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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Porn, Facebook, Twitter all On The Media

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

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

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

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 ...

TLDR #13 - Slender Man, The Internet's Monster

The Slender Man is the internet's monster - the subject of countless remixes, tributes, and parodies. He's so ubiquitous he feels like he's been around for ages, like folklore. But Slender Man has an owner and a point of origin. Host Alex Goldman talks to Eric Knudsen, the creator ...

Prince's Troubled Relationship With the Internet

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.

TLDR #12 - Hunting for Youtube's Saddest Comments

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky. Mark spends hours scouring the comments section on YouTube, and occasionally, scattered in the dross, he finds small poignant stories for his ...

Revenge Porn Pioneer Hunter Moore Indicted

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 ...

Behold! The Internet's Beauty Catalogued

If there is one idea that PJ and I drive towards both on the TLDR blog and on the podcast, it's that the internet can be a beautiful, magical place. It is the staging ground for so much cleverness and creativity and humanity. So, imagine my delight this ...

Facebook is still not dying

Another day, another hysterical report on the demise of Facebook.

Twitter Tries to Cash in on Large Minority Userbase

Ther have been two wholly unrelated truths about Twitter almost since the service premiered. The first is that it has a black and Hispanic userbase that is much larger than the internet as a whole. The second is the service remains unprofitable. Twitter is hoping to ...

Yesterday, The Internet Solved 20-Year-Old Mystery

The internet helps a woman decipher the confounding, decades old notes of her dying grandmother.

The Feds Have $25 Million In Bitcoin From the Silk Road. Now What?

Yesterday, the US District Attorney's Office for the Souther District of New York announced the forfeiture of 29,655 bitcoins from the servers it seized from Ross Ulbricht, the owner of defunct internet drug marketplace Silk Road. According to this bitcoin converter, that is about $24.5 million dollars worth ...

A Weird, Gwen Ifill-Related Twitter Mystery is Happening Right Now (Update: Solved!)

At 2:01 this afternoon, a bunch of journalism-related Twitter accounts suddenly started tweeting this cryptic message: "f gwenifill." If you search twitter for the phrase, you see that it's very widespread, and that no one really seems to know what's going on.

Businesses Might Suffer If They Google Prospective Employees

Scientific American reports on a study that shows job applicants who know their prospective boss viewed their social media profiles are more likely to think that their hiring process was unfair. This is even true in cases where the applicant gets the job.

Leaving Negative Reviews Online is Not As Safe As It Used To Be

There was a time when leaving negative reviews of a business on the internet was a no risk proposition. If a company burned you, or even if you were a competitor leaving a fake review, the business couldn't really do anything about it. That appears, however slowly, to be changing.

Sometimes, Native Advertising is Actually Pretty Good

I am generally not a fan of advertising of any kind. Print, billboards, TV - no matter how creative you are, I find it an annoying distraction that I try to tune out. But there have been a couple of smart attempts at online advertising recently that were great not ...

The Aptly Named New Technology That Tracks Everything You Do

With all the alerts and tracking your cell phone does, it can feel a bit like an overbearing mother. At this year's Consumer Electronic Expo, a company called Sense is exhibiting a product actually called Mother, designed to stick its virtual nose into just about everything you do.

What did we learn from Cracked's "Worst online dating profile ever"? Not much.

One of yesterday's big viral stories was by Cracked reporter Alli Reed, who used OkCupid to create the self-described "Worst Online Dating Profile Ever." Reed used pictures of a model friend of hers, and then loaded the profile with nods to the fictional woman being manipulative, ...

Every Edit You've Ever Made to a Facebook Post Is Visible

Anyone who can see your post can see a full history of its edits. All they have to do is click the gray text that reads "Edited" at the bottom of your comment, just to the left of the "Like" button.

If you're using a picture you find on the internet, you might want to know where it came from

See the picture that leads this article? It's pretty intense, right? Techdirt shared a story this morning from a couple weeks ago about an anti-immigrant conservative Florida political group that posted this image on its Facebook. The only problem is that the image was lifted from the video game Bioshock Infinite, ...

An Iron Maiden Hoax Too Boring To Check

If you weren’t on the internet last week (apparently there were holidays) you might’ve missed this small story about Iron Maiden. A blog called citeworld wrote that the band was using data about where their music was most pirated in order to plan their tours.

No, Facebook is Not Dying.

If 2014 is the year we read a never-ending parade of stories about the Death of Facebook, you can probably safely ignore them. The first sign that Facebook’s actually in trouble will be when it's no longer popular enough to earn clickbait pieces about its imminent death.

Rap Genius Learns Wrath of Google is Still Very, Very Real

Following Google’s decision to knock Rap Genius way down in its search results, traffic at the site has plummeted. We go inside Google with the guys who set the search rules—and can make or break your company.

Support On the Media!

Chip in to support On The Media! go to onthemedia.org/give and choose an amount that's right for you, or text 'otm' to 25383 and a $10 donation will appear on your phone bill (standard message rates apply). Thanks for listening and thanks for your support.
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Why It's Silly to Make Rules About What Your Employees Can Say Online

In September, after the Navy Yard shooting, a journalism professor at Kansas University posted the following tweet:

Would You Like A Canadian Politician To Say Hi To You?

Yesterday, the Ottawa Citizen posted a link to a website that featured a scandal-tainted Canadian Senator named Mike Duffy doing a fundraising pitch. Given ongoing accusations that Duffy was misappropriating government funds, it was an interesting piece of web-arcana that the conservative party certainly wouldn't want to draw attention to. But what made ...

The Apple Ad Everyone's Crying About

Apple has a new iPhone ad that's really an ad for the idea of smartphones.

That Bomb-Hoaxing Harvard Student Was Using Tor, But They Caught Him Anyway

Kim sent the threatening emails using a Tor browser, which anonymizes your web browsing, paired with an anonymous email program called Guerilla Mail. That actually could have been enough to protect his identity, except that he did all of this on Harvard's wireless internet.

The Weird Allure of Stories about Hypothetical Twitter and Facebook Changes

Yesterday, blogger Matthew Keys published the kind of nerdy exclusive that excites a small percentage of geeks (present company included). Twitter, Keys wrote, was going to add an “edit” button in the near future.

No One Outside the NSA Seems Particularly Happy with the 60 Minutes NSA Story

The piece doesn't include any on camera interviews with critics of the NSA, and interviews with NSA employees were overseen by a team of minders.

An Online White House Petition Actually Worked!?

NPR reported yesterday on a deal between the FCC and cell phone companies that will continue to allow consumers to legally unlock their cellphones. Unlocking had been legal, then briefly illegal, and now it's ok again.

About Twitter's Block Changes and Harassment

Last night, Twitter abruptly changed the way its block function works. 

TLDR #9 - The Second Life of Marion Stokes

Marion Stokes was a hoarder. When she died last year, her family had to figure out what to do with 9 separate residences and 3 storage locations full of stuff. This is the story of how they found a home for the strangest artifact in her collection — 140,000 videocassettes ...

President Obama Took a Funeral Selfie.

If you still think funeral selfies need defending, at the very least this is no longer something you can blame on millennials. Also, someone needs to track down this actual selfie.

Today's Hoax: The Screaming Google Employee

Last week, we threw up our hands in the face of the endless deluge of viral hoaxes. Then, we tried to make peace with living in a fake world and even found a lie that we liked. Well, it's Monday, and just like you and I, viral internet hoaxes are ...

The NSA Spies on Gamers, too

The Guardian reported this morning that the NSA and their UK sister agency, the GCHQ, are spying on gamers.

TLDR #8 - THE PACE PICANTE SALSA ROBOT HAS GONE HAYWIRE

This has been a crazy season for internet hoaxes. This week, we investigate one we actually deeply enjoyed being fooled by -- about a social media bot for Pace Picante Salsa going insane and inadvertently revealing an entire world of corporate conspiracy.

Should The Internet Track Down One Man's Manic Pixie Dream Girl? (Probably Not.)

At Slate, Amanda Hess argues the internet ought to halt its quest to track down one guy's manic pixie dream girl. The guy in question is a New Zealander who met an American woman in Hong Kong on New Year's Eve last year:

Another Thought On Viral Hoaxes

Over at his tumblr Just North Of Something Important, writer Michael Barthel has a smart response to my post from yesterday where I said I don't feel very outraged about living in a world of peak hoax.

The Internet Is Monetizing Lies and I Am Mostly Out of Outrage

So that Diane story, about a guy proudly live tweeting his bullying of an upset airline passenger, has turned out to be a fraud.

Musings of A Salinger Thief

Like a lot of people, I’ve loved JD Salinger since junior high. I grew up hanging out on a street corner in Wayne, Pennsylvania, down the street from Salinger’s old high school, Valley Forge Military Academy, which he seems to have based Catcher in the Rye’s Pencey Prep ...

Goldieblox Took That "Girls" Ad Down

Today, Goldieblox wrote an open letter response to the Beastie Boys open letter (relatedly, everyone knows you can privately mail a letter too, right?) saying that they have taken that "Girls" parody ad down.

The gay waitress who says she was discriminated against may have lied. Now what?

Perhaps you saw this incredibly viral story. A gay waitress in New Jersey is stiffed on a tip. On the receipt, the customer explains that they can't pay her because they "do not agree with her lifestyle."

The NSA Spies on People's Porn Habits

Glenn Greenwald pops up in The Huffington Post today, with a new Snowden leak story. This one is about how the NSA has spied on the porn viewing habits of six unidentified Muslim targets

Goldieblox v. Beastie Boys: Let's Ask An Actual Expert

You’ve probably seen this by now. Goldieblox, a company that makes toys designed to get young girls excited about engineering , is suing the Beastie Boys for the right to use a parody of the song “Girls” in a YouTube ad for their toys. 

Winamp Might Survive, Actually

On Wednesday, AOL announced plans to shut down Winamp, which was the first decent MP3 player for many early adopters of online music.

Creeping Through Ross Ulbricht's Bookmarks

Ross Ulbricht, the alleged creator of the Silk Road, was denied bail yesterday. Prosecutors also released additional evidence against Ulbricht. The big headline was the allegation that Ulbricht has ordered as many as 6 murders, up from the previously alleged 2.

Why This Google Books Ruling is Important

Producer Alex Goldman on why last week's ruling on the Google Books project is important.

About That #Roofbreakup Story

Over the weekend, New York comedian Kyle Ayers livetweeted the conversation of a couple as they broke up on the roof next to him.

A Spam Filter You Use On Your Friends

Rather is a new Chrome extension that promises to filter your Facebook and Twitter streams for you, replacing content you hate with content you like.

Snapchat's Snaps are Beating Facebook Photos (Corrected!)

Business Insider reports that, as of this month, Snapchat users are sharing more Snaps than Facebook users are sharing photos.

Rap Genius Will Probably Survive

Over at ATD, Peter Kafka reports that Rap Genius, the website that applies Talmudic analysis to hip hop lyrics, has made a licensing deal with Sony/ATV, the world's biggest music publisher.

Should We Pay Attention To Assassination Markets?

Forbes' Andy Greenberg has a piece today profiling someone who calls themself Kuwabatake Sanjuro, the founder of the website Assassination Market. 

Leave Work Early With A Fake Computer Virus

This is cute. Happy Hour Virus is a website that'll let you choose a fake virus for your computer to be afflicted with, so that you can sigh exasperatedly and leave work early.

There are no invisible bike helmets. There are no invisibility cloaks.

If your Facebook feed is anything like my Facebook feed, the most ubiquitous story right now is about an invisible bike helmet invented by Swedish university students.

Replace Your Online Self With A Bot!

One of the things that people who loved the Twitter account horse_ebooks loved about it was that it took the language of internet spam and created something that sometimes felt like a poetic artifact.

The War On Lyrics Sites


The Daily Dot reports that the National Music Publishers Association is going after lyrics websites for copyright infringement.

A New Kind of Kickstarter Scam (From A Backer!) (UPDATED)

Kickstarter's based on trust. You give someone money, and you hope that they'll build the thing they said they would, and not just steal your money. Stories about scams are rarer than you'd think.

Here's One of the Guys Silk Road's Founder Allegedly Tried to Murder

His name is Curtis Clark Green and he's a 47-year-old grandfather from Spanish Fork, Utah.

TLDR Episode #6 - Ghost Town

Before the Internet as we know it today, there were text-based bulletin board systems all over the country that people could dial into. Producer Alex Goldman revisits the BBS he used to log into more than 20 years ago and finds out it's still up and running.

Silk Road 2.0 Is Here

AllThingsVice reports today that an anonymous group has started the Silk Road 2.0. They've even adopted the Dread Pirate Roberts moniker.

Goodbye, Blockbuster

You know you’re old, or at least a little old, when you start to love obsolete things for their uselessness.

Amazon Would Like Independent Bookstores To Sell Kindles

Amazon announced a new program this week for independent booksellers. The deal: bookstores sell Kindles, and Amazon gives them a small cut of the sale plus commission on the buyers' first two years of eBook purchases.

Redditors Unban Mother Jones

Welcome back to /r/ politics, Mother Jones.

Anonymous Plans a Million Mask March

Tomorrow is Anonymous’s Million Mask March. It’s designed as a global series of multi-city demonstrations, although it’s not clear what’s being demonstrated.

TLDR #5 - Goodbye, Secret, Invisible Internet

Up until this fall, there was a secret internet. You probably heard about one part of it, the Silk Road, but that was just one secret website among many. On the latest episode of TLDR, we talk to Gawker's Adrian Chen about the rest of the dark part of the ...

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