Media

On The Media

Firing Jill Abramson

Friday, May 16, 2014

In a sudden move this week, The New York Times announced the firing of its executive editor Jill Abramson. Bob speaks with The New Yorker's Ken Auletta about why Abramson was fired.

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On The Media

A Cinematic Release

Friday, May 16, 2014

When a funeral director named Bernie Tiede shot and killed a wealthy widow in Carthage, Texas, townspeople were sympathetic toward the widely loved Bernie and indifferent toward the murder victim. The twisted tale became the subject of a Richard Linklater film, which played a part in Bernie's recent release from prison. Bob talks with Texas Monthly's Skip Hollandsworth, whose 1998 story about Bernie Tiede inspired the movie.

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On The Media

Covering Nigeria, Russian Censorship, and More

Friday, May 16, 2014

How Boko Haram caught the international media's attention, why The New York Times fired Jill Abramson, and a look back at joke censorship in the Soviet Union.

On The Media

What Your Web Browsing Habits Say About How You Will Vote

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Listen to podcasts? You're more likely to be liberal and to vote. Play fantasy football? You may or may not vote, but chances are very high that you're Republican. These are just a few of the broad conclusions that were gleaned from volumes of consumer data about browsing habits, political leanings and voter turnouts.

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On The Media

Deaths by Swimming Pool Drowning vs. Nicholas Cage Films and Other Spurious Correlations

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It is by now an age old adage that "correlation doesn't equal causation," but the internet just loves stories that make spurious correlations. Just yesterday there was an article floating around from Time magazine about a study that showed bullies have a lower risk of chronic diseases, with the headline "Bullying Is Good For Your Health." Wouldn't it be nice if there was a website that put lie to this idea of correlation/causation by taking it to ridiculous extremes? Enter Spurious Correlations.

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On The Media

TLDR #25 - Monsters

Sunday, May 11, 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

Blurred Lines

Friday, May 09, 2014

In Washington, the lines are increasingly blurring between politicians, lobbyists and the media. Bob meets with a journalist turned lobbyist, the man known as the "doorman to the revolving door," and perhaps the most infamous lobbyist of all time to talk about the industry of DC.

Song: I Am the Slime by Frank Zappa

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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

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

#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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On The Media

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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On The Media

#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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On The Media

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.