OU Athletic Director Says Big 12 Expansion Is Dead (For Now)

first_imgThis should not come as a surprise — was the Big 12 really going to add Colorado State and UConn? — but it also got buried a little bit in the July 4th festivities and that tall, lanky fellow moving to the Bay Area.“There aren’t any signs that we’ll talk anymore about expansion for a little while,” OU AD Joe Castiglione told CBS Sports. “We don’t have a timeline on it.”Dennis Dodd of CBS continues.Castiglione is one of two high-placed sources to tell CBS Sports Big 12 expansion is over. The other source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said expansion was dead regarding “those teams.” That’s a reference to usual group of schools attached to the Big 12 that includes BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Colorado State, UConn, Houston and Memphis.This from Castiglione is sort of a more emphatic way of saying what Burns Hargis said earlier this year.“So it’s not a simple decision,” Hargis told the Tulsa World. “On the one hand, do you do it at all? And then, two, if you do, who are you going to get? Then you get into all kinds of geography issues and brand issues and time zone issues.“So it’s a very complicated analysis and I don’t think anybody feels an urgency to do this. I think everybody’s being very deliberate. It’s been written about, the studies, the consultants we’ve had looking at all of this. I could try to be clever and say I don’t know, but I don’t have to be clever because I don’t know. I really don’t. I don’t even know, I couldn’t tell you if you had a vote tomorrow, what it would be.”We can all agree that this is the proper move, right? OSU is already making $36M a year on its digital content distribution. And the conference could have earned more money as a whole, but almost all of that would have gone to the new teams added to the conference. CBS suggested that the Big 12 could potentially re-negotiate its contracts with ESPN and Fox for the remainder of those deals to make all teams more money.But does anyone think that’s happening with what’s going on at ESPN? The answer to that is “um, no.” And once again Hargis nails it.“I think [the Big 12 is] very strong,” Hargis told the Tulsa World. “We have a grant of rights through 2025, so eight more years. We have a great TV deal. This championship game is going to be a plus, not only financially, but I think it’ll give us maybe another data point that can get us into the final four.”The Big 12 is probably going away in a decade or so, but it’s not that bad right now with how much money it is distributing and the re-introduction of the Big 12 title game (financially anyway). I’m still for OSU bailing early before the ship runs into the reef, but if this is our lot for now, there are much, much places we could be.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Music Is Coming Composer Ramin Djawadi Looks Back On Eight Epic Seasons

first_img Email Twitter News Music Is Coming: Composer Ramin Djawadi Looks Back On Eight Epic Seasons Of ‘Game Of Thrones’ Interview: Game Of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi music-coming-composer-ramin-djawadi-looks-back-eight-epic-seasons-game-thrones Facebook As ‘Game Of Thrones’ premieres its eighth and final season, the GRAMMY-nominated composer reflects on scoring the beloved fantasy-drama, what’s next for “GoT: The Live Concert Experience” and moreRachel BrodskyGRAMMYs Apr 14, 2019 – 9:11 am When score-composer Ramin Djawadi first met with “Game Of Thrones” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, they were quite clear about what they did not want in their fantasy drama theme music. The HBO juggernaut, which premeired in 2011 and premieres its eighth and final season on Sunday, April 14, could not have lutes or flutes in its score, as those light woodwind instruments are all too frequently used in most fantasy films. The score to “Game Of Thrones” had to sound current, Djawadi tells the Recording Academy just days before Season 8 is set to premiere. And that’s how the low-octave cello, took center stage in “Game Of Thrones'” epic, and poignant, title sequence. Now, eight years later, to call “Game Of Thrones” a pop culture phenomenon would be to put the show’s impact mildly. To date, the series has received 47 Primetime Emmy Awards, and the Iranian-German composer earned a GRAMMY nod for his work on Season 7 at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. He’s even taken the show on the road, literally, with “Game Of Thrones: The Live Concert Experience,” an all-arena tour that ran in 2017 and 2018 and featured Djawadi conducting an 80-piece orchestra and choir, which performed highlights from the series’ score, on a 360-degree stage.Djawadi, who began his career at Berklee College of Music and apprenticed for renowned score-composer and GRAMMY winner Hans Zimmer, certainly was a known entity prior to “Thrones,” having nabbed an earlier GRAMMY nod for his work on Iron Man. Since “GoT,” he’s worked on another high-profile HBO epic: “Westworld.”As Djawadi prepares to formally close this chapter of his career, the Recording Academy caught up with the celebrated composer to talk about the final season of “Thrones”—or, well, given the notoriously tight-lipped, spoiler-phobic nature surrounding the show’s promotion, talk around the final season would be more accurate phrasing. We also touch on his early days in the film-and-television-scoring industry, how he met Weiss and Benioff, adapting characters’ musical themes to their story arcs, and what’s next for “Game Of Thrones: The Live Concert Experience.”So, as you prepare to say goodbye to “Game Of Thrones,” would you say that the last few months have been pretty intense?Ramin Djawadi: Yeah, you could say that. I mean, intense and bittersweet. It’s very emotional for me to write this final season, I have to say.I can’t even imagine! I want to talk Thrones, but before we do, I’d love to learn more about how you got started composing for TV and film. I noticed that you were an apprentice to Hans Zimmer. How did you originally connect with him?Djawadi: It was a complete coincidence, actually. The connection was made through a good friend of mine in Germany that’s an owner of a guitar store, and whenever I’d visit my family in Germany I’d see him also, but we were just chatting and he said, “Oh, so you want to [compose]. I know somebody that knows somebody that knows Hans.” That’s how the connection was made.Then, next I knew I was on a plane. I lived in Boston at the time, because that’s where I went to school. Next I knew I was on a plane to Los Angeles, and started working as an assistant in a studio. In the beginning I didn’t get to do any music. I was literally working in the machine room taking care of the computers and the samplers and all that. Then, little by little I was allowed to work on some projects. My big breakthrough was the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, and so that’s when I started arrangements.[Zimmer] has been an incredible mentor for me, not only musically, but I think more so how the meanings are done and how to be organized with all the amount of music to write, and there’s so many other aspects to the business other than just writing music.Well, as someone who now is in a position to be a mentor to a younger generation of arrangers, what lessons, if any, have you passed down to the people who work for you?Djawadi: I feel his way of working and then having apprentices and doing these mentor things, I think that’s incredible. And that’s something I do with my team as well, where people start for me as assistant and tech assistants. Then, they also work their way up and they get to do music. I think that system that works incredibly well, because I feel when you come out of college or whatever your music education is, again, there’s only so much you can learn about writing and music. But there are all these other things in the industry that you can’t really learn unless you’re actually in it. I think the best way to learn is to be in the presence of an established composer. I think that’s something that hasn’t always done over the years, and I think it works incredibly well.I know that you did a lot of commercial work prior to “Game of Thrones.” When you were considering arranging for the series, was there an audition process? You almost didn’t work on the show, is that right?Djawadi: The process was actually very organic. I mean, David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] had pretty much narrowed it down to me, somehow. My name was suggested and I think they liked some of my previous work and then were interested in meeting me. They sent over the first two episodes and I watched them, I loved them. Then, a meeting was set up and we got together and just talked about the show. That’s really, I think, where it just clicked.Yeah, I almost didn’t do it because I was at the time when this all happened I was already very busy with existing work, and I thought, “Okay, this is such a massive amount of [work].” We all obviously were aware of the scope of work that needed to be done on this, and I thought I don’t know if I have enough time to do this.Yeah. And you didn’t know what it was going to become.Djawadi: No, and I was so involved in the show, and also especially David and Dan, again, we just hit it off in that first meeting so well, and I just said, “I’m not going to sleep for the next couple of months, and I just want to work on the show. I just want to be part of this.” And looking back I’m so glad that it all came together like this. Pretty incredible.Were you familiar with the novels at the time?Djawadi: No, I was not. I mean, I knew of the books, but I had not read them, and today I have not read them. When I started the show I just thought, you know, now when season eight is over my plan is to pick up the books and actually read them, but then at the time I thought there is no point now of me trying to catch up, and I’m just going to let the season guide me with the plot, and obviously David and Dan guide me with musically what I have to write.What do you remember about David and Dan describing the mood and tone of the show, and how that informed your arrangements in 2011?Djawadi: They really had an amazing vision. Some of the things they said were not even so much what I should do, but it was more things that I shouldn’t do that really guided me well. One of those famous things that we laugh about and they said to me right away, “We don’t want any medieval flutes, because I know we have dragons and we have swords and all that, so no medieval flute.” So I knew, okay, I can’t have that.They were looking for a bit more of a contemporary sound, even though overall the score is definitely traditional instruments, but they were just the writing style they described to be a bit more contemporary. They said, “Look, you can use synthesizers,” because there’s definitely plenty of synthesizers in the score. It’s all pretty much organic, but they wanted contemporary.Then the cello came up, which is the leading instrument in the show, and we all agreed that that could be a great instrument.When you were familiarizing yourself with the series, did you ever consult with George R.R. Martin when determining the score? Djawadi: No, I primarily only worked with David and Dan. I mean, I met George several times at several “Game of Thrones” events, usually the premieres, and of course I told him how incredible I think [he is]; he is the core of it all. To come up with something this complex is just unbelievable.Funny enough, for example, with “The Rains of Castamere,” the lyrics are from the book, so I feel like I have collaborated with George and written a song together where I’ve written the melody and he’s written the lyrics. So I always smile about that.Absolutely. And I know that you’ve arranged leitmotifs for all of the different characters and houses. What’s be the first thing you’d consider when determining what that character’s recurring theme will be?Djawadi: I guess the overall story arc. I’m kind of struggling now a little bit how to put it in words, but just looking at the character’s journey or what they’re going through, my job is to enhance that with music, so I would look at that. Like, for example, the Stark theme, all the Starks were split up, they’re all in different places. You know, there’s a piece in one of the first pieces in season one where it plays … we call that piece “Goodbye Brother,” where Jon says goodbye to Bran, and it’s these goodbyes that gives a bit of a sad tone always to me. That’s why I felt the Stark theme should have a very emotional, almost a sadness to it, and that’s how I always try to approach these different themes.To hone in on Jon for a second, I mean, he actually died, and then he comes back. And it’s said that every time the Lord of Light brings someone back, you never come back quite the same as you were before. Do major changes like that in a character’s story arc, does that determine how their leitmotif evolves?Djawadi: Yeah, that’s a good example, because most of the time we use the Stark theme for him. But yeah, when he died and when he came back we thought “Oh, it’s maybe time to give him his own theme, so then I wrote a whole new theme for him.” That was in season six.Then, in season seven when the relationship with Dany happened, then we felt the need [to create] a love theme that we make for them, so now we had yet another theme that we could use for him or for them. That’s how it kind of develops.Same with Arya. She kind of started doing her own thing, and that’s when we felt okay, it’s time to give her her own theme. Every season we look at where are these character arcs going and how we should approach it.Have there ever been any clues or hints dropped into the music? Say, a bit of Dany’s Targaryen motif woven into Jon’s motif as, well, a secret Targaryen? Because for a long time, we didn’t know for sure that Jon was Rhaegar Targaryen’s son…Djawadi: Yeah, no. There’s definitely clues in the music, and we carefully think about that. Either there are scenes where they can work together. That’s always something we look for, because we look at the music as another character, so we feel there’s really a great bit of storytelling. I always like to say we can lead the audience in either the right way or the wrong way with the score. It’s good to have these motifs and themes that are so attached to characters or houses or plots, too. It works really well.Well, as we noted before, it must be an emotional experience to bid farewell to a project of this magnitude. That being the case, are there any plans in place to take “Game of Thrones: The Live Concert Experience” back on the road?Djawadi: I mean, it would certainly make sense. At this point I can’t say too much about it, but I would certainly like that. We did our first tour, which, by the way, was incredible, and the fact that we even could do a tour on that scale was an absolute dream come true for me to perform this music in front of an audience.We did it after season six, and the new updated the show after season seven, so clearly it would make absolute sense now that this is ending to actually update the show and then really have a complete show, because right now the live show was always just not complete, just like the seasons weren’t. I’ll take it a step at a time. We’ll see what happens.Have you experienced ‘Game Of Thrones’ live in concert?Read morelast_img read more

Protecting Your System From Hackers

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 6 min read Change passwords often. Defy hackers by adding one upper case letter to your password. Install firewalls and antivirus software. Limit use of free e-mail accounts (Hotmail and Yahoo) by employees at work. Don’t download anything unless you know what it is and who sent it. Encrypt sensitive data. Don’t send financial information over the Internet unless you are sure it is secure. Think about using an “anonymizer” to hide your identity while visiting Web sites. (Check out www.anonymizer.com.) Read privacy policies, and don’t give sites the option to share your data with third parties or for marketing purposes. Be aware of widespread viruses, and take the time to download “patches” offered by software makers. Although security experts said Microsoft knew for months that its Windows NT or 2000 software was vulnerable to “Code Red,” it didn’t publicize the security patch until mid-June. Your computer network may have been spared by the recent Code Red virus, but don’t think because you’re small, you aren’t vulnerable to a crippling security breach or nasty virus. “This problem isn’t going away,” said Andy Faris, president, Americas, of Message Labs Inc. in Minneapolis. “The hackers are getting more malicious and more clever. Traditional security measures aren’t working anymore, so you have to step up your vigilance and improve security.”The current scourge, Sir Cam, has been assaulting e-mail systems for the past two weeks. United Kingdom-based Message Labs, which provides e-mail filtering services worldwide, has intercepted 10,000 Sir Cam messages per day being sent to its 500,000 subscribers, according to Faris. In most cases, several messages a day from different people appear to be messages sent by a friend needing “help.” The Sir Cam virus can delete files and forward confidential company information to unwitting recipients, Faris said.If you think these viruses are just nuisances, check out the damage estimates. Last year’s Valentine’s Love Letter virus caused an estimated $2.6 billion in losses in 72 hours, according to industry analysts. In 1999, the Love Bug virus infected networks, causing an estimated $10 billion in damage, while the Melissa virus cost another $393 million in 2001. The widespread Anna Kournikova virus also caused big, expensive headaches around the world.”I would suggest that all companies, big and small, do a thorough review of their security,” said Faris, whose company offers its e-mail filtering services for about $2.50 per user, per month with a one-year contract. If a mysterious hacker isn’t trying to shut down your Web site, a disgruntled former employee could be. Doing things as simple as changing system passwords frequently can prevent a major security breach.”If a business owner doesn’t take proactive steps to make sure their information is secured, it’s the equivalent of putting their secrets out on the front doorstep when they go home at night,” said Robert Lonadier, director of security strategies for the Hurwitz Group in Framingham, Massachusetts. “The typical hacker is a bored teenager with a modem and access to news groups. Data in transit (e-mail) and data at rest (company files, financial information and customer files) need to be protected in some manner; otherwise, the safe bet is that it will find its way into the wrong hands.”Lonadier said lax password security comes about as a result of sharing passwords or scribbling them on sticky notes and sticking them to computers or inside desk drawers. “It’s amazing how common sense gets ignored when it comes to security issues,” said Lonadier. He recommends that every business owner spend 15 minutes making a detailed list of critical information assets. Figure out who really needs access to specific information, then limit access to everyone else. Keep close tabs on who has access to financial and other confidential information. Think twice about e-mailing confidential documents and contracts. Faxing or mailing them to clients or customers is safer. “People get lulled into the convenience of the electronic medium without thinking through the implication of having (sensitive) documents travel through cyberspace,” said Lonadier.To immediately increase password security, Lonadier recommends including one upper-case letter in your password. This is a very simple and effective tool against hackers. “If you have the computer equivalent of locks on your doors and a ‘Club’ on your car, the casual hacker may be turned away,” he said.Another problem is the push to open your computer systems and Web site to your customers. If a legitimate customer is given a password to go online to check order status 24 hours a day, a hacker has an open door to dig deeper into your computer system. “With large numbers of computer systems being interconnected front end to back end, there is an opportunity for errors and vulnerability,” said Lonadier.Security experts warn against posting too much personal information about your executives on your Web site. If you tell the world your CIO has three kids, loves to jog and lives in San Jose, he or she is vulnerable to being contacted or threatened by a computer criminal.Experts say your confidential information is most vulnerable when you send it over the Internet in the form of e-mail. Currently, 10 million e-mail messages are sent around the world every day, and the number is expected to grow to 35 million messages a day in the next five years, according to Accenture, a high-tech consulting firm. “When you want to use the Internet for business purposes, it has flaws-it’s not a very secure channel,” said Jim Liski, COO of Atabok Inc. in Newton, Massachusetts. Atabok offers a variety of subscription-based e-mail protection services (the cost is about $40 a month), including encryption and a product that allows you to control use of the messages you send. “With our product, you can control whether you can print, forward or save a message,” said Liski. “You can also revoke a message that has been sent.” COMPUTER SECURITY TIPS Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » August 13, 2001 Jane Applegate is a syndicated columnist and the author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business. For a free copy of her “Business Owner’s Check Up,” send your name and address to Check Up, P.O. Box 768, Pelham NY 10803 or e-mail it to info@sbtv.com. Sarah Prior contributed to this article. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Don’t let hackers get the best of you. Here’s how:last_img read more