• Federico Viticci at MacStories:

    …it’s become clear that foundation models of different LLMs have been trained on content sourced from the open web without requesting publishers’ permission upfront. These models can then power AI interfaces that can regurgitate similar content or provide answers with hidden citations that seldom prioritize driving traffic to publishers. As far as MacStories is concerned, this is limited to text scraped from our website, but we’re seeing this play out in other industries too, from design assets to photos, music, and more. And top it all off, publishers and creators whose content was appropriated for training or crawled for generative responses (or both) can’t even ask AI companies to be transparent about which parts of their content was used. It’s a black box where original content goes in and derivative slop comes out.

  • Dan Milmo writing for The Guardian:

    Google’s goal of reducing its climate footprint is in jeopardy as it relies on more and more energy-hungry data centres to power its new artificial intelligence products. The tech giant revealed Tuesday that its greenhouse gas emissions have climbed 48% over the past five years.

    Google said electricity consumption by data centres and supply chain emissions were the primary cause of the increase. It also revealed in its annual environmental report that its emissions in 2023 had risen 13% compared with the previous year, hitting 14.3m metric tons.

    Sushmita Pathak, writing for The World:

    Large swaths of northern and central India have been sizzling under scorching heat for several weeks. In late May, temperatures shot up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in many states and the capital, New Delhi. Coinciding with India’s general election, the relentless heat unleashed a public health crisis, killing 56 people.


    “It is much more severe,” confirmed Avikal Somvanshi, a researcher at the Center for Science and Environment in Delhi. “In fact, of the 24 year-data that I have analyzed so far, this is the worst.”

    This isn’t the future, it’s the present. Climate change is killing people now and it is absolutely evil that companies are pursuing these technologies that are so resource-intensive at this time just to increase shareholder value.

  • Recently took some time during our ongoing pandemic to play through Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, one of the games I’ve kept thinking about despite not finishing the game when it came out. The first episode of my play through is embedded above. New episodes will be uploaded daily through that same playlist on the YouTube channel daily for the next few days.

    Getting Over It is a very strange game. If it’s new to you, I guess the easiest way to describe Getting Over It is as a side-scrolling game about a man in a cauldron climbing a mountain made of stuff that sometimes resembles things you’d expect and other objects that look like they don’t belong on a mountain at all. The only control you have is your input device swinging a long hammer in order to overcome the challenging physics along the way.

    It’s a challenge that might seem familiar to the other “physics” games that have become popular in the intervening years since Getting Over It came out in 2017. Fall Guys, or Totally Reliable Delivery Service, all feel a little bit like they get a little bit of the “physics” aspect that is the challenge of Getting Over it. I’m not sure if these other games would have existed without Bennett Foddy’s work on Getting Over It and prior work with games like QWOP and GIRP. 

    There are also dozens of similar games inspired by Getting Over It out there that range from fun takes on the original theme, incredibly popular creepy 3D versions with built-in ads for grifters, or just slapdash recreations but those all kind of feel appropriate to me because Foddy was inspired by a much earlier game too, Sexy Hiking by Jazzuo which has incredibly similar gameplay to Getting Over It and came out a decade earlier in 2007.

    However, despite all the imitators and the inspiration, I don’t think anything can eclipse Getting Over it as being so one of a kind. Looking back on it now, it’s surprising in some ways that in the 7 years since Getting Over It came out, there never were any big budget games that took more from Getting Over It. All of those games I mentioned in the last paragraph are decidedly independent productions. Maybe the only big budget game I can think of that has a very tiny bit of Getting Over It in it is Death Stranding, but that’s not what that game is.

    On the technical side here I’ll note that you don’t really want to play Getting Over It with a gamepad. A mouse or trackpad on a computer is preferred. On the computer I’d really recommend turning on the trackpad tuning option even if you’re using a mouse. It seems to make things more predictable and was helpful to me for completing the game. There are also versions for mobile platforms that use touch controls.

    Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy is $8 on Steam for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Here is the link for the $5 iPhone and iPad version that also includes silly stickers for Messages. Here is the link for the Android version that’s also $5 but on sale for $2 right now.

    Bennett Foddy is working on a new game called Baby Steps. It’s supposed to come out this year.

  • Umurangi Generation is a terrific, unique first-person photography game for Steam on Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, about taking photos in a “shitty future” as the developer, Origame Digital, calls it. I loved the game and am pretty excited for anything new from the developer who just announced a new virtual reality version with a short trailer on Twitter. Unfortunately, the new version is only planned for the PlayStation VR 2 (the PlayStation 5’s virtual-reality HMD) and the Quest HMD lineup from the pretty f’d up company known as either Meta or Facebook who bought out Oculus years ago.

    If you’ve got any of those headsets and are interested in checking out Umurangi Generation VR, the developer says it’ll be out on April 18th, 2024.

  • Grand Theft Auto VI has been rumored, leaked, and speculated out the wazoo, but we finally have the first official trailer for it above and a release year of 2025 with the only platforms announced as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles.

    The trailer shows the game’s Vice City and general Florida aesthetic, but it appears to be a modern-day game with TikTok-esque short videos.

    The online features of GTA V have dominated that game’s decade long life so far, and changed Rockstar’s focus from one of single player games and expansions into a continuously updated multiplayer world that may be one of the most successful “live service” games of all time.

    I never got into GTA Online in a big way, but it’s easy to see how people could. GTA Online can be more of a great time in a meta reality than the scam artists pushing business ideas first without the experience and passion for gaming could ever make.

    With only PS5 and Xbox versions announced, it’ll be interesting to see if GTA VI is another Grand Theft Auto that doesn’t come out on Windows computers until a year or more after the game is released for consoles. It took almost two years for Grand Theft Auto V to be released for Windows.

    Rockstar Games, the developer of Grand Theft Auto, is famous for ongoing issues of worker abuse and mistreatment.