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“Keeping its cars rolling and new features and services rolling out has served Uber well in the past against California regulators. Both the city of San Francisco and the CPUC in the past have demanded Uber cease and desist operations, but the companies have kept going, and various compromises and accommodations—not always official—have been reached. In those victories, and the many it has achieved in other cities, Uber is spending a new kind of political capital. Traditional candidates bank on promises, charisma, and favor-trading to win votes. Uber’s constituents, by contrast, are its users, and they vote early and often, every time they open the app.”—Anti-Taxi Campaign Shows Uber Can’t Afford to Play Nice | WIRED (via iamdanw)
“Because it’s tiny. Both Symbian and Blackberry have more users than Windows Phone.”—
Markus “Notch” Persson, founder of Minecraft, speaking to Reuters last June about why they weren’t focused on creating the game for Microsoft’s mobile platform. We’ll see if $2.5 billion changes that. My hunch? Um, yes. (via parislemon)
Notch is outspoken and will no longer be involved post-acquisition. He made Minecraft incredible with broad, often clumsy strokes, it got too large and unwieldy to appeal to him, and he went back to experimenting and being opinionated on twitter.
Microsoft might create Minecraft for Windows Phone, but I think it will be an afterthought, a consequence of what they do with Mojang. I’d watch the Minecraft Launcher, that little screen that comes up before you actually start Minecraft. A little tinkering here and there, and you’ve got yourself a version of Steam that’s baked right into Windows, geared more toward kids and casual gamers.
I like Steam, but there’s a lot wrong with it, and it’s a huge target. If you could make downloading, playing, and buying/renting a game a seamless experience on Windows, you’ll win over PC gamers.
Mojang gives you 54 million users right off the bat. That’s pretty incredible. This acquisition is not about changing a video game or porting it to some (admittedly still obscure) platform. This is about access to 54 million gamers.
Based on the feedback we received, we’re changing the Sandbox a little bit. Instead of lots of information crammed in every which way, every day you’ll receive three sections of news you can use:
In NPR & FRIENDS, we’ll highlight great ideas from across public media.
In THE WIDER WORLD, we’ll highlight great ideas from outside of public media.
In PRACTICAL ADVICE, you’ll find tips, techniques and tools you can use to help your reporting.
As always, if you spot something, please email us — so we can include it and give you a hat tip! Thanks!
Mel and Wright
PS: If you haven’t given us feedback, please fill out this survey. It will help us redesign the web version of this newsletter — and determine what information is most useful.
NPR’S SOCIAL SANDBOX
NPR & FRIENDS
1. Rachel Rohr, Here&Now’s digital and social media producer, is taking a month-long road trip across the United States to find stories of young Americans and the issues that matter most in their lives. You can follow her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
2. Tomorrow, Ari Shapiro and Marilyn Geewax are going to have a chat at 12:30 PM ET on Ari’s Facebook page about the upcoming Scottish election. Come with your questions.
3. Izzi Smith sends along news that the BBC has launched a pop up newsroom traveling around the United States for six months and dig around for good stories. Think Storycorps for Newsrooms. One of the members of the pop-up team? Matt Danzico. Does that name sound familiar? He’s Liz’s brother! (Tumblr is here.)
THE WIDER WORLD
1. Look at a prototypeThe Guardian created to receive audience feedback and comments on articles.
2. Anastasia Tsioulcas sends along this interactive for the NYTimes Fall Arts Preview. She writes, “I thought this was a really nice way of putting together an interactive that otherwise would read as an endless litany of DATE- blurb – DATE – blurb – DATE –blurb. I also love the fact that they mixed up everything cultural – visual art is next to dance is next to Robert Plant’s album release etc.”
PRACTICAL ADVICE: LEARN SOMETHING NEW
Beginner: Just getting started on social media? Here’s a social media syllabus from the University of Florida Journalism School. There’s A LOT of stuff in here, but it’s a nice overview if you’re just getting your feet wet. (One of their assignments? Analyze NPR’s social media!)
Intermediate: Tools and resources from The Local News Lab on community engagement, measuring impact, and building a news business.
My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.
“We have this factory model, and we think someone’s working if they show up in the morning and they’re not drunk, they don’t sleep at their desks, they leave at the right time. But that has so little to do with what you create. And we all know people who create a lot without fitting into those norms.”—