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CNN and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370

Friday, April 25, 2014

After 7 weeks CNN remains the go-to channel for an exhaustive amount of Malaysian Flight 370 coverage. Bob talks with Andrew Tyndall of The Tyndall Report who says the network's fixation on the flight is eroding its reputation as a news network. 

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On The Media

Dear Editor

Friday, April 25, 2014

"Brevity is the soul of wit" is an adage lost on many an opinionator, but not on Felicia Nimue Ackerman, who's among the most published letters-to-the-editor writers in the country. Since 1987, more than 200 of her letters have been printed in the New York Times alone. Bob talks to Ackerman as well as Tom Feyer, letters editor for the Times, about the art of the epistolary retort.

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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.

On The Media

The Death of Net Neutrality?

Friday, April 25, 2014

This week the FCC announced that it would consider a new draft of the Open Internet rules which, if passed, would all but kill net neutrality, the principle that all content should be treated equally. Manoush talks with Siva Vaidhyanathan about how this development might radically affect online innovation as we've known it.

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On The Media

Banning Truthiness?

Friday, April 25, 2014

This week the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Susan B. Anthony List vs. Driehaus, a case that could help decide whether it’s illegal to lie during a political campaign. Bob speaks with Adam Liptak, The New York Times Supreme Court correspondent about the case and whether banning lying impinges on free speech.

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On The Media

#23 - A Bitcoin Story for People Who Don't Care About Bitcoin

Thursday, April 24, 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.

Donate to Hal Finney's care here

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On The Media

The Oatmeal and the State of Web Comics

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I’d like to talk about The Oatmeal. Let’s forget about the the Buzzfeed article for just a minute and discuss The Oatmeal on its own merit.

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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

#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

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

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

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

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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