1. Forget Y2K, Y.00001K Causes Internet to Crash, Complain about Losing Sleep.
In an effort to keep up with Earth’s gradual slowing rotation, scientists took away one second from the world’s atomic clocks this week. Web services running on Facebook’s Cassandra software, however, tried to synch with the clocks, found them a second off, and promptly crashed. Among those sites affected were Reddit, Mozilla, FourSquare, LinkedIn and Yelp. Google, however, played it smart, by quietly ticking off milliseconds all year and hoping nobody would notice.
2. Mass Effect 3 Recut Ending Released, and the People Rejoiced (yay).
Throwing common sense to the wind thankfully, Bioware released the “Extended Cut” of the Mass Effect 3 ending, hoping to curb the controversy started by the appallingly laid out and unclear original endings. The result? A mixed bag featuring a lot of stuff that somehow makes less sense than the original, a direct shot from Bioware towards its fans, and some honest, well written changes. The end result? It’s now just bad instead of embarrassingly terrible.
3. Nothing Says “Good Marketing Strategy” Like Posters about Lung Cancer.
A marketing firm posted thousands of posters around New York, Chicago, Seattle and New Orleans, claiming various groups of people “Deserve to Die.” A list that includes cat lovers, the privileged, hipsters, and old people. There is no other information about the ads on the poster, but online searches lead to NoOneDeservestoDie.org which will anounce Thursday that (according to Yahoo! news) it’s talking about lung cancer. Well…Great. I killed all those hipsters for nothing.
4. Yahoo Releases Annual Listing of Ten Companies That Will Disappear by 2013, Yahoo Strangely Missing from List.
1. American Airlines
3. Current TV
4. Research in Motion
5. Pacific Sunwear
8. Oakland Raiders
Blockbuster also just officially ceased to exist as a company effective this week.
5. Comic Con Schedules Released, Hock Show Will Be There
Matt Hocking will be on the floor for SDCC 2012 and will hopefully bring some cool stuff back. In the meantime, now’s the time to speculate about what will be announced at the show and what other goodies will be there to be seen that Matt won’t have time to wait in line for because he’s supposed to be working.
-The Hobbit will have a panel discussion
-Larry King will be interviewing Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime)
-Django Unchained both inside and outside the building
-Superman: Man of Steel promo
-Morgan Spurlock and William Shatner screening new documentaries
-Just about every other entertainment property on the planet will have some presence there.
-Book Review: Sorry, Please, Thank You Stories by Charles Yu
An interesting collection of short stories that veer from amusing to thought provoking and back again, seemingly at random. Like many short story collections, the lack of a firm narrative is somewhat offset by the overall cohesive theme of the stories (coming to grips with your sense of self). Charles Yu is a brilliant writer who crafts compelling stories in the span, sometimes, of just a few pages.
That said, the stories do feel a bit muddled even if they are dealing with the same general themes. Yu will swing from a “center for outsourced feelings” to a “zombie in a department store” to an internal conversation from the perspective of his fantasies at the flip of a switch, and often the stories have no grounding to come into them. A few of them (the feeling center in particular as well as a story about what the mental process of a hero in a video game must be) are broad enough ideas to warrant whole novels and are too casually tossed aside.
That said, it’s definitely worth reading, especially for the 25-40 crowd who are experiencing this weird existential crisis in society today where our “self” is split up into multiple personalities online and off. Yu doesn’t provide any answers, but he dives deeper into his own rabbit holes, and in doing so, might provide some context for our own lives. (Full review coming up on HS.com next week)
-Building Stories by Chris Ware
A small, preview graphic novel, the full size novel will be available this fall. An interesting piece that was originally a magazine comic strip for the New York Times Sunday Magazine. It is in sort of a retro comics style (they remind me of safety illustrations) that show the mundane life of a woman in the suburbs.
There’s no narrative to speak of, there is no dialog (only sound effects) and you can take each strip in whatever context you’d like, as there’s no real overarching premise. In one strip she’s walking down a flight of stairs using a cane, in another she’s carrying a load with no problems.
It’d make a nice coffeetable piece as a novel, and it provides some nice perspective on every day life, but as a comic it doesn’t do much for me. Many comics get by well on a lack of narrative or dialog, but not usually both.
-TellTale’s “The Walking Dead: Episode 2”
Excellent turn for TellTale and a signal that they are back to producing quality games after a rough past few years. While the overarching tale of the dairy farm is hackneyed and full of cliches, almost all the decisions are gripping, and characters really do take into account things that you did in the previous episode. The timed conversations and action bars give you a real sense of immediacy and urgency, and when you do something “wrong” and realize you can’t go back and fix it, it really does take something out of you.
Some of the characters weren’t quite as fully realized this time out (Kenny, in particular, seems woefully black and white this time out), but the overall narrative takes a big step forward. I can’t recommend the series highly enough even if you’re not a fan of the comics or show. 5/5 (Full review will be up on HS.com soon)
Matt: Top Movies
Dan: Top Games
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/videogames/ref=amb_link_6857402_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1DK8E0QJP0MTASH9Q7R7&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=12http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/videogames/ref=amb_link_6857402_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=1DK8E0QJP0MTASH9Q7R7&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1266825702&pf_rd_i=49699466825702&pf_rd_i=496994 (ignore game cards and accessories)
Laura: Top Books
Note: Books to Review from ComicCon coming soon!
Matt: Top Songs (iTunes)
Dan: Illegal Top Downloads