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Entries from October 2014

London, Chronological Ethnocentrism, Zero

October 31st, 2014 · No Comments

Some interesting excerpts:
London: all that glisters… by David Goodhart:
But if London is such a wonderful place to live why do so many people want to get out? One reason for wanting to leave is the scale of churn itself which makes stable communities increasingly rare. According to the UCL publication London 2062 (edited by Sarah [...]

Tags: adrian

Gamergate is Bullshit

October 30th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Gamergate is bullshit, and it’s certainly not about ethics in journalism. Threats and harassment against women in gaming is reprehensible for any reason whatsoever, and it’s astonishing that the very people who are pushing the boundaries of what gaming can do and express are the ones being attacked.
Now, I had hoped it would go without [...]

Tags: adrian · games

Interstellar: Two Movies in One

October 29th, 2014 · No Comments

I was fortunate enough to catch a screening of Interstellar tonight, courtesy of BAFTA. Christopher Nolan surprised the audience by introducing the movie with a few words, comparing-but-not-comparing it with 2001.

It’s not as good as 2001 – but you could say that about almost any movie. Is it a great movie, though? No. Is it [...]

Tags: film · sf

Peak Ad Irritation

October 28th, 2014 · No Comments

Using Adblock on my desktop browser gives me a completely unrealistic view of the internet. Websites magically become temples to content and information; they are unsullied by commercial interests and bias; they place my interests as a reader above all else. I can’t imagine using the internet without it. I realise I’m potentially depriving sites [...]

Tags: ad · newspaper

Apple Health vs. Fitbit

October 27th, 2014 · 1 Comment

A new feature of iOS 8 is Apple’s Health App. It’s a way for users to view any health data that has been collected by in-built sensors in the device itself (such as step counts from the phone’s specialised accelerometers), along with data that can been added by third party apps (such as your weight, [...]

Tags: apple

Powerpoints, Bullet Points, and Conferences

October 26th, 2014 · No Comments

A couple of days ago, I sat next to a student on the train creating a Powerpoint presentation. She had started on a slide titled, “Germany’s Policy of Fulfillment” and was pulling out bullet points from a text book. Ten words per bullet, four bullets per slide, lots of slides, each on a small question. [...]

Tags: conference

Journeys, Not Badges

October 25th, 2014 · No Comments

From Girl Scouts Debate Their Place in a Changing World (NYT):
A 2011 overhaul of girl scouting programs abandoned the old badge system and adopted a set of three “Journeys.” It also aligned badges and leadership opportunities with 21st-century ideas revolving around social issues, professional opportunities for women, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the so-called [...]

Tags: games

Piracy

October 24th, 2014 · 3 Comments

When are you allowed to pirate something?
These days, I rarely pirate anything at all. I subscribe to Spotify and Amazon Prime, and I pay the BBC TV Licence Fee. I buy all my books, apps, and games from Apple and Amazon; these are all unimaginably affordable compared to just a couple of decades ago, when [...]

Tags: adrian · tech · tv

Brain Training Games Don’t Work

October 24th, 2014 · 1 Comment

A few days ago, 73 scientists signed a letter asserting that brain training games – which typically feature puzzle games and mental exercises on smartphones, tablets, PCs, or handheld devices – do not successfully increase general measures of intelligence or memory.
I have long had my doubts about the efficacy of games like Brain Age in [...]

Tags: edu · games · neuro · psych · science

2001 and Master and Commander

October 22nd, 2014 · No Comments

Next month, the BFI is releasing a new digital transfer of 2001. I will be there.

Quite apart from the fact that even a big TV can’t replicate the ultra-widescreen experience required to properly appreciate 2001, I think that most normal people – myself included – are incapable of paying sufficient attention to the movie unless [...]

Tags: adrian · film · sf