Oculus Rift, Presence, and Virtual Adventures (but not games, YUCK)

April 12, 2014 § 4 Comments

There’s been a whole lot of talk of late about Facebook’s recent 800 quadrillion dollar (estimate) acquisition of Oculus Rift, the first viable (well the first in a series of viable, Sony isn’t far behind with its Project Morpheus) Virtual Reality headset. Chris has been beside himself for weeks; boy have we watched a lot of YouTube videos about the forthcoming Dev Kit 2 (pre-release prototype of the Rift hardware packaged for developers), various virtual environments, and most importantly of all, the concept of “presence,” essentially the process by which one’s brain, at least the lizard part of one’s brain, is tricked into thinking it’s actually where it is not.

At first I was preemptively disinterested in that just-shy-of-charming knee-jerky way of mine due to Facebook’s involvement (“What!? Facebook!? Then it’s bullshit!”). I was also resistant because, drumroll, I don’t like playing games. Not that I don’t appreciate games, video and computer particularly, or deny that the best of these kinds of games easily qualify as art. Nor do I think that people who love (video/computer) games are weird (people who love playing board games, however, are). It’s just that personally, games (particularly video) make me anxious (and non-video games just make me angry). I don’t like the concept of winning and dying and I don’t like having to kill/fight not to die, regardless of how cartoonish my enemies might be. I don’t quite know why; let’s call it a personality trait and move on. Consequently, my world wasn’t exactly rocked when presented with this AWESOME NEW GAMING PLATFORM (now owned by Facebook).

But, as is often the case, I am an idiot. And over the last week or so have changed my mind.

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Oh Boy and Man and Wow

April 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

It’s hard to know who else will think this is the greatest/worst thing ever. My husband sent me the link in tears (conveyed over email; come on you guys it’s 2014) and insisted that it would change. my life. FOREVER, and I’ll admit, it’s pretty great (read: horrible). But how much you like (hate) this will depend on how much social media marketer-speak makes you want to eat your own face. Consider this a litmus test, then.

Oh, These Arguments Again.

April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

This article by Amitai Etzioni, which urges those on the receiving end of microaggression to like calm the f down because jeez or whatever/bigotry is just human nature/back in my day, is the second I JUST CAN’T WITH YOU moment I’ve had while reading The Atlantic this week. The first was yet another but-but-but-FREE SPEECH piece written by a white dude worried about his ability to make bad jokes on Twitter the “chilling effect” of censorship pushing back against racists, sexists and homophobes. I would write more about both, but is just so exhausting, having to read all these tl;dr articles lamenting how restricted people’s speech is becoming. I mean there are only so many hours in the day.

Well Played, Dillon the Hacker. Well Played.

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

This is proper, artful trolling and mother approves.

What, I Cried. I Don’t Care. I’ll Punch You in the Throat.

April 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Shut your cynical face, this is great.

Love,

Whitney

via Jezebel

Accidental Companion Piece

March 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Earlier this afternoon I read the following companion piece articles: this Daily Dot article by Aja Romano enumerating the various and sundry ways women are suppressed in tech, and this “ethological study” of the American Bro, literally the worst person alive, written by Vice’s John Saward. The only thing is, these articles are not actually companion pieces; they just work well as a unit. Indeed the violently sexist bullshit Romano decries is precisely the violently sexist bullshit that Saward discusses — it’s just that Saward’s American Bro is more conspicuously disgusting than the sexist coders and geeks who make sure the tech space is as hostile for women as possible, because like, meritocracy. Bro.

Please enjoy –although that is not the right word– the following excerpts, and then go read both articles. In terms of identifying sexist tropes, and more importantly explicating the various cultural pathologies that are born of and fueled by toxic masculinity — you won’t do much better than this. Or worse, is probably the more appropriate term.

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Well, the President is Doing .GIFs Right (………?)

March 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

I am so irritated that I only have 2.5 minutes to write this post (having a job, amirite), because this is very interesting —— and piggybacks in all kinds of ways onto my earlier post about Obama’s “Between Two Ferns” appearance. Basically: the Obama Administration can internet, at least the 26-32 year-old staffers they employ can. And it’s crazy to see The State be like, “oh, is this how the kids are communicating now? Ok then!” -and subsequently post a YOLO joke and Tumblr-bait cash cat in space, to a federal website.

I have so much more to say about this, but I’ll leave you with ——— good god Lemon, when I first started dipping my toes into this space in 2008 I never, NEVER would have guessed that this would be where things ended up. I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing, just that it’s an interesting thing.

“A Secret Rendezvous with the FUDGE”

March 14, 2014 § 6 Comments

As a delayed follow-up to my Pineapple Upside-DUMP Cake post, please enjoy what can only be described at the juiciest pile of steaming WAT that has ever graced our fair internet. There are no words, so I’ll just link above.

Via Dlisted

“Oh Yeah, I’ve Heard of That, It’s the Thing That Doesn’t Work”

March 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

yes obama

You know, here’s the thing about how weird everything is these days. It is so weird, obviously, but also sometimes very funny. Insert thoughtful six paragraphs about like internet humor percolating up to the Oval Office and how participatory media something something, and then conclude with an emphatic statement about whatever. After which, click this link to read about and watch Obama’s actually funny “Between Two Ferns” appearance (I lol’d when Obama said the thing about the turkey). Also, seriously, internet.

Sometimes, the Universe Gives You a Gift

March 6, 2014 § 4 Comments

It's beautiful.

It’s beautiful.

You could be standing in line at the grocery store, twiddling your thumbs in front of an episode of Bridezillas (I don’t know what you do), or sitting through an all-day grant kickoff meeting, as I was this afternoon, when suddenly BOOM the heavens part and you are presented with a gift so pure, so beautiful, that you can hardly believe that it’s yours to keep and hold forever.

Case in point, the AMA Martha “My Everything” Stewart did today on Reddit, to which my little beauty childhood bestie Martha 4eva Kato (backstory here) alerted me via excited text message. I know, I know, to read it you’ll have to go ON Reddit. But that is a small price to pay, because how else will you learn the latest sexy sex tips? (“Always take a bath before and after.”) Or the merits of truffle oil? (“I think truffle oil is one of the few ingredients that doesn’t belong in anyone’s kitchen. It is ruinous of most recipes.”) Or how many tacos Martha Stewart can eat in one sitting? (“I was at a really good Mexican restaurant yesterday, and I ate one whole taco. I was still hungry.”) Or the secrets to proper towel maintenance? (“You should check your water, your soap, the temperature of the water, and your machine. Something’s wrong. Towels should last at least 20 years.”) Or some stone cold existential truths? (“We are all faced with serious challenges during a lifetime.”) Or how you should clean, as Reddit user joliekerr put it, a “steel riveted leather harness used for a strap-on dildo?” (“What’s a dildo?”).

So, I’m just going to sit here and let the joy just wash over me, because today is pretty much the greatest day of my life. Thanks to Kato for sharing the good news, and may god bless you, each and every one.

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