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Thread: GEEK OUT; For the Geek in All of Us

  1. #1

    Cool GEEK OUT; For the Geek in All of Us

    Inside every Gameface member is a geek. So here is a thread to celebrate that, and you can also take your own geek discussions here.

    Let us start off with something from Cracked, an institution that deifies Geek:

    5 Classic Geek Debates That Were Settled a Long Time Ago

    By Luke McKinney | January 14, 2015 | 961,859 views

    The Internet is an infinite playground filled with imagination, joy, and childish assholes screaming at each other. The freedom of online discussion has elevated nerd arguments into an art form. But, just like modern art, there are still too many psychopaths flinging shit and screaming under the assumption that it's all as important as real thought.

    Two people arguing over which is the coolest Doctor aren't losers, because they're both doing something they enjoy. They have all the advantages of football fandom with far more source material, a much wider variety of pitches, and the entertaining advantage that their hobby doesn't continually cripple people.

    Ridley Scott recently answered Blade Runner's eternal question of whether Deckard is a replicant. And if you don't want to know the answer, then whatever you do, don't remember that he thinks he's a human in a sci-fi movie entirely and only about how replicants can pass as human. And as Cracked's nerdiest nerd -- I not only understand questions like "How did Pacific Rim's Kaidonovskys survive?" but have strong feelings about them and provide multiple answers -- I've found five more eternal nerd questions with definite answers.

    #5. Star Destroyer vs Enterprise

    With the ridicuzillions of stars in the universe you'd think there would be enough to both trek to and war over, but no. Star Destroyer versus Enterprise has been the iconic nerd battle since we looked at the Enterprise's wonderful mission to find new life beyond the stars and asked, "Yeah, but how good are you at blowing shit up?"

    The Star Destroyer redefined science-fiction cinema. Its first appearance taught us that far above the sky there is the awesomeness of space, and far above that there's an even cooler and larger spaceship.

    The Enterprise is the image of advanced technology, humanity's best using its most advanced knowledge to learn even more. The Star Destroyer is the embodiment of irresistible bureaucracy: only an empire could afford to build something so insanely huge, and it's unstoppable despite being staffed with people so eminently replaceable that murdering the captain is how you add exclamation points to internal memos.

    The resulting battle isn't just an action scene, it's an ideological debate. People have spent decades working out every possible angle of the conflict, from military tactics to technological interactions to raw energy outputs painstakingly extracted from freeze-frames of the source material.

    Easy Answer: Enterprise

    If your enemy has transporter technology and you don't, winning isn't one of your options. You get to choose between surrendering, exploding, or choking in space. Darth Vader can asphyxiate someone by raising his arm. Transporter Chief O'Brien can do the same thing by raising a few fingers and beaming them into space.

    The Star Wars universe has never even heard of transporter technology, and so wouldn't have any defense against it. The Enterprise doesn't even need to beam photon torpedoes onto the Destroyer -- just remove any one of the million things the Destroyer needs to prevent itself from exploding and you're done. The movies established that Imperial technology is shorter-lived than Stormtrooper armor with a red undershirt.

    Narratively, things are even worse for the Empire. The answer is in the "the" (and the italics reserved for proper craft names): the Enterprise is a named hero, while Star Destroyers are nameless minions. Not one in the movies has a title or a victory. Named hero versus minion only ever goes one way.

    (Consolation prize: the Star Destroyer hasn't been in nearly as many terrible movies.)

    #4. Sega vs Nintendo

    In the '80s, Sega versus Nintendo was the Sharks versus the Jets, but on school playgrounds, and with even less convincing physical violence.

    We loved them no matter how cruelly or often they killed us every night. This was back when liking video games was less socially acceptable than stealing panties, which at least demonstrated physical ability, interest in sex, and several possible career skills. But instead of getting together to discuss games, Genesis and SNES kids would mock each other's almost identical passions. It's the purest example of capitalism fueling conflict among minorities who really should have been working together against wider social problems.

    Easy Answer: Nintendo

    Sega would go on to release more failed machines than a Skynet factory, and they were even less popular with the end users. The Sega CD, 32X, Saturn: they couldn't have eliminated childish joy faster if they'd released a cerebral bore trying to get your credit card number.

    I was a Nintendo fanboy, and I used to say that Nintendo could release a console that only they made games for and still succeed. I wasn't expecting them to actually test the theory, but with the Wii they've done exactly that. And made zillions of dollars. They're making so much money from so few intellectual properties, they threw the best one away just to show that they could. To say nothing of their terminal ignorance of F-Zero.

    As kids we couldn't even dream of Mario and Sonic on the same console. Now we have Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on the Wii.

    That's not just Sonic working with Mario -- that's Sonic crashing on Mario's couch because he's got nowhere else to go.

    #3. Is Cobb Awake at the End of Inception?

    The ending of Inception could have annoyed more people only if Dominic Cobb had spawned a mafia family, gone to a restaurant, and it suddenly cut to black. The movie ends with Cobb finally returning home to see his children. When he spins his totem top to find out if he's truly awake or trapped in a wonderful dream, he walks off to see his children without waiting to find out. And lo, the Internet went crazy.

    Is he awake? Is he still dreaming? People went to insane lengths, like tracking down the movie's costume director, to find out if the children are wearing the same clothes as in previous dream sequences.

    Easy Answer: Awake

    This answer has multiple levels, and is therefore perfect for the movie. The first level is that we're not meant to know for sure whether he's awake or not. But the Internet reacts to ambiguity the same way Star Trek computers react to ambiguity -- screeching and violent explosions. The second level -- from the director himself -- is that the real answer is that Cobb doesn't care anymore; he just wants to see his kids. But that's garbage. If he truly cares about his kids, it's even more important that he knows that he's awake, otherwise those aren't his kids. And if he's prepared to accept a dream, he should have done that back before he manslaughtered his wife by mind-abusing her until she committed suicide. Oh, and watching her go insane for months without going back into her dreams to fix his spiritual sabotage, which is his only skill -- Jesus, Cobb.

    Luckily, we can go deeper, and on the third level he's obviously awake. The camera cuts away just as the top starts to wobble. Which means he's awake! In the dreams, that top spins like a laser-aligned black hole. It won't stop before the universe ends or the dreamer dies, that being its exact described function. When we see it in a definite dream (you know, when he violates his wife's brain without her knowledge or consent), it spins perfectly.

    So if it wobbles, he's awake. Easy. This theory is less about the mysteries of the movie and more about the effects of the Internet on people's intelligence. It's no longer enough to work out an answer -- they want to be told an answer from a definite source. But the whole point of the brain is working things out, not just referencing sources. Referencing sources is the Internet's job, not ours.

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    ^^^ (Cont'd )

    #2. The Best Zombie Weapon

    The best zombie weapon is one of the eternal nerd questions. It's equal parts fantastic and pointless -- even if it was based in reality and wasn't an obvious daydream about being a sociopath, fantasizing about the best weapon during a zombie outbreak is like picturing your best possible underwear during an orgy. They might be briefly useful, but most of the time your attention is going to be spent on other things.

    I've already explained why the most popular choices are wrong. Guns are useless unless you're carrying enough ammunition to build a castle to sleep in. Melee weapons are worse, because you can't dismantle an undead body with a crowbar without it at least slightly damaging your living (and infinitely more vulnerable) body. So now you're either infected or that fatal bit slower for the next attack.

    Easy Answer: Lightsaber

    To finish this unkillable debate once and for all: The best anti-zombie weapon is the lightsaber. Light, portable, near-silent, apparently infinitely powered, and never again will there be a single second's bullshit of frantically shaking padlocks/chains/handles/keypads while the hordes close in. It's the ultimate combination of lock pick and can opener.

    In fact, zombies are the only enemy on which the lightsaber would actually work as a weapon. It would take real enemies one fight before they started using shotguns, flamethrowers, or more-than-one-person-firing-simultaneously.

    With the unlearning undead, you can spin and carve through the hordes with total impunity. It even works to amputate and cauterize infected limbs. In fact, it's the only way to hack up infectious-fluid-filled meatbags at close range that isn't insane.

    And don't give me any shit about it not being a real weapon. We're fighting zombies! If we're allowed to ignore enough laws of physics and biology to have zombies shambling around, a little bit of energy projection is nothing. Hell, thermodynamics will loan me that much energy just to clean up this appallingly impossible undead mess.

    #1. Superman vs Batman

    Superman versus anyone is always fun, and always Superman. Superman versus Hulk? Hulk can match him for strength, but he can't fly, so just fling him into space. Superman versus Thor? If anyone is worthy to lift Mjolnir, Superman is worthy to lift Mjolnir, and we're back to Superman. Superman is the best. Which is why everyone loves it when Batman belts him right in the kisser.

    Superman versus Batman is a conflict we've already enjoyed, but this time we're not talking about story potential or effects on continuity. The question is: who would win in a fight?

    Easy Answer: Superman

    Obviously. Obviously. The reason all the arguments about Batman winning are so cool is that it's impossible but he's going to try anyway. Even his most awesome victory ...

    ... is only because Superman agrees not to kill him from space, meets him exactly where Batman politely asks, agrees not to kill him from space, gives Batman the first five shots for free, agrees not to kill him from space, and has recently lost most of his power in a little spot of saving the world from a nuclear mega-warhead. And even then he lets Batman beat himself to death while thumping Superman, then stands up as if to say, "OK, got that out of your system?"

    When someone can literally kill you as soon as he looks at you, your only hope is to murder him before he even knows you're there. And since neither of them will kill, that's it for Bats. Superman could cauterize Bat's limbs off and dump him in a vat of life-sustaining bio gel before Batman could reach his first pouch.

    That's the point of Batman, being able to have a go no matter how impossible the challenge. And that's the point of Superman, NOT instantly killing anyone who becomes a problem. Their ideologies are captured by (and are guaranteed to result in) this ass-kicking. That's why they'll keep fighting, and that's why they'll keep coming up with awesome new ways for Bruce to beat back the invincible, and that's why it'll keep being awesome despite being an obvious conclusion. Because the point of all these questions is the fun debate, not a definite answer.

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    6 Insanely Valuable Real Treasures (And How to Steal Them)

    By Ben Denny | June 20, 2012 | 851,030 views

    Heist movies such as Ocean's Eleven and The Italian Job like to present the world as a loose network of heavily guarded treasures, just waiting for you and your ragtag yet likeable bunch of henchmen to pocket them.

    And you know what? The real world is exactly like that, too. There's loot scattered all over the world, just begging for a charming gentleman thief and his plan that is so insane that it just ... might ... work.

    #6. The Great Pyramid's Secret Chambers

    The Great Pyramid of Giza is easy to brush off as old news when it comes to heisting. After all, it's been there for a long time, and almost every chamber has already been emptied 10 times over.


    There are still some interesting discoveries to be made. For instance, there are two tiny shafts that climb up from the queen's chamber. They are far too small for a person to climb up and end in strange blocks with metal rings embedded in them. A secret treasure chamber, perhaps?

    Researchers drilled through the block at the end of the shaft in 2002 and indeed found an honest-to-goodness secret chamber. Treasure hunting wise, though, it was the most disappointing Easter egg in the history of ransacking cultural landmarks -- it boasted some ancient red graffiti, a dummy door and absolutely nothing worth stealing whatsoever.

    However, the other secret chamber is a different matter. There's another secret passageway behind the king's burial chamber, and this one is big enough for a man to go through:

    Those four stones in the center are carefully placed in a zigzag pattern to take the load of the stones above off them. Experts are fairly certain there are hidden chambers behind this portico structure, and radar probing seems to back this up.

    What's more, what we currently think of as the King's Chamber of the pyramid might have been just a dummy, and that hidden room may be the actual inner sanctum. Who knows what riches it might contain?

    However ...

    Apart from the usual warnings about the curse of the mummy and how really unbelievably bad the Egyptian prisons are should you get caught looting, there's a much more practical problem: sand.

    When the wall in the King's Chamber was examined with a microgravity probe in 1986, they found that, although there likely is a secret chamber, it's completely filled with sand. It makes sense, really -- as anyone who's ever been in a sand desert can testify, that shit gets everywhere.

    So unless your heist plan includes an army of DustBuster-wielding French maids, pyramid raiding might end up being more trouble than it's worth.

    #5. The Vatican Library and Secret Archives

    Take one of the oldest, most historically wealthy global forces in existence. Add in uncountable numbers of history-obsessed minions, centuries of time and a heavy penchant for hoarding.

    The end result is a collection of artifacts and valuables so big, it takes the basement level of an entire country to store. You store your change in a piggy bank, they store theirs in every piggy bank that has ever existed.

    The Vatican Library is one of the oldest museums in the world, and probably the most extensive in existence: It holds 1.6 million books, 180,000 manuscripts, 300,000 rare coins and medals and 150,000 assorted prints, drawings and engravings. We're not talking about paperback copies of The Hobbit and the novelization of Air Bud here; these are rare and valuable items from all corners of history. Even discounting the scholarly value, a whole lot of this stuff would be enough to keep the black market in a bidding contest for years.

    And if you need more than mere money to float your boat, there are always the Vatican Secret Archives.

    Founded in 1610, it's a historic library chock-full of documents, church records and intrigue. The Secret Archives span a cool 52 shelf miles of records. Only a handful of researchers are allowed (limited) access, and only a laughably tiny fragment of the material is available to the public. Nobody but a handful of specially selected clergymen truly know the contents of the archives.

    So what lost secrets do the archives hold? Apocrypha that hold secrets capable of changing the world as we know it, Dan Brown style? The recipe for a Highlander serum? A bitchin' collection of solid gold pope hats? The world may never know ... unless, of course, someone sneaks in and helps reveal everything.

    However ...

    Two words: Swiss Guard.

    The Swiss Guard is the oldest standing army in the world, with a 500-year tradition of service to the Vatican. To apply for a position, a prospect needs to be (obviously) Catholic and Swiss, have military experience and pass a rigorous interview and evaluation process. These hard, hard men volunteer to protect the most important physical part of their religion and, if necessary, sacrifice their lives for it.

    And they do it despite knowing full well that they're required to dress like this:

    So, by all means, go liberate a few documents from the Vatican. All that stands between you and newfound riches is a battalion of expertly trained, determined, halberd-wielding Rambo clowns.

    #4. J.D. Salinger's Secret Book Vault

    The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger's 1951 masterpiece, is one of the most famous books in history, inventing the teen angst novel a full 54 years before Stephenie Meyer was able to ruin the genre. Maybe Salinger saw that coming, because in 1953 he ran away to rural New Hampshire for no apparent reason. He stopped publishing his work (save for a few carefully selected short stories) and refused all interviews or photographs. Instead, he preferred to practice acupuncture on himself, tan a whole bunch and enjoy a sample platter of as many weird religions as possible. Salinger stayed in his remote cabin until his death in 2010, systematically fighting all things related to his "revered author" status to the very end.

    But here's the thing: He never stopped writing.

    According to his neighbors and children, Salinger wrote his ass off for several hours a day, every day for the past half century. He had reportedly finished up to 15 novels before his death.

    Fifteen unpublished novels. From one of the greatest authors of all time.

    Although Salinger never showed them to anyone and kept them in a secret stash, we pretty much know their location, too -- they're in either a vault at his bank (easy peasy!) or his own personal safe (hahahahaha!).

    However ...

    What if it's all drivel?

    While there's a fair chance this vault might hold the greatest works of literary genius ever written, there is the worrying fact that Salinger's short stories were getting weirder and weirder toward the end. The man himself certainly did. His brand of reclusiveness was always of the Howard Hughes variety, allegedly drinking his own piss and driving his loved ones insane with his eccentric behavior. These aren't generally considered good signs for a writer whose notoriety lies in his ability to graft grippingly realistic coming-of-age stories.

    So while this particular treasure is probably the easiest on this list to reach, just remember to brace yourself for the possibility that your finds will be less about transcending adolescence and more about the distinctly different flavors of Tuesday and Friday urine.

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    #3. The Smithsonian Vaults

    If American history is your bag, there's no reason to burgle further than the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. It holds virtually all cornerstones that constitute America, such as the original Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, the top hat Abraham Lincoln was shot wearing and Teddy Roosevelt's desk.

    The Smithsonian Museum has an estimated 3.2 million such pieces, and more and more drift in every year.

    More importantly, from the viewpoint of your gang of gentleman thieves: A good chunk of their collection also drifts away.

    An audit of 2,216 items in the Smithsonian's inventory found that a full 10 percent of audited items were missing. This wasn't just random stuff -- 33 missing objects were rated "Tier 4," meaning they're worth at least a million dollars each. If that pattern holds over the entire collection, that means that the Smithsonian has lost track of nearly $48 billion in priceless American history.

    However, it's not because of thieves. The Smithsonian folk just suck at cataloging. It's not really their fault: Proper cataloging and labeling takes loads of man hours and expertise to do properly, and both things cost money. And as their rich patrons find it difficult to brag about how much labeling they've paid for, most of the donations the Smithsonian receives are earmarked for the sexier exhibitions, instead of basic grunt work. Lacking the budget, the institute therefore doesn't have a lot of options besides locking the storage doors every night and hoping to get their books in order in some distant future.

    For a prospective burglar, this means their vaults are essentially a giant, uncataloged jumble sale -- only instead of a $50 sweater for $2, he may find Custer's jacket for the price of a crowbar.

    However ...

    By stealing from Smithsonian vaults, you are also grave-robbing Theodore Roosevelt.

    As we are fond of pointing out, you don't particularly want to screw with Teddy. As it happens, the Smithsonian was one of his most beloved pet projects, and he supported it his entire life.

    So while you might think that you will have years to enjoy the original Teddy bear before anybody comes looking for it, you are really just begging for Roosevelt's ghost to re-enter the mortal plane with the sole intent of dick-punching you to oblivion.

    #2. The Trivandrum Temple

    You know how sometimes you're going through your old stuff and find, say, an old comic that's now a collector's item? That's what happened to the Hindu temple of Sri Padmanabhaswamy in Trivandrum (which we will be calling "Trivandrum temple" from now on, because come on).

    Only instead of a relic of your childhood that's now worth $22, they found some relics of their own. Worth $22 billion.

    In 2011, the temple's basement was found to contain six vaults, which in turn contained offerings for the gods, gathered there over the last five centuries or so. Five of the vaults were full of gold, jewels and precious artifacts, sealed and left to their own devices. The sixth vault remains unopened.

    Understandably, the find is causing a lot of trouble. The royal family, who preside over the temple, feels it belongs to them. The government wants a cut. The people of India, on the other hand, consider it public property and would very much like it back in the hands where it belongs (i.e., theirs).

    And during all this quarreling, the treasure is staying right where it is. Untouched. Waiting.

    However ...

    The officials say that the Trivandrum temple area is heavily guarded by deliberately undisclosed security measures, which, according to our pop-culture-based expertise in treasure hunting, means it has either giant stones chasing you in narrow corridors or pits filled with venom-spewing scorpions.

    What's more, the five vaults that have been opened are at least partially cataloged, so stealing even one tiny little golden statue might get you chased down by an entire nation.

    As for that sixth vault ... the door is fitted with special locks that are far superior to the other five, and emblazoned with the figure of a snake. A member of the royal family has stated that opening it would be "a bad omen." And in the context of robbing Hindu temples, it seems like opening the ominous snake door might be tempting fate just a little too much ...

    ... is exactly what a coward would say. But that's not you, right? Right! So go ahead and kick open that vault, you fucking treasure-eating animal!

    #1. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York

    In the heart of New York City, there is a bank building constructed with one message in mind: "Fort Knox is for pussies."

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is a 22-story stone monster so ridiculously oversized and over-protected that it seems less like a bank and more like Scrooge McDuck's money bin. In fact, it contains a money bin -- a hall three stories high and the size of a football field, filled with cash money. However, we're not setting a foot in there, as that particular vault is infested with robots.

    Besides, the premises feature a much more enticing target. The N.Y. Fed plays home to the largest gold repository in the world, holding an estimated 25 percent of gold. All gold. In the whole world.

    That's nearly $200 billion in solid goddamn gold bricks. Its disappearance should be more than enough to crash the world's economy twice over, if you're into that sort of thing.

    That's the prize. Here's what you need to go through to get it.

    First of all, digging in is not an option, unless you have access to some serious mining equipment. The vault sits 80 feet below street level, and the rock that surrounds it is hardcore -- the bedrock under New York is one of the very few foundations hard enough to hold the weight of this kind of construct. Walking in by means of some convoluted Ocean's Eleven scheme is no easier: The only entrance is a narrow 10-foot hallway cut into a 90-ton cylinder, which in turn lies in a 140-ton steel and concrete frame. The cylinder rotates 90 degrees to close each night, and its doors seal the vault airtight by sinking into the framework.

    Forget bribing someone from the inside to open the vault on command, too. The entrance cylinder is controlled by a series of locks that can only be unlocked with the cooperation of several different people, at specific times of day.

    So, a perfect challenge! Just grab your experimental military-grade Spider-Man boots and that invisibility armor you were stuck with after the Luxembourg gig and jump right in.

    However ...

    Even if you do manage to sneak in, defeat countless tons of steel, rock and concrete and then find a way to move the gold (reinforced skateboards? trained bees?), there's one last surprise for you: the elite army of marksmen.

    Did we not mention the elite army of marksmen? Because there totally is one.

    While security guards are always to be expected, these particular ones are no ordinary stormtroopers. The vault is protected by one of the largest private uniformed protection forces in America, and each and every one of them is contractually required to be able to shoot the dick off a fly.

    You are now in the vault. The only way out is that tiny cylinder. And they are all waiting at the other end.

    Man, you really should learn to read these articles in full before leaping into action.

  5. #5
    6 Futuristic Technologies That Are Huge Disappointments

    By E. Reid Ross | January 24, 2016 | 284,773 views

    We all understand that technological progress has its dark trade-offs. See: pollution, carpal tunnel syndrome, the fact that our telecommunications system has facilitated the ascendance of the Kardashian family as living gods. But given the cornucopia of newfangled doodads we're immersed in daily, we tend be less aware of when our gadgets start sucking a wee bit more. What products are we talking about? Well ...

    #6. Smartphones Are Pretty Bad At Being Phones

    We'll cut right to the quick. When it comes to audio quality for longer conversations, smartphones rank a rough third behind landlines and two cans connected by a string. The problem is that we're willing to accept this lack of clarity in favor of being able to slide our phones into our skinny jeans.

    See, companies "often shrink, flatten, and cover speakers in plastic to improve their phones' overall functionality," which means that your general audio quality is being sacrificed for better performance of whatever Civilization V knockoff Kate Upton's boobs are selling now, as well as the ability to fit the damn thing in your hand. While there are scattered reports of new technologies on the horizon which promise to remedy the situation, there has been absolutely jack shit accomplished over the last couple of years.

    Promises of distant solutions are one thing, but the truth is that manufacturers likely don't give a gurgling shit. They've predictably gone the more profitable route by concentrating more on making phones into Fruit Ninja-ing, genital-uploading mini-computers rather than enhancing their usefulness in regards to the original purpose Alexander Graham Bell intended for them.

    Complaining about an innovation as wonderful as the smartphone can seem overly whiny, and we realize how wonderful it is to live in a time in which you can be virtually anywhere on Earth and stream any season of Friends on a pocket computer. It's just that on the off chance you need to dial 911 over a raccoon infestation, it'd help if your phone's audio quality ensured that the dispatcher could decipher your muffled screams.

    #5. Car Knobs Are Way More Useful Than Touchscreens

    As far as shapes go, circles are rather fantastic. This is why we've used them so often for things we need to rotate through. It's simply a quick turn from 97.5 WHOA to 98.1 WHAT on the radio, and all is right in the world.

    However, starting around the time Steve Jobs got bored with his iPod's revolutionary clickwheel, touchscreens began to take over the world. What used to be an interactive museum gimmick was suddenly a regular part of our lives. But if customer feedback is to be believed, touchscreens suck.

    It turns out that touchscreens can often be a whole lot less responsive than a good old-fashioned dial. Coupling this with the fact that the display setup is often a confusing jumble of boxes and text (not exactly a plus when you're trying to maneuver through rush hour traffic), our collective anger could rival Yosemite Sam trying to escape from a straightjacket. Irate customer feedback has prompted companies like Ford to bring knobs and buttons back to replace many of the annoying features of the touchscreens, as this automotive strategist explains: "Ford is making the change due to negative feedback they've received regarding several aspects of MyFord Touch. The system can be sluggish to the touch, while knobs and buttons obviously have a much quicker response. The four-quadrant system is also very text and information-heavy, making it overwhelming and confusing for some to do even simple tasks."

    #4. Virtual Reality Is Making Games Stupider

    Back in the '90s, headset gaming crashed and burned due to hardware that everybody assumed screwed up your eyes and, more importantly, crapsack games. Technology has since caught up with the concept, and we're ready for all the porn incredible adventures we could only have imagined before. The problem is that the novelty is going to wear off fast, and what we're left with is a gaming system that makes Mario Kart 64 look like the goddamned Mona Lisa.

    That up there is a demo for Lucky's Tale, a third-person platforming game created by one of the people behind Words With Friends and designed solely to show off the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. This would be cool if you the gamer were actually the main character, but you're really only hovering in space above it, like some kind of ghost that respects boundaries. There have been plenty of positive reviews, but we're also sure plenty of people like roller coasters after a 90-second ride, but not so much after riding in one for three hours straight.

    What developers have found is that player-character mobility and exploration options will likely have to be scaled way back, since "excessive camera movements make the player sick." Lucky's Tale deals with this problem by forcing the player to engage with the environment in the most basic way: Going from one goal to the next via the exhilarating, singular option of traveling in a straight line.

    As it stands, keeping things aggravatingly simple is something that all virtual reality games are likely going to have to do, if for no other reason than to keep their customer base from choking on their own puke. This is, of course, assuming that increasingly intricate VR doesn't utterly shitbox your brain, but that's a story for another article (which we already wrote).

  6. #6
    ^ (Continued)

    #3. 3D Printers Can Be Remarkably Unsafe

    The invention of the 3D printer has been touted as the greatest breakthrough in mankind's never-ending quest to one day never have to go to a store again. However, keeping one in your house can be about as safe as adopting a family of stray mambas.

    See, objects concocted in a 3D printer aren't smooth at all, and are in truth rife with microscopic nooks and crannies that are perfect for storing whatever manner of filth they come in contact with. Repeated physical contact with a 3D-printed object (you know damn well where we're going with this) can result in a veritable potluck of bacteria and viruses, and their porousness makes them more difficult to clean thoroughly.

    To use an even more innocent example, say an unsuspecting "cool mom" used a 3D printer to make some cool-looking forks and spoons for her kids. Unfortunately, scientists would warn that she'd better be extremely careful about it, unless she wants to spend the rest of the day explaining herself to Child Protective Services. Making flatware that won't shred your mouth parts is technically possible, but you'd better pony up for some specialized material, unless you want to risk your children showing up at school looking like you've been putting powdered glass in their popsicles (while simultaneously poisoning them with toxic chemicals).

    Last but certainly not least, merely having one of these printers in your house can give you the kind of symptoms that used to require decades of working maskless in an industrial plastics plant. See, the 3D printing process puts out plenty of toxic fumes when things heat up. An analysis revealed that it can fill the air with "ultra fine particles" that can cause a laundry list of ailments, such as "lung function changes, airway inflammation, enhanced allergic responses, altered heart rate and heart rate variability, accelerated atherosclerosis, and increased markers of brain inflammation," which you'll notice is about double the length of the warning label on a pack of Marlboros.

    #2. College Students Freaking Hate E-Books

    Given that you're reading this article on a screen instead of settling for the magazine that was left after all the copies of MAD were sold out, it's safe to say that digital words are the way of the future. Even academia has come around -- there are probably more college students today who have never seen the inside of a real book than ... wait, no. Can't be.

    Shockingly, it turns out that the people whom you might expect to fully embrace the new technology -- college-age millennials -- prefer paper books. Heck, according to this survey, e-books only account for a measly nine percent of textbooks bought on campus, while 87 percent were in old-timey print.

    Some people have theorized that perhaps it's a money issue, but while textbooks are still a monumental scam, modern students reportedly "prefer print for both pleasure and learning," and it's baffling the shit out of the people in academia who study this sort of phenomena for a living. Another survey, this one administered by Hewlett Packard to students at San Jose State, came up with similar findings. They found that when students were offered e-books free of charge, a quarter of them opted to pay cash money for the paper versions instead.

    It seems that students tend to skim over things and find it harder to keep track of important sections while studying digitally, while print books make the whole process of earmarking and mentally cataloging information more efficient. A good illustration of this came from one student's response to a survey question which asked what was the worst part about reading a physical book: "It takes me longer because I read more carefully."

    Finally, lest we think that today's college students are the last vanguards of paper books, whatever the hell we're calling today's children seem primed to carry the torch. In 2014, almost two-thirds of all schoolchildren said that they'll "always want to read books in print, even though there are e-books available". And that's up from 60 percent in 2012.

    #1. Automatic Faucets Are Gross

    It's still up in the air as to whether technology will ever succeed in making public bathrooms less disgusting, since human biological functions are inherently chock full o' poo. But by eliminating the need to touch the same handles that Coughy McSalmonella did, automatic faucets were supposed to be inherently safer. And they are, unless you count all the cases of Legionnaires disease, an infection that causes a 'roided-out form of pneumonia.

    It doesn't seem to make much in the way of immediate sense, but electronic faucets have been found to be teeming with infection in hospital environments, and some facilities have begun to put the old versions back in place in order to save lives. As Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert Dr. Lisa Maragakis put it, "Newer is not necessarily better when it comes to infection control in hospitals."

    So how is this possible, when we aren't even touching them? As it turns out, newer faucets have a "complicated series of valves" that are required for them to perform their magic, which also makes it very difficult to keep them clean. And because a janitor can't exactly flush the crap out of these faucets every time they're used, they become a breeding ground for all manner of transmittable filth. The moral of the story? Human innovation is basically a curse granted by an enchanted monkey's paw, and technology reached its zenith with the hoop and stick.

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