According to Gizmodo, bots made up 61.5% of all Internet traffic in 2013. It’s a strange little thought: mankind dies out and leaves nothing behind but a self-perpetuating ec(h)osystem of bots trying to sell each other Viagra and mail order brides until the net collapses. Brave new world, eh?

30.12.2013 • Permalink

The Andromeda Strain

the andromeda strain

I’m watching The Andromeda Strain for the first time. The book was, as far as I remember, unshowy but tense, at least all those years ago. Director Robert Wise and his lack of flashy visuals is a good match for the script. Furthermore, the entire cast is wooden to a fault, in other words perfectly suited for Crichton’s clunky dialogue.

If the movie had been made in this millennium, the scientists would be slowly decimated while fighting off hordes of zombies, but them were simpler days. Here, they run tests until the terrifying virus mutates into something harmless.

I quite enjoyed The Andromeda Strain, and if you’re capable of dealing with (by contemporary standards, at least) a somewhat leisurly pace, I heartily recommend it. The clinical approach adds realism and ups the tension, and the lack of histrionics makes the deadly virus all the more plausible.

Of course, the most fascinating thing about the movie is perhaps the thought that, not that long ago, you could actually make a movie where middle-aged, average-looking people sitting around talking and doing science stuff were plausible as heroes. Duck Dynasty it ain’t.

  • Director: Robert Wise
  • Cast: Arthur Hill, David Wayne, Kate Reid, Paula Kelly
29.12.2013 • Permalink

As a consumer I was blown away. I wanted [an iPhone] immediately. But as a Google engineer I thought ‘We’re going to have to start over’” Chris DeSalvo said. “What we had suddenly looked so… nineties. It’s just one of those things that are obvious when you see it.

Google Android engineer Chris DeSalvo. No truth to the allegations that Android ripped off iOS, then.

22.12.2013 • Permalink

I love Community. We all know the bottle episode features Annie’s boobs stealing the pen in plain sight, as well as the sublime Beetlejuice gag, but … I can’t believe I didn’t see this before and I’ve seen the entire show three times over. I bow before thee, Dan Harmon.

05.12.2013 • Permalink

It’s expensive to be a core user of online media. It’s expensive to develop the skills to become one. To those for whom it is already second nature, that is something usually born of privilege. I’m wondering if this foreshadows the new “digital divide.” As mobile and broadband costs fall, the issue of “access” to the internet diminishes (both globally and locally). Yet access to the digital world is not sufficient to bridge the divide. It is digital literacy that may produce the real separation between the haves and the have-nots. I’m not talking about knowing how to use a computer or a phone. I’m talking about being able to navigate the bullshit and misinformation that dominates these social networks and news platforms.

from The New Digital Divide: Privilege and Misinformation in Modern Media. Food for thought.

04.12.2013 • Permalink