Finished "Life is Strange" yesterday -- quite the game! I'm a retro-loving point and click adventure nerd, but I was impressed with how well the story was told in 3D. Lovely voice acting, too.
The whole game was on sale for $3 when I got it, but honestly, having played it I can recommend it even at full price if you're not looking for the very best graphics (lip movement in particular is a bit cringey) but just a very moving story.
May write a proper review later, but .. yeah, great game.
Review from the weekend: "How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States" by Daniel Immerwahr.
Deals with the relationship between the US mainland and "territories" like Puerto Rico, as well as the Philippine-American War and US colonial rule over the archipelago.
Highly readable and very insightful book with lots of facts that were new to me, but a bit limited in its analytical frame. Full review:
regarding the new resident of 10 downing street Show more
Well did you hear, there's a natural order
Those most deserving will end up with the most
That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top
Well I say, "Shit floats"
If you thought things had changed
Friend, you'd better think again
Bluntly put, in the fewest of words:
Cunts are still running the world
-- Jarvis Cocker
Review from the weekend: Ken Liu's "The Paper Menagerie and Other stories".
A really quite lovely collection of speculative fiction by a very talented author. If you want to sample his work, I'd recommend starting with the story that gave the book its title. It's available online:
Here's my review of the collection:
Keyservers are one of the most frustrating aspects of using public key crypto. They're notoriously unreliable & vulnerable to various types of flooding attacks.
Last month https://keys.openpgp.org was launched, which is a very well-architected and collaboratively run new keyserver.
As of today, the SecureDrop team is using it for its release key. Very proud to be early adopters of this new public infra. Hopefully we'll be able to add WKD support soon, as well.
Enjoyed the beautiful (and - warning - very dark) story "The Literomancer" in Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie" collection.
It's a story of family, identity & human folly; centered on the experiences of a young American girl in Taiwan during the Cold War. On a side note, I had no idea that literomancy was a real practice.
Here's an offiical online copy (via https://kenliu.name/blog/2010/09/01/literomancer-available-online/):
Do you ever end up with mystery magazine subscriptions? I have one for Wired now for some reason. Maybe I should call them to find out how I got it.
Although I like some of the people involved, I would never in a million years subscribe to Wired, the journalism/tech fetishism ratio is just not high enough.
Review from the weekend: "Gone Home", a short but beautifully told interactive story that came out in 2013. Quite enjoyed it and appreciated the layered story & attention to detail:
Free download of Toonstruck on GOG for a little over a day (Windows/Mac/Linux), classic point and click adventure starring Christopher Lloyd. Played this like 10-15 years ago and quite enjoyed it:
Just finished reading the first issue of my subscription to
https://logicmag.io/ ; a tech/culture magazine (in a book format).
Each issue covers a specific topic; this one focused on China with multiple knowledgeable voices shedding light on China's notorious "social credit system", the influence of Chinese websites like TikTok on rural communities, the success of Chinese sci-fi, etc.
Interesting read overall. Will post a review of Logic after a couple more issues.
And another book review for the long weekend, "Exhalation", a new short story collection by Ted Chiang (thanks to @xor for the recommendation).
While only two of the stories are originals, most of them were new to me; I find Chiang's ability to turn the most implausible premises into highly engaging stories to be matched by few other authors. Full review:
Review of Ian McEwan's novel about human-like AI, "Machines Like Me":
Like his his other recent works, "Machines Like Me" is a vehicle for McEwan's political expression: Where is humanity headed? Are the political tribulations of today (Brexit etc.) a reflection of the limitations of our species?
He suggests answers on the small personal scale and the larger societal one. Not a hopeful book but a thought-provoking one.
If you like point and click adventures, Kathy Rain is free on Steam until tomorrow. Lovely pixel art and engaging mystery storyline; not a super long game but still overall pretty fun. (I found the first hour a bit frustrating, but it picks up.)
Windows/Mac, but I played it on Linux via Wine without problems (use Lutris: https://lutris.net/games/kathy-rain/ ).
Here's the Steam link:
A quick review of Rob Larson's "Capitalism vs. Freedom" (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️):
An important contribution to debunking libertarian mythology about what it means to be free.
Freedom of the Press Foundation is hiring again :)
This role has more of an administrative bent -- managing relationships with news orgs who use our services, e.g., SecureDrop support & digital security trainings -- but it also includes tier 1 support for SecureDrop, and room for technical advancement.
A great "starter" role if you want to get into tech nonprofit work, are super-organized, & are into digital security in particular. Remote -friendly (US time zones):
Principal Project Manager, https://freedom.press
https://lib.reviews and other free/open projects.
Opinions my own :-)
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