Credentials for more than 225,000 Apple accounts have been stolen by sophisticated malware that targets modified iOS devices, according to Palo Alto Networks.
The malware, which is nicknamed KeyRaider, enables attackers to download applications from Apple's App Store without paying or to lock devices in lieu of a ransom.
“We believe this to be the largest known Apple account theft caused by malware,” wrote Claud Xiao of Palo Alto Networks in a blog post.
Palo Alto Networks notified Apple of KeyRaider on Aug. 26 and provided the stolen account information, Xiao wrote. Apple officials in Sydney couldn't be immediately reached on Monday.
Condescension drips off the opening screen of Millennial Swipe Sim 2015, a game that purports to simulate the "thrilling world of app-based dating." Much like Tinder, it presents you with photos of potential suitors—albeit pixelated ones—and asks you to swipe right or left to indicate if you're interested.
"But watch out," it warns. "Stop swiping and you might get too bored to live. This is how people meet now!" The contempt is palpable.
You're given a "boredom meter"—which indicates your painfully short attention span—and you're instructed to swipe furiously to stave off your apathy. Inevitably, you fail, and the punchline appears: a gravestone appears that reads HERE LIES A MILLENNIAL.
Congratulations, young person: you're so shallow that it has literally killed you.
Taking shots at millennials is nothing new; it's become a pretty popular sport in the media, where people born between the mid-1980s to the early 2000s are frequently dismissed en masse as shallow, over-entitled, narcissistic, immature, and fickle. They have been referred to as both "the worst generation" and "the dumbest generation"; even the mere word "millennial" is often deployed as an indictment, oozing with the sort of disdain that an earlier generation once reserved for hippies.
A recent Vanity Fair article put an impressive amount of torque into its hand-wringing about the casual hookups, conquest-seeking and general sluttiness of millennials on Tinder, dubbing it an "unprecedented phenomenon" that it compared, with no apparent irony, to the melting of the polar ice caps and the Sixth Extinction of the Earth.
Forget about the fact these sorts of criticisms about millennials are often leveled by members of the generation that inspired the term "free love," or that online dating is not the exclusive boneyard of the promiscuous (a 2013 Pew Research survey showed that 11 percent of marriages and long-term partnerships that started in the last ten years began online). The pearl-clutching about Tinder ultimately amounts to the same moral panic about declining social values that every generation has leveled at the perceived moral inferiority of the next since time immemorial.
The flaws so often attributed to millennials are, of course, hardly unique to them. As cartoonist Matt Bors wrote in his excellent "Can We Stop Worrying About Millennials Yet" comic, "the supposed problems with millennials are things that people have been worrying about since forever."
Don't get me wrong; online dating is undoubtedly a dystopian hellscape. But the world of dating has always been full of casual hookups, conquest-seekers, harassment, superficial judgments and bad decisions, whether you're meeting people in bars, at parties, or on apps. Tinder undoubtedly makes hookups more accessible, more codified and (perhaps most damningly) more visible. But please: Let's not pretend that any of this is truly new or that millennials are uniquely shallow, rutting animals because their mating dance has slightly different and more digital steps.
But if you're interested in exploring the reality of modern dating in ways that go beyond reductive stereotypes and punchlines, you're in luck! Millennials themselves have been making games for years that talk about their relationships and sex lives in interesting and nuanced ways.
While many of them deal with the same universal concerns that have thrilled and plagued lovers for all time—finding connection, fearing rejection—they delve into more contemporary issues of sex and intimacy as well: definitions of consent, fluid notions of gender and sexual identity, and yes, how technology influences the way that people connect.
The ones that do it best tend to be small, independent games—often made with easy-to-learn tools like Twine—that focus directly on romance and sex, and allow individual voices and personal experiences to shine through. Mainstream gaming, by contrast, rarely focuses on romance and sex, except to provide male-oriented visual titillation or create motivation for heroes. When they do simulate intimacy, it often takes the form of reductive mini-games where physical affection is unlocked by simply pushing the right series of buttons in the right order—a strategy that is rarely applicable in real life, regardless of what pick-up artists insist.
If anything, it's probably more accurate to view Tinder as the ultimate mainstream game about dating, with all the flaws that implies, and critique the ways that it too can engender superficial interactions, or frame intimacy in oversimplified ways, rather than simply mocking its userbase at large.
Millennials have certainly done their share of criticizing Tinder, not only in articles like this tongue-in-cheek game review of Tinder, but in games themselves. One of the sharpest rebukes to the idea of gamified sex is Kindness Coins, where you play as a woman on the receiving end of a paint-by-numbers attempt at seduction. In the end, your "nice guy" suitor demands to know why you're not interested, even though he seemingly chose all the right actions and dialogue responses. Your reply is succinct:
Similarly, the text game Click Click Click by Increpare subverts the neat dialogue trees that scaffold so many simulated romance. You're presented with a series of statements, presumably made by a lover, and have to choose how to respond. This is harder than it sounds, since your dialogue options are nothing but complex, nonsensical equations. Choose one, and you'll receive another response. Did you say the right thing? The wrong thing? Is this just not working out? It's impossible to tell, perhaps because there's no way to reduce the joys and frustrations of interacting with a real romantic partner to a simple equation.
The actual complexity and confusion of negotiating romance is a common subject of independent games made about dating. Some, like Ultimate Flirt-Off and The Moment Is Gone, focus on the awkwardness and anxiety of appropriately showing interest to potential partner, while others explore the emptiness that can calcify around casual hookups or the uncertainty that can persist long into established relationships.
One of the most important and most contentious issues currently surrounding sex and dating is consent—or rather, the widespread ignorance about how to define it and practice it. While debates continues to rage in courtrooms and school across the country, a number of independent games have tackled the issue head on and created interactive ways to model expressing and respecting boundaries.
Super Consent by Merritt Kopas both models and celebrates the idea of affirmative consent by asking the player if they want to do something—and recognizing anything less than "yes!" as insufficient to proceed. In Tune takes it a step further by asking players to practice the framework for consent in physical space, by donning "consent bracelets" that activate with skin-to-skin contact and explicitly discussing whether they're comfortable imitating a series of increasingly intimate poses with their partner.
The darker side of sex and dating makes its way into personal games as well, including the terrifying prevalence of rape, harassment and assault. The Day the Laughter Stopped is particularly harrowing, a text game where the player steps into the shoes of a young woman who is sexually assaulted. It evokes the powerlessness of the experience by offering choices like "run away"—but selecting them will not stop your attacker. Harassment and assault also take center stage in several games by Nina Freeman, including A Dating Sim and Freshman Year.
And of course, there are games that deal directly with the digital contours of modern dating; Freeman's upcoming project, Cibele, is about falling in love and sleeping with a boy she met through an online role-playing game.
Sexting, another oft-criticized horseman of the millennial online sex apocalypse, is the subject of one of my favorite games about online dating, Cobra Club (NSFW). The entire experience takes place in the reflection of a bathroom mirror, where you can customize the penis of your avatar and then send pictures of your creation to (fake) men on a (fake) gay dating site. It's a fascinating and oddly joyful experience, not only because every photo exchange is preceded by an explicit request—consent!—and because the responses to your own penis pictures are so rapturous.
While I never thought I'd say the words "I love this game about sending dick pics," I do, and here we are. For many women, receiving dick pics is an unpleasant experience in large part because it is often an unsolicited one. But experiencing it as a joyful, consensual act—and as someone sending dick pics of my own—reframed it for me entirely, in a way that felt new and freeing.
And that's the exactly sort of thing that makes these games by millennial creators so valuable: rather than glib punchlines or generational contempt, they offer honesty, horror and hope that illuminate the contours of contemporary dating in far more important ways. They allow people to not only capture their diverse personal experiences with sex and dating, but to reimagine the way that they experience intimacy—and invite others to reimagine it too.
Because this is how people meet now: online and offline, for casual relationships and committed relationships and everything in between, in ways that are complicated and impossible to pin down or sum up in anything less than as many points of view as we can get. How very lucky we are to live in a time where more and more, that's exactly what we're getting. It's a lot of things, but it's never boring.
A few years ago Anna Anthropy wrote a revolutionary book: Rise of the Videogame Zinesters documented the groundswell of free, cheap and easy-to-learn game-making tools, and how they were enabling new creators, particularly women and marginalized folks, to participate for the first time. She made the point ahead of its time, but since writing her book, she says the landscape has shifted—many of the tools she once celebrated have evolved away from their entry-level audience.
In her latest Offworld feature, Anna looks at what WarioWare D.I.Y. did correctly to teach and reward entry-level game makers and designers—with Nintendo's new Super MarioMaker about to inherit the mantle, her design study is an interesting look at what truly democratic software looks like.
Previously at Offworld Anna has looked at what games must learn from children's books, and has written about her personal (occasionally-scary) experience of Nintendo Style Savvy: Trendsetters. Offworld Games
We were given an amazing compliment to our curatorial skills last week by Wired, who called us one of 20 must-follow feeds in entertainment. The only other games-related shoutout on the list is Double Fine's Tim Schafer (a giant among men, it's true), and we're one of only two websites—the rest are comics to read, Instagram feeds and Tumblrs to follow.
We're proud that every day we put forward a new and unusual face of the video game industry—Offworld is run by two women, our contributors are mostly women, the games we put forward are strange and easy to play and often free, and in this way we want to bring you not only the coolest and most creative games, but to offer you a fresh breed of game culture. You might not be the lanyard-wearing, model weapon-toting type, but we won't let that scare you, your friends, your family, your girlfriend, your Mom, or anyone else away from the wonderful world of play and creation.
Last week was the latest Ludum Dare competition, and the theme was "You are the Monster." It's amazing to see what game developers find monstrous: Passengers is about the complex and often grotesque machinery fueling Europe's ongoing refugee crisis; Unsolicited is about working at a form letter company (it's by Papers, Please's Lucas Pope, naturally). We also dug Everyday Misanthrope, a game where it's fun to be a jerk to others.
Our Mobile Game of the Week last week was Pac Man 256, and everyone is convinced that Pac Man looks like a dong in the screenshot. Finally, we loved Subway Adventure, a new game from the prolific and brilliant Increpare that's about wandering the "Dream World of Sadness Metro". Transmissions from Elsewhere
My colleague Jordan Erica Webber wrote a piece that's part humorous, part sincere, about what we can learn about managing our life from The Sims.
At Kotaku, there's an interview with storied designer Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios about challenging the traditional tendency of commercial games to celebrate players' doing just whatever they feel like:
"Because people are not used to video game characters being mean to them, or telling them you’re not a hero, you’re a bad guy. Everybody just wants to be told in a video game that you’re great, no matter what you do. If you slaughter everybody—you killed the maids, you killed the old people, you killed the beggars—you’re great, here’s a medal, you’re a hero.
We decided that sounds psychotic. It doesn’t match our values, it doesn’t match the way the world works, it doesn’t match the way any other fiction—imagine a novel where a guy wakes up in the morning, kills everybody in the house, goes down the street, kills everybody on the way to work, kills everybody in the office, and then at the very end of the novel, there is a scene where he is given a medal and made some sort of hero and anointed in some way. It doesn’t make any sense."Not games
After going most of my life with basically zero interest in cinema, I've been suddenly watching beautiful old films from the 1950s and 1960s. Whereas I'm used to using Netflix et al to zone out, lots of these timeless films (particularly the Alfred Hitchcock ones) encourage mindful watching, like noticing The Birds' gently-repeating lovebird color palette of red and green following Tippi Hedren around everywhere. From how excited everyone gets whenever I bring this stuff up I'm guessing this is what my friends did at college?
As I've been doing this I've gotten into the costume design work of Edith Head, who was apparently totally amazing. A good deal of the pleasure for me in watching these films is how finely everything is made. How I covet all those tailored lines! Breaks your heart!
Anyway, just look at this gallery of 30 Edith Head costumes and sigh along. Wow.
That's all for this week's reflection—remember to subscribe to get it to your inbox, and to share your favorite article with a friend to join the OFFWORLD POPULIST GAMES REVOLUTION.
One huge advantage Apple Music has over other streaming services is integration. That means you can play songs from your iTunes library alongside your streaming selections without ever leaving the app. That also means you get a little help from Siri.
Dion's mom is widowed, and she navigates the challenges of raising him while protecting him from those who want to use Dion's powers for nefarious purposes. Details at creator Dennis Liu's site.
Giving me a little bit of the singer Pink circa 2050, too, just sayin'.
Reminder: Trump is no stranger to drag. Here he is making out with Rudy Giuliani.
While an Australian man cooled his heels in jail for 16 weeks, forensics took their sweet time in determining the "ice" he was busted for was epsom salt.
According to the Fraser Coast Chronicle, Maryborough Magistrate John Smith said that delays in forensics were quite common, adding that he was forced to adjourn a case for a further two months in order for forensic analysis to be completed.
"For the last 14 years nothing has been done (about the delays)," Mr Smith said. "Once again the government needs to have a look at what they are doing in relation to this."
• 4 months in jail before test reveals 'ice' was just salt via Fraser Coast Chronicle (h/t The Independent) Image: Wikimedia Commons
Need to spice up your next meeting or school presentation? Dave Pedu created this handy button to play the now-ubiquitous musical sting!
Includes helpful tips from Clippy! Also fun while on dates, at your house of worship, and on public transportation. Also available in Flash if you're old school.
Famous for horror productions such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, and his 1972 debut The Last House on the Left, Craven died Sunday of brain cancer in Los Angeles.
Though dream-demon Freddy Krueger is his most famous creation, Craven's cinematic talents ranged from comedy to crime thrillers, with 2005's Red Eye among his biggest hits. He was also a birdwatcher, serving on the board of California Audubon.
He is survived by his wife, Iya Labunka, and two children, Jessica and Jonathan Craven.
The BBC collected some early tributes posted online by colleagues and collaborators.
Reflecting on his career, he once said in an interview: "I tried to make movies where I can honestly say I haven't seen that before and to follow my deepest intuitions and in some cases literally my dreams."
Actors posted tributes on social media including actress Courtney Cox, who starred in Craven's 1996 Scream and appeared in the franchise's three subsequent films.
"Thank you for being the kindest man, the gentlest man, and one of the smartest men I've known. Please say there's a plot twist."
News of Craven's death was posted to his twitter account late Sunday night.
Justin Wm. Moyer wrote a long obituary, for The Washington Post, which traces the origins of Craven's art.
Born in 1939 in Cleveland, Craven’s childhood came with the trauma necessary to an artist obsessed with the macabre: death and religion. The director-to-be lost his father, an alcoholic factory hand, in his youth, and was raised by a strict Protestant family.
“I came out of a very religious background,” he said in 1984. ”As fundamentalist Baptists, we were sequestered from the rest of the world. You couldn’t dance or drink or go to the movies. The first time I paid to see a movie (‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) I was a senior in college. … My whole youth was based on suppression of emotion. As they say in psychological circles, my family never got in touch with their rage. So making movies — these awful horror movies, no less — was, I guess, my way of purging this rage.”
Hollywood's lost a rare species in Wes Craven. The true Gentleman.— Robert B. Englund (@RobertBEnglund) August 31, 2015
Director Edgar Wright remembers what it was like to be young in the VHS slasher era: "Rest In Peace, Wes. We willingly give you full permission to haunt our waking dreams forever." Like many film fans who grew up in the 70’s and early 80’s, Wes Craven’s name became to me synonymous with cutting edge horror. When I grew up in a VHS less house, I really could only dream of the horrors behind the forbidding posters or video box art of movies like ‘The Last House On The Left’, ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and ‘Deadly Blessing’. These were films I was not really allowed to see, but as a young horror obsessive I needed to know everything about them.
What’s striking to me is how the news imagery of the world-wide migrant crisis is all over the map when it comes to representing these individuals. Some shots do a remarkable job of humanizing them. Others brutally depict their dehumanization. (By the way, did you see where Chris Christie wants to track illegal immigrants the same way FedEx tracks packages? ) Still others romanticize them.
Representative of each…
What’s powerful is how the images of migrants charging cell phones or taking selfies not only defies the stereotype of the refugees as thoroughly destitute and backward, the gesture — as if promoting their status as good citizens of social media — insulates the migrant (for the instant, at least) from the realm of the “other.”
What’s so horrid about this documentation of the 71 immigrants that baked to death in the back of a refrigeration truck in Austria, besides the forensic presentation of the photographer, is that they might as well have been sausages.
Finally, the artistry of an image like this — of faceless migrants crossing a seemingly golden field from Greece to Macedonia — feels more like a cue for music, in the dulcet tones of mother Europe, or else a demonstration of the poetic range of news photography. Odd men and women out, indeed.
(photo 1: Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters. caption: Lesbos, Greece Aug. 23, 2015. Greece, mired in its worst economic crisis in generations, has been found largely unprepared for a mass influx of refugees, mainly Syrians. Arrivals have exceeded 160,000 this year, three times as high as in 2014. The crisis has exposed massive shortages in Greece’s available facilities, but also striking discord within the European Union on how to handle the humanitarian crisis.. photo 2: Roland Schlager/European Pressphoto Agency caption: Along an Austrian highway, a truck in which 71 bodies were discovered. photo 3: Aris Messinis / AFP – Getty Images caption: Migrants walk through a field to cross the border from Greece to Macedonia near the Greek village of Idomeni on Aug. 29. The EU is grappling with an unprecedented influx of people fleeing war, repression and poverty in what the bloc has described as its worst refugee crisis in 50 years.)
James Billson posted a photo:
Dancers performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN.
James Billson posted a photo:
Taken at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN.