If you pay attention at all to the gaming or the gadget media, you’ve been subjected, over the past few months, to competing mass lubrications of the global consumer appetite by Microsoft and Sony, two of the planet’s bigger corporations. Just what are they preparing us for? Two starkly different versions of our entertainment future, or so we’re told.

In the first, the Xbox One, Microsoft’s cloud-computing, voice-reacting, all-seeing big rig, will filter all of your leisure media — games, TV shows, streaming video — through a single, uncannily responsive interface that does what you want when you ask it, or gesture at it, much of the time, like a butler who is surly because he knows better than you do.

In the second, gamers, or some Reddit-approved notion of that baggy word, rule the living room, and the PlayStation 4 is a testament to their sovereignty. It is a pure parallelogram of play, sacrificing not a single quark of brute computational testosterone to media functionality or gesture control or any of the other sundry concessions to the rest of the household that might dilute the purity of the device.

Now, just in time for the Month of Ritual Commerce, the consoles are here. And though the Xbox One does not come out until Friday, the battle of these diametrically opposed, world-historically conflicted entertainment futures has already been joined. How? By rival games that express these totally diverging philosophies? One a hard diamond of pure gaming, the other, a gesture-controlled, voice-activated, game/TV futurething?

Well, err, no. The first skirmish of the war for our gaming future was actually over 360 pixels.

Dubbed the “Xbox One Resolutiongate,” the biggest “difference” debated between the two consoles thus far is that Microsoft’s machine runs Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts (two basically not-good games) at a lower resolution than Sony’s does. Hardly definitive or big-picture stuff, or even “stuff” at all. (And today, another “point scored” for Sony: Xbox One won’t support Twitch, the streaming service, when it launches on Friday.)

That the first flap of the release window came over something totally insignificant to the majority of people who will buy these systems is proof of just how little of substance we actually have to grasp with regards to the Xbox One and PS4. Here at BuzzFeed, we’ve been playing with both of them for the past week, and yet a weird sense persists that we hardly know anything about them, except for the messaging.

Right now, these two consoles are, literally and figuratively, black boxes, lists of specifications and fine-difference features that promise a lot and reveal very little. So, I could tell you that the PlayStation 4 is a major aesthetic upgrade from its predecessor (it is); that the controller feels significantly more substantial (it does); that the system UI rarely lags (it doesn’t); that the games, taken as a whole, look a little nicer (they do); and that it lacks a single feature that I found memorable, apart from more horsepower. And I could tell you that the Xbox One features a voice-activation system that veers between incredible and unresponsive (it does); gesture controls that seem far from ready (it does); cable and television integration that was easy to set up and easy to use (they were); and neato-peato vibrating motors in the controller triggers. Now ask yourself a question: Do any of these things actually matter to you?

We know a few things for sure: Like the last generation, not a single one of the launch games by itself justifies the purchase of a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One. A couple of titles (Killzone: Shadowfall and Ryse) look the part, but they are, as games and not demonstrations of visual power, jejune.

Graphics are obvious, and it’s not surprising that game and gadget writers would seize on this small difference and turn it into a larger story — there’s just not that much to talk about yet. Of course, that’s exactly how the discussion of the last generation started, too. We saw article after article comparing PS3 and Xbox 360 graphics side by side, and endless explanations of why Microsoft’s system looked ever-so-slightly better than Sony’s.

Of course, that didn’t end up mattering. Despite a terrible slate of launch games and a disastrous hardware bug, 360 became incredibly popular because of a handful of terrific exclusive series, a great matchmaking service, and excellent streaming media capabilities. The PlayStation 3, despite a foolishly high launch price, a near total hardware redesign, and a terrible slate of launch games, became incredibly popular because of a handful of terrific exclusive series, free multiplayer, Blu-Ray, and a pretty great subscription game service. Both systems peaked in sales and quality releases around the same time, and they have sold basically the same number of units.

And 360 and PS3 were vastly different pieces of computing hardware that arrived at more or less the same point. Xbox One and PS4, on the other hand, have similar PC-based guts and offer many of the same social and media bells and whistles. Even the controllers and the systems themselves look more alike than ever. My point is this: These two boxes are going to play most of the same huge games — from Call of Duty to Madden to Watch Dogs to GTA 6 — and each will have a smattering of must-play exclusive games from developers like Naughty Dog and Epic.

Everything right now is simply speculation. In 2006, Naughty Dog was best known for games about anthropomorphized animals; no one could have predicted that they would make games as transcendent as Uncharted 2 and The Last of Us. And Epic, now famous for the 360-defining Gears of War, was essentially known in 2005, when that console launched, as a company that made computer graphics engines. In other words, if you buy one of these systems now you’re probably doing so for psychological reasons (loyalty to a brand, preference for one of the handful of exclusive studios that still exist, desire to be first). Basing a major purchasing decision off of the available facts about a console at launch (unless it is substantially defined by its hardware, like the Wii) makes very little sense.

Take this mixed review of the PlayStation 3 from 2006, written by Ben Kuchera, then at Ars Technica:

I think my main problem with the PS3 is that philosophically, it’s a confused system. It doesn’t really know what it wants to do. The 360 wants to be a social system; it wants to get you online, talking to people, playing these fun little minigames, and going for the high score and bragging rights. It wants to bring you together and make you remember what you love about gaming.

None of this is wrong, at all. It’s a normal reaction to a new console, to the available data. But it gets at just how little we know when we “review” new console hardware. The 360 didn’t succeed because it was a “social system” dedicated to “gaming” with “fun little minigames.” The PS3 didn’t fail — and then succeed — because it was “confused” and then not confused. The whole idea is that we don’t know exactly what is going to make these consoles succeed or fail, and we may not know for quite some time.

All of the living room functionality included in the Xbox One is a good case in point. Ordering your console to switch from TV to a game, or to sign in, or to turn off, is certainly a cool thing. Integrating your cable box with the rest of your entertainment is certainly a cool thing. And yet, will anyone really pay $500 just to make the “input” button on their remote obsolete? Will a low-cost, more polished competitor from a major technology company join the market? We don’t know. No one does.

Last week I attended a demonstration of the Xbox One user interface in a Manhattan loft space rented by Microsoft and gussied up to look like a living room. I watched an Xbox rep actually surprise himself by using gesture controls to swipe through photos shared to SkyDrive, the Microsoft cloud storage service. “I didn’t know it could do that,” he said.

The Xbox One and PS4 are exciting — I get that; it’s been a long time since there were new consoles. But we’re all discovering what they can do, and what will make them rise or fall, together, as we go.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/no-one-knows-which-console-you-should-buy

The Avengers Trailer

Hollywood has been waiting forever for a franchise like the Marvel superheroes. After making a separate multi million dollar movie for each superhero, Marvel is now coming out with The Avengers. All your favorite superheros and actors team up in this epic super hero movie coming out May 2012. 

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2011/10/12/the-avengers-trailer/

1. LA Jock is a a sportswear store in Los Angeles’ West Hollywood neighborhood.

2. To protest Russia’s anti-LGBT propaganda law, the owner, Nir Zilberman, has displayed a mannequin in his storefront window dressed in a concentration camp uniform with an upside-down pink triangle on its chest.

Nir Zilberman / Via Facebook: lajock

3. Zilberman placed this sign in front of the mannequin.

4. This is the profile picture for the LA Jock Facebook page.

5. Zilberman has also posted a video about his protest and the mannequin on Facebook.

6. Zilberman, who is the son of two Holocaust survivors, said he’s “sorry that a lot of Russian Jews got offended” by the display, but he does not regret his decision to put it up.

“I’m not ashamed of what I did. I’m proud of what I did,” he said. “I know where I’m coming from. My heart is all about love.”

7. Rabbi Denise Eger, whose synagogue Kol Ami is in West Hollywood and has many gay congregants, spoke at length with Zilberman about the mannequin. She believes that he’s motivated by the attention.

“There are plenty of ways for all of us, together, to draw attention to what’s happening to the LGBT community in Russia, with Putin’s new, horrific policy, without commercializing the Shoah,” Rabbi Eger said in an interview.

8. When Zilberman fainted during a rally he organized last Thursday in West Hollywood, an article also speculated whether this was all for his own attention.

Matt Baume / Via wehoville.com

9. Zilberman responded to the article with this message:

please the rally was not about me, 1000′s of people around the world support our RALLY, it was all about love. the store was all covered in black with posters of heroes. the screen was playing videos of our friends, gay men and women in Russia and in WWII.
it was all about “one voice” one single can create a war and one single person can make peace. life is a game and a choice to LOVE or HATE.
last night we show the world that love=life. silence=death.
you do not need to be a move star to be a leader, just follow you heart, we al WIN.
im not sur way this pics is even display here this was about people they care for people.
thank you for all the amazing emails, the text and all your support. this is just the start of
you will hear a lot about me and our people the can not have a voice, i will be they VOICE.
in israel and most countries gay pride was very small come to ISRAEL and see what one single person did, today 1000′s go gay, straight, all colors all religions come to ISRAEL
as ONE RACE. HUMAN RACE!. THANK YOU AGAIN ALL THE PEOPLE, ALL OVER THE WORLD. YOU GUYS THAT MADE THIS EVENT, it was all about LOVE!

10. Zilberman said the display will be up until the end of the Olympics Feb. 23.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/clairepires/la-store-owner-uses-gay-holocaust-symbol-to-protest-russias

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (1)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

What looks to be an ‘exploded view‘ of a 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR taken at a microsecond in time, is actually a meticulous and painstakingly crafted artificial moment by artist and photographer Fabian Oefner.

In Disintegrating, Fabian sketches where the individual pieces will go. He then takes apart a model car piece by piece; from the body shell right down to the minuscule screws. Each car contains hundreds of components.

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (9)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

Oefner then places each piece individually with the aid of fine needles and pieces of string. After meticulously working out the angle of each shot and establishing the right lighting, he photographs the components. It takes thousands of photographs to create each image in the series.

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (8)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

The individual photos are then blended together in post-production to create a single image. With the wheels acting as a reference point, each part is masked in Photoshop and then cut and pasted into the final image.

Jaguar E-Type 1961

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (3)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery
slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (6)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured. It took almost two months to create an image that looks as if it was captured in a fraction of a second. The whole disassembly in itself took more than a day for each car due to the complexity of the models. But that’s a bit of a boy thing. There’s an enjoyment in the analysis, discovering something by taking it apart, like peeling an onion.” – Fabian Oefner

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (5)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery
slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (7)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

“What you see in these images, is a moment that never existed in real life. What looks like a car falling apart is in fact a moment in time that has been created artificially by blending hundreds of individual images together. There is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment… Freezing a moment in time is stupefying.” – Fabian Oefner

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (4)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

Ferrari 330 P4 1967

slowest high speed photos ever fabian oefner (2)
Photograph by FABIAN OEFNER
Website | Behance | 500px
Courtesy of the MB&F M.A.D Gallery

Limited editions of 25 prints per image (120 cm X 70 cm) are available through the MB&F M.A.D Gallery (Price: CHF 1’900. including VAT). Located in Geneva, Switzerland, The MB&F M.A.D.Gallery is a place of kinetic art where horological machines and mechanical art devices reign supreme.

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