Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dharma, finally, wants us

Well it was a day late for most time zones, but the dharmawantsyou.com site finally launched for all us fans to take their test. There has been an immense about of clues and new information (as is typical with a big ARG advancement), so I'll try and summarize everything in a concise way. I think its prudent first off to take out the pre-launch email which anyone who signed up to the Octagon Global Recruiting newsletters should have by now. If not, see a webpage version of it here. The email is mostly generic, but there are two things of interest in the site's source code. The first is "banks claw", which thanks to DarkUFO and WickedSlip for figuring out that this is an anagram of black swan (which could tie in with the origami swan on those Comic-Con flyers, and a general DHARMA reference). Furthermore, there's another source code item, which is a URL link (written in DOUBLEU... form, just to be irritating). This actually links to the bluetooth video from Comic Con on YouTube in high quality, courtesy of uploader RuckusGuy

There's a couple of language lines in there, both French and German. The best translations I've seen are, for the French, "à voyager à grande vitesse sur de longues distances" meaning "to travel far away at high-speed" and "... d'obligation sociale en priorité sur la sécurité personnelle" meaning "of social obligation in priority on personal safety". Note this will tie in with Icelandic translations which I'll mention in a few. As for the German, ToastPsycho on the YouTube comments section had: "...doch dabei Schwankungen im Raum-Zeit-Kontinuum..." meaning "...but thereby variations in the spacetime continuum..."Let us know if you've got conflicting translations.

And so finally that's all the pre-site stuff sorted - but of course the site itself had interesting tidbits. Most of it is just information with no clues - such as that once completing the test we find that more tests will be coming over the next few weeks - which are apparently "real" tests as there's actually a leaderboard to boot! I can already foresee the competition and indeed the cheating (by checking what the answers are before you do it) that will emerge... so no offense TPTB, but I'm already taking the scoreboard thing with a pinch of salt. It is interesting though that the format appears similar to Find 815 in that the updates are gonna be quite explicit (and indeed its the same production company behind) - so not perhaps will it be on the same scale as the Lost Experience (which I had kind of anticipated, as I heard TPTB had trouble with the sponsorship to make something like TLE again). Anyway, I digress.

The test itself is pretty structured, no Jupiter category choices like at Comic-Con. In the interest of being concise, if you want a complete Q&A list, see here. The most interesting thing in the course of the test was some audio, and I believe Lostpedia users were amongst the first to realize that it was actually Icelandic (I do love a global community, my money was on Danish though à la Hanso). So here is the full translation of that audio:

Þeir sem koma að dharmaverkefninu munu þurfa ferðast yfir hafið um langan veg á umtalsverðum hraða. Vinnan mun fela í sér útiveru og líkamlegt athæfi. Þú munt jafnvel einnig geta upplifað [óstöðleika á tímanum á samfylgdinni]. Vonandi ert þú sem og margir sem finnst vinnan mikilvægari en persónulegt öryggi þitt.

Those who come to the Dharma Initiative must be transported a long way across the sea at a considerable speed. Work will include being outdoors and physical labour. You may also experience some instability of time along the way. Hopefully you, like many others, feel that your social duty is more important than your personal safety.

Very interesting, can we take this information about time as canon though is the question - I don't see why not, as its almost certain that the writers did have a hand in this ARG. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, and also if RuckusGuy makes any more hacks. One final possible clue is that after taking the test, you have to enter some personals on the site, but the DOB is oddly set at July 17th, 1978 - which is 30 years before now, as in around the time of that DHARMA booth video from Comic-Con, which featured Pierre CHANG for the record not Cheng (we got that confirmation from the man himself, François Chau).

So, finally, that is everything that has happened in the last 24 hours in the world of the Lost ARG. Did you pass the test?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Round-up of Comic-Con

Apologies for the absence of immediate reporting this weekend, I did try my best to get posty, but unfortunately was unable to. First off, why the weird picture, I hear you cry (unless you just really don't care). Well, (for those who do), this isn't actually one of mine, but I did sit watching the almost exact same view today and thought I'd share. It was watching this view (and I now realize the complete non-relevance to Lost this is), that I thought about how I couldn't wait to get back home, so I could get on the net and pick up all the Lost reports from Comic Con - and what had happened at the panel. I realized that I do LOVE this show, and also that I should have better thoughts when seeing such a good view... At any rate, I'm glad to be back and posting, and I just wanted to say I'm really looking forward to posting about this new ARG, and that I'm gonna do it my way, Lostpedia's way, rather than trying to near death post updates the second they are out - which has really hit me hard this week with Comic Con (the part I was actually around for anyway!). I think this should be the place for daily round-ups, which let's be honest isn't that far behind! LP is the place for info, so rather than frantic blogs I think I'm gonna stick to reporting everything that's happened in a concise "come here to get caught up" kind of way. So it'll be Speakery in nature, I guess, just without that man's quick-fire wit (and legions of followers...)

Anyway, enough of the sissy stuff, we've got news to report! Rather than embed five YouTube links, I think its much easier to link here to DocArzt, who has the whole Lost panel for all to see. I also read Doc's post about TapDawg, and I know that this is all "oh so now you say it", but gotta just add that we also here at LP appreciate that man! I mean, I was following his live blog in realtime online with some of the guys on Friday, and I really enjoyed it. Also, holding up a camera through an entire panel, the guy is a trooper! So cheers to him, as living thousands of miles away from Comic Con, this is the best that most of us have got! By the way, I have to just be all guidancy and point out, as with the last blog, anything the writers say in the panel could be spoilerific yada yada (though personally I don't see what they tell us as spoilers). You've been warned anyway, if you scare easily and are gonna start heckling me for ruining the show for you...

What about the new ARG though! I was surprised at first, thinking there was no new info. That was, of course, until I checked out the panel. And I gotta say, it mostly confused the hell out of me! I think I will embed this one:

Its great to see the Wickmund back, and to learn his real name, Pierre Cheng. Nice. And its great that we've got a bit of clarity too - it seems this new DHARMA is in response to that video, and that's why they're recruiting. Does it mean they know where the Island is though? Could they be doing this under the control of Charles Widmore (as far as tie-ins go, that would be AWESOME)? And its also interesting to see more about time travel, which I think its clear now is gonna be central to the big answers of the show - the perception of time and space itself, and all that crazy physics stuff. Finally, I'm assuming RuckusGuy is our Dan Bronsen, right? Not exactly a Rachel Blake, but hey the guy's got my support! And I'm sure he's got yours too.

Thanks for reading ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The bluetooth DHARMA video

7am posting... apparently no rest for the wikis. Anyway, that bluetooth video finally showed up, after I went to bed. I couldn't leave without posting it so here it is in all its glory. It's pretty much a standard vid that was shown on the screen at Comic-Con, but with... extras...

Talk about hard to make out. Fortunately, there are some screencaps at Dark's blog, but even that doesn't help that much. I particularly found the last one with the girl and a beast(?) in bed, quite freaky. Anyway check that link out below, and stay tuned as I attempt to juggle real-life and Lost-life, somehow finding a way to report the Lost panel this weekend.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Lost panel interview (Friday)

Not the proper Lost panel - which is Saturday - but there has JUST been an hour long discussion at Comic Con with the writers. I was following live blog updates of the interview, and have not one, not two, but THREE different accounts of what was said! So thank you to DarkUFO's IOD, DocArzt's Tapdawg, and Ryan Ozawa. Be warned that any answer to a question posed by fans is potentially a SPOILER - and I warn you now there are questions and answers relating to what's to come! I will summarise after the links with some non-spoilery info, if you'd rather play it safe.




My quick summary - not a great reveal, I expect Saturday will be the big one. Little bit of info about what inspired Jeremy Bentham (prisons apparently?!). Also some talk about how for Lost, characters are the bread, mythology is the icing - so they're more interested in the people. They said some unanswered questions will stay unanswered (referencing those midicloreines from Star Wars - I'm gonna get heckled for my spelling by Jedis...). Also said about how Watchmen is such a great comic influence, yada yada. And that Hoodlum (who made Find 815) are also helping out development for this new ARG - so much for a fourth wall, one might argue! Lastly, just some general stuff about how the first three seasons were kinda more "on the spot" than "on the plan", but now an end is in sight - its "on plan" all the way!

Okay peeps, that's your lot - I've heard we may have a video to watch soon (you know the bluetooth RuckusGuy thing - well its a DHARMA hacked video apparently!). I will try and post this today if its available - but unfortunately I'm away from the Internet all weekend! The horror, I'll miss the Lost panel!!! Pity me!!! I will, however, try and get a substitute SysOp to post all the details. I really need some kind of hired help/PA... or at least a part-timer....

Test categories revealed

Pic comes from The Spoiler Hunter, who shot the categories inside the booth. Some were partially obscured, but using WP's moon list, it was easy to work out the last two with a different angle he also uploaded (once you have the first few letters, there's only one logical answer). So here's the list, all moons of Jupiter (though they picked random ones)...


Again, a weird combo? I see on Wikipedia that there are other ones bigger than the latter four (the former four of course are the ones first seen by Galileo). First letter acronyms at work? Come on, there must be something!

UPDATE - Get yourself over to DocArzt stat for a video from inside the booth!!! The info is not great, I think the tests themselves are merely random questions, though they will probably from this indicate personality and what job you should do for DHARMA.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A couple of extra pics

Just to further update from my last post about Comic Con, burncycle16 has sent me some pics, and two were different from what we've already seen so thought I'd upload them. The first is a form one had to fill in (for our reference), while the second is a sneaky inside shot - so BBC America are in on the DHARMA deal?

He also did record what happened inside the booth, but his angle was off (so there's a nice video apparently of a DHARMA guy watching while he takes the test!). However, there is the possibility that the audio may yield something, and I'm never one to turn down a clue, so I will try and get the video off him and somehow get it online.

UPDATE - Oh my, check out the legal document! "I am aware that ABC is preparing and producing an interactive, fictional entertainment work, which is currently titled Dharma Initiative Recruiting Project ("The Project")." Is this the ARG title we've been waiting for???

Comic Con Reports!!!

Details are beginning to trickle through about what's going down at Comic Con. I see DarkUFO has a number of cool pics courtesy of old fave Ryan Ozawa (he did the Transmission, v. v. popular fan podcast).

However, a special thanks to Lostpedia member Burncycle16, who has sent us a report of what happened. I summarize his story below (I took this from the Octagon Global Recruiting Lostpedia page:

Lostpedia has begun to get reports from Comic Con. Note that these are as of yet mostly unverified. At the Octagon Global Recruiting booth, fans are given a waiver form and an appointment time by DHARMA staff (all with Australian accents). At their appropriate time, they can enter the booth, which has cameras on the ceiling (these appear to feed outside the booth so observers can see what is going on). With a set of headphones and television equipment, participants are shown images or given a series of questions, and have to say what first pops into their heads. Some of the images in particular are reportedly very bizarre. Questions are then asked such as "You just took away a child's favorite toy. Why?" Reportedly, fans have an option of what type of test they can take by choosing a different name. One fan claimed that one of the test names was pronounced similar to "Europa" (a character in Greek mythology).

The test apparently lasts about five minutes, and upon completion you are told whether you passed or not (it's likely everyone will "pass" as part of the ARG). Participants are then told to make sure they see the Lost panel on Saturday, and have their test sheet with them (they apparently make a point of having your own sheet with you). They are also given an ID card, which includes special details which can, from July 28th, be entered on Dharmawantsyou.com to allow those who took the test to register for "phase 2" of the application process.

Pretty awesome stuff. There was apparently also a flyer of note, and the booth itself, sporting a funky more 21st Century DHARMA logo. I guess it really is getting revived. Also the attendees were troopers for staying in character - Diggler on our Forums reports overhearing the blonde lady "Yes. We're an actual REAL organization currently trying to recruit new members", when she was questioned by a fan in serious need of grasping the concept of ARG.

Other news - all the DHARMA staff have Australian accents. Ryan Ozawa also interviewed one of the attendees called Emma, who claimed she's been working with DHARMA now for the past five years (she's probably the blonde girl).

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lostpedia Book Club - "Carrie" is our first book!

Again, a big thanks to everyone showing interest and also signing up on Forums, etc etc. After quite a wait I decided, while Lostpedia wiki is down (it'll be back up soon folks!), that I should officially give notice about our first read - which as I alluded to in a previous post will be "Carrie" by Stephen King.

Now the plan is that the reading will commence Saturday August 2nd - Saturday August 23rd, and on the latter date there will be a live discussion in Lostpedia IRC Chat (exact times I'll let you know but most likely 2pm EST so 6pm GMT, similar to how debate league is run on Sundays). Anyway, you can also during the entire read through time discuss the book on Lostpedia Forums here, and utilize IRC Chat for informal discussion (though that channel is for all Lostpedia conversations, not just the book club).

Official reading as I say won't commence until August 2nd, but of course I'm telling the info now so people have some degree of notice to obtain the book (I'm sorry it is quite short notice for this one). If you want to start reading early, go for it, but just remember forums won't open to discussion until we're in the official time frame.

On August 2nd, I will post a reminder of the start, and also reveal September's book then (so a month's warning!). Vote for what should be September's book here. Following that, I will reveal book titles a month in advance at the end of live discussions (and then post it on the blog for those who missed it a week later at the start of the next read). So, in more simple terms, on August 23rd I'll tell you what October's book will be and then post it on the blog when I announce September's official read start, and so forth (and if that made sense to you, you're a very good reader already). Basically, just stay in touch and we'll see you right!

Okay, so we begin on August 2nd! Now is the time to start thinking about finding your copy of Carrie. If you'd like to borrow the book from a library and live in the USA, you can follow this handy link to locate your nearest public library. Alternatively, if you'd like to get yourself your own copy to keep, here's a link to Amazon (the $7.99 price seems to be pretty standard). International readers I'm sure can use their local versions of Amazon and stuff too, if you decide you want to buy instead of borrow from a library. Whatever your method, happy hunting and watch this space for the official start a week on Saturday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

ARG Comic Con Update

Octagon Global Recruiting today announced their official confirmation concerning Comic Con 2008. They will be conducting eligibility assessments at Booth 3529 at Comic Con, San Diego, between July 24th-27th. See the full message here, or just read our key point summary below:

If you signed up to their newsletter, you can also enter a draw to win 1 of 10 "pre-release appointments" with their reps at Comic Con. For those going, or for those who just wanna sign up anyway (you never know what could happen in an ARG), you can use this link - note that you will need to edit the URL, after where it says register=PUT_YOUR_EMAIL_ADDRESS_HERE

Anything else to report other than this info for Comic Con visitors? Well, for starters we got an insight into this mysterious Hans Van Eeghen - we now know he's DHARMA's Head of Recruiting, and that his "colleagues" are OGR - so a bit of clarification there for us. Also tells us they're at Comic Con because they think it will have some of the brightest minds around in attendance for their what appears to be aptitude eligibility tests.

Furthermore, the email mentions that those who don't attend Comic Con can go online at dharmawantsyou.com from July 28th for a limited time - nice they consider those outside the area and indeed international! Nothing yet on clues from this site, just a little "coming soon" banner.

Finally, the email OGR sent out, if you visit the webpage version of it and then view the source code, there's an interesting message from someone by the name of RuckusGuy

…If you’re reading this, wanna hear something cool?
I’ve got intel about his little “recruitment drive.”
They’re doing some kind’ve personality/IQ testing or something down in SD for ComicCon.
Buddy of mine works down there and has the approvals for their “booth,” he says once you go in no one knows what happens inside and you need an appointment to get in. He also said to make sure you’ve got your Bluetooth on and visible – he’s rigged up a little something.

The whole thing sounds like elitist B.S., doesn’t it?
Well, I’m getting in that booth and taking the test.
As many times as I have to before I “pass” (whatever that means?)
And then…
If I can?
I’m gonna tape it so EVERYONE can see what these idiots are up to.
Should be fun, right?
See ya in SD. RuckusGuy OUT.

Interesting stuff! A new Rachel Blake who's apparently male and not averse to bad language! Comic Con visitors - have your bluetooth thingys on!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

7 Emmy nominations for Lost!

The nominees for the 60th Primetime Emmy were announced earlier today. Lost got the nod for seven awards -- Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Michael Emerson), Outstanding Cinematography For A One-Hour Series, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series, Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series, and Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One-Hour). In addition, Lost: Missing Pieces was also recognized, garnering a nomination for Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs.

Seven nominations for Lost, one for Lost: Missing pieces? Hmm...what does that add to?

Congratulations, Lost and Lost: Missing Pieces!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Actor strikewatch update

The possibility of a strike remains in Hollywood, as the Screen Actors Guild yesterday rejected the "final offer" from the producers' group AMPTP. The current contract expired at the end of June 30, although SAG did not strike and the producers did not lock out the actors. The producers had given their ultimatum, a "final offer" just before the contract lapsed. As expected, the proposal made no movement on the actors' key demands on DVD payments and new media.

On July 8, AFTRA, the sister actors' union, announced that is members had ratified a new contract with the producers, something SAG had campaigned heavily against. SAG is perceived to have less leverage now, although their spin is that the ratification percentage was unusually low (62.4% rather than >90%), and the vote included members of AFTRA who are not actors. The vote was also an indicator to SAG about the level of support for a possible strike authorization vote among its own members (which would require 75% voting yes), because about 40000 actors are members in both actor unions; the conclusion of the vote casts some doubt on SAG's ability to launch a strike.

Yesterday on July 10, SAG officially rejected the producers' final offer, as expected (and offered their own compromise in the form of a counterproposal, although technically the producers aren't even listening after their final offer). But all of Hollywood, including the producers and actors, is loathe to strike after weathering the recent WGA strike. California governor Arnold Schawzenegger and LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have openly offered their services as mediators. The producers have stated they are through with negotiating after giving their final offer-- SAG states it is ready to continue negotiating. The impasse may continue through the late summer, although if it continues until September, it may affect the Emmy Awards, which the producers would likely rather avoid; it would also delay the starting of production for Lost's Season 5.

Read more at Variety here and here and the NY Times here

Lostpedia Book Club Confirmed

Thank you to everyone for all the messages of support for the Lostpedia Book Club which, by popular demand, will now also be known as the Lostpedia Literary League (or L³ for the "hip" among you, using the term loosely lol...) Whatever you wanna call it though, its definitely going ahead, which is absolutely awesome. I also want to quickly thank other Lost sites who've offered support and advice too, its lovely to see sites already offering book clubs or having done so in the past are so pleasant and genuinely excited about getting fans reading.

The project looks set to begin August 1st, though I'll formally announce what's happening I think a week before - I think its too early to get it going right now, and too late on the 1st as we all need time to find the book required, etc etc - so I'm holding off official announcement.

However, right now I've set up a thread on the Forums where you can "sign up" as it were. Don't worry if you don't sign up, it isn't official! It simply gives us an idea of numbers, and also responds to so many of you who asked where to sign up haha. Its also a good time to consider registering on Lostpedia Forums if you haven't already. It is obviously free, and it just
might be useful for when we do start the reading as you will be able to discuss it on there (unless you just want to join in on the live Lostpedia Chat discussion at the end of the reading period - which requires no actual registering or membership). Anyway, if you do wanna cast a vote, here is the poll link:


Thanks again guys, and I look forward to officially announcing the start of L³ soon! Oh, and thanks to BauerUK and Blackxthorne for their design and creation of the awesome logo!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Taking the Lostbook just that little bit more literally

I recently visited ABC.com, and checked out their new flash feature entitled "Lost Book Club". Its quite a nifty little application, listing 40 books that writers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have nominated due to them being influences and featured literary works on Lost. The writers have also issued a letter with the feature, encouraging fans to read the books and take some enjoyment out of their interesting narratives. With some of the finest literature around, its a great list.

This was what got me thinking. What if, Lostpedia ran a scheme similar in nature, but taking the writers hopes just that little but further. We could choose a book, have a reading time (say, 3 weeks), during which time the book could be discussed on a special subforum on Lostpedia forums and on Lostpedia IRC Chat. Then after the 3 weeks, a moderated live chat could be conducted on Lostpedia Chat, discussing the book and its comparisons to Lost. Then we could take a well-earned week off, and then with the new month, a new title. Discussions on what books should be for future months could be proposed on the forum at all times, and this project could continue right up until the new Season 5.

Could this project work? Well I think it could really be interesting, it would get people involved in books featured on the show, encompassing our core aim - knowledge relating to Lost. At the same time, by being involved in the project and borrowing the books would help your local libraries and generally encourage reading (not to get all "magic of reading" on you). Or, buying the books if you wanted could expand your bookshelf for ostentatious purposes. But seriously, it'd be a fun project and great all round.

But the question remains, though there's been interest, would a good sum of people actually be willing to do the reading as part of the scheme? However, Lostpedia has always taken risks, and the benefits of this could be really great for the community, and the fanbase as a whole. We'd love to hear from you, and especially your ideas on books or how we could build on the initial ideas presented here. I think though, if we were to take it further, we'd have to have a certain King novel to start it off. Even if Ben thinks its depressing... well I guess he's out of the book club, anyway.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Lostpedia Tops Wired's 8 Best Pedias

Look in the June 2008 issue of Wired Magazine (p. 52) to see Lostpedia topping the half tongue-in-cheek list of Wired's 8 best non-Wikipedia Pedias. Yup, the W8BNWPP, an honor indeed. At least we beat "Dickipedia" and more importantly "Wookieepedia": "Did you know that "snot vampire" is slang terminology for the Anzati species? Of course not. No one did."

Oh and did I mention who came in 8th? You'll have to click over to Wired's online edition here to see.

And I thought we were all "wikis", not "pedias". Then the 8th place wouldn't even qualify for the list because it's a pedia, but definitely not a wiki. There you go. In any case we topped them all. Or was it the other way around? The list wasn't numbered. Oh well, so we're not Mom's cure for diarrhea, but we're in good company anyway and we're honored: Thanks, Wired!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lostpedia Interview with Jorge Garcia

Lostpedia has arranged an interview with Jorge Garcia, the actor who portrays Hugo Reyes.

Please see this thread for more information and to submit your questions on the Lostpedia Forum. Wiki editors can also submit questions here.


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