» It’s back to school time!

Turning This Car Around goes back to school. Not literally, of course. It’s the kids who are going back to school. Thank god.

» ‘Apple to hold press event on September 9′

Interestingly, it’s at the Flint Center in Cupertino. David Smith points out why that’s interesting:

Relative seating capacity of Apple Event venues:

 Campus Town Hall: 301

Yerba Buena Center: 757

Flint Center: 2,405

Of course, I still didn’t get an invitation but apparently a lot of other people did.

I’m not bitter. You’re the one who’s bitter.

» ‘The End of Gamers’

Dan Golding:

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

(Via Ryan Bateman.)

» ‘Trolls drive Anita Sarkeesian out of her house to prove misogyny doesn’t exist’

Adi Robertson for The Verge:

Since the project launched on Kickstarter way back in 2012, the gaming community has been treated to an incessant, deeply paranoid campaign against Tropes vs. Women generally and Sarkeesian personally. This includes a flood of violent comments and emails, videos documenting ways in which she’s not a “real gamer,” a game in which you can punch her in the face, and a proposed documentary devoted to exposing the “lies” and “campaign of misinformation” from what is, again, a collection of opinions about video games.

I posted a sarcastic tweet about these people in which I included Anita Sarkeesian’s handle and was immediately concern trolled by someone. Think about that: there are people out there checking every reference to her Twitter handle to argue that she’s wrong, that misogyny in games is clearly false because sometimes women are the heroes so that makes up for all the times they’re raped or murdered in a sexual context.

If you’d like to, you can contribute to her series here. I did.

» Amazon has sold no more than 35,000 Fire phones

According to an estimate by Charles Arthur based on data from Chitika and ComScore. Amazon chart with no axes labeled shows line rocketing up from zero.

» My Wife Would Not Say She’s Been Lucky

In this episode of Turning This Car Around, we talk about in-laws. Please note that members of my family and my wife’s family are contractually forbidden from listening to this episode.

» Amazon to acquire Twitch

Re/code’s Peter Kafka and Eric Johnson:

Amazon is buying videogame streaming site Twitch for more than $1 billion to edge past Netflix and Youtube in a race for younger viewers, according to a source.

Google had been in negotiations but they apparently didn’t work out. I wonder how often acquiring things to “get” a younger audience works out. If you don’t change it, you don’t get the value. If you do change it, the kids smell that like an elevator fart and jump off at the next floor.

I know. You read this site for my great analogies. I hear ya.

» Sponsor: ImaginMe

My thanks ImaginMe, a great-looking Kickstarter project with a modest fundraising goal, for sponsoring the Very Nice Web Site RSS feed this week. After checking out the video, I kicked in. I hope you will, too.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
What if you could read your children fairytales about themselves?

ImaginMe is the world’s first interactive storytelling app for children, that allows you to create a 3D animated character of your child and make them the hero of every story.

The idea for ImaginMe was inspired by my daughter Zoe. Like most 4-year-olds, she’s obsessed with being a princess. As a dad, I’ve always been committed to raising a strong, self-reliant, creative child who will always question the status quo and follow her dreams. But the influence from media giants like Disney and Barbie have an incredible hold on my little girl’s dreams.

I decided to create something, a tool, that would ignite my daughter’s ambition and curiosity and enable her to see herself in ways that she wouldn’t get from mainstream media. ImaginMe was born.

If you believe in make-believe, visit our Kickstarter page and lend your support to this new and powerful idea. Thank you.

Sponsored via Syndicate Ads

» Once, all was dark

Quartz’s Leo Mirani on Michael Harris, author of “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection” which, thankfully, is more an ode than a fist-shaking diatribe against technology:

“If you were born before 1985, then you know what life is like both with the internet and without. You are making the pilgrimage from Before to After,” he writes.

In boxes in various places around my house I have letters. Letters I wrote home from camp when I was a kid, letters I wrote from my year abroad in Japan. It’s very weird to realize both that such long transit of communications was once needed and that it’s now gone. For now, the human race has lost that sense of distance. We might get it back one day, though, if we ever leave the planet.

Man, I am so baked right now.

Not your media (Corrected)

[See correction below]

Streaming is how things are done these days. Netflix would rather stream you a movie than send you a DVD. Apple lets you buy a movie or show and stream it without having to download. Wave of the future! Save yourself some drive space! Implement a Japanese-style just-in-time inventory for your media!

Maybe I’m old, maybe I’m paranoid, but I don’t trust things. I don’t trust my WiFi to be consistent, I don’t trust my cable provider to always be up and always provide good bandwidth and I certainly don’t trust the content companies. And with good reason.

Case in point: The Legend of Korra.

This is Nickelodeon’s follow-up show to Avatar: The Last Airbender. It’s pretty good and my son has watched almost all of it. And, well, so have I. Recently Nickelodeon decided to stop airing the show and to distribute the episodes online. I guess as part of this, they decided to pull all the episodes from selling on iTunes (although it is still available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video for some reason). If you bought it and wanted to stream it, too bad. It’s gone. [Note: you can still download the episodes (h/t to Brian Wiggins).]

I download everything so I have the show. But if you didn’t and you email Apple about it, they’ll tell you to contact Viacom, which owns Nickelodeon. Well, no, I bought the show from you. Make a fuss and they might refund your purchase, but that’s not the way this should work.

To quote Nick Fury from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, “See, it’s stuff like this that gives me trust issues.”

ADDED: Speaking of The Winter Soldier, I purchased that from iTunes and it comes with Extras (a gag reel, deleted scenes and some behind-the-scenes videos). The movie gets downloaded, but the Extras do not. They’re streaming-only. So if Apple ever loses that contract, I’ll be out those and there’s nothing to be done about it.

CORRECTION: It turns out that while you can no longer stream the episodes, they are still available for download if you already purchased them from the Purchased link on the iTunes Store front page. Or, at least, they may be. One reader who says he purchased them says he does not see them available for download.