Wednesday, August 06, 2014
"Maybe many young people waste too many hours on futile things," the pope said in a short speech to the altar servers - young people who help the priest during religious services - who had come to Rome on a pilgrimage.
"Our life is made up of time, and time is a gift from God, so it is important that it be used in good and fruitful actions."
[he] also cautioned that high-speed world of digital social media needed calm, reflection and tenderness if it was to be "a network not of wires but of people".
He has a point. If I could have all the time back I spent furnishing my house in Animal Crossing or building massive ships in Captain Forever, I might have been able to apply that time to good and fruitful actions. Still, as we attempt to prove again and again on TLDR, the internet's network of wires is frequently utilized to create or strengthen human connections. It's not the network itself, it's how you use it.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
It has been well established throughout the history of TLDR that I am a fan of what one could call "difficult" music. And even for me, Noreweigan Black Metal is a little out there. Not simply because it's totally brutal and unrelenting, it is also infamous for being a culture of Satanism, suicide, and church burning. Varg Vikernes, who records under the name Burzum, is often cited as a poster child for all that is ugly about the genre, having burned several churches and spent 21 years in prison for murdering fellow Black Metal artist Euronymous in the mid 90's. It's all pretty gross. So is that why eBay is making it impossible to purchase his music?
Monday, August 04, 2014
Look, I run for exercise, but I don't like it. Sure, I love the feeling of accomplishment, but I think my biggest problem with it, aside from the fact that I am not all that athletic, is that it's just boring. I try to spice it up with high energy running mixes and, of course, listening to podcasts, but I just haven't found a way to make it entertaining. I guess that's because I'm not as enterprising as copywriter Claire Wyckoff, whose new blog, "Running Drawing" may have finally come up with a way to make running fun.
Monday, August 04, 2014
On last week's episode of TLDR, we spoke to OkCupid President and founder Christian Rudder about the company's recent disclosure that it had been running an ethically questionable experiment on its users.
In the experiment, the company took users who the site's algorithm found were bad matches (based on a battery of questions users answer) and told them they were actually good matches, and vice versa. In the interview I took issue with this experiment for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is because buried in the list of questions users get on OkCupid is this question: "Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?" I argued that this could lead to unsafe dating situations, to which Rudder replied "I mean there's also a lot of stuff we don't ask, I mean, y'know, so like, we don't know any of our users. Y'know so like we make no claim to the safety for anyone, and obviously we do everything we can to encourage a safe environment. But like, I think it's disingenuous to suggest that we're setting up people in dangerous situations."
One enterprising hacker named Meitar Moscovitz (AKA Maymay) has developed a plugin to try and detect potentially dangerous situations before they occur.
Friday, August 01, 2014
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Twitter is testing out a new feature for hashtags. The way it seems to work is that searching for a hashtag will yield a translation of what Twitter thinks that hashtag means underneath the search term. Twitter declined to comment about the feature for the Journal, so the details remain a mystery.
Monday, July 28, 2014
It really shouldn't.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Late last night, the official Twitter account for the Environmental Protection Authority accidentally tweeted an excited proclamation about their success in the Kim Kardashian's new mobile game, which invites you to "create your own celebrity and rise to fame and fortune!"
Monday, July 21, 2014
We're still waiting for an @TLDRedits account to appear.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Last month, Facebook announced that it had conducted an experiment in which it purposely showed a group of users only negative posts from their friends' news feeds. The premise was to test what the academics behind the research of "emotional contagion," the notion that moods can spread across networks. Well, everyone was annoyed at being manipulated, and the lead researcher in the study has apologized. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has asked for an investigation from the FTC, saying Facebook was duplicitous, manipulative, and failed to inform users of the experiment. Now, Maryland Law Professor (and friend of TLDR) James Grimmelmann, along with colleague Leslie Meltzer Henry and the faculty of the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University have asked the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to retract the Facebook study.