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Sociologist Cat is Watching You Text...in Public

Keith Hampton, an associate professor in Rutgers' School of Communication and Information, filmed people in Bryant Park (among other locations) in an ongoing effort to recreate and update sociologist William H. Whyte's Street Life Project. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Jan 20, 2014 - 3 comments

Civic Crowdfunding

Rodrigo Davis of the MIT Center for Civic Media is currently researching crowdfunding for civic and community purposes. Some of the issues he covers includes the ethics of crowdfunding (including Kickstarter's seduction guide debacle and Gawker's attempt to crowdfund a video showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack), a case study of Kansas City's crowdfunding campaign for their bikeshare program, a timeline of online crowdfunding since 2000, and how the Statue of Liberty was made possible via crowdfunding.
posted by divabat on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 comments

When Artworks Crash

In 1994, Douglas Davis [personal blog] created The World's First Collaborative Sentence. Last summer, The Whitney Museum faced a new challenge: what happens to digital art when the technology becomes obsolete? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 19, 2014 - 31 comments

The Online Avengers[SLNYT]

Why set down the weapon of Anonymous if you believe you can master it?
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 15, 2014 - 18 comments

Model View Culture

Model View Culture is a new online publication that concerns itself with technology, culture and diversity. [more inside]
posted by tempythethird on Jan 14, 2014 - 2 comments

"Even to observe neutrality, you must have a strong government."

Court strikes down FCC's net neutrality rules
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 14, 2014 - 139 comments

.beat time: for telling time on the Information Superhighway.

"It’s 1999. Popular search engines include Yahoo! Lycos, and AOL. Cable and DSL are peeking their heads out into a world of dial-up. Netscape Navigator is on the decline, and Internet Explorer 5 is the new hotness. People are using terms like “World Wide Web” and “Information Superhighway.” And meanwhile, in the background, Swatch is undergoing a wildly hubristic attempt to reinvent the very nature of time..." [more inside]
posted by hot_monster on Jan 13, 2014 - 42 comments

"a cyber-pessimism that could at times be just as dogmatic"

The Columbia Journalism Review interviews Evgeny Morozov: Evgeny vs. the internet
The entire Morozov aesthetic is in this sentence: the venom, the derision, the reverse jujitsu of his opponents’ sanctimony, the bald accusation that all the talk about a new age of human flourishing is nothing but an attempt to vamp the speaker’s consulting business. Tech enthusiasts channel hope. Tech skeptics channel worry. Morozov channels anger, and this can be a very satisfying emotion to anyone unconvinced that everything is getting better. Leon Wieseltier, who has published some of Morozov’s most acid criticism at The New Republic, compares him to the ferocious jazz musician Charles Mingus, who once responded to an interviewer who accused him of “hollerin’ ” by saying, “I feel like hollerin’.” I asked Morozov if he considers his Twitter feed, which spews a constant stream of invective and absurdist satire, to be performative. This was a bit like asking Mingus if he considers jazz performative. “Absolutely,” he said. “I consider it art.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 13, 2014 - 35 comments

What is the genealogy of the AMA?

The Atlantic attempts to explain how Reddit's Ask Me Anything became a "mainstream delight." [Previously]. [Even more previously]. [Even more previously than that]. [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 7, 2014 - 36 comments

Crowdsourcing the Uncanny

"With a flood of dark memes and viral horror stories, the internet is mapping the contours of modern fear" - How creepypasta is reinventing folklore, via io9.
posted by Artw on Jan 6, 2014 - 135 comments

An extraordinary atmosphere of sullen, baffled evil, as the year opens.

The State of the World 2014 Bruce Sterling and Jon Lebkowsky have started this year's WELL-based review.
posted by doctornemo on Jan 6, 2014 - 22 comments

1 weird old trick that will make you 100s of $millions

Jesse Willms, the Dark Lord of the Internet. How one of the most notorious alleged hustlers in the history of e-commerce made a fortune on the Web.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 2, 2014 - 54 comments

Peter Scott (1947-2013), developer of HyTelnet

Peter Scott (February 14, 1947 - December 30, 2013) worked in the Systems Department of the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Canada) Libraries from 1976 to 2005. One of the early library weblog writers, Peter is most well known for HyTelnet, an interface for Telnet services he developed from 1990. In his 1991 video, Peter demonstrates a later version of HyTelnet, while an archive lists the resources available through the service. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 31, 2013 - 20 comments

Catch Me If You Can: Real Estate Edition

Ryan Mullen was on the run for over 14 years. Then, a professional skip tracer named Michelle Gomez got on the case.
posted by reenum on Dec 29, 2013 - 20 comments

You are either In or you are Out

There is a fundamental disconnect between large-scale, for-profit media and the crushing power of enthusiasm, which is that when they try to control it, it instantly isn't real. It's patently unreal. It's excitement given life by force, Pet Sematary-style. But when they don't control it, it isn't profitable. And that means that when they run into people excited about their stuff, they vacillate between an Ebenezerian lack of generosity and a Professor-Harold-Hillian smarm. To own enthusiasm and to exploit it are competing instincts, much as they often seem to be twins. You can, in fact, sometimes best exploit it — or only exploit it — by leaving it alone. -- In what could be considered a Metafilter Manifesto, Mefi's own Linda Holmes takes on the multivariate economics of fandom and the internet.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 20, 2013 - 23 comments

Why the Web Won't Be Nirvana

"After two decades online, I'm perplexed. It's not that I haven't had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I've met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I'm uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth [is] no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works." A view of the Internet's future from February 26, 1995 at 7:00 PM
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 12, 2013 - 41 comments

Landlines? Who needs them?!?

"(TL;DR summary: AT&T is buying entire legislatures to rewrite the laws to allow them to become a fully unregulated company with no wholesale obligations, creating a de-facto monopoly. They can (and likely will) use it to squash or hurt wireless competitors as well, as they're permitted to favor their own subsidiaries with the network built and created over a hundred plus year monopoly, and Comcast is fully on-board because they'd like to split the market created when all their competitors are dead)" Paul Timmins, the telco nerd behind TelcoData.US (Previously), expounds on how the big players in the telecom business (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) are ruining the future of connectivity in the US.
posted by c0nsumer on Dec 11, 2013 - 65 comments

you can love me if you want it's not my problem

"Alt lit [previously] is accused of navel-gazing myopia, but technically any writing occurring outside of traditional institutions qualifies for the label. Everyone I know has written alt lit: every status update, every blog post, everything that has ever been said on Twitter. And Twitter, unbeknown to Jonathan Franzen, is especially literary...Which brings me to Heiko Julien," Author (and composer) of "I Am Ready To Die A Violent Death." [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 6, 2013 - 21 comments

The purrfect activity for a coffee break

The worst thing about cats is that you can't play with them unless you're physically present. Being elsewhere means being unable to play with a cat! It's a horrible situation, but now there's a solution. iPet Companion lets you select a shelter and control a camera and trigger toys in the selected shelter's kitty play room. If there's other people on that shelter's page, you'll have to wait your turn, but turns are two minutes long so there's rarely much of a wait.
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 6, 2013 - 46 comments

The Biggest Little Site in the World

Imgur began as a photo sharing site to be used by Redditors. It now outpaces Reddit in total traffic. What's next for the site?
posted by reenum on Dec 5, 2013 - 20 comments

An army of hipster-friendly bacon ninjas

Why Did 9,000 Porny Spambots Descend on This San Diego High Schooler? A voyage into the strange underworld of spambots, shady marketing, and non-human intelligence.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 25, 2013 - 26 comments

Operation Olympic Games

The Langner Group, based in Germany, has published the most detailed report yet on the Stuxnet malware that was used to sabotage Iran's uranium enrichment efforts. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Nov 20, 2013 - 23 comments

An Atlas of Cyberspaces - comprehend the new digital lands

An Atlas of Cyberspaces An archive of late 90s cybergeography research: Conceptual (Neuromancer/Snow Crash/The Matrix), Geographic, ARPANET, Usenet, submarine cable systems, early African fibre optics, Cospace screenshots and a ton of 90s web visualisations. via silentservant in /r/techonolgy (reddit).
posted by meta87 on Nov 19, 2013 - 4 comments

"How to be awkward."

The best of Jerome Jarre, a hilarious young Frenchman who delights in singing on subways, violating personal boundaries, and grinning like a loon on Vine. Previously on MetaFilter.
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 17, 2013 - 46 comments

Not everyone can afford to be blasé

What I think we forget–or worse, never even realized—is the extreme privilege often inherent in “digital literacy.” Yes, much of the Internet is free. But it takes time and energy to develop the skills and habits necessary to successfully derive value from today’s media. Knowing how to tell a troll from a serious thinker, spotting linkbait, understanding a meme, cross checking articles against each other, even posting a comment to disagree with something–these are skills. They might not feel like it, but they are. And they’re easier to acquire the higher your tax bracket. - The New Digital Divide: Privilege, Misinformation and Outright B.S. in Modern Media
posted by beisny on Nov 12, 2013 - 37 comments

"What was he doing having his face put on ATM cards?"

"It was as if, while Mark Zuckerberg was still in high school, Bowie was bracing for the 21st Century, the demand for everyone to “share” accessible versions of themselves. The self as a business card, to be distributed to anyone who asked for it. He also saw opportunity: on 1 September 1998, he launched BowieNet." Pushing Ahead Of The Dame (previously, previously) takes a look at David Bowie's late-90s, technophile projects and the future they foreshadowed - Omikron: The Nomad Soul (& BowieBanc & BowieNet)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 11, 2013 - 30 comments

The Internet Bug Bounty

Rewarding friendly hackers who contribute to a more secure internet. "We've selected some of the most important software that supports the internet stack, and we want you to hack it. If the public is demonstrably safer as a result of your contribution to internet security, we'd like to be the first to recognize your work and say "thanks" by sending some cash to you or your favorite non-profit." This is a full disclosure bug bounty program, and all vulnerability reports will eventually be made public. Also featuring an Allie Brosh logo for The Internet.
posted by destrius on Nov 6, 2013 - 15 comments

Secondhand Glow

An examination of how near-ubiquitous internet connectivity has reshaped our public spaces and social mores--and what to do about it: "It would be unfair to say [a person consulting her smartphone] isn’t engaged in the city; on the contrary, she may be more finely attuned to neighborhood history and happenings than her companions. But her awareness is secondhand: She misses the quirks and cues of the sidewalk ballet, fails to make eye contact, and limits her perception to a claustrophobic one-fifth of normal. Engrossed in the virtual, she really isn’t here with the rest of us."
posted by Bromius on Nov 3, 2013 - 121 comments

Don’t tell anyone how to grieve, specially children.

These days, selfies are how we make ourselves real, to ourselves and to the outside world. So, it’s no wonder that some of us turn to our iPhones in these moments of loss. It’s a way of saying, “I still exist.”
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 2, 2013 - 106 comments

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Cartoonist Peter Steiner created The New Yorker's most popular gag panel. What happened after that?
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 27, 2013 - 26 comments

The Feudal Internet

Power in the Age of the Feudal Internet. An essay by Bruce Schneier. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2013 - 28 comments

A way for the monkey mind to cope with the modern world

The Melancholy of Subculture Society, an essay on the rise of multiple subcultures, the idea of “opting out” of the mainstream culture and the social and psychological benefits of the existence of alternative status hierarchies. [more inside]
posted by acb on Oct 22, 2013 - 18 comments

Sugar-shamed

"There are times when we should feel shame, like when we’re tempted to hunt for Communists. But nowadays one suspects that Joe McCarthy would have just accused his critics of “red-shaming.” On shaming.
posted by mippy on Oct 22, 2013 - 28 comments

Talkin' Bout a Webolution

The awkwardly titled [2000] book, "FutureConsumer.com: The webolution of shopping to 2010," touches on everything from music downloads to grocery delivery, with a big emphasis on lists. And it's Feather's list for the 50 largest online retailers of 2010 which now stands as a fascinating time capsule of the first dot-com bubble. Naturally, Webvan makes the Top 5.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 15, 2013 - 16 comments

Back Streets of the Internet

Back Streets of the Internet [YT] - A short film from W+K Tokyo
posted by Mchelly on Oct 8, 2013 - 9 comments

Digital disciplines

11 Ways I'm Trying to Achieve a Sane Relationship With the Internet
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 3, 2013 - 41 comments

Feast Days

It's an open secret that many bands and solo artists allow fans to audio record their live performances for non-commercial trading. The Internet Archive's Live Music Section is maintained by volunteers from etree.org, and currently offers over 120,000 live performances from nearly 6000 bands, for in-browser streaming as well as download in a variety of formats. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 1, 2013 - 13 comments

a giant machine designed to give people what they want

"Twenty years after people began using the web en masse, it’s time, Williams said, to accept that the internet isn’t a magical universe with boundless potential. It’s just another engine for improving quality of life." Twitter, Blogger and Medium founder Evan Williams on the triumphs and dangers of convenience.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 1, 2013 - 29 comments

Back in the day, man, people edited their sites by hand.

Jason Kottke turned 40 today. Some of his friends threw a party on his blog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2013 - 27 comments

Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Digital panhandling is the next internet boom

“It’s a lot less embarrassing,” he says. “You don’t have to put yourself out there.” And unlike panhandling in Pensacola, using an app like Bitcoin Tapper won’t put him on the wrong side of the law. This past May, Pensacola — where Angle has lived since April — passed an ordinance that bans not only panhandling but camping on city property. -- Homeless, unemployed and surviving on bitcoins (and food stamps).
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 25, 2013 - 19 comments

Popular Science, not Populist Science

Why Popular Science is shutting off comments.
A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.

posted by SansPoint on Sep 24, 2013 - 128 comments

It only gets funnier with time.

"These discussions are thoughtful and measured, but the premise that frames them all is shaky; Lessig doesn't offer much proof that a Soviet-style loss of privacy and freedom is on its way. … Unlike actual law, Internet software has no capacity to punish. It doesn't affect people who aren't online (and only a tiny minority of the world population is). And if you don't like the Internet's system, you can always flip off the modem." — David Pogue is the creator of the ''Missing Manual'' series, which will include guides to Mac OS 9, Outlook Express and Windows 2000.
posted by Nomyte on Sep 19, 2013 - 39 comments

The NSA: We, too, are Americans.

NSA mathematician Roger Barkan's take on NSA survellance of Americans. "As someone deep in the trenches of NSA, where I work on a daily basis with data acquired from these programs, I, too, feel compelled to raise my voice. Do I, as an American, have any concerns about whether the NSA is illegally or surreptitiously targeting or tracking the communications of other Americans? The answer is emphatically, "No."
posted by markkraft on Sep 18, 2013 - 190 comments

Every party needs a pooper, that's why they invited you.

While abridged series are nothing new – take a TV series, usually anime, and edit it down to an eighth of its length, usually with ample snark added – Team Four Star's Dragonball Z Abridged is a notably excellent one. Watch a group of idiotic superheroes combat endless waves of aliens, androids, and genocide! Season 1 started off somewhat roughly, but their Season 2 is great throughout – you probably want to start here – and Season 3 (not-completed) has been their funniest work yet. Don't worry if you've never had the stomach for DBZ—the plot is covered comprehensively enough that you can follow along as if you had watched all of the 130 episodes that DBZA currently covers! [Warning: The series' humor is off-color and far from PC.]
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 12, 2013 - 19 comments

Simon Cowell your days are numbered. Owls will get you while you slumber

You've probably seen videos by Jonti Picking, AKA Weebl. He's the guy behind such Internet legends as Badger Badger Badger, Look At My Horse, Narwhals, and Kenya, and his knack for combining catchy music with absurd words and animations has resulted in an extensive library of earworm songs. There's Magical Trevor, who's shown up time and again (and again). He has songs about other animals, like crabs and giraffes and breadfish and baby baboons. (My favorite video of his is Owls by a wide margin.) He also writes about real people, like Stephen Fry and Patrick Moore!
posted by Rory Marinich on Sep 6, 2013 - 32 comments

Mark your calendars

Launching my first product : Brand, Make, Sell Sell, Make, Brand
posted by Gyan on Aug 29, 2013 - 31 comments

Twitter circa 1990

wwwtxt.org: "In 1995, commercialization, a swelling population, and the multimedia revolution began to shape Web 1.0 and the modern Internet. 1988–94 represent the final years of a much smaller, non-commercial, and text-dominated Internet. / The users of this era were not only programmers, physicists, and university residents—they were also tinkerers, early-adopters, whiz kids, and nerds. Their conversations and documents—valiantly preserved by digital archivists—are fractured across numerous services, increasingly offline-only, and incredibly voluminous (100GB+). / wwwtxt digs deep and resurrects the voices of these digital pioneers as unedited, compelling, and insightful 140-character excerpts." [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Aug 28, 2013 - 20 comments

Sex, cats and introverts

The Internet's Love Affair With Introverts Online might just be the introvert's natural environment, where conversations can be staged, staggered and stopped at their discretion – all from a distance. Thoughts can be edited to perfection, solitary hobbies and pursuits can be meticulously researched before being shared online, friendships maintained without the obligation to meet face-to-face … plus it's never been easier to uncover other introverts and forge friendships without the inconvenience of meeting.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Aug 26, 2013 - 57 comments

Telecommunication Timeline Video

Telecom Timeline downpour This video seems to have been put together by GOOD magazine who dumbly called it "the most insane polyphonic collage you will ever see" whatever that's supposed to mean. The video compiles hundreds of audio and video clips into a timeline of (long distance?) telecommunication. It's an awesome & well edited clip that brings to mind Kraftwerk and OMD's dazzle ships among other things...
posted by scouringpad on Aug 24, 2013 - 13 comments

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