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Thoughts and players
Wondering what The Long View is all about? Here. Let me help.
Wondering what The Long View is all about? Here. Let me help.
But there has been a steady stream of stories about how the process has radicalized people, sending them down an ever-deepening rabbit hole until all their viewing is dominated by fringe ideas and conspiracy theories.
A new study released on Monday looks at whether these stories represent a larger trend or are just a collection of anecdotes. While the data can’t rule out the existence of online radicalization, it definitely suggests that it’s not the most common experience. Instead, it seems like fringe ideas are simply part of a larger self-reinforcing community.
The data used here isn’t ideal but they still go against “conventional wisdom” to be interesting.
In addition, there was no sign of any sort of acceleration. If YouTube’s algorithms keep directing people to more extreme videos, the frequency of far-right videos should go up toward the end of a viewing session. That didn’t happen—in fact, the opposite did.
More importantly, as this implies, I feel we’re too eager to blame tech for the totality of a phenomenon, as if tech is the one and only catalyst, without which there would have been no issue. As always, things are more complicated than that.
Microsoft does much more that we’re happy to call “evil” when other companies are involved. It defied its own workers in favor of contracts with the Department of Defense; it’s been quietly doing lots of business with China for decades, including letting Beijing censor results on its Bing search engine and developing AI that critics say can be used for surveillance and repression; it reportedly tried to sell facial-recognition technology to the DEA.
So why does none of it stick? Well, partly because it’s possible that Microsoft isn’t actually doing anything wrong, from a legal perspective.
Yet it’s so big and so dominant and owns so much expensive physical infrastructure that hardly any company can compete with it. Is that illegal? Should it be?
I think it’s only a matter of time for Microsoft to get in the regulation fray. If anything, the company has been asking for regulation itself, though with a mind to essentially squeeze business practices of its competitors and push its own. But Microsoft knows what’s coming, they’re just being more coy and, possibly, more proactive about this.
On a higher level, I like the last two questions. It’s never too early or too late to ask ourselves if something is legal/illegal and whether it should be.
Video games might be better served by being classified by how they make you feel, than simply by what you do in them, Shawn Layden, the former head of PlayStation’s development studios, recently told Axios.
Why it matters: He is concerned that the genres commonly used to describe various types of games might be holding the medium back
What he’s saying: “One of the blockers we have in the video game business is that we continue to describe our content by its core mechanic,” he said. “That’s a shooting game. That’s a racing game.”
I’m not sure how he means it. If this amounts to adding the equivalent of tags, then it’s fine. We get extra information that sounds more useful when there’s a narrative to speak of. Otherwise, trying to claim something will feel like “fun” won’t go a long way. If this is about foregoing traditional classification, what Shawn Layden proposes comes with lots of issues. Characterisation based on function has stayed with us for so long because interactivity in games necessitates some kind of function, in contrast with other entertainment media. People are (also) sold on gameplay loops, essential when you think how much of our time we put into a game doing the same things over and over. And there are no guarantees about how that makes anyone feel.
Theatre, cinema, literature may be hyped on how they may make you feel, but they’re always classified based on themes, because these themes usually dictate —to an extent— their form, style etc.
And, frankly, it’s the marketers that have to sell me on what I’ll get out of a game, not the name of a genre.
Teleperformance, one of the world’s largest call center companies, is reportedly requiring some employees to consent to video monitoring in their homes. Employees in Colombia told NBC News that their new contract granted the company the right to use AI-powered cameras to observe and record their workspaces. The contract also requires employees to share biometric data like fingerprints and photos of themselves, and workers have to agree to share data and images that may include children under 18.
This is preposterous of course but hit the link to check the company’s response, since it pretends they made sure the contracts employees sign allow for whatever the company needs here, as if that’s proof of a good contract when refusal to sign equals loss of employment.
Game Data Library, which claims to be the largest collection of Japanese game sales data on the internet, says this is an “unprecedented” achievement that hasn’t been done since at least November 1988, when the Top 30 used to only cover Famicom games.
A single system has never claimed all 30 spots in the charts since they became multi-format, making the Switch the first ever system to accomplish this.
History has been made.
One of the apps, called “Jelly: Slime Simulator, ASMR,” features a $13 per week subscription to get past its paywall, amounting to $676 per year. Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines state (with emphasis our own):
If we can’t understand how your app works or your in-app purchases aren’t immediately obvious, it will delay your review and may trigger a rejection. And while pricing is up to you, we won’t distribute apps and in-app purchase items that are clear rip-offs. We’ll reject expensive apps that try to cheat users with irrationally high prices.
This rule in practically unenforcible as there is no universal understanding of a clear limit between predatory and non-predatory pricing. Which is why legal systems tend to tell the difference by the effect of such pricing, not an absolute monetary value.
That said, highlighting an app in the App Store is editorial work that requires someone to make a conscious choice. In this space Apple could showcase its own set of values as a body of people and just avoid pushing apps that employ such tactics.
“You received this email because my big data team analyzed your activities in Jira, Confluence, Gmail, chats, documents, dashboards and tagged you as unengaged and unproductive employees. In other words, you were not always present at the workplace when you worked remotely.”
Because, apparently, it’s not about the quality of the work you turn in but about the impression you give off while working on it.
Aleksandr Agapitov, CEO and founder of Xsolla, held a press conference and explained that the mass layoffs are due to the fact that the company has stopped showing 40% growth.
Then again, it’s not even about that now, is it?
But despite her repeated attempts to push for more resources, leadership cited different priorities. They also dismissed Zhang’s suggestions for a more sustainable solution, such as suspending or otherwise penalizing politicians who were repeat offenders. It left her to face a never-ending firehose: The manipulation networks she took down quickly came back, often only hours or days later. “It increasingly felt like I was trying to empty the ocean with a colander,” she says.
Notice the talk about suspending or penalising politicians who where repeat offenders. I’m always annoyed by how casually these scenarios are treated. Elected officials can surely be assholes (as pretty much everywhere in the world already knows) but it’s not up to a platform to substitute the law. Politicians should be reported to the authorities in such cases. A crime is a crime under the law. The more we use platform rules as legal substitutes the more we dig ourself into our collective hole.
You think I’m too skeptical? Keep reading.
On her last day, hours after she posted her memo internally, Facebook deleted it (though they later restored an edited version after widespread employee anger). A few hours later, an HR person called her, asking her to also remove a password-protected copy she had posted on her personal website. She tried to bargain: she would do so if they restored the internal version. The next day, instead, she received a notice from her hosting server that it had taken down her entire website after a complaint from Facebook. A few days after that, it took down her domain as well.
This is an employer that took down a website on the grounds that it hosted a password-protected copy of a memo it the company finds objectionable. And not only that, but did the extra step and took down the domain as well. This kind of behaviour is what keeps me skeptical. And yet Facebook took her memo down internally, faced backlash, reinstated it but in… edited form. So, no, I don’t expect and, honestly, I don’t want a platform being the arbiter for things we have laws for.
It was in keeping with a sacrifice she’d repeatedly made when policing election interference globally. She treated all politicians equally, even when removing the fake activity of one in Azerbaijan inevitably boosted an opponent who espoused homophobia. “I did my best to protect democracy and rule of law globally for people, regardless of whether they believed me to be human,” she says with a deep sigh. “But I don’t think anyone should have to make that choice.”
Here I took exception to the journalist’s characterisation of what constitutes sacrifice. Zhang absolutely did the right thing. Not disregarding the law when it’s to be applied to someone you don’t like, someone that hates you, someone that you oppose etc. is the point, not a sacrifice. Which is also why the problem with, say, trans rights, isn’t that they’re no laws protecting them but that someone ignores that the law affords the same rights to every citizen and that, by definition, includes trans citizens. Having the Press imply that honouring the rule of law when faced with disagreeable people is a sacrifice can only corrode belief in the same rule of law that protects the freedom of the Press.
So, yes, no one should have to make that choice. But everyone should try to think like Zhang when faced with such a choice.
This first Google+ data leak was active from 2015 to 2018 and allowed developers full access to the data from Google+’s “People” API, even for private profiles. This meant any developer could grab any Google+ profile info you’ve filled out, including your name, birthday, gender, email, relationship status, occupation, and a list of the places you’ve lived. Two months later, Google announced a second Google+ privacy bug that again exposed this People API data, but this time for a whopping 52.5 million users. The case was later expanded to cover all these people.
Personal data was leaked, the company knew and lied for years and for this breach in trust and security ends up paying out $2.15 per capita. Imagine an actual person sneaking off with your personal information and that person making it up to you in the with $2.15. Fair, no?
Wondering what The Long View is all about? Here. Let me help.
Enter Digiton: Heart of Corruption | Trailer
GLO | Trailer
Ghost of Tsushima: Legends | Trailer
Kimi wa Yukima ni Koinegau | Trailer
Lover Pretend | Trailer
Paradigm Paradox | Trailer
Piofiore: Episodio 1926 | Trailer
Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Texas Hold’em
Pretty Girls Panic!
Rogue Explorer | Trailer
Squish | Trailer
Wrestling With Emotions: New Kid On The Block | Trailer
Zool Redimensioned | Trailer
Order Of Battle – Allies Resurgent | Trailer
A Gummy’s Life (PS4, PS5, XO, XS) | Trailer
Bishoujo Battle Cyber Panic! (PS5) | Trailer
Corridor 7: Alien Invasion! (PC)
Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire (PS5) | Trailer
ExZeus: The Complete Collection (PC, PS4, XO, NSW) | Trailer
Operation Body Count (PC)
Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Fantasy World (PS5) | Trailer
Ravva and the Cyclops Curse (PS4, XO, NSW) | Trailer
Zero Strain (PS5) | Trailer
A lot of common assumptions about anonymity are complicated by the literature on how people actually behave online, as noted by researcher J. Nathan Matias. In studies, for example, anonymous actors tend to be more, not less, sensitive to group norms. More than half of victims of online harassment already know their harassers. While there is scant evidence that “real name” policies mitigate abuse, there is plenty suggesting that asking people to expose more private information can intensify it. Researchers have found that, in some contexts, the most aggressive commenters have been observed to be more likely to reveal their identities.
An analysis of nearly two decades of British press by Thais Sardá, a researcher at Loughborough University, however, found that coverage of anonymous spaces, often and imprecisely called the “dark web,” was “underpinned by a sharply negative characterization” of anonymity. When represented at all, positive uses of anonymity and pseudonymity are portrayed as narrow and exceptional; it makes sense for dissidents, for instance, but what does everyone else have to hide?
A reminder that not everything is as it seems, even when according to “common sense”. I too have theorised that anonymity has exacerbated things online but I guess it might not be the anonymity itself but the way an issue is handled online versus offline by those that are supposed to be handling it.
For example, what makes someone choose to report an actionable offence to Facebook rather than to the authorities?
In a phone conversation, Mr. Kesvani, who recently published a book on the online life of young Muslims, said his research subjects described anonymity and pseudonymity as ways to avoid the gazes of their families, to explore beyond their denominational communities and to socialize — in other words, more or less the same reasons any young person might desire privacy, online or off.
“In forums, you could be playful in your identities, but in your real world you’re constricted,” he said, recalling the internet where, and when, he came of age. The rise of universal social platforms, Mr. Kesvani said, has made a sort of privacy he took for granted growing up more scarce. “There’s this expectation that you should act online how you act offline,” he said. “Like, ‘You wouldn’t say that in the real world, why would you say that online?’”
Another thing to remember is that anonymity is a tool and can be healthy. It’s important to keep that in mind whenever legislation tries to mandate backdoors to encryption and more.
According to analysis conducted by conservation technology nonprofit SkyTruth and Global Fishing Watch, over 100 warships from at least 14 European countries, Russia, and the US appear to have had their locations faked, sometimes for days at a time, since August 2020. Some of these tracks show the warships approaching foreign naval bases or intruding into disputed waters, activities that could escalate tension in hot spots like the Black Sea and the Baltic. Only a few of these fake tracks have previously been reported, and all share characteristics that suggest a common perpetrator.
Now there’s a nice thought. Though warships don’t actually rely on AIS so if anything goes wrong it won’t because of this. But it gets you thinking regardless.
Todd Humphreys is less optimistic. “AIS is an unencrypted system that had its origins at a time when engineers were more naive,” he says. “We should work towards a way of adding digital signatures to each one of these messages as they go out. That would be my hope, because this is a major security breach.”
All the proof you need that the military isn’t relying on AIS is the simple fact that it’s unencrypted.
I love Safari for all kinds of reasons, but that’s pretty much irrelevant to the overall argument of advancing the web in a way that doesn’t leave too much control on any one side. This is a long read, you can skip some technical parts if you’re so inclined and you’ll still get the gist of it.
Fanise’s rejected ad makes no overt political references, showcasing images of the virtual road trip while showing phrases such as “escape from a country in turmoil” and “reach the border.”
I bet that in trying to deal with as much questionable content as possible automatically, Facebook went so broad that such phrases are all it takes. If anyone actually thinks going this broad is a sign of genius, we’re all a lot worse than I give us credit for. And God knows I always try to expect the worst.
The email said the ad “may” have been rejected due to inclusion of real political figures, mentions of elections or “[i]mages, statements or slogans about social issues, such as the economy, environmental policy, or civil and social rights.”
“May”. That’s exactly the response once expects when being penalised for something.
According to a declaration from NSO CEO Shalev Hulio, two Facebook representatives approached NSO in October 2017 and asked to purchase the right to use certain capabilities of Pegasus.
At the time, Facebook was in the early stages of deploying a VPN product called Onavo Protect, which, unbeknownst to some users, analyzed the web traffic of users who downloaded it to see what other apps they were using. According to the court documents, it seems the Facebook representatives were not interested in buying parts of Pegasus as a hacking tool to remotely break into phones, but more as a way to more effectively monitor phones of users who had already installed Onavo.
“The Facebook representatives stated that Facebook was concerned that its method for gathering user data through Onavo Protect was less effective on Apple devices than on Android devices,” the court filing reads. “The Facebook representatives also stated that Facebook wanted to use purported capabilities of Pegasus to monitor users on Apple devices and were willing to pay for the ability to monitor Onavo Protect users.”
Let me help you with this:
Somehow, this is Facebook’s way to providing you with a better product. Amazing.
Wondering what The Long View is all about? Here. Let me help.
A Memoir Blue | Trailer
Blue Reflection Second Light | Trailer
Draft Of Darkness | Trailer
Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye | Trailer
Rescue Operation Simulator | Trailer
Sokobond Express | Trailer
Storyteller | Trailer
Tribe: Primitive Builder | Trailer
A Good Snowman (NSW) | Trailer
A Monster’s Expedition (NSW) | Trailer
Bonfire Peaks (PS4, PS5, NSW) | Trailer
Cosmic Express (NSW) | Trailer
Dollhouse (NSW) | Trailer
Naraka: Bladepoint (PS4, PS5, XO, XS) | Trailer
Port Royale 4 (PS5, XS) | Trailer
Sokobond (NSW) | Trailer
Stray (PS4) | Trailer
This kind of reaction is as logical as it is awkward. No coverage is owed to anyone and any outlet can stop covering whatever it wants for whatever reason it wants and California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard is nothing to sneeze at. It’s also tricky as this punishes the collective work of people at two different companies. There’s no right answer here, not really. By cutting any coverage, many company employees’ work ends up being collateral damage. At the same time, by applying indirect pressure to them, they are more likely for those employees to apply more pressure internally for any cultural issues to really be addressed.
Naturally, bigger outlets are more hesitant to enact such policies and I can’t blame them either. In journalism, ethically speaking, an outlet’s first obligation is to the reader. And punitively cutting coverage sends a message but it achieves little for the reader.
It’s a conundrum and there’s no clean cut way out of it.
That said, I feel this is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone how gaming media that would hardly ever make such a move when companies openly and repeatedly lie to consumers while towing the line of fraud of one kind of another, when companies run wholly disingenuous ad campaigns and more, when crunch doesn’t ease off, when harm is done at scale inside and outside companies.
But when sex is involved, all hell breaks loose. Well, good. This doesn’t negate the fact that as media, we still have to get our priorities untangled. Not for the moment but for the long haul. Unjust is not only that which titillates the US the most. It’s important to be reminded of that as non-US media tend to mimic US media more than you might think.
The pay gap went all the way to the most senior roles, with chief people officer Claudine Naughton having a yearly salary of $655,000 in 2020 while, for example, president and chief operating officer Daniel Alegre had a salary of over $1 million. The salary of Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has been under fire over last year, with the exec recently taking a 50% pay cut.
It is this type of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California.
This is a comical stance for the company to take and it shouldn’t just be dropped within an article, it should be getting a bit more fleshed out by reporters. This can be done without veering into personal commentary territory. One has only to highlight what it implies, namely that a public agency that’s there to protect workers is somehow automatically not as credible as private interest entities like the company itself which has an obvious interest in just or also protecting itself.
When Warcraft III: Reforged was released on Jan. 28, 2020, it was widely panned, earning a 59 of 100 on the review aggregation website Metacritic. The game was buggy and missing the components that Blizzard had promised earlier, including the updated cutscenes — sequences that develop the story line but aren’t part of game play — and re-recorded voice-overs. The remake even lacked features that the original Warcraft III had contained in 2002, such as a “ladder” system that ranked competitive players. Blizzard also had disabled the original version of the game on its digital platform, so the inferior remake was the only version that fans could easily play.
In the weeks after launch, Blizzard promised to update the game and add some of those features over time, but 18 months later, they are still nowhere to be found.
Here the company is caught outright lying to the public, more than once even. But this kind of thing just can’t cause the uproar that harassment (rightly) ignites. In my view this only underlines the failure of the Press. And not of just the gaming Press.
Davis described the idea of the Man Box, “a set of beliefs that are communicated by parents and family, the media, peers, and other members of society that place pressures on men and boys to be a certain way.”
She identified seven main pillars of the Man Box:
Be entirely self-reliant: Do things without help from others
Act tough: Defend your reputation and use aggression to do so
Be physically attractive, effortlessly: Putting time and effort into your appearance is not manly
Stick to gender roles: Take risks, be a leader, provide for your family, no cooking or caregiving
Be heterosexual and homophobic: Avoid being gay or even being perceived as gay
Be hypersexual: Value sexual conquests over intimacy, never turn down sex
Use aggression to solve conflicts: Be willing to use violence to get respect, be in control of your relationships
Most of this I get. The one that baffles me is the heterosexual/homophobic combo. Having them side to side is like saying that promoting or rewarding heterosexual norms is automatically homophobic, as if there’s no way to promote heterosexuality without insulting homosexuality. If that’s the case, then there’s no way to promote homosexuality without attacking heterosexuality. I’ve grown very, very tired of zero sum game theory.
Homophobic language was used in more than 10% of segments. 49% of segments used ableist language, with “crazy” being used in more than 18% of clips analyzed.
What does this mean? If someone uses the word “crazy” in any context it’s taken as being ableist? Again, people, enough with the zero sum games.
“When a streamer uses sexually objectifying language, the amount of sexually objectifying language in the chat doubles,” the report states. “We find similar increases in chat messages using a respective slur when the gamer uses sexist, racist, ableist, ageist, and sizeist language. This confirms that the most popular streamers in online platforms set the tone for the language used by participants in the chat.”
This makes sense. Anyone with social capital of any kind can influence a mass of people so such influence of course comes with added responsibility. But this isn’t a streamer problem. This is an “everyone” problem. It’s like some people have never been exposed to election campaigns. Or, I don’t know. Michael Jackson. Or something.
Wondering what The Long View is all about? Here. Let me help.
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases | Trailer
Disturbing Forest | Trailer
eFootball | Trailer
G-Darius HD | Trailer
Evertried | Trailer
Parasight | Trailer
Sphere – Flying Cities | Trailer
Tom Clancy’s XDefiant | Trailer
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel | Trailer
Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Saikyo Battle Royale!! | Announcement
If you can define those, you can iterate and improve those. I’ll also be throwing in the ‘generally perceived’ platform ranking, best to least best, for these features if you are a smaller independent developer. (It’s a little complex ‘cos of Game Pass, which is fundamentally changing the Xbox purchase intent experience.)
– Back-end systems – access & features: do you need to talk to anyone to publish, discount, and service your game? Or is there a lot you can do just using dev-centric software and systems? What is the general quality/UI of that back end? And if you have a ‘blocking’ problem, does it get escalated to the right person or just hang out in the ether? (Ranking: Steam, Xbox+Switch, PlayStation.)
– Point(s) of contact & responsiveness from platform staff: If you do have to reach out, can one person do the majority of things you need? Are they fast or slow, do they have to loop in other people? This is related to back-end platform features, since it can be difficult to get noticed by platform staff on all platforms, due to high volume of devs. (Ranking: Steam, Xbox, Switch – but 3 all close together, PlayStation.)
– Availability and cost of development kits: if you want to develop on a platform, can you easily get dev kits, extra dev kits, etc? And are they expensive, or are there complex IP, address, or business specific needs? Related: should platforms be subsidizing and improving this process to make for better games? (Ranking: Steam [cos no devkit], Xbox, Switch, PlayStation.)
– Access to sales/discounts: there’s two ways you can go here: ‘DIY discounts using the back-end, with some extra platform-organized sales’ (Steam and Switch), or ‘platform-organized sales only’ (Xbox and PlayStation). The former is far preferred by smaller devs, because it’s impossible to get left out. If the latter is the only option, it should be without excessive ‘back & forth’, haggling & other oddness. (Ranking: Steam, Switch, Xbox, PlayStation.)
As Simon Carless points out, this is all anecdotal. But as he is in touch with quite a few devs, the collected impressions aren’t to be dismissed as a fluke either. I’m known to have taken issue with various of Sony’s policies over the years —as one does with big corporation sooner or later— but had I been asked to bet on whether PlayStation would end up dead last in every one of those metrics, at least as far as developer perception goes, I’d have definitely lost.
In any case, even if this is all pure sentiment, that’s one sentiment Sony must not ignore and let fester. Consequences tend to take their sweet time to rear their head.
Japanese showbiz news site Nikkan Taishu claims that sources tell it Kimura’s talent agency Johnny & Associates have been blocking PC versions of games in the Judgment series because they don’t want Kimura to appear in PC games.
While it’s not entirely clear why this is, the site suggests that because Johnny & Associates “has strict control over the [likeness] rights of its talent, and the use of their image online is still limited to a few”, the agency may be treating PC games differently because home computer have direct access to the internet.
It’s normal for contract clauses to not be fully aware of a changing landscape. Some things take time. But if the theory that PC games are considered online exposure and console games aren’t, that’s just spiteful.
Whatever Capcom and Denuvo worked up this time around seems to have evaded crackers’ efforts for much longer. That may have come at the price of guaranteed smooth performance—with gaming analysts like Digital Foundry’s Alex Battaglia maligning the game’s PC version. “This stuttering honestly leaves a very bad first impression for this game, as the pivotal moment of a first-person game with guns is shooting those guns,” Battaglia said shortly after RE8:V’s May 2021 launch. “If that is unsatisfying very often when you do it, then the game is doing something wrong.”
Capcom has since pledged to update the game to run more smoothly with the DRM enabled. This doesn’t negate the simple fact that the PC version’s performance issues have been there for months, for everyone to experience. It shouldn’t take a DRM-related bruhaha for Capcom to rise up to the occasion.
“We have one of the largest repositories of current, fresh MAIDS<>PII in the USA,” Brad Mack, CEO of data broker BIGDBM told us when we asked about the capabilities of the product while posing as a customer. “All BIGDBM USA data assets are connected to each other,” Mack added, explaining that MAIDs are linked to full name, physical address, and their phone, email address, and IP address if available. The dataset also includes other information, “too numerous to list here,” Mack wrote.
A MAID is a unique identifier a phone’s operating system gives to its users’ individual device. For Apple, that is the IDFA, which Apple has recently moved to largely phase out. For Google, that is the AAID, or Android Advertising ID.
Every time advertisers whine about Apple’s move against IDFA through ATT, remind yourself that this is the reality we live in and one side doesn’t negate the other in the privacy debate.
Gregory suggested that much of the discomfort people are feeling about “Roadrunner” might stem from the novelty of the technology. “I’m not sure that it’s even all that much about what the director did in this film—it’s because it’s triggering us to think how this will play out, in terms of our norms of what’s acceptable, our expectations of media,” he said. “It may well be that in a couple of years we are comfortable with this, in the same way we’re comfortable with a narrator reading a poem, or a letter from the Civil War.”
The fact that the synthetic Bourdain voice was undetected until Neville pointed it out is part of what makes it so unnerving. “I’m sure people are asking themselves, How many other things have I heard where I thought this is definitely real, because this is something X person would say, and it was actually fabricated?” Hao said. Still, she added, “I would urge people to give the guy”—Neville—“some slack. This is such fresh territory. . . . It’s completely new ground. I would personally be inclined to forgive him for crossing a boundary that didn’t previously exist.”
This is very interesting food for thought. How do people react to this kind of thing? Whey do they react one way or another? What’s the director’s responsibility at any given time? Who should work on guidelines?
I admit was taken aback upon hearing of the use of synthetic voice in Roadrunner. My initial knee-jerk reaction was to feel played. But the more I think about it the more unclear it is for me what the optimal way to be dealing and using synthetic content really looks like.
There’s room for very, very interesting arguments here.
But whether it’s ethical to clone a dead person’s voice and have them say things they hadn’t gotten on tape when they were alive is another question, and one Neville doesn’t seem too concerned with.
“We can have a documentary-ethics panel about it later,” he told the New Yorker.
A second core principle is disclosure—how the use of synthetic media is or is not made clear to an audience. Gregory brought up the example of “Welcome to Chechnya,” the film, from 2020, about underground Chechen activists who work to free survivors of the country’s violent anti-gay purges. The film’s director, David France, relied on deepfake technology to protect the identities of the film’s subjects by swapping their faces for others, but he left a slight shimmer around the heads of the activists to alert his viewers to the manipulation —what Gregory described as an example of “creative signalling.” “It’s not like you need to literally label something—it’s not like you need to write something across the bottom of the screen every time you use a synthetic tool—but it’s responsible to just remind the audience that this is a representation,” he said. “If you look at a Ken Burns documentary, it doesn’t say ‘reconstruction’ at the bottom of every photo he’s animated. But there’s norms and context—trying to think, within the nature of the genre, how we might show manipulation in a way that’s responsible to the audience and doesn’t deceive them.”
What there’s not much room for though is fully nonchalant directors pretending this is for others to contemplate, not for them that actually produce such content. No matter what I think of synthetic content in documentaries and whatnot, I really, really don’t like Gregory’s carefreeness here.
“A news report on July 15, 2021(JST) claimed that the profit margin of the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) would increase compared to the Nintendo Switch. To ensure correct understanding among our investors and customers, we want to make clear that the claim is incorrect,” Nintendo’s statement reads.
Amazingly, enough people threw a fit over Nintendo’s perceived profit margin for the OLED model that the company had to issue a statement in order to push back against theories that it’s somehow ripping off people. As if premium models of anything have to be low margin. As if Nintendo goes for low margins in hardware as it is. As if it even matters when chip and tool shortages mean Nintendo can’t even make as many systems as the market needs.
“We also want to clarify that we just announced that Nintendo Switch(OLED Model) will launch in October, 2021, and have no plans for launching any other model at this time.”