Topic:

Unproven Thieries

Unproven Thieries

Smooth Motion Effect Is The Worst Thing On Earth, And It’s Time To Do Something About It

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 8.42.27 AM

If you’ve purchased an LCD TV in recent years, chances are you’ve had that experience. It’s big, it’s shiny, it smells like fresh plastic, it is good, you are happy. Your hand stops shaking, if only for a moment. You turn it on. Something is wrong. Things are too clean, too sharp, somehow … uncomfortable. You recoil in fear from an actor you once loved, their once warm features rendered cold and unapproachable in the face of modern technology.

The reason for that is the smooth motion effect, and it’s the subject of a recent Change.org petition started by cinematographer Reed Morano to attempt to keep the fat-cats in various TV-producing locales from ruining her and other filmmakers’ original intent. Sign it if you care about anything. Read More

Unproven Thieries

Burning Man Is the Versailles of Silicon Valley

Burning Man 2012. Let them eat... acid? (Photo via Flickr)

I think, sometimes — perhaps too often — about Versailles. It was by all accounts, staggering: all of the richest people in France staying in one of the world’s grandest palaces eating and drinking themselves into a stupor at the feet of Louis XIV while the country fought and starved. It was, and remains, a symbol of the purity of excess: a grand, insane bacchanal that seemed to aspire to nothing less than oblivion. Of course, there were good political reasons for the thing that was Versailles to exist as well (keep the nobles drunk enough that they neither notice or care that you’ve become an absolute monarch), but the main takeaway is this: one of the most powerful men in the world used the resources of his nation to throw the bitchingest party on Earth.

This week, I’m thinking about Versailles because of Burning Man. Read More

Unproven Thieries

The Netflix of Everything: Why Companies Don’t Want You Making Decisions

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 8.35.57 AM

Netflix, as you may have heard, is great. A digital economy of scale allows us to pay a ridiculously low price for an ocean of streaming video that we could never hope to watch in all the years we might live, and in return we typically get frustrated by moderate price increases and the recent removal of 24. We keep our subscription through thick and thin, largely because it would be a slight inconvenience to cancel it. Other companies have caught on, and all the big players are trying their hands at movies, TV, music, video games and more. We in the media tend to call this modern incarnation of an old idea “The Netflix of blank.”

It doesn’t stop with entertainment. There are subscriptions for beauty products, clothes,  groceries, contraception, razors, and pretty much everything else you could imagine. Even neo-taxis, like Uber and Lyft (which still require you to make a purchasing decision every time you use them) function mainly by banking on the idea that they can become a sort of transportation default, thus avoiding that pesky moment where people check to see if they’re really getting a deal or not. None of this is new (magazine subscriptions, cheese of the month clubs, Costco, etc.), but both digital distribution and the logistical streamlining of the 21st century are supercharging it. Read More

Unproven Thieries

San Fran Millionaire Using Cash To Create His Own Modern Day Hunger Games

Screen Shot 2014-05-31 at 10.44.12 PM

There is money hidden in San Francisco if you have the time, inclination and Internet savvy to look for it. And this time, it’s not arbitrarily awarded venture capital. Someone has been hiding envelopes of cash throughout the city and giving hints to its location—the lucky scavengers are finding a couple hundred dollars a pop. Follow his feed for some pictures of some very happy hipsters.

In other news, the glorious Emperor Zuckerberg, First Citizen of the Bay and Protector of Silicon, rode through the streets of San Francisco on a litter pulled by self-hauling slave bots, tossing gold coins to the gleeful citizens below as they stretched out their arms for a touch of his flowing garments. Or maybe not, but give it time. Read More

Unproven Thieries

Video Game Writers, Stop Dismissing Free-to-Play Games

A still from Clash of the Clans. (Photo via Flickr)

Question: You are a writer, tasked with analyzing popular culture for the purposes of edification, attention and profit. You’re going about your business, which likely consists of lamenting the lack of innovation in your chosen field. All of a sudden, something actually unexpected happens. A new genre emerges, instantly capturing the attention of audiences around the world with a basic structure that represents a radical departure from most everything on the market. What do you do?

The answer, of course, is to dismiss it as anathema, a dangerous threat to all that is good in the world and a pathetic diversion of the unwashed masses. Tried and true.

That’s what the world of traditional videogame journalism has decided to do regarding free-to-play mobile games, which happen to include some of the most popular games on Earth, enjoyed by millions. Read More

Unproven Thieries

It Might Be Time to Let Oculus Rift Go — And That’s Okay

Just scrolling through some friend requests. (Photo via Getty)

It was not hard to predict this particular backlash. A Kickstarter darling, one of the golden children of the video gaming world and a particular favorite of the notoriously clannish PC gaming community, got bought by painfully mainstream social media empire Facebook for $2 billion. Geeky bleeding edge tech, meet ubiquitous Silicon Valley titan and platform for both Farmville and Cityville. The ever-wary video game community began to rage.

The company in question is modern virtual reality standard-bearer Oculus Rift, once among the most popular entities in the video game community, now shunned by its early supporters in hopes of gaining broader acceptance. Sort of like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls. Read More

Unproven Thieries

No DICE: The Embarrassing Insecurity (and Meaninglessness) of the ‘Oscars of Video Games’

And the award goes to... (Photo: Flickr)

Here are a few things that are true about the DICE Awards, held last week in Las Vegas and promoted as “The Oscars of Video Games.”

One of the nominees for “Best Online Game” was essentially non-functional months after its release. In that category, the broken game was one of only two nominees actually released this year—the winner was four years old.

The winner for “Best RPG” was released in 2013, and it was largely agreed to be just okay. There is an award given for “Best Downloadable Game,” a category which makes no sense in an era when literally every game can and is downloaded. Read More