Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
The old "The-Onion-being-mistaken-as-real-news" rubric is now so common at this point as to be mundane. In fact, the website "literally unbelievable" exists solely catalog unsuspecting Facebookers falling for The Onion's headlines. And The Onion is no longer the only site that traffics in parody that gets passed off as real news, it's just the best known, and most clearly satirical. Sites like The Daily Currant and The National Report - both less clearly satire and significantly less funny than The Onion - regularly get picked up as real news as well. Facebook is running a test on some users where it attempts to more clearly demarcate articles from The Onion as satire.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Generally, photos that float around the internet are robbed of context, or hoaxes, or are attributed to events at which they didn't occur. So it's nice to see a photo that went viral, and rather than contribute to misunderstanding, it helped the person who posted it learn more about the world.
Anonymous Claims They've Identified the Police Officer Who Shot Michael Brown. What Should We Do With That Information? (UPDATED)
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Ferguson Police Department initially promised to make public the name of the officer who killed 18-year old Michael Brown, and then reneged, citing concerns for the officers safety.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee has built a series of fake news site designed to look like local newspapers. The fake sites post critical articles about Democratic politicians in districts where electoral races are happening.
Friday, August 08, 2014
AOL released their latest financial report this week, and the biggest surprise for most people was that the company still makes a ton of money from subscriptions to dial-up internet.
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Five reasons not to freak out over the latest reports of a massive personal data breach.
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.