This week's Glenn Greenwald revelation
is that Britain's GCHQ JTRIG intelligence organization offers its agents and planners tools
with abilities to increase the search ranking of chosen web sites, “change outcome of online polls”, “masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries”, and accomplish “amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube).” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious
on Jul 16, 2014 -
The NYT Style section reports
that "image-conscious digital natives" are paying for expensive and elaborate portrait sessions to get one-of-a-kind shots to use in social media profiles and on professional websites. These photos (which the Times incorrectly calls "glamour selfies") are not
your professional headshots; instead the subjects are depicted in a warehouse, in a field, in a pickup truck, etc. The motivations? Enhancing a personal brand, celebrating a milestone birthday... and, of course, getting lots of "likes" on Facebook. Slate's XX Factor blog
defends the trend (if you can call it a trend) by suggesting that the portrait subjects are trying to avoid age discrimination.
posted by trillian
on Jul 11, 2014 -
San Francisco must change.
"...the current state of permitting regulations for building and the glacial pace of infrastructure projects in San Francisco benefit very few people and risk turning it into a caricature of its former self for tourists and residents rich enough to live in a fantasy, not a living city. If there was ever a time when San Francisco needed to embrace a dynamic, expansive policy for building housing, offices and transportation, it is now." (Previously: 1
posted by ambrosia
on Jul 6, 2014 -
"Advertising is not well.
Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement
emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement
clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising
—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil
that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale
about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 3, 2014 -
Watching a curator crank out headlines is a bizarre experience, insofar as it’s almost indistinguishable from watching people toss out parodies of Upworthy headline styles—either way, the mind runs immediately to stock phrases like “you’ll never believe,” “you’d be wrong,” or “everything wrong with [topic] in one [piece of content].”
Nitsuh Abebe visits the Upworthy offices.
posted by frimble
on Mar 26, 2014 -
Sequoia Capital, which invested in WhatsApp, blogged
this handwritten note, "No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!" "It serves as a daily reminder of their commitment to stay focused on building a pure messaging experience." [more inside]
posted by sieve a bull
on Feb 19, 2014 -
The deathspiral of the "like".
Australian science vlogger Derek Muller of Veritasium
makes a convincing case for why Facebook likes are becoming less and less useful for brands --- and why paying for ads on Facebook locks you into a cycle of dependency which actually makes it harder to reach people who actually care about your content. (SLYT, 9min).
posted by Diablevert
on Feb 10, 2014 -
Happy birthday Facebook! To celebrate ten years, Facebook has created a special "A Look Back"
movie for each user with some highlights of the user's timeline. (Requires Facebook account.)
posted by grouse
on Feb 4, 2014 -
Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and Aol have all teamed up to oppose
widespread government surveillance. In an open letter to the US president and members of congress, the companies urge
the government to reform
its digital spy apparatus.
reactions at the Guardian.
posted by brina
on Dec 9, 2013 -
The new documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply," about the privacy overreach of major tech companies, presents its trailer on a cleverly written page of terms and conditions
posted by mark7570
on Jul 11, 2013 -
I came to Twitter because I had a book to sell, and my misgivings about the whole enterprise meant that I would never be any good at it. A phrase comes to mind: I was “pissing into the void.” For 1 year, 4 months and 22 days—or 508 days total—Twitter became part of my daily thinking ritual.
Writer Benjamin Anastas
to Twitter Village
editor Jane Friedman comments
posted by shivohum
on Jul 10, 2013 -
is a tool from the MIT Media Lab that analyzes the metadata from your Gmail account, displaying a beautiful visualization of the networks of people you contact most frequently. [more inside]
posted by estlin
on Jul 8, 2013 -
In February, 18-year-old Just Carter was talking about League of Legends on Facebook. “Someone had said something to the effect of 'Oh you're insane, you're crazy, you're messed up in the head,’ to which he replied 'Oh yeah, I'm real messed up in the head, I'm going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.," said Carter
What happened next has been the subject of a recent spate of stories from, among others, the Huffington Post
, National Review
, the World Socialist Web Site
, and NPR
. A woman in Canada saw the post and called the police in the Austin area. Carter, who lives a few miles from a school, was arrested, charged with a 3rd degree felony of making terroristic threats, and put under $500,000 bail. He has been in jail since March. [more inside]
posted by pdq
on Jul 8, 2013 -
Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon."
So what can you do? Use some alternatives
. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo
, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over.
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 26, 2013 -