So if your phone doesn’t move from a single location between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for say a week or so, Facebook can quickly deduce the location of your home. Facebook will be able to pinpoint on a map where your home is, whether you share your personal address with the site or not. It can start to build a bigger and better profile of you on its servers. It can start to correlate all of your relationships, all of the places you shop, all of the restaurants you dine in and other such data. The data from accelerometer inside your phone could tell it if you are walking, running or driving. As Zuckerberg said — unlike the iPhone and iOS, Android allows Facebook to do whatever it wants on the platform, and that means accessing the hardware as well.
While I don’t think Facebook would be able to get away with this Orwelllian future that Om paints, I do think it’s a valid concern. Do we really want this level of personal data exposed to a company whose business model rests on targeted advertisers?
South By Southwest is by far the most overwhelming festival/conference out there. But it involves everything I love – tech, games, music, and film over the course of nine crazy days in Austin. Since I went for the Platinum Badge this year, I tried to do everything. Literally.
I quickly realized that wasn’t possible, but I sure gave it my darndest. For posterity’s sake, I tried to jot down every film, panel, and music set that I saw (or caught a part of) over the week. Add on all the parties and meet-ups with friends both new and old and it adds up to an exhausting, but amazing week.
Best New Song That I Have Been Playing On Repeat Constantly Since SXSW – Bastille – Pompeii
Top Three New Bands – Bastille, The 1975, CHVRCHES
I swear I’m not biased towards UK bands, it just turned out this way.
Most Emotional Song Performance – Stevie Nicks/Dave Grohl – Landslide
I have to admit getting a bit teary-eyed and having chills the entire time. Stevie Nicks has an amazing voice.
Coolest Song Performance – Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
Singing along in unison with a packed crowd to Depeche Mode’s arguably most iconic song in a venue that has less than 900 capacity was pretty damn cool.
Best Panel – Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop
Despite never acting (or having ambitions to act), I laughed and learned more with Jeffrey Tambor about life and career than anywhere else during the week.
Best Food - Rachael Ray’s Feedback Party @ Stubbs
The menu was not only delicious, it was free!
Here’s the master list of events I participated in:
Much Ado About Nothing
Drinking Buddies – Olivia Wilde, Anna Kendrick, Jake Johnson, Joe Swanberg
Downloaded – Alex Winter, Shawn Fanning, Sean Parker
Short Term 12 – Destin Daniel Cretton, Brie Larson, entire cast
Don Jon’s Addiction - Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Brie Larson, Tony Danza
euphonia – Danny Madden
Linsanity – Jeremy Lin’s Agent
The East – Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard, Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij
Andrew WK @ Viceland
Talib Kweli @ Samsung Galaxy Soundstage
Shakey Graves @ The Parish
Atlas Genius @ The Main
Tegan & Sara @ The Main
Lord Huron @ Clive Bar
Family of the Year @ ACL Moody Theatre
Lord Huron @ ACL Moody Theatre
Bastille @ Club de Ville
The Chevin @ Buffalo Billiards
Ash @ Buffalo Billiards
Bastille @ Cedar Street
CHVRCHES @ Hype Hotel
Pusha T @ MTV Woodies
Trinidad James @ MTV Woodies
Joey Bada$$ @ MTV Woodies
HAIM @ MTV Woodies
Meat Puppets @ Stubbs
Sound City Players @ Stubbs – Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Springfield, Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine), Krist Novoselic, Chris Goss, Corey Taylor (Slipknot), Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age), Lee Ving (Fear)
Local Natives @ Mohawk
Divine Fits @ Radio Day Stage Austin Convention Center
Alt-J @ Mohawk
Feathers @ Brazos Hall
The Neighbourhood @ Brazos Hall
Depeche Mode @ Brazos Hall
Fitz and the Tantrums @ Lustre Perl
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls @ Blackheart
Eagles of Death Metal @ Stubbs
The 1975 @ Stubbs
Frightened Rabbit @ Stubbs
Blue Sky Riders @ Stubbs
Kenny Loggins @ Stubbs
Talib Kweli @ Lustre Perl
Chuck Ragan @ Cedar Street
Matt Pryor (Get Up Kids) @ Cedar Street
Twin Falls (Chris Carrabba) @ Cedar Street
Frank Turner @ Cedar Street
Machinima & Rooster Teeth Present “Blood, Sweat, and Online Videos: How to Achieve the Digital Dream”
Virtual Reality: The Holy Grail of Gaming – Cliff Bleszinski (Gears of War), Paul Bettner (Words With Friends), Chris Roberts (Wing Commander), Nate Mitchell (Oculus Rift), Palmer Luckey (Oculus Rift)
A Conversation With Danny Boyle – Danny Boyle, Rick Smith (Underworld)
Much Ado About Much Ado – Joss Whedon, Amy Acker, Clark Gregg, Nathan Fillion
Innovation & Leadership in the Agile Age – Scott Cook (Intuit)
Jeffrey Tambor’s Acting Workshop
The Signal & the Noise – Nate Silver
The New Serendipity? – Joichi Ito (MIT Media Lab), Kevin Rose (Digg, Google Ventures), John Perry Barlow, Colin Raney (IDEO)
The Future of Google Search in a Mobile World – Guy Kawasaki, Amit Singhal
Through painstaking collaboration between software developers at AMD and Crystal Dynamics, Tomb Raider proudly features the world’s first real-time hair rendering technology in a playable game: TressFX Hair.
Creativity thrives under limitations. People who love games understand this implicitly, since the best players find the most creative ways to succeed within the confines of the rules. The Great Train Robbery is a masterpiece not in spite of its limitations but because of them. So if David Cage doesn’t think he can produce an emotional work of art with a PlayStation 3 and an eight-figure budget, maybe he shouldn’t be in the art-making business.
Expanding the technological capabilities of our game machines is not inherently bad, but treating new tech as a magic bullet is a self-destructive delusion (if a familiar one). The reason that so many games suck is not because the technology is too modest. The reason that so many games suck is because so many games suck. Making art is hard. No microchip changes that.
This is the most spot-on, insightful piece I’ve read about the PlayStation 4. It may be a little cynical, but the pretentiousness of these kinds of presentations is just too palpable to ignore.
Ok, so Google’s made a pretty neat demonstration video that’s gotten almost everyone on my social media feeds to go, “OMG SO COOL!”
But when you think about it – is it really?
Most of the video shows people doing some really cool, adventurous stuff, like skydiving or shredding the gnar. Being able to capture that in handsfree video is a pretty neat feature, but honestly, don’t GoPro cameras already do that at a fraction of the cost of Glass? Sure, it’s not as sleek or elegant looking to wear, but if I had paid $1500 for a nifty piece of wearable technology, I’d probably be a more than a little wary about it falling off in the air or breaking if I yard sale into a tree while snowboarding.
What else does Glass really do other than be a really cool wearable camera? I think to myself about how rarely I use Siri in my day to day life and can’t help but think of a similar usage pattern for the voice activated features for Glass. If I want to take a picture, I really don’t want to be saying out in public “Take a picture, Glass!” Plus, while the location aware stuff is neat, it’s really nothing that’s not available on smartphones today. Same goes with the video conferencing and messaging features. While having those features in a handsfree setting is nice, are they worth $1500 to most people? Or even $999? Not for me.
I do think augmented reality is a feature that has the potential to really revolutionize the way we interact with the world, but I’m a little wary of Glass fully realizing that, especially on its first iteration. That being said, I’d love to play with one of these and have it blow me away. Get the price down to something in the $200-$300s, and have it work seamlessly with, say, my existing eyeglasses, and we’ll have a much more interesting conversation. I just doubt we’ll be having it in 2014.
No! Stop! I’m not looking for a higher CTR or increased engagement on your goddamn social networks! I’m not a cog in your sales machine! I’m a real person with real feelings, not a profile picture to analyze for your own amusement. My status updates say, “Check out our newest eBook!” but read between the lines; what I really mean is, “Check out me, please. I need validation!”
Email is a constant stream of triggers, and the means to act upon these triggers can be present in the tool through which you receive it. This is why Mailbox’s mobile first approach is so important. Increasingly we get our mail messages on our mobile devices without the time, attention or full-size keyboard to make a complete response. These half-read, half-considered messages become work to take care of later—but that later never comes. By being able to structure your responses even if you don’t have time to make a full response you reduce the residue and mental overhead associated with your inbox. So when you do sit down at your desk or laptop or iPad, your work is cut out for you and ready to engage with the actual content you have to consider.
It took me a week to decide to take the plunge with Mailbox and allow it to archive all of my email on Gmail. All of my mail has been in my inbox basically since I signed up for the service years ago, a situation I imagine most people have been in as well. I can say it’s been a pretty good experience so far, my inbox is pretty clear, but I’m still getting used to the workflow of sorting my mail.
It’s a shame that there’s no Exchange support for the app, because for me, that would be the true test for Mailbox’s workflow – work emails. Nevertheless, I’ve definitely cut down on the bulk email lists I’ve subscribed to on my personal account. When you see the emails streaming in on an empty inbox, it’s pretty easy to see what’s necessary and what isn’t. Having 100,000 emails in the same place over the last 9 years or so just ended up being a big pile of eh.
This year, Mr. Newell hired Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek economist, after being impressed with Mr. Varoufakis’s personal blog, which he fills with commentary on the European financial crisis. Mr. Varoufakis, who had never heard of Valve and is not a gamer, is studying the workings of the virtual economies of Valve games, in which players can barter and sell items like hats and armor. He said he was drawn to the job partly by Valve’s “completely anti-authoritarian” culture that, to his surprise, seemed to be working.
“What does Valve have to add to our perception of the evolution of corporate structures in the future?” he said in a Skype interview from the Greek island of Aegina. “Let’s face it, the current state of that culture leaves a lot to be desired.”
A fascinating glimpse into one of the most unique companies out there, gaming or otherwise.
Ok, I know you’re probably already rolling your eyes at the title, but believe it or not, he’s got some valid points. I can speak from first hand World of Warcraft raiding experience that it takes some pretty legit cross-functional teamworking skills to be able to pull it off. We’re talking about 25 people all working in unison to execute a plan in a timed pressure situation with oftentimes little room for error. On top of that, if you can’t pull your own weight in productivity, you’re going to be fired for someone who can. The best raiders actually have friendly competitions with team members in similar roles to see who can do better.
That being said, playing a video game is, at the end of the day, playing a video game. The stakes aren’t as high in the real business world, and, let’s be honest, a Harvard MBA is probably a better indicator of a quality employee. We’re also talking about the top 5% or so of World of Warcraft players that exhibit these business-like teamworking skills. It’s a small, but not insignificant percentage of the total player population. Still, if I was a company looking for out-of-the box candidate qualities, I would definitely put some weight into having high end World of Warcraft raiding experience if the rest of his resume checks out.
Augmented reality might be the most overblown trend on the digital radar right now, and that’s saying a lot. Do we really need to wave our smartphones and tablets over every object in the physical world to find some gimmicky Easter egg or unlock some cheesy video clip? Does it add anything to the story to strip a page down to its pencils or see Iron Man come flying off the page onto the screen of your iPad? How soon till that gets old, even for a teenage male? Five times? Ten?
Bingo. I’ve been reading “Avengers vs X-Men” with the Marvel AR app and it gets old pretty fast. There’s only about 4-5 times you can use the AR functionality and even then, about 80% of the “content” is just panels stripped to pencils. Yes, it’s hard work producing a comic, but *yawn*.
It is nice that Marvel is thinking of ways to add value to their content, but AR is probably a novelty at best, especially considering that you have to hold your phone over the comic, which is kinda like attending a live concert and watching it through your phone camera. How about we work on making a Spotify equivalent for comics, first? Now, that would be something truly valuable.