Roger Ebert, Twitter, Amazon and the Japanese tsunami – A marketing match made in heaven.

Anyone who follows longstanding film critic Roger Ebert on twitter will have noticed that he constantly posts links to various Amazon products. In an interview with Clickz.com he explained that this is purely to create another revenue stream for himself, making use for the Amazon Associates program by which a referrer to a particular profit earns a percentage of its cost if their click-through results in a sale. He told Clickz.com:

“I receive the standard percentage as published by Amazon. The Sun-Times itself has been an Amazon Associate for as long as I can remember, and receives a percentage of all my books and DVDs displayed on RogerEbert.com and from the Amazon “Ebert Store” on the site. This does not amount to much.”

Aside from his own products he also advertises new releases and DVD’s but the other day, unfortunately the day of the tsunami in Japan, he chose to branch out:

His post about the Tsunami came a few minutes after his advertising of trousers, but it’s just such an awkward transition, going from making a bit of money on the side from discount corduroys to mentioning one of the worst natural disasters of this century, kind of like when the news goes from reporting on a suicide bombing in the Middle-East to a piece of trivial celebrity news. In fact, later on in the day he was back to more clothes selling, with a post about linen suits.

I somehow doubt that on a day when twitter was buzzing with constant updates and reposts of developments of the tragedy, that many people bothered to heed his suggestion and get a new pair of Levi’s.

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The NGP Beats the Constraints of Handheld Gaming.

When the PSP was released in 2005 it was a revolution. Graphically speaking, the games available looked almost as good as those released on the PS2. Cruising down the streets of Liberty City in a Banshee and shooting at prostitutes was as satisfying on the bus as it was in your living room.

However, the next year the PS3 was released and you couldn’t help but compare its games with those on the PSP. Since a lot of the more acclaimed games were spin-offs of console games (more than half of Metacritic’s top 30 PSP games are console spin-offs) comparing the more simplistic handheld games to their console counterparts was unavoidable.

From what we’ve already seen of the NGP’s graphics, the gap between handheld and console has decreased once again. From the footage we’ve glimpsed of NGP versions of console franchises, namely an as yet untitled Uncharted game and a port of Metal Gear Solid 4, the NGP comes pretty damn close to replicating the PS3’s graphics.

Uncharted on the NGP


While the PSP had roughly a year to showcase it’s impressive (at the time) graphics before the PS3 came out and blew it out the water, Sony has confirmed that there are no plans for a PS4 in the immediate future, which means that the graphics gap between the NGP and the current-gen consoles is going to remain relatively small for some time.

Some of you might be thinking that it’s unfair to compare console graphics to those of a handheld and while that’s certainly true, playing a franchise game on a handheld isn’t going to be as appealing when you could be playing a far more graphically advanced game from the same IP at home, in fact it’d be quite jarring. It’s fortunate then that Sony appear to have done a stellar job at putting some seriously powerful hardware in a pretty affordable (if the rumours are to be believed) gaming system and since there are already several console spinoffs confirmed for the NGP (Killzone, Call of Duty and Resistance to name but a few) it’s just as well that the comparisons will be favourable.

Steven Moffat confirms which Sherlock stories will be adapted for the second series?

In an interview for the Guardian, published on Monday, Steven Moffat, co-creator along with the League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss for a modern-day take on Sherlock Holmes, hinted at which of the Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic detective stories would be adapted for the second series of their acclaimed BBC show, Sherlock.

When the Guardian’s Vicky Frost asked the veteran writer, of Doctor Who and Coupling fame, about the new series he replied:

“You can have three clues to work from…Adler, Hound, Reichenbach”.

We should probably be grateful that Moffat isn’t as cryptic as Sherlock Holmes, and it’s pretty easy to figure out which stories he’s alluding to. Adler is clearly a reference to Irene Adler, an American singer from the Sherlock Holmes Story A Scandal in Bohemia.

Even someone who’s never read a Sherlock Holmes story in his or her life would be able to decipher the cunning second clue, an obvious reference to the Hound of the Baskervilles but it’s the last clue that’s the most interesting. Reichenbach is a reference to Reichenbach Falls, a series of waterfalls in central Switzerland where Sherlock Holmes apparently plummets to his death while battling with his nemesis, Moriarty in The Adventure of the Final Problem although he was eventually brought back due to pressure from his fans. This raises the question of how it’ll be dealt with by Moffat and Gatiss. Will they bring the series to an and by having Benedict Cumberbatch’s version of the great detective fall to his doom or will they simply end the second series that way?

Due to its high ratings and critical acclaim, the latter seems more likely but if the first series is anything to go by, we’re going to be surprised.