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Technology and Its Discontents

The Spotify Effect

Music checks in, but it doesn’t check out

Who has made me a stranger to my iTunes music library? Spotify, it is you. Who has made it possible to summon full discographies of interrelated musical artists in a six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon hopscotch that I Just Can’t Stop Doing? It’s you again, Spotify.
Run Jesus Run 10-second Flash game

Technology and Its Discontents

Gamer Christ at Easter Time

He has infinite continues

Everybody likes a revisionist Jesus, tailored for the times. I know I do.
Dark Castle
[click to enlarge]

Technology and Its Discontents

Images from the 1-bit era

We got both kinds of colors here: black and white

Color might be fine for the average video game, but for the truly great, it just gets in the way.

Technology and Its Discontents

King of Demons 95

Back in 1995 the launch of what was possibly the pinnacle of beige-PC lameness was occurring in parallel with the development of one of the most visually demented video games on the face of the earth. Which just goes to prove the maxim that computers can imprison us or they can set us free.

Technology and Its Discontents

Video games too awesome to be real

Except for one

Easy access to paint programs has unleashed a torrent of what-if 8-bit imaginary retro video game awesomeness where time-slipped console development meets films from the past, present and future. Personally, I’d like to see a Super Nintendo THX-1138—which would certainly be less ridiculous than the SNES Home Alone cartridge—but I guess I’ll have to do that one up myself. What I did find out was that there were these clever mock-ups, one of which is actually real. Which one?

Technology and Its Discontents

My terrifying nightmare about segmented file transfer on floppy disks

Last night I had a dream that man in a mask like the one in Zardoz ordered me to retrieve the data from a mysterious computer kept deep in a lightless cavern. The computer is connected via RF modulator to a CRT television set tuned to channel 3. The hard drive, if you want to call it that, consists of two massive bays where removable cartridges about the size of a stack of copy paper are inserted. The keyboard is a loud, clacky one with mechanical switches. There is no mouse.

Technology and Its Discontents

Distracted Devices

No wonder you can’t concentrate on anything

Humans are intensely distracted by their screens. There can be no quibbling about this fact. Some of us hate that, some of us like it and some of us are too distracted to have noticed.
Kilobaud magazine, Feb. 1978: Robert J. Bishop’s TIE fighter shooting game, written in Apple II BASIC.
Awesome digitized image by “B and J Williams”

Technology and Its Discontents

Star Wars … Nothing but Staaaaar Wars

Unlicensed video game goodness from the seventies

For a behemoth media franchise that has spawned SO many video games—some good, many wretched—it may perhaps be hard to imagine a time when there were no Star Wars video games at all.

Technology and Its Discontents

Why you don’t know where anything is

Because they won’t let you find out, that’s why

Computer searching is so awesome now that you can’t find anything without it, even if you wanted to.

Technology and Its Discontents

My old girlfriend ELIZA

“We were discussing you—not me.”

Joseph Weizenbaum’s problem child lives on in your iPhone.
 

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    Mishka Shubaly
    Mishka Shubaly10.4.2016