Alex Goldman appears in the following:
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.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Some users of dating site OkCupid are upset at revelations that it was deliberately experimenting on its users by taking people who were bad matches and telling they were actually good for one another.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
The Internet you experience depends on who the Internet thinks you are.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
What happened when a black woman writer went online disguised as a white man? She got a lot fewer death threats, for one thing.
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.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
On the most recent TLDR, I spoke to Max Seddon, foreign correspondent for Buzzfeed, about some recently unearthed documents that show a massive online pro-Russia propaganda effort with ties to The Kremlin.
In that interview, Max made it clear that Russia is far from the only government that does this sort of opinion influencing, citing an AP report from a couple months ago about US efforts to sway public opinion in Cuba by creating its own "fake twitter." from the interview:
USAID set up an entire fake social network for cuban people to get around all the internet filters to Cuba that was meant to create some sort of thing that they could use to influence popular opinion in Cuba, which is closed off to the US, and it's very difficult to do well. because On the internet, people are smart, it's very easy to compare things, and use multiple sources of information and come to the right conclusions. They can tell when something is fake.
On Monday, Glenn Greenwald's The Intercept produced another example of this governmental internet meddling, this time from Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
What can we learn from Tumblr's disastrous DashCon fan convention last weekend?
Monday, July 14, 2014
Today, Wall Street Journal technology columnist Christopher Mims boldly declared that the password is irrelevant and dying. How boldly, you probably weren't asking yourself? Well, so boldly that he posted his twitter password in the article.
Friday, July 11, 2014
The FTC wants to make it harder for children to make purchases in tablet and smartphone games.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
On TLDR #20, I spoke to Jack Stratton of the band Vulfpeck, who released an album of complete silence on Spotify called Sleepify and asked listeners to stream it while they slept so the band could tour without charging for shows.
The gambit was a surprising success, garnering quite a bit of press attention, and eventually arousing the ire of Spotify, who asked the band to remove the album from its service. In the aftermath, I was curious what kind of payout the band ended up getting for its efforts, so I got in touch with Stratton to see how it went. Turns out it went pretty well.
Monday, July 07, 2014
Recently, Netflix royally pissed off Verizon by calling out the ISP for slow streaming video. The two companies went back and forth for a while, with Verizon demanding that Netflix cut it out, and Netflix essentially saying "Ok, fine. But we might bring them back. You should serve your customers better." Now Google is offering an even more granular service called the "Video Quality Report," which will allow users to check out their YouTube streaming quality and compare to other providers in the area.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Playing video games online, you're likely to run into cheaters. Aimbot, wallhacks, NoClip, they can render a server unplayable. However, they're little more than a pain in the ass, and penalties for getting caught can be pretty severe, including having accounts that cost a lot of money banned from using certain games. In Japan, they'll just arrest you.
Friday, June 27, 2014
The clip above is just a little follow-up to Chris Neary's story last week about how public radio and "NPR" are two very different things. Oregon Public Broadcasting Morning Edition Host Geoff Norcross appeared on Jeopardy and actually had to set Alex Trebek straight on the subject. You can here Chris's original piece below.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
This week, the tech press did backflips over an app called "Yo." It's a messaging app that allows users to text the word "Yo." Nothing else. Just the word "Yo." Let that sink in for a second before we move on.
It was heralded as genius. it was derided as stupid. It was the subject of a conversation about meaning and subtext in online communication. It was given the avant garde treatment it deserved. Disregarding what was written about it, yo has cornered the internet's fickle attention long enough to enter the top 10 in the App store. By any metric, that's a victory.
We didn't write about it. Mostly because we thought there wasn't much to say that hadn't already been said. I think I acknowledged its existence on my twitter feed. Yo.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she's convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she's very, very funny.