Pop Culture

On The Media

A Pop Song Written Using iOS's Predictive Text Feature

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

YouTuber Jonathan Mann has written a pretty solid pop song using only the predictive text function on his iPhone. 
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On The Media

TLDR #36 - The Mystery of Childish Gambino

Monday, September 15, 2014

TLDR explores the mystery of Childish Gambino's creation myth.
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On The Media

#36 - The Mystery of Childish Gambino

Monday, September 15, 2014

Rapper Childish Gambino (a.k.a. actor Donald Glover) claims his rap pseudonym came from a Wu-Tang name generator. But investigating whether that's true led us on an odyssey of discovery.
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On The Media

Reddit's Confusing Response To The Distribution of Nudes

Monday, September 08, 2014

Reddit responds to the distribution of celebrity nude photos on its site, but even its response is confusing. 
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On The Media

My Attempt To Write About "Gamergate"

Friday, September 05, 2014

Against my better judgment, I am writing about Gamergate.
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On The Media

TLDR #35 - Stolen Pictures

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Forbes' Kashmir Hill has covered the theft of celebrity nudes before, but the latest theft has completely changed her mind about who to blame and how to prevent them. 
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On The Media

What is Reddit's Definition of "Personal Info"?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Reddit has a hard and fast rule against doxing, but has no problem with the posting stolen nude photos of celebrities
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On The Media

No One Wants To Buy The World's Most Expensive .gif

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

No one wants to buy a $5800 animated .gif. 
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On The Media

TLDR #34 - The Accidental Outing of Rwanda's Most Powerful Troll

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Steve Terrill is a journalist who worked in Rwanda, until he accidentally got the office of Rwanda's president to implicate itself in a long-running online harassment campaign.
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On The Media

#34 - The Accidental Outing of Rwanda's Most Powerful Troll

Monday, August 18, 2014

Steve Terrill is a journalist who works in Rwanda until he accidentally got the office of Rwanda's president to implicate itself in a long-running online harassment campaign.
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On The Media

TLDR #32 - An Imperfect Match

Monday, August 04, 2014

Last week, dating site OK Cupid put up a blog post describing experiments it conducted on its users. In one experiment, the site told users who were bad matches for one another that they were actually good matches, and vice versa. Alex and PJ talk to OK Cupid President and co-founder Christian Rudder about the ubiquity of online user experimentation and his defense of potentially sending OK Cupid's users on bad dates.

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On The Media

#32 - An Imperfect Match

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some users of dating site OkCupid are upset at revelations that it was deliberately experimenting on its users by taking people who were bad matches and telling they were actually good for one another.

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On The Media

#31 - Race Swap

Thursday, July 17, 2014

What happened when a black woman writer went online disguised as a white man? She got a lot fewer death threats, for one thing.

 

 

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On The Media

TLDR #2 - Stereotyped

Monday, July 07, 2014

This is a repeat of TLDR #2.

Christopher Hermelin has a project called "The Roving Typist," where he writes stories for people in the park on his typewriter. One day last summer, he found his photo posted to Reddit, and suddenly his image was the butt of jokes all over the internet. We talked to him about what it feels like to become a meme.

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On The Media

TLDR #30 - The Russian Troll Army

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddon about why they do it, and how successful they actually are at swaying public opinion.

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On The Media

TLDR #29 - Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rob Dubbin accidentally built a teenage girl named Olivia Taters who lives on the internet. She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she's convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she's very, very funny. PJ talks to Dubbin about how Olivia came into existence, and what she's been talking about lately.

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On The Media

#29 - Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she's convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she's very, very funny.

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On The Media

On the Internet someone will always believe that you’re Rachel Leigh Cook.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bill Gates, like several billion other people, has kids. His eldest is named Jennifer Katharine Gates, and a chunk of the Internet seems to think that she looks identical to actress Rachel Leigh Cook. The problem with that is that she looks nothing like Cook, people have just been posting images of Cook labeled as photos of Gates for years. A search for her name on Google Image Search yields a wall of photos of Cook, along with one or two of the real Gates.

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On The Media

Match.Com Uses Facial Recognition Software To Pair Users With People Who Look Like Their Exes

Monday, June 16, 2014

When it comes to dating, people generally have a type. Blonds, brunettes, big noses, little ears, a person often finds an immutable set of physical characteristics attractive. It's just a fact. So enterprising online dating company Match.com is hoping to capitalize on this tendency. Partnering with an LA based company called Three Day Rule that matches people to dates using facial recognition software, users will be asked to send in pictures of their exes, which will be used to determine who they will be matched with on the site. 

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On The Media

Should Some Death Threats Be Considered Protected Speech?

Monday, June 16, 2014

According to a new Supreme Court ruling, some death threats are more death threat-y than others.

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