Thursday News: SXSW, Microsoft, Disney, and the best meditation ever
Exclusive: After Gamergate Misstep, SXSW Weighing an All-Day Forum on Online Harassment – So following the backlash against SXSW’s announcement to pull two panels on gaming, and perhaps even more importantly, the news that Buzzfeed and Vox Media would not participate in the event unless organizers reinstated the panels, it appears that at least one panel is back on the schedule and SXSW is now thinking of devoting an entire day to online harassment. SXSW’s Hugh Forrest indicates that the festival is working with local law enforcement regarding elevated security measures, which is wise. Although most of these threats never come to anything, they can scare prospective participants away pretty effectively.
Our sources add that SXSW has talked with BuzzFeed and Vox Media about including them in the event. One of the panels, “Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games,” has been reinstated. (Update: Though the “Level Up” panel may have been reinstated by the organizers, panelist Randi Harper reached out to clarify that the participants have not yet agreed to speak at SXSW.) It is unclear whether the other panel, which is affiliated with the online misogyny movement Gamergate, will be brought back. – Re/code
Microsoft Takes on Apple With New Store and Surface Book – Along with two new products, the Surface Book laptop and Surface Pro 4 tablet, Microsoft seems to be aiming its marketing and products at users willing to pay a pretty penny for Apple’s tablets and MacBooks. And they’re doing it from a brand new Manhattan store that is only a few blocks away from the Apple Store and may be fashioning a similar mold for itself. If I wasn’t an Apple user, I might take a serious look at that Surface Book, since it does look cool . . . for a Microsoft product.
When announcing the Surface Pro 4, which also went on sale Monday, Microsoft made not-so-veiled comments about Apple playing catch up with its iPad Pro, a tablet that also includes a type cover and stylus. – NBC News
Check Out These Disturbingly Hot Realistic Renditions of Your Favorite Disney Villains – There’s a great analysis to be written on what cartoon villains when you render them with more realistic, human attributes. For one thing, you being to move closer to the socio-psychological functions of the traditional fairy tale (and all the interpellating work they do), along with the (often) unconscious potency of stereotypes, cliches, and societal judgments about attractiveness and virtue. Very interesting.
Artist Jirka Väätäinen did a killer job (pun intended) when he created these realistic renditions of famous Disney villains. If you recall, this is the same artist who brought you the epic life-like versions of our favorite Disney princesses and uncomfortably sexy re-imaginations of Disney princes. Now he’s back in time for Halloween with his take on your childhood’s most iconic villains. – E! Online
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation – A friend sent this to me yesterday, and I’m still laughing. See, I’m always in search of the ‘perfect’ meditation, because I’m one of those people whose mind wanders and who has a very difficult time focusing on the relaxation, even though I desperately need it. If you dislike profanity, don’t listen to this. But if don’t mind a bit of irreverence around your meditation habits, check out Jason Headley’s masterpiece. The kicker is that it’s actually pretty damn relaxing. – YouTube