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How the Surprise Interactive 'Black Mirror' Came Together | WIRED
The episode Brooker and Jones kicked back to Netflix wasn't a script in any conventional sense of the word: It was essentially a vast, sprawling outline written in the videogame programming language Twine, which Brooker had taught himself because it was the only way to capture the intra-linked complexity of all the various tributaries and recursions of the Bandersnatch story. "Every time I had an idea I put it in a box, and you can move them around. It's a bit like making a giant patchwork quilt," he says.

Not that it was without its hiccups. "It's the only thing I've ever worked on where the story treatment crashed," Brooker says. But through a combination of Twine, Scrivener, Final Draft, and what he calls "various iterations of Notepad," they finally got everything hashed out. And from then on, it wasn't all that different from creating a typical Black Mirror installment—other than costing twice as much and taking twice as long to produce.
#$#entertainment  *visual*film  *tv  ~infoviz  !tech!humancomputing  *wtf  *whatatime  ~programming  !write!technologist  #writing  *vintage  #xxi#culture 
23 days ago by lemeb
Things Break and Decay on the Internet—That's a Good Thing | WIRED
against the utopia of permanence on the internet:
If I’m honest, I started out, a long time ago, wanting permanence from the internet—a place to show up and inscribe my name in the Book of Life. But that desire is gone. Now there are far, far too many Vines and tweets and afterthought photos. And if this stuff seems permanent, it’s not. Even if the FBI can disinter some of our old digital contraptions, things break and decay on the internet in unexpected ways.

The Wayback Machine is perpetually finding new uses. Last year, the directory for the Office of Refugee Resettlement suddenly vanished—but the Machine had the original handy. Its founders, like all founders, plan for it never to break, but that’s a tall order. The Roman Library of Celsus in Turkey, among the most impressive in the ancient world and built to last, fell into desuetude after less than 200 years. The internet empire is much more vast and populous than ancient Rome, but will it be more permanent? The Wayback Machine keeps betting yes—that, against all odds, the web can be programmed to prevent its own collapse. Our web will remember itself, the Wayback Machine keeps insisting—and, what’s more, remember itself fondly.


i kind of disagree — it’d be crucial to have a form of permance on the web, as it seems like it will be a technology used for ages. not everything can be relying on technical interpretation, or be DRM’d!
%contrarian  #t#web  ~archive  !write!technologist 
24 days ago by lemeb
The biggest technology failures of 2018 - MIT Technology Review
the article ends with this:
The eventual goal was the transhumanist aim of mind uploading. Preserve your brain perfectly today, and maybe one day your memories and personality could be extracted and loaded into a computer or robot. The catch: to prevent damage to the brain, the embalming procedure has to start before you actually die—in other words, it involves euthanizing you. (Nectome believes this would be legal under doctor-assisted suicide laws in California, at least.)

The company, which is supported by Y Combinator, has actually done a great job preserving animal brains, but its interest in suicide-by-brain-fixation proved a little too controversial for MIT, which had to cancel a research collaboration it had with the startup. Nectome isn’t dead, though: it says it is continuing basic research and is looking to hire. Better ask about the retirement plan.
#t#👺  #t#oops  #t#social  #t#bio  !write!dystopia  !write!technologist 
24 days ago by lemeb
Discord is a safe space for white supremacists.
White-supremacist groups aren’t turning up publicly, in force, like they did in Charlottesville last year, but they’re still out there. And Discord in particular remains a very popular destination for communities of neo-Nazis and white supremacists to socialize, share hateful memes, boost the ideas that undergird their movements, inculcate strangers, and plan activities that take place elsewhere online. In the course of an afternoon, I found and joined more than 20 communities on the platform that were either directly about Nazism or white supremacy or reveled in sharing anti-Semitic and racist memes and imagery. “Discord is always on and always present among these groups on the far-right,” says Joan Donovan, the lead researcher on media manipulation at the Data & Society Research Institute. “It’s the place where they do most of the organizing of doxing and harassment campaigns.”
!ihop  !write!dystopia  !write!technologist  #t#social 
4 weeks ago by lemeb
Amazon Targets Unprofitable Items, With a Sharper Focus on the Bottom Line - WSJ
Amazon.com Inc. has trained people to buy everything from major appliances to daily staples online. Now it is having second thoughts about some of those sales because they don’t make money—and is pushing big brands to change how they use its site.

Inside Amazon, the items are known as CRaP, short for “Can’t Realize a Profit.”
#t#commerce  !write!technologist 
5 weeks ago by lemeb
The Friendship That Made Google Huge | The New Yorker
To survive, Google would have to unite its computers into a seamless, resilient whole.

Side by side, Jeff and Sanjay took charge of this effort. Wayne Rosing, who had worked at Apple on the precursor to the Macintosh, joined Google in November, 2000, to run its hundred-person engineering team. “They were the leaders,” he said. Working ninety-hour weeks, they wrote code so that a single hard drive could fail without bringing down the entire system. They added checkpoints to the crawling process so that it could be re-started midstream. By developing new encoding and compression schemes, they effectively doubled the system’s capacity. They were relentless optimizers. When a car goes around a turn, more ground must be covered by the outside wheels; likewise, the outer edge of a spinning hard disk moves faster than the inner one. Google had moved the most frequently accessed data to the outside, so that bits could flow faster under the read-head, but had left the inner half empty; Jeff and Sanjay used the space to store preprocessed data for common search queries. Over four days in 2001, they proved that Google’s index could be stored using fast random-access memory instead of relatively slow hard drives; the discovery reshaped the company’s economics. Page and Brin knew that users would flock to a service that delivered answers instantly. The problem was that speed required computing power, and computing power cost money. Jeff and Sanjay threaded the needle with software.

In his book “Collaborative Circles: Friendship Dynamics and Creative Work,” from 2001, the sociologist Michael P. Farrell made a study of close creative groups—the French Impressionists, Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries. “Most of the fragile insights that laid the foundation of a new vision emerged not when the whole group was together, and not when members worked alone, but when they collaborated and responded to one another in pairs,” he wrote. It took Monet and Renoir, working side by side in the summer of 1869, to develop the style that became Impressionism; during the six-year collaboration that gave rise to Cubism, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque would often sign only the backs of their canvases, to obscure which of them had completed each painting. (“A canvas was not finished until both of us felt it was,” Picasso later recalled.)


...applied to programming. fascinating.
!write!technologist  %longform  %😮  ~programming  !write!scale 
6 weeks ago by lemeb
Welcome ⋅ Bad Idea Factory
Bad Idea Factory is a collective of chaotic creatives using technology to make people thinking face emoji. We have been working in this space for hundreds of thousands of years.
!write!technologist  *crazy  *internet  *comedy  *amazing 
6 weeks ago by lemeb
What’s behind a recent rise in books coverage? - Columbia Journalism Review
Given the deluge of movies, TV, and tweetstorms, it may be more important than ever for publications to help books accomplish these goals. But the best format for them to do so is likely no longer the traditional, single-book, literary review. To break through the noise, editors must translate old-fashioned book coverage to the lingua francas of today’s impossibly paced media climate: shareable lists, essays, digestible Q&As, podcasts, scannable email newsletters, hashtags, Instagrams, even book trailers.



it’s still probably good
!write!technologist  !write!readthenews  #$#journalism  #xxi#culture  *books  *internet  #xxi#lit 
6 weeks ago by lemeb
Why is most travel writing so bad? - Marginal REVOLUTION
Is the problem an absence of barriers to entry for writing travel books?  That many books will sell automatically “by country” rather than because of the quality of their content, leading to an excessively segmented market?  Other travel book readers seem to obsess over the mode of transportation, such as whether a particular trip was undertaken by bicycle.  Are there too many celebrities and semi-celebrities trying their hand at a relatively easy-to-fudge literary genre?


also:
Too many travel books seem like an inefficient blending of memoir, novel, and travel narration, and they are throughout too light on information. Ideally I want someone with a background in geography, natural history, or maybe urban studies to serve up a semi-rigorous account of what they are doing and seeing.


same as food writing!
*travel  !mediaanalysis  !write!technologist  #writing  %🔥  %bookreview  &next&read 
6 weeks ago by lemeb
Internal Documents Show Facebook Has Never Deserved Our Trust or Our Data - Motherboard
When Sam Lessin, then VP of product management, raised concerns to Zuckerberg that allowing third-party companies to see friend data could be a privacy or hacking risk (which was ultimately at the heart of the Cambridge Analytica scandal), Zuckerberg wrote back: “I’m generally sceptical that there is as much data leak strategic risk as you think. I agree there is clear risk on the advertiser side, but I haven’t figured out how that connects to the rest of the platform. I think we leak info to developers, but I just can’t think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real issue for us. Do you have examples of this?”

In an email to Zuckerberg and other executives, Lessin also specifically acknowledged that, in the early days, the only companies that were willing to pay for access to Facebook’s tools were sketchy game companies (the app that harvested the data used by Cambridge Analytica to target voters was a quiz game app.)

“What we really have is a set of games made by people who see a financial opportunity to hack our system for free attention,” Lessin wrote. “I am not proud of the fact that we are currently extolling ‘game’ companies that make online slot machines as a positive example of those willing to pay our fees (I am fine with it, just not proud of it.)”

~fb  #t#fallofrome  #t#oops  #t#social  !write!utopia  !write!technologist  %emails 
6 weeks ago by lemeb
Workers of Silicon Valley, It’s Time to Organize - The New York Times
Typically, when workers speak out or organize, it’s because they want higher wages, better working conditions or stronger job security. Those aren’t your problems. You probably work manageable hours in tastefully decorated buildings with free food, ergonomic desk furniture and plentiful amenities. Your compensation is generous. And you’re in little danger of being fired or retaliated against, especially if you’re part of a large group.

The possibilities for you are so much greater. What if Facebook employees publicly took their executives to task for neglecting the real-world violence their products are causing in places like Myanmar and Sri Lanka? What if Google or Twitter employees threatened to walk unless their executives took major action against radical extremists and hate speech? What if Apple employees insisted that the company stop parking billions of dollars in offshore tax shelters, or Amazon engineers threatened to quit unless the company paid its warehouse workers higher wages?
!write!technologist  #t#fallofrome  #techpol  #xxi#tech  #labor  #t#wakingup  %journalismoped 
8 weeks ago by lemeb
Google removes gendered pronouns from Gmail’s Smart Compose feature - The Verge
Reuters reports that this limitation was introduced after a research scientist at the company discovered the problem in January this year. The researcher was typing “I am meeting an investor next week” in a message when Gmail suggested a follow-up question, “Do you want to meet him,” misgendering the investor.

Gmail product manager Paul Lambert told Reuters that his team tried to fix this problem in a number of ways but none were reliable enough. In the end, says Lambert, the easiest solution was simply to remove these types of replies all together, a change that Google says affects fewer than one percent of Smart Compose predictions. Lambert told Reuters that it pays to be cautious in cases like these as gender is a “big, big thing” to get wrong.
#t#bias  !write!technologist  !tech!ml  #alphabet  #t#ml  #t#oops 
8 weeks ago by lemeb
The Vulnerable World Hypothesis
Comprehensive surveillance and global governance would thus offer protection against a wide spectrum of potential civilizational vulnerabilities. This is a considerable reason in favor of bringing about those conditions. The strength of this reason is roughly proportional to the probability that the vulnerable world hypothesis is true.


ha! controversy 🔥
!write!dystopia  !write!technologist  !tech!practicalprivacy  #surveillance  #xxi#tech  %contrarian  %policystats  %theory  %🔥  %😮 
8 weeks ago by lemeb
Production Type
Favorites: Media Sans for titles, Trianon, Cardinal, Sainte Colombe for text
*visual*fontlove  !write!technologist  &forfutureref  %design 
9 weeks ago by lemeb

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