Author: Jonathan Waite (page 1 of 37)

Peter Weyland Delivers Stunning TED Talk…in 2023?

Sometimes the journey down the rabbit hole is an interesting one. In a recent Twitter post, Damon Lindelof linked to a sound file he deemed “Rad. Just… Rad.” The file in question, available for your listening pleasure at Soundcloud, is a remix which includes audio from a TED talk delivered by Peter Weyland. The message is fairly inspirational, concluding with Weyland’s assertion that he “will settle for nothing short of greatness, or [he] will die trying.” Alas, in this case, a picture tells a thousand words more than the few Weyland used to entertain his captive audience.

Upon further review, the original video was found at a special TED page in which we discover that Weyland looks remarkably similar to Guy Pearce, the wonderful character actor. And lo and behold, the title not only reveals that the TED talk in question occurs in 2023, but that it is “[a] TEDTalk from the future as envisioned by Prometheus director Ridley Scott.” The video adds an additional layer of depth to the talk, picked up by some exceptionally rad hover-cameras that cover the action. And thus the rabbit hole deepens, leading down the trail for a viral marketing campaign for the upcoming film Prometheus.

Quite a few online communities and blogs have been closely following the campaign, and have uncovered a few other interesting, albeit fairly benign, aspects of this particular viral campaign. For starters, there is a fancy web site dedicated to Weyland Corp at, which hosts the TED Talk video (don’t miss the link displayed on the screen at 0:52, as it leads… somewhere) and provides background information about the company. You can also register as an investor if you’d like to get email updates on the goings-on of the company (which, unfortunate-in-a-suspension-of-disbelief-kind-of-way, clearly come from Twentieth Century Fox US). But wait, there’s more! At the About Us page, there happens to be a flashing light hidden amongst the star field surrounding Earth, and flashing lights often lead to secret sections of websites, no? Without spoiling it for you, there’s a thread at the Unfiction forums where people have done the hard work for you, and the result is a spectacular piece of art not to be missed.

Unfortunately, that’s where the trail ends, for now. The film is set to be released in June, so there are still quite a few weeks for other things to develop, especially as quite a few sections of the Weyland Industries website are suspiciously locked. In the meantime, there may or may not be a glyph puzzle hidden among the images (secret and otherwise) on the Weyland Industries web site, so if you’re holding a flame for the hot new summer blockbuster, this might be right up your alley. However, if you’re simply a fan of awesome and interesting TED talks, perhaps this one is more your style?

PICNIC ’09: Not Your Ordinary Picnic

PICNIC 2009Question: What do you get when you combine interesting speakers, special events, hands-on labs, two contests, networking opportunities, an Ignite event, and dinner? Answer: The PICNIC event in Amsterdam, which kicks off its fourth annual festival in just under three weeks!

Once again, ARGNet is proud to be a Network Sponsor of the event, which has been an annual must-see for those interested in the fields of cross-media, transmedia and social networking for the past three years. This year’s festival is the biggest yet, and it’s going to be a test of endurance for our man-on-the-scene Daniel van Gool, who will be at the conference again.

The line-up for the week is formidable and wonderful, starting with keynote speeches from such people as Peter Molyneaux (Lionhead Studios), Niklas Zennström (Skype) and Ed Ulbrich (Digital Domain). Of the other speakers and presenters, Daniel will be paying close attention to Alice Taylor (Channel4), Dan Hon (Six to Start), Kevin Slavin (Area/Code), Matt Adams (Blast Theory) and Kati London (Area/Code) as they convene for the panel “Games That People Play” on September 24th. Daniel may also want to check out some of the special events scheduled for the festival — “Reality Continuum” is a really cool and interesting title which sounds like it could be fun to take in. Or maybe he’ll make his way over to the PICNIC ’09 Labs for some hands-on experiences at the Augmented City Lab. Any way you slice it, PICNIC ’09 is going to be magical and unforgettable, and we know Daniel is already counting down the days until it starts.

Of course, some of you out there are probably thinking of attending PICNIC ’09, and if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, we’ve got great news for you. As sponsors of the event we have a special discount code for our readers, which we will tell you…. after the jump.

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The End… is the Beginning?

theihcYou know when you get that feeling that you should have done something last week but you forget what it was? Today was one of those days for me, but luckily a little birdie reminded me about The Institute for Human Continuity, an ARG that launched (gasp!) in November 2008 in connection with the movie 2012. While this campaign has been going for ten months now, activity has been ramping up in recent weeks, with a letter making its way into ARGFest-o-Con 2009 swag bags, as detailed on the Unfiction forums by our own Celina Beach.

We have it on good authority that things are about to get very, very interesting in the next few HOURS, so head on over to (currently redirecting to and get your ticket for the survival lottery before it’s too late!

Sweet nDreams: Life After Xi

Earlier this year, the Xi alternate reality game invaded the Playstation Home community-based service with cryptic clues scattered across the virtual playspace that Home provides. The game was billed as the first console-based ARG, and put nDreams (the company behind the game) into the spotlight. Recently, the company announceda return to the Home community with new projects, and another ARG project. According to David Varela, ARG producer at nDreams, “[i]t won’t be based in PlayStation Home – sorry, Home fans – but I fully expect it to be one of the biggest ARGs in the world next year.” Varela adds that the ARG is still in development and will not be released until early in 2010, but the company is very busy behind the scenes. In fact, they are expanding their team through a recruitment drive as they search for a Senior Programmer, Programmer, Artist, Web Developer/Engineer and Finance Manager.

We will keep tabs on this new, mysterious nDreams project, as can you by following them via RSS.

For Everything You Gain, You Lose Something Else

goodbyeWell folks, here comes the day I know I’m going to look back on and think, “Wow, I wish I had written something much more insightful and interesting.” Starting September 1, 2009, I will no longer be the senior editor and owner of ARGNet. This is a decision I’ve reached after a great deal of thinking and soul-searching, and I know I’m walking away from a great group of people that work behind the scenes here. What I’ve come to realize is that with a new job starting in September and with two kids that are active in extracurricular activities, I don’t have the time necessary to put into this site anymore. So, rather than try to muddle through at a sub-par pace, I’ve asked Michael Andersen to take the reins, and thankfully, Michael has accepted the job.

When ARGNet (then ARGN) first arrived on the scene, it was a network of like-minded web sites, and I has happy to have my Lockjaw-inspired site GuysGuise included. I worked with Steve Peters, Sean C. Stacey, Bill Shaw and others to make a Flash banner that appeared above all of the member web sites, but over time, that network dissolved and ARGN became more of a news blog. I started writing news articles in 2004 (yay, ReGenesis!) along with other community members, and Steve handed control of the site to me a few months later in the summer of 2005.
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ARGFest-o-Con 2009 Only Days Away, Auction Tomorrow

As most of you are undoubtedly aware, ARGFest-o-Con 2009 starts this Friday in Portland, Oregon, and those attending are in for an amazing time. With a Must Love Robots speed dating event, a stellar line-up of panel discussions and presentations on Saturday, and a keynote dinner featuring Jordan Weisman of Smith & Tinker, this year’s event looks to be an entertaining and exciting event. Of course, you can get the latest information at the official conference web site, and we will have panel summaries and event news here starting next week.

One of the things that the public may not realize is that the costs involved in presenting and producing ARGFest-o-Con are high. I know from being part of the Directing Committee that it’s more than just blood, sweat and tears being poured into the planning of this year’s event. There would be no conference if not for the generous donations of so many (including the conference sponsors) and the hours of work put in by volunteers. Now, you have a chance to be an important contributor to ARGFest-o-Con and Unfiction by bidding on rare, valuable ARG swag! Tomorrow night, starting at 5:30 pm PT, ARGNet is hosting an auction that will take place live at the Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center. The auction will involve those in attendance both at the hotel and in the #arg-netcast chat room on The auction will be streamed live at and is estimated to last just over an hour. You can see all of the items at the ARGFest-o-Con wiki, and if you are keen on a particular item or three, send in a pre-auction bid to [email protected].

All proceeds from the auction go directly to ARGFest-o-Con, so bid early and bid often. There are a lot of one-of-a-kind and rare items in the auction, and items left over after tomorrow’s auction will go into a separate silent auction available only to ARGFest-o-Con attendees on Saturday. We hope to see many of our readers at tomorrow night for this event!

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