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New Tech City

Putting heart and the human experience into tech coverage, WNYC's New Tech City with Manoush Zomorodi investigates what all the data, constant connectivity, and perpetual "upgrades" really mean for daily life. Follow @newtechcity and subscribe to the podcast for stories of discovery on how the digital age is altering our brains, relationships, and values. 

On The Media

A Stranger Can Find Out Where You Are By Getting You To Open An Email

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's not hard to imagine a situation where this plug-in, called Streak, could be badly abused.
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On The Media

Flappy Bird Is Dead. But Why?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Flappy Bird, the hugely popular, hugely addictive iPhone game, has been pulled from the Apple and Android apps stores. Developer Dong Nguyen withdrew it after warning fans over the weekend that the game would disappear.

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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

#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

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

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

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

Gossip By Algorithm

Friday, January 31, 2014

This is embarrassing to admit, but I got fooled by an algorithm this week. 

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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 Media Crisis in Egypt, Instant Replay and More

Friday, January 31, 2014


On The Media

Deport Bieber Petition Bad For Bieber, Good for Democracy

Thursday, January 30, 2014

More than 100,000 people have signed an e-petition calling on the White House to deport Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber from America. By the White House's own rules, the administration has to respond. This is great for America.

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On The Media

A New Website Lets You Hear Some of Spotify's 4 Million Unheard Songs

Thursday, January 30, 2014

In our podcast about Matt Farley, the musician who has written fourteen thousand songs in the past six years, we mentioned that twenty percent of the songs on Spotify have never been played. 

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On The Media

A 33-Year-Old NPR Story Convinced Me Google Glass Will Stop Looking So Dorky Soon

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Google showed off a new version of Google Glass yesterday.

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On The Media

Tuesday Links: A Reddit Oral History of Gawker, Insurance that Covers Google Glass, and more

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hello everyone. It's one of those Tuesdays where there's a million interesting things on the internet, none of which particularly need two cents added to them. So without further ado: 

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On The Media

Eve Online Is Having Its Largest Ever War

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The backstory to it is kind of great -- one coalition missed a bill payment on a star system they owned, which allowed other coalitions to jump in and fight for ownership. The ensuing battle was large enough that the game had to go into a mode called “time dilation,” where the game enters super slow motion so as not to fry the company's servers.

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On The Media

Tumblr Crowdsources Their Terms of Service

Monday, January 27, 2014

This is kind of cool, insofar as the words “Terms of Service” and “cool” can sit comfortably in the same sentence. Tumblr just updated their Terms of Service, and as part of the process they allowed users to input their ideas and suggestions via GitHub.

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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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