A closer look at Microsoft’s new Kinect sensor – The Verge

developers will be able to use it with or without Azure
— Read on www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18239860/microsoft-kinect-azure-dk-hands-on-mwc-2019

Microsoft has created a new Kinect sensor. During an invaluable conversation with artist Matthew Keff at the IEEE-GEM 2019 conference at Yale last week I learned about this re-introduction. The Kinect had been declared dead technology upon its notable absence a year ago at the 2018 E3 trade show.

We created a game, Sow/Reap, in the summer of 2013, that took advantage the Kinect for PC, an earlier model. That model was superceded by the model that accompanied the Xbox One which was effectively DOA. No new games used the new tech. Instead it was deemed an always on, always networked bit of spyware. Microsoft walked back from requiring Kinects be connected to Xbox One.

Now with the Hololens there is once again a use for depth-tracking/mapping for AR and VR. This is where the new Kinect fits into the Microsoft ecosystem.

I am curious if this new Kinect will be sufficiently open for us to remake/refresh/rethink Sow/Reap.

Information about Sow/Reap is available on http://sudor.org/

Matthew Keff is making wonderful work visible at http://matthewkeff.com/

IEEE Games, Entertainment, and Media conference program at http://ieee-gem.space/

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June 24, 2019

Ecozon@ Vol 8, No 2 (2017)

Journal of Literature, Culture and the Environment
— Read on ecozona.eu/issue/view/124/showToc

Bookmarking here so I can find it again later. This issue of the bilingual journal (Spanish and English) is dedicated to Ecocriticism and Computer- and Video- Games. It may be that “ecocriticism” is a particular critical lens. The idea of the greening of games appeals to me.

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June 18, 2019

to watch: Pachamama

Pachamama looks utterly beautiful and unlike anything aimed at children today. And while it’s not necessarily evident from the trailer, Antin says he hopes to promote an ecological message with the film. Overall, the movie seems to take a complex history – Andean villagers struggling under the dominion of the Incas, who themselves are on the verge of being pillaged Spanish conquistadores – and makes it accessible and entertaining to a young audience.

putting this here so I remember to check it out on Netflix. Writer is of Peruvian heritage.

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June 16, 2019

Colombian bot pilots

The Kiwibots do not figure out their own routes. Instead, people in Colombia, the home country of Chavez and his two co-founders, plot “waypoints” for the bots to follow, sending them instructions every five to 10 seconds on where to go.

As with other offshoring arrangements, the labor savings are huge. The Colombia workers, who can each handle up to three robots, make less than $2 an hour, which is above the local minimum wage.

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June 16, 2019