minecraft photo realism

Look at what you can make out of ‘Minecraft.’ Just look at it.     Neither the idea nor the mods necessary are by me—I just went some lengths in order to get it to run with ‘Minecraft 1.8.1,’ the latest version. Actually two nights ago I was browsing videos of photorealistic mods for GTA4 when YouTube suggested AnonimusSVer’s video called ‘↑Photorealistic Minecraft! Shaders + HD Texture Pack + Physics Mod (GTX 760).’ It completely stunned me. Instantly I loved the absurd idea of a 3D-world completely made of cubes, but clad in photorealism, and the strange atmosphere it creates. … Continue reading

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reverse sportscar heist

Meanwhile everybody playing ‘↵Watch Dogs‘ (Ubisoft Montreal 2014) seems to know about the dealer’s showroom in ↑The Loop where you can easily steal a ↑Scafati GT, the most lamborghini-ish of all ↑cars in the game. There are videos on YouTube and more information around the Net explaining the feat. Just walk into the store, enter a car, drive it through the glass panes of one of the floor-to-ceiling windows, and off you go. I already had driven two Scafati GTs, stolen on the street, but nevertheless wanted to see the showroom.  When I reached it in an orange ↑336-TT—it already … Continue reading

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quantification prescribing interaction

Artist and composer ↑Ben[jamin] Grosser, currently teaching at the School of Art & Design, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, two days ago has published his fine article “↓What do metrics want? How quantification prescribes social interaction on Facebook.” Here’s the abstract: Abstract The Facebook interface is filled with numbers that count users’ friends, comments, and “likes.” By combining theories of agency in artworks and materials with a software studies analysis of quantifications in the Facebook interface, this paper examines how these metrics prescribe sociality within the site’s online social network. That prescription starts with the transformation of the human need … Continue reading

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fix at pleasure

In addition to his substantial contributions to science (see Bogolyubov, Mikhailov & Yushkevich 2007) the eminent swiss mathematician and physicist ↑Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) also wrote texts accessible to the general public. Eulers didactics are absolutely admirable because you can dive into both ‘Elements of Algebra’ (1770) and ‘Letters of Euler on different subjects in physics and philosophy addressed to a german princess’ (1768-1774) without presuppositions, without any previous knowledge whatsoever. His ‘Elements of Algebra’ begin at virtually nothing and then build up to unforeseen heights. Here is in full the beginning of chapter one of section one of part one, … Continue reading

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the arkham knight

After the disappointment ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ (Warner Bros. Games Montreal 2013) was [and ↑Jaz is with me here, giving good reasons, why it was disappointing], Rocksteady Studios is at the helm again and ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ (Rocksteady 2015) is scheduled for release on 02 June 2015. After their glorious games ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ (2009) and ‘Batman: Arkham City’ (2011) I am absolutely convinced that Rocksteady will do it again. Just like The Creative Assembly just recently saved the Alien-franchise with the fantastic ‘Alien: Isolation’ (2014) after Gearbox Software nearly had ruined it with the godawful ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines’ (2013).   … Continue reading

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beyond cyberpunk revisited

Back in August 2006 here at xirdalium I wrote ↵an entry [worthwhile, lots of associations] on Gareth Branwyn’s and Peter Sugarman’s 1991 HyperCard classic ‘↑Beyond cyberpunk‘ [← that’s a link to the complete web version]. Now Gareth has published his book ‘Borg like me’ (Branwyn 2014a) containing a treasure trove of his writing from the past three decades, including an essay (Branwyn 2014b) on the making-of of ‘Beyond cyberpunk’. Boingboing has ↑said essay online, and here are some excerpts [water on my mills]: Peter [Sugarman] and I [Gareth Branwyn] began having regular phone conversations about hypermedia and how it might … Continue reading

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digital china on cyberanthropology

Well, here it is—to my knowledge the first ↑English-language review of my book ‘Cyberanthropology’ (2011) [which is in German]. ↑Annika Pissin of Lunds Universitet’s project ↑Digital China was so kind as to write a fine review in ↑the project’s blog :) KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2011. Cyberanthropology. Wuppertal: Peter Hammer. PISSIN, ANNIKA. 2014. ↑Book review: Cyberanthropology. Digital China 16 January 2014. Here’s the ↵collection of all the reviews I’m aware of. … Continue reading

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berners-lee on snowden

It’s been almost eight years that I ↵last quoted ↑Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web, here at xirdalium. On 1st August 2006 I republished the following sentence from ↑his blog: When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going [to] end in the USA. Well, it’s more than high time again. Here’s what ↑thenextweb wrote recently: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, has come out in support of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, saying … Continue reading

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snowden on games

Here is a passage from chapter two of ↑Glenn Greenwald‘s excellent newest book “No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State” (2014), which I’ve recently read: Finally, Snowden gave me an answer that felt vibrant and real. “The true measurement of a person’s worth isn’t what they say they believe in, but what they do in defense of those beliefs,” he said. “If you’re not acting on your beliefs, then they probably aren’t real.”     How had he developed this measure for assessing his worth? Where did he derive this belief that he could … Continue reading

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