It looks like Zika-infected mosquitos have finally made their way to the U.S. Four people who live in the Miami-Dade and Broward counties of Florida came down with the Zika virus in early July, and they all contracted it locally, most likely from mosquito bites.
"These are the first cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in the continental United States," CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a news briefing Friday. "As we have anticipated, Zika is now here."
Although the Zika virus isn't usually dangerous for most people, it can be devastating for the fetus of a pregnant women. But for now the CDC says that because of aggressive measures to control these mosquitos, they don't expect a widespread transmission of the virus. Still, pregnant women in Florida should take precautions.
"We know this virus is most detrimental to expecting mothers," he [Florida Gov. Rick Scott] said. "If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant and live in the impacted area, I urge you to contact your OB/GYN for guidance and to receive a Zika prevention kit. I also ask every Floridian to take proper precautions by eliminating any standing water and wearing insect repellent."
The CDC will be reevaluating the situation daily.
Read the full story at The Washington Post. Read the rest
A woman in San Diego, CA is reported to have contracted the Zika virus through sexual transmission. Read the rest
Indie sf movie kingpin Jim Munroe writes, "Ever wonder how the Hilton and the Marriott families feel about Airbnb? What would happen if the heir to a hotel chain empire gets fed up and decides to rebrand the sharing economy... as the scaring economy? A concept trailer for a new tech-horror webseries called THE INTERNET WANTS by Postopian Pictures, the guys behind HAPHEAD and GHOSTS WITH SHIT JOBS." Read the rest
In the decade since publishing embraced ebooks in earnest, we've seen a cornucopia of exciting and innovative ways technology is being used to enhance reading. By utilizing all the tricks at our Internet- and device-savvy disposal, publishing companies are creating stories that are manifested in and influenced by the digital platform. Read the rest
Wonderland is a wonderful idea for a game. It's an old-timey audio drama that lets you solve a puzzle at the and of each chapter—and if you can't, you can walk with your phone to get clues. Read the rest
After almost two months of an Ebola-free Liberia, the deadly disease has reared its head again. And officials fear there may be a new way of contracting it. Three cases have popped up in the last twelve days, in the village of Nedowein, 30 miles from Liberia's capital, and no one knows how the victims were infected. The first victim was a 17-year-old boy who died on Sunday. The other two victims from the same village, ages 24 and 27, are in stable condition. None of the three had visited countries still infected with Ebola, which adds mystery to this new round of Ebola.
"An Ebola case being reported in the middle part of Liberia is confusing," said Adolphus Gbinee, Memaigar's uncle. "We do not have cases at our borders, not even in Monrovia. How could Ebola jump over those places and come here in Nedowein?"
One theory is that it was transmitted by an animal. The three infected people had all eaten a dead dog that had been dug up before they came down with the virus. Another theory is that the disease hadn't actually been completely eradicated from Liberia. And a third theory is that perhaps the disease was spread through semen, which can carry the virus for 90 days. Researchers are looking at these and other possible ways the disease could have made a comeback.
Officials are keeping tabs on 175 people who had contact with the victims. Over 11,200 people have died from the West African outbreak since 2013. Read the rest
Hapheads, the incredible crowdfunded science fiction drama (previous) is about to get its NYC premiere at Games of Change, and to celebrate, the creators have put all 75 minutes of season one online as a single video, without interruptions. Read the rest
Jim Munroe sez, "In our webseries set 10 years from now, teenagers have learned that shaving their hair at the haptic cable's point of contact allows them to overclock their game's tactile feedback. As well as boosting the signal and muscle memory retention, the shaved stripes become a subcultural indicator of sorts." Read the rest
Jim Munroe writes, "We've put our science fiction visions of Toronto's future together in a 2015 calendar called FALLEN TORONTO as a new Kickstarter reward for backing our neo-noir sci-fi webseries HAPHEAD. If you live here you can shiver in nameless dread all the year round, and if you live elsewhere you can revel in schadenfreude at the fall of our socialist den of iniquity." Read the rest
Haphead, the wonderful science fiction webseries about gamer culture that I wrote about in March, is kickstarting a budget for kick-ass post-production. It's from Jim Munroe, who made Ghosts With Shit Jobs. Read the rest
One year ago today
Cory's HOW I WORK interview: What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Ubuntu and the suite of GNU tools in any robust Unix system. A good text editor (currently Gedit)—I keep all of my working files at .txts. A robust, highly configurable browser (Firefox/Firefox for Android). A fast RSS reader (presently Google Reader, likely to be Newsblur next). A tetherable mobile connection—I use EasyTether for Android to circumvent tether-blocking as deployed by some of the carriers I use around the world, especially Rogers in Canada. AirDroid for moving files on/off Android devices in my life. An external USB battery (currently PowerGen 5200mAh External Battery Pack).
Five years ago today
Terror cops in Wales mistake jazz musician for terrorist: Victor Frederick, 63, was arrested and strip-searched just yards from his home, just moments after his partner Andrea Heath and their daughter had infra-red sights trained at them and were told they would be shot if they moved.
Ten years ago today
Everyone In Silico, licensed for remixing: My friend Jim Munroe is a brilliant sf writer, author of Angry Young Spaceman (which I reviewed for Wired), Everyone in Silico, and Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gas Mask. Silico is a particularily interesting novel about the corporatization of public spaces (Jim used to be a managing editor at AdBusters), and among Jim's publicity stunts for the book was a letter-writing campaign to corporations mentioned in the book, shaking them down for money for "product placement."
Read the rest
Salgood Sam -- who worked on great projects like Sea of Red and Therefore, Repent! sez, "In the last leg of a successful Kickstarter to print my next graphic novel, I've set up some unlockable interactive stretch goal rewards you might want to check out to help me make it to the west coast and print more books! If you can manage to time your pledges to hit the mark that puts my Kickstarter over one of three stretch goals, I'll draw your deepest darkest dreams for you. Or alternately bright and silly ones are an option." Read the rest
Jim Munroe sez, "Ten years from now, videogames are so immersive that teenagers learn lethal skills just by playing. They're called hapheads.
The folks I made Ghosts With Shit Jobs with made this trailer I adapted from a book-length story I'm working on. Don't know if we can honestly call what we do lo-fi sci-fi anymore -- with fight scenes and full-on special effects, it's way more in the mold of traditional action sci-fi. I'm thinking what'll set it apart is the characterization of the father & daughter (my emotional entry into the story, thinking about my relationship with my daughter in 10 years) and the subcultural millieu that'll emerge."
(Thanks, Jim!) Read the rest
Just Ella is a new short film from Jim Munroe, creator of the awesome science fiction mockumentary Ghosts With Shit Jobs. It was made for the Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hour Film Challenge, and is a taste of a new Jim Munroe project called Haphead, which will be made with the same crew and cast as "Just Ella." Jim's looking for production volunteers in Toronto for Haphead, email if you want to help Read the rest
Jim Munroe sez, "The first WordPlay Festival of Writerly Games is happening at the majestic Toronto Reference Library on Sat. Nov. 16 for International Games at Your Library Day. It has an in-discussion-with interview with the Chicago-based Kentucky Route Zero game makers, a workshop led by Christine Love for making your own interactive fiction, and a panel on book/game intersections featuring Hamlet CYOA author and webcomics impresario Ryan North and Hugo award winner Peter Watts. It even features a world premiere delivered by Oculus Rift!"
Curl up with a good game.
(Thanks, Jim) Read the rest