Links from 2021-02-28

Read this excellent article about the making of Zork, the iconic 1977 text adventure

Many puzzles (including that one) did have alternate solutions. But a player base consisting almost entirely of university hackers expected challenging problems: too simple, and they would have stopped playing. Today’s games are made for broader audiences used to far less friction.

sisters with transistors

SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS is the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines and their liberating technologies to utterly transform how we produce and listen to music today.

The film maps a new history of electronic music through the visionary women whose radical experimentations with machines redefined the boundaries of music, including Clara Rockmore, Daphne Oram, Bebe Barron, Pauline Oliveros, Delia Derbyshire, Maryanne Amacher, Eliane Radigue, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel.

This is how we lost control of our faces | MIT Technology Review

In 1964, mathematician and computer scientist Woodrow Bledsoe first attempted the task of matching suspects’ faces to mugshots. He measured out the distances between different facial features in printed photographs and fed them into a computer program. His rudimentary successes would set off decades of research into teaching machines to recognize human faces.

Now a new study shows just how much this enterprise has eroded our privacy. It hasn’t just fueled an increasingly powerful tool of surveillance. The latest generation of deep-learning-based facial recognition has completely disrupted our norms of consent.

An Historical Collection of Found Paper Airplanes | Moss and Fog

We love the nostalgia and sense of discovery in this story of found paper airplanes. From the New Yorker Magazine, we read about Harry Everett Smith, a painter, filmmaker and collector. His paper airplane collection became thing of legend over the years, particularly because of his passion and interest in tracking down new ones. Jumping out into moving traffic, grabbing an airplane before it dived into a gutter, Smith put pride into his saving of these throwaway relics.

Collected between 1961 and 1983, a box of 250 planes was donated to the Smithsonian after his death, just a fraction of his total collection, but a fascinating time capsule nonetheless.

A New Mindful Mix: the LEGO Group releases a soothing soundscape created with thousands of LEGO® bricks - About us - LEGO.com LT

Today, the LEGO Group is launching LEGO® White Noise, a new playlist designed to help listeners find a moment of relaxation in their busy lives. The playlist is composed of a series of audio tracks created using nothing but the iconic sounds that the LEGO brick makes, sounds that are recognised by generations all over the world.

Each LEGO element makes a unique noise, which is why designers experimented with over 10,000 in their quest for the perfect soothing sounds. The result is a soundscape that includes tracks such as ‘It All Clicks’ which perfectly captures the joyous sound of two LEGO elements joining together, and ‘The Waterfall’ created by pouring thousands of LEGO bricks on top of each other.

How and why I stopped buying new laptops

In 2017, somewhere between getting my office and my website off-the-grid, I decided not to buy any more new laptops. Instead, I switched to a 2006 second-hand machine that I purchased online for 50 euros and which does everything that I want and need. Including a new battery and a simple hardware upgrade, I invested less than 150 euros.

If my 2006 laptop lasts as long as my other machines – if it runs for another 1.7 years – it will have cost me only 26 euros per year. That’s more than 10 times less than the cost of my previous laptops. In this article, I explain my motivations for not buying new laptops, and how you could do the same.

Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites

Dark Patterns at Scale is a thorough collection of the high-pressure and deceptive tricks used on websites to get you to do things you didn’t intend.

Miley Cyrus’ NPR Tiny Desk Concert is anything but small

During the pandemic, musical artists have raised the bar on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Because they can’t actually perform from Bob Boilen’s "tiny desk" in NPR’s music office, they’ve been given carte blanche to imagine outside the box. The performances themselves are what you’d expect from these artists — terrific — it’s the sets that they’re having fun with.

Back in August, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS performed in front of a realistic cardboard cutout of Bob Boilen’s desk. Then, in September, Phoebe Bridgers used a green-screen to make it out like she and her band were playing from the Oval Office.

Enter Miley Cyrus. For her concert, she not only embraces the concept of "tiny" but makes her backdrop a personal statement.

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„Leyrers Online Pamphlet“ ist die persönliche Website von mir, Martin Leyrer. Die hier veröffentlichten Beiträge spiegeln meine Ideen, Interessen, meinen Humor und fallweise auch mein Leben wider.
The postings on this site are my own and do not represent the positions, strategies or opinions of any former, current or future employer of mine.

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