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Archive by February, 2009

Mashups: The Next Major New Software Development Model? by Dion Hinchcliffe

Image and text source: ZDnet

Originally posted on May 14, 2007

Note: When looking for some information on software mashups, I discovered this article from 2007. Even though it has been two years since its publication, it’s worth reading and evaluating because much of what is discuss is still relevant today. Other texts recommended at the end of the article are also quite good. They are: Enterprise Mashup Summit, Thoughts on Open Sources, Databases and Information, JackBe and the IBM Mashup Ecosystem

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At last week’s Mashup Ecosystem Summit held in San Francisco and sponsored by IBM with an invited assemblage of leading players in this space, I gave an opening talk about the current challenges and opportunities of mashups. And there I posed the title of this post as a statement instead of a question. The reason that it’s a question here is entirely driven by the context of who is currently creating the majority of mashups these days. Because even a cursory examination of what people are doing every day on the Web right now tells us that mashups — also known as ad hoc Web sites created on the fly out of other Web sites — are indeed happening in a large way, albeit in simple forms, by the tens of thousands online every day.

Read the entire article at ZDnet

Benjamin Button and Forest Gump Similarities

Image source: The Blemish

The above image is from a link that is no longer available. It was a mashup video of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Forest Gump. Friends who have seen Benjamin Button said that the film reminded them of Forest Gump. After viewing the movie, myself, and doing some research, I learned that the screenplay was written by Eric Roth and Robin Swicord. Eric Roth also wrote Forest Gump. And here is when things began to fall into place.

I realized that Roth was very much following his own Gump template to develop Benjamin Button. Both main characters in the films are different from average people. Forest is just a little bit off in his relation to the world (he is close to being mentally retarded), while Benjamin is aging backwards. Their “disabilities” make them special and allows both characters to turn ordinary moments into extraordinary events.

The similarities are numerous. For instance, both characters cannot walk in their early years, but eventually learn, and decide to go out and experience the world. Both characters have a love interest that somehow never is fully realized except for a brief moment in life. For Benjamin this is possible when he is able to live a somewhat normal life with the love of his life, but he has to leave her because he is aging backwards. For Forest the reason is move elusive. The film takes place in the sixties, and Forest’s love interest, while she was intimate with him, was not ready for a long term commitment. The list of similarities goes on.

When I received the link to the mashup of Forest Gump and Benjamin Button, titled “The Curious Case of Forest Gump and Time Wasters,” all of the similarities described above and many more were mentioned. The video mashup presented Forest Gump on the top half of the screen and Benjamin Button on the bottom. The editing made the remix feel as though, if one were to watch both films simultaneously, they would almost match frame by frame. This, of course, was a deliberate trick in the mashup editing, but nevertheless it showed the limited originality of Benjamin Button.

After viewing “The Curious Case of Forest Gump and Time Wasters” I quickly realized that it was Eric Roth who was in fact remixing himself. But then I realized that Benjamin Button does not even qualify as a remix because in a remix one must know that it is a remix. Roth blatantly presents Benjammin Button as something new, and thereby shortchanges his own merit as a content producer.

NOTE: The day after I wrote the above commentary, I found the site, gigglesugar, which links to the video under a different title: “The Curious Case of Forest Gump/Benjamin Button.”

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