Webtacular World Issue # 312, November 24, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Man, this whole impeachment thing seems to imply that way too many Republicans are in on this whole Russian scandal, doesn’t it? Just imagine if the parties were reversed – maybe then Americans would actually get some justice. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Wheel Of Impeachment
Why: Because with the testimony that aired this week, it is very clear that something is very wrong with the way the White House has conducted itself. Too bad many Americans don’t treat serious issues seriously. Also, while we’re at it, go fuck yourself, Michael Bloomberg.

INTERNATIONAL STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Netanyahu Indicted
Why: Because Israel’s long time Prime Minister was indicted this week on corruption charges. 1. This is the prime example of why support for Israel or its politicians, or, conversely, the condemnation of the state and its politics, does not equate to Antisemitism. 2. It sure would be nice if the US decided to do the same thing. Instead, the US has to try to fuck the whole thing up (No, the US does not have actual say as to whether or not illegal settlements are legal).

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Tuckla
Why: Because this… thing already has over 100,000 pre-orders. I read somewhere that this looks like an El Camino and a DeLorian birthed a car in the Blade Runner timeline, and it’s not wrong.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: “In regards to the key principle of good order and discipline, I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Why: Because Trump chooses to back war criminals over military order. The whole reason for things like the Geneva Convention to exist is so that armies are beholden to rules of engagement that do not inflict damage above and beyond the battlefield. Yes, I am aware that this is already a gray area, but by Trump stating that he doesn’t care when members of the US military commit war crimes, which maniac Eddie Gallagher committed, Trump further endangers US troops.  Enemies now know that the US doesn’t care what its own soldiers do to them, so why should they care what they do to us?

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Google Stadia Is Better Than Everyone Says It Is
Why: Because Google’s solution for getting into gaming has roundly been cited to be a disaster. As someone who both plays video games and bought the Premiere (essentially, pay 120 bucks to be part of the beta rollout of the service) version, I can say it is a resounding success. Stadia, for lack of a better comparison, is basically like that older hotel service for watching movies, but for streaming video games. Basically, you buy a game on Stadia, and you can play it through your computer, phone, or TV as long as you have a good enough Internet connection (with the caveat of needing an Android cellphone or Chromecast at the moment for the later two options).

One of the problems with video games is that, like many other hobbies, the thing that you want to do requires a high price initial buy-in.  For “good” gaming experiences, you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a gaming system or capable computer, and then $60 dollars for most new games on top of that. This does not include the price for monthly subscriptions to play online multiplayer, Internet service itself, or a TV or phone to play on. All together, this can easily pass $1000, which is beyond what many people are able to budget for their entertainment.

Google Stadia, when it comes out in full next year, entirely removes the cost of needing gaming system to play games. This effectively removes hundreds of dollars worth of barrier for people to play video games. The use cases for this mean that a college kid who only has a cheap laptop can play the latest games without needing to shell out hundreds of more dollars. It means someone with an Android phone only needs a controller from any other system ($40-$60) to play full sized games on their phone. It means people who travel a lot or are stationed abroad don’t need to lug an expensive console with them, and can get essentially the same quality on their TV through either wireless or wired Internet.

No, it does not currently look 100% good as a 500 dollar video card or a 400 dollar gaming console looks like. But it is 95% of the way there, and that is good enough. At the end of the day, the service allows more people to play games for less money, which is something I think is a good thing. Other services, like Xcloud from Microsoft and an unannounced streaming service from Amazon are coming soon, but Google is the first to release a fully functioning replacement for consoles or PCs. It is amazing to me that technology like this exists, and I hope that Google continues to support it.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Failing Football
Why: Because participation in the sport keeps declining. In other news, My fantasy football team keeps failing as well. I somehow got stuck having to use the Packers’ QB and defense tonight against the Niners. It is not looking good.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Knives Out Is Good
Why: Because I think I’ve liked everything Rian Johnson has ever released. Also, unsurprisingly, Frozen 2 just had the 3rd most successful animated opening ever. Disney is crushing it this year.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Another Decade, Another Top 50
Why: Because comparing this to other best of lists, like Time, is a fun way to start fights.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Impeachment
Why: Because these are the heroes and villains of our time.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Books You Didn’t Read That Are Good
Why: Because the NY Times picked the best books of the year.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Half Life Lives
Why: Because one of the longest running jokes in video games just ended due to the next iteration of the Half Life series coming out in VR.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Will Ferrell Still Makes SNL Funny; Half-LifeProper Propaganda
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Cybertruck (WHAT A STUPID NAME. I LOVE IT.)
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

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