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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.

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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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On The Media

Susan Orlean Has Made Me Not Hate the Horse_eBooks Guys So Much

Monday, February 03, 2014

If you've been following TLDR since the jump-off, then you probably know how we feel about the big reveal of both Pronunciation Book and Horse_ebooks as lead-ins the the bafflingly boring Bear Sterns Bravo. Pronunciation Book simply collapsed under the weight of the buzz and anticipation that it generated (including in our debut episode), while Horse_ebooks felt like another reminder of the internet's bottomless capacity for deception. Well Susan Orlean's New Yorker profile of Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender (paywalled), the guys behind the whole enterprise, came out today. And as much as I hate to admit it, it gave me a sort of grudging respect for their work, at least conceptually.

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On The Media

Patent Holders Strike Again

Monday, February 03, 2014

Last week brought us two patent troll stories.

Do you remember Lycos? It was sort of the proto-Google, and was, for a time in the late 90's, the most visited site on the web. Those days are now long gone, but patents that were once owned by Lycos are now being used to force Google to fork over a hefty chunk  of its revenue.

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On The Media

The Inventor of Instant Replay

Friday, January 31, 2014

This weekend’s superbowl comes just over 50 years after the Army-Navy football game of December 1963, when we saw the very first use of instant replay. As Anna Clark wrote in Pacific Standard, the television trick that transformed the way we watch and officiate sports is thanks to an intrepid producer named Tony Verna, who would go on to achieve acclaim overseeing myriad live TV events like the bi-continental charity concert “Live Aid” and specials with Pope John Paul II. Brooke talks with Tony Verna about why it was so hard to replay live television back then, and how he found a way to outsmart his equipment. 

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On The Media

The Belfast Project

Friday, January 31, 2014

Begun in 2000, the Belfast Project was an oral history project that aimed to document combatants’ stories in the clashes between the Irish Republican Army and the Irish Loyalist Army in the 1970s through the 1990s. But the charged nature of what interviewees told the project has brought immense pressure on the project's organizers to release records of the interviews, which they'd promised to keep secret. Brooke talks with Anthony McIntyre who recorded many of the interviews for the project.

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On The Media

The 10th Anniversary of the "Wardrobe Malfunction"

Friday, January 31, 2014

10 years ago, the 90 million people who were watching the 38th Super Bowl's half time show bore witness to the first so-called "wardrobe malfunction" when Justin Timberlake accidentally exposed Janet Jackson's breast. That nine-sixteenths of a second had profound and far reaching effects on our culture, writes Marin Cogan for ESPN Magazine. Brooke talks with Cogan about her article, "In the Beginning, There Was a Nipple," that explores how history changed in the wake of "Nipplegate."

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On The Media

Stephen Glass Can't Be a Lawyer

Friday, January 31, 2014

Earlier this week the California Supreme Court ruled that Stephen Glass could not become a lawyer in the state. Bob considers whether that was the right decision.  

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On The Media

Egypt's Widening Crackdown on Dissent

Friday, January 31, 2014

Three years after the euphoric toppling of Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime, there’s a tragic sense of déjà vu in Egypt. The military-led government is smothering dissent, whether it comes from the Muslim brotherhood, liberal activists, bloggers, or journalists. In a landscape in which both state and private media toe the military line, the online newspaper Mada Masr is a rare independent voice. Bob speaks with the paper’s editor-in-chief, Lina Attalah, about how she’s experiencing the crackdown.  

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On The Media

The Media Crisis in Egypt, Instant Replay and More

Friday, January 31, 2014


On The Media

Prince's Troubled Relationship With the Internet

Monday, January 27, 2014

Prince is suing 22 fans, for $1 million a piece, for posting links to bootlegs of his concerts on filesharing sites. This is just the latest volley in Prince's long standing love/hate (well, mostly hate/hate) relationship with the internet.

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On The Media

Hunter Moore's Indictment Yesterday Was For Hacking, Not For Revenge Porn

Friday, January 24, 2014

Yesterday, revenge porn pioneer and all around gross dude Hunter Moore was indicted by the United States District Court for the Central District of California. But even though California has revenge porn statutes on the books, the bulk of the charges were made under what is known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or, more colloquially, The Hacker Law.

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On The Media

Do the Motivations of Leakers Matter?

Friday, January 24, 2014

A recent Pew poll found that although 45% of Americans believe Snowden's leak helped the public, 56% wanted criminal charges brought against him. Did he act to protect the rights of Americans, or dismantle what he considers a surveillance state? Does it matter why he acted? Brooke talks to New Republic contributing editor Sean Wilentz about his cover story that asks that very question.

Beacon - Late November

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On The Media

On "Dr. V's Magical Putter"

Friday, January 24, 2014

Last week, ESPN’s  Grantland ran a remarkable story titled “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” a journalistic odyssey that began with curiosity about a supposedly revolutionary golf club, and ended by focusing on the chaotic life of its inventor, a woman named Essay Anne Vanderbilt.  The reporter, Caleb Hannan, discovered that Vanderbilt was transgender, and he revealed his knowledge of this fact to Vanderbilt. Shortly after, Vanderbilt committed suicide. Bob speaks with ESPN.com writer and transgender activist, Christina Kahrl, to understand the errors in “Dr. V’s Magical Putter.” 

Chez le photographe du motel

 

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On The Media

Snowden's Beliefs, Banning the word "Nazi" in Israel, and More

Friday, January 24, 2014

A look at whether the motivation of leakers matters, Israel's push to ban the word "Nazi," and new frontiers in child porn law.

On The Media

Revenge Porn Pioneer Hunter Moore Indicted

Thursday, January 23, 2014

UPDATE: read indictment below.

Time Magazine is reporting that Hunter Moore has been indicted by a grand jury for conspiracy to “access a protected computer without authorization to obtain information for private financial gain.” There aren't many details available and I haven't seen a copy of the indictment online, but will update the story as that information comes in. In the meantime, I've embedded Bob's interview with Moore from December of 2011 below:

hm

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