What I'm Reading - 5/16/2018
Three to five links every weekday - drugs and other drugs edition.
Everyone loves a good GIF, but what about a GIF that gives a full, 360 degree immersive GIF? Gfycat has done just that by reinventing the standard 2D GIF with 360Loop. To launch their new venture, Gfycat has partnered with Paramount Pictures to launch an exclusive series of 360Loop GIFs for the forthcoming action pic Mission: Impossible – Fallout.
Launching today, 360Loop is a media format that puts the viewer at the center of the content, with the action wrapping around the viewer in a fully immersive experience — and what better way to do that with Ethan Hunt and his death-defying acts in the Mission: Impossible franchise. As seen in the GIFs below the viewer can use the mouse to interact with the environment and view everything around them like a 360 VR experience.
It’s upfronts season! If that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry. I, a millennial human being, went to the NBCUniversal* upfront at Radio City Music Hall, and I have returned to explain it all.
Basically, the upfronts are a chance for TV networks to show off the upcoming season’s programs in the hope that ad buyers will spend money on ads to run alongside those programs. Networks offer better rates if advertisers buy space ahead of time — or up front — which is why it’s a big deal for both sides.
The trouble is, fewer people — especially young people — are watching traditional pay TV. That hasn’t seemed to bother advertisers, who’ve continued to increase spending at the upfronts.
The floodgates opened for legalized sports betting in the U.S. yesterday as the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the State of New Jersey, striking down as unconstitutional the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that banned sports betting outside of Nevada.
For people like me who have been following the case and expecting this decision, it was still a heart-pounding “OMG, this is really happening” moment. And if you haven’t been following the case, you probably don’t realize how much is about to change. Short answer: A whole lot, very quickly. And in my opinion, straight out of the gate, it’s not going to be pretty.
LSD AND OTHER PSYCHEDELICS INSPIRED SOME OF SILICON VALLEY’S GREATEST INVENTIONS, SAYS AUTHOR MICHAEL POLLAN
Talk to someone in Silicon Valley about techies taking psychedelic drugs and they might bring up Burning Man or Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. But the practice is older than that — way older.
“There are very deep roots in Silicon Valley, going back to the ’50s,” journalist and author Michael Pollan said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “There’s something about engineers and psychedelics that needs to be explored.”
Pollan’s new book, “How to Change Your Mind,” is all about the history and future of mind-altering substances, which every human society has experimented with — except the Inuit peoples (“and that’s just ’cause nothing good grows where they live,” Pollan said).
In the 1950s, before the term “Silicon Valley” existed, a handful of engineers at the tech pioneer Ampex were approached by Al Hubbard, the “Johnny Appleseed of LSD.” And with his help, they found that dropping acid could make their jobs easier.