6279 MetaFilter comments by mathowie (displaying 1 through 50)

The Web We Have to Save. SLhoder: "The rich, diverse, free web that I loved — and spent years in an Iranian jail for — is dying. Why is nobody stopping it?" (h/t mkb, via ...uh... facebook.)
comment posted at 11:56 AM on Jul-14-15
comment posted at 12:58 PM on Jul-14-15
comment posted at 2:37 PM on Jul-14-15

Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why.
comment posted at 12:06 PM on Jul-14-15

A self-proclaimed insufferable asshole named Matt complains about his new luxury watch. Turns out it's the most personal device ever, only not in an insanely great way. Still, he has hopes for the future of his new wearable computer. (MeFi's own mathowie at medium.com.)
comment posted at 10:23 PM on Apr-27-15

Good news for fans of the now-defunct Dear Sugar advice column (previously on Metafilter): Sugar is back!
comment posted at 11:13 PM on Mar-8-15

"It was the first step to uncovering what he says is a $134 million scam by the Oregon Lottery." Once upon a time, Oregon resident Justin Curzi was playing video poker on a Jacks or Better machine. He was playing draw poker, which allows you to discard cards. However, the game's "auto-hold" feature recommended that he discard a different card than he was considering--which he thought was terrible advice and would cut his chances of winning.
comment posted at 7:42 AM on Mar-6-15

Your Internet Friends Are Real: A Defense of Online Intimacy, by Kyle Chayka for TNR:
The perception that online relationships are somehow less real than their physical counterparts exemplifies what Nathan Jurgenson, a New York-based sociologist and researcher for the messaging platform Snapchat, calls "digital dualism." Contemporary identities and relationships are no more or less authentic in either space. "We're coming to terms with there being just one reality and digital is part of it, not any less real or true," Jurgenson said. "What you do online and what you do face-to-face are completely interwoven."
(Keep an eye out for a brief in-article cameo from our once and always fearless leader!)
comment posted at 12:27 PM on Mar-5-15

"Blake has owned up to much of what he’s done, both publicly and in an extensive interview session with the Kernel. He has admitted to spending a full decade of his life claiming the ability to channel the souls of fictional and real people, allegedly up to 168 different beings at once, including Hollywood actors and World War II veterans." (Kernelmag)
comment posted at 12:25 PM on Mar-5-15

When a female student sued the University of Oregon over their manipulation of the punishment of three basketball players for gangraping her in order to allow them to compete in the NCAA Tournament, the university came up with a novel defense strategy: they released her records from the campus health center from when she sought therapy after the rape to their legal team. Without either consent from the student or a legal order opening the records to discovery. The scariest part: they may very well be in the legal clear.
comment posted at 9:21 AM on Mar-5-15

That’s how I feel about the web these days. We have a map, but it’s not for me. So I am distanced. It feels like things are distorted. I am consistently confused. — Frank Chimero, on What Screens Want
comment posted at 9:16 AM on Mar-5-15

What color is this dress? is a really strange phenomena currently seen taking over twitter, as people see a blue dress with black lace while others insist it is white with gold. So far, no one can tell why exactly it is happening, other than it is baffling for both sides.
comment posted at 5:07 PM on Feb-26-15
comment posted at 5:08 PM on Feb-26-15
comment posted at 5:10 PM on Feb-26-15

Football fans – and here I naturally include myself – act as if they are mentally ill. This is an article that is nominally about football, but is just as much about the pressures of modern life and the plight of men (in particular, but not exclusively). This is both a very personal account and an observation of how others behave. It is about being a football fan, but also the impact of social media on our appreciation of life (and sport), and how constantly striving for more can lead to increased unhappiness – even if you attain it.
comment posted at 11:12 AM on Feb-26-15


The Nest thermostat, as described by usability expert Kara Pernice: "When I turned the dial to increase the heat to 66 degrees, rather than responding by making the house warmer . . . the next day the house temperature plummeted to a punishing 50 degrees. So I pull on another sweater and mittens and a hat. Indoors. And I wait until my thermostat decides that I am worthy of radiant warmth."
comment posted at 4:12 PM on Feb-23-15


Oliver Sacks, on learning he has terminal cancer.
comment posted at 7:09 AM on Feb-19-15

Sometimes a one-line text-only description of your git commits just isn't enough. For those types of scenarios there is software called "lolcommits" that is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux that, when enabled, takes a photo with your webcam every time you commit your code via git. Now you can really let your co-workers know how you feel about having to fix their whitespace issues all the time with just a simple facial expression. After the photo is taken, the git message is overlayed on top of the image is a style reminiscent of lolcats. The resulting image files are then stored locally in your home directory.
comment posted at 9:55 PM on Feb-16-15

The global appeal of the novel has led some fans to hallow it as a classic, but, with all due respect, it is not to be confused with “Madame Bovary.” Rather, Fifty Shades of Grey is the kind of book that Madame Bovary would read.
Anthony Lane reviews Fifty Shades of Grey.
comment posted at 6:00 PM on Feb-13-15

I started to wonder about the recipients of our shamings, the real humans who were the virtual targets of these campaigns. So for the past two years, I’ve been interviewing individuals like Justine Sacco: everyday people pilloried brutally, most often for posting some poorly considered joke on social media. Whenever possible, I have met them in person, to truly grasp the emotional toll at the other end of our screens. The people I met were mostly unemployed, fired for their transgressions, and they seemed broken somehow — deeply confused and traumatized.
comment posted at 11:29 AM on Feb-12-15

"In some zoos in Japan and China, staff members perform regular security drills to practice their response to a large animal escape by using costumed zookeepers as the fugitive animals. Individuals in furry costumes or pairs in full-size mockups of larger animals run through zoo property, sometimes inflicting mock injuries, as fellow zookeepers work to surround, subdue, and recapture them." A photo essay in The Atlantic.
comment posted at 8:05 AM on Feb-12-15

This Is What Happens When You Repost an Instagram Photo 90 Times is actually a lovely little demonstration of how JPEG artifacts, edge detection, automatic sharpening, and whatever else Instagram does by default to photos stacks up to quickly make an image decay and deteriorate via processing. The video demonstrates the effects in a nice quick time-lapse way as well.
comment posted at 7:10 AM on Feb-12-15
comment posted at 8:08 AM on Feb-12-15
comment posted at 8:25 AM on Feb-12-15

We as a society are expected to believe that live shows are fun, even though they’re basically loud, plotless museum exhibits with no chairs and no rules about whether people should yell a conversation at you. In your innermost self, you know this truth. But if you’d like ammunition to make the case to your friends and loved ones, or if you just need to read it on the internet, what follows is an airtight case as to why live music is the grownup birthday dinner of cultural events.
Live music sucks.
comment posted at 7:45 AM on Feb-12-15

A Jewish magazine is testing an unusual solution for toxic internet comments. I think we can all agree that this proposal is ridiculous. Please leave your toxicity in the comments.
comment posted at 1:27 PM on Feb-9-15

It got lost in the Kanye vs. Beck hoopla, but metal fans are fuming that "joke band" Tenacious D took home last night's "best metal performance" Grammy for their cover of Dio's "The Last in Line." The comedy duo beat out such metal mainstays as Anthrax, Mastodon, Motorhead and Slipknot.
comment posted at 3:07 PM on Feb-9-15

A 19-year-old Las Vegas teen is expected to appear in court Monday, days after being arrested in connection to a July swatting incident in suburban Illinois. Brandon Wilson, who goes by the online handle "Famed God," was arrested Thursday in Nevada and faces an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be sent to face hacking and other charges.
comment posted at 10:14 AM on Feb-8-15

OK, so what? What does it mean that “Jew-bwa-ha-ha.gif” likely isn’t the work of a raving Nazi or some corn-fed Aryan brother, but the doodling of a disaffected provocateur hopelessly misguided by a very specific cultural moment? On one hand, not much. Who cares where these images come from? They still do their damage. On the other hand, it’s worth wondering whether Bougas’ cultural moment is over at all. The idea that ironized racism and sexism and anti-Semitism are the bravest subversions of American culture still lives, not in zines or even Vice, anymore, but in subreddits, and chans, and red pill message boards. That’s why it is so fitting that Bougas’ work has found its best reception in these places. That’s why it is so fitting that these places so aggressively sont Charlie. (SLBF)
comment posted at 9:22 AM on Feb-8-15

Brian Williams, Under Scrutiny, Will Take Leave From ‘NBC Nightly News’ [New York Times]
Brian Williams, acknowledging that the scrutiny and criticism he was attracting was becoming a distraction for his network, said on Saturday that he was stepping aside as anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News” for the next several days.

comment posted at 8:23 AM on Feb-8-15

A look at Emma Sulkowicz's (The Columbia University student who carried a mattress around campus as a statement and art project) accused rapist, Jean-Paul Nungesser (who was found innocent by the university, but branded as guilty by the public) and the messy intersection of colleges handling assault cases themselves, instead of police dealing with the reported crimes. The Columbia University student newspaper weighs in.
comment posted at 12:20 PM on Feb-6-15
comment posted at 12:25 PM on Feb-6-15
comment posted at 3:52 PM on Feb-6-15

"Guitar Center, gutted and broken, meets its sad end. Guitar Center's financial condition (previously) - along with bad management and the hyper-financial dynamics of private equity - have finally taken this retail musical instrument powerhouse to the end of its long and winding road.
comment posted at 11:04 PM on Feb-5-15

Lost and Found and...Lost? "John Maloof and Jeffrey Goldstein turned their caches of negatives by the late street photographer and "North Shore nanny" into full-time jobs. Now the government wants in."
comment posted at 11:31 AM on Feb-5-15

The Fearless Comedy of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore [The Atlantic]
"Wilmore's show seems to be in service of such conversations rather than easy, quick jokes. Not that it isn't consistently funny—but it's finding the humor in dark topics, and finding a way into talking about issues many Americans at home might not be able to broach."

comment posted at 9:53 AM on Feb-5-15

"We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we've sucked at it for years. It's no secret and the rest of the world talks about it every day. We lose core user after core user by not addressing simple trolling issues that they face every day. I'm frankly ashamed of how poorly we've dealt with this issue during my tenure as CEO. It's absurd. There's no excuse for it. I take full responsibility for not being more aggressive on this front. It's nobody else's fault but mine, and it's embarrassing."
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo addresses the platform's persistent harassment issues in an internal memo.
comment posted at 7:32 AM on Feb-5-15
comment posted at 7:54 AM on Feb-5-15

Erowid Recruiter A Markov-powered mashup of Erowid trip reports and tech recruiter emails. "front end engineer would literally make or break the next hour, I walked through this area for a while and then my face ended, and the rats."
comment posted at 10:41 AM on Feb-3-15

Anna Merlan received both online and physical world trolling after writing a Jezebel article about 4chan manipulating a Time poll. She has described the experience, along with her attempt to work with the police: "The cops don't care about violent online threats. What now?" (The Guardian has some related musings: "Can emojis really be used to make terror threats?")
While not causally related, a few days after the article was published Brianna Wu received a death threat from a mentally-ill individual. She has contacted the police and has stated that several congresspeople have also been concerned.
comment posted at 5:35 PM on Feb-2-15

Last night's Simpsons intro in all its pixelated 8-bit chiptune glory was a sight to behold and not to be missed
comment posted at 4:54 PM on Feb-2-15

"To me this intersection [between food justice, fat-positive politics, and LGBTQ politics] seems clear as I live in a community where food is not easily accessible and I’m a fat dyke… We can simply look at the numbers and see that folks in poverty and are classified as food-insecure often have greater percentages of fat folks in their numbers. Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks. I’ve been doing food work with street-based queer youth for almost five years now. But beyond just the numbers we share this similar struggle, this fight for what’s just. We are all part of groups that are marginalized by society and many of us are doing work in many of these spaces."
comment posted at 3:01 PM on Feb-2-15

The 5000 word cover story on "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" in Newsweek is getting a lot of attention, but mostly for the illustration on the cover, which very simply (or simplistically) depicts high-tech sexism, and which writers like Rachel Sklar and Alexia Tsotsis consider to be sexist itself.
Responding to Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast**, article author Nina Burleigh says "It’s provocative because it quite powerfully and accurately depicts the disgusting behavior and attitudes toward women that dozens of women in tech described to me and that tens of thousands more must navigate on a daily basis, to the detriment of their professional advancement."
comment posted at 3:17 PM on Jan-30-15
comment posted at 4:02 PM on Jan-30-15

"It’s been a strange relationship, hasn’t it? Some of you – the original white-on-navy ones – went through the 2000 election and recount with me, when I had to explain the word “blog” to anyone I met; we experienced 9/11 together in real time – and all the fraught months and years after; and then the Iraq War; and the gay marriage struggles of the last fifteen historic years. We endured the Bush re-election together and then championed – before almost anyone else – the Obama candidacy together. Remember that first night of those Iowa caucuses? Remember the titanic fight with the Clintons? And then the entire arc of the Obama presidency. You were there when it was just me and a tip jar for six years, and at Time, and at The Atlantic, and the Daily Beast, and then as an independent company. When we asked you two years ago to catch us as we jumped into independence, you came through and then some. In just two years, you built a million dollar revenue company, with 30,000 subscribers, a million monthly readers, and revenue growth of 17 percent over the first year. You made us unique in this media world – and we were able to avoid the sirens of clickbait and sponsored content. We will never forget it."
comment posted at 6:00 PM on Jan-29-15

On Trial for Rape by Ann Brocklehurst [The Walrus Magazine]
"Late last year, in a Toronto courtroom, a young woman faced off against the university student whom she accused of raping her in a school parking lot. The media ignored the story. This is a series about a criminal rape trial that took place in Toronto late last year. The trial lasted eight days; the judge announced his verdict earlier this month." —Ann Brocklehurst

comment posted at 4:13 PM on Jan-30-15

Using publicly available data and open source tools to find answers to questions about Los Angeles. What are the most expensive pieces of land in LA County? Which of these has the most expensive “improvement”, or building? What is the assessed value of Dodger Stadium? What are the most expensive cities by area in LA County? Who owns the most land? What percentage of the land in the city of LA is devoted to public space? where is the geographic center of LA County?
comment posted at 9:19 AM on Jan-29-15

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