ICYMI - 5/31 / by Michael Epstein

Jathan Muthar, 2014 commencement season MVP.

Working at Vice Media is Not as Cool as it Seems (Gawker)

Vice, once a harbinger of counter-culture and alt-journalism, is now a billion dollar brand with an HBO show and the attention of the entire media world. According to Vice employees, however, the money and success is made off journalists working below the poverty line. The Wal-Mart of media has apparently lied through its teeth regarding its stance on paid content, where its been toeing the line for awhile now.

Looks like we're gonna need a new Vice.

Does Wolfenstein: The New Order go Far Enough in Its Depiction of Nazi Brutality? (The Daily Dot)

Released last week, Wolfenstein: The New Order may be the surprise hit of pre-E3 2014. The alternate history, where Nazi Germany wins WWII and controls the planet, has "comic book" villains and a retro-future aesthetic, but doesn't hold back on depicting of a world built on bigotry. Still, The Daily Dot's Dennis Scimeca questions if the developer's should have taken more steps to remind future generations that the Nazi wehrmacht was a real villain.

Amazon's Tactics Confirm Its Critics' Worst Suspicions (NYT)

Amazon has long been a de facto monopoly in the book business, to the point where people don't even think of it as a "bookstore" any more. After years of nothing but helpful for customers, the company is taking advantage of its position, punishing uncooperative publishers — namely Hachette — by raising prices, not offering pre-orders on upcoming titles and holding off on shipping books to customers, sometimes for weeks. NYT tech critic Farhad Manjoo reminds those of us surprised by the conflict after buying into Amazon's consumer-friendly mythos maybe should have known better.

At the same time, Slate's Julia Turner suggests that Amazon's been tightening the reigns in general. While not being able to get free two-day shipping on a five dollar purchase has made the site a less effective universal procurement service in general, that isn't necessarily such a bad thing. (In case you aren't aware, Amazon is still referred to as a "start up" in some business circles because of its almost non-existent profits. Also, get off your ass and go buy toilet paper from a store.)

How to Dig Up a Landfill: The Search for E.T. (Polygon)

Atari's semi-secret New Mexico landfill stuffed with hundreds of thousands of copies of the Atari adaptation of E.T. is one of gaming's most infamous urban legend. Last month, a documentary crew tracked it down, dug it up, and found that there is, in fact, a dump full of Atari games. (Contrary to the rumors, they weren't all E.T. cartridges, though.) This is not the story of the landfill or the recent dig, but of the people that decided it was time to put this argument to bed and spent more than two years fighting for the opportunity. 

How Katz's Deli Makes Their Perfect Pastrami (Serious Eats)

Lastly, Jake Dell, Katz's current owner, gives a step-by-step explanation of how Katz's makes the best Pastrami in the world. (Shut up. It is.) They don't actually tell you how to make it, but you get a sense of how much work goes into that sandwich, which goes a long way to explaining why it costs almost $20.

I went to high school with Jake, so part of me is pretty pissed I wasn't the person to get this story. Then again, I never asked, so that's my fault.