Two very nice reads on how the pandemic changed things (sometimes for the better). I am looking forward to see the changes in society when we are ‘back to normal’. Will it be like 9/11? Will we forget this in no time? Wait and see…
Another round of “first image of…” from the Curiosity rover. This time, clouds in Mars. Could not help but stop and look marbled by the colours of the Martian sky (I always pictured the surface as a red desert with a very limited colour palette).
And it looks amazing. It is always nice to see the technical aspects of videogames, and this video shows a little bit of that. Easter egg: temporal super-resolution being implemented in mainstream tools! Can’t wait to see more of this engine during the E3.
Another week, another batch of nice reads. Let’s start.
Being smart doesn’t make you a good person
In case you did not know, you can be both a PhD and a piece of shit. Exhibits A and B, both from this week. 21st century and we still have to deal with this… at least it seems that institutions are starting to do something?
It seems that, after more than one year of almost daily bad news (and we have still not finished with the pandemic), we start to get better and better perspectives. While it is early to be sure, it seems that antibodies to fight the virus will last longer than we thought. *crosses fingers*
I am quite sad for the trial to be over, but hopefully the verdict will make a last round of nice news (and probably derive into other interesting trials, as it seems that big tech corps are starting to be seen with higher detail by governments) .
It was quite fun to read a CEO saying that he does not know how much money the App Store produces. I am also now a bit of a fan of Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (gamers unite!).
Really packed week, though the topics will feel quite familiar:
There is no place like your smartphone
Quite a nice read that makes you think about how society has changed in so little time. And while it might seem a stupid thing at first glance, I found myself reflected on some of the feelings that the article exposes, like the sensation you have when using a computer or a phone that it is not yours. Also, during the last years that I have been living abroad, I have found that I really need less and less material stuff to feel home, but one of those crucial things are the devices I use to chat with friends and family…
NFTs keep appearing on the news. This week I found that Fox is making a tv show with the excuse of selling stuff (remember Transformers?). The novelty is that now they are not going to sell only toys, but animated .gif and .png files. Let’s see how many trees have to die for this.
The highlight this week, at least for me, was the discussion about the naked banana skin on Fortnite. I cannot help but laugh when I imagine the faces of the people at court. Also, more insight on what is a videogame and what is the metaverse, now with insights from Roblox devs. And last, some ideas on what is really behind this trial.
Really sad to hear that people are starting to do backups of Sci-Hub via torrent. I did not notice that there were no updates to the database since the start of the year (which is a really bad sign). Also this week I saw an interview with Alexandra Elbakyan on why and how she created the site, and the hurdles of doing it. Honestly I hope that Sci-Hub dies only if science gets really open (which is how it should always had been).
Busy week, but somehow I managed to find some cool stuff to share. Let’s start:
Apple vs Epic, the trial that keeps on giving
I am getting low on popcorn reserves. Lots of documents and insights on how both companies operate. I particularly enjoyed seeing how much money Epic paid for its exclusives (I am very happy for some developers there tbh). Here are some links & tweets, in case you are interested on the topic:
Nice view on how the advances in AI are shaping the world we are living on. What happens when state-of-the-art research is funded/developed by the army, which operates by its own logic? I see clouds ahead of us…
This reminded me of that cool scene in Prometheus (what a terrible movie btw) where the geologist maps the entire caverns by using a couple small flying balls. We do not have flying mapping spheres (yet), but it seems that the Boston Dynamics robots are getting to work on the idea…
Another month, another set of incredibly cool science-related images, gathered by Nature. Honestly, it has been terribly difficult to pick just one image for the recap. Actually, I could not help but add another one as the header of the post…
Not long ago Elon Musk wrote on twitter that Tesla would start accepting Bitcoin as a payment. As usual, his tweets provoked movements on the stock market. This week, Tesla announced that they would not accept Bitcoin unless its infrastructure goes green. I don’t know what worries me more, the fact that Musk could not know how bad e-coins are for the environment, the fact that reducing the transportation environmental footprint is literally what Tesla sells as their leitmotiv (a greener world using their electric cars), or that he could have done it just to get a bit richer. Anyway, what I always like to say in these situations: welcome to the XXI century.
Hectic week… sometimes unexpected tasks jeopardize you schedule. Coming back to normal now I hope.
Anyway, really interesting stuff has been happening for the past few days. Let’s delve into it:
Apple vs the world: episode #1
Recently Apple changed the way its users are noticed about how some apps track their information. This perturbation on the (advertisement) force has generated a lot of ripples, which might become bigger than a tsunami. There have been a lot of interesting articles on the topic, most of them defending a good vs bad sceneario (where Apple is almost a white knight fighting for our privacy and Facebook is a devil). While obviously there are companies that behave much worse than others, I kinda see the scenario as the evil vs the lesser evil. If you are interested, I found these sources particularly informative:
One of the reasons we have not gone fully on the nuclear wagon was the Chernobyl accident. While some might think that everything was solved by now, there have been recent news that sparkled some concerns: nuclear reactions are starting to ramp up in activity again
I remember some coding lessons on the university that used Mathematica and their notebooks. I kinda hated those and always thought that it was a terrible way of coding, and only nice for sharing stuff. Nowadays Jupyter notebooks are used by millions of people, and I still see terrible code on notebooks that should have been just a .py file (also, it has to be said that I also see amazing dissemination notebooks).
Anyway, if you want to read the opinion of really clever people, you can take a look at this article:
This week the trial on Apple vs Epic started, and oh boy it’s been fun. Two tech giants spreading shit all over the place. Let’s see how far greed can get.
I share some articles and a couple threads on twitter. While the articles are nice, the threads are kind of a live streaming of the trial, and I loved reading them. Also, every email that has been exposed during this week is pure gold, and a perfect insight on how companies operate… Interesting topic which will have a lot of repercussions in the way we interact with our devices…
Wild news on how some people are using AI-fuelled narrative games to make disturbing narratives involving sex and children. It really makes you think about the biases in training, the use we give to any tool, responsibility of companies on the use people do of their tech, and privacy. What a nice read: