All The Great Shows

Hello, internet friends!

I really hope you’re all wide awake and full of energy – I am very much neither of these things. A weekend with little sleep in Berlin does that to old couch-potatoes like me.
Oh well. Onwards!

I did not watch the Oscars and so far the internet has been a huge disappointment – except for some “We live-tweeted the Oscars, here are all of our context-free tweets on one webpage” sites I did not find any good recap. Or even thinkpiece.
But then I probably did not watch any of the movies that won anyway, because lol, who has the time to watch a movie when we all have to binge-watch all the great shows on TV.

At least I now know what’s it like being a seat filler at the Academy Awards and then there is that TV series I will not ever binge watch. Luckily I don’t have to, because someone did it for me.

It’s a lovely story: Matt Stopera over on Buzzfeed had his phone stolen – and suddenly he found pictures of a chinese guy on it. I’m sure he’ll soon be best friends with his Brother Orange.

A lot less lovely is what the people in the shadows do to our computers and our cellphones. I am not amused.

Have a good week, everybody. Eat your vegetables.


(A tiny bit of self-promotion: I started a linkblog-thing over here. If you read this newsletter – which you obviously do – you might know some of the links already. And vice versa.)

All Tomorrow’s Bots

Hello, internet friends!

Every time I hear “Minority Report”-technology I think it’s about a silly hand-wavy interface. But then there is this now.

I can see a future where a police might predict that a Twitter bot might not be a threat. But maybe it is not that easy? Some of your favourite Twitter accounts might be bots already.

And if they are bots, what happens, when they tweet something stupid? After all, the guy who ran that bot that scared the police, shut it down afterwards.
Luckily we’re still not that heartless when humans write something dumb, but we might be getting close.

When bots are not writing tweets for their programmers, they are playing the dating game for them.

What a future we live in.

Brutalist Content

Hello, internet friends!

Remember when we all[1] thought that Google Glass would be the future and that we’ll all walk around as glassholes in a Google-controller world, happily searching the web while driving out driverless cars around?
Google Glass is gone and the story behind it is pretty amazing.
It is also rather amazing that this article ended up in the “Style” section of The New York Times and not in the teechnology one. I guess that’s another sign that we are clearly living in the future. Or at least a future.


T.J. Miller, who you probably all know from the cineastic masterpiece “Yogi Bear” bombed at some tech award show. Awkward. But hardly surprising.


I’ll just leave this here. Thinking too deeply about it will just make me angry. And yes:

If in five years I’m just watching NFL-endorsed ESPN clips through a syndication deal with a messaging app, and Vice is just an age-skewed Viacom with better audience data, and I’m looking up the same trivia on Genius instead of Wikipedia, and “publications” are just content agencies that solve temporary optimization issues for much larger platforms, what will have been point of the last twenty years of creating things for the web?

Well. Let’s hope there will always be a place (and the infrastructure) for [tw: douche speak] independent content creators.

Because what if not? Well: guns.


Looking for truely independent content creators[2] with a punk credibility that nobody ever could question? How about heavy metal musicians in Burma?


How about some brutalist building models on your desk?


A little bit too on-the-nose, but hey: Management theories from Roman slave-owners.


Remember Sega? Well, I think I have only ever played on a Mega Drive/Genesis once, but this interview with the product designer behind it is still very fascinating.

Probably related: How Japan became a pop culture superpower


Be safe.

  1. Heh.  ↩
  2. Seriously, Dominik? Seriously?  ↩


Hello, internet friends!

Because nothing says “monday morning” than “wanting to go back to sleep,” here is some help with that: Jeff Bridges’ Sleeping Tapes. It is really weird and now I want to be a crow, looking for Spanish doubloons with the dude. Right.

The nerd in me is very tickled by the existence of this Lego SHIELD Helicarrier. Just look at it. So tempting.

Ever since Wednesday, this short documentary on Grace Hopper has been on my watchlist. Maybe I’ll manage to watch it tonight, maybe you can beat me to it?

Why Can’t Public Transit Be Free?
tl;dr: because people are terrible snobs.

How one of the best films at Sundance was shot using an iPhone 5S
Using an iPhone and a steadycam rig, some way to have different lenses on the phone and a whole bunch of people with expertise in movie-making. I’m not too sure if maybe some other camera in the same price range would not have worked better? But what do I know.

For 10 years I have managed to bushwhack a circuitous path around them but now I’ve got to find a away around the men in hoodies and crocs.

Zoë Keating: What should I do about Youtube?

Have a good week folks.


Hello, internet friends!

For no apparent reason it is Monday again. Onwards!

The New York Times is excited about messaging apps. I have been excited about messaging apps since ICQ, which is still around. Here is me.

Big in the 90s and still around now? Marilyn Manson. He has a new album, which means interviews – I liked those in Esquire and on Grantland.
And the album itself? Well, I quite like it. But then I was also big in the 90s and happen to be still around.

I have completely no musical skills or talents, but I’d still like to play around with these little synthesizers.

Sometimes I compare the IRL people in my life with the internet people in my life and I always feel like, why can’t the IRL people be more like the internet people?

​I Took the Internet Addiction Quiz and I Won
Obviously I picked that quote to tell you how great you are.

Take care, treat yourself to something nice today.

Ramen in Space

Hello, internet friends!

How nice to see all of you still reading this, it means a lot to me.

I never heard of “Lucky Peach” before, but at the moment they cover a topic near and dear to my heart: ramen.
There’s a biography of Momofuko Ando, a timeline of the history of ramen and a guide to the different types of ramen.
Now excuse me while I hide a bit in the corner and cry about the fact that the only way to get some halfway decent ramen nearby where I stay just got way more expensive.

Since we’re already on the subject of Switzerland: if you happen to be a robot that orders illegal substances and fake passports over the internet, the Swiss police will come and arrest you.

In a very different way just as cyberpunk-y (if not more so) as robots in jail: turning a modern inexpensive compact camera into a waist-level Rolleiflex replica.
I am pretty sure there’s someone thinking about putting a pre-made kit for these up on Kickstarter.

More things that are old: coyotes, British mars spacecrafts, VHS tapes and old websites.
Me, especially on Monday mornings.

Have a good week, take care.
Eat your vegetables.

The Orange of Everything

Hello, internet friends!

I signed up here – the dangers of it becoming a Tamagotchi are pretty small, though. I mean, after all: this. Onwards!

Always good to know: What caused Gandhi’s insatiable bloodlust. Well, in the first Civilization game at least.

Talking about numbers that don’t add up – here is Ev Williams’ take on website statistics.
In case you wonder: I measure “greatness of readers” for this newsletter and the numbers are through the roof. (And now I also raised the kiss-ass metrics, so all is well.)

How Lego Became The Apple of Toys – worth reading even with that cringe-worthy title. Can we just stop calling anything the “Apple of X” this year? Or basically the “X of Y”?

Scroll Slow. Have Fun.


Take care, people.

Properly Whelmed

Hello, internet friends!

Epiphany is a public holiday where I am, so for all intents and purposes, today is Monday. Onwards!

The Pacific Standard wonders How Ambient Intimacy Became So Overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder, too.
I still really like both the term and the idea behind it, but in many ways the services we use to stay in contact with our friends or even random interesting strangers do not scale. (Remember issue 63 and the smattering of articles about how Twitter is not the internet porch anymore?)

So, here are a few predictions how 2015 might be for media. Here are some more.
Mostly it seems like media brands will enroach more and more on our ambient intimacy tools.

How Millennial Are You?
Hey, let’s compare scores! I’m apparently 80 units of millennial. (Which is more than I should be, based on their own calculations.)

If your Millennial score is not too high, you might remember when Jurassic Park was released. If you watch it these days – more than 20 years later – it is astonishing how well it holds up. Much of that can be attributed to Phil Tippett, who seems like an interesting fellow.

Well, fellow millennials, take care!


Hello internet friends!

A happy new year to all of you, may things be great for you and those you care about! (And slightly inconvenient for those, who you secretly wish ill upon.)

2014 in tech.

2014 in science.

I wanted to round up this very short list of 2014 reviews with “2014 in goats” because obviously goats where the big winner of our hearts. But either the internet let me down or my googling skills are deteriorating faster than I want.
So no goats for you, sorry.

Be safe and brace yourself: once the whole holiday and new year ordeal is over, you’ll get these email in a more regular irregular pattern again.
Thanks for reading, I enjoy writing these. And say hi if you want.

79: Spicy

Hello internet friends!

Pretty soon I will write these emails on a fancy new device. Lovely, uh?

I’m usually not a big fan of “Oral History” articles – they tend to look too much like lazy copy-and-pasting of old interview quotes. This one here of Boogie Nights is pretty interesting to read, though.

Men who like spicy food are actually more alpha – a headline that made me laugh-cry while I was generously applying hot sauce to my lunch.

I used to play Transport Tycoon a lot, back in the days[1] and tended to be pretty proud of huge rail networks. But I doubt it is possible to simulate trains going from China to Spain.
It took about three weeks, that is pretty impressive.

Take care people – it’s the darkest week of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere.

  1. a couple of weeks ago. Thanks OpenTTD.  ↩