A Live Morning News Show Loses its Audio Feed, Shenanigans Ensue

Friday, February 21, 2014

The anchors on WGN Morning News were forced to communicate using the ancient media form of sharpie plus paper.

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Robots May Have Taken Over The Great Pokemon Democracy Experiment

Friday, February 21, 2014

Earlier this week, I wrote about Twitch Plays Pokemon, an internet phenomenon which allows thousands of people online to jockey for control of a single character in a game of Pokemon Red. I said that Twitch Plays Pokemon was a metaphor for the messy democracy of the internet. If reports are to be believed, it may not be quite as democratic as I imagined.

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The New Google Maps Update Would Like To Sell You A Bunch of Stuff

Friday, February 21, 2014

A new upgrade brings event listings for venues (buy tickets!), icons for local businesses (buy local goods!), and a way to map an airplane route. Why add this? Because it allows Google Flights to sell you plane tickets.

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#16 - *Win a Million Dollar Mansion From Your HOME COMPUTER*

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Sweepers" are people who spend their free time entering hundreds of online sweepstakes -- the contests most of us skip because we're sure they're all scams. It turns out, we're wrong. Some people win big. Reporter Laura Mayer takes us into the online sweepstakes universe.

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Swipe Right For Tinder Users' Exact Location

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tinder is a dating app that allows users to search for potential matches based on proximity. There's been a lot of talk of the app's popularity with Olympic athletes, which the media seems to be eating up. Yesterday, some security researchers published an article saying that they had figured out how to use Tinder to get users' exact locations.

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WhatsApp And the Hasidic Community

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Since it is used expressly for peer-to-peer communication, it doesn't require users to browse the internet, thus potentially exposing them to material they might not want to see.

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We Might Be Able To Predict the Future Using Social Media. But Should We?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A new study from MIT found a way to retroactively predict the 2013 coup in Egypt. Study author Nathan Kallus plugged in 300,000 web sources from before the coup, scanned them for keywords and sentiment analysis, and was able to graph a prediction for when the coup would happen.

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The Creepy New App That Lets People Listen in On Your Conversations

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why leave eavesdropping on phone calls to law enforcement? With the new app Crowdpilot, you can invite anyone to listen in.

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The Internet Has Brought Thousands of People Together to Play Pokemon

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

In its purest and most noble form, the internet is an experiment in community building. It allows people who would have no reason to interact in the real world to come together to work toward, or in some cases against, a common goal. In the case of Twitch Plays Pokemon, it allows tens of thousands of people to get together to play a game of Pokemon Red for the old-school Nintendo Game Boy.

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An App Promises to Help You Write Like Hemingway

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hemingway is a new app that invites you to submit your writing into a text box where it'll be graded based on it's Hemingway-esqueness. 

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Study Says People Who Are Jerks Online are Likely to Be Jerks Offline, Too

Friday, February 14, 2014

People who troll online are likely to self-report as being sadists in real life.

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#15 - Internet Time

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In 1998 Swatch tried to completely reinvent our concept of time. Swatch Internet Time (or .beat time) would have been a new way to conceive of moments. There'd be no time zones, and also, no hours, minutes, or seconds. PJ talks to Gizmodo's Eric Limer and Swatch Creative Director Carlo Giordanetti about Swatch's plan to create time's version of Esperanto. 

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Meet The Hummus, A Fake News Site for Muslim-Americans

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What’s so funny about being Muslim in America?  Depending on who you ask, quite a bit.  Inspired by the scope of Al-Jazeera and the irreverence of The Onion, three young Muslim-American men have launched their own culturally flavored fake news publication:  The Hummus.

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What's Powering Facebook’s Reality Distortion Field?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There’s a culture of journalists who are Facebook truthers - they’ll believe anything about the company “as long as it’s totally outlandish.”

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A Map Of New York's Lost Mittens

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

There should be a name for this category of website. A word to describe a site which presents itself as a utility, but is probably more of a whimsical proof-of-concept.

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A Morbid Fight For @JamesDean

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Today in macabre Twitter handle fights - The Indianapolis Star has news about a feud between an anonymous fan and the actor's estate over who the @JamesDean Twitter handle should belong to.

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A Stranger Can Find Out Where You Are By Getting You To Open An Email

Monday, February 10, 2014

This afternoon, I stumbled across this free Gmail plug-in called Streak. If you send someone an email, Streak will tell you if they opened it, when they opened it, and, most creepily, where they were when they opened it. 

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Flappy Bird Is Dead. But Why?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Flappy Bird, the hugely popular, hugely addictive iPhone game, has been pulled from the Apple and Android apps stores. Developer Dong Nguyen withdrew it after warning fans over the weekend that the game would disappear.

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BitTorrent's Public Image Campaign

Friday, February 07, 2014

BitTorrent is one of those classic "technology is neutral" pieces of software. There are people who are using the protocol in totally benign ways to share public domain and creative commons material, academic research, and more. But it is more notorious for being the protocol that powers a large part of the illegal file-sharing on the internet. The BitTorrent company is aware of its software's less than stellar reputation, and according to Variety, it is waging a PR campaign to win the hearts and minds of Hollywood.

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Free Valentines Day Poems From PayPal

Friday, February 07, 2014

In what is surely the most incongruous piece of marketing this season, electronic payment service PayPal is employing poets to write Valentines Day poems on the spot for consumers. I suppose it makes sense, as I've always found online transactions very romantic.

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