December 14th, 2004


More Steve Wozniak Audio Goodness recently put up the audio recordings of the sessions from this summer's Fifth HOPE conference. I listened to a few of them on my trip last week, and Saturday night, I finished the two-part keynote address by Steve Wozniak. The talk is very similar to the Woz keynote at Gnomedex 4.0 that I mentioned back in November, but he focuses a bit more on his experience as a phone phreak, and it's really amusing.

Another good but depressing session from Fifth HOPE is the talk about Digital Rights Management. The speaker describes the ways that DRM is being built into all of the new electronic devices and builds an image of a future where it would be impossible to do things with media files that weren't explicitly allowed by the content owners.

It's Fun to Watch Real People Do Interesting Things

After getting in from California on Saturday, I had two live theater experiences, both uniquely Austin and both very enjoyable.

On Saturday night, I saw the Salvage Vanguard Theater, performing their "The Best Salvage Vanguard Holiday Ever!" festival at the Little City coffeehouse. It was a collection of ten five-minute plays, all around the topic of toys; they ranged from the slightly experimental to the very funny, and it was great seeing people acting while standing on the counter top in the crowded space. There was a lot of G.I. Joe and Barbie references in the works, but the director disclaimed any corporate sponsorship.

Sunday night was Santa Claus vs. Satan in Foleyvision! The trailer is worth watching by itself, but the actual performance was much better. The entire soundtrack, including music, dialog, and sound effects, was performed live. The science-film style narration really worked to keep this cheesy Mexican holiday film from dragging, and there was plenty of social commentary embedded in the new dialog for the two big red men of the film. I'm really looking forward to their next show; the team's done a few kung-fu flicks in the past, as well as the hard-to-believe "Turkish Star Wars".