Birdman review: a surreal and spectacular look at a superhero coming undone 

There’s a moment in Birdman where Michael Keaton’s washed-up movie actor Riggan Thomson stands swaying near the edge of a New York City rooftop. “Hey,” yells a woman off-screen, “is this for real or are you shooting a film?” A film, he shouts back. “You people,” she calls to him, “are full of shit.”

It’s the closest thing the movie — which switches genres at the literal snap of a finger and uses a madcap set of camera angles to tell a story that can only be described as gleefully meta — comes to having a thesis.

But what if a cafe clocked every time a barista gets a customer to smile and rewarded its staff depending on their scores? A comedy club in Barcelona is testing a similar incentive program. It uses facial-recognition to record audience responses and pays performers 0.30 euros a laugh. Recording physical responses rather than “like” button activity makes the data appear less open to interpretation. It is much harder to control our physical responses than to opt in with a mouse click.

via Joanne McNeil, The Message 

Amazon Kindle Voyage Review

The humble e-reader is the evolutionary equivalent of a duck-billed platypus: at some point, it fell off the family tree. It’s been plotting its own course ever since, totally comfortable in its weirdness, utterly oblivious to the changes happening everywhere around it. That weirdness — the e-reader’s singular, purpose-suited design — has enabled it to survive the coming of the smartphone. It survived the tablet. If I had to guess, it’ll survive whatever comes next.

So, how do you build a better duck-billed platypus?