Is There Any Way To Put The Trolls Back In The Bottle?

on Friday, Feb. 6th

Earlier this week I started to finally feel a tiny spark of hope that the reign of troll terror on these here Internets would be over in the not-too-distant.

Earlier this week I started to finally feel a tiny spark of hope that the reign of troll terror on these here Internets would be over in the not-too-distant. Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter, straight up admitted that the social media service had a serious problem with harassment and that it was costing them in terms of public perception and users. Ahead of an earnings call, no less.

Costolo took personal responsibility for the situation, and while a plan for how to shut down troll was’t unveiled he made it clear that the cost of being a serial abuser should be higher than the cost of being the abused. We’ll reserve judgement on the approach to balancing the scales until for when it is revealed.

That good vibe pretty much evaporated today after reading the latest swatting story over at Ars Technica. It’s a little tale about a Twitch streamer with a modest following having the SWAT team sent to his house.

Read the rest

VR Cinema Making All Kinds Of Waves At Sundance

on Tuesday, Jan. 27th

At every Sundance Film Festival publicists and the press jockey to declare that year’s “It Girl.” This year the “It” is an “it”: virtual reality has come home to Sundance and is eating up headlines usually reserved for quirky comedies and groundbreaking docs.

At every Sundance Film Festival publicists and the press jockey to declare that year’s “It Girl.” This year the “It” is an “it”: virtual reality has come home to Sundance and is eating up headlines usually reserved for quirky comedies and groundbreaking docs.

To be fair: this year’s film crop sounds pretty good as well. It feels like this was a bad year to not make the pilgrimage to Utah. Especially if one wanted to see VR cinema history get made.

The big headline grabber was yesterday’s announcement by Oculus VR’s of their own Story Studio, which will produce five VR films this year. The pioneering company showed off its first efforts and some of the reviews are fairly ecstatic.

Just as exciting for those of us with an indie mindset is what Seed & Spark and WeMo unleashed today: a diversity-minded grant program that aims to bring filmmakers into the VR cinema field while it is still in its infancy.

Read the rest

Your Face Is The Future of Computing

on Wednesday, Jan. 21st

One thing has become very clear in the last year, and it was drawn into even sharper focus today: the future of computing is going to take place right on our faces.

One thing has become very clear in the last year, and it was drawn into even sharper focus today: the future of computing is going to take place right on our faces.

Whether it is in the form of virtual reality (e.g. Oculus Rift, Sony’s Project Morpheus) or augmented reality (e.g. Google’s Glass) the vision of the future that has tech companies stumbling over themselves to capture the public’s imagination relies on the idea that we’ll all be wearing stuff on our faces.

The latest entrant into the Face Race: Microsoft, which showed off their Windows Holographic platform featuring the Windows HoloLens headset at its big Windows 10 event today.

Read the rest

CES 2015: When The VR Hype Machine Started To Squeak

on Friday, Jan. 9th

Here’s the problem with hype machines: the longer you keep them running, the harder it is to keep them running.

Here’s the problem with hype machines: the longer you keep them running, the harder it is to keep them running.

Such is the case with virtual reality, which had another big year as the Coming Attraction at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Right next to all the smart home technology that electronics manufacturers hope we will lose out minds over.

Let’s be clear: the potential for a virtual reality revolution remains an exciting prospect. There are still millions of people who have yet to experience the state of the art in VR tech. The state of the art itself is constantly evolving, with some major announcements this past week by Oculus VR—the company that got everyone talking about VR after more than a decade of slumber—that address the audio component of VR.

As any filmmaker or video game creator can tell you audio can make or break a experience that we primarily think of as visual.

Yet you can only stay excited about a nascent technology for so long, and signs of VR fatigue have begun to set in amongst the tech press.

Read the rest

Now Funding: Kickstarter Drops Amazon, IndieCade Fave Goes Live

on Tuesday, Jan. 6th

Kickstarter is two for two in 2015 so far, at least in terms of getting my attention in the news cycle.

Kickstarter is two for two in 2015 so far, at least in terms of getting my attention in the news cycle. Yesterday it was their yearly “By the Numbers” report that I took a closer look at. Today they announced on their blog that they are dropping Amazon Payments in favor of Stripe, another web payment solution.

A little more on that, and on an IndieCade favorite from October that is launching their KS campaign while at the Consumer Electronics Show, after the jump.

Read the rest

Close Reading: Kickstarter’s ‘By The Numbers’ Illustrates A Weak Point

on Monday, Jan. 5th

Kickstarter—whose brand name is synonymous with crowdfunding— released an annual “By the Numbers” post today, covering 2014.

Kickstarter—whose brand name is synonymous with crowdfunding— released an annual “By the Numbers” post today, covering 2014.

There’s some big numbers thrown up amidst the charts and graphs: over half a billion dollars ($529 million to be more specific) was pledged with 22,252 projects getting successfully funded last year.

What I instantly wanted to know was how did Kickstarter do in 2014 compared to it’s own reporting of 2013. Luckily those numbers are still with us, along with the 2012 numbers just for good measure.

Read the rest

A Peek At The Future of Machine Vision With Movidius’ CEO Remi El-Ouazzane

on Monday, Dec. 15th

The lives we lead are already infused with technology, sometimes to the point where it seems inescapable.

The lives we lead are already infused with technology, sometimes to the point where it seems inescapable. So it can seem strange to think that we might only be at the beginning of a technological age and not already within sight of the zenith.

Despite the fact that we call the devices in our pockets “smartphones” they are relatively blunt instruments. Designed to respond to our commands, usually inputed as text (although a shaky understanding of the spoken word is slowly dawning on them). They have “eyes” to see in the form of cameras, but what these devices can discern about the world around them is limited.

Which is about to change.

Read the rest

Copyright Marisa Allegra Williams (@marisa) for Twitter, Inc.

Copyright Marisa Allegra Williams (@marisa) for Twitter, Inc.

It’s Past Time Twitter Grew Up

on Tuesday, Dec. 9th

When we look back at 2014 in five years and think about social media our memories are going to look something like this.

When we look back at 2014 in five years and think about social media our memories are going to look something like this.

First, we’ll see that Facebook continued to strengthen its grip on the world’s attention and publisher’s wallets. The sheer number of people who are connected to the social network gives it a gravity that makes it difficult to escape. You may want to step away, but almost everyone you know doesn’t care enough to leave and so you find yourself stuck in the high school reunion you can never leave because you can’t convince your best friend to stop talking to his old flame.

Then we’ll think about Twitter and what might have been. Twitter will be dead by 2019, because in 2014 it blew it.

Read the rest

Dear Twitter, Let Me Fix This For You

on Thursday, Nov. 13th

Twitter is going through another existential crisis, apparently.

Twitter is going through another existential crisis, apparently. This week it is having trouble defining its overall strategy, creating this word soup:

Reach the largest daily audience in the world by connecting everyone to their world via our information sharing and distribution platform products and be one of the top revenue generating Internet companies in the world.

Which Jon Gruber handily points out is 220 characters, longer than a tweet.

Really, guys?

So I decided to take a stab at it:

Read the rest

Amazon Hears An Echo, But Who Else Is Listening?

on Tuesday, Nov. 11th

The announcement last week of a “smart speaker” by retail giant Amazon was surprising for two reasons.

The announcement last week of a “smart speaker” by retail giant Amazon was surprising for two reasons.

The first was that no one was expecting, even in the slightest, that Amazon had an intelligent home assistant/music player up its sleeve. The elegant lines of the cylinder bring the look of the Mac Pro to mind, even if the cheesy video that introduced Echo to the world had more of a Microsoft than an Apple vibe.

The second surprise was that Amazon had set itself the task of persuading consumers to put a listening device into their homes.

That’s the spin, at least, in headlines like “Amazon Wants To Put A Listening Speaker In Your Home“ from NPR and “Amazon Echo is either the coolest wireless speaker ever—or the creepiest“ from Fox. Finally, something the two news orgs can agree on: cloud connected microphones make everyone jumpy.

Read the rest

Detail from the cover of Snow Crash.'

Bright, Bold Future: Magic Leap Has Hired The Godfather of The Metaverse

There’s a rapturous term thrown around by VR enthusiasts: “The Metaverse.” It is a term that comes from the seminal Neal Stephenson science fiction novel Snow Crash, where it described a kind of embodied virtual reality.

Sponsors

magicleap

In the looming battle of AR and VR the prize is your mind.

Let’s talk about augmented reality versus virtual reality shall we?

Corey McCall with the video game controller that measures the level of excitement in the player. Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

These Game Controllers Will (One Day) Read Your Mind

A version of this story airs on NPR/WBUR’s Here & Now.

oculus-crescent-bay-prototype2

Virtual Reality’s Future Hinges on Presence and Patience

There are two reoccurring themes in the reports out of this past weekend’s Oculus Connect developers conference in Hollywood.

ewok_full

The Dumbest Case Against Games Journalists You’ll Ever Hear

WARNING: Contains Opinions.

placeholder

Contributors

All Day Play • Youth Radio • First Love America • The Recollective • Davey D's Hip Hop Corner • Tilapia Film • Of Note Magazine • Discolorations • Youth Speaks • Jonathan Poritsky • Lucas McNelly • Angry Asian Man • Mike Belleme • Black Folk Don't • Vocalo Son of Baldwin • Radio Pocho

Partners