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On The Media

Bridgegate, Inside the TSA, Japan's Beethoven's Fall from Grace, and More

Friday, February 14, 2014

A look at Chris Christie's struggle to control his own narrative, an inside look into the TSA, and a musical scandal at the Olympics.

On The Media

The (Not So) All-Knowing NSA

Friday, February 14, 2014

Last week the Washington Post reported that the NSA collects less than 30% of phone metadata, contrary to the popular perception that all call activity is being gathered en masse. As it turns out, the agency is unable to keep up with the explosion in cell phone use, which raises significant questions about the efficacy and potency of the program. Bob talks with Ellen Nakashima who wrote the story for the Washington Post.

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On The Media

TLDR #14 - The Knowledge

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Every year, a small group of sports fans scattered across the U.S. play a game called "Last Man." The goal is to be the last person in America to find out who won the Super Bowl. TLDR Sports reporter Lisa Pollak followed the game this year, and found out just how hard information was to avoid in the internet age.

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On The Media

BitTorrent's Public Image Campaign

Friday, February 07, 2014

BitTorrent is one of those classic "technology is neutral" pieces of software. There are people who are using the protocol in totally benign ways to share public domain and creative commons material, academic research, and more. But it is more notorious for being the protocol that powers a large part of the illegal file-sharing on the internet. The BitTorrent company is aware of its software's less than stellar reputation, and according to Variety, it is waging a PR campaign to win the hearts and minds of Hollywood.

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On The Media

Free Valentines Day Poems From PayPal

Friday, February 07, 2014

In what is surely the most incongruous piece of marketing this season, electronic payment service PayPal is employing poets to write Valentines Day poems on the spot for consumers. I suppose it makes sense, as I've always found online transactions very romantic.

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On The Media

In Russia, Not Covering Sports

Friday, February 07, 2014

NBC spent $775 million for the rights to the Olympic games, and will provide more than 1500 hours of coverage - most of it on the events themselves. But its also sent reporters to cover Russia’s many political subplots. Bob speaks with NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel about being deployed to cover the political backdrop to the Olympics.

Olympics Forever

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On The Media

What's In A Name

Friday, February 07, 2014

Over the past few years, a number of media outlets have made the editorial choice not to publish the word "Redskin" when referring to Washington's professional football team. OTM producer Chris Neary has the story of one Pennsylvania paper that stopped using the word. 

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On The Media

Knox Found Guilty...Again

Friday, February 07, 2014

Last week an Italian court found Amanda Knox guilty of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Again. Knox was first found guilty in 2009. In the almost seven years since this story broke, an industry of books, websites and made-for-tv movies has emerge to exploit  - or investigate - the case of Amanda Knox. Brooke speaks to author Nina Burleigh, who wrote one of the best accounts of the Knox case, “The Fatal Gift of Beauty, The Trials of Amanda Knox."

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On The Media

"Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing"

Friday, February 07, 2014

On Sunday before the Super Bowl kickoff,  President Obama sat down with Bill O'Reilly for a rare one-on-one interview. O'Reilly asked the President about the rocky roll out of Obamacare, the attack in Benghazi, and the alleged targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. What did we learn? Conor Friedersdorf, staff writer for the Atlantic, says... nothing much at all. Bob talks with Friedersdorf about the performance and spectacle in this presidential sit down.

Down to Earth

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On The Media

I'm Matthew Mills

Friday, February 07, 2014

This week, a man named Matthew Mills interrupted the post-Super Bowl MVP press conference to let the world know that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US Government. News outlets pounced at the chance to interview him, flocking to the internet to locate his web presence. A few ended up contacting a different Matthew Mills, who gamely played along. PJ Vogt talks to the non-conspiracy minded Matthew Mills about his run-ins with the news media. This story originally aired on TLDR -- OTM's new blog and podcast.

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On The Media

A Rabble-Rouser On Jeopardy

Friday, February 07, 2014

The latest Jeopardy sensation has thus far amassed $102,800 dollars on a four-game winning streak -- but his playing style is making traditionalists shudder. Arthur Chu has rejected the unwritten rule that the guy (or gal) with the most facts wins, and replaced it with the idea that you can outwit your opponent with the wily application of game theory.

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On The Media

Crushing Dissent in Sochi, Banning the R-Word, and More

Friday, February 07, 2014

A look at media dissent in Sochi, scrubbing the R-word from the Washington Redskins, and Game Theory on Jeopardy.

On The Media

#14 - The Knowledge

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Every year, a small group of sports fans scattered across the US play a game called "Last Man." The goal is to be the last man in America to find out who won the Super Bowl. TLDR Sports reporter Lisa Pollak followed the game this year, and found out just how hard information was to avoid in the internet age.

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On The Media

Aereo is so popular, it's running out of antennas in New York

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Aereo, the online broadcast TV service that has fought for its right to exist all the way to the US Supreme Court, is so popular in New York that it had to stop offering new subscriptions for a week because it didn't have the capacity to accept all the new subscribers.

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On The Media

PJ Is On Freakonomics This Week!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Our intrepid host, PJ Vogt is on the Freakonomics Podcast this week, talking about - what else? - online dating. Listen to the episode below. PJ shows up around 10 minutes in, but it's best to start from the beginning.

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On The Media

No, New York Will Not Get 30 Inches Of Snow This Weekend

Thursday, February 06, 2014

News outlets are reporting it and sourcing their claims to "social media speculation" (!!!). Good news: It's not true.

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On The Media

The British Government DDOS'd Anonymous, and I Don't Think It's a Big Deal (UPDATED)

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Update: Journalist Quinn Norton strongly disagreed with me on Twitter, so I asked her to write something about why she disagreed. I have attached her response to the bottom of the article.

One of the favorite tools of the internet hacker/troll collective Anonymous is the denial of service attack, or DDOS. Basically it works by flooding a site with so many queries that it becomes overwhelmed, and the rest of the internet can't access it. I've compared it in the past to the online equivalent of a sit-in - when deployed correctly, it disrupts business but causes no lasting damage.

According to the latest Snowden leaks, British authorities were using the same disruption methods against Anonymous that Anonymous was using against other parts of the internet.

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On The Media

#13.5 - I'm Matthew Mills

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A special mini-episode of TLDR to get your mouth watering for tomorrow's non-mini episode!

This week, a man named Matthew Mills interrupted the post-Super Bowl MVP press conference to let the world know that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US Government. News outlets pounced at the chance to interview him, flocking to the internet to locate his web presence. A few ended up contacting a different Matthew Mills, who gamely played along. PJ talks to the non-conspiracy minded Matthew Mills about his run-ins with the news media.

Read More

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On The Media

OK, Maybe we jumped the gun on the whole Google Glass thing

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Last week, PJ wrote an excellent article comparing early aesthetic critiques of Google Glass to those of the Sony's Walkman. The point was that all technology looks ridiculous and impractical until it becomes useful, and then it's basically indespensible. But cartoonist and journalist Susie Cagle pointed out on her Twitter feed that early Glass adopters may not be finding them all that useful.

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On The Media

Facebook Turns 10

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

To celebrate a decade in existence, Facebook released "Look Back," a page which creepily collects all of your posts into a short video narrating your time on Facebook. We found ourselves surprisingly misty-eyed at our own look back videos.

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