Category: Read Watched Tapped

A collections of things I’ve enjoyed and you might too.

MoviePass wants you to watch ads for movie credits

“I love product placement in movies,” Spikes said. “I love the cars, I love the watches, I love the clothes. I’m that person that sometimes has a notepad and I’m writing down, is that Hugo Boss?”

Stacy SPikes

From MoviePass is back — and it wants to track your eyeballs

Sir, we have a very different appreciation of movies.

The only time I notice a product in a movie is when it disrupts the film. When computer hardware is obviously Apple but they remove the branding. Or when the UI on what a screen is hilariously unlike any real UI ever shipped with a product.

You can watch ads to earn credits for movies. And they’ll track your eyes to make sure you’re watching.

Using a feature called “pre-show,” MoviePass customers will get credits in exchange for watching ads on their phones. To make sure they’re actually watching, the app will track users’ eyeballs, Spikes said.  

But don’t worry about that data. They wouldn’t possibly ever use it for anything to make money.

“Your phone, your device uses your own facial detection,” Spikes added. “It doesn’t go to the cloud, nobody goes through anything other than you and your information in yours. And you opt in to do it on your own.”

“And you opt in to do it on your own.”

And the moment you do, we’ll sell it to the highest bidder, the lowest bidder and every bidder in between. It’s nice to see MoviePass come back in its final form, as the worst version of itself. I’m shocked the credits you earn aren’t cryptocurrency on a blockchain somewhere.

Moviepass first hinted at its plans for … testing a “new proposed business model with a sample group of 1,000 customers… The filings did not provide details of the new business model…

It’s absolutely going to be a crypto currency plan with NFTs of your favorite movie stars, posters, trinkets from the films. Anything and everything because hyperlinks are free!

Stardew Industrial

I’ve been deeply in love with Stardew Valley for many months now. I had been hearing a song that reminds of Wumpscut. I went looking last night to try and match the songs up. Mostly to make sure I wasn’t completely crazy.

I had my wife listen to both and she confirmed they do sound similar.

What do you think?

Thoughts on bird appreciating brought on by How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell

Reading How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell over the past few days took me back to both Oakland, CA and to my own backyard. The author lives in Oakland and talks about her time lingering and noticing in the Morcom Rose Garden and Lake Merritt. It is always fun to read a story where the author spends time if you happen to have spent time in the same place.

I was introduced to Lake Merritt one afternoon. Around after dropping off a bridal party to get their hair done for her friend’s wedding. Only, I had no idea how big the lake was. So when I estimated how long it would take to walk around, I fell short and ended up late to retrieve the ladies.

You see a neat lake in life and have time to kill, you park your car and go for a walk to explore the city on foot and enjoy the water birds and water humans you encounter along the way.

Granted, I’ve not lingered among those particular roses, though I’ve spent many a sun-kissed afternoon strolling through Brookside Gardens. While the author thinks of the birds as friends and greets them by species name, I do the same.

While my come to bird moment didn’t take place in full until the global pandemic, I had started identifying birds by sight and call from my own backyard feeders. I liked to know who I was hearing and who came with their entire family to my yard to pick it clean then move on.

While she greets the pelicans and egrets, I have my Mourning Doves. Birds simply too silly to take seriously with their mournful calls and absolute imposter syndrome whenever they manage to flap up to the bird feeder.

I’m up here. I made it this far. What do I do now?

I notice the American Robins picking through the yard for bugs once I’ve cut the grass in warmer weather. The Cardinals trying to impress the Lady Cardinals by soaring through trees as bright red flashes. The gold finches are my current favorites. They come and go so rarely. We had a neighbor with sunflowers and I would see a small flock of the birds in their yard on my daily walks past it. I made a note to plant yellow flowers this year since that’s what they seem to like.

It makes sense. Small yellow bird. Big yellow flower.

I realize by reading this book and take in her thoughts about the attention economy, my thoughts go to my feathered friends. That’s the part of the book that stuck most with me. She called the birds as who and not what. I do the same thing. I greet the birds as friends and the squirrel as on-again-off-again love affairs.

Watching and listening to the birds is peaceful. It’s calm and focusing. When you’ve absorbed in the birds, the rest of the world washes away and there’s only the many calls and flapping wings when once whooshes by your head at top speed.

Two weird, wonderful newsletters I can’t miss

👋 Labnotes (by Assaf Arkin) and
Garbage Day | Ryan Broderick sit as sort of a Yin and Yang in my newsletter life.

I love Labnotes because it scratches a nerdy itch. Much of the developer/coder content goes over my head but there’s enough of that world I find enjoyable. I love reading this newsletter because it’s a fun mix of neat web sites, good jokes and interesting ways to think about tech.

Garbage Day is bathing in the weirdness of the digital world. The content farms and weird stories that resonate. It’s a toe into a pool in spots and other times a deep dive into an ocean of weird. It’s the best of weird Tumblr and weird Tiktok memes. It’s access to those who think deeply about the mechanisms of the world we are experiencing online.

I look forward to reading each of these newsletters because they scratch the same itch but in different ways.

How to watch HBO Original on Roku in 10 easy steps

Watching HBO content on Roku is so easy. Just follow this simple process.

  1. Resume Search Party.
  2. Press play. Fails to play .
  3. Get sent back to the same screen.
  4. Restart Roku.
  5. Resume Search Party.
  6. Fails to play.
  7. Check HBO app for updates.
  8. Try to play Search Party.
  9. Remove HBO app.
  10. Reinstall HBO app.
  11. Resume Search Party.
  12. Enjoy Search Party.
  13. Question how HBO’s app is so bad this is the process to use it every time I try to use it.

As bad as Hulu’s app is to use, at least it works. Some content from HBO is available there and works on the first try.

It’s the Original content, which is very good, that requires using the HBO app that absolutely fails to play without manually updating the app, rebooting the Roku device, or removing and reinstalling the HBO app.