The New Aesthetic

Oct 01

[video]

The man you’ve killed the most • Eurogamer.net

"Steve Jaros (creative director at Volition) found out that I spoke Japanese," recalls Yuri. "That goes back to that whole thing - I wouldn’t get cast as a Japanese character on camera, because that would be racist. But I can sound Japanese. And I can speak Japanese."

Mimicking a Japanese accent is a relatively minor departure from the norm for Lowenthal, however. Sometimes he isn’t even human. In Shadow of the Damned, he played a demon whose vocabulary was made up of two words: “f**k you”. These words aren’t just spoken, of course, but are screamed in a shrill, eardrum-piercing screech. The player kills him, obviously.

The man you’ve killed the most • Eurogamer.net

"Steve Jaros (creative director at Volition) found out that I spoke Japanese," recalls Yuri. "That goes back to that whole thing - I wouldn’t get cast as a Japanese character on camera, because that would be racist. But I can sound Japanese. And I can speak Japanese."

Mimicking a Japanese accent is a relatively minor departure from the norm for Lowenthal, however. Sometimes he isn’t even human. In Shadow of the Damned, he played a demon whose vocabulary was made up of two words: “f**k you”. These words aren’t just spoken, of course, but are screamed in a shrill, eardrum-piercing screech. The player kills him, obviously.

Sep 30

[video]

[video]

Sep 25

The thermometer showed a 103.5-degree fever, and her 10-year-old’s asthma was flaring up. Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 Chrysler van would not start.

The cause was not a mechanical problem — it was her lender.

Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March.

“I felt absolutely helpless,” said Ms. Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her daughter. It was not the only time this happened: Her car was shut down that March, once in April and again in June.

This new technology is bringing auto loans — and Wall Street’s version of Big Brother — into the lives of people with credit scores battered by the financial downturn.

” — Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car - NYTimes.com

Sep 22

Dad gets OfficeMax mail addressed ‘Daughter Killed in Car Crash’ - Los Angeles Times

An off-and-on customer of OfficeMax, Mike Seay has gotten the office supply company’s junk mail for years. But the mail that the grieving Lindenhurst, Ill., father said he got from OfficeMax last week was different. It was addressed to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash.” Strange as that sounds, the mail reached the right guy. Seay’s daughter Ashley, 17, was killed in a car crash with her boyfriend last year. OfficeMax somehow knew. And in a world where bits of personal data are mined from customers and silently sold off and shuffled among corporations, Seay appears to be the victim of some marketing gone horribly wrong.

Dad gets OfficeMax mail addressed ‘Daughter Killed in Car Crash’ - Los Angeles Times

An off-and-on customer of OfficeMax, Mike Seay has gotten the office supply company’s junk mail for years. But the mail that the grieving Lindenhurst, Ill., father said he got from OfficeMax last week was different. It was addressed to “Mike Seay, Daughter Killed in Car Crash.” Strange as that sounds, the mail reached the right guy. Seay’s daughter Ashley, 17, was killed in a car crash with her boyfriend last year. OfficeMax somehow knew. And in a world where bits of personal data are mined from customers and silently sold off and shuffled among corporations, Seay appears to be the victim of some marketing gone horribly wrong.

Sep 21

Desktop Tinder Is Finally Here — And It’s Terrifying - Business Insider

If a page filled with Tinder users wasn’t enough, Botinder also comes equipped with the terrifyingly named “Booster!” function. Select “Like automatically” and Botinder will begin liking every single Tinder user near you. The “Booster!” speed likes multiple people a second, transforming your screen into a blur of smiling selfies. After a couple of minutes of Booster mode, I’d gained 50 new matches. To put that in context, it can take weeks of furious Tinder app usage to get that many matches, but Botinder had accomplished it in minutes.

Desktop Tinder Is Finally Here — And It’s Terrifying - Business Insider

If a page filled with Tinder users wasn’t enough, Botinder also comes equipped with the terrifyingly named “Booster!” function. Select “Like automatically” and Botinder will begin liking every single Tinder user near you. The “Booster!” speed likes multiple people a second, transforming your screen into a blur of smiling selfies. After a couple of minutes of Booster mode, I’d gained 50 new matches. To put that in context, it can take weeks of furious Tinder app usage to get that many matches, but Botinder had accomplished it in minutes.

[video]

[video]

Sep 18

[video]

Sep 13

New NASA Probe Will Study Earth’s Forests in 3-D | NASA

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation lidar will reveal the 3-D architecture of forests, as depicted in this artist’s concept. The unprecedented detail of these measurements will provide crucial information about the impact that trees have on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Image Credit: 
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

New NASA Probe Will Study Earth’s Forests in 3-D | NASA

The Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation lidar will reveal the 3-D architecture of forests, as depicted in this artist’s concept. The unprecedented detail of these measurements will provide crucial information about the impact that trees have on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Image Credit:
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

Sep 10

[video]

Sep 02

News is now not just outside newspapers, it is outside newsrooms. It is impossible for humans to filter efficiently the vast numbers of images, videos, tweets and updates created and shared by humans, bots and devices. By 2020, according to consultants Gartner, there will be 20bn devices connected to the internet, and they will all have something to say for themselves. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and what’s next are and will continue to be making editorial decisions on our behalf. Costolo taking his first editorial stance is significant because he was public and unapologetic about removing material that he felt did cultural and economic damage to Twitter. The Facebook algorithm, and other sorting processes, are both more opaque and less accountable. The decline of the newspaper, and the subsequent closure or shrinking of newsrooms, not only leaves news unbound, it also removes the culture of editorial filtering. Centuries of human debate over cultural values, expressed in everything from intrusive splashes to grandiose editorials, are disappearing to be replaced by a black box.

Accountability is not part of Silicon Valley’s culture. But surely as news moves beyond paper and publisher, it must become so. For a decade or more, news organisations have been obeisant to the power of corporate technology, nodding and genuflecting at the latest improbably impressive magic. But their editorial processes have something to offer technologists too.

Transparency and accountability have to accompany the vast, important role our key information providers now play in society. It is understandable why platforms such as Facebook strenuously resist being labelled as “publishers”, but it is no longer realistic. It takes very little narrative imagination to grasp the ethical complexities ahead; every policeman wearing a camera, every terror cell with a Twitter feed, every face in a crowd rendered recognisable.

” — We can’t let tech giants, like Facebook and Twitter, control our news values | Media | The Guardian

Aug 28

[video]