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Tech For Everyone #25: Jumping The Shark

Tech For Everyone #25: Jumping The Shark
By Jason Evangelho • Issue #25 • View online
Hello my friends and thanks for being here! In today’s issue I have some strong words about NFTs, a byte-sized book review, and some happy Linux distro news.
Before we get into it, remember that you can support my writing with your wallet on Patreon or Ko-Fi.
Or you can just send me awesome emails. Reply to this with a funny meme!

Speaking of Funny Memes...
Here are some recent hilarious highlights from my Discord server:
The Holy Trinity
The Holy Trinity
Submitted by CameraManNZ86
Submitted by CameraManNZ86
NFTs Have Already Jumped The Shark
As new and divisive technology tends to be, NFTs are in the news again. They’re currently causing a riot among gamers, who’ve been incensed by recent conversations that Ubisoft and Square Enix are having about NFTs.
Well, maybe “conversations” is too generous a word for Ubisoft…
Ubisoft is shoving NFTs down your throat, like it or not. Here’s how Ubisoft’s Nicolas Pouard feels about gamers’ feelings towards NFTs:
“It’s really beneficial. But they don’t get it for now”
“We will keep a close eye on societal shifts in this space while listening to the many groups of users that populate it”
Look, I’m not against the long-term potential of NFTs*, provided the benefits are not abusive and the blockchain tech behind NFT technology is environmentally-friendly (which it is rapidly becoming).
Lest you think this is a satirical account or just someone blowing a bunch of digital hot air, well, it’s not:
Color Museum
7 colors were consecrated today on the Ethereum blockchain. They include the first red (Rosy Red), the first pink (Pinkalot), the first grey (Bored Grey), and the first off black (Nearly Black). The tone is being set. Minted by @RandsterK, @NedArcher1 and associates.
So far, more than 1500 people in 79 countries have signed up (read: prepared to part with their money) to “own their color” on the blockchain. Seriously.
This is precisely why NFTs are reviled by so many people. It’s the rising number of absurd cash grabs just like this one (not to mention using the very power-hungry Ethereum network).
Twitter user Dan Hon has some hilarious ways to build on this ludicrous concept:
Personally, I’m planning to mint the “E-minor” chord, so that I can effortlessly profit whenever a musical NFT is released that uses my favorite guitar chord.
I’ll OWN that shit! But taking a cue from Color Museum’s NFT adventure, I think I’ll rename E-minor to “emo E.”
*Seriously, I have half a notebook of viable NFT ideas that I scrawled during a very lucid brainstorming session. Ideas that woke me up in the middle of the night begging to materialize on teh page. Ideas that could benefit indie game developers, Linux distributions, open-source software projects and their fans. I’m sitting on them for now, waiting for both time and greener blockchain tech across the board.
Book Review: All Your Base Are Belong To Us
In Issue #24 I talked about getting Harold Goldberg’s “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” for Christmas. I spent last weekend tearing through it (when I wasn’t glued to No Man’s Sky), and came away largely satisfied.
It’s a short, brisk read that attempts to capture the evolution of the gaming industry from its true origins, all the way up to games like BioShock Infinite. And its focus is more on the individual visionaries, not the publishers.
But know this going in: All Your Base Are Belong To Us resembles a collection of passionately written, diligently researched, loosely tied together essays, rather than being a true exploration of the video game industry’s impact on pop culture. It’s alluded to repeatedly, but not explored as deeply as I hoped. 
And Goldberg’s occasional reconstruction of the historical dialogue that transpired (based on his 200+ interviews) sounds stilted, not natural. 
Still, it’s packed with fascinating facts concerning the origin stories of the pioneers and creatives who paved the way. As someone who’s been loving video games since Pong, and has covered the industry for more than a decade, Goldberg still managed to unearth a ton of tidbits that surprised me!
Beyond that, I have a new appreciation for the early days of PopCap, Rockstar, and Sierra among many others. 
It’s an easy-reading page-turner for true video game enthusiasts. Come for the origin stories, the history lessons, and the insights gained from Goldberg’s treasure chest of interviews (I’d love to see the unedited transcripts of these), just don’t expect a deep analysis of gaming’s conquest of pop culture. 
Peppermint OS 11: It's Happening THIS WEEK!
Peppermint OS founder and lead developer Mark Greaves tragically passed away in January 2020, but the dedicated developers of Peppermint OS vowed to continue work on the stylish, lightweight Linux distribution.
This Thursday, Peppermint OS 11 delivers on that promise. And it has a few major changes coming with it, including dropping its Ubuntu LTS base, and changing to a semi-rolling release cycle!
I covered it over at OpenForEveryone:
Peppermint OS 11 Releases Next Week, No Longer Based On Ubuntu
Rattling Around In My Head...
Mental doodles, lost thoughts, and stuff I want to write about in the near future: 
  • Reading “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” led me down a retro rabbit hole. Not Asteroids and Pac-Man retro. I’m talking Oregon Trail and Hunt The Wumpus retro. I want to talk a bit about what I’ve been reading on that front, and share a couple of ways YOU can relive those halcyon days of interactive fiction too.
  • Gaming peripheral company Hyperkin recently joked about remaking the Microsoft Zune. It got me thinking how far ahead of its time that device was (the Zune software was equally incredible). I would honestly buy a classic Zune or iPod in 2022, because I’ve grown disenchanted with the streaming services like Spotify that I reluctantly started using. I’ve started missing physical media again, and there are a LOT of factors at work.
  • I’m addicted to No Man’s Sky after 5 years of barely touching it. I’ve dug out my HOTAS to try X4: Foundations for the first time. I’m pondering how difficult it might be to come back to Elite Dangerous after almost 18 months away. Why am I so fascinated with these space sandboxes?
  • Read and keep up with me on Twitter for more mental doodles and random thoughts.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jason Evangelho

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