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Cringe du jour

The memes are on the attack, but happiness has other ideas.

Seamus Byrne
Seamus Byrne
5 min read
Cringe du jour

Happy St Patrick’s Day.

My aunt sent me an amazing clip of an old Irish lad vigourously attempting some Irish dancing but he either didn’t really know the steps or he was more than half cut while he was doing it. Maybe both. Either way, the craic was mighty.

I’ve watched it at least a dozen times.

And he was dancing on TELEVISION, whenever it was. Bold as brass. Fearless.

At the same time, I’ve noticed ‘cringe’ is featuring heavily in the memes of the moment. And Pixar’s Turning Red is at the same time being both lauded and lambasted for featuring a lot of cringe 13-year-old vibes.

It’s strange how these things can all coalesce at once online, but then the internet is great at creating these gigantic moments of gravity where a single idea is the focus of attention for a few days, or if they’re lucky for a few weeks.

It struck me that a lot of the flavour of the memes are to take the cynical negative attitude. To put things down as ‘cringe’ and therefore things to be avoided. But it’s always easier to be mean than to embrace and support.

And that’s the point of this little thought bubble. All the happiest people I know are the ones that never let go of the weird, quirky, awkward things they loved as teenagers. Followed the big ideas into career paths or just let their jobs be ‘just a job’ while they pursued their passion as their ultimate priority.

The internet has made it nicer for everyone out there to embrace their cringe and find their fellow fans of whatever thing they hold in their heart.

Take that thought with you through the rest of your life.


Volodymyr Zelenskyy deepfake ‘surrender’ video is seriously disturbing. Imagine what this could have done if he wasn’t so good at building a public image that shows great resolve and determination.

The GPT-3 language model seems to have a gender bias. Add this to the pile of essential insights into how Artificial Intelligence does NOT emerge from some neutral digital space but is building its knowledge based on what it is fed. And a lot of what it is fed comes with all the standard biases found in society.

Microsoft accidentally pushed some experimental advertising into the Windows 11 File Explorer. Beta testers spotted it. It doesn’t matter how you explain it away as a mistake that wasn’t meant to be seen outside internal testing. Someone has been tasked with exploring what it would look like to have ads appear when you’re using Windows 11 to move your files around on your computer. Stunning.

Cleaning solar panels without a drop of water. Lost efficiency adds up quickly at large scale, so reducing the need for water cleaning solar farms can be a tremendous advancement for the industry.

Google is bringing Steam to Chromebooks. Those low-powered mini laptops could get some serious gaming potential. Don’t expect to run the latest AAA games, but maybe some of that Stadia tech could bring great cloud gaming to Chromebooks?

Netflix is testing an “add an extra member” feature to charge to share your account. Reed Hastings once said he loved account sharing, but that was before they started to reach global market saturation.

UoW researchers think they’ve cracked the code on cheap green hydrogen. If they have this is an absolute revolution in the making.


Brain food

The latest job in architecture is biomimicry. A great new angle on sustainable design, and it reminds me of the fantastic Neri Oxman episode of the Abstract doco series on Netflix.

Nanami Cowdroy Gelaskin art rules. Nothing specifically new about this, but if you’ve never seen the work of this Australian-born artist, I’ve loved putting her covers on my devices since the early days of the iPad.

2022 Sony World Photography Award winners. Some dazzling photography in here, including the Irish photo of starling murmations that should win wildlife photo of the century.

We really shouldn’t wear our outside shoes around the house. If you’ve ever wondered, here’s the science of leaving your shoes at the door.

Hot deals

Lenovo’s Duet Chromebook is nearly sub-$300. The nifty 2-in-1 laptop running on Google OS we included in our best laptops list is heavily discounted on Amazon right now. The original 10-inch version is currently $307.95 (down from $499), while the shiny new 13.3-inch OLED model is $557 (down from $799).


Some deeply desired World of Warcraft announcements are coming. WoW Shadowlands started with interesting ideas and is sadly ending in some of the weakest storytelling the Warcraft universe has ever seen. Messy threads of ‘mysteries’ with little evidence that the big bad had an actual story attached. Sad. We can soon try to pretend none of this happened, with news the next WoW expansion will be announced on 19 April. With new Hearthstone news this weekend and details of a Warcraft mobile game, moving forward feels like it can’t happen soon enough.

Disco Elysium: Final Cut, one of the finest RPGs ever made, gets a Nintendo Switch physical release. Starring a walking disaster of a detective with no memory of who he is, nor the case he’s been assigned to, Disco Elysium is a deeply weird and wonderful game hardcore RPG enthusiasts simply must play. It’s out now for $69 via Amazon.

Stan’s footy agent doco is good, actually. Show Me The Money shares a rare and fascinating insight into the world of AFL player agents. On paper, it could’ve come across as a bunch of Jerry Maguire-wannabes prancing around, but the generous player access and examination of what goes into making a career out of sport makes it highly compelling.

Sydney joins the Fortress. After the success of live esports and gaming venue Fortress Melbourne, which managed to successfully navigate all those COVID lockdowns, Sydney will also join in on the action. Fortress Sydney is due to open next summer, located at Central Park Mall on Broadway.

Xbox showcases a bunch of awesome indie games. In an overnight ID@Xbox showcase, we saw a whole lot of gaming goodness from smaller creators. Our highlights include the self-described “golf-like” Cursed to Golf, and cutesy fox adventure game Tunic, the later available now via Xbox Game Pass. PLUS four fantastic Aussie-published games are in the mix – Paradise Killer, Kraken Academy!!, Beacon Pines, and Citizen Sleeper.

The Elder Scrolls Online’s new chapter arrives on 6 June. Players just got a big ESO game update that sets the path into the new ‘Legacy of the Bretons’ storyline, with fresh dungeons to explore. In June, High Isle will be ESO’s biggest release of the year, taking you to the Systres Archipelago — the home of the Bretons — for the first time in the franchise’s history. After a year of vampires and werewolves followed by a year of demonic forces, the return of high fantasy feels nice and refreshing.

Since its launch in 2014, ESO has evolved into a hell of a game. And even if you don’t MMO, this story has great insight for those wondering about treating it like a solo experience.

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Founder and Head of Content at Byteside.

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