The making of X-COM: UFO Defense

X-COM creator Julian Gollop shares his game design philosophy and explains how X-COM: UFO Defense was created over 20 years ago with his small team and publisher MicroProse

more on gamasutra.com.

Video of the talk given by the designer of original X-COM game. While there was significant input from Microprose, the game was designed and programmed by two brothers. Gallop discusses some of the unique selling points of the game’s design, development process and why the making of X-COM: Apocalypse was such a hell to go through.

Silicon Valley Is Now Public Enemy No. 1, And We Only Have Ourselves To Blame

Today, the largest companies coming out of Silicon Valley no longer exclusively target greenfield territory. Take some of the highest valuation companies from the past year, such as Airbnb and Uber. These companies are not operating in empty space, but rather against significant entrenched non-technology businesses. This is a first for Silicon Valley, and it is the start of something fundamental – we are not just creating whole new categories, but reconfiguring non-technology ones as well.

Examination of sources of the increasing resentment towards Silicon Valley that goes beyond the most apparent reason: growing gap between the wealth of Valley’s elite and the rest of the American society.

The Banality of ‘Don’t Be Evil’ by Julian Assange

This book is a balefully seminal work in which neither author has the language to see, much less to express, the titanic centralizing evil they are constructing. “What Lockheed Martin was to the 20th century,” they tell us, “technology and cybersecurity companies will be to the 21st.” Without even understanding how, they have updated and seamlessly implemented George Orwell’s prophecy. If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever. Zealots of the cult of consumer technology will find little to inspire them here, not that they ever seem to need it. But this is essential reading for anyone caught up in the struggle for the future, in view of one simple imperative: Know your enemy.

more on nytimes.com.

Julian Assange reviews “The New Digital Age” by Eric Schmidt. Interestingly, Schmidt did a long interview with Assange while preparing on the book. That didn’t make the review any more flattering.

Stephen Hawking: ‘There are no black holes’

In its stead, Hawking’s radical proposal is a much more benign “apparent horizon”, which only temporarily holds matter and energy prisoner before eventually releasing them, albeit in a more garbled form.

more on nature.com.

A sensationally titled article summarizing an upcoming paper from Hawking that doesn’t really deny the existence of black holes, but may redefine what they are.

The Next Net

Do we ask George Soros for some money?

more on shareable.net.

Dissatisfied with surveillance, censorship and the looming loss of net neutrality, an idealist dreams about building a new network to replace the internet.

For the Love of Money

The first year was really hard. I went through what I can only describe as withdrawal — waking up at nights panicked about running out of money, scouring the headlines to see which of my old co-workers had gotten promoted. Over time it got easier — I started to realize that I had enough money, and if I needed to make more, I could. But my wealth addiction still hasn’t gone completely away. Sometimes I still buy lottery tickets.

more on nytimes.com.

A touching story of poor miserable victims of money addiction.

Jobs: Has anyone seen it? I think I wanna go tonight!

And when Jobs (in the movie, but really a board does this) denied stock to the early garage team (some not even shown) I’m surprised that they chose not to show me giving about $10M of my own stock to them because it was the right thing. And $10M was a lot in that time.

A person on Google+ (!) considers going to the movies to see Jobs> and asks for opinion. Suddenly Steve Wozniak weighs into the conversation sharing several facts misportrayed in the movie. A condensed treasure of facts about early Apple history, straight from the source.

Stealing ‘Candy’ From Babies: King Embrace The Aristocracy

Bearing all this in mind, King’s claim over the word “candy” in relation to gaming is unrealistic, and the US Trademark Office’s willingness to allow them demonstrates what a quisling body it is. The trademark they’ve allowed goes far beyond all computer games ever, as well. It includes every imaginable item of clothing, and every computer peripheral. It even extends to “Camcorders; Cameras; Cassette players; Compact disc players” and “Headphones”. Which should come as a pretty major shock to established international headphone manufacturers, Skullcandy. Founded in 2003, their name is heavily and immediately associated with headphones, indeed gaming headphones, in which they specialise. Will they too be receiving a call from King’s excited lawyers?

In one week King.com managed to transform their public image from a darling of casual game industry to Zynga of 2014. Not only they are now using their legal budget to bully indie developers, but don’t stay away from directly cloning their games.