‘PBS Idea Channel’ Uses the Podcast ‘Serial’ to Explore Objectivity in Law

PBS Idea Channel host Mike Rugnetta uses the popular podcast Serial to explore objectivity in law in the most recent episode of the series. Rugnetta will also be discussing objectivity and journalism in a later episode.

“Serial”, the hugely popular podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, has prompted much discussion and debate about the murder case of Hae Min Lee and convicted Adnan Syed, who is currently serving a life sentence. Here at Idea Channel, besides our fascination with the case, the podcast got us thinking about objectivism. There is a widely held expectation that the law and journalism must be objective. But is that really possible? And does Serial show us that impossibility?

A Combination Live-Action and Animated Video Featuring a Young Man Walking Through the Evolution of Video Games

“Evolution of Video Games” is a combination live-action and animated video by Joe Murayama of PixelStormFilms that features a young man–who appears to be Murayama himself–walking through a manifestation of the evolution of video games like Minecraft and Space Invaders.

Murayama has also released a behind-the-scenes video from the shoot.

Microsoft HoloLens, A Set of Computer Goggles That Allows Users to See and Interact With Holograms

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens is a set of computer goggles that allows users to see and interact with holograms. The goggles, which were revealed on January 21, 2015 at an event in Redmond, Washington, seem to be an important part of the strategy for Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system.

Microsoft HoloLens is the world’s first untethered holographic computer – no wires, phones or connection to a PC needed. Microsoft HoloLens allows you to view holograms in high definition and hear them in surround sound, even if they are behind you. And with advanced sensors, Microsoft HoloLens can see what you are looking at and understand what you are communicating with your hands and voice. By putting you at the center of the Windows 10 computing experience, Microsoft HoloLens allows you to create, access information, enjoy entertainment, and communicate in new and exciting ways.

Wired also has a lengthy feature on the goggles from seeing it back in October 2014 when it was still being worked on under the codename Project Baraboo.

Project HoloLens’ key achievement—realistic holograms—works by tricking your brain into seeing light as matter. “Ultimately, you know, you perceive the world because of light,” Kipman explains. “If I could magically turn the debugger on, we’d see photons bouncing throughout this world. Eventually they hit the back of your eyes, and through that, you reason about what the world is. You essentially hallucinate the world, or you see what your mind wants you to see.”

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

images via Microsoft

via Wired

The Four Horsies of the ‘Pocalypse, A Series of Truly Twisted Collectible Pony Figures Based on the Four Horsemen

The Four Horsies of the ‘Pocalypse is a series of truly twisted pony figures by Bigshot Toyworks. The ponies–Raven, Clash, Calamity, and Ghost–are specifically themed to correspond to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse–Famine, War, Pestilence, and Death. The company is currently seeking funds via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the line.

Bigshot Toyworks previously crowdfunded Little Maddie, a Cthulhu-themed figure in the same line that ostensibly leads the others as they cause havoc and mayhem.

Meet Calamity (Pestilence), Raven (Famine), Clash (War) and Ghost (Death). They’re the Four Horsies of the ‘Pocalypse (or at least they would be if they could only get their act together)! This next-generation of doombringers are on a mission to destroy the Earth, but to do so, they’ll have to beat the likes of Queen Chroma and her rainbow sprite army! Too bad they can’t crack teamwork to save their lives.

Led by Maddie (an older sister type with an affinity for destruction, funded in our last Kickstarter), these would-be Champions of Chaos are desperate to show their parents they’ve got what it takes to inherit the legacy. Cake and ice cream for eternity? Not if these freaky fillies have anything to say about it!

Four Horsies of the 'Pocalypse

Four Horsies of the 'Pocalypse

Four Horsies of the 'Pocalypse

Four Horsies of the 'Pocalypse

Four Horsies of the 'Pocalypse

images via Four Horsies of the ‘Pocalypse

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips

‘STRAFE’, A First-Person Shooter Video Game Featuring Incredible, Bloody Graphics From 1996

STRAFE is a first-person shooter video game by developer Pixel Titans that features incredible, bloody graphics from 1996. The developers, which are currently running a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for the game, intentionally designed the game to appear like what people remember games from the 1990s being like, and the initial trailer is right on the money as well.

The exceptionally gory game features a series of levels which generate automatically and three weapons to choose from. STRAFE is currently scheduled to release on PC and Mac and will support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.

STRAFE Concept Art

STRAFE Concept Art


images via STRAFE

Apollo 1201 Project, A Mission to Eliminate Digital Rights Management Within a Decade

Apollo 1201 Project

The Apollo 1201 Project is a mission–spearheaded by author and Boing Boing editor Cory Doctorow–to eliminate digital rights management (DRM) within a decade. The name of the project specifically refers to both the Apollo space missions to the Moon (the culmination of a decade-long plan) and section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which refers to unlocking DRM.

The details of the project are still under wraps, but in broad strokes, we will use the incredible skills of EFF’s lawyers, technologists, and policy specialists to challenge the law that protects DRM, section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and, in so doing, set in motion a chain of events that will discredit the whole idea of designing computers to control their owners, for any purpose.

In order to more closely work with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on the project, Doctorow is rejoining the organization and going half-time at Boing Boing.

image via Boing Boing

‘PBS Game/Show’ Explores Whether Game Memories Are Real

PBS Game/Show host Jamin Warren explores whether game memories are real in a recent episode of the series. Warren specifically discusses how one forms and recalls memories, as well as compares the experience of remembering playing a game to dreams.

Whether you started with Mario on the NES or just recently joined in with Angry Birds, it’s very likely you have memories of playing a game. But are those memories “real”? All you were REALLY doing was manipulating your thumbs. Yet when looking back on games, we tend to describe our experience as something WE personally DID. So what’s up?

‘AdVenture Capitalist’, A Video Game That Tasks the Player With Spending Money to Earn Money in an Endless Loop

AdVenture Capitalist

AdVenture Capitalist is a clever video game by developer Hyper Hippo Games that tasks the player with spending money to earn more money in an endless loop. The whole point of the capitalism-infused, real-time game is to buy more businesses and make more money to then attract angel investors and start the whole process over.

As you gain more money, you can buy other businesses, hire managers to click buttons for you, and buy upgrades to boost your profits even more.

When the game begins to slow down, click on the Investor tab to see how many Angel Investors you’ll receive by resetting and starting over. Angel Investors boost all of your profits, making your fresh start much faster than before!

AdVenture Capitalist is currently available to play via web browser at Kongregate, and is scheduled to eventually release on iOS and Android.

image via Hyper Hippo Games

via Markus “Notch” Persson, Waxy.org

‘Everything But the News’ Visits a Startup That Only Sells Black V-Neck T-Shirts

“You can have any shirt you want, as long as it’s a black v-neck.”

Everything But the News host Steve Goldbloom visits BlackV Club, a startup that only sells black V-neck T-shirts. Goldbloom has a little trouble understanding the concept, and enlists his mother to help via phone.

STEM System by Sixense, A Wireless Motion-Tracking Platform for Virtual Reality

STEM System

The STEM System by Sixense is a wireless motion-tracking platform that is designed specifically for use with virtual reality. The platform supports up to five distinct wireless motion trackers for better positioning with virtual reality. The STEM System is currently available to pre-order online.

The Verge got a chance to test out the platform–which was successfully funded via a 2013 Kickstarter campaign–at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

STEM System

STEM System

STEM System

STEM System

images via Sixense