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Andbox CEO

from DIGIDAY

by ALEXANDER LEE

James Frey

Prominent New York City esports organization Andbox has hired filmmaker, businessman and controversial writer James Frey as its first CEO. In doing so, the organization hopes to continue its evolution from a competitive gaming team into a wide-ranging entertainment brand.

Andbox is the largest esports organization based in New York, fielding teams in Overwatch, Valorant and Call of Duty in addition to a roster of dedicated content creators. The org was founded by Sterling.VC, a venture fund under the umbrella of former New York Mets parent company Sterling Equities. Since its foundation in 2017, Andbox has mostly focused on its efforts as a competitor in some of the major franchised esports leagues — but over the past year, the company has increasingly borrowed from the entertainment industry playbook to produce its own video and podcast content.

Since joining Andbox in October 2021, Frey has largely worked from the shadows while familiarizing himself with both the company and the esports ecosystem in which it operates. “There’s been a gargantuan learning curve for me,” he said. “I’m not going to come in here and pretend that I’m a know-it-all about esports because I’m not.” With three months of esports-industry experience under his belt, Frey is ready for his debut as the esports organization’s front-facing CEO.

[ click to continue reading at DIGIDAY ]

Posted on January 11, 2022 by Editor

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Always fun…

Posted on January 10, 2022 by Editor

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Except for the whole eating-people part…

from The Seattle Times

In 1973, ‘Soylent Green’ envisioned the world in 2022. It got a lot right.

By George Bass / The Washington Post

The year is 2022. Our overpopulated planet is experiencing catastrophic climate change, megacorporations have excessive power over the government, and clean living is a luxury only the 1 percent can afford.

It may read like a scan of the front-page headlines, but these predictions were laid out half a century ago in the dystopian film “Soylent Green.”

Hundreds of films have attempted to visualize the future; most didn’t do a great job. “Freejack” (1992) imagined widespread time-traveling assassins by 2009, while box office bomb “The Postman” (1997) predicted 2013 would be post-apocalyptic.

But about 50 years ago, Hollywood’s prognosticators seemed to hit on the truth.

In 1972, the “Planet of the Apes” franchise released its fourth film, “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.” It’s set in the year 1991 and imagines Earth in the grip of a lethal pandemic. Draw your own AIDS/SARS/Zika/covid comparisons.

But “Soylent Green,” released in 1973 and based on a novel by Harry Harrison, was even more eerily prescient. It’s set in the then-far-off future of 2022. It stars Charlton Heston – known for playing Moses in “The Ten Commandments” (1956) and for being the five-time president of the National Rifle Association – as Thorn, a New York police detective. And the planet he inhabits looks a lot like ours.

[ click to continue reading at The Seattle Times ]

Posted on January 9, 2022 by Editor

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Plastic Surgeryverse

from The New York Post

Metaverse clothing, travel, plastic surgery: Experts predict life in 2030

By John Mac Ghlionn and Brad Hamilton

In the metaverse you’ll be able to swim with the sharks, tour the Parthenon in Athens, or go skydiving — all from your VR glasses. And “you” can be anyone you want, even LeBron James or a jaguar.
In the metaverse you’ll be able to swim with the sharks, tour the Parthenon in Athens, or go skydiving — all from your VR glasses. And “you” can be anyone you want, even LeBron James or a jaguar. NY Post photo composite

Imagine scaling Everest, swimming with hammerheads or skydiving over the Grand Canyon — without ever leaving your living room. All will supposedly be possible in the metaverse, a new level of virtual reality being developed by the world’s top tech gurus.

“I want to walk through the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin, to turn the pages of the Book of Kells, and I’ll be able to do that in VR,” said British futurist Andrew Curry, referring to the 800-year-old gospel scrolls housed at Ireland’s top university.

In its fully realized form, the metaverse promises to offer true-to-life sights, sounds and even smells, where a tour of ancient Greece or a visit to a Seoul café can happen from your home, Curry said. Decked out with full-spectrum VR headsets, smart clothing and tactile-responsive haptic gloves, the at-home traveler can touch the Parthenon in Athens or taste the rich foam of a Korean dalgona coffee.

[ click to continue reading at The New York Post ]

Posted on January 8, 2022 by Editor

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Gravity Slaves

from Study Finds

Gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon impact behavior of all organisms — even humans

by Chris Melore

cat moon
(Credit: Pixabay from Pexels)

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Maybe there really is something to the stories that strange things happen during a full moon. A new study finds that all biological organisms, from plants, to animals, to human beings, all have a connection to the gravitational forces coming the Sun and Moon.

Researchers from Brazil and the United Kingdom say their work reinforces the historical link between gravitational tides and how they affect the behavior of all life on Earth.

“All matter on Earth, both live and inert, experiences the effects of the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon expressed in the form of tides. The periodic oscillations exhibit two daily cycles and are modulated monthly and annually by the motions of these two celestial bodies. All organisms on the planet have evolved in this context. What we sought to show in the article is that gravitational tides are a perceptible and potent force that has always shaped the rhythmic activities of these organisms,” study author Cristiano de Mello Gallep says in a media release.

[ click to continue reading at Study Finds ]

Posted on January 7, 2022 by Editor

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Moneyverse

from The New Yorker

Money in the Metaverse

In a virtual world full of virtual goods, finance could get weird.

By Anna Wiener

Animation of a quarter
Illustration by Nicholas Konrad / The New Yorker

Years ago, while on vacation in the Northwest, my husband and I rented a room in the home of a middle-aged couple, one of whom had recently retired. The house was old, beautiful, and cozily laden with objects that signalled domestic inertia. It sat on a lush, wild sprawl of farmland that immediately inspired fantasies of leaving San Francisco and our tech jobs, foraging for mushrooms, administering to septic systems, and turning over soil.

One morning over breakfast, conversation shifted to our host’s retirement. He was glad to have more time at home with his wife and their dog. He was baking a lot. He was spending hours playing FarmVille.

“FarmVille?” I asked, half awake, spreading honey over a slice of toast. Through the picture window, we could see mist rising from the evergreens. The dog nosed around in the vegetable beds. FarmVille, our host confirmed pleasantly—it was a game, a farming simulator, played by tens of millions of people on Facebook—before asking if we might be interested in some eggs. We were. The eggs were fresh. The sun was emerging. Our host seemed very happy with his lot.

It is hard to know what anyone else really wants, and I think of this man often. I thought of him most recently while watching Mark Zuckerberg deliver an hour-long presentation on Facebook’s rebrand—it is now called Meta—and its newfound focus on building the “metaverse”: a vast and integrated virtual world. Watching Zuckerberg stroll through a blandly monied virtual set, appointed, as if from a drop-down menu, with books and trinkets and unused-looking sports equipment, I wondered if there were people who wanted this, or would find this vision exciting. Then I reminded myself: FarmVille. I think it is useful, in attempts to forecast the future, to be humble about the enormous mystery of other people’s desires.

In recent months, the metaverse has been described as a kind of online place, combining virtual reality, augmented reality, the Internet, entertainment experiences, gaming, and remote work. The key idea is that, no matter what you’re doing in the metaverse, or where you are, your identities and assets will be multi-platform and transportable: you’ll be the same “you” at work and at leisure. As the concept of the metaverse has snaked into the discourse, predictions about it have seemed mainly to reflect the desires of the corporations that are setting the terms of the conversation. (The term “metaverse” itself, which has its origins in dystopian science fiction, has been aggressively promoted by companies with worlds to sell.) Reading about the metaverse, I’ve often had the uneasy feeling that I am taking something far too seriously—giving credence to the wrong things, internalizing the wrong logic—simply because a small number of world-historically wealthy people have told me to.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on January 6, 2022 by Editor

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BlackBerry Gone

from Bloomberg

Your BlackBerry Dies Today: End of an Era for Iconic Handset

By Vlad Savov

Day Two Of Mobile World Congress 2015
A BlackBerry Classic smartphone.Photographer: Pau Barrena/Bloomberg

BlackBerry devices running the original operating system and services will no longer be supported after Jan. 4, marking the end of an era for the storied device that catapulted work into the mobile era.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry Ltd., the company formerly known as Research In Motion whose signature handset in the 1990s came to embody working on the move, said handsets running its in-house software “will no longer be expected to reliably function” after Tuesday, according to its end-of-life page.

[ click to continue reading at Bloomberg ]

Posted on January 5, 2022 by Editor

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Sutton Hoo

from artnet

Archaeologists Say They Have Found the Anglo-Saxon Workshop Where the Treasures of Sutton Hoo Were Forged

Student volunteers assisted in the historic find.

by Sarah Cascone

Volunteers from Suffolk Young Carers excavating the cellar of an Anglo-Saxon hut at Rendlesham. Photo ⒸSuffolk County Council.
Volunteers from Suffolk Young Carers excavating the cellar of an Anglo-Saxon hut at Rendlesham. Photo ⒸSuffolk County Council.

Archaeologists in Rendlesham, Suffolk, have uncovered a seventh-century workshop that may have been home to the craftspeople who made the treasures of nearby Sutton Hoo, widely considered the greatest archaeological find in U.K. history.

Rendlesham is just three miles away from the early medieval cemeteries at Sutton Hoo, and those buried there “probably lived at Rendlesham,” a Suffolk County Council spokesman told the Daily Mail. “There is also evidence of craft working at Rendlesham, so it is possible they may have produced some of the objects discovered in the Sutton Hoo burial grounds.”

Sutton Hoo’s legendary discovery in 1939 was the subject of the 2020 Netflix film The Dig, starring Carey Mulligan as landowner Edith Pretty, who hired archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to excavate the mysterious earthen mounds on her property.

[ click to continue reading at artnet ]

Posted on January 4, 2022 by Editor

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Everyverse

from The New York Times

Everybody Into the Metaverse! Virtual Reality Beckons Big Tech.

Tech’s biggest companies are joining game makers and start-ups in pursuit of an immersive digital world that some have been working on for years.

By Cade Metz

Kasia Bojanowska

The metaverse, one of the most buzzy terms of the tech industry, could be many things. It could be a virtual world where imagination is the only limit. Or it could be a less fantastical place for holding business meetings without leaving home.

For the tech titans getting behind this big idea, the metaverse could be something more tangible: the next great way to make piles of money.

After 15 years of riding a boom in mobile computing that has turned tech’s biggest companies into giants worth trillions of dollars, the power brokers of the industry believe that controlling the doors into the metaverse and virtual reality could be the centerpiece of a new business, like smartphones and apps or personal computers and web browsers in the 1990s.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on January 3, 2022 by Editor

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Space Ramen

from The Debrief

RAMEN NOODLES ARE THE PERFECT SPACE FOOD

by CRISTINA GOMEZ

Yakisoba Noodles for Astronauts
Instant flavored noodles, and rice meals for astronauts. Image Credit: Sora / Nissin

Besides being a staple of “College Life” globally, instant noodles in their many varieties are easily one of the most popular and convenient  ‘on-the-run’ meals that get turned to when the hunger kicks in. And now they’re on the menu for those in orbit on the International Space Station. Nissin is producing UFO brand Yakisoba noodles for astronauts, with ‘space ramen’ as a tasty instant meal alternative to be eaten alongside the best view of our planet from space.

Japan ranks as the fifth nation of the highest consumers of instant noodles, and even has August 25 pegged as an annual “Instant Ramen Day.” It’s on that day that it’s encouraged to remember August 25, 1958, as the day that Nissin Foods released the now famous Chicken Ramen, the world’s first instant noodle product that would go on to be a favorite in kitchens, restaurants, cafes, college canteens, and even camping sites, everywhere.

The ‘instant noodles’ meal exploded in popularity and very quickly came with an ever-increasing amount of flavor options. It was cheap to buy, simple to prepare, and was good with practically any flavor variation you could think of. At the time, Japan was growing economically, experiencing a boom in productivity and profitability known as the “high increase economic miracle.” Basically, the cities were swelling with workers coming in from rural areas and in everything from consumer electronics to vehicle sales and exports, Japan was in an explosive phase of economic growth where fast food such as instant noodles would power workers on long shifts with minimum downtime due to eating breaks.

[ click to continue reading at The Debrief ]

Posted on January 2, 2022 by Editor

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Happy 2022!

GOODBYE
WORST
YEAR
EVER

Posted on January 1, 2022 by Editor

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