What I’ve Read This Week (April 19 2021 to April 25 2021)

Bonnie Qu’s first piece for The Upcomer is a look at the Washington Justice front line consisting of the rookie Mag and. the battle tested veteran Fury. A very good read for any esports fan to read. I am super glad to be reading Bonnie’s writing again, she writes some of the best esports writing out there. I am looking forward to see what the Washington Justice can do in the 2021 season, hopefully it is a better season for them than their previous showings. Bonnie describes their history perfectly:

The Justice have had a tumultuous history in the Overwatch League. They’ve undergone multiple roster iterations, oscillating between incredible highs and devastating lows in the process. But despite several moments of brilliance, their inconsistency has meant that they’ve never been seriously considered as part of the upper echelon of teams.

Bonnie Qu, Mag and Fury bring confidence and poise tothe Washington Justice frontline

Bryce Kerley writes a review of Animal Crossing: New Horizons but to me this really is what I am going to start calling a pandemic diary or perhaps a sub-category called gaming during the pandemic. I especially love the sidebar on how Bryce got into photographing lizards and how that changed he approached the game.

Fuchsia, one of my original neighbors, asked to leave. I said no, for the first time. While originally the randomness of the game was appealing to me, by this time I realized I was getting plenty of recreational chaos on long walks with a camera. This kind of changed my relationship to the game, specifically on how I chose to suspend my disbelief.

Bryce Kerley, Review: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Mint writes a retrospective of the 3DS, it is interesting to read something like this as someone who has not used Nintendo console before the Switch. My personal experience with portable gaming in my teenage years was with the PSP instead which had a lot of fantastic games especially once you modded the thing and got things like emulators running on the device. I haven’t touched my PSP since I graduated high school but its still a console that I have a lot of nostalgic fondness for and I wish that Sony had not completely fumbled the PS Vita and that Nintendo still had a competitor in the portable gaming market that is not a smart phone.

Ben Jojo writes about BGP routes getting stuck in routers because of issues with the BGP implementations and the way BGP handles failures. It exposes a rather nasty little edge case bug that I would love to see fixed in future implementations of the BGP standard to improve the reliability of the internet backbone.

Ibram X. Kendi writes a much needed piece on the fact that for black and brown people, compliance with the police is not going to be our saviour. I am just going to leave this quote here.

When will the American people realize what cellphone videos keep showing them, what body cameras keep recording, what the graveyards of history keep reporting? Black and brown people’s defiance is not the problem. Our compliance is not the solution.

Police defiance of our humanity is the problem. American defiance of our right to live is the problem. Political compliance—to abolish American policing as we know it—is the solution.

Ibram X. Kendi, Compliance Will Not Save Me

Moxie writes a very entertaining piece on exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite’s UFED and Physical Analyzer equipment. Turns out a company with a product designed to exploit vulnerabilities on products it operates on has a bunch of nasty vulnerabilities of its own. Who woulda thought? And to top it all off, there is this bit which I found the funniest:

We are of course willing to responsibly disclose the specific vulnerabilities we know about to Cellebrite if they do the same for all the vulnerabilities they use in their physical extraction and other services to their respective vendors, now and in the future.

moxie, Exploiting vulnerabilities in Cellebrite UFED and Physical Analyzer from an app’s perspective

Dashiell Lewis writes a critical deep dive into the music of one my favourite hip-hop artists currently making music, Boldy James. This one is a long read but is well worth reading if you are a hip-hop fan or even just a fan of good music related writing. Make sure to give the embedded Boldy tracks a listen if you haven’t heard them before because they are fantastic. Like Dashiell I am also excited to see where Boldy James goes next with his music.

Rather than find a shtick and squeeze it until dry, Boldy pivots ever so slightly with each release, not just trying on new styles and sounds, but bringing them into his world rather than the other way around. He’s deft and flexible, able to occupy different parts of the rap universe with ease and grace. It’s exciting to think about where he’ll go next.

Dashiell Lewis, Things That Go Bump in the Psyche: A Critical Look at What Makes Boldy James So Compelling

Nayantara Ranganathan writes a essay about how the newly minted Unicode emoji for the Hindu temple is in fact a symbol of Hindu supremacy and hatred even if it was not intended to be. I see this as one of the many ways the technology we use and the processes we use to set technological standards can lead to social and political consequences far beyond what the designers and the implementors of the process could account for.

The central danger of the emoji is that it is as generative of people’s ideas about what counts as Hindu or Indian as it is reductive of Hinduism’s and India’s complexities.

Nayantara Ranganathan, Under a Blood-red Flag

That is all from me this week, see y’all next week!