Here I am typing away on this smartphone while the lady sitting across from me is struggling to get a few text messages out on an old dumb phone. Looking at the old phone, I don’t think I could even imagine going back to one of those now that I’ve been spoiled by things like rich media and access to a full keyboard. I don’t -need- the extra features, but going back to a normal phone without my email or internet or google maps would cause some pretty nasty withdrawal symptoms.
You are an ironic, frivolous, 21st-century Western consumer whore.
I don’t get why people call normal phones “dumb phones” as the opposite of a “smartphone.” Smartphones do not make you smarter. If anything, I would argue the opposite.
I actually prefer keypad texting (with T9, I should add) over a full virtual keyboard, even after spending a fair chunk of change on alternative virtual keyboards for my Android device! And let’s be honest, “rich media” and “a normal phone without email or internet” really just translates into “irrational desire for hyperconnectivity to social networking” because everybody knows the first app you make sure you have on your smartphone is either Facebook or Twitter.
I would add that even though Android and iPhone are available in Japan there are many keyboard apps on Japanese devices for both that simulate Japanese physical keypad text input functions. The Japanese are rather fond of their number pads for keitai typing.
In light of recent Republican Party requests for professors’ email records at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan, I think it’s about time we make one thing perfectly clear: there are some Republicans who really, really hate the Constitution.
I’m not talking about whether or not these people pay lip service to the Constitution, or whether they cry when they hear the national anthem. I’m talking about their utter betrayal of the profound logic on which the Constitution was grounded.
So let’s start from a pop quiz: what’s the purpose of the Constitution?
Put simply, it’s to create a government strong enough to govern—to provide the goods and services and guarantees of rights outlined in the Preamble and the history of liberal political theory—yet is not so powerful that it can abuse peoples’ rights and liberties. That is, the Framers sought to make sure that the government had enough power to protect domestic and international security, promote the general welfare, and secure liberties for the American people while not using those powers to abuse the people’s freedoms.
We don’t always get the balance right, of course, and it’s perfectly okay to disagree about what “the general welfare” entails, but that’s the goal: to protect freedom and yet make government and social order possible.
It’s telling in this context that of the ten amendments collectively labeled the Bill of Rights, seven—#s 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8—are designed to protect the rights of the individual against the power of the state. (Pro-gun advocates would insist #2 should be included in this list, although it’s not as clear that the Framers thought this at the time.) That is, each of these amendments explicitly limit the power of the state to intrude into and override the rights of individuals. Indeed, of these, four—#s 4, 5, 6 and 8—are explicitly intended limit the power of the state in criminal proceedings.
The reason is clear: the Framers recognized that in a fight between the state and the individual, that state holds all the cards. It has the police, and the prisons, and the prosecutors, and the press. In a criminal proceeding, it’s all the resources of the state against … you. It’s not even close to a fair fight. So they sought to rebalance the equation: your right to an attorney, or to a fair and speedy trial in front of a jury of your peers, or not to face double jeopardy were seen as vital to limiting the power of the state to screw over its citizens.
But now, in power, what are some allegedly small-government, Constitution-loving Republicans doing? Using the power of the state to harass and intimidate people they think—THINK!—might be political opponents. It’s appalling.
The abuse of power by the state is a common theme in history. It flares up all too often. And it’s not just a partisan thing: the left has done it, too. But right now, it’s the Republicans’ turn—or at least some Republicans’ turn. It’s time we call it what it is: an assault on the Constitution and its delicate attempt to make it possible to govern a complex society while protecting and enhancing the rights of its citizens.
“I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9. I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America, by the time they’re my age they will be in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”—
Wow! Another painfully blatant GOP fear-mongering campaign tactic. Us versus them at its finest! I feel like I’m going in cycles, when campaign season starts I keep posting the same damn things. Expect to see a lot of this video from me when the campaigns really ramp up!
if you make good food without me I will cry. I know it’s boring, but spaghetti is pretty much the easiest way to get a load of good eatins into one meal. any kind of pasta is, really. but so many carbs guh. I want to make more things. exciting things
you won’t cry because you can make good food with me! i want to make exciting things too. exciting things that i don’t know how to make but will learn to! that is my goal. i need a new hobby and i would like that to be one.
1. You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.
2. A gentleman today has to work. People who do not work are so boring and are usually bored. You have to be passionate, you have to be engaged and you have to be contributing to the world.
3. Manners are very important and actually knowing when things are appropriate. I always open doors for women, I carry their coat, I make sure that they’re walking on the inside of the street. Stand up when people arrive at and leave the dinner table.
4. Don’t be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background.
5. A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.
Listen up, fellas. Tom Ford is giving away pure gold here. There’s nothing better than a gentleman. Number three is important. Mind you, it’s not about chivalry. It’s not about courtship and gender roles. Tom Ford is heartbreakingly gay. He’s not trying to fuck me, but he still knows how to treat me. He still has manners. It’s a distinction that I appreciate. Fuck chivalry. Be a gentleman.
in less than four hours my apartment was turned into a bro den
i should note that yesterday i overheard our new roommate excited about two things: one, he scored a ton of awesome weed, and two, his probation officer called to tell him that his court date was actually this coming sunday, not this past sunday.
all of the furniture. shoved into the corner. couches, lampstands, dinner table. useless. its replacement? a fold-out officially-sanctioned someone-spent-too-much-real-money-on-this-thing beer pong table. stacks of solo cups. five cases (24 pack cases!!!) of natty or keystone or whatever beer is cheapest in bulk. impromptu blacklight hanging where our lamp should be. (nice touch.) talks of “the stickiest of the icky” and “jimmy’s bringing a hella sweet bong” and “how many girls are coming over?” roommate has a big fucking stereo and loves loves loves some dubstep. i just met and promptly forgot the name of some guy sitting on our couch. he didn’t look so much like a person as he did a piece of furniture. it took him a few minutes to register that i was there. pretty sure he could see the walls through me.
it’s 11:45. the apartment is already heavy with a smog of natty farts and dank nugs. they’re still waiting for the party to start. maybe i’ve forgotten what it means to have fun but if this is it i never want to have fun again
I feel like I’m missing something. The app lets you see other people’s photos in your location. But…I’m there. I have eyes and feet, and I can look around.
The practical use that I keep hearing is that people at a restaurant can take photos of the food, and I can base my order on those photos. I suppose that’s true, or I could, you know, look at a menu. And who takes photos of their food anyway?
I don’t care about random people’s photos of their friends, babies or dogs (funny cat photos, however, are welcome.) I don’t want to see anyone else’s drunken photos at a bar, and I certainly don’t want strangers seeing mine.
that dude who tried to troll you sounds like he has serious mental issues, and in a sad way
yeah i took it all in stride, no skin off my back. it was funny though, there was literally one other person on his facebook that he and i were mutual friends with. i asked that particular person and they recognized the dude as “some guy they barely knew and wasn’t really familiar with” and that they hadn’t said anything directed at me that should have made anyone think what that guy said.
so yeah idfk it was hilarious and that guy ended up crawling in a hole and deleting like six of his various online profiles because i dug them up and made fun of him for how weird he was. it actually owned
I actually was attacked for no reason by somebody on Facebook once and pretty much did exactly this. He threw a fit and demanded that I take his name down after exposing him to be a giant internet asshole with a weird fetish and a horrendously awful OkCupid profile. I think he canned his entire internet presence within the week. It owned.
I don’t even know…. I think I’m going to have to kill my self soon.
From the article:
“That long-held empirical value of pi, I am not saying it should be necessarily viewed as wrong, but 3 is a lot better,” said Roby, the 34-year old legislator representing Alabama’s second congressional district, ushered into office in the historic 2010 Republican mid-term bonanza.
A conversation this week in the offices of Neon Tommy, a USC student-run online news outlet, went something like this: Editor: “We should be tweeting more of the Tumblr content.” Journalist One: “You can publish automatically to Twitter from Tumblr.” Journalist Two: “But the tweets can look weird. It’s better to move the link to Bit.ly and customize it. Do your own.”
The exchange might sound like Greek to those not immersed in the mediasphere. But the young people running Neon Tommy are purveyors of a new journalism, concerned as much with how a story is delivered and discovered by its audience as with how it’s reported and written.
"Mediasphere" evokes images of Mad Max-like cage fights comprised entirely of articles and content.
Seriously though, this is a good point. Anyone vexed by these terms have fundamentally fallen behind. Twitter, Tumblr, Storify, etc. — these aren’t prohibitively new innovations. These are all just alternative means of publication. These are private services that serve a public forum — just like print papers, magazines, and so on. To the young intern, and to the tech-savvy upstart, Tumblr and Twitter are different from the publication’s private website.
Sadly those that are truly vexed by these terms are those in higher positions than the young upstarts and interns, and it’s hard to convince someone with more experience that they’ve simply not adequately kept up with the times.
Thanks in part to union demonstrations and outrage in Wisconsin, as well as Florida Governor Rick Scott’s criminal and imperial dismissal of the obligations of office, bizarre disdain for even bipartisan legislation and ruthless de-funding of public services, even Floridians have evinced anger strong enough to drag them out in public. Last Tuesday, thousands of citizens organized in dozens of cities across the state for simultaneous protests against Scott’s fiscal war against the Florida school system and his ideological war against unions and collective bargaining.
Labor union members face potential physical intimidation and the elimination of collective bargaining rights in this country. The funny thing is, if anyone should be wandering around with Hitler signs, it’s probably them and not the teapartiers. The first things the Italian Fascists and Nazi Party did was attack socialist and communist parties, burn down workers’ meeting houses, destroy labor unions, criminalize their labor activity, and fold existing unions into state-administrated and -sanctioned unions whose rights to bargaining and free assembly were drastically curtailed to serve the interests of plutocracy. They accomplished this through a partnership between national corporate interests — I.G. Farben, Krupp, all the good guys — and on-the-ground populist thuggery, uniting the bottom-line interests of the top with the economically pinched, racialized, nationalist interests of the bottom. (Sound familiar?)
Gaddafi has spent the past fifteen years ingratiating himself with the “good guys,” flipping over small-fry terrorist schemers, churning the oil, scrapping his two-bit nuke program. This is a pretty impressive feat for a guy who made his name sponsoring full-throated bloody murder against American and British civilians. Those governments might not give a shit about anyone else in the world, but killing their people is sure as fuck off-limits. Gaddafi nearly killed Margaret Thatcher herself through his IRA support, hit U.S. servicemen several times in Europe, and downed Pan Am Flight 103, at a cost of two hundred and seventy Brits and Yanks.
We live in a world where Obama’s kaffeeklatch with toothless ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers was a major campaign issue, yet Gaddafi — a man so radically unhinged and pathologically vainglorious that he makes Saddam look like Thomas Pynchon — was embraced by a startling coalition of Western elites. The difference was that he could buy them. These supplicants pocketed blood money ripped from the heart of Libya. The darkest stain, the damn spot that won’t come out for decades, came from Gaddafi’s billfold, crumpled and stuffed into the pockets of owl-eyed trans-Atlantic mediocrities dispatched to Tripoli with all the dignity of a bachelor party stripper van. Gaddafi has spent the last two decades buying respectability, and my, what a bargain it is when you know the right people. They deserve to be hounded into suicides for this, to never live this down. So let’s name names.
News organizations are spending a big chunk of time right now trying to wrap their heads around the Cambrian device explosion.
We (that’s the royal we, not the CNNMoney we) were still struggling to get a handle on this “ok, people want news on the Web, not on dead trees” idea, and now all the sudden it’s “and they want it on their iPad, iPhone, Droid, Xoom, prototype PlayBook and ooo, maybe also this Google TV thingie …”
We can all take guesses at what that means — or we can crunch data on it. Bloomberg Digital head Kevin Krim went for the data.
What Bloomberg found is that readers are switching mediums several times as they move through their day. TV is a U-shape throughout the day, and radio follows a similar trajectory. The Web is an arc, mobile is “an oscillating curve,” magazines ramp up through the day and newspapers wind down.
“Looking at it from the user’s point of view, they’re trying to smooth out the curve as they switch from medium to medium,” he said at GigaOm’s Big Data conference. “That was a light bulb moment for us.”
The type and format of the news they’re after also changes. In the morning, people want to read about the industry they’re in; by the afternoon, they’re reading about their passions (sports is a biggie). And here’s a fun finding: The medium shapes the message.
“There’s this dayparting of their interests, and their preferred access point — and it changes what they’re after,” he said. “Some want charts, some want text, some want video, and it can change throughout the day.”
You can’t easily track a reader’s interaction with a magazine page, but you can with a webpage, and Bloomberg is taking maxium advantage of that.
“We’re collecting 100 data points per pageview about how [readers] are interacting with the page,” Krim said. “Anything we can collect, we’re capturing. That adds up to 1 terabyte of data per day.”
Right now, the main thing Bloomberg is using the data for is to understand how readers move through its site and to predict what stories they’ll want to read next. Some of the algorithms they’ve tried out have increased clickthrough to “related stories” by 10x. -Stacy
This is the kind of big thinking that reshapes how media works. I love this stuff! It’s so true, but it’s something we haven’t thought about yet…until now. I’m really, genuinely interested — personally and as a marketer — in whatever’s coming out of Big Data.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (hereafter referred to as MLP: FiM) is sharply written and gorgeously animated, and features positive role models in female characters who defy stereotypical gender roles. The show also teaches lessons about confidence, self-expression, and overcoming adversity.
But the strong feminist themes of the series are built on a foundation of political contradictions. The most fantastic element of the show is not that ponies can talk or that dragons exist; it is the illusion that an egalitarian society can be maintained among groups with massive biologically inherent gaps in ability and economic utility. By even the most cursory of sociological and economic analyses, the society in MLP: FiM should be highly stratified along class and racial lines. And there are clear signs of that stratification, except they are obscured by a propagandistic focus on the power of “friendship”.
My pal Lindsey Pollak is a Gen Y career expert, and as she’s writing about the young’uns, her blog often mixes technology bites with job advice. But her most recent headline really grabbed me: Should Your Resume Have a QR Code?
Never occurred to me as an option. But Lindsey has seen it in her travels, and she posed the question to her Twitter followers. Responses ranged from “edgy and media-savvy” to “wtf is a QR code?”
If you job seekers are interested in adding the scan-able boxes to your resumes, Lindsey links out to a post from the Optimal Blog that explains how to use Google’s URL shortener to create a QR code.
What do you think? Is adding a QR code a smart move or a lame power-play? -Julianne
I think I’ll start doing this in the internship resume I’ve started sending out to different companies. I’ve included QR codes with projects in the past, I actually use bit.ly but will be looking into Google URL. (Fun Fact: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon uses QR codes hosted and generated with bit.ly! ONE OF US.)
A couple of days ago, following the “5 is average” debate that took place on the blog, nhaler sent me this commentary. I thought you might like to read it.
In no other industry centered around the creation and consumption of media is criticism met with childish aspersions of blame and responsibility: readers get flack, consumers get flack, reviewers get flack, and even websites compiling scores receive flack.
Flack generation is only one aspect of control, though, of an industry which is vehemently self-interested. Another is sourcing: like Western media at large, the videogaming press industry relies heavily on “official” sources - which, as we’re already aware, are utterly self-serving. It should not require explanation that this is clearly at odds with “objective” reporting.
The next point of note is gaming journalism’s apparently vitriolic relationship with its’ audience: when under fire by official sources, they resort to passive, mild criticisms of the institutions they traditionally laud via numerical reviews. When under fire by readers, the response will typically be overtly hateful, indignant, condescending, and simultaneously laced with excuses and apologetics - a full-force rebuttal in shameful, self-aware desparation.
To this end, the current scoring and review system attempts to appease both audiences: the consumer reads the review, and, if truly reading into it, gets an idea of the game. The language, while sometimes plainly contradictory, is as frequently tired and dispassionate as the games are. To remedy an impending attack from their Developer Overlords, the game is given a 7 or 8, but a reader can still get the gist that the game is a 5 or a 6.
In traditional reviews of art, this would high(ish) praise, as 2s and are 3s are very common. However, a film or piece of literature also has a much wider circle of critics willing to shell out 100% scores as well. IGN has smartly reserved its 9s and 10s, seemingly aware of the value those numbers have in this environment, while acceding to the demands for, and subsequent debasement of, 8s and high 7s.
True reflections of publications, and evidences of their willful deceit and acts of doublethink, are available in their semiregular publications of Top 10 lists for the year, decade, generation, week, whatever. The List almost functions as a winking gesture to readers/consumers who are clamoring for “real” published opinions on videogames. The beauty of this is that they exist only in relation to other games on the list, which often implicitly, not explicitly, states their critical value. Note that many of IGN’s Games Of The Year do not appear on Top 25 Lists.
That a game may still be $60, though, is attrocious. A $400M Gore Verbinski/Sam Raimi/James Cameron film will still be $25 on Bluray, less on DVD, and both often available for less, at that. The argument that a game takes longer to complete and so yields more hours of entertainment only speaks to the industry’s continued perception of videogames as a product that is understood in quantitative terms. If this the reality, that developers really are just making product, then they are failing at recognizing the most basic conceptual demands of a market: that the higher the product presence-consumption ratio, the lower the cost, as a reflection of demand. That should be tied to manufacturing runs, too. (We’re all aware this is not the case.)
What this reflects, then, is an inordinate amount of existing control on the part of the producers and disseminators of this media over its intended market. Very simply, videogames are still in some ways “elite” media - a consumable that is widely known of but less understood and consumed by the population at large. This is partly economic, partly just symptomatic of any new, emergent technology - but definitely common to what is perceived as a luxury, or indulgent consumable. A similar example would be the price of airline tickets or perfumes, which are notoriously marked up in apparent disregard of basic economics. This control of the market is enabled with the tacit cooperation of “competitors”, who likewise enjoy high profit margins on products which receive begrudgingly high reviews.
The ultimate contradiction, then, will lay neither in the consumer’s option-less spending habits, nor in the strong-armed servitude of the press, but in the apparent myopia of developers, who, one day, will have the carpet yanked from beneath their feet but are too complacent to address a natural market development proactively.
This is so good. The last paragraph is exceptionally on-point, especially considering the recent Homefront debacle. Horrible reviews, a 50% price cut in its first week of sale, and THQ’s stock plummeting 25% as a result…and they’ve already greenlit a sequel.
Coming from a business/marketing background, I would summarize the producer/journalist relationship much more succinctly. Western corporate climates (and arguably corporate climates worldwide) support an individual sense of self-preservation. Anyone in consumer review or product advertisement has learned by experience the unspoken rule: do not fuck with PR. Nobody talks about public relations, nobody talks about the marketing team, nobody dares speak ill of product management. You just don’t bite the hand that — quite literally — feeds you.
This promotes the middle management stagnation of the entire industry, and it’s something no one is willing to speak out against, for fear of being singled out, denied exclusive coverage, or run straight into the dirt and out of a job. If upper management at game publisher X or studio Y has a horrible idea — because they’re disconnected from the market or they just don’t get it — an employee actually pointing this out to their higher-ups is essentially signing their own resignation. They smile, say “yes, that sounds like a wonderful idea” and are thankful that they’ll still be gainfully employed tomorrow.
If you’re looking for a whipping boy for the massive disconnect between what constitutes a good game and what constitutes a high budget game, blame it on the developers that aren’t allowed to say no, and the managers that would sack them if they did.
To think that many gamers balk when Gamestop hires “business people,” clerks that aren’t gamers first and employees second…if they only knew that this is the exact type of upper-middle management employee hired to man the helms of some of the largest publishers on the planet.