Red Dead 4K: The Redemptioning

In the midst of announcing a massive drop of backwards compatible and enhanced games, Microsoft released a 500MB update to Red Dead Redemption enabling 4K on the world’s most powerful console.

This. Is. Fucking. Amazing.

Most observers reckoned 4K for RDR would never come due to the engineering of the game – many thought the resolution was baked-in for performance reasons. But it seems the Back Compat team at Microsoft are wizards indeed.

So how does it look?

Stunning.

I mean, it’s ridiculous how good it looks. The 360 version (which is also what ran on the initial Back Compat version) was noticeably blurry and shimmery, especially in motion. It still looked great though, and you did get the impression that R* had put a lot more under the hood than the hardware was capable of displaying. And now we know that’s the case.

The result is that Read Dead Redemption is now – again – a joy to play.


More recommended Read Dead:

Finding John Marsden – A wonderful short doc from Polygon about Rob Weithoff, the voice of John Marsden

In depth review (thinreaper) – One of the best game reviews/critiques I’ve ever invested an hour and a half in

AZ

New music from Now, Now. Can’t wait for the new album.

Windows Startup Sounds (slowed 4000%)

erase.net:

Six Windows startup tones, from 95 to Vista, are slowed to 4000% of their original speed, transforming each into an ambient piece of several minutes’ duration, and amplifying the internal structures of these iconic, dream-like sounds.


Via Motherboard.

Watch Dogs 2 – A Tale Told Before Its Time

David Rayfield:

But let’s turn the clock back to 8th November 2016 again. Trump is elected as US President because of three things: 25% of America votes for him, 25% of America votes for Hillary and 50% of America chose not to vote at all. The world’s jaw drops to the floor. Everyone underestimated this gibbering, damaged man-child and now he’s got his finger on the button. Nobody is in a state to comprehend everyday life because nobody is talking about anything else.

Every conversation inevitably turned to Trump and how this could have happened. What do we do now? What could we have done differently? How badly will this affect everyone outside of America even though the rest of the world had no say in this catastrophe? What we took as normal is thrown out the window and we begin to contemplate just how crazy everything will become. The entire world has changed.

One week later, Watch Dogs 2 is released.

I loved Watch Dogs 2. Loved it. It’s fascinating to revisit it as a piece of art, and examine the themes and narrative in the context of today’s techno-political climate.

PS, Ubisoft, please give this game the 4K update for Xbox that it so obviously deserves. y u no

No, games didn’t just go mainstream

Victoria Rose for Polygon:

Gamers have made standards for remaining the elite, edgy “underground” hobby when that’s not the case at all. Gaming’s “minutes of fame” — mainstream news articles, movie references, song lyrics — are now infinite, as gaming is a constant center of attention.

Everyone games or knows a gamer.

Atari VCS

The “VCS” stands for Very Cool and Sexy, surely.

I have a real affinity for this 2600 retro styling – it was the first gaming machine I ever owned (the Jr to be specific). Months and months of mindlessly delivering leaflets around the neighbourhood was all worth it!

And yes, in case you were wondering, I achieved ‘Neo at the end of the Matrix’ level zen-skills at Enduro.


The Atari VCS will be available later this year for between $250-300. That seems expensive.

RIP Jusuf Nurki?

LeBron is 33 years old. He’s played in 1,345 NBA games in his career. His raw athleticism – at this point of his career – is completely absurd.

More:

Citizen scientists discovered a new aurora. They called it “Steve”.

Steve, left. (Krista Trinder)

The Atlantic:

This new feature differs from the long-studied “classical” aurora in several ways. It can be seen from much closer to the equator than its more famous twin, and it emanates from a spot twice as high in the sky. It was also first described and studied not by cultivated researchers—like those who coined the moniker aurora borealis—but by devoted amateurs. They were among the first to photograph the ethereal streak of purple light, and they were the first to give it a name.

That name is Steve.

RIP

 

Using only the Pixel 2 XL to photograph the Geneva Motor Show

Vlad Savov left his DSLR at home and relied solely on his Pixel for the entire show.

I literally flew in to Geneva with a Google Pixel 2 XL, my laptop, and the hope that my high esteem for Google’s camera wasn’t misguided. After taking more than 2,000 shots, publishing 303 of them (so far), and then collecting compliments rather than complaints about my photos, I can say that this experiment has been a resounding success.

Amazing results.

Photo: Vlad Savov / The Verge

Other Places 2013-2017

Other Places is/was a short film series by Andy “ultrabrilliant” Kelly. Over 4 years, Kelly published over 75 videos showcasing the gorgeous landscapes, cityscapes, vistas and horizons he experienced in videos games.

Watch all the videos on YouTube, or peruse the full list of featured games.

I watched them, Andy. I watched them.

Steve Francis: I Got a Story to Tell

Steve Francis writing for The Players’ Tribune:

I still live in Houston to this day, and I can walk around this city and no matter what, people got my back. Even when I was going through some dark times the past few years, and I got locked up, everybody in Houston still had my back. How many guys who only played in a city for five years, and only made the playoffs once, get that much love?

I think it’s because of the energy in the city when me and Yao were together. That was my guy. When he came to Houston, we were some Odd Couple motherfuckers, man. A dude from China and a dude from D.C., and it wasn’t even language that was the problem. That was just a part of it. I’m partially deaf in my left ear, and Yao is partially deaf in his right ear, and we’re trying to speak to one another in basic English.

He’s turning his head, Huh?

I’m turning my head, What? Huh?

A genuinely entertaining and well written short-form memoir by Steve Francis covering what amounts to his whole life – from the death of his mother and step father, dealing drugs and visiting prisons to Hakeem, Yao, Gary Payton and Shawn Marion.

A must read for any NBA fan.

Alexa Devices Are Laughing Spontaneously

BuzzFeed:

Owners of Amazon Echo devices with the voice-enabled assistant Alexa have been pretty much creeped out of their damn minds recently. People are reporting that the bot sometimes spontaneously starts laughing — which is basically a bloodcurdling nightmare.

2018 being pretty 2018 on this one.

Machine learning wrote a punk album

Music was generated autoregressively with SampleRNN, a recurrent neural network [Soroush Mehri et al. 2017], trained on raw audio from the album Punk in Drublic. The machine listened to Punk in Drublic 26 times over several days. The machine generated 900 minutes of audio. A human listened to the machine audio, chose sections from varied evolution points, and taped them together into a 20 minute album.

I’d pay real money to see someone attempt to annotate this on Genius.

More madness at dadabots.com

Via The Outline