Shared posts

18 May 10:46

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Trailer Is Everything You Want It to Be

by John Friscia

Marvel Studios has premiered the first trailer for the series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which will premiere on Disney+ on August 17, 2022. Tatiana Maslany stars as Jennifer Walters, cousin to Bruce Banner, who after some hijinks inherits Bruce’s monstrous power. Yet in addition to being an unwitting new superhero, Walters is also a chipper single lawyer in her 30s. So basically, imagine Better Call Saul but with more action and perhaps less moral ambiguity.

The She-Hulk: Attorney at Law trailer leans on comedy a bit more than most Marvel Cinematic Universe series, and it works to the series’s benefit. Walters can explore her dating life. She can experiment with her powers in ridiculous ways set up by Bruce. And she can also seemingly fight the Abomination, whom we last saw in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. (Wong is returning as well.) It feels like there is something for everyone here, and hopefully She-Hulk will be a fun ride across its nine episodes.

Elsewhere in the MCU, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently topping the box office. Meanwhile, Thor: Love and Thunder will arrive this July, presenting a newly diesel Natalie Portman as the Mighty Thor. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law should be a nice change of pace when it premieres this August.

13 May 10:30

MS Store adds refurbished Xbox Series X consoles at below street price

Hardly a deep discount, but more chances to get a console!
11 May 10:51

Announcement: I’m Going to Miss You, But I Am Taking a Sabbatical

by Jason Kottke

Hello, everyone. I’m going to be taking an extended break from kottke.org, starting today. I’ve been writing here for more than 24 years, nearly half my life — I need a breather. This is something I have been thinking about and planning for years1 and I’d like to share why I’m doing it, how it’s going to work, what I hope to accomplish, and how you can help.

This is a long post and was a hard one to write — I hope you’ll give it your thoughtful attention. But first, let me introduce you to my plant.

(This is going somewhere. Trust me.)

Eight years ago when I still lived in NYC, I bought a fiddle leaf fig tree from a store in the Flower District. Here it is a couple of years ago, thriving next to my desk here in Vermont:

overhead view of my home office with a fiddle leaf fig tree

I’d recently moved into my own apartment after separating from my wife and figured a large plant in my new place would add some liveliness to a new beginning that was feeling overwhelming, lonely, and sad. For the first couple of months, I didn’t know if my tree and I were going to make it. I’d never really had a plant before and struggled getting a handle on the watering schedule and other plant care routines. It started losing leaves. Like, an alarming number of leaves.

I’d brought this glorious living thing into my house only to kill it! Not cool. With the stress of the separation, my new living situation, and not seeing my kids every day, I felt a little like I was dying too.

One day, I decided I was not going to let my fiddle leaf fig tree die…and if I could do that, I wasn’t going to fall apart either. It’s a little corny, but my mantra became “if my tree is ok, I am ok”. I learned how to water & feed it and figured out the best place to put it for the right amount of light. It stopped shedding leaves.

The fig tree was a happy plant for several years after that. And I was ok because my plant was ok — I found new routines and rhythms in my altered life, made new traditions with my kids, got divorced, met new people, moved to a new state (w/ my family and tree), rediscovered who I was as a person, and, wonderfully and unexpectedly, forged a supportive and rewarding parenting partnership and friendship with my ex. We made it through that tough time together, that plant and me.

Recently however, my fiddle leaf fig has been struggling again. It’s been losing leaves and has become lopsided — some branches are going gangbusters while others are almost bare and the plant is listing so badly to one side that the whole thing tips over without the weight of water in the pot. This is what it’s looking like these days:

a majestic fiddle leaf fig tree leans precariously to one side in a bedroom

My plant is not ok. And neither am I — I feel as off-balance as my tree looks. I’m burrrrned out. I have been for a few years now. I’ve been trying to power through it, but if you’ve read anything about burnout, you know that approach doesn’t work.

I appreciate so much what I’ve built here at kottke.org — I get to read and learn about all sorts of new things every day, create new ideas and connections for people, and think in public — and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to set my own schedule, be my own boss, and provide for my family. But if you were to go back into the archive for the past several months and read the site closely, you’d see that I’ve been struggling.

Does what I do here make a difference in other people’s lives? In my life? Is this still scratching the creative itch that it used to? And if not, what needs to change? Where does kottke.org end and Jason begin? Who am I without my work? Is the validation I get from the site healthy? Is having to be active on social media healthy? Is having to read the horrible news every day healthy? What else could I be doing here? What could I be doing somewhere else? What good is a blog without a thriving community of other blogs? I’ve tried thinking about these and many other questions while continuing my work here, but I haven’t made much progress; I need time away to gain perspective.

· · ·

So. The plan, as it currently stands, is to take 5-6 months away from the site. I will not be posting anything new here. I won’t be publishing the newsletter. There won’t be a guest editor either — if someone else was publishing here, it would still be on my mind and I’m looking for total awayness here. I’m planning on setting up a system to republish some timeless posts from the archive while I’m away, but that’s not fully in place yet. If you send me email (please do!), it might take me awhile to read it and even longer to reply — I plan to ignore my inbox as much as I can get away with. I probably won’t be on Twitter but will be more active on Instagram if you want to follow me there.

The goal of my time away from the site is resting, resetting, recharging, and figuring out what to do going forward. In this NY Times feature, Alexandra Bell said this about how art is made: “I need some space to think and live and have generative conversations and do things, and then I’ll make something, but I can’t tell you what it is just yet.” That’s the sort of energy I need to tap into for a few months.

Here’s the way I’ve been thinking about it: there’s a passenger ferry that goes from Cape Cod to Nantucket and there’s a stretch of time in the middle of the journey where you can’t see the mainland behind you and can’t yet see the island ahead — you’re just out in the open water. That’s what I need, to be in that middle part — to forget about what I’ve been doing here for so many years without having to think about where I’m going in the future. I need open water and 5-6 months feels like the right amount of time to find it.

· · ·

This is probably a good time to admit that I’m a little terrified about taking this time off. There’s no real roadmap for this, no blueprint for independent creators taking sabbaticals to recharge. The US doesn’t have the social safety net necessary to enable extended breaks from work (or much of anything else, including health care) for people with Weird Internet Careers. I support a lot of individual writers, artists, YouTubers, and bloggers through Substack, Patreon, and other channels, and over the years I’ve seen some of them produce content at a furious pace to keep up their momentum, only to burn out and quit doing the projects that I, and loads of other people, loved. With so many more people pursuing independent work funded directly by readers & viewers these days, this is something all of us, creators and supporters alike, are going to have to think about.

I’ve said this many times over the past 5 years: kottke.org would not be possible today without the incredible membership support I have gotten from the people who read this site. Members have enabled this site to be free for everyone to read, enriching the open web and bucking the trend towards paywalling information online. I hope you will continue to support me in taking this necessary time off.

If, for whatever reason, you would like to pause/suspend your membership until I return, email me and I would be happy to do that for you. You’re also free of course to raise or lower your membership support here if you’d like. Regardless of what you choose to do, I hope I will see you back here in the fall.

· · ·

If you’re curious about what’s on my agenda for the next few months, so am I! I’m leaving on a long-planned family trip soon, but other than that, I do not have any set plans. Suggestions and advice are welcome! I’d like to spend some unrushed time with my kids, who too often see me when I’m stressed out about work. I want to read more books. Watch more good movies. Take more photos. Go on pointless adventures. I want to exercise a little more regularly and figure out how to eat a bit better. Maybe travel some, visit friends or the ocean or both. Bike more. Stare at the walls. I hope to get a little bored. I need to tend to my fiddle leaf fig tree — if my tree is ok, I will be too.

I’m going to miss this — and all of you — more than I probably realize right now, but I’m ready for a break. I’ll see you in a few months.

*deep breath*

Here I go!

*jumps*

· · ·

P.S. The best way to keep tabs on when the site starts up again is to subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow @kottke on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed, or follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss anything.

P.P.S. Big big thanks to the many people I’ve talked to about this over the past few months and years, especially Anil, Alaina, David, Adriana, Tim, Caroline, Matt, Joanna, Meg, Aaron, Edith, Kara, Megan, Anna, Jackson, and Michelle. (Forgive me if I’ve forgotten anyone.) I value your wise counsel and your pointing me, hopefully, in the right direction.

P.P.P.S. A quick blogroll if you’re looking for sites and newsletters to keep you busy while I’m gone. In no particular order, a non-exhaustive list: The Kid Should See This, The Morning News, Waxy, Colossal, Curious About Everything, Open Culture, Drawing Links, Clive Thompson @ Medium, Cup of Jo, swissmiss, Storythings, things magazine, Present & Correct, Spoon & Tamago, Dense Discovery, Austin Kleon, NextDraft, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Poetry Is Not a Luxury, A Thing or Two, The Honest Broker, Interconnected, The Whippet, Craig Mod, Why is this interesting?, Sidebar, The Prepared, Life Is So Beautiful, Fave 5, Sentiers, The Fox Is Black, and Scrapbook Chronicles. Happy hunting!

Update: Hello, everyone. I want to thank you all so much for your emails, tweets, and DMs…yesterday was just a little overwhelming. I was apprehensive yesterday morning about publishing this post — I had no idea what the reaction was going to be — and, well, you folks turned it into a party. I’m so grateful for your support, advice, well-wishes, and understanding. I should not have doubted you — if this site is anything, it’s that way because of all of you. Thank you again for the support and I will see you in a few months. ❤

  1. The original plan was to do this in late spring 2020 but….you know.

Tags: Jason Kottke   kottke.org   working
09 May 13:14

Wikimedia Foundation stops accepting cryptocurrency donations

Wikipedia globe logo

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that owns and operates Wikipedia and related projects, announced that they would no longer accept donations in cryptocurrency. The announcement followed a formal request from the community that the WMF no longer accept such donations, a request that came from three months of discussion among members of the community.

The Wikimedia Foundation has accepted cryptocurrency donations since 2014, accepting donations in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Ripple (XRP), Litecoin, Dogecoin, and the DAI and USDC stablecoins. However, it has made up a small portion of the non-profit's donation revenue—they received only $130,000 worth of crypto donations in the last fiscal year, which made up 0.08% of their revenue.

There has been strong pressure from crypto advocates on the WMF to accept crypto donations—both in 2014 when it was initially implemented, but also via brigading of the recent community discussion.

09 May 13:13

Video game company Square Enix agrees to sell much of their Western IP so they can go into the blockchain market

Cover of a copy of Tomb Raider for XBOX

Video game company Square Enix, the creators of titles including Deus Ex and Tomb Raider, agreed to sell off the intellectual property rights to those games, as well as other games and their respective game studios. The move, they said, was so they could invest more heavily in "blockchain, AI, and the cloud". This didn't come as an enormous surprise, as in January, Square Enix CEO announced these intentions in a letter that acknowledged that that (apparent subset) of players who "play to have fun" wouldn't be thrilled with their blockchain plans.

The sale agreement announcement came at a tough time for Square Enix, as it was published the same day as a report from the Wall Street Journal that "NFT Sales are Flatlining".

09 May 10:59

Ncuti Gatwa Is the Fourteenth Doctor Who, Working with Russell T. Davies

by John Friscia

The BBC has announced that Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa will play the Fourteenth Doctor in Doctor Who, working with returning showrunner Russell T. Davies. Twenty-nine-year-old Gatwa is best known for portraying Eric Effiong in the Netflix series Sex Education, for which he earned the Best Actor Award at the 2020 Scottish BAFTAs.

Ncuti Gatwa provided the following statement about becoming the Fourteenth Doctor Who:

There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same. Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.

Meanwhile, Russell T. Davies gave his own statement about about Ncuti Gatwa joining Doctor Who:

The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!

As Davies noted, the (controversial) Chris Chibnall era of Doctor Who with Jodie Whittaker is currently coming to a close, and our resident genius film critic Darren Mooney recently presented a grand, unified theory of what the heck that era is actually supposed to be about.

29 Apr 12:00

Mars Helicopter Spots Perseverance Rover’s Landing Debris

by Jason Kottke

wreckage from the landing of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars

wreckage from the landing of NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars

On the 26th flight of Ingenuity, NASA’s helicopter on Mars, it spotted and photographed the wreckage of the Perseverance rover’s landing gear, protective shell, and parachute. From a NY Times article on the photos:

“There’s definitely a sci-fi element to it,” Ian Clark, an engineer who worked on Perseverance’s parachute system, said of photographs released on Wednesday. “It exudes otherworldly, doesn’t it?”

Part of the reason NASA had Ingenuity go take a look is to see how all of that equipment held up during the landing process. Data from the photos will inform future missions.

“Perseverance had the best-documented Mars landing in history, with cameras showing everything from parachute inflation to touchdown,” said JPL’s Ian Clark, former Perseverance systems engineer and now Mars Sample Return ascent phase lead. “But Ingenuity’s images offer a different vantage point. If they either reinforce that our systems worked as we think they worked or provide even one dataset of engineering information we can use for Mars Sample Return planning, it will be amazing. And if not, the pictures are still phenomenal and inspiring.”

In the images of the upright backshell and the debris field that resulted from it impacting the surface at about 78 mph (126 kph), the backshell’s protective coating appears to have remained intact during Mars atmospheric entry. Many of the 80 high-strength suspension lines connecting the backshell to the parachute are visible and also appear intact. Spread out and covered in dust, only about a third of the orange-and-white parachute — at 70.5 feet (21.5 meters) wide, it was the biggest ever deployed on Mars — can be seen, but the canopy shows no signs of damage from the supersonic airflow during inflation. Several weeks of analysis will be needed for a more final verdict.

It is really remarkable, the images we’re seeing from Mars, taken by a robotic helicopter.

Tags: astronomy   Ingenuity   Mars   NASA   Perseverance   photography   science   space
19 Apr 09:59

We Have No Words For This Level Of Stupid

by Not Always Right

Client: "Our page isn’t updated."
Me: "We haven’t been given any content to update it with."

Read We Have No Words For This Level Of Stupid

13 Apr 10:23

The Wikimedia community formally requests that the Wikimedia Foundation no longer accept cryptocurrency donations

Wikipedia spherical puzzle globe logo

Wikipedia editors and other members of the Wikimedia communities completed a three-month-long discussion about whether the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) should continue to accept donations in crypto. The WMF, which is the non-profit that owns and operates Wikipedia and related projects, has accepted crypto donations via BitPay since 2014. They have been a small source of donation revenue—in the last fiscal year, the WMF received about $130,000 worth of crypto donations. "Crypto was around 0.08% of our revenue last year, and it remains one of our smallest revenue channels," wrote a Wikimedia Foundation staff member.

The community member writing the closing summary of the discussion wrote that "Common arguments in support include: issues of environmental sustainability, that accepting cryptocurrencies constitutes implicit endorsement of the issues surrounding cryptocurrencies, and community issues with the risk to the movement’s reputation for accepting cryptocurrencies.... Excluding new accounts and unregistered users, the tally is 232 to 94, or 71.17% in support of the proposal. These results indicate overall community support, with a significant minority in opposition. Thus, the Wikimedia community requests that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations."

12 Apr 12:43

We Have the Tools to Fix the Climate. We Just Need to Use Them.

by Jason Kottke

A new video from Kurzgesagt is designed to provide a little hope that humans can figure a way out of the climate crisis, without being overly pollyannish.

And so for many the future looks grim and hopeless. Young people feel particularly anxious and depressed. Instead of looking ahead to a lifetime of opportunity they wonder if they will even have a future or if they should bring kids into this world. It’s an age of doom and hopelessness and giving up seems the only sensible thing to do.

But that’s not true. You are not doomed. Humanity is not doomed.

There’s been progress in the last decade, in terms of economics, technology, policy, and social mores. It’s not happening fast enough to limit warming to 1.5°C, but if progress continues, gains accumulate, people keep pushing, and politicians start to figure out where the momentum is heading, we can get things under control before there’s a global apocalypse.

Tags: climate crisis   Kurzgesagt   science   video
11 Apr 11:18

Everyone’s Favorite “Type” Of Client

by Not Always Right

Client: “I can’t concentrate when you keep tapping like that!”
Me: “I’m typing. This is the sound of typing.”

Read Everyone’s Favorite “Type” Of Client

06 Apr 10:19

Comparing what TikTok shows to Russian vs. Ukrainian users

by Andy Baio
starting with new TikTok accounts using IP addresses located 50 miles apart, the difference is stark #
22 Mar 10:04

Browser-in-the-Browser Attack Can Trick Even Savvy Users

by BeauHD
apoc.famine shares a report from Ars Technica: Hundreds of thousands of sites use the OAuth protocol to let visitors login using their existing accounts with companies like Google, Facebook, or Apple. Instead of having to create an account on the new site, visitors can use an account that they already have -- and the magic of OAuth does the rest. The Browser-in-the-Browser (BitB) technique capitalizes on this scheme. Instead of opening a genuine second browser window that's connected to the site facilitating the login or payment, BitB uses a series of HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) tricks to convincingly spoof the second window. The URL that appears there can show a valid address, complete with a padlock and HTTPS prefix. The layout and behavior of the window appear identical to the real thing. While the method is convincing, it has a few weaknesses that should give savvy visitors a foolproof way to detect that something is amiss. Genuine OAuth or payment windows are in fact separate browser instances that are distinct from the primary page. That means a user can resize them and move them anywhere on the monitor, including outside the primary window. BitB windows, by contrast, aren't a separate browser instance at all. Instead, they're images rendered by custom HTML and CSS and contained in the primary window. That means the fake pages can't be resized, fully maximized or dragged outside the primary window. All users should protect their accounts with two-factor authentication. One other thing more experienced users can do is right click on the popup page and choose "inspect." If the window is a BitB spawn, its URL will be hardcoded into the HTML.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Mar 08:54

Authentication Firm Okta Probes Report of Digital Breach

by msmash
Authentication services provider Okta is investigating a report of a digital breach, the company said on Tuesday, after hackers posted screenshots showing what they claimed was its internal company environment. From a report: A hack at Okta could have major consequences because thousands of other companies rely on the San Francisco-based firm to manage access to their own networks and applications. The company was aware of the reports and was investigating, Okta official Chris Hollis said in a brief statement. "We will provide updates as more information becomes available," he added. The screenshots were posted by a group of ransom-seeking hackers known as LAPSUS$ on their Telegram channel late on Monday. In an accompanying message, the group said its focus was "ONLY on Okta customers." TechCrunch adds: Okta chief executive Todd McKinnon confirmed the breach in a tweet thread overnight on March 22: "In late January 2022, Okta detected an attempt to compromise the account of a third party customer support engineer working for one of our subprocessors. The matter was investigated and contained by the subprocessor. We believe the screenshots shared online are connected to this January event. Based on our investigation to date, there is no evidence of ongoing malicious activity beyond the activity detected in January."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

22 Mar 08:52

Albert Schweitzer-ziekenhuis wiste per ongeluk bestanden van 200.000 patiënten

by Stephan Vegelien
Het Albert Schweitzer-ziekenhuis, met vestigingen in Dordrecht, Sliedrecht en Zwijndrecht, heeft per ongeluk 513.000 oude digitale bestanden gewist uit de dossiers van 212.000 patiënten door deze te overschrijven met nieuwe bestanden.
21 Mar 12:41

How Galaxy Quest’s Thermian Aliens Were Created

by Jason Kottke

In this short clip, the cast of Galaxy Quest looks back on how the speech, mannerisms, and culture of the Thermian people were developed. One of the actors came up with the voice in an audition and the filmmakers and actors just ran with it. (via digg)

Tags: Galaxy Quest   movies   video
21 Mar 09:13

Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares a Powerful Message to the Russian People

by Jason Kottke

This is really good: Arnold Schwarzenegger recorded a message, subtitled in both English and Russian, directed at the Russian people (and briefly, Vladimir Putin) about the war in Ukraine. It’s a canny piece of media by an exceptional communicator — drawing on his obvious respect for the people of Russia and his father’s experience as a German soldier in World War II, Schwarzenegger tells Russian citizens that they’ve been lied to about the war by their leadership, that most of the world is against their actions, and warns them about the consequences of being economically and socially isolated from the rest of the world.

This is not the war to defend Russia that your grandfather or your great grandfathers fought. This is an illegal war! Your lives, your limbs, your futures are being sacrificed for a senseless war condemned by the entire world.

Tags: Arnold Schwarzenegger   Russia   Ukraine   video   war
09 Mar 15:38

Site Feature: Share personalised achievement unlocked images

Show the world the achievements you're most proud of unlocking!
23 Feb 12:15

Tesla Is Working To Make Steam Video Games Work In Its Vehicles

by BeauHD
Merijn

This is the stupidest thing ever.

Elon Musk said that Tesla is working to make Steam's library of video games work on its onboard vehicle computer. Electrek reports: As we previously reported, Tesla has a team of software engineers working on video games in Seattle and they recently started building a similar team in Austin. The automaker has been building a video game platform called Tesla Arcade inside its vehicles, and it has been working with video game studios to port games to it. Right now, it is mainly to create some added value to its ownership experience, but Tesla might have bigger plans for gaming inside its vehicles. In preparation for that, the automaker has been releasing more video games in its Tesla Arcade and it has indicated that it might turn it into a business. Now Musk announced on Twitter today that Tesla is working to make Steam's library of games work directly on Tesla's software instead of porting specific games: "We're working through the general case of making Steam games work on a Tesla vs specific titles. Former is obviously where we should be long-term." In the Twitter thread, Musk reiterated his goal to make Cyberpunk, a demanding game graphic-wise, work on the upcoming Cybertruck.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

16 Feb 14:06

Thousands of achievements to be discontinued when Windows Phone loses Xbox support in May

You have until May 16th to unlock any Windows Phone achievements
15 Feb 09:47

The adorable love story behind Wikipedia’s “high five” photos

by Andy Baio
Merijn

This interview is amazing, and includes a recreation of the original photos with their two young daughters.

don't miss the reenactment at the end #
14 Feb 10:52

The BBC publishes (and then deletes) a puff piece on a "self-made crypto-millionaire giving back" without mentioning his scam coin

Photograph of a man holding a laptop while standing in front of a Mercedes

The BBC featured an article on their homepage about Hanad Hassan, "a 20-year-old who made millions trading cryptocurrency [who] is set to open a food bank to give back to his community." They mentioned that "he and his friend ... set up a special cryptocurrency together, donating all the profits to charity." What the BBC failed to note was that the project, Orfano, was apparently a scam—after the project launched and received investments, the duo shut it down and took the money. The BBC took their article down without explanation shortly after publishing, though it is still accessible via the Internet Archive. The BBC had also originally announced that there would be a 30-minute feature on the man on their BBC One channel running later that day, but replaced it with a different segment.

14 Feb 09:51

mtgDAO gets a legal notice from Wizards of the Coast, writes that they are "unfairly discriminat[ing] against web3 tech and web3 communities"

The fledgling mtgDAO promised to deliver a "crypto NFT card economy" based around the Magic: The Gathering card game published by Wizards of the Coast. Needless to say, WotC sent them an email to inform them that their "intended use of Wizards' intellectual property, including its trademarks and copyrights, would be unlawful". This prompted mtgDAO to publish a 20-tweet-long thread about "why WotC is ngmi", where they accused WotC of "unfairly discriminat[ing] against web3 tech and web3 communities" by protecting their intellectual property. It's unclear where mtgDAO will go from here—they wrote in the thread that they hope to "help [WotC] see something like mtgDAO, and web3 in general, as an opportunity and not a threat", but I suspect they will not have much luck convincing WotC to let them infringe upon their intellectual property out of the goodness of their own hearts. On February 15 the project said what was already pretty clear: "I don't know shit about copyright law" and that "I'll tell you that mtgDAO NFTs being IP infringement is not intuitive to me."

04 Feb 12:05

The World Wildlife Fund announces their upcoming NFT project... for nature!

Merijn

I know the quoted commenter and knowing how very British and mild-mannered he is, he's extremely upset about this.

World Wildlife Fund panda logo

The UK branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced their upcoming "Tokens For Nature" NFT project, which is meant to support endangered species. The WWF was quick to tout that its project would be eco-friendly because it uses the Polygon blockchain, though commenters were skeptical. One commenter wrote, "This is like if David Attenborough did a piece to camera about his environmental activism while politely snapping swans' necks throughout." Other commenters expressed that it was irresponsible of the WWF to engage with NFTs at all, given the overall environmental damage of the concept, and because it brings more people into a space full of predatory projects. The WWF ended up shuttering the project on February 4, after all the negative feedback.

This was not the WWF's first foray into NFTs—the German arm of the WWF released a "Non-Fungible Animals" NFT project in November 2021, which has enjoyed less than $10,000 in trading volume. It also did't appear to be the only project the WWF UK had planned—their NFT website advertised upcoming collaborations with CyberKongz (built on the Ethereum blockchain) and World of Women (also built on the Ethereum blockchain).

02 Feb 11:58

New York Times buys Wordle

by Andy Baio
Microsoft buys Activision Blizzard, Sony buys Bungie, and now the biggest game acquisition news of all #
02 Feb 10:04

HitPiece catches heat for selling song and album NFTs without seeking consent from the artists

Two listings for sale on the HitPiece website: "Tokyo DisneySea Theme Song" and a German-language Star Wars song, "Die Belagerung von Lothal - Teil 2 - Kapitel 6"

The industrial band Choke Chain tweeted, "Yo a bunch of industrial scene acts (including me) have NFTs for sale on the site hitpiece.com I did not put it online and I assume you probably didn't either, fucked up". A look through the site shows that it is chock full of almost certainly unauthorized NFTs of music not just from industrial bands, but from contemporary pop music artists, k-pop groups, Disney, and many others. The group appears to be simply scraping Spotify and publishing everything as NFT auctions.

The project's website writes, "Each time an artist's NFT is purchased or sold, a royalty from each transaction is accounted to the rights holders account." They do not write about how this is supposed to work when the artists have had zero involvement in the NFT being created to begin with, or have no cryptocurrency wallets at all. The FAQ also includes a hilariously handwavy answer to the question most people learning about NFTs have: "What utility does owning an NFT give me?" HitPiece writes, "Artists provide NFT owners access and experiences."

01 Feb 12:07

Streamer Ice Poseidon admits to scamming his followers out of $500,000 with his "Cxcoin" made for streamers

Cxcoin logo, a happy shiba inu type dog with a purple bib

Paul Denino, also known as "Ice Poseidon", is a livestreamer, Internet personality, and cryptocurrency enthusiast. In July 2021 he launched Cxcoin, a forked project he said was intended specifically to allow streamers and other content creators to earn money. Denino had said in an earlier video that "the reason why I'm not going to start a cryptocoin is because someone is gonna get fucked, because dude if I see a million dollars, I'm selling, I don’t give a fuck. I'm not going to be like 'I'll hold for you guys', bro I see a million dollars in my portfolio, I'm out". He later claimed that he was just joking, though unfortunately this turned out to be exactly what he did (though with somewhat less than a million). Although Denino claimed he was "locked in" for five months, he started draining hundreds of thousands of dollars from the project only two weeks in, which served to tank the token price for remaining holders.

On January 31, 2022, a YouTuber named Coffeezilla released a video in which he confronted Denino about his actions and urged him to return the money to his fans who'd bought in on the project. Denino replied, "I could give the money back, it is within my power, but I am going to look out for myself and not do that." According to Coffeezilla, Denino took a total of $200,000 from the token's presale, $250,000 that was earmarked for marketing, and $300,000 from the liquidity pool. In the end, Denino pocketed around $300,000 and his developers took around $200,000. After realizing that Coffeezilla would be releasing the interview, Denino promised to "use the buyback function to put 155k into the liquidity"—which turned out to mean 155,000 BNB rather than dollars, roughly equivalent to around $40,000.

24 Jan 12:32

Twitter launches special hexagonal NFT profile pictures, so now you don't even have to check a username for ".eth" to know who to avoid

Screenshot of a popup announcing Twitter's NFT support, and showing off the hexagonal profile pictures

Although NFTs-as-profile-pictures on Twitter is nothing new, Twitter launched a new feature in which users can connect their crypto wallets to verify that an NFT belongs to them. Such verified NFTs will display with a hexagon shape, rather than the standard circle, presumably to differentiate these users from the right-clickers.

13 Jan 13:03

Absurdle, an adversarial version of Wordle

by Andy Baio
it changes the word based on the possibility space; see also: HATETRIS from the same creator #
12 Jan 10:42

Doodled Dragons takes at least $30,000 after tweeting "our charity will instead now be... my bank account"

A pink dragon blowing smoke out its nostrils, wearing a blue hoodie.

A SolSea-verified NFT project on the Solana blockchain, Doodled Dragons, touted that they would distribute all profits "straight to charities protecting animals on the brink of extinction". They announced on Twitter that they would be donating $30,000, "our first donation", to the World Wildlife Fund. Two hours later, they tweeted, "actually. fuck that. our charity will instead now be... my bank account. cya nerds." They deleted the Twitter account shortly after.