Angry Robot

How ‘The Leftovers’ Evolved From Good to Canon-Worthy Great

Don’t read too far into this as there be spoilers. But consider this link notice that you should be watching (should have watched?) this amazing show, especially if you ever liked Lost.

Interesting half-hour doc featuring Christopher Hume talking about streets, cars, bikes, downtown and suburbs. Article here.

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Bunch of news coming out of Vichy France.

This post is part of The Sankey War Scrapbook project.

Tim Cook Says Apple Focused on Autonomous Systems in Cars Push – Bloomberg

Sure but no way Apple will sell some system that goes into someone else’s car models. So this is like a half-assed denial that they are making a car, despite all the permits they are applying for.

The 2017 Polaris Music Prize Long List Is Here

Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

Hmmm.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

Free Fire

I tried to describe this film to a friend. “It’s set in the 70s, about a arms deal gone wrong. A bunch of crooks are in a shootout in a big warehouse for basically the entire movie. Hey, I’m making it sound pretty great.” It’s the latest film from director Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise). It’s a decent film best understood as a black comedy in the Tarantino vein, and it does manage some deliciously dark laughs, but it falls short of the significance of most Tony Scott films, let alone QT. (Tony Scott directing a reboot of The Hateful Eight might be the closest analogue.)

The film’s biggest flaw is that it moves into action mode a good 15 minutes too early, not having had enough time to fill out any of the largish number of characters, which wastes a capable cast (Brie Larson, Cilian Murphy, Armie Hammer). One finds oneself not caring which ones lived or died, which one could describe as suboptimal from a dramatic perspective. It’s definitely watchable with some great, funny moments, but life’s too short.

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The “franking” scandal continues and the Battle of the Atlantic heats up.

This post is part of The Sankey War Scrapbook project.

Prozac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax

On anxiety as a sociological and cultural phenomenon

Corbyn Won Because Hope Turned the Unthinkable Into Reality

The gleeful anti-Corbyn Cassandras were wrong – deafeningly, magnificently wrong – because they thought that politics was first of all about numbers, rather than people: a dead Newtonian science, the calculation of inert bodies.

Nope. Comey’s Assurance To Trump Was Far From a Clean Bill of Health

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This post is part of The Sankey War Scrapbook project.

Comey lays out the case that Trump obstructed justice

Legal analysts said Comey’s testimony clarified and bolstered the case that the president obstructed justice — adding rich new color about the former FBI director’s interactions with the president.

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Interesting article here about German spies allying with a sitting senator (who mysteriously died in a plane crash), a publishing house and “America Firsters” to spread pro-Nazi materials.

This post is part of The Sankey War Scrapbook project.

Apple WWDC Keynote 2017

Some not particularly unique thoughts.

WatchOS stuff was all welcome, but relatively minor. Would like to see third party faces and maybe smart complications, i.e. same principle as the Siri watch face except for any face. But I suppose it’s been a good year for the watch, so there’s no need to rock the boat.

Mac stuff: OS and app stuff not particularly thrilling. New Macs! It’s nice to see them revving the MacBooks Pro so soon after the latest update – it’s gotten so that Apple refreshing hardware at faster than yearly pace is eyebrow-raising. I think it’s been longer than that for the other Macs, but they updated a lot of things at once: modern GPUs! VR support!

The iMac Pro looks sweet but obvs so expensive that I doubt I will ever get near one. Although I suppose it does put them back into contention in the workstation class.

As usual there was a lot more heat on the iOS front, and especially for the iPad. They implemented almost the entirety of an iPad nerd’s wishlist: improved multitasking, drag and drop, pencil improvements, proper file browser. Interesting to see Apple Notes getting a lot of improvements including a document scanner. And of course new iPads Pro to seal the deal. I just bought a new 9.7” iPad Pro a couple months ago, but I don’t even feel bad about it. For one, it’s waaay faster than I need it to be already, and for two I will get all the software improvements anyway.

The ARkit stuff is interesting. I’m fairly sure Apple will release some sort of AR device at some point in the near future (Apple Glasses? Apple Monocle? Apple Telescoping EyePiece?), and this is a significant step in that direction.

And the speaker. It’s overpriced, which is not really a shocker considering we’re talking about Apple here. Especially so if you consider it an Amazon Echo competitor, which Apple doesn’t want you to. They positioned it as a cross between an Echo and a Sonos. I have two Sonos speakers, so I have a dog in this hunt. I went with Sonos not so much because of the multi-room capability but because they deliver reliable wireless playback. Neither Bluetooth nor Apple’s AirPlay was able to do that for me, and believe me, I gave it a shot. So no matter how good this thing is I doubt I’ll sell my Sonoses as I love them, but I’d pay special attention to how reliable AirPlay 2 is.

Top-Secret NSA Report Details Russian Hacking Effort Days Before 2016 Election

The report raises the possibility that Russian hacking may have breached at least some elements of the voting system, with disconcertingly uncertain results.

Toronto’s ambitious bike plan, one year later

As you might expect, a little disappointing

Story titles, invented by neural network

I’m going through the Lewis and Quark archives because this shit makes me cry with laughter. Here’s a good one, that had me fantasizing about making trailers for:

The Addicts Next Door

Devastating look at a town hard hit by the opioid crisis

Letting neural networks be weird • The neural network will name your next band

A lot of potential here, especially if you want a shark-themed band – and why wouldn’t you?

How to Talk to Your Kid About Ja Rule

There is a day in every parent-child relationship that all mommies and daddies worry about, and that is the day their child starts asking about Ja Rule. Here’s how to deal with it.

Notes From An Emergency

Speaking of Maciej Cegłowski, here is the text of a recent talk. Lots here on the rise of the nationalist right and its use of tech, the “feudal internet” of huge tech companies that dominate our online lives, and what can be done about it.

Pinboard Acquires Delicious

No way! One bookmarking service To Rule Them All. Nice work, Maciej!