Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Facebook calls all-staff privacy meeting

Apparently the powers that be have recognized that something is rotten in the state of Facebook, as numerous users, bloggers and other commentators have spoken out over recent changes in Facebook's privacy policies. They've called an all-staff meeting on the subject of privacy for this afternoon at 4 p.m. Pacific time.

Facebook users are in a weirdly intimate relationship with the company, as they give Facebook more and more personal information which Facebook is leveraging more and more for its own purposes. There are compelling reasons to be on Facebook, most notably its ubiquity and ease of use when it comes to keeping track of members of your social circle. Facebook makes it difficult to opt out, and still holds onto users' information if they deactivate or even delete their accounts.


Google's attempts to save journalism

People in the journalism world have been panicking about the dire straits the industry is in right now. The Atlantic has a great article by the esteemed James Fallows called "How to Save the News." It's the latest in a long run of these kind of articles, in part because a lot of those writers are by nature close to the subject matter, but it's important not just for journalists but to all of us who want to be informed about our world.

One point the article draws out is that Google has been a big part of what's killed journalism, making it easy for people to find the exact information they want without wading through a newspaper or magazine. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life."

Some of the minds at Google believe that good journalism is good for Google, as it means they have more interesting content to link to. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about how Google can help newspapers, and Google has set up ways to deliver more money to news organizations.


Legendary fantasy painter Frank Frazetta dies

Frank Frazetta, one of the most influential if not the most influential artist in fantasy artwork, passed away today. As a comic book fan, I came across his artwork there, as he did some comic book work, but his work included film posters, book covers, album art and more.

He was best known for his lush painted pieces, often with a dark twist to them. He painted classic characters like Conan the Barbarian and Tarzan. His "Death Dealer" was so iconic that a book was written specifically to go with his artwork.

He inspired generations of artists, and his influence can still be seen in fantasy, science fiction and elsewhere today.

You can see a wide variety of his work at fan site FrankFrazetta.org.

(Via Newsarama)


NPR staff does Lady Gaga and Beyonce's 'Telephone'

Everyone at NPR, from Nina Totenberg to Robert Siegel, plays a role in this version of Lady Gaga and Beyonce's "Telephone." For the NPR lovers in your life.

I usually only lip synch to this song in my car, so I appreciate the bravery of NPR's staff to do so on the Internet.

(Photo: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)