Hand-Crafted Poké Ball May Be Peak Pokémon, But Is Still Totally Awesome

The artisan behind this Pokémon "Poké Ball" (aka Monster Ball) masterpiece is Jasper Hams.

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Here's the Pokémon UI redesign everyone's hoping for

Now that we're a month past peak Pokémon Go, developers would be wise to incorporate Wendy Borg's elegant proposed UI redesign to maintain interest. Read the rest

Peak Pokémon Go has already passed

A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.

Additionally, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high," says senior analyst Victor Anthony.

(Bloomberg Markets)

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The occult magick of Pokemon Go

At the Daily Grail, Greg Taylor posted a fascinating essay about the Pokemon Go experience seen through the lens of medieval occult practices in which "incorporeal entities have sometimes been as much a part of the landscape as the everyday physical objects surrounding us that we can touch and see." As Gregory Benford once said, riffing on Arthur C. Clarke, "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology." From the Daily Grail:

The modern, scientific view has these entities as products of the imagination; our pattern-seeking minds combining with our evolutionary survival instincts and desire to feel in control, to create phantoms out of nothing. The 'other world' does not exist; its imaginary denizens therefore cannot invade our own world and affect us, as they don't exist in the first place.

How ironic, then, that the modern scientific world has now created its own 'other world' - the world of computer-generated, virtual realities - and the creatures that populate any of those worlds can now manifest within our own plane through augmented/mixed reality. For those with phones to see...

This month, the infernal gates to this other world were thrown open. Within a week of its release, the game Pokémon Go amassed a similar number of active users to that of Twitter - with all those players running about their neighbourhoods, seeking the incorporeal monsters now inhabiting our environment, that can only be seen through a special, magical scrying device.

"Walkers Between Worlds" (Daily Grail) Read the rest

Watch as a driver playing Pokemon Go hits a police car

Yup. Someone playing Pokemon Go while driving ran into a Police car in Baltimore. Officer's body cameras caught the event.

Via USAToday:

A Pokemon Go enthusiast slammed into a Baltimore police car while playing the game on his phone early Monday morning, according to authorities.

In body-camera video released by the Baltimore Police Department, several officers are seen standing near a police car as a Toyota Rav 4 slams into the cruiser and continues driving.

In the video, an officer runs after the vehicle, which stops near the end of the block, and the driver gets out of his car.

The officer asks if everyone is OK, and the driver, whose face is blurred in the clip, shows the police officers his cellphone.

“That’s what I get for playing this dumb--- game,” the man says to the officers.

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Humanitarian organization warns Pokemon Go players to stay out of Bosnian minefields

Posavina bez mina, a humanitarian organization that works to defuse landmines in the former Yugoslavia, has posted a warning to its Facebook page saying that they've been told that Pokemon Go players are venturing into active minefields to catch virtual critters, and warning people not to go into minefields to catch Pokemon, which is very good advice. Read the rest

TV news reporter obsessed with Pokemon Go walks in front of weather guy on live TV

Allison Kropff, a television reporter at Florida's WTSP 10 TV News, walks right in front of colleague Bobby Deskins while hunting Pokemon.

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A General 'Pokemon Go' Guide: How to master and have fun with the Nintendo game craze

“I made a guide with some general tips for PoGo,” says redditor Lastminuteguy. “This guide doesn't state the basics, but rather gives information on elements of the game that aren't immediately obvious.”

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'I renamed all my Pokemon whatever my 2 year old called them'

“For your mild amusement, I renamed all my Pokemon whatever my 2 year old called them,” says IMGUR user June1920. Sort of jealous they caught a Claws Parrot.

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US Senator Al Franken concerned about Pokemon privacy

US Senator Al Franken doesn't think Niantic, the creators of Pokemon GO, need all your personal information. He sent Niantic CEO John Hanke the following letter:

Dear Mr. Hanke:

I am writing to request information about Niantic s recently released augmented reality app, Pokemon GO, which - in less than a week's time - has been downloaded approximately 7.5 million times in the United States alone. While this release is undoubtedly impressive, I am concerned about the extent to which Niantic may be unnecessarily collecting, using, and sharing a wide range of users' personal information without their appropriate consent. I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes an individual's access to information, as well as the ability to make meaningful choices, about what data are being collected about them and how the data are being used. As the augmented reality market evolves,

I ask that you provide greater clarity on how Niantic is addressing issues of user privacy and security, particularly that of its younger players.

Recent reports, as well as Pokemon GO s own privacy policy, suggest that Niantic can collect a broad swath of personal information from its players. From a user's general profile information to their precise location data and device identifiers, Niantic has access to a significant amount of information, unless users - many of whom are children - opt-out of this collection. Pokemon GO'S privacy policy states that all of this information can then be shared with The Pokemon Company and "third party service providers", details for which are not provided, and farther indicates that Pokemon GO may share de-identified or aggregated data with other third parties for a non-exhaustive list of purposes.

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How to kick Pokemon Go out of your Google account

A privacy trainwreck: Pokemon Go, the hit augmented reality game that's seeing kids and adults alike scouring the real world looking for monsters to nab, quietly gets "full access" to players' Google accounts. And check out the small print that goes with it. Read the rest