Ethan Elias Johnson is just some guy.
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I Cannot Describe to You How Incredibly Strange What Remains of Edith Finch Is

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Today our game is available on PS4! We’ve spent 4 years working on it but I still have trouble describing it.

The short version is easy. What Remains of Edith Finch is a collection of playable short stories, each following a different member of the Finch family at the moment of their death.

The long version is… complicated.

Originally, we were trying to make a game about awe, about what it feels like to see something that’s simultaneously astonishing and overwhelming. Like being at the bottom of the ocean or in the middle of a dark forest.

What Remains of Edith Finch

But awe is tricky. It’s personal. Seeing a gorgeous sunset in person might fill you with awe but a picture of a sunset just feels like a cheesy greeting card.

So instead of a game about awe we made a game about the experience of awe. Rather than trying to evoke awe directly, we’ve made a collection of stories about people being overwhelmed and given players a chance to see the world through their eyes.

Since it’s easier to evoke a sense of awe when it’s something you’ve never seen before, we’ve tried hard to make each story unique. For characters that meant adding lots of little details (often pulled from our own personal lives) to help them feel like real human beings. For game mechanics we focused on controls that were unlike anything we ourselves had ever seen before (but that were also easy to pick up, which was hard).

What Remains of Edith Finch

All of which is to say, we spent 4 years with everyone on the team (sometimes as many as 15 people), cramming in bits of themselves and at the same time trying to make this all feel somewhat cohesive. It helps that families and houses are inherently chaotic so the work of many hands actually added a believable sense of life and the passage of time.

Somehow the game evolved into an exploration of death, family, stories, childhood, history, and many other elements I’m only dimly aware of. But hearing players talk about their experience after they finish the game it sounds like they played the thing we were trying to make. I don’t understand how it all works, but it does.

It’s eerily similar to what happened on our previous game, The Unfinished Swan.

When you’re making something, assuming it’s going well, there’s a point where you can feel things starting to come together. Often that comes after a long phase when it seemed like none of this was ever going to work so the joy of seeing it gel is mixed with a lot of relief that it’s working at all. After the initial rush dies down then the whole team spend months (or years!) fixing and polishing it, giving it to playtesters to try, then polishing it some more based on their feedback.

Then something weird happens. You look up and realize that every corner of the world is covered in tiny, wonderful details.

Sometimes it’s as subtle as the angle a rocking chair is turned so that it subconsciously guides players to see a photograph they otherwise would have missed, and sometimes it’s as obvious as a room-filling mural that inspires just the right tone of confusion and wonder.

What Remains of Edith Finch

When I look at our game now I’m not just immensely proud of it, I’m intimidated by it.

I see how much energy and discussion and thought went into this world and I think, “Man, we are so incredibly lucky this came together so well. I’ll never be able to make something like this again.”

Now that it’s over, I can’t pretend to understand our game any more than I could hope to fully understand the people who made it. All I know is that I sincerely appreciate how much everyone gave to make this game what it is. Whatever that is.

I hope it’s an experience you’ll never forget and one you’ll have as much trouble describing as I do.

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SharedProphet
15 hours ago
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Stop Using Unroll.me, Right Now. It Sold Your Data To Uber.

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Tucked away in a rollicking New York Times profile of amoral Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a tidbit about Unroll.me, a popular service that aims to rescue your email inbox from unwanted newsletters and promotional messages with an easy automated unsubscribe service. The problem is, they’ve been selling you out to advertisers, and you should stop using it immediately.

The Kalanick profile says that Uber previously used Unroll.me data to gauge the health of archrival Lyft:

Uber devoted teams to so-called competitive intelligence, purchasing data from an analytics service called Slice Intelligence. Using an email digest service it owns named Unroll.me, Slice collected its customers’ emailed Lyft receipts from their inboxes and sold the anonymized data to Uber. Uber used the data as a proxy for the health of Lyft’s business. (Lyft, too, operates a competitive intelligence team.)

Slice confirmed that it sells anonymized data (meaning that customers’ names are not attached) based on ride receipts from Uber and Lyft, but declined to disclose who buys the information.

This is a capability it’s safe to wager virtually none of Unroll.me’s users are aware of, let alone comfortable with. Indeed, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Jojo Hedaya, immediately penned a pro forma apology blog for the ages, in which he says he and his staff “weren’t explicit enough” about terms that allow, as Unroll.me’s privacy policy puts it, the company to “collect, use, transfer, sell, and disclose… transactional or relationship messages.”  Hedaya joins a historic chorus of Silicon Valley executives who say what they always do when they’ve been found out: “We Can Do Better,” as the title of the CEO’s blog post declares:

I can’t stress enough the importance of your privacy. We never, ever release personal data about you. All data is completely anonymous and related to purchases only. To get a sense of what this data looks like and how it is used, check out the Slice Intelligence blog.

This is by all evidence false: If your privacy were important to Jojo Hedaya, the contents of your email, even if anonymized, would not be for sale. Were he ever serious about keeping your inbox private, an apology blog wouldn’t have been needed to begin with. (Hedaya and his co-founder could not be reached for comment.)

At Hacker News, a sort of virtual startup water cooler, a former web developer named Karl Katzke has further alleged in a series of comments that Unroll.me also secured customer emails poorly and that a company for which Katzke worked declined to acquired Unroll.me due in part to concerns over executives’ honesty. In an email to The Intercept, however, Katzke said that while he stands by those comments, “my information is, at best, third person hearsay based on a rumor that was based on hearsay.”

Still, even just based on the facts Hedaya has openly acknowledged, you shouldn’t trust him or his company, and should remove Unroll.me’s unfettered access to your Google account immediately, because that’s just what you gave them when you signed up:

 

Here’s how to remove Unroll.me (you can also delete your account following the company’s instructions here):

From your Gmail inbox (or any Google page), click the button with your face on it in the top-right corner, then “My Account.”

Under “Sign-in & security,” click “Connected apps & sites,” then “manage apps.”

Find Unroll.me, click it, and then click remove. You might also want to take a very, very close look at any other apps that have been granted the ability to “Read, send, delete, and manage your email.” Do you have a clear assurance that they won’t leverage their access to make money from the likes of Uber? Probably not.

Update: April 24th, 2017, 12:48 p.m.

This post had been updated with a link to instructions for those who wish to permanently delete their Unroll.me account.

 

The post Stop Using Unroll.me, Right Now. It Sold Your Data To Uber. appeared first on The Intercept.

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SharedProphet
1 day ago
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A leafal weapon

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A leafal weapon submitted by /u/Ayy_2_Brute to r/lotr
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SharedProphet
4 days ago
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Genius Optical Illusions To Promote Pet Adoption

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Genius Optical Illusions To Promote Pet Adoption submitted by /u/KinleyMark to r/interestingasfuck
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SharedProphet
4 days ago
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Survivorship Bias

5 Comments and 22 Shares
They say you can't argue with results, but what kind of defeatist attitude is that? If you stick with it, you can argue with ANYTHING.
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SharedProphet
4 days ago
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5 public comments
FarrelBuch
4 days ago
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Survivorship bias is just the beginning. We humans love stories, particularly about just one person. Alas, only systematic review of ALL the data is the only hope of seeing effects that are not random chance and seeing how big those effects are.
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
CallMeWilliam
4 days ago
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Applies to actively managed funds too, of course.
dukeofwulf
4 days ago
Basically just another lottery.
elwillow
4 days ago
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Applies to jobs search too.
Ottawa, Ontario
alt_text_bot
5 days ago
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They say you can't argue with results, but what kind of defeatest attitude is that? If you stick with it, you can argue with ANYTHING.
Covarr
5 days ago
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I'd rather see speeches about how it's okay not to be a massive success. "Statistically, kids, some of you won't ever make it significantly above the poverty line. But you'll keep going, and raise a family, and when you look back on your life in the end, you'll realize that at least you were a more likable person than Justin Bieber.
Moses Lake, WA
sfrazer
4 days ago
Such a low bar, and most of reddit will still fail to meet it.

Logging levels: the wrong abstraction

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submitted by /u/rubincoder
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SharedProphet
5 days ago
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