging artists like Oasis, Radiohead, Beck, Travis and others) caught the attention of British music mogul and tastemaker Alan McGee, who heralded Glasvegas as "The most exciting thing I've heard since Jesus and Mary Chain." McGee's "Death Disco TV" became the first television outlet to broadcast Glasvegas. "Things started getting quite intense," James recalls, "when we played Alan's club night in London called 'Death Disco.' We were seeing genuine excitement at our shows."

"Glasvegas released its first DIY single, "Go Square Go!," on October 30, 2006. The group's 2007 follow-up single, the limited edition 7" "Daddy's Gone" was voted the #2 Single of the Year by the NME. Shortly after releasing the band's third limited edition single, "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry," on Valentine's Day, 2008, Glasvegas took home the Philip Hall Radar Award (a prestigious new band prize voted on by the NME staff) at the Shockwaves NME Awards 2008.

"Glasvegas came in at #4 on the BBC News Sound of 2008 Top 10 poll of the UK's brightest new acts as selected by approximately 150 of UK-based music writers, editors and broadcasters. According to the BBC, "Glasvegas draw on rockabilly and pop from the 1950s and '60s, using a backdrop of brooding guitars to create their own wall of sound, a bit like the Jesus and Mary Chain playing the 'Grease' soundtrack."

"Glasvegas spent much of 2008 building a reputation as one of the UK's top live bands. The group's concert dates in Scotland sold-out in under a week and the UK music press lathered praises on Glasvegas for the group's performances at a number of high profile festivals including SRO shows at Glastonbury and T In The Park.

"Glasvegas came to America earlier this year to record the band's debut album at Brooklyn Recording Studios. The album premieres new recordings of the group's early singles "Daddy's Gone" and "It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry," as well as new songs including "Geraldine," the debut single from the album. Released in the UK on June 16, "Geraldine" reached #16 on the UK charts and #1 on the NME singles chart.

"Glasvegas opens with the long orchestral feedback pulse of "Flowers & Football Tops," written by James after the racially-motivated murder of 15-year-old Kriss Donald in March 2004. "Sometimes when you read things or see things on TV, you can't help but put yourself in the position of people's misfortune," says James. "It's about how cruel it can be that some kid can leave home one night and not come back. I saw a picture of his mum in the paper and thought about how a mother would handle that because everybody loves their mum so much that you'd never want her to go through that pain."

"I wanted to write a poem about a person showing another person compassion," James says of "Geraldine" while "Go Square Go" is "about the pressures that families put on their kids…like families that tell kids to fight and not come home."

"Polmont On My Mind," the story of a kid in HM Prison Polmont, the largest detention facility for juvenile offenders in Scotland, describes "how fate can be cruel and change your life forever."

"According to James, "Daddy's Gone," is "me saying I want to make things right in my life now. I don't want to get to a point where I am regretting things, as that regret can destroy anybody."

"Stabbed," one of the more arresting tracks on Glasvegas, features James reading an original poem expressing "common fears" over an intense and subtle interpretation of Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played by American composer Paul Cantelon ("The Diving Bell & the Butterfly," "W."), the husband of James' friend, Angela McCluskey, singer with the Wild Colonials. "To me, that’s what heavy metal was," James observes. "Some heavy metal gets called heavy metal but it's totally cheesy music. Heavy metal to me can be Johnny Cash on an acoustic guitar."

"For James, Rab, Paul and Caroline, Glasvegas is a way of life. "We get along, we love each other," James admits. "Because we started out as friends, we have a powerful foundation and can withstand a lot of pressures. It's good, man, it's what I wanted. My personality is much better suited to being in a rock & roll band than playing football."

"According to James, his "favorite song of all time is 'Be My Baby'…as close to perfection as anybody can get."

Glasvegas comes just as close."

(Biography Copyright Columbia Records; All Rights Reserved)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Music Video: Chairlift's "Evident Utensil"

Check out this Wonderfully Trippy Work of Abstract Music Video Making:
Directed by Ray Tintori.

As Pitchfork.TV warns:

"Do not adjust your monitors-- this pixelated clip from Brooklyn quasi-funk freaks Chairlift is supposed to look like that."

"Evident Utensil"

Get The Album:

CD or Download

Or Download the Track on iTunes

Chairlift's Upcoming Tour Dates:

With Clap Your Hands Say Yeah


With Yacht







03/19/09 AUSTIN , TX -THE RED 7

03/19/09 AUSTIN , TX -CLUB 1808


With Yacht






03/27/09 ATHENS , GA -40 WATT CLUB

Chairlift Only


With Sebastien Tellier





Supporting Peter Bjorn and John



04/23/09 CHICAGO , IL -METRO






05/02/09 WASHINGTON , DC -9:30 CLUB

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TV Clip: Joaquin Phoenix Pulls a Farah on David Letterman

Now this is one of those times where you're not sure if it's all a big joke-- if Joaquin Phoenix is going into character a la Andy Kaufman as some have noted or deciding it'd be a blast to just be uncooperative as possible (and admittedly David Letterman does start things off on a combative note by trashing his appearance), or if this is absolutely on the level.

But whatever the case may be-- it's disturbing to see him appear mostly incoherent while trying to promote his upcoming film Two Lovers on the Late Show with David Letterman.

As you may have heard, Phoenix has decided to quit acting (see his "farewell message" above) and pursue a career in music. While most assumed he would be going for the same wondrous usage of his vocal instrument on display with his Oscar nominated turn in Walk the Line (note the picture and clip below), instead Phoenix has decided to make music in the vein of Eminem-- more precisely by pursuing hip hop and rap which is to be documented in film form by his brother-in-law Casey Affleck.

And while-- as a fan since To Die For (which also featured Affleck) and someone who always considered him to be one of our greatest actors of this generation-- I wish him nothing but the best, especially considering the horrific tragedy his family dealt with following the loss of his brother River Phoenix, but it's still a bit bizarre to see him like this.

Now, I'm no hip-hop expert but it was always my assumption you had to be a bit quicker than this-- think Martin Scorsese in The Muse for an example (now that guy could probably rap):

Referenced & Related Items:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Music Video: Reel Big Fish's "Take On Me"

Reel Big Fish: "Take On Me"

Be 1 of 3 Winners to Score the Latest Album from Reel Big Fish-- Now through 2/22.

Click Here to Enter

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Short Film: First Dog

First Dog

Blasting Onto DVD & Blu-ray

Read the Film Intuition Blu-ray Review


Click the Icon Below to Visit Film Intuition's
Activity Page Gallery to
Download 2 Great
Space Buddies Activities from

Walt Disney Home Entertainment.