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Human technologies never die: somewhere, somehow, a small group of dedicated enthusiasts is chatting away and building - in some quiet and not easily accessible intersection of the web, the most implausible and archaic piece of tech you'd ever choose to think about. You name it, somebody's building it. Not that this cumulative, feverish and uncoordinated effort makes any visible difference in the grand stack of things, but it matters and it should be acknowledged that whatever we got going on in the front is being actively, even if diagonally, supported by layers of unused and unsuccessful pieces of material information, precariously tied together by the irrepressible frenzy of their human custodians.

So whoever is talking about three-dimensional cybernetic space as something that happens inside a screen should be ignored, or pardoned. Want the hot new thing? Focus on the interoperable bridges, the narrow pathways, the forbidden gates. Follow the attrition until all you see is Taiwanese fairy dust and then keep going, what you will find are the elements of the emergent order already in plain view. A landscape of persistent and ambient connections.

Let us not speak of the demise of systems, and refrain from believing in the fall of empires. All that is about to happen has been predicted, just in the wrong order. 


The Blind Machine is brought to you by the good people at chumbo

Listen to our playlist on Spotify, a careful selection of old & new futures.

Thank you for being here.

Three Apple veterans want to bring motion games to smart TVs

on Sep 05, 2022 08:24 pm

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Four years after being featured during an Apple keynote, Nex is looking to take motion games mainstream: The Bay Area-based startup is getting ready to unveil a number of games that use computer vision to let people control gameplay with their bodies at the Tokyo Game Show later this month. Think Kinect-like play, but with smartphones, iPads and laptop cameras.

Nex also plans to bring those games to smart TVs and streaming devices, and will show its own reference design hardware at IBC in Amsterdam this month. The goal of those efforts is to “transform the living room into a playground,” Nex co-founder and CEO David Lee told me during an exclusive conversation last week.

#294 — Status Games

on Sep 05, 2022 08:24 pm

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Sam Harris speaks with Will Storr about the role that status plays in human life and culture. They talk about the taboo around caring about status, egalitarianism, the perpetual insecurity of status, how we play multiple status games simultaneously, identity, social connection, dominance, virtue, success, status as an evolved mechanism, gossip, status and health, the consequences of humiliation, the role of social media, status and politics, conspiracy thinking, moral panics, status and philanthropy, and other topics.

Deception vs authenticity: Why the metaverse will change marketing forever

on Sep 04, 2022 01:36 pm

Because this is a targeted VPP, others around you would not see the same promotional content. Instead, users near you will encounter different promotional artifacts customized to their profiles.  A teenager might see people drinking a particular brand of soft drink, while a child might see a group of kids playing with a particular toy.  Some of these encounters might be highly stylized, while others will be so accurately integrated into the virtual or augmented world, that they will not be easily distinguished as advertisements. VPPs can therefore be defined as follows:

Virtual Product Placement (VPP) is a simulated product, service, or activity injected into an immersive world (virtual or augmented) on behalf of a paying sponsor such that it appears to the user as an integrated element of the ambient environment.

Microsoft Combat Goggles Win First US Army Approval for Delivery

on Sep 04, 2022 01:33 pm


Microsoft’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS, is expected to provide a “heads-up display” for U.S. ground forces, similar to those for fighter pilots. The system — a customized version of Microsoft’s HoloLens goggles — would let commanders project information onto a visor in front of a soldier’s face and would include features such as night vision.

The Army projects spending as much as $21.9 billion over a decade on Microsoft’s combat goggles, spare parts and support services if all options are exercised.

Babbage: The open-source intelligence war

on Sep 04, 2022 01:31 pm

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Six months have passed since Russia invaded Ukraine. It is arguably the most transparent conflict ever, thanks to publicly available satellite data and social media. How has open-source intelligence (OSINT) shaped the war? The Economist’s defence editor Shashank Joshi examines the technologies behind the OSINT revolution, and how this new era of openness is changing warfare. Alok Jha hosts.

Africa Energy Outlook 2022

on Sep 04, 2022 01:30 pm

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The Africa Energy Outlook 2022 is a new special report from the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook series. It explores pathways for Africa’s energy system to evolve toward achieving all African development goals, including universal access to modern and affordable energy services by 2030 and nationally determined contributions.

The report analyses infrastructure expansion needs, investment requirements, financing options and energy policy priorities. It also explores a shifting fuel mix that supports resilient development, opportunities for new exports, and just transition issues – including energy access, affordability and employment.

How xenobots reshape our understanding of genetics

on Sep 04, 2022 12:36 pm

This view of the cell as a contingent, constructional entity challenges our traditional idea of what a body is, and what it can be. It also opens up some remarkable and even disconcerting possibilities about the prospects of redirecting biology into new shapes and structures. Life suddenly seems more plastic and amenable to being reconfigured by design.

Understanding the contingency and malleability of multicellular form also connects us to our deep evolutionary past, when single-celled organisms first discovered the potential benefits of becoming multicellular. ‘The cell may be the focus of evolution, more than genes or even than the organism,’ says Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo of the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona. Far from the pinnacle of the tree of life, humans become just one of the many things our cells are capable of doing.

Photographer Stéphan Gladieu Documents the Congolese Street Children Turning Waste into Wonder

on Sep 03, 2022 11:36 am

So dramatic, so strong, so visual,” artist Stéphan Gladieu said of his first encounter with the revival of an ancestral folk art movement in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Kinshasa is the capital of Congo but also one of the many places American and European countries send their waste.

Four Seasons brushes off old luxury tropes as part of brand relaunch

on Sep 03, 2022 10:36 am

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The go-big mentality speaks to a few trends in hospitality. The category is trying to recapture the interest of consumers who are eager to get out into the world amid the pandemic reopening, with many taking advantage of a comparatively strong U.S. dollar abroad. Travel marketers expect to spend 27% more on media in the year’s second half than they initially anticipated, according to a recent survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, a jump that could help offset declines in other sectors like automotive.

But the resurgence in media activity means hospitality is again getting competitive after a quiet period. Hilton and IHG Hotel & Resorts have also recently introduced some of their splashiest, most expensive campaigns in years. Meanwhile, traditional players continue to contend with the disruptions caused by home-sharing sites like Airbnb and Vrbo that are popular with young travelers in the millennial and Gen Z set.

Mercedes-Maybach Has Risen Gloriously From the Dead, Again

on Aug 30, 2022 12:39 pm

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The strength and status of the Maybach name remain hazy in current market waters, since it can tend to waft into and out of pop culture. The 113-year-old brand beloved by tycoons and music titans alike has survived years of dormancy punctuated by wild success. But regardless of whether people end up wanting to buy this iteration, I can offer one definitive note: Driving the Mercedes-Maybach S 580 is an affair to remember. Riding as a passenger is even better.

Those are the latest in a long line of coaches from one of the oldest existing auto brands on the market, which became synonymous with speed, power, and prestige after Wilhelm Maybach and his son, Karl, founded it in 1909. As early as the 1920s, Maybachs including the SW 42 featured such newfangled inventions as electric windows.

Places of Power: Ethiopia’s historic Hilton & luxurious Sheraton

on Aug 30, 2022 12:24 pm


At the headquarters of the African Union, there’s a host of secret deals and meetings that take place behind the famed walls of the Hilton and the Sheraton: the two iconic hotels in the capital.


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The Blind Machine is a publication about Pop Culture, Software Studies, Business Strategy, Media Platforms, Algorithmic Management, Game Design, and everything in between.
Copyright © 2022 chumbo, All rights reserved.

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