Tag Archives: Technology

Who Made Who? An Interview with Iiris Härmä on A.I.

16 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Playing during Doxa Documentary Film Festival, from June 18 to 26. Tickets to an online screening can be purchased here. For information, please visit their faq.

Finnish filmmaker Iiris Härmä is perhaps best known for her documentaries exploring cultural identity. Her first work, End of the Line, is a sociological film about old men losing work at a bus factory and having nowhere else to go. It was developed in a time when globalization was making waves; the shift of where work can be done cheaper displaced many people. The ripple effect is disconcerting. Her degrees in Ethnology and Cultural Studies helps pinpoint topics of humanitarian interest. When she graduated with a diploma on film studies from the New School University in NY, the sky’s the limit for what she liked to explore in the cinematic medium–or rather, on what we learn from her discourses.

Her latest work Who Made Who? examines where artificial intelligence technology is currently headed. After her own experiences with it, namely in dealing with automated bank services through the phone, it got her curiosity going. She said another encounter was at a seminar in 2015 at Helsinki, where Michael Laakasuoed talked about the moralities of AI; it was an eye-opening experience. She talked about her inspiration in an interview with the Finnish Institute, and I’m fairly sure she took a lot more out of making this documentary than we as viewers did, as newcomers to a future not everyone is prepared for.

Essentially, this documentary examines the relationship between humans and technology. It’s not too different from Hi. A.I., a film I looked at some months ago (review link here) which dealt with similar themes. I was reminded of how robots can help keep some seniors occupied than the other one concerning Charles attempting to have a meaningful conversation with Harmony; a couple they were not.

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Atari’s Missile Command hits the Mobile World & Fond Memories with Tempest 4K

1 Apr

Cover artBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on iOS and Android

Of all of Atari’s vast catalogue of classic games, the two I played the most were Tempest and Missile Command. With both games reimagined for current gen computers, consoles and mobiles, there’s more than a feeling of nostalgia going on. The latter is released to celebrate its 40th anniversary, and Tempest 4000 (available on Amazon) is available for the Playstation 4 for a little longer than a month. I’ve played the Steam version of the latter for the PC, but using a controller is just not the same as using a paddle.

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Tempest 4K, STEAMed & Reviewed!

27 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Also available on the
PlayStation4 and Xbox One.

Sooner or later, the game to which I took my nickname from, had to be reviewed. Back in the 80’s with the huge arcade game boom, Atari’s Tempest was the game I fell in love with. Enter 2018, the 4K upgrade is here! I’m not talking about video resolution, but instead, how pumped this latest imagining is. It’s wild and crazy in how tough it gets after six levels from the start. Even after weeks of playing, I’m not completely proficient. The main problem is that no proper controller exists to play the game like it was originally designed.

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Remembering the Golden Oldies with Digital Archive Websites

16 Dec

action_comics_1

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

In the search for great comic books from the yesteryear, most aficionados will have to hit auctions and estate sales to find what they want. Titles from the Platinum Age (1897 – 1938) to the Golden Age (1939-1950), introduced the era of the superhero to more than just one generation of readers, but purchasing these comics now is near impossible. Unless you are rich, forget it.

Thankfully, not everyone is out to make an investment with an Action Comics #1 so they can wind up having a million dollar nest egg to retire on sixty-five years later. There are digital archivists actively looking to preserve this bit of the past for readers preferring online content.

To name a few, Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine and Fury Comics are two very good websites to start digging through. Another archival website is Comic Book Plus, along with the Digital Comics Museum (DCM), which boasts a wide variety of titles available for anyone to read for free (though the operators may ask for donations to help offset the costs of keeping the the website running).

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