Wish List For 2014

on Wednesday, Jan. 1st

Predictions are kind of silly when you get right down to it. Since my batting average last year was downright horrible I’ve decided that instead of gazing into the crystal ball I’m going to toss a few coins into a fountain.

After the jump: my wish list for 2014.

News: Page Views Go The Way Of The Dinosaur

Sure, the vast majority of “news” websites will still count success by the number of rubes they can get in through craftily worded headlines and then keep through endless slide shows, but the trend will be towards services that leave behind such tactics.

some may find that they can make enough cash to operate comfortably through other means, The Information gives me hope there. Others will adopt non-profit financing and measure their success by the impact they have on policy.

Commercial Release of the Oculus Rift

If you’re even remotely familiar with this here website you know how excited I am about the Oculus Rift VR headset. If I was a betting man I wouldn’t put cash on their being a full commercial release this year, actually.

I know that the hype machine has been working overtime, but in order for the device to live up to the hype it will have to do gangbusters business. This may not even be a fair challenge, this is an upstart company after all, and their financials might only need to position the VR set as a successful PC peripheral.

Nonetheless, one of my wishes for the year is that we see this baby on store shelves in the coming holiday season.

More Stealth Releases ala Beyonce

Dropping an album with zero advanced marketing is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for artists who could best be described as “obscure.” Yet there was something magical about Bey showing up out of the rafters and taking over the iTunes store.

In a media age where the hype campaigns for films go on for years, how rad would it be for a major filmmaker or franchise to just show up on a Tuesday and say “here you go?”

Alright, so it would be next to impossible with a theatrically released feature film. How about a Netflix series or a AAA video game? Mrs. Carter managed to deliver record-shattering sales, could the same happen for Half-Life 3?

Come on, somebody has to try.

Green Energy Breakthrough

This is my long-shot wish. My Hail Mary. It is also the most serious, if saddest, wish on the list.

Could be a fusion advancement, or maybe a clever cocktail of low-cost solar mixed with graphene battery storage technology.

The murmurs in academia that the worst of climate change is unavoidable now are growing. If they’re right, we need a miracle.

Bitcoin Mania Ends, Gets Replaced By Smarter Crypto currencies

Bitcoin has been an interesting experiment, but the fluctuations in value over the last few months show that it is too damn volatile to be useful for day to day exchange. When the “mines” run dry it might turn into a decent way to store long-term value, but at present it is little more than a speculator’s paradise.

Which is unfortunate, because the idea of a decentralized currency has merits on its own. The ability to move stored value freely can be a powerful tool in the right hands.

Even more interesting are the possibilities of alternative currencies that allow those without access to capital to move value from point to point. Local currencies were once the norm, and they allowed for communities to prosper on their own terms. That’s an idea whose time may have come around again.


To Build The VR Education of Tomorrow One Scholar Turns To The Past

There are plenty of folks in the education technology field who are excited about virtual reality as the next great educational tool.



We’re Closer To Our Photorealistic VR Future Than You’d Think (INTERVIEW)

A look into the virtual world of tomorrow with USC researcher Paul Debevec.


Prepare Yourselves For The Personal VR Video Revolution

Virtual Reality is rapidly approaching a watershed moment.

Ralph Echemendia

Spoiler Alert: Hollywood Isn’t Taking Cyber Security Seriously (LA Film Fest)

Tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival, squeezed in between movies and red carpet events, a symposium on Cyber Security is being held at the Grammy Museum.

Gumroad Rentals H

Rent Video Straight From Social Media Via Gumroad

The people who brought the “Buy Now” button to Twitter are going all-in on film distribution.