imac.usr writes: I recently rewatched the Stonecutters episode of The Simpsons and laughed as always at the scene where Homer pulls into his parking space — right next to his house. It's such a great little comic moment.
This time, though, it occurred to me that someone probably wrote in to complain that the power plant was normally in a completely different part of town, no doubt adding "I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder." And that got me to wondering: how do creators of serial media — books, web comics, TV shows, even movie serials — record their various continuities? Is there a story bible with the information, or a database of people/places/things, or even something scribbled on a 3x5 card?
I know Slashdot is full of artists who must deal with this issue on a regular basis, so I'd be interested in hearing any perspectives on how (or even if) you manage it.
imac.usr writes: The Huffington Post is reporting that The Washington Post has gone through yet another round of layoffs, but this time instead of cutting editorial positions, they're apparently cutting IT positions, specifically in the mobile applications department. According to Washington, DC media blog FishbowlDC, 54 people, including the General Manager of Mobile and Director of Mobile Products were given the axe on Valentine's Day. A particularly damning quote from the FishbowlDC article: '“[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.”'
Given that mobile products seem somewhat more likely to succeed than printed newspapers, this seems a strange decision at best.
imac.usr writes: The Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments today on a case brought by a Fairfax County resident alleging that the county's school board members violated the state's Freedom of Information Act. The suit alleges that board members colluded to close an elementary school in the county through rapid exchange of emails with each other. The state's FOIA rules stipulate that such exchanges can not constitute "virtually simultaneous interaction" and that any assemblage of three or more members constitutes a formal meeting which must be announced. The article notes similar suits are popping up across the country, highlighting one of the difficulties governments face in balancing communication with transparency.
imac.usr writes: A story in today's Washington Post calls to light the utter failure of the nation's most sacred final resting place to modernize its pen-and-paper record system. According to the story, the cemetery's administrators have spend over five million dollars without managing to accomplish the seemingly-simple task of creating a database record of the site's graves. As Virginia senator Mark Warner points out, "We are one fire, or one flood, or one spilled Starbucks coffee away from some of those records being lost or spoiled.