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Google's Robot Brigade

Friday, August 08, 2014

Google has scooped up more than a half dozen robot companies, but they are keeping mum about why they're acquiring these technologies.

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On The Media

THIS WEEK ROBOTS! (AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE)

Friday, August 08, 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

eBay Bans Albums By Black Metal Artist Burzum

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

It has been well established throughout the history of TLDR that I am a fan of what one could call "difficult" music. And even for me, Noreweigan Black Metal is a little out there. Not simply because it's totally brutal and unrelenting, it is also infamous for being a culture of Satanism, suicide, and church burning. Varg Vikernes, who records under the name Burzum, is often cited as a poster child for all that is ugly about the genre, having burned several churches and spent 21 years in prison for murdering fellow Black Metal artist Euronymous in the mid 90's. It's all pretty gross. So is that why eBay is making it impossible to purchase his music?

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On The Media

Breaking News Consumers Handbook, Slow TV, and more

Friday, August 01, 2014

How to parse early coverage of breaking news events, Norway's slow TV phenomenon, and a report on the streaming-video revolution.

On The Media

I Want My Slow TV!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Who needs “Duck Dynasty” or “Real Housewives” when you can watch a log burn for eight hours? A Norwegian network is taking reality TV to the next level by airing really calming stuff for long periods of time, like five continuous days of a ferry ride. 

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On The Media

Technology Making Us "Smarter Than You Think"

Friday, August 01, 2014

With every advance in technology, skeptics lament the loss of a more meaningful and simpler time, arguing that attention spans are shrinking and critical thinking is corroding. But in his book, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better, journalist Clive Thompson offers a different take. Brooke spoke with Thompson last year about how all of the YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, and Wikipedia pages have produced a unique human intelligence.

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On The Media

A Novel About Working On My Novel

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cory Arcangel is an artist whose work often deals with the way we interact with technology. His latest project is a book comprised entirely of people tweeting about how they're working on their novels. You will be not at all surprised to learn that it is called Working On My Novel.

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On The Media

The Most Popular Satire Show in Israel

Friday, July 25, 2014

It’s been a violent, sad week. Sometimes the only way to wring anything positive out of it all is through the transformative power of comedy. Brooke talks with Sharon Taicher, a writer at Eretz Nehederet, a satire show watched by 1 out of 8 Israelis.

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On The Media

Silliness and Moral Indignation

Friday, July 25, 2014

Brooke examines how comedians like Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Stephen Colbert make us laugh by combining silliness and moral indignation.  

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On The Media

Gazan Media

Friday, July 25, 2014

In Gaza, the media that locals have access to is primarily Hamas-controlled. Brooke talks with Sherine Tadros, a middle east correspondent for Sky News who's spent years reporting from the region, about what Gazans are seeing, and what many of them have come to believe.

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On The Media

Loaded Language

Friday, July 25, 2014

For reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, choosing the right words is a daunting task. So the International Press Institute set out to identify those hot-button words and phrases that the media throw around and create a glossary, called "Use With Care", that offers context and more neutral language. Brooke talks with Naomi Hunt, editor of the glossary and senior press freedom adviser at the IPI.

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On The Media

Truvada

Friday, July 18, 2014

Truvada is a drug that, taken daily, has been show to prevent HIV infection by as much as 99 percent. Like the polio vaccine, or like the birth control pill, it's a medical breakthrough worthy of massive coverage. Why hasn't there been? Brooke speaks to Rich Juzwiak, a Gawker staff writer, about the drug and what’s holding it back in the media.

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On The Media

The End of 'Gun Report'

Friday, July 18, 2014

It was a New York Times blog that chronicled daily shootings across the country, in an effort to highlight victims of gun violence between highly-covered mass shootings. Co-author Jennifer Mascia recounts what it was like spending a year writing about every victim.

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On The Media

Anti-Obamacare Ads (Really) Didn't Work

Friday, July 18, 2014

Spending on negative Obamacare ads eclipsed spending on positive ads by a remarkable 15-1 ratio. Brooke talks with Niam Yaraghi of the Brooking Institution, who says that anti-Obamacare ads actually drove up enrollment.  

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On The Media

Scholars Ask For Facebook's "Emotional Contagion" Study to Be Withdrawn

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.

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On The Media

Online Agitprop! Everyone's Doing It!

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). 

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On The Media

What Can We Learn About the Internet From the Disastrous DashCon Convention Last Weekend?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What can we learn from Tumblr's disastrous DashCon fan convention last weekend?

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On The Media

Getting Fired for a FOIA, A Chicago Crime Reporter, Cold Cases and More

Friday, July 11, 2014

A CIA agent gets fired over a FOIA request, the truth behind the current immigration crisis, and the Chicago Tribune’s overnight crime reporter on covering endless shootings. 

On The Media

Behind the Border Crisis

Friday, July 11, 2014

For the past few weeks the media have been reporting on a surge in unaccompanied minors who are crossing the border illegally, bringing attention to the latest immigration crisis. But the reality of the situation is far more complicated. Brooke talks with reporter Bob Ortega about what's really happening on the border.

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