Angry Robot

Dreams, discernment, and Google Reader

the thoughts of Chris Weatherell, Reader’s creator, from a few months ago (via)

Neal Pollack on rebounding from massive hype and six-figure deals to online publishing

A surprisingly candid retelling of his surprisingly rocky career.

Super Feedpocalypse

As I mentioned in the links, Google Reader is being “retired”.

(Aside: I love retired and “sunsetted”, but at some point could we also try “horse doctored”, “old dogged”, and “behind barned”?)

Perhaps there aren’t that many of us any more who rely on feeds. I understand the twitter and that other, blue-thumbed, oversharing service are often used to “curate” and “discover” links to web sites. But I’m guessing there are a few million of us diehards still, all thinking over our options right now.

Option one for me is to try using Fever again. Pluses: it syncs with Reeder, and I already bought it. Minuses: it’s probably not for you unless you’re in the habit of installing software on servers.

Option two appears to be Feedly, which has built a clone of the Google Reader API, which theoretically means that all the apps that used GReader as a back end could easily switch to Feedly. However: the developers of said apps would have to do that first. Also, Feedly looks like another free service with no apparent business model, which I’m guessing means ads or data mining at some point. That or a sudden shutdown.

There are some more options and thoughts here. I agree that it’s a good thing for the category; Google basically did a Microsoft Internet Explorer with the feed reading market, wrecking anyone’s chance of making money by being huge and free. Let’s hope that readers find new options and are willing to pay some money to create some sustainable businesses.

Anyway, given this news, I suggest we bloggists start to get worried about Feedburner, another critical piece of infrastructure that is free, niche, owned by Google, and hasn’t seen an update in ages.

Revelation and the Gnospels

This Seminar about Long-Term Thinking is worth listening to. It’s from Elaine Pagels, who has written books about the Book of Revelation and the Gnostic gospels.

“The Book of Revelation is war literature,” Pagels explained. John of Patmos was a war refugee, writing sixty years after the death of Jesus and twenty years after 60,000 Roman troops crushed the Jewish rebellion in Judea and destroyed Jerusalem.

Jesus had prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem, so its occurrence was not just a horror to early Christians, although it most certainly was that. It also presented the possibility that if he had been right about that, perhaps his other prophecies would also come true. Maybe he was coming back, and if so… well, cue hallucinatory revenge fantasy.

Pagels also talks a bit about the apocryphal gospels, a subject I love. In super short form, the New Testament originally had many more books in it, such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. The early Church, starting with Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria in 367 began to canonize the New Testament, excluding such works. Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, the excluded books often painted a different picture of Jesus than what has become common today. The Gospel of Mary quotes Jesus as saying, “Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.” In the Gospel of Thomas, he says “That (resurrection) which you are awaiting has (already) come, but you do not recognize it.” He presents spiritual awakening as an interior and personal journey, one not requiring a bureaucracy of church representatives.

Anyway, it’s a good listen, and a glance into a fascinating world.

Trailer for a new webseries co-created by a Picnicface alum, Mark Little. (thanks y)

Google, destroyer of ecosystems

“It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.”

A global trade in expensive white powder

“The Netherlands has of course long been a hub in the international illegal drugs trade, but the white powder currently being exported to China on such a scale that it leads to local shortages is not quite the powder you’re thinking of: infant milk formula.”

Google Reader to be Killed in July

Wow. (via)

Roku 3 review

Sounds pretty great. Doesn’t seem to be available in The True North yet.

A Talking Cat!?! is The Room of anthropomorphic animal movies featuring Eric Roberts

Sounds pretty hilarrible (I really have to stop with the portmanteau words!):

<blockquote>        <p>From the moment Roberts’ narration kicks in, A Talking Cat<img src="?" alt="" /> engenders the intense cognitive dissonance suggested by its title. The brain rebels and adamantly refuses to fire the synapses necessary to create the illusion that the voice on the soundtrack somehow comes out of a cat and not a grizzled, angry old character actor. </p>     </blockquote>

NASA Rover Finds Conditions Once Suited for Ancient Life on Mars

sci-fi was right again! (via)

Accidental Tech Podcast

A new tech show with John Siracusa, Marco Arment and Casey Liss.

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia

RU Sirius on The Verge. I used to love Mondo 2000 back in high school.

Hypercritical: The Case for a True Mac Pro Successor

If documentaries want to be treated like movies, they need to behave like them

Scott Tobias:

<blockquote>        <p>The thinking that documentaries need merely to seek or present some kind of truth, regardless of how those truths are presented, strikes me as dated at a time when the elasticity of the format is constantly being tested. Why should documentaries be forgiven any more than fiction films for failing to use the medium expressively or dynamically? </p>    </blockquote>

Eric Wareheim + Leland Palmer fuck yeah

Espresso Vivace Roasteria Article Archives

GOLDMINE. I have been espresso-nerding out of late and this is the Lost Library of Cappuccino Alexandria I was looking for. More on this later.

How Disney Bought Lucasfilm—and Its Plans for 'Star Wars'


Future Photography

With regards to Google Glass, Adam Mathes writes:

The idea of a camera that is always ready to take a photo of exactly what you are looking at seems so powerful to me, with the capacity to change the way we think about photography and videography.

And it’s not hard to take that a step further and imagine an always on camera that has a buffer of the last few minutes — with a single action you mark that frame of time to review later and it’s saved.

That’s the key, there. Saying “OK Glass, take a picture” is too clunky. But if I tapped on my watch whenever I wanted to save something that happened in the last five minutes, I could see that working. Google Glass right now is a bizarre thing, a step towards making computers less visible that actually makes them more so.

Interesting to think of photography as one of those jobs that humans just won’t do in the future. We’ll only “curate” machine photography, and even that I expect will be increasingly automated. “Save any footage of my baby laughing, and in a month, edit it together and post it to whatever hideous Mega-Facebook all the cyborgs are using.”

Hugo Chavez: 1954-2013

this writeup from the CBC (via Ram) is much better than the coverage in the Globe, which was pretty biased.

Contender: The Justin Trudeau Story

an excerpt on the HuffPo from a book about Trudeau. (thanks y) A bit puffy but it makes me wonder how the Conservatives will deal with him – he’s a full-on celeb, whether people realize it yet or not. This poll indicates that if the election was held today, he’d win a majority. But of course the smear machine hasn’t started yet.

Call Me Maybe mashed up with NIN's Head Like a Hole

does what it says on the box.

How Toronto got its name

Via @retrontario

The Singularity Already Happened; We Got Corporations

I’ve always wondered if The Terminator wasn’t really about corporations (via)

Real Racing 3 is a brilliant game crippled by EA’s greed

“You could buy an Xbox 360 and a PS3 for the money it would take to see all that Real Racing 3 has to offer.”