Alex Goldman

Alex Goldman is a producer for On the Media and the co-host/creator of TLDR. He is on twitter hereSubscribe to the TLDR podcast here.

iPhone or Android/Mac or PC?

I have an iPhone, but I’m not sure that I can, in good conscience, endorse it. PC from womb to tomb.

What word would the other producers use to describe you?

Annoyed? Surly? Frustrated?

What embarrasses you about your media diet?

I have seen every episode of Bones.

What would your cable news show be called?               

"Controversial Opinions w/Alex Goldman" - It'll basically just be an hour of me shouting about things I don't like that everyone else likes. I'll have a McMahon style sidekick who will yell "Whoa! That's controversial!" to punctuate my rants. It will probably be fellow producer PJ Vogt.

What is your favorite thing about On the Media?

Inside jokes and inappropriate volumes.

Alex Goldman appears in the following:

#23 - A Bitcoin Story for People Who Don't Care About Bitcoin

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When Wired reporter Andy Greenberg read Newsweek's cover story claiming to have found mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, he was disappointed. Not so much that the mystery had been solved, but that the answer to the search was not all that interesting. But then, as the Newsweek started getting picked apart, he got a tip about another possible Bitcoin creator: a very ill, very brilliant cryptographer named Hal Finney. 

Andy Greenberg is the author of This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Cypherpunks, and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World's Information.

Donate to Hal Finney's care here

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Spotify Asks Vulfpeck To Remove "Sleepify"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A few weeks ago, we did a TLDR episode about the band Vulfpeck, which had come up with a novel way to fund their tour. They uploaded an album of silence to Spotify called "Sleepify," and asked their fans to stream it while they slept. The royalties from the plays of those songs would allow the band to tour for free.

An hour ago, the band announced on its Facebook page that Spotify has requested that they remove "Sleepify" from Spotify.

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Good Work Getting Kicked In the Head There, Pal

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This is how the internet handles celebrity, unless of course you're a cat.

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You Can Be Critical Of Art On the Internet Without Being A Misogynist Jerk

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Edit: I embarrassingly misspelled Eugenia Williamson "Eugenia Williams" initially. I have now fixed. I regret the error.

Last week, PJ and I wrote an article in response to a failed interview between Boston Magazine writer Eugenia Williamson and former child star-turned Velvet Underground parodist Macaulay Culkin. I read the article as fairly mean spirited, viciously personal, and not particularly illuminating of its subject. But in writing the article about it, I strove to keep my critique measured and specific. The larger internet picked up on the story, and didn't make a similar effort.

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TLDR #22 - What Happens When You Tell The Whole Internet Your Password

Friday, April 18, 2014

Earlier this week, a commenter named Y. Woodman Brown posted his online passwords in the Washington Post comments section to show just how little his online security mattered to him. It was quickly picked up by the press as an example of online security hubris. Naturally, we had to find him. Alex talks to Y. Woodman Brown and the person who hijacked his Twitter account after the passwords were posted.

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#22 - What Happens When You Tell The Whole Internet Your Password

Friday, April 18, 2014

Not really.

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TLDR Update - Peeking Into The Brain of The Army's Recruitment Robot

Friday, April 18, 2014

In March, I did a story for TLDR about Sgt. Star, the Army website's virtual recruiter that answers questions from potential future soldiers. You can hear that story below.

In that story, we spoke to Dave Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation who had sent a FOIA request to the Army for more information on Sgt Star, but had not received any response. But now he has, and he wrote an impressive update on the EFF blog. Among other things, the EFF received every single answer that Sgt Star can give. I spoke to Maass about the things he learned about Sgt Star, like how he was born, his relationship to the CIA and the FBI, and even his astrological sign. Listen to the update below.

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The Army's Robot Recruiter

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sergeant Star is a chatbot designed to influence potential recruits to enlist. Alex Goldman of our podcast TLDR wasn't sure how he felt about that, so he talked to the Army and a reporter who's covered recruitment abuses to consider the pros and cons of deploying a Siri to guide our decision to go to war. 

This story originally appeared in a longer form on the TLDR Podcast. If you would like to hear a longer version of this story and Alex's update with Dave Maass of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, follow this link.

Music: Kraftwerk - Pocket Calculator. Special thanks to @M0X1 (Mo Xie) for the suggestion on Twitter!

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Field Recordings From a Virtual World

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Triple A video game titles (meaning the ones that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and have huge launches) are always trying to push for greater and greater verisimilitude. This is one of the reasons that there is a new round of consoles every 7 years or so, and why sound design in games is ever evolving to better evoke a sense of place. These audio environments are now interesting enough that at least one person has decided to record these habitats for posterity.

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Let’s Stop Sending Nasty Emails to Macaulay Culkin

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When internet writing goes terribly wrong.

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Bill Gates Files Anti-Google Glass Camera Detection Patent

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Looks like Bill Gates is firing some shots at Google Glass. A new patent on which Gates is listed as an inventor proposes a technology that would blur computer monitors or alert users when a camera is present.

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A Google For The Dark Net

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The near-anonymous Tor browser is pretty convenient for buying illegal things online. Except there's no search function. Until now.

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It's Not A Fun Week To Work at OpenSSL, The Mostly Volunteer Project Responsible for the Heartbleed Bug

Friday, April 11, 2014

Until earlier this week, it's likely that most internet users had never heard of OpenSSL. But thanks to the Heartbleed bug, which put all manner of usernames and passwords at risk, the OpenSSL project is coming under some serious scrutiny. To understand how the Heartbleed bug happened, it's important to understand how the OpenSSL project works.

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If You Livetweet Your Favorite Shows, You're An Outlier

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Television pushes social media really hard in its advertising these days. You'll see ads and even TV shows with hashtags in the corner, and anyone who watches AMC shows knows about their whole "second screen experience" deal which keeps you tethered to your computer while you watch The Walking Dead or Mad Men. But Nielsen has found that most viewers aren't all that engaged with social media while they watch TV. 

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#21 - There Is No Such Thing As Silence

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Continuing our expose into the very hush-hush world of Silence, we look at an app that promises to deliver you four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. PJ talks to Larry Larson, who helped design the 4'33" app.

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Could George Bush Be Sued For Some Of His Paintings?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

George Bush's paintings, some of which long ago found their way into the public eye through a leak from the hacker Guccifer, were put on display earlier this week at the George W. Bush presidential center. 

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Here's a site that lets you check to see if you've been compromised by Heartbleed

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

This week, a vulnerability in the OpenSSL protocol called "Heartbleed" was discovered. If none of the words you just read make any sense, here's a good explainer about how 2/3 of the internet was exposed to this security vulnerability. Worried that a website you use regularly was vulnerable? This site can help.

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The Best, Most Inaccurate Twitter Pic Account Around

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A few weeks ago, we did a TLDR episode about the general inaccuracy of those "amazing pics" accounts, which frequently post photoshopped, poorly sourced, unattributed photos.

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Not All Video Games Cause Aggressive Behavior. Just the Really Crappy Ones.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Well if someone had just asked me, I could have told them that - a study has found that video games with frustrating and counter-intuitive controls are more likely to cause aggressive behavior.

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