Tag Archives: Farhad Manjoo


Vertical Video on the Small Screen? Not a Crime

Holding your phone “the wrong way” to shoot a video provokes surprisingly apoplectic reactions. Professional videographers tend to regard vertical videos as the mark of an amateur, and they react to these clips with the same sense of wounded outrage that snooty writers reserve for people who confuse its and it’s, or who type two spaces after a period when everyone knows there should only be one.

More and more, video is being viewed on phones rather than desktop web browsers or television, and on phones vertical video makes sense.

Also, vertical video makes sense when the subject is vertical. Like a person.

[Farhad Manjoo/The New York Times]

Sounds awful

Soylent, the high-tech food replacement, is “the most joyless new technology [since] MS-DOS”

Soylent, the high-tech food replacement, is nasty stuff, says The New York Times’s Farhad Manjoo. It takes all the pleasure out of eating.

I just spent more than a week experiencing Soylent, the most joyless new technology to hit the world since we first laid eyes on MS-DOS.

Soylent is a drink mix invented by a group of engineers who harbor ambitions of shaking up the global food business. Robert Rhinehart, the 25-year-old co-founder and chief executive of the firm selling the drink, hit upon the idea when he found himself spending too much time and money searching for nutritious meals while he was working on a wireless-tech start-up in San Francisco. Using a process Mr. Rhinehart calls “scientific,” the firm claims to have mixed acornucopia of supplements to form a technologically novel food that offers the complete set of nutrients the human body needs for survival.

Soylent misses the point that most breakthrough consumer technologies don’t just perform a function; they offer pleasure too, Manjoo says. Uber, for example, isn’t just popular because it’s convenient; “it lets you feel like you’re the boss,” because you don’t have to pay when you get out.

STATE JP2 articleLarge