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Iron Man takes on the Hulk in leaked Age of Ultron trailer

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 7:21pm
It’s hard not to contain our excitement for the upcoming Joss Whedon joint, Avengers: Age of Ultron, especially with this new leaked trailer. It’s not the high-quality one you’ll likely see when Marvel Studios puts the official trailer up on…Read more ›






Interview with critic and psychoanalyst Mikita Brottman about the terrors of reading

Technoccult - October 22, 2014 - 7:00pm

Mark Dery talks with Mikita Brottman, author of The Solitary Vice: Against Reading:

I live in an old hotel, and I’ve recently been researching old newspaper items about the suicides that happened here, and the notes people left. However brief, I find them infinitely suggestive. They’re little vignettes of private tragedy, windows onto the changing century. They contain snippets of peripheral history—the introduction of automobiles, the development of telegraph and telephones, the advent of Great Depression, the injustice of segregation, and the changing nature of the hotel trade. There are also insinuations about social class, alienated parents, sons with too much money, businessmen suffering from existential ennui. There’s a sense of nostalgia in these little case studies as well—of a Baltimore that was both genteel and bohemian, whose kings were society men, tobacco lords and bootleg emperors. Another interesting feature of these vignettes is their reliable supporting cast, consisting of desk clerks, bellboys, maids, doctors and coroners. I find the suicide notes especially touching, with their polite, self-deprecating apologies, often expressing regret to the hotel staff for the necessary cleanup job.

Full Story: Boing Boing: Solitary Vices: Mikita Brottman on the Books in Her Life

Categories: Occulture

Museum pays record-breaking $905,000 for Apple-1

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 5:33pm
An ultra-rare working 1976 Apple-1 computer — thought to be one of the first 50 ever produced — has sold at auction for an incredible $750,000, around twice the expected asking price. The computer was part of Bonhams History of…Read more ›






The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are now available at Apple Stores

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 4:43pm
Apple announced its newest lineup of iPads last week without giving a specific launch date, but if you didn’t get in on the pre-order action you can just go to your local Apple Store and pick up a new unit…Read more ›






Meet Inbox: Google tries to reinvent email yet again

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 4:23pm
Google announced Wednesday a new way to manage email: Inbox by Google. It’s a refinement of Google’s already pretty rad Gmail service, and it’s headed up by the folks, like Jim Denis, who used to work for Sparrow, a fantastic…Read more ›






Apple might have snatched up Pin Drop team to boost Maps

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 1:58pm
Apple appears to have acquihired the small team behind Pin Drop, a location-bookmarking app set to close down at the end of the month. Based on redacted information, Cult of Mac has reason to believe that at least some members of…Read more ›






How Schools Groom Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance

Technoccult - October 22, 2014 - 12:42pm

Jessy Irwin writes:

Since 2011, billions of dollars of venture capital investment have poured into public education through private, for-profit technologies that promise to revolutionize education. Designed for the “21st century” classroom, these tools promise to remedy the many, many societal ills facing public education with artificial intelligence, machine learning, data mining, and other technological advancements.

They are also being used to track and record every move students make in the classroom, grooming students for a lifetime of surveillance and turning education into one of the most data-intensive industries on the face of the earth. The NSA has nothing on the monitoring tools that education technologists have developed in to “personalize” and “adapt” learning for students in public school districts across the United States.

Full Story: Model View Culture: Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance

Categories: Occulture

Learn to take jaw-dropping photographic shots with Adobe KnowHow [Deals]

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 12:15pm
Chances are, you’ve got a camera within a few feet of you at all times. Cameras are built into our smart phones, tablets, and many of us have have dedicated cameras for our photographic needs. With all these cameras, shouldn’t…Read more ›






Bank of America refunds duplicate Apple Pay charges

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 12:13pm
If you’ve been happily tapping up charges with your iPhone 6 after Apple Pay was released on Monday, you might want to double check your bank statements. A number of early Apple Pay users have reported that Apple’s tap-to-pay solution has…Read more ›






Now Fantastical can truly replace Apple’s Calendar app in iOS 8

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 10:01am
Thanks to how apps can hook into each other with Extensibility in iOS 8, third-party developers are able to rival the systemwide functionality of Apple’s stock apps like never before. So is the case with Flexibits, maker of the popular calendar…Read more ›






This magic math app is like having Stephen Hawking on your iPhone

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 9:50am
Here’s a confession: I was terrible at math in school. From Algebra 1 on, I just couldn’t keep the various symbols, numbers, and denominators I was faced with straight, and so I flunked pretty much every test. But I grew…Read more ›






Here’s how to stream every Simpsons ever on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 9:20am
If you’ve been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to have every episode of the Simpsons ever streamable on your iPhone or iPad, there is no longer any reason to, as the yellow-skinned proverbial tyke might say, “have a cow.” You can…Read more ›






Apple Watch could lead to 7x increase in wearables market

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 9:00am
Apple’s great at hopping into new markets just as they’re set to explode, and it seems that the upcoming Apple Watch is no different. Despite mixed reports about consumer interest, research firm IHS thinks demand for sensor-equipped wearable tech devices is going…Read more ›






Secret hardware upgrades make the iPad Air 2 the fastest frickin’ tablet on the planet

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:50am
The iPad Air 2 is starting to hit doorsteps for preorders today, and already, the benchmarks are blowing us away, with an early Geekmark score showing that the iPar Air 2 is the fastest, most powerful tablet out there. Period.…Read more ›






Tim Cook meets with top Chinese official to discuss iCloud phishing attack

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:45am
Tim Cook has met with a top Chinese government official in Beijing, to discuss the reported “man-in-the-middle” phishing attack on iCloud users in China, reportedly being carried out by authorities. While very few details of the meeting have been made…Read more ›






Jailbreak the latest iOS devices with Pangu

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:42am
If you’ve been holding out on upgrading to iOS 8 until a jailbreak is available, your wait is over — courtesy of Team Pangu. Currently available for Windows only, the promised iOS 8 and 8.1 jailbreak works on devices up…Read more ›






Apple spends less than Google and other tech giants on lobbying fees

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:30am
Apple may be out-earning its rivals, but there’s one place it’s lagging behind: political lobbying. While companies like Google and Facebook continued to pour millions of dollars into influencing U.S. lawmakers during Q3, Apple spent a fraction of this sum.…Read more ›






Apple launches a portal for businesses to get better exposure in Apple Maps

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:20am
If you’ve got a business that Apple Maps just keeps on getting wrong, great news. Apple has just launched a new portal for U.S. businesses to add or edit their listings within Apple Maps. Called Apple Maps Connect, the new…Read more ›






Timbuk2: 25 years of sewin’ bags in San Francisco

Cult of Mac - October 22, 2014 - 8:00am
SAN FRANCISCO — Twenty-five years ago, a bike messenger sat in his garage and used an old-school Singer sewing machine to stitch his mark on the world. That bike messenger was Rob Honeycutt, and the bags he made in 1989…Read more ›






Ten Commandments a Publicity Stunt?

Augoeides - October 22, 2014 - 8:00am
With all the controversy surrounding the various Ten Commandments monuments around the country, many have dismissed non-Christian proposals by groups like The Satanic Temple as publicity stunts. The critics do have a point, in that Christianity is by far the majority religion in the United States and many of the groups themselves admit that their reasons for proposing monuments have more to do with bringing attention to the separation of church and state than the statues themselves.

Cracked, which has transitioned from a knock-off of Mad magazine to a site that produces humorous articles with some surprisingly good journalism, has an article up today that points out another side of the Ten Commandments dispute (see #5 on the list). It turns out that many of the monuments that Christians are working so hard to protect were themselves created as publicity for the 1955 film The Ten Commandments.

While Cecil B. DeMille was working on the movie, he learned that a judge from Minnesota had been working with a Christian fraternal organization to send framed copies of the Ten Commandments to schools and public buildings for display. Not in anticipation of a big epic movie coming out, but because he thought America needed reminding of God's laws before those filthy beatniks could corrupt the nation.

Eager for publicity, DeMille contacted the judge and suggested that they replace the framed certificates with bronze tablets, but the judge said no way. Moses' tablets were in granite, so bronze wouldn't do (apparently no one bothered pointing out that framed paper certificates were just fine for the judge before DeMille and Paramount got involved).

So, with DeMille's backing, around 150 granite tablets were made and distributed across the country, with Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner dedicating a few of them in person. Having Heston and Brynner on a faux religious tour was great publicity for the film, which grossed around $80 million. When the movie was out of theaters, the monuments stayed, and the group that helped the judge at the beginning of the story kept right on sending them out into the mid-'80s.
In the immortal words of Alan Rickman as the Metatron in Kevin Smith's Dogma, "Say you're the Metatron, people stare at you blankly. Mention something from a Charlton Heston movie and suddenly everyone's a theology scholar!" Or in this case, they're apparently Poor Oppressed Christians angry at the evil Satanists wanting to put up a devil statue next to their favorite movie prop. The horror!

So if you still thinks these promotional items are worthy of special protection, I'm sorry for you. Just because a publicity stunt dates back to 1955 doesn't mean it deserves special rights, and that light there's no real difference between a 60-year-old movie prop and a brand new statue of Baphomet. The law is clear - the government can either allow both on public property or allow neither. There is no in between, no matter how loud the Poor Oppressed crowd whines.

Categories: Occulture

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