• Short Form

    They say kill the part of you which is cringe, and to just be you, right?

    Here goes: The first two Coldplay albums are good and might be what Radiohead would’ve been if they were more commercial.

    Friday April 19, 2024
  • Short Form

    I align with Elizabeth Warren on many things, but she is way too far out of her element when it comes to discussing Apple / iMessage. We really need more of the tech generation in office.

    Friday April 19, 2024
  • Long Form

    Deb JJ Lee Delivers a Surreal and Gorgeous DUNE Poster for Mutant

    Germain Lussier, Gizmodo/io9:

    The best art inspires more incredible art and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune films have certainly done that. In addition to the artistry in the films themselves, graphic designers from all over the world have been moved to create gorgeous Dune posters—and the latest may be the most unique, and quite possibly the best, one yet.

    Korean American artist Deb JJ Lee has created just a sumptuous, stunning poster for Dune: Part One, which is being released Friday April 19 by the team at Mutant. It’s their first collaboration together and, after seeing this full image, you have to imagine it won’t be their last. io9 is honored to exclusively debut your first look at Deb JJ Lee’s Dune: Part One from Mutant.

    Goddamn, what a print. You can click through the source link to view the variant.

    It’s been a while since I’ve had a print I was enthused about, and having the ex-Mondo crew deliver here shines all the stronger for it.

    Granted, I don’t have the wall space, but I have the enthusiasm.

    If you have the wall space, along with the cash ($75 for the standard, $100 for the variant), head to MadeByMutant.com tomorrow, April 19, 2024 at 1pm Eastern to pick one up. And I’ll be keeping an eye on Deb JJ Lee moving forward.

    Thursday April 18, 2024
  • Long Form

    Go Back to the Beginning in the New TRANSFORMERS ONE Trailer

    Paramount Pictures on YouTube:

    Every Transformer has an origin. Watch the new trailer for #TransformersOne - only in theatres September 20.

    TRANSFORMERS ONE is the untold origin story of Optimus Prime and Megatron, better known as sworn enemies, but once were friends bonded like brothers who changed the fate of Cybertron forever. In the first-ever fully CG-animated Transformers movie, TRANSFORMERS ONE features a star-studded voice cast, including Chris Hemsworth, Brian Tyree Henry, Scarlett Johansson, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi with Laurence Fishburne and Jon Hamm.

    I’m not sure what I expected from a CG animated Transformers movie, but I definitely don’t think it was this.

    It might just work? Either way, I’ve landed on intrigued. Of note, it’s the director of Toy Story 4 behind this, so the pedigree is strong.

    Thursday April 18, 2024
  • Long Form

    Glen Powell Is Your HIT MAN for Netflix This June

    Netflix on YouTube:

    Inspired by the unbelievable true story, a strait-laced professor (Glen Powell) uncovers his hidden talent as a fake hit man in undercover police stings. He meets his match in a client (Adria Arjona) who steals his heart and ignites a powder keg of deception, delight, and mixed-up identities.

    From Academy Award-nominated writer/director Richard Linklater and co-written by Glen Powell, HIT MAN comes to select theaters in May and only on Netflix June 7.

    Oh boy, this looks like a great time.

    Get ready for maximum Glen Powell this Summer, by the way, with this and Twisters hitting over the warm months.

    Thursday April 18, 2024
  • Long Form

    Quentin Tarantino's THE MOVIE CRITIC Has Been Scrapped

    Justin Kroll, Deadline:

    Quentin Tarantino’s movies are always full of surprises, and here is one about The Movie Critic we did not expect. Deadline can reveal that Tarantino has dropped the film as his 10th and final project. He simply changed his mind, Deadline has been told.

    Tarantino was going to have Brad Pitt as the principal star, which would have marked their third teaming after Inglourious Basterds and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There were rumors that many from the casts of his past films might take part, and Sony was preparing to make the film after doing such a superb job on the last one.

    Word is that Tarantino had rewritten his script, which delayed the start of production. But this is his 10th and final film, and Tarantino simply decided The Movie Critic will not be it.

    This is a genuine surprise. Things sounded like they were moving pretty quickly on the project, and QT ending his career with how he started, with a project observing and critquing movies, felt like a great full circle move.

    Alas, another project gets added to the pile.

    Wednesday April 17, 2024
  • Short Form

    iOS folks – the Delta emulator is FINALLY available on the App Store. I cannot wait to dig into this when I get home.

    Edit: More of a write up on it is available now at The Verge.

    Wednesday April 17, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Tech Review Discourse, And What Its Really About

    Riley MacLeod, Aftermath:

    This, I think, is what’s actually pissing the AI people off about Brownlee’s Humane review. He is clear that he has no fealty to them or their stock prices (“I literally don’t care what the stock price is of any company, of any product I review,” he says.) He even says in his video that “my reviews are technically not for” these products’ makers, which must be infuriating to our new Gilded Age robber barons who need constant reassurances of their genius. Because Brownlee isn’t in the business of promoting them or even talking to them, he’s not required to tout AI’s potential.

    If you’ve missed The Discourse™ about MKBHD’s review of the Humane AI pin, Congrats! You’re not Extremely Online. But for those who do have a stake in the conversation, I think MacLeod’s piece I’ve linked above does a great job of summarizing both the situation and my personal beliefs on it.

    I’ve expressed privately my confusion of the number of companies which grew to massive size not on the work they’ve delivered or the contributions they have made to our day-to-day lives, but more on the potential of doing so.

    These reviews – and more specifically, the pearl-clutching of those who are insulted by reviewers, well, reviewing work – are the beginning (in my opinion) of a much needed reckoning.

    Potential means nothing. Actions and reality are everything. I’m sorry that it took interest rates changing for a slue of folks to realize this, but you’re only worth what you actually do.

    Wednesday April 17, 2024
  • Short Form

    Read the reviews for Guy Richie’s The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, and there are a lot of comparisons to his The Man from UNCLE remake, which pretty much means: I’m gonna love it.

    Wednesday April 17, 2024
  • Short Form

    Not that I disliked my prior car (Toyota CH-R), but I actively get excited about driving my new car. Dang hybrid has some zip in it!

    Wednesday April 17, 2024
  • Short Form

    Follow up to my post about how Disney+ should have “channels”…per a paywalled post at The Information, they’re in progress and should launch soon. You’re welcome, Bob.

    Monday April 15, 2024
  • Short Form

    As I read posts about the increasing costs of game development, and that being used as justification for DLC, predatory pay-to-win models, etc.

    What about making cheaper, less bleeding-edge games? I’d be fine with a 1080p game that’s super fun to play versus a 4K title with all the monetization.

    Monday April 15, 2024
  • Short Form

    Got a new car today. It has Wireless CarPlay. As a long time tech nerd, I can say wholeheartedly: it’s dark magic and I know not the horrors which allow it to work.

    Saturday April 13, 2024
  • Short Form

    Shout out Apple TV+’s Friday Night Baseball for letting you swap to the local radio audio.

    Friday April 12, 2024
  • Short Form

    Now that Hulu and Disney+ are integrated, there’s even less excuse for them to not have a series of live channels a’la PlutoTV or Peacock.

    24/7 Marvel, 24/7 Star Wars, 24/7 Classics, or a channel that is just The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, King of the Hill, etc.

    Thursday April 11, 2024
  • Short Form

    The Fallout TV series has been out for just under 12 hours. It takes roughly 8 hours to watch. The “Fallout Ending Explained!” stories are already published. What are we even doing here?

    Thursday April 11, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Humane AI Pin is bad, actually

    David Pierce, The Verge:

    That raises the second question: should you buy this thing? That one’s easy. Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. The AI Pin is an interesting idea that is so thoroughly unfinished and so totally broken in so many unacceptable ways that I can’t think of anyone to whom I’d recommend spending the $699 for the device and the $24 monthly subscription.

    David Pierce absolutely whirlwind dunking on the Humane AI Pin in his review this morning. Goddamn!

    Cherlynn Low at Engadget did not care for it either.

    If the headline of “The Humane AI Pin is the solution to none of technology’s problems” wasn’t clear enough, here’s a pretty damning pull quote:

    Not only is the Humane AI Pin slow, finicky and barely even smart, using it made me look pretty dumb. In a few days of testing, I went from being excited to show it off to my friends to not having any reason to wear it.

    I had a feeling that the Pin was a solution looking for a problem, but I didn’t realize it’d be this downright useless or bad. Not the best first step for the Humane team.

    Thursday April 11, 2024
  • Short Form

    The first Joker movie was a cynical, joyless movie, devoid of any interest or care in the character, slapping a license upon a barely related film. The trailer for the sequel looks just as head scratching. Good luck with that one, gang.

    Wednesday April 10, 2024
  • Long Form

    If you're like me, you are going to LOVE the Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast


    Join Seth Meyers as he sits down with fellow SNL alum and comedy-music sensations The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone) to discuss their wildly popular and groundbreaking series of SNL Digital Shorts that aired on Saturday Night Live beginning in 2005. Episode by episode they’ll discuss how each short was created, what the response to it was at the time, and what impact, if any, it still has today. Aided by Seth, the guys will relive their time at SNL and reminisce on the nearly 50-year-old show from a time when putting short comedy sketches on the internet was so novel that they maybe even helped launch YouTube to do it. Along the way they’ll talk all things SNL from guests, fellow cast members, and favorite live sketches including many that never aired.

    The Lonely Island has had a near direct line to my funnybone since I first became aware of them and their work in 2005.

    In fact, the free giveaway of “Lazy Sunday” was my first iTunes video “purchase”.

    Since then, they’ve released three albums, over a hundred shorts, and produced two of my favorite comedies of all time, in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and Hot Rod.

    Suffice to say, the moment I heard that Andy, Jorma and Akiva were going to be doing a watchalong/look back podcast with Seth Meyers, I was in.

    The first episode hit on Monday, and is more about their road to Saturday Night Live and their struggles in getting on air. The Lonely Island gang are great storytellers, and their friendship comes through (though I believe its all recorded remotely). Seth acts as the perfect host, and if you are at all a fan of how comedy is made or the behind the scenes of SNL, I cannot recommend this enough.

    If you’re not aware of The Lonely Island for whatever reason, get on watching Popstar. Immediately.

    Tuesday April 9, 2024
  • Long Form

    Apple Opens the Door for Video Game Emulators?

    Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac

    But there’s another important update to the App Store guidelines, and this one applies worldwide. For the first time, Apple is allowing developers to create and distribute game emulators on the App Store. The news was confirmed by Apple in an email sent to developers. Since the very first iPhone, developers have been finding ways to distribute game emulators to iOS users. The App Store guidelines have never allowed emulator software, but some apps have had luck bypassing Apple’s review process by disguising their apps and hiding emulators within them. But that’s changing now with the App Store’s new guidelines.

    Discovered late in the day yesterday was a bunch of changes to the App Store guidelines presented to developers by Apple.

    The key change presented seems to be that of allowing — in the EU — music apps to allow signups via their own web interface, versus through the App Store alone.

    In the mix further down, however, is the revelation that game emulation is now allowed.

    Android users have been able to do this for ages, but now, iOS — and presumably iPadOS + tvOS users — will be able to do the same without using some of the complicated go arounds in use currently with Altstore.

    Now I’m just hoping that two of the Altstore’s best...

    Delta, a Nintendo focused emulator for iOS

    Provenance, a multi-system emulator that’s also available on tvOS

    …make their way to the AppStore.

    I do wonder if someone’s gonna try to have something up as early as this week...

    Saturday April 6, 2024
  • Long Form

    Microsoft Makes a Stand ALL Game Companies Need to Follow

    Jez Corden, Windows Central:

    As part of the emails to her team, Sarah Bond revealed that Microsoft has now set up a dedicated team to ensure the future-proofing of the current Xbox game library against future hardware paradigm shifts, ensuring that our games remain accessible long into the future. "We have formed a new team dedicated to game preservation, important to all of us at Xbox and the industry itself," Bond said. "We are building on our strong history of delivering backwards compatibility to our players, and we remain committed to bringing forward the amazing library of Xbox games for future generations of players to enjoy."

    As far as I’m concerned — especially with the model of video game distribution becoming a digital one — this is table stakes for Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, et al.

    The hard part is going to be the growth of GAAS titles: how can a game be preserved if the events have ended and servers have gone offline?

    Far too often, gaming (hell, media, period) is focused on new and next, when past and current should be celebrated just as much. May this be the first major shot in a series of events ensuring that the work of talented creators can be engaged with years down the line.

    Saturday April 6, 2024
  • Long Form

    The Dark Side of Trader Joe's

    Adam Reiner, TASTE:

    After six months of conversations with five founders of small to midsize food brands, it appears to be an open secret in the consumer packaged goods industry that Trader Joe’s outsources inspiration for new products by targeting emerging brands under the guise of recruiting them to manufacture private-label items. Private labeling is the ubiquitous (and often clandestine) practice of consumer food brands creating exclusive products for third-party retailers. The terms of these contracts vary, but the enlisted food brand typically receives compensation in the form of a production fee or profit-sharing arrangement.

    According to these sources, Trader Joe’s commonly solicits product samples and even asks for potential recipe adjustments—a revealing and time-consuming exercise for bootstrapped founders—before inexplicably abandoning the negotiations and releasing its own private-label versions of similar products at lower prices.

    Yikes on bikes, folks.

    This is a pretty damning expose of how Trader Joe’s decieves smaller food brands under the guise of a partnership, then undercuts them when the financial terms are deemed untenable by the brand themselves.

    I recognize, in all these instances, Trader Joe’s didn’t even need to offer to work with them before ripping them off, but the boldness to proceed even after trying to work together is NOT a good look.

    Friday April 5, 2024
  • Long Form

    Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Have A LOT in the Works

    Zack Baron, British GQ:

    These days, Nine Inch Nails, which Ross joined as a full-time member in 2016, present a different problem – how do you make something old, something so already well-defined, new again? There are years when Reznor feels like he has the answers and years when he’s less certain. He has put the band on hiatus more than once; after the last Nine Inch Nails tour, in 2022, Reznor deliberately took a break from playing shows as well. “For the first time in a long time I wasn’t sure: what’s the tour going to say?” Reznor told me. “What do I have to say right now? We can still play those songs real good. Maybe we can come up with a new production. But it wasn’t screaming at me: this is what to do right now.”

    A really great profile of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as they’ve asserted themselves as a go-to in the world of film scores.

    But now that they’ve established themselves in that world, they’re now thinking bigger: the return of Nine Inch Nails, their own production company, fashion, and something with Epic Games.

    You might not peg me as a NIN fan, but 1999’s The Fragile is one of my favorite albums of all time, and its been really great over the last few decades to see Reznor get clean, get healthy, become a family man, and establish himself as a true icon in music, technology and film.

    I am very excited to see what he and Ross have planned with all their new projects.

    Friday April 5, 2024
  • Long Form

    Uniqlo's Got a Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom T-Shirt Line Incoming


    Uniqlo’s latest video game collaboration may be its best yet. It teamed up with Nintendo on six T-shirts inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and they’re coming to stores in late April. Each $24.90 T-shirt features iconography and characters from Tears of the Kingdom.

    As usual, Uniqlo has put together a pretty sweet series of tees for a licensed property.

    I think the pocket tees with the Korok’s peeking out is the most clever of the set.

    Wednesday April 3, 2024
  • Short Form

    I’m not sure whether to be mad at – or proud of – the Noodles & Co. marketing exec who came up with this slogan.

    A Noodles & Co. ad which reads "Steak Stroganoff is now Stroganon"
    Wednesday April 3, 2024