The Internet Almanac





Los Angeles city hall is completely overrun with rats. This is not “post-apocalyptic LA” or “zombie LA”, it’s actual real-world LA.


I mean…


Pneumothorax as a predatory goal for the sabertooth cat (Smilodon fatalis)



Oh, I read this one. Pretty good! Put the Power Broker on my list, but man, better clear out a fuckin’ year to read it.


The “writer” in this makes the claim that “China no longer needs Hollywood”. I think the bigger question would be whether Hollywood needs China, but I don’t earn the big bucks, so what do I know.

For what it’s worth, the plot of Wandering Earth sounds as insipid as any Hollywood blockbuster.

Also, one of the top-line drop-down categories on the Forbes site is “Billionaires”. Not my kind of site, but sooo 2019.


The possible viewing figures and potential earnings from China means it’s difficult to ignore. In a country that populous, you can end up with a massive audience even if you do make any old shit


I was surprised to read “… Hollywood can no longer rely on China.” Given the incredible limited quota on foreign films allowed into China, and the restricted amount China provides back to the producer from the Chinese state-owned distribution companies, I think it’s a stretch to say that Hollywood relies on China.

Sure, the relatively few films that make it in are able to pad their revenues a bit, but Hollywood as a whole I sure don’t see relying on China.

Hollywood has been negotiating a new deal with China for more than a year (the 2012 memorandum expired in 2017), in hopes of raising the quota, increasing the percentage on revenue shares, and gaining more control (or at least transparency) with respect to distribution logistics such as release schedules and blackout dates.


I had posted this over in the Stately Citizen Journalism thread, partially in a sad followup to @Private_Prinny’s disappointment to the mobile treatment of Disgaea (outside of the Switch treatment, of course), but feel perhaps it’s out of place there so moving it here.

I find this interesting, in that it does continue to support the fact that mobile phone and tablet gaming suits are not targeting me, but rather making so many apps that target monetization over gameplay (IMHO), which appears to be what their audience is fine with. :slightly_frowning_face:
Mobile video game players’ mindset: They don’t consider themselves “gamers,” survey finds

I still hold Apple as culpable in the destruction of their App Store and iOS as a viable gaming platform. Their Game Center fiasco, lack of dev support for enabling cloud saves and iOS device syncing, eliminating the affiliate commission program for the App Store to completely to dry up third party editorial review sites so the revenue goes to Apple as game publishers pay for prominent placement on App Store search results, and customers are at the mercy of Apple’s Search Ad business (Apple looking at $2 billion from Search Ad business alone by 2020). Apple still provides affiliate commissions for movies, TV shows, music, and books, I guess Apple considers those “premium” quality content worthy of reviews and recommendations, but the App Store is for mass consumption by those swayed by their Search Ad sellout. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I, myself, have in a large degree reluctantly shelved my initial naive enthusiasm for my smartphone as a portable gaming powerhouse, and have moved on to the Nintendo Switch as a better match for me (despite having my iPhone readily available). Yes, I’ll try Diablo: Immortal when it comes out, but I’ll not be surprised if it’s a blend of the Chinese dev’s previous monetization structure and Activision-Blizzard’s King studio Candy Crush monetization … I expect to continue to look to the Switch for portable Diablo premium gaming.


You make a lot of good points here. I think Apple is going to (quietly) phase out new product development for consumers within the next few years, to solely focus on ways to improve their current bedrock devices and continue to do all they can to make people rely on Search Ad. That’s the revenue model that’s working for them. They’ll eventually do a foldable ipad/phone/ipod, but not until they have the tech just right. And that’s not really a “new” product for them.

As long as they keep making their updated devices sexy to consumers, they’ll sell millions of them, and devs will keep developing for them, and Search Ad will essentially print Apple money. If it became necessary, Apple could start selling their devices at-cost, to create a bigger and bigger audience pool to ensure they remain the biggest market in town for devs (similar to how magazines give away subscriptions to boost their circulation numbers for advertisers). Android will never be able to compete because too many manufacturers build their phones, and they’ll never collude to jointly lower the prices. If Microsoft really wanted to have a go at Apple in tablets, they could try, but they seem happy with holding the business-niche of tablets. And neither of those represent closed systems in the same way that Apple is.

All of the decisions Apple has made about apps and gaming have been in an effort to further close their ecosystem to outside influences and force a reliance on their Search Ad. And they can do it with games easily because the devs have no united systemic infrastructure in place to challenge Apple’s tightly controlled distribution model (if it can even be called that).

Apple won’t take away affiliate commissions for other media because those other media have too much industry infrastructure behind them. If Sony decides it doesn’t like how Apple is treating their content/fans/artists, it can pull its music and release it via other distribution channels. Or have you buy it all direct from Sony. It’s not like the mp3s won’t play in itunes. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this start happening anyway–it’s what’s already happening in TV media, as Disney/Marvel/Star Wars creates its own channel and removes its content from the places it’s been. CBS has its own (pitiful) premium channel. Others will do the same. Eventually, it could spread to music too.

You wrote, “it does continue to support the fact that mobile phone and tablet gaming suits are not targeting me”, and you’re right, they’re aren’t targeting us. Apple doesn’t care about games or gamers. Not because they dislike us but because they don’t have to care. They sell devices and ad space; the devs sell the games in the very specific manner that Apple has created for them to do so. And the devs have realized that the money isn’t with gamers, it’s with the wider audience, who like to play mindless, disposable crap that lights up and makes cute noises while taking their money a tiny bit at a time. Given everything we know about today’s culture, I don’t know why this keeps surprising/disappointing me/us.

The most surprising thing in the first article you linked to is that only 55% of American smartphone owners play mobile games to pass the time. The article stated this like it was huge; I feel like it’s low. If I’d had to guess that number ahead of time, I’d have put it at 75-80%. But as a lifelong gamer, I must admit that I’m maybe biased.

Other things I must admit to myself:
–I need to follow the Stately Citizen Journalism thread (I never have)
–I will probably need to invest in a blasted Switch soon
–I don’t need to upgrade my ipad because there will be increasingly fewer things I care about using it for.


The list is literally unbelievable.


In 1993, when a United Nations truth commission found that 95 percent of the acts of violence that had taken place in El Salvador since 1980 had been committed by Abrams’s friends in the Salvadoran government, he called what he and his colleagues in the Reagan administration had done a “fabulous achievement.”





I’m only halfway through part 1 of this, but so far it’s amazing: