Link Dump

Just some links culled from the depths of the internets:
  • The art of anticipation - In this day and age of binge-watching television, it's worth considering what the scheduling of a show isn't just a commercial decision, but a creative one. Even something like House of Cards, which is ostensibly "designed" to be binge watched all at once, has episodes and cliffhangers and even something akin to a commercial break. Why? Because that stuff matters:
    Delay, withhold, restrict, release: This is storytelling 101, Scheherazade stuff, and it’s deeper than marketing and distribution. We bring all of our creative talents to bear on matters of plot and character; the anticipation that precedes and interpenetrates a story deserves no less. More than ever, the shape of a season can be designed and managed. More than ever, anticipation can be art-directed.

    It's exciting that TV has come alive to these possibilities. Such ingenuity is not necessarily what you expect from a format insulated by layers of MBAs with a fiduciary duty to say "no" to weird ideas—but here we are! For once, it's the complex, expensive, high-stakes medium that's leading the way. There's an opportunity for other formats to follow.
    It's an interesting take...
  • Hacks! An investigation into aimbot dealers, wallhack users, and the million-dollar business of video game cheating - I'm fond of video game cheating for reasons of "probing" but I don't think I'd ever actually pay for it and use it against other people in competitive play. Yet, there is quite a market for cheating in exactly that field. Perhaps that's why I stink at all the FPS multiplayer modes (or more likely, I'm just plain terrible).
    As long as there have been video games, there have been cheaters. For competitive games like Counter-Strike, battling cheaters is an eternal, Sisyphean task. In February, Reddit raised concerns about lines of code in Valve-Anti Cheat (VAC), used for Counter-Strike and dozens of other games on Steam, that looked into users' DNS cache. In a statement, Gabe Newell admitted that Valve doesn't like talking about VAC because "it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system." But since online surveillance has been a damning issue lately, he made an exception.
    This winds up being a fascinating article, not least of which because of the folks who are constantly getting caught, yet continue to jump through complicated hoops to get their cheat on...
  • Twenty Things About Bones That You Didn't Know and Also Probably Don't Care About But Here I Go Anyway - In the whole Golden Age of TV thing that we're in, it's easy to forget the weekly grind procedural shows that don't feel the need to shoehorn continuity into it, and Bones strikes a pretty good balance. Characters have lives, there are a handful of multi-episode arcs, but the grand majority of episodes are standalone, and it's a great TV comfort food. This list explains why:
    One of the characters is named Angela Montenegro, and she is an artist who is magic and owns a magic computer that can do anything. Like, Cam will say, "Angela, can you show what it would look like if a ferret ate the victim's genitals and then burrowed through his genitals-hole into his chest cavity and then exploded out his face?" And then Angela is all "beep beep boop" and then she makes a computer animation that looks early 2000s of that thing happening. She is magic.
  • Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos - The lighter side of my idontknowwhatthefuckisgoingoninthisvideo tag.
And that's all for now.