I'm Drew Breunig and I obsess about technology, media, language, and culture. I live in New York, studied anthropology, and work at PlaceIQ.


Relax into the couch as you chill out in Deckard’s apartment helping him track down replicants. Share some hard space liqour out of his bottle bag. This is 12 hours of the ambient droning sound heard in Blade Runner while in Deckard’s domicile.

One more from Montauk.

Makes sense.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was caught on a security camera dragging his unconscious wife-to-be Janay Palmer by the hair, after knocking her unconscious, and the National Football League has chosen to suspend him for two games. Rice in fact will return to the field just in time to wear the NFL’s pink-festooned uniforms to celebrate their deep commitment to breast cancer awareness.

"These two photographs, taken from an Oregon Air National Guard F-15C on July 31, give a close look at a developing pyrocumulus cloud above the Oregon Gulch fire, a part of the Beaver Complex fire on the Oregon/California border." (via EarthSky)


One page of the catalogue is devoted to Restoration Hardware’s environmental impact. First, the company claims that sending out the catalogues all at once is more responsible than spreading them throughout the year. (It does not acknowledge that, in 2003, when it mailed six catalogues annually, it used half as many total pages.) Second, the company says that it purchases paper certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. (However, as Business Week explained, other retailers, such as Pottery Barn, buy paper from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which has stricter environmental standards.) Third, Restoration Hardware points out that it purchases carbon offsets through UPS to fund conservation projects. (Those offsets, while helpful, cover only the shipping, not the paper production, themost harmful part of the process, because of the energy used to break down wood into pulp.) The company responded to my questions about its environmental practices by emailing a press release containing information identical to what’s in the catalogue.

The New Yorker examines Restoration Hardware’s 6-inch thick catalogue.

Due to the “catalogue,” I’m going out of my way to avoid the store and advise others to do the same.

In China drinking with clients and colleagues is now seen as vital to career advancement; some job adverts even call for “good drinking capacity”. One study found that civil servants had a far higher incidence of alcohol-related liver diseases than the population at large (the higher the rank, the worse their health prospects).
To Foursquare’s credit, the default recommendations you see upon opening the app are more personalized, as they’re largely based on the “tastes” you’ve picked prior. Which is a nice feature, certainly. But in all the times I’ve used Foursquare over the past few years, the one discovery feature I favored over all others was the ability to only search places where friends had previously checked in. Now that that filter is gone, the best you can do is impotently scroll through places the people you follow have “recommended.” It may sound like a technicality, but the lack of control makes the entire process feel more distant.

From Gizmodo’s review of the new Foursquare.

Per our analysis yesterday, FourSquare isn’t even at Trust Level 2: recommendations are not trusted blindly, only with outside qualifications which the human trusts.

Gizmodo’s review of the new Foursquare app highlights a problem: we never trusted Foursquare recommendations, just the recommendations of our friends. This doesn’t bode well for the two-app strategy.

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