On the New Nintendo 2DS XL

So Nintendo just announced the New Nintendo 2DS XL. I was scrolling through Twitter and saw this video

I'm just like... ummmm. What the fuck. I mean, I guess this is a good thing? It's good that Nintendo will still be making DS games... I guess. I'm personally very tired of the DS and probably won't be getting this system. The Switch is just too nice. I really don't think I could go back. 

I'll have to actually see the system in person, but my first impression is that it's definitely designed for kids. The blue ring around the front of the system and the matching blue buttons just don't really seem like my thing. But I do like the silhouette. It's slim and bubbly and looks really cute.

What seems strange about this to me is that it's an XL system. In theory the XL system is a good idea because everyone loves a bigger display to play games on, but in the DS's case they basically just put the same resolution as the smaller DS and it just looks horrible. They should have made this NEW Nintendo 2DS smaller than the regular 2DS with a tighter display. THAT, I would have bought. Maybe.

Actually, probably not. Like I said, the Switch is just too nice.

Podcast: World Dispatch from The Outline

I've been enjoying this new daily current events podcast from The Outline. It's nice and short and it's a good way to get your mind engaged first thing in the morning that doesn't involve opening Twitter or Facebook, both of which add a lot of unnecessary stress.

If you wanna check it out, here's a link to their website where you can subscribe.

The corporation does not always have to win

I feel like I am not doing a great job of capturing, in words, the dread that this produces in me. Across the room, one of my dogs is licking its asshole with intense fervor; it is making sounds like the stirring of a pot of macaroni and cheese. Also, large bees are thumping loudly off the glass of the window with arrhythmic regularity. Both of these are very distracting; I am having a hard time doing the thing that makes me money. If I were a corporation, the spectrum of possible responses to these distractions would include killing my dog and encasing my home in soundproofed concrete; that spectrum would be ordered by the degree to which each option maximized my blogging efficiency and by nothing else; what mediated the preferability of these extreme responses would not be concerns that they were cruel or might diminish the simple human pleasure of having nice, big windows to look through on a sunny day. Alas, I am a human—I cannot be a corporation, and a corporation cannot be me—so the dog gets to live. For now.

But the point is: You are not the corporation. You are the human. It is okay for the corporation to lose a small portion of what it has in terrifying overabundance (money, time, efficiency) in order to preserve what a human has that cannot ever be replaced (dignity, humanity, conscience, life). It is okay for you to prioritize your affinity with your fellow humans over your subservience to the corporation, and to imagine and broker outcomes based on this ordering of things. It is okay for the corporation to lose. It will return to its work of churning the living world into dead sand presently.

A Link To The Past OST analog synthesizer remake

Switched On SNES is a series of soundtracks played on analog synthesizers and drum machines. The goal of the project is to expose listeners to the musical masterpieces that have been overlooked - mostly because of the 16bit instrumentation.

Link to the Past is the first installment of soundtracks which will include: Secret of Mana, Earthbound, Donkey Kong Country, and others. Royalties from sales will go towards the composer Koji Kondo/Nintendo.

I love this.

You can steam or buy the album here.

The future of iOS automation

Federico Viticci, for MacStories, on the future of Workflow and iOS automation:

Imagine, for instance, a workflow capable of accessing HomeKit controls, Apple Music, and HealthKit workouts at runtime. A user who goes running every morning could easily assemble a multi-step routine which locks their front door and brings up a collection of music playlists before the run starts. While the user is running, an underlying Workflow engine would put workout-optimized music controls and run details front and center on the Apple Watch or iPhone. Finally, the same routine that "prepares" a new run could automatically unlock the front door, continue playing music on a wireless speaker, and display summary stats for the completed workout on a big screen via the Apple TV as soon as the user gets back home. This automation wouldn't be a standalone "workflow" that is manually executed as much as it'd be an invisible, integrated, and secure automation engine connected to every piece of the Apple ecosystem.

This is a very optimistic take on what the future of what iOS automation could hold, but I love this idea. Exciting.

Los Angeles Times: "Our Dishonest President"

What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.

This is just part one of a 4 part series.

10 tips for Muslim travellers

Emphasizing that one should “maintain etiquette, politeness, and composure” while engaging any border agent, Quraishi-Landes offered 10 necessary tips for US Muslim travelers:

  1. Tell them you are an American citizen.

  2. Tell them you’ve identified yourself.

  3. Ask to speak to their supervisor.

  4. Tell them you want a lawyer (have ACLU, CAIR, or your lawyer’s number with you)

  5. Tell them you believe you are being religiously profiled. You MUST be allowed entry as an American citizen and you do not need to answer questions about how you pray or what you believe in.

  6. Do not sign anything – NOTHING.

  7. If they try to make you reboard an airplane, sit down on the ground and go limp if they try to lift you. Never hit or push.

  8. Keep asking for a lawyer.

  9. Make sure someone knows your complete itinerary. Make sure someone is waiting for you at your destination or knows to expect you.

  10. If you wish, email your name and itinerary to: airport@refugeerights.org. Attorney groups at your destination airport will be notified, just in case. Even if you aren’t a refugee, it will allow them to route you to an immigration attorney if you need one.

Maybe Nintendo finally gets it with the Switch?

After using the new system for a week, Miguel Lopez from Glixel shares his opinions on the Switch

It's also encouraging that the Switch is absent any overt gimmicks. Yeah, you could argue that the system's fundamental concept – the fact that it's a handheld that can be a console that has Wiimotes attached to either side of it – is an amalgam of every gimmick Nintendo has ever conceived, but those gimmicks don't seem to be driving things as manifestly as, say, motion controls during the Wii era, when it felt like every Nintendo game was burdened by a waggle mechanic. This says to me that Nintendo is interested in honing the fundamentals and might just understand, really, why we love their games. And that's heartening.

Lookbook video with Edvasian

Hey everyone. I helped my friend Edwin film this lookbook video in my apartment for his YouTube channel. He has a really great (and funny) voice, so check it out and subscribe to his videos if you like it.

Social media clichés that drive me crazy

There are things that happen on the internet that drives me crazy. Things that should be unwritten common sense that aren't always immediately apparent to some people. So I'm writing this post to share a couple of these gripes. Sometimes a little bit of cynicism is necessary. 

Unnecessary Facebook pages

I know a lot of people who start a new project: a blog, a band, selling Arbonne or some other pyramid scheme nonsense - whatever - and instantly make a Facebook page to promote it, and then invite every single one of their friends to like the page. And then they go and do this before they even fill the page up with anything interesting.

I guess their reasoning is that if they have a page for their new project, then they can keep their personal account just for dumb memes and their business account to keep that stuff separate. But I find that most of the time the person just like shares all their business posts on their personal account too - so I end up seeing every post they make twice.

Stop. You have two options. Either make the Facebook business page and actually update it and keep the two accounts separate, or just use your personal account to promote that stuff.

Crossposting content

The point of having different social networks is so that you can post unique tailor made content on each one. Tweets go on Twitter. Instagrams stay on Instagram. Facebook... stuff... stays on Facebook. Or whatever. 

So it's weird when people post the exact same stuff on everything. Like I'll read someone's tweet, and then later when I'm on Facebook I'll see the exact same thing copied and pasted into a Facebook status. What is even a little worse than this is when people push their Instagram photo to Facebook, and it carries along with it the Instagram @ handles and hashtags that just aren't clickable on Facebook. It looks ridiculous.

Please just be mindful of the stuff that you post, and realize that a lot of your friends follow you on multiple things, and don't really want to see the same stuff over and over again. Like obviously if you just release a new personal project, it's cool to promote it and talk about it on different websites, but for the most part it's good to keep the different networks serving different purposes.

Nintendo will add VR to Switch if they can solve one problem

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has explained that the company will add VR support to its upcoming Switch console if it can resolve issues of comfort over long periods of use.

Speaking to Nikkei, Kimishima explained that the company is "studying" how to implement virtual reality, but brought up its key concern in the process:

"If we are able to resolve the issues with playing [VR] comfortably for long hours, we will support it in one form or another."

Didn't seem to stop them with 3D on the 3DS. My eyes start to water and get sore almost instantly when playing with the 3D slider turned up any amount.

Apple's perfectionism slowed construction on its new spaceship campus

Jacob Kastrenakes for The Verge:

One particular highlight of the report is Apple demanding that doorways be perfectly flat, with no subtle bump between the outside and inside of the building. A construction manager told Reuters that “months” were spent debating this, because they’d have to spend time and money figuring out a way to accomplish it. Apple reportedly wouldn’t give in because it worried that “if engineers had to adjust their gait while entering the building, they risked distraction from their work.”

The report also says that months were spent on signs, with Apple demanding a minimalist look, and the fire department demanding that people actually be able to read the signs in case of an emergency. “I’ve never spent so much time on signage,” a fire chief who worked on the project told Reuters.

This report is originally from Reuters, but the reason I am linking to The Verge's version is that I wanted to point out how cynical The Verge's angle is. Like, obviously Apple has near unlimited amounts of money to fund their new head office. Why would it matter how long Apple would take to make decisions like this for their own head office?

All of these details at the end will make it a more enjoyable space to be in. Skimp on one of them, no big deal, but if you skimp on enough of them, then it's just another office building.

Why nobody cares the president is lying

Well, I would argue a that a lot of people care, but I still think that this is a great piece. I thought that this quote was especially insightful:

For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.