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On The Media

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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On The Media

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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On The Media

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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On The Media

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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On The Media

Our Universal Robots

Friday, April 18, 2014

The word 'robot' first appeared in 1920 in Karel Čapek's play, Rossum's Universal Robots. Since then, intelligent machines have starred countless times in novels and films. Brooke talks with professor Jay P. Telotte about the ways our fears and fascinations with robots are reflected in culture. 

Music: Calexico - Attack El Robot! Attack! Special thanks to @bartona104 (Julia Barton) for the suggestion on Twitter!

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On The Media

Google's Robot Brigade

Friday, April 18, 2014

Google has recently scooped up more than a half dozen robot companies. Their specialties range from artificial limbs to 3D machine vision to scurrying insect-bots and humanoid soldiers. But Google has kept mum about why they're acquiring these technologies. Brooke talks with Henrik Christensen, a professor of robotics at Georgia Tech, about what Google might do with its new toys. 

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On The Media

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Not really.

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On The Media

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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On The Media

ROBOTS! (and artificial intelligence)

Friday, April 18, 2014

A special theme hour - starring a computer competing against a comedian for laughs, the Army's recruitment chatbot, and Google crushing on robots. 

On The Media

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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On The Media

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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On The Media

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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On The Media

On Letterman, Colbert and America

Friday, April 11, 2014

David Letterman, who boasts the longest tenure of a late night host on broadcast TV, announced his retirement. The news was quickly followed by the announcement of his replacement – Stephen Colbert. Brooke and Bob discuss the problems of bringing a comedian so associated with the political left onto network television, and the loss of a national satire icon.

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On The Media

Muzzled

Friday, April 11, 2014

Every year on or around April 13th, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday, the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, has celebrated by issuing Jefferson Muzzles. These are booby prizes, awarded to individuals and institutions who act against Mr. Jefferson's admonition that freedom of speech  “cannot be limited without being lost.” Bob speaks with Josh Wheeler, director of the Center, about this year's chief offenders.

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On The Media

The Camera and the Color Line

Friday, April 11, 2014

As a kid, writer and photographer Syreeta McFadden was never satisfied with the way she looked in pictures. But it wasn't physical appearance that bothered her; it was the way the camera captured—or, failed to capture—her dark skin. Brooke talks to Syreeta about how racial bias lies within the chemistry of photography.

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On The Media

Someone Has a Koch Addiction

Friday, April 11, 2014

Democrats have made the Koch Brothers and the millions they've spent on political ads a central issue in midterm elections. Fiery language has been thrown around on both sides, with Harry Reid calling the brothers "un-American" and Charles Koch saying his opponents are "collectivists." Brooke talks with New York Times reporter Carl Hulse, who says the intensity of this clash of the titans is only going to go up.

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On The Media

The Dark Side of Fair Skin

Friday, April 11, 2014

A few days before she won an academy award for 12 Years A Slave, actress Lupita Nyong'o read a letter from a fan at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. The letter detailed a personal concern about the lightness of her skin tone and reignited a conversation that has gone on for centuries. Arun Venugopal, host of the WNYC series Micropolis, takes a closer look at the multibillion dollar, global industry of skin whitening. 

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On The Media

Attacking the Koch Brothers, Remembering Rwandan Genocide, and More

Friday, April 11, 2014

A fond farewell to Stephen Colbert's character, remembering the genocide in Rwanda 20 years ago, and a report on the skin lightening industry.

On The Media

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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On The Media

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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