Webtacular World Issue # 313, December 1, 2019.

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope everyone enjoyed on this great Thanksgiving holiday before Christmas so rudely barged in. Or, in the alternative, I hope you you didn’t enjoy Thanksgiving because you’re part of the vast liberal plot to get rid of it. The only holiday I am truly looking forward to is the best holiday of all – Birthday Month. According to my father-in-law, you get to claim the whole month of your birthday (regardless of the very clear meaning in birthDAY) as yours. So, I am hitching my train to this wagon full on, and I highly suggest you all do as well. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Republicans Cannot Stop Lying
Why: Because Devin Nunes, one of the main Republican Representatives who defended Trump during the hearings last week, is now also implicated in attempting to get dirt on Biden. Plugging your ears while screaming THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN is not the same thing as winning.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Why Go Outside?
Why: Because online sales crushed in store sales for this year’s Black Friday.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Devin Nunes Has A Cow
Why: Because not only can Devin Nunes not explain his trip to Europe, but he also does not understand the Constitution.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Cyber Monday Counts As Tech
Why: Because there are more deals waiting for everyone who had much better things to do with their lives than shop.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Stealing Signs
Why: Because one of the most archaic parts of baseball, coaches using hand signals to tell batters / base runners to do things, caused the biggest scandal in baseball right now. Hey, anythings better than the blatant racism / homophobia that is part of hockey.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Little Women Goes Big
Why: Because yet another version of this classically adopted film is probably the best.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Pitchfork… Liked Coldplay
Why: Because Coldplay’s newest album is a lot – but at least the bands’ hearts are in the right place by not touring due to concerts’ impact on the environment.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: Thanksgiving Day Parade
Why: Because giant balloons are fun.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: National Book Award Finalists
Why: Because you need even more lists of great books that you probably won’t get around to.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Disco Is Back
Why: Because Disco Elysium is one of the most original and best written RPGs to come out in a very long time.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Peak Colbert; Baby Yoda Forever (Remember When The Internet Was Good?); There’s Nothing As Touching As A Corporation Stealing Your Childhood To Make You Cry
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Something Cyber!
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

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™

Webtacular World Issue # 311, November 17, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope last week’s prime time event of people telling Congress under oath how impeachable Trump is. It’s only going to get worse from here. At least there are still people who work in the government who understand the importance of credibility. It just remains to be seen how many of them there actually are. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Speaking For America
Why: Because it is still insane that Trump essentially committed an impeachable offence while Marie Yovanovitch was testifying before the House.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Tax The Rich
Why: Because companies did not use tax cuts to do anything meaningful with their undeserved windfall.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Roger Stone Is Guilty
Why: Because this is the sixth Trump advisor who has been thrown in jail since Trump’s presidency began.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Global Warming Is Real
Why: Because it takes a city full of priceless art to maybe, MAYBE get people to understand the ramifications and risks humans have created for ourselves.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Kaep Is Back (Or Not?)
Why: Because the insanity of football makes it so that one of the historically best QBs who still wants to play the sport is not being given a chance to.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Drive Faster
Why: Because there was a time not so long ago where men drove fast and America built real cars, and that story needed to be told.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: This Is The Star Wars You Were Looking For
Why: Because the Mandalorian is great so far.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Into The Well Known
Why: Because Frozen 2’s soundtrack is out, and while it doesn’t quite have a blockbuster like Let It Go, it still is another thing that parents will have to listen to way too much.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Animals Being Derps
Why: Because the winners for the 2019 Comedy Wildlife photography awards are out.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Into The Mind Of Comedy
Why: Because the musings of Garry Shandling are now available in a readable format for everyone.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. reads)
What: Gotta Catch Most Of Them
Why: Because the new Pokemon game is here, a game where you get to catch most, but not all, of the pokemon. Also here is Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a game where you try to stop the Empire from catching all of the Jedi after Order 66.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Roger Stone Can’t Meme; Hollywood Doesn’t Like Ewoks Anymore; Music Over Time
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Baby Yoda
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 310, November 11, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! I hope everyone was able to enjoy a long weekend capped by an 80 degree day filled with BBQ. Somehow, all of these patriotic holidays are starting to act more and more like each other, including the weather. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: What Is Democracy?
Why: Because its too early to understand exactly what happened in Bolivia, but it is in stark contrast to the slow meandering process of Trump’s impeachment.  In the US, the process sometimes seems to work, i.e. not gerrymandering and letting people vote, but also, sometimes not (see also George W. Bush).

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: We Don’t Work
Why: Because apparently it’s really hard to disrupt businesses needs for work spaces.  You know what seems to actually work, while also freeing up space? A four-day work week.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Other Side Of Justice
Why: Because it is a huge deal that a non-prosecutor won the election for District Attorney in San Francisco.

TECH / HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fitgle Just Doesn’t Have A Good Ring To It
Why: Because it really is something that we have all decided to pay for the benefit of giving massive companies all of our health information.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (GO SPORTS)
What: No Sports This Week
Why: Because Deadspin is dead, so I have no idea what’s going on anymore. Actually, it turns out I really don’t care about football, and early season basketball minus a functioning Warriors team means I definitively have no sports. Well, I would have hockey, but like I said, Deadspin is dead, and hockey coverage is trash. The Niners / Seahawks game was good to watch, I guess? (UPDATE: It wasn’t. The Niners lost. Sports are still dumb.)

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The New King
Why: Because the movie version Stephen King’s novel The Shining never needed a sequel, except for the fact that all of his novels somehow tie into the Dark Tower universe, and Mike Flanagan, the director, somehow managed to expand appropriately on a classic.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Watch The Watchmen, Follow The Golden Compass
Why: Because both of HBO’s new shows are really good so far – Watchmen is a really interesting take on what the world became after the events of the graphic novel (and is way better than the movie version), while His Dark Materials is an excellent take adaptation of the novel (and again, is way better than the movie version).

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Return Of Gang Starr
Why: Because DJ Premier’s beats are basically the main reason I love hip-hop.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (3  min. read)
What: Greta Is Watching
Why: Because now I get to feel bad about my role in destroying the world just around the corner from my work.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Being Anonymous In This Context Doesn’t Help Anyone
Why: Because the author of Warning sure seems more like a cash-in than a real attempt at doing anything for the U.S.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Gooigi
Why: Because Mario’s habitually under-rated brother gets briefly gets the spotlight. Also, Luigi gets a duplicate called Gooigi. Keep on being weird, Nintendo.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Most Important Games Of The 2010s (Not Bad); The Best Movies Of The Decade (Arguably Wrong); Best Books Of The Decade (Mostly No).
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Giant Mural Of Me Somewhere In San Francisco
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 309, November 3, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Not sure that any of you need a reminder because everything self-corrects now, but just in case, set your clocks back – welcome to the darkness. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: On The Road To Impeachment
Why: Because people are fed up with Trump, and are continuously showing it.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Twitter Bans Political Ads
Why: Because I don’t know what it means that a platform for saying whatever bullshit people want takes a stand on certain people saying bullshit, but I guess it’s a start?

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Don’t Breath
Why: Because it turns out breathalyzers aren’t actually as good at detecting the amount of alcohol in a person as they claim to be.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What:  What The Title Of The Article Says
Why: Because daylight savings IS hot garbage. Give me my daytime back, damnit.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Good Writing Dies Again
Why: Because much of the Internet (this newsletter included) is not really doing much of the hard work that it takes to break a story, start a trend, or really understand the nuances of a subject matter to write in a smart and entertaining way. At this rate, I won’t have anywhere to actually get my knowledge from. Thanks for putting politics into sports, Deadspin. You will be missed.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: He Won’t Be Back
Why: Because no one saw the new Terminator, even though I thought it seemed like it was poised to be decent from the reviews.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Lights Out, Guerrilla Radio, Turn That Shit Up
Why: Because Rage Against The Machine is reuniting. Protest music is back.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Learn How To Shoot
Why: Because we all take photographs, so why not take them well?

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Learn How To Write
Why: Because we all write, so why not write well?

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Stranded
Why: Because Death Stranding is ART, important, and may only be fun if you’re in the right headspace.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: 1983; No More Funbags; The Most Important Websites Ever
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Good Sports Blog That Doesn’t Pretend That Sorts Are The Most Important Thing In The World, And That Acknowledges That Sometimes Politics Happens In Things That You Would Rather That Politics Didn’t Happen In
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 308, October 29, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Sorry again for the delay. It’s mildly hard to pay attention to what’s going on in general when your county is on fire. Let’s just pretend that it is still the weekend, and the last two days didn’t happen yet.  On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Something Big!
Why: Because only Trump could turn something that was supposed to be a success into a barely avoided unmitigated disaster. Also, wasn’t killing Bin Laden supposed to end ISIS in the first place?

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Presidential Spitefulness
Why: Because personal vendettas aren’t supposed to drive government procurement, but it’s really hard to say that didn’t happen here.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Impeachment Hearings Are OK
Why: Because some people like to sue just for the sake of suing.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Up In Flames
Why: Because much of California was, and continues to be, covered in fire. It is not fun. Also, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of these companies that promise to deliver service have failed immensely at their sole purpose.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Boo This Man
Why: Because Trump went to a baseball game, which is essentially the first time he has gone to a large gathering of people that wasn’t hand picked to enjoy his presence. It did not go well for him.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: The Final Trailer
Why: Because Star Wars

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Oh Kanye…
Why: Because I have never heard of a version of Jesus who cares about an individual’s tax rate and appreciates being compared to Chick-fil-A. Hot trash.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Apocalyptic
Why: because nothing shows the end of the world like watching it burn.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Revealing A Monster
Why: Because Ronan Farrow’s depiction of the Weinstein story, and more importantly about the women who lived it, is a good read.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Fallout In Space
Why: Because The Outer Worlds is one of the finest first person RPGs to come out in a very long time. Also, the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare does the interesting thing of making you realize that the war that was depicted in the 2007 iteration of that game, is the same war that is being depicted 12 years later.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Comedy, Part 6; Comedy, 90; Comedy, 00
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Mustang SUV
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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

Webtacular World Issue # 307, October 20, 2019

Greetings Webtaculators! Since today was likely the last day of Northern California summer that I have free this year, I made the most of it and went for a bike ride. Hopefully, you all were able to do something that you enjoy doing this weekend. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (2 min. watch)
What: Quid Pro Quo
Why: Because Mulvaney admitted that Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate our 2016 election, which Trump has continuously denied. Who knew that a phrase that most people under the age of 40 learned from The Lion King would be so important in non-lion politics?

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Profit Off Of Chaos
Why: Because people made billions of dollars by trading immediately before global trade deals were announced.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (7 min. read)
What: Right To Vote
Why: Because a judge just temporarily struck down a law that would strip ex-felons who cannot pay their fines or fees of their right to vote. Unrelated, Rest in peace, Representative Cummings.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Women In Space
Why: Because this was the first spacewalk conducted by multiple women. No, that does mean that it was the first woman to conduct a spacewalk, Trump.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Walk Offs Are Fun
Why: Because speaking of space, the Astros are heading back to the World Series against D.C. after a 5’6″ tall dude crushed a ball to the moon.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Moar Zombies
Why: Because it’s almost Halloween, and if you liked the first Zombieland, chances are you will like this one too.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (30 min. watch)
What: Tay Tay And A Tiny Desk
Why: Because Taylor Swift performed at NPR, and it was interesting seeing how her songwriting process works.

ART THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Revisiting NY MoMA
Why: Because the revamped museum is opening tomorrow with a focus on permanent exhibits.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: Modern Horror
Why: Because people usually rely on other kinds of media to scare people now, so it’s interesting to look on how scary stories are written today.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Stream Everything
Why: Because Google and Microsoft are racing each other to deliver console level gaming through any device. Microsoft’s Project xCloud is currently running a beta, and Google’s Stadia releases next month for early adopters. Hopefully your ISP doesn’t have data caps if you plan on using these services.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Of DOS; Gaming On Drugs; Applies To People Who Actually Went To Law School, Too
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: The Ability To Hit A Walk Off Home Run To Send My Team To The World Series
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

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