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On The Media

Palm Monday

Friday, May 09, 2014

To start his journey, Bob goes to the iconic Palm Restaurant, where DC A-listers go to see and be seen. There he meets with his guide Mark Leibovich, chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and author of "This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America's Gilded Capital." Over one very expensive lobster, Mark prepares Bob for the ways of Washington.

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On The Media

OTM Goes Inside Washington

Friday, May 09, 2014

OTM has traveled the world exploring the nexus of media and society, reaching such far off places as Russia, China, and Egypt. But the center of American politics and power had been overlooked—until now. This week Bob travels to Washington, DC to investigate perception and reality, money and celebrity and the evolving role of the media in the nation’s capital.

On The Media

#25 - Monsters

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Kim Correa loves the online game DayZ, which lets you interact with other humans during a zombie apocalypse. DayZ's appeal is that it allows weird, spontaneous interactions between players. It also allows really terrible ones. Kim talks about her experience of being raped in a virtual world -- something she doesn't quite know what to do with. We also talk to writer Julian Dibbel, who wrote about how one online community dealt with a virtual rape back in 1993. 

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On The Media

Why Crowdfund a Sequel to a 20-Year-Old Video Game Everyone Hated?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

If you were a gamer at the dawn of the console wars era, then you probably remember Shaq Fu. It was essentially a Shaquille O'Neal branded Mortal Kombat, except it was also unplayable and ugly. Even Electronic Arts, the company behind the game has called it an abomination. So, naturally, the internet has decided that 20 years on, we need a sequel.

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The wikiHow Guide to Stopping a Wedding

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

wikiHow (lowercase 'w' is deliberate) wants to be the Wikipedia of how-to guides. And, as of a couple years ago, it had over 150,000 articles and north of 35 million visitors a month. But just like Wikipedia or any other wiki-based community, there will always be a problem of quality control. Take, for example, today's amazing deep internet find, the wikiHow article on how to stop a wedding.

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On The Media

The NSA's Best PR Move in Months

Monday, May 05, 2014

The NSA could really use some good PR right now. It has had a rough year, deservedly so. With information about the agency's hoovering of personal information continuing to leak as well as the FISA court's alleged rubber stamping of government requests for surveillance, the revelations by contractor Edward Snowden have cast the NSA in a very negative light. It hasn't helped that the agency's response to the leaks by both the agency and The President was slow, and for the most part unsatisfying. Surprisingly, the first thing I've seen the NSA do correctly in months has arrived in the form of total gibberish.

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On The Media

You Can Buy Amazon Stuff on Twitter Now. How is this a good thing?

Monday, May 05, 2014

Marketers are still only lukewarm on the platform, but Amazon thinks its found the key by turning your tweets into one part advertisement, one part buy-it-now button.

 

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On The Media

TLDR #24 - The Million Dollar Homepage

Monday, May 05, 2014

In 2005, Alex Tew was a 21-year-old entrepreneur who wanted to make a million dollars before college. The only problem was he had literally nothing of value to sell. So he made The Million Dollar Homepage -- possibly the most ambitiously garish website ever created.

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#24 - The Million Dollar Homepage

Thursday, May 01, 2014

In 2005, Alex Tew was a high school entrepreneur who wanted to make a million dollars before college. So he created perhaps the most ridiculous website ever to grace the Internet.

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On The Media

How Can You Parody Buzzfeed?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Yesterday, the Onion told the New York Business Journal that it would be producing a parody of sites like Buzzfeed and Upworthy called "Clickhole." Sure, those sites are ripe for a takedown, but how do you parody sites that are already basically self-parody? Here are 20 ways that will astound you.

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Band Makes the World's Most Difficult To Access Album, But It's Still Pretty Cool

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Getting attention for your music in the internet age requires a lot of flair, a bit of ingenuity, and maybe some performance art.

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On The Media

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

Sunday, April 27, 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.

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On The Media

CNN's Malaysia Air Obsession, Bad Political Memoirs, and More

Friday, April 25, 2014

CNN's never-ending coverage of the lost Malaysian Airlines plane, an FCC blow to net neutrality, and why there are so many terrible political memoirs.

On The Media

E-Commerce and Free Speech

Friday, April 25, 2014

If the process of unmasking anonymous negative commenters is too easy, then defamation lawsuits could be used to intimidate consumers. If it’s too hard to find out who’s slandering your business online, then business owners are basically being told to sit there and take it. Alex Goldmark of WNYC’s New Tech City takes a closer look at both sides of this complicated issue.

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On The Media

Dear Editor

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is an adage lost on many an opinionator, but not on Felicia Nimue Ackerman, who's among the most published letters-to-the-editor writers in the country. Since 1987, more than 200 of her letters have been printed in the New York Times alone. Bob talks to Ackerman as well as Tom Feyer, letters editor for the Times, about the art of the epistolary retort.

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On The Media

Banning Truthiness?

Friday, April 25, 2014

This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus, a case that could help decide whether it’s illegal to lie during a political campaign. Bob speaks with Adam Liptak, The New York Times Supreme Court correspondent about the case and whether banning lying impinges on free speech.

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Bad Campaign Memoirs

Friday, April 25, 2014

It used to be that politicians' lives were recounted after their careers, by professional biographers. Today, writing a memoir has become de rigueur for political aspirants looking to garner votes. Manoush speaks with Politico's Casey Cep, who says these books amount to little more than press releases that consistently fall flat.

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On The Media

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

Sunday, April 20, 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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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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