Weekend Reads

I’ve been watching the Handmaid’s Tale with rapt attention – and the Guardian drops some hints of what it would like to see next season and what made this season work so well and it’s spot on with many of it’s observations but doesn’t give anywhere near enough credit to the cast (and, in particular, it’s leading lady) that manages to make this the most depressing but gripping tale I’ve seen on screen for some time. Game of Thrones is the only other show I watch that tries to explore “every day horror” (although Game of Throne’s era and fantasy elements may make the horrors of war seem like fantastical fiction, most of the horror of the show is, in fact, human decisions and the impact of war)- the rest of my TV I deliberately stick to is far happier, lighter stuff (Glow, You, Me, Her and Fargo are all on my playlist at the moment and are all excellent watches).

If you want something longer to watch – the answer is almost certainly not the Emjoi movie. The good news is that even although the movie itself sounds appalling, the reviews are immensely entertaining. It sounds like the Big Sick, instead, is the movie to watch. Unfortunately I’m traveling so will be away from the big screen for some time- hopefully I’ll catch this when it comes out on DVD.

For gaming, Sonic the Hedgehog is compared to… Lorde’s Green Light – and is spot on. Sonic is a classic game idea that sounds like it just shouldn’t work and yet, in a weird way, it just does. With reviews of Pyre coming in, I wonder if this article hints at the bigger problem with songs and games like this – how to subvert expectations and “the science” of good design and still rope players in – I’m intrigued to try Pyre all the more now.

On the geeky side, Secplicity has a breakdown of some Python code for managing your Watchguard firewalls (although they touch on the topic of severless I’ve mentioned before, there isn’t much in there (although the link to this intro to the topic is great)).

Tracking Jeff Bezo’s wealth graphically is interesting although it’s just as interesting to see the trajectory of Zuckerberg- although it’ll be interesting to see who’s legacy lasts the longest and has the greatest positive impact on the world in the long run. My Echo doesn’t get a lot of use these days except as a talking clock and light switch, but the idea and potential for these devices to me remains intriguing (I’ve started writing an Echo app and suspect (whilst it certainly won’t by my app!) there is potential for a killer app in this market space that will drive already OK sales for this field into the stratosphere).

Talking of audio gadgets, people are lamenting the demise of the traditional iPod  – I always coveted a hard-drive based iPod with Click Wheel but never got one – although I did succumb to the “smart watch like” model and a Touch (won in a competition)- although neither of these models were great and were crushed by the single purpose device that is the modern smartphone- I’m none to surprised these products are gone now, but it’s interesting to think how they helped open up the market for smart phones.

The card techniques demonstrated in this video of Franco Pascali are awesome- take 4 minutes out to watch cards move in ways you wouldn’t expect and listen to a emotional walk through of what “passion” and learning sounds like – it may sound like an advert at times (and the production method certainly lean in to this) but it’s still a neat video.

On the politics side – David Pell (you’ll see a big source of my daily reads) is spot on about the things we can learn in difficult times – namely, who we are and what we care about.




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