Samsung. Fixing what’s not broken.®

Engadget – Samsung Galaxy S11 renders show an even more complicated camera array (my emphasis):

Reputed leaker @onleaks has unveiled new renders of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S11 that show the selfie camera shifted from the right side to the center. The images, created by 91 Mobile, also show a new rear camera array, a screen that’s more curved than the Galaxy S10, new button positions and more. The renders are based on a “very reliable and first level industry source,” according to @onleaks.

If everything is accurate (and that’s a big “if,” given that Galaxy S11 isn’t due to be released until next year), then the new camera position will likely be welcomed by buyers. As it stands now, taking selfies with the S10 can be a bit tricky due to the offset camera position.

Fragile, alf-baked folding phones that don’t fit in your pocket, front-facing cameras that don’t point at your face.

What the fuck you doin’ over there in South Korea, Samsung?

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Product

“the end game of fame is always sales”

The Atlantic – Marie Kondo Goes Full Goop:

Like Gwyneth Paltrow’s luxury-wellness emporium, Goop, KonMari also occasionally veers bizarrely pseudoscientific. Air fresheners promise to inspire motivation or romance. A rose quartz comes with a tuning fork to bonk against it, “to amplify the healing properties of crystals.” Look closely, and you’ll see evidence that the student might one day become the teacher. Goop sells $80 gem-containing water bottles, claiming that the crystals imbue the bottles’ contents with good vibes. Kondo also sells a gem-containing bottle, and it costs $98.

It’s ballsy to encourage people to throw out their possessions only to turn around and sell them replacements. Despite the profound irony, though, Kondo’s pivot from decluttering Svengali to tchotchke retailer isn’t particularly surprising. She has muscled her way to legitimate celebrity status in America, and in 2019 the end game of fame is always sales.

Well played, Kondo. There are suckers born every second.

She’ll make some good cash with her bullshit.

Categories:

Consumer

Metaphors

Fast Company: Apple built a $1 trillion empire on two metaphors. One is breaking:

That’s how metaphors work: Once their underlying logic becomes manifest, we forget that they were ever there. No one remembers that before the steering wheel in a car, there were tillers, and that tillers made for a natural comparison when no one drove cars and far more people had piloted a boat. The metaphor disappeared once driving cars became common. In digesting new technologies, we climb a ladder of metaphors, and each rung helps us step up to the next. Our prior assumptions lend us confidence about how a new technology works. Over time, we find ourselves farther and farther from the rungs we started with, so that we eventually leave them behind, like so many tiller-inspired steering wheels. Or like the various metaphors—hyperlink, browser, search engine—that taught Westerners how to use the World Wide Web.

I wrote about this ‘disappearing metaphor’ problem back in 2009:

Fine. As long as we have our living analogue ancestors around, our iconography can stay in place and mutate when some of them become extinct. We get it. Let’s stretch this out to it’s logical conclusion – there is no interface. We become the interface. The interface becomes us.

We’ll reach a point in the future where what Mr. Dawes is saying does come to be. People will no longer understand that bell telephone means ‘call someone’. Phones will become implants and we’ll simply say a person’s name to our interfaceless voice recognition system. We have HUDs in jets and cars, is it really a stretch to image an HUD eye implant?

Picture an iPhone without the iPhone.

It will be a strange, new world once we fuse with our devices.

Categories:

Interface

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“products manufactured for immediate consumption”

In a New York Times opinion piece Martin Scorsese breaks down why Marvel movies aren’t cinema:

In the past 20 years, as we all know, the movie business has changed on all fronts. But the most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk. Many films today are perfect products manufactured for immediate consumption. Many of them are well made by teams of talented individuals. All the same, they lack something essential to cinema: the unifying vision of an individual artist. Because, of course, the individual artist is the riskiest factor of all.

I’m certainly not implying that movies should be a subsidized art form, or that they ever were. When the Hollywood studio system was still alive and well, the tension between the artists and the people who ran the business was constant and intense, but it was a productive tension that gave us some of the greatest films ever made — in the words of Bob Dylan, the best of them were “heroic and visionary.”

What a thoughtfully written piece. And he’s correct.

In the same way that Dan Brown’s books aren’t literature, no, Marvel movies aren’t cinema.

Categories:

Film

They were drowned out.

A UFC bout might have looked like a safe space for Trump. Here’s why it wasn’t:

The booing began immediately. The music on the loudspeakers was turned up, either to herald Trump’s arrival or to stifle the crowd’s displeasure in reaction to it, but the sound of those boos was overwhelming. A few Trump fans scattered throughout the room cheered, but they were drowned out. Three rows down, a young couple held up a sign that said “Impeach and Remove.” There was no introduction like there had been at the World Series last week, no sense of ceremony or occasion, no video of the president and his sons on the Jumbotron, no “Lock him up” chants — but for a moment, the environment, already full of alcohol and flush with three hours of fights and charged for more, felt volatile.

This is why Trump continues to hold rallies – they’re the only places where people aren’t booing him.

Categories:

Sports, Tromp

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In the Mood for Love

Last night I watched In the Mood for Love directed by Wong Kar-wai. The MP4 file I had did not have subtitles, so all I could do was infer what was happening based on the actors expressions. That and drool over the cinematography. And incredible color. It’s one of the most beautifully shot movies I’ve ever seen.

Hat tip to Anthony Bourdain (S11 E05 of Parts Unknown).

In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love In the Mood For Love

Categories:

Film, Image

Money Priorities

Gizmodo: WeWork Delaying Mass Layoffs Because It Can’t Afford Severance:

WeWork, the company that is either a transformative way of life or a dangerously overleveraged real estate company posing as a cultish tech firm, is planning on laying off thousands of employees.

… Just as soon as it can scrape up the cash for severance costs, anyhow.

Earlier on Monday, reports indicated that WeWork investor SoftBank was preparing a $5 billion bailout package that may give it 70 percent or higher control of the company at a valuation of $8 billion, a catastrophic fall from WeWork’s prior claims to be worth $47 billion. (As of just a few weeks ago, WeWork was still hoping for a valuation in the $20 billion range.) Business Insider later reported that staff received emails indicating there will soon be layoffs at the company; according to another report from the Wall Street Journal, sources say that thousands of people are slated to lose jobs but that the decision had been delayed because WeWork has only “weeks” of money left and can’t afford to pay severance. The paper noted that SoftBank’s offer would cover buying “more than $1 billion of stock from existing investors and employees.”

But wait! What about founder Adam Neumann, the CEO dude who was asked to step down in September? Does he get anything?

I’m glad you asked:

However, the details around Neumann’s payoff were dramatically under-reported as the journal reports that Softbank will provide the former CEO with around $1.7 Billion as part of the deal (and extend a $500 million line of credit to the kabbalah follower).

SoftBank can’t scrounge up the severence cash, but they sure as shit can get founder Adam Neumann $1.7 billion. Got it. Thanks.

Categories:

Business, Finance

Bourdain’s stuff

The other night a friend told me iGavel Auctions is auctioning off Property from the Collection of Anthony Bourdain. It started on October 9th and runs through October 30th.

From the website:

This auction showcases nearly 200 lots that Anthony Bourdain personally acquired during his life and it includes some of his most valued possessions: artwork, books, home and decorative furnishings, knives, wrist watches, apparel and more. A significant portion of the proceeds will benefit the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. The scholarship was established –in the spirit of Bourdain himself–to support CIA students pursuing a semester abroad or taking part in one of the college’s global cuisines and cultures international programs. The remaining proceeds will go to the estate of Anthony Bourdain. The sale is divided into categories that reflect Bourdain’s multifarious interests: film, art, cooking, travel, writing and his endless observations of world culture.

It feels a bit weird looking though all of Tony’s stuff, like I’m snooping around his home, but that’s also what makes it so interesting. He was a creative, globe-trotting, cultural sponge so it’s no surprise he surrounded himself with interesting cultural artifacts.

Here’s a few things that caught my eye.

Bourdain's Vinyl

Lizard Lounge by Ralph Steadman

Bourdain's Books

Bourdain's Books

Bourdain's Books

Bourdain's Books

Bourdain's Books

Categories:

Art, Books, Image

Trump’s kleptocracy

John Gruber on shithead’s kleptocracy:

We’ve now reached the point where Trump’s kleptocracy is just out in the open. Any true believer in democratic norms would agree that the same ethical standards — not to mention laws — apply equally to everyone, regardless of their party. Democrats still believe this; there’s no way Democrats would stand for a president from their own party who used the office to line their own pockets. Nor would they stand for a president who used foreign policy as a cudgel to persuade other countries to open investigations into the president’s political rivals here in the U.S. Republicans’ continuing support for Trump is a rejection of democracy and the rule of law. It really is that simple.

Serious question: Shouldn’t the other G-7 nations refuse to attend? Attending — and spending their nation’s money at a Trump resort — will make them complicit in Trump’s kleptocracy. This is as much a violation of ethical norms — and the Constitution’s emoluments clause — as it would be if the summit were held at a neutral location but the other world leaders were expected to hand Trump envelopes stuffed with cash. Even if Trump were willing to foot the bill for the entire summit out of his own pocket — which, let’s face it, is not his style — it would still be grossly inappropriate and illegal on the grounds of the event’s significant promotional value alone.

We’re way past ‘three strikes and you’re out’.

Categories:

Politics

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