The Bright Future Edition
Woah. Like, WOAH. It’s been a rough start to 2020. So it’s time for a special “Look At How Amazing The World Can Be” week.
I actually spent more time this week stepping back from social media (because while I’ve mostly-quit Facebook I’m still an avid Twitter user) and I’ve put my focus back into my RSS feeds. And I’ve loved it!
I use Feedly, and part of my strength (I hope) as a curator of interesting articles is the over 200 sources I track this way. When I just focus on reading these feeds I feel so much better about where things are going. The big scary news still filters through, but through a lens of great writing and not just the loudest or pithiest takes.
So. Here’s some stories that speak to the best and brightest paths into the future, and evidence that shows the positive things have the greatest potential. Enjoy!
Please let me know what you think too. Reply to the newsletter or email me via email@example.com, or hassle me on Twitter (@seamus). And if you just found this edition a breathe of fresh air, share it with a friend!
On Byteside This Week
The Game Table: This week’s show looks at Kickstarter games, card games where the theme makes it inherently fun, and the new Theros MtG crossover sourcebook for D&D!
Don't let anyone pretend 8K matters
Byteside: This week we discuss coronavirus (because mandatory), mobile games, classic games and the proof that 8K TV is utterly unnecessary.
The delicious Diablo quarterly update
The Scrapyard: Seamus, Zhiana and Kosta together to dig into some of the juicy details delivered by the Diablo team in the February quarterly update. So many details!
The great Tulsa remote worker experiment
The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.
The boss who put everyone on $70K
A tech boss introduced a US$70,000 minimum salary for all his staff - by cutting his own wages. Five years, on he has no regrets.
Psychologists reaffirm that blaming video games for violence is 'not scientifically sound'
The American Psychological Association reaffirms that linking violent games to violent behavior is “not scientifically sound.” The statement comes during a lull in the national dialogue on violent video games.
Tesla big battery's stunning interventions smooths transition to zero carbon grid
The Tesla big battery has reshaped thinking about a renewables grid - it has cut prices, kept the lights on and has yet more tricks up its sleeve.
"It's like you have a hand again": An ultra-precise mind-controlled prosthetic
The approach involves tiny muscle grafts and machine learning algorithms borrowed from the brain-machine interface field. “This is the biggest advance in motor control for people with amputations in many years.”
This is kind of amazing. The writer takes a journey through a very ambitious, kind of buggy, kind of empty Ethereum-powered (that’s a blockchain technology) virtual world.
www.theblockcrypto.com • Share
8K vs 4K TVs: Double-blind study by Warner Bros. et al reveals most consumers can’t tell the difference
I think the industry’s effort to spin up 8K as the next TV you need is bollocks. This very detailed study by Warner Bros continues to support my position. The bright happy positive? 4K is the perfect living room format! Buying a nice 4K TV will be the longest lasting screen format since the CRT!
The Internet Archive hosts 20,000 VHS pop culture recordings from the '80s & '90s: Enter the VHS Vault
Seriously. So much oddity, so much nostalgia. And all thanks to the incredible project that aims to preserve an awful lot of culture being lost to old formats and abandoned parts of the web.
The SETI@home project is ending after 21 years
Wait. It’s ending? Isn’t that bad? Sometimes endings are a good thing.
SETI@home is stopping because it worked so well they have a massive backlog of data for the scientists to process. Unified public computation FTW!
Smithsonian releases 2.8M images and data into the public domain
Creative Commons licensing is being offered by Smithsonian for everything from portraits of historic American figures to 3D scans of dinosaur skeletons.
Forget chess, the real challenge is teaching AI to play D&D
Some artificial intelligence experts think role playing adventure games will help machines learn to be as clever as we are.
'The Last of Us' TV series headed to HBO with 'Chernobyl' creator and game's original writer
I’m calling it now: this will be the best game-to-filmed-media conversion of all time.