San Francisco crime, sea turtles and more

Rob Sharp

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In the wake of the release of John Hillcoat’s CGI trailer for Western “sandbox” game Red Dead Redemption, comes this timely think piece about the future such computer-generated teasers. Are they pretending the games are something they are not? And if so, is that because the games aren’t “artistic” enough in their own right?


Steven Spielberg, step aside. An underwater diving camera went missing off the Caribbean island of Aruba and washed up later in Key West, Florida. Along the way, a sea turtle tried to eat the equipment and the results are recorded for all to see. First impressions are that the resulting film has a kind of “Blair Witch” vibe. See for yourself, here:


Get the lowdown on the new iPhone 4, with Apple’s keynote presentation. Marvel at the multitasking aps, the high-def camera (with flash), the bigger battery. Oh and then there’s ‘face time’ – aka as video calling. Apparently, this going to change everything, “all over again”.


Ever thought it was weird how we have all these big images of irrelevant celebs and models on billboards? Past your face seeks to redress the balance by putting up large black-and-white cartoonish images of real (though random and unknowing) people from Portland, in and around their own city.


San-Francisco-based “data visualisation engineer” Doug McCune has used his city’s crime statistics to create various topographic maps. The higher the computer-generated terrain, the more frequent the crime in that area. If his mapping is to be believed, the Tenderloin area of the city is probably best avoided.


Gone are the days when expats and football fans gathered around in British pubs, elbowing each other to get a better view of the screen. These days, it’s all about online streaming, as well as post hoc analysis. The best for the former is the ESPN website, while Fifa’s online base will give you World Cup discussions galore.


As well as releasing books, appearing at literary festivals, writing award-winning journalism, The Nation writer Christopher Hitchens is also something of an oenophile (perhaps it helps when multi-tasking). See this extract from his new book, Hitch-22, on the merits of knocking back the sauce.

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