September 11, 2016 / by James Whatley">James Whatley / 5things / No Comments

Seven things on Sunday (FToF #193)

Things of note for the week ending Sunday 11th September, 2016.

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1. 15

Fifteen years ago, I was working at Good Morning Television – aka GMTV – on London’s Southbank (literally five minutes from where my office is now).

Working in TV-land meant there were always TVs on everywhere. Everywhere. The one in my office was above my desk. It was coming up to about 2pm I think when someone said, ‘Oh my God, look’. I looked up, and everyone was looking up above me, at the TV.

We were watching a live feed from New York. I remember seeing the second plane hit, live, and being in shock. We had no idea what we were witnessing.

It’s a small, little known fact but back then, GMTV wasn’t just a TV show. It had its own news team, outside of ITN, Reuters, and the BBC etc. It was its own weird little entity.

Within the next 30mins or so, every news correspondent in the building must’ve come into our office demanding flights to New York. ‘We can’t get them. New York is closed.’ we’d say, and we’d carry on watching the TV. I remember a few days later, those flights finally took place (all except for one savvy correspondent, Lara Logan, who flew the other direction – to Afghanistan – but that’s a whole other story).

There were rumours we were going to be evacuated too. Every tall building was suddenly a target. We were right near Westminster, the building was filled with media / news etc… we were surely next.

The brain does funny things in crisis.

Waking up on the 12th was the first time I woke up feeling afraid. Terrorism was something I’d read about / barely remembered from the days of the IRA etc. The world was – and still is – a very different place.

This morning, Sunday September 11th, I woke up, made my son breakfast, drank some coffee and read this account of the movements of Air Force One by those that were either onboard or simply encountering her on that day. A long, sobering piece that you should find the time to read today.

Really.

I wept when I finished it.

A horrid, horrid day.

One that will never be forgotten.

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Hard to follow that.

I’m just going to publish what I’ve gathered this week below with no changes.

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2. WHEN INFINITY GETS BORING (+ PS4 PRO STUFF)

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Another week, another post/link/comment about No Man’s Sky (I think this might turn into a general gamery section actually – there are a few other bits to cover off).

New Scientists has published the above named article this week. Quote:

“All of the screenshots that came out to promote the game were phenomenally beautiful. But of course these shots were hand-picked to show the best that the game could produce. Not every world looks like that – and you don’t see such variety when moving from one planet to the next. You need to explore a lot of worlds to find those interesting places. But after a number of them –  20 or 50, wherever your threshold lies – the thrill of planet hopping fades.”

And, in all fairness, I think they have a point. I’m still playing – dipping in and out, trying to find the perfect ship etc – but it’s just a a grind now and I’m not enjoying it as much as before. I’ve decided to put it back on the shelf for the interim and wait for the next content update.

That said, the game is deeply tranquil and it is still quite enjoyable to just go and fly around for a bit, and find different materials etc… well, we’ll see. But my play-time has definitely dropped off.

Also this week: the PS4 Pro was announced.

The lack of a UHD Blu-Ray player onboard seems like a real misstep for me and was super close to being a deal-breaker. But then two things happened: first, my buddy, Matt pointed out that if anybody has any clear visibility on how well 4K blu-rays are selling, then it’s Sony. It might not be cost effective to put a high-end player in this machine if the whole world is going digital… and I think he might be right. The second thing (also via Matt) was that I watched this 4K Horizon: Zero Dawn gameplay trailer via the 4K YouTube app on my Sony TV – AND IT LOOKS RIDICULOUS. Honestly, if you’re reading this on your phone, then just add that trailer to your YouTube Watch Later list and find a way to see it at the highest quality available… it’s immense.

Can I justify a new machine right now? No, probably not. Especially with PSVR around the corner. Can I campaign my family and friends to get me GAME vouchers for my birthday and Christmas and put them towards this machine? Probably yes.

So let’s see.

PS. If you’re unsure about the PS4 Pro, Kotaku has a good take that’s worth reading.

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3. NEW PHONE TIME OF YEAR

I’m considering a new phone. My Sony Z5 broke and I managed to lay my hands on a Huawei (wah-way) P9 which is really, really impressing me.

It may still be a contender.

If you’re considering a new phone here are two things that might be of interest. One: I asked Twitter what phone I should get – here is what it said. Two: I asked Stefan – my podcasting partner in crime – which phone I should get on Episode 178 of The Voicemail and you can listen to that here.

Hope that’s useful.

Related: this made me laugh.

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4. DUREX EMOJI

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The Durex Eggplant emoji flavour story was pretty big this week but my favourite take on it comes from Fast Co Create:

“Last year the brand launched a campaign for a condom emoji, to give young people a way to talk about safe sex that didn’t involve actual words. However, the condom wasn’t added to the the Unicode Consortium’s official emoji alphabet, so the brand may have found the perfect troll to protest the decision. While the new flavor is still just a concept, the brand’s campaign for a safe-sex emoji continues. Until then, feel free to just use an eggplant + balloon.”

Good quick reading.

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5. MCDONALD’S + ADVERTISING

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You may or not be aware but apparently McDonald’s has just appointed itself an ‘agency of the future‘ model, via Omnicom. If you know everything or if you know nothing about this, these two opposing views on the news are well worth your time.

I must admit, I’m closer to the contrarian…

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6. NEW IPHONE THIS WEEK

Unsurprisingly, The Register was not invited. I’ve had my fair share of run ins with them but, that aside, I had to doff my hat to this epic trolling of Apple’s comms team.

Made me chuckle.

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7. CIALDINI’S 7TH

Familiar with Cialdini’s six six principles of influence? You should be.

Apparently he’s adding a seventh.

Details here.

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Bonuses this week are as follows:

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Right, I’m outta here.

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