Monday, April 07, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Sgt. Star is the army’s robot. Specifically, he’s a chatbot designed to influence potential recruits to enlist in the US Army. So how do we feel about that? Alex talks to the Army and a reporter who's covered recruitment abuses to figure out if we're better or worse off for having a Siri who can talk us into going to war.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Sunday, February 23, 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.
Monday, February 17, 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.
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Every year, a small group of sports fans scattered across the U.S. play a game called "Last Man." The goal is to be the last person in America to find out who won the Super Bowl. TLDR Sports reporter Lisa Pollak followed the game this year, and found out just how hard information was to avoid in the internet age.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
The Slender Man is the internet's monster - the subject of countless remixes, tributes, and parodies. He's so ubiquitous he feels like he's been around for ages, like folklore. But Slender Man has an owner and a point of origin. Alex talks to Eric Knudsen, the creator of Slender Man.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky. Mark spends hours scouring the comments section on YouTube, and occasionally, scattered in the dross, he finds small poignant stories for his site Sad Youtube.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
This episode of TLDR contains some explicit language.
On September 11th, 2012, gunmen attacked two American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the attack, was an IT manager in the real world, but online, he was Vile Rat, a hugely influential diplomat in the video game Eve Online. Alex talks to Sean's friend Alex "The Mittani" Gianturco about who Sean was both in Eve and in the real world.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
One way to make money making music online is the boring way. Write one song that does incredibly well and live off the royalties for the rest of your life.
Matt Farley is a musician who’s gone a different route. He's written over 14,000 songs and he makes a tiny bit of money each time someone plays one on Spotify or iTunes. PJ visited Matt at his home recording studio to see how it all works.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Marion Stokes was a hoarder. When she died last year, her family had to figure out what to do with 9 separate residences and 3 storage locations full of stuff - everything from tens of thousands of books to decades-old Apple computers. This is the story of how they found a home for the strangest artifact in her collection — 140,000 videocassettes filled with 35 years of round-the-clock cable TV news.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
This episode of TLDR contains some explicit language.
This has been a crazy season for internet hoaxes. This week, we investigated one we actually deeply enjoyed being fooled by -- about a social media bot for Pace Picante Salsa going insane and inadvertently revealing an entire world of corporate conspiracy. We talk to the comedian behind the hoax, Randy Liedtke, who has his own very funny podcast called The Bone Zone.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Hello! We are taking a week off the podcast to work on some special things that you will like a lot. This episode is a Best Of*, in case you have a friend who hasn't gotten a chance to check us out who you might like to share TLDR with. It also includes an answer to one of our show's enduring mysteries - just what the hell TLDR stands for.
Thanks for listening, and if you like the show, subscribe to it on iTunes. If you want other people to hear it, please rate and review it! If you want to check out our previous episodes on our website, you can listen here. If you like our theme song, you can hear more by Breakmaster Cylinder here.
*Yes, we know that it takes some pretty unmitigated gall to run a clip show two months after launching a podcast.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Before the Internet as we know it today, there were text-based bulletin board systems all over the country that people could dial into. One of those systems, M-net, happened to live in Alex's backyard, and it was his internet home base for the better part of a decade. Alex went back this week and found out that it's actually still running.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Up until this fall, there was a secret internet. You probably heard about one part of it, the Silk Road, but that was just one secret website among many. This week, we talk to Gawker's Adrian Chen about the rest of the dark part of the internet, and how it's been damaged by the Silk Road arrests.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Millions of Americans don't use the internet at all. Some don't have access because of poverty, geography, or age. But some just never logged on. This week, Alex goes on a quest to find a unicorn -- someone who lives a life just like his, but entirely without internet.
Thursday, October 03, 2013
Daniel Drucker's father died earlier this year. Daniel was excavating stuff on his Dad's computer when he found a file called JOKES.TXT. It was filled with thirty one punchlines to jokes, but not the jokes themselves. So he turned to the internet for help.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Christopher Hermelin has a project called "The Roving Typist," where he writes stories for people in the park on his typewriter. One day last summer, he found his photo posted to Reddit, and suddenly his image was the butt of jokes all over the internet. We talked to him about what it feels like to become a meme.