Pokemon Go is the game of the summer: the first really successful alternate reality game that mashes up crowdsourced maps, in-phone cameras, seriously addictive game mechanics, and (of course) a free-to-play/cash-to-accelerate slot machine mechanic that children wouldn't be allowed to stand near if it were in a casino -- in less than a week, it's lifted Nintendo's stock price by 10% and been implicated in any number of bizarre news stories:
* One player stumbled on a dead body while looking for a Pokestop (a refuelling station) in Wyoming (this is in addition to the plague of anecdotes about fist-fights, fender-benders, and slip-and-falls from distracted and/or obnoxious players).
* A group of armed robbers used the crowdsourcing tool for pointing players to Pokestops to drop pins in secluded corners of Missouri shopping center parking-lots, where they stuck up their Poke-playing victims.
* Boon Sheridan lives in a former church that is mistakenly flagged as a public place in geographic databases and has thus been populated by virtual Pokemons for players to catch; his quiet road is now beset by Pokemon players who linger, block traffic, and freak out his neighbors.
* Teagan snapped this photo of a Pokemon player catching their prey amidst a tense Oakland Police Department riot-squad at a demonstration.
Hoo-boy, it's getting a bit Bellwethery in here all of a sudden.
But can we harness all this Pokemon-mania for good? Comics writer Jim Zub thinks we can: "US Government should team up with Nintendo of America to make polling stations special Election Day PokeStops for a record voter turnout."
Back in August, I gave the closing keynote at the second Decentralized Web Summit, entitled "Big Tech's problem is Big, not Tech; the Internet Archive released video right afterwards, but now they've cleaned up the video and rereleased it for your viewing pleasure.
For more than two years, Radiolab has been running a brilliant side-podcast called More Perfect which involves deeply reported, engaging stories about Supreme Court decisions, skilfully mixing in audio from the trials, historic or new interviews with the people involved, and commentary from scholars and activists that serve to illuminate the incredible stories behind the […]
I'm heading to the east coast next week, first for a lecture series in NYC for Columbia University (including a conversation with Radiolab's Jad Abumrad about Big Tech, monopolies and democratic technology); and from there I'm headed to Pennsylvania for a talk about my novel Walkaway at Swarthmore, on Sept 28 from 7-9PM at the […]
iOS 12 is finally here, which means now is the best time for aspiring developers to throw their hats into the app development game. While app development can be tricky for some, you can take an intuitive, beginner-friendly approach to understanding app creation and Apple’s latest iOS platform with the iOS 12 & Xcode 10 Bootcamp, […]
It might still be September, but the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means now is the time to think about where you want to vacation to—and what to do once you get there. To this end, we’ve scoured the Web and tracked down a number of travel hacking ebooks, gadgets, […]
The human eye is a beautiful, incredible thing, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to examining objects up close. Capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times, this portable microscope camera lets you see wonders hidden to your regular vision, and it’s on sale today for $38.99. Don’t let its compact size fool […]