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The Internet in Real Time

"By the time you finish reading this sentence, there will have been 219,000 new Facebook posts, 22,800 new tweets, 7,000 apps downloaded, and about $9,000 worth of items sold on Amazon… depending on your reading speed, of course. Now that the Internet is widely available, just one second of global online activity is jam-packed full of events, from communication with others to data storage to entertainment options galore."
posted by SpacemanStix on Dec 23, 2014 - 22 comments

"I think you're really well meaning and nice but no one wants a satchel"

I AM INTO THIS. Who are the Cambridge Satchel Company and why should we care? The company started in 2008, and they sell old-style 1950s/60s era British school satchels. Originally meant for kids (the founder states, "I honestly thought that it would be schoolchildren and parents buying my bags!"), the satchels have become a more modest and budget-friendly alternative to designer bags. As a small startup company, they relied on enthusiastic word-of-mouth from the internet to bolster their profits; Deane states,"I think online was the only way that we could really engage and get traction really quickly" (warning: autoplaying video). This is the perfect storm of internet obsession: you click the link, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 22, 2014 - 35 comments

We're BRATS, and we like it that way.

A couple of years ago a mother / daughter author team wrote a book for dependent kids with parents in the military, in which they decided to replace the traditional "Military Brat" identifier with "CHAMPS" ( Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). The book spawned a non-profit called Operation Champs, which provided support services to military dependents and their families. [more inside]
posted by COD on Dec 22, 2014 - 50 comments

Spoiler: Schadenfreude

What happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs
posted by sonic meat machine on Dec 17, 2014 - 178 comments

Women don’t just have a voice, they are forcing institutions to listen.

Top Feminist Hashtags of 2014, and the accompanying infographic; Time Magazine's overview of Feminism on social media (trigger warning for domestic abuse). An alternative view: The trouble with Twitter Feminism. Bonus link: Wikipedia entry on Networked Feminism and examples.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 11, 2014 - 25 comments

Of Chinese Censorship, Punning and Braising

"China’s Web Doorkeeper", Lu Wei, may be the most powerful man on the Internet (NYT), and he has "ratcheted up restrictions in what is already the world’s most sophisticated system of online censorship." He addressed the 7th China-US Internet Industry Forum yesterday and everybody was listening (SCMP). But there is one big question: Will he joining the country’s print and broadcast watchdog's new campaign to “crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language," specifically puns and wordplay (Grauniad)? If so, he may have issues with Google searches that match up his name with a new category of take-away food in Taiwan called "lu-wei" (“lu” means braised and “wei,” flavors) (Inquirer).
posted by oneswellfoop on Dec 3, 2014 - 19 comments

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]

"Grief porn enters the Facebook era" "And, like regular pornography, the internet has transformed it. Freed from the already relaxed constraints of tabloid journalism, grief porn is no longer obligated to fake newsworthiness or importance. You don't need to die in a particularly tragic way; your death doesn't need to be the occasion for punishment or law-enactment. You just need to have produced consumable, shareable content before your untimely death. Rather than a news angle allowing a writer to smuggle grief porn into a paper, a grief-porn angle allows a content creator to smuggle a shareable unit onto Facebook." An interesting essay by Kelly Conaboy, ironically on Gawker.
posted by HuronBob on Nov 23, 2014 - 65 comments

11/18/99 2:43 a.m. RE: “no offense”.

"The next day, though, I woke up unnerved and dimly remembered getting badgered by Wesleyan after I graduated in 2001, asking me to do something to save the messages after they were transferred onto a web-based system. I typed in “email.wesleyan.edu” and my old username, just to see what would happen. | It opened up with my first guess at a password. Over four thousand emails —including sent mail, drafts, “_pine_interrupted_mail,” something called “dead letter” and another folder called “postponed_msgs”—stared at me. Who were these people? Who was I?" --Every email is a Ghost Story on the Awl.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 18, 2014 - 23 comments

Wasting Time on the Internet 101

The New Yorker's Kenneth Goldsmith tells why he's planning to teach a course called "Wasting Time on the Internet" at the University of Pennsylvania. [more inside]
posted by ourt on Nov 18, 2014 - 29 comments

Information Superhighway? That sounds like Super hype to me!

Andy Baio has created a YouTube channel of early internet informational videos: The VHS-Era Internet (1984-1995)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 17, 2014 - 15 comments

I’m certain I would have become a right nuisance to the Ramones

Steve Albini on the current state of the music industry: "It was the beginning of what we would call the peer network. By mid-90s there were independent labels and distributors moving millions of dollars of records and CDs. And there was a healthy underground economy of bands making a reasonable income owing to the superior efficiencies of the independent methods... So, that was the system as it was. That’s what we lost when the internet made everything available everywhere for free. And make no mistake about it, we have lost it. But for a minute I want you to look at the experience of music from a fan’s perspective, post-internet. Music that is hard to find was now easy to find. In response I had more access to music than I had ever imagined... This audience-driven music distribution has other benefits. Long-forgotten music has been given a second life. And bands whose music that was ahead of its time has been allowed to reach a niche audience that the old mass distribution failed to find for them, as one enthusiast turns on the next and this forgotten music finally gets it due." [more inside]
posted by dng on Nov 17, 2014 - 77 comments

A laptop of one's own

Now, however, the internet has created a revolution in the place of young women in our culture, granting millions of them the chance to represent themselves to the world in all sorts of ways that Ruby Tandoh argues are both tremendously exciting and profoundly empowering. She'll look back at the development of the place of girls in youth culture over the decades, examining the importance of the private space of the bedroom in providing a crucible in which identities are actively formed, and find out about those young women in movements like punk and Riot Grrrl who blazed a trail for today's girls as they take the reins of cultural production through their vlogs, blogs and zines.
From Radio 4's Archive on 4 programme comes A Girl's Own Story.
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 17, 2014 - 3 comments

"I will not tolerate any rotten rockabillies in my employ."

Memos from Bear Cave. Inspired by the 1970s memos of perpeptually apoplectic Edward "Tiger Mike" Davis ("I am not fond of hippies, long-hairs, dope fiends, or alcoholics"), SomethingAwful writers created a series about the manliest CEO in the 1970s soup-manufacturing industry. While Tiger Mike is hard to top, the saga of JD Boruff, who swims in his own soup and monitors his employees' toilet flushes, takes on a strange and hilarious charm as its universe expands.

There are eighteen epistolary stories in the series to date, indexed below the fold. [more inside]
posted by rorgy on Nov 15, 2014 - 2 comments

A dose of audio nostalgia for early netizens: much of IUMA, back online

"If you want to hear music, you know what you do - you turn on the radio, put on a CD, or even go to a concert. But as the age of the info superhighway inches forward, you can even get music from your own home computer." That's the intro to a short CNN segment on IUMA, the Internet Underground Music Archive, which opened in 1992 as an effort for unsigned bands to share their music on the world-wide web, for free. Unfortunately, it fell the way of many early 1990s online entities: it was bought out, then the new owners couldn't keep up with changing times, and the site went dark. Except before IUMA disappeared, John Gilmore grabbed much of the material and backed it up on tapes, and turned to (MeFi's Own) Jason Scott and Archive.org to bring back IUMA. They did, and you can now browse through over 45,000 bands and artists, and more than 680,000 tracks of music.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 10, 2014 - 36 comments

tech punditry: stage-managed gobbledygook with an undercurrent of sexism

The Dads of Tech – by Astra Taylor and Joanne McNeil, The Baffler
"The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house," Audre Lorde famously said, but let Clay Shirky mansplain. It "always struck me as a strange observation — even the metaphor isn't true," the tech consultant and bestselling author said at the New Yorker Festival last autumn in a debate with the novelist Jonathan Franzen. "Get ahold of the master’s hammer," and you can dismantle anything. Just consider all the people "flipping on the 'I'm gay' light on Facebook" to signal their support for marriage equality — there, Shirky declared, is a prime example of the master’s tools put to good use.

"Shirky invented the Internet and Franzen wants to shut it down," panel moderator Henry Finder mused with an air of sophisticated hyperbole. Finder said he was merely paraphrasing a festival attendee he'd overheard outside — and joked that for once in his New Yorker editing career, he didn't need fact-checkers to determine whether the story was true. He then announced with a wink that it was "maybe a little true." Heh.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 4, 2014 - 41 comments

these platform glitter jelly sandals were made for walking....

How the Internet Changed the World of Fashion: from seapunk and normcore to vaporwave and health goth.
posted by Juliet Banana on Nov 4, 2014 - 38 comments

Diversity within us comes out better when there's diversity in our team.

The most recent episode of the Ruby Rogues podcast — #179 Accountability and Diversity with Meagan Waller — is a treasure trove of insights and info about unconscious biases, diversity, employment, culture, tech, and more. The podcast page features a timestamped topic outline of the discussion, as well as many links to the Ruby community websites, projects, studies, conferences, and controversies they discuss… [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Nov 3, 2014 - 5 comments

Let me tell you about being publicly separated from your truth.

"But having survived myself, what I want to do now is help other victims of the shame game survive too. I want to put my suffering to good use and give purpose to my past."
Monica Lewinsky gives her first major public speech to speak out against online abuse. Full transcript here.
posted by iamkimiam on Oct 22, 2014 - 51 comments

life is short. fly to mars

i build rocket in my back garden for 10 year
i build rocket from spare car part and old nuclear facility
in month of march i buy 10,000 of my favourite protein bar
in month of april i launch rocket with me in it towards planet mars
now i am on mars

Evghenia is on Mars. She has enough water to survive for another two hundred and eighty days. In the meantime, she reminisces about her favorite and least favorite things on earth, comments on the space-speculation of poets Bowie and Elton, writes about her heroes, and criticizes Elon Musk and NASA and all the many people who have failed to be on Mars first. (She is understandably proud of her significant accomplishment.) She also writes about goatbot, who she built herself and who is her only friend, and occasionally tells jokes and sings songs and reminisces about her past and present. Definitely a Twitter account worth following.
posted by rorgy on Oct 20, 2014 - 16 comments

Dinner tonight: four containers of gravy and a Diet Sprite

Imagine you're hungry for dinner, stuck at home and don't really want to cook. But you're also deeply ambivalent about what to order--Chinese? Pizza? Sushi? Well, Mike Lacher has you covered. Give his new web app Seamless Roulette your Seamless.com account details and a maximum cost, and it places an order for you at a random nearby restaurant, for something it randomly selects from the menu. If you like surprises and giving up the power to choose your own meal, this might just be for you.
posted by yellowcandy on Oct 7, 2014 - 85 comments

Welcome to the 1099 economy

Silicon Valley's Contract Worker Problem Earlier this year, I hired a house cleaner. I wouldn't have done so normally, but my place was a mess, I was busy at work, and I saw an offer on Facebook that looked too good to be true — a San Francisco start-up called Homejoy was offering home cleanings in the Bay Area for $19. (Not $19 per room or $19 per hour. Just $19.) So I booked an appointment through Homejoy's website, and a day later, a young man showed up at my door. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Oct 3, 2014 - 142 comments

"Nothing fades away anymore."

The Solace of Oblivion by Jeffrey Toobin [The New Yorker] "In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet."
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2014 - 22 comments

I GIVE THIS MOVIE NEGATIVE STARS

Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza has just been named as the voice of Grumpy Cat in the upcoming movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. This is not the first time Plaza's acted in an Internet meme turned movie: she was in Safety Not Guaranteed (based on a personal ad hiring a time-travelling assistant) (prev) as well as CollegeHumour's fake Daria trailer (prev). Will it do better than The Slender Man or Snakes on a Plane?
posted by divabat on Sep 19, 2014 - 57 comments

When mistreating users becomes competitive advantage

This week, of course, provided a glorious example of how technology companies have normalized being indifferent to consent: Apple ‘gifting’ each user with a U2 album downloaded into iTunes. At least one of my friends reported that he had wireless synching of his phone disabled; Apple overrode his express preferences in order to add the album to his music collection. The expected 'surprise and delight' was really more like 'surprise and delete'. I suspect that the strong negative response (in some quarters, at least) had less to do with a dislike of U2 and everything to do with the album as a metonym for this widespread culture of nonconsensual behaviour in technology.
Deb Chachra talks about the age of non-consensual technology. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 16, 2014 - 188 comments

(watch very closely for removal of this title)

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2014 - 38 comments

Command line music streaming

Cmd.fm is no frills, command line music streaming. For the geek music lover in all of us. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on Sep 15, 2014 - 24 comments

"My real-life shagging has not been self-conscious."

"It irritates me because it seems such a self-conscious way to live. But, to be fair, it’s almost always completely unselfconsciously done. It’s people like me, carping at the camcordsters, who are overthinking how life should be experienced. We’re the ones who are trying to impose our opinion of how things should be enjoyed. 'Why can’t you just look at a view!?' we fume, but we never ask ourselves: 'Why can’t you just let people enjoy the view in the way they want!?' Exasperated by people staring at their phones instead of the world around them, we end up staring at people staring at their phones, miss the sunset, fireworks display or penguin feeding time, and don’t even walk away with a video to watch later." (SLGuardian)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 14, 2014 - 39 comments

WAKE ME UP

EAsports - Bring Me To Life Courtesy of http://giferator.easports.com/
posted by boo_radley on Sep 7, 2014 - 31 comments

Parenting in the Internet Age: The Problem of Porn

A father finds pornographic websites in his 9-year-old son's browser history in a surprisingly charming and amusing first-person essay: “I know you were looking at porn.” A silence hung in the air between us as I tried to figure out where to go from there. He looked at me, eyebrows up and eyes wide open, on alert for whatever would come next. The past winter had torn up the road, and his still baby-fatted cheeks bounced along with the car as we headed back towards our house. The anticipation of my response was clearly getting to him. “Are you gonna say anything else?” “To be honest, I hadn’t really thought this far ahead,” I told him. “I only planned as far as this, telling you I knew.” [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Aug 26, 2014 - 159 comments

Consequences

I am the woman you laughed at on the internet.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 23, 2014 - 291 comments

FRIENDLIEST SCADA ON THE NET

A scan for systems allowing remote desktop connections without passwords performed during a Defcon talk about the Masscan tool found a wide variety of system open for anyone with knowledge of the correct IP address, such as access to a hockey rink, a manufacturing plant for a Swedish condiment, hydroelectric plants and a lot more. [more inside]
posted by rpn on Aug 15, 2014 - 17 comments

BuzzFeed Motion Pictures President Ze Frank

Producer Michael Shamberg Wants to 'Invent the Future' With BuzzFeed Motion Pictures - "I don't think there's ever been a Hollywood R&D model like we have here." (previously 1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 13, 2014 - 28 comments

This surgery could pay for itself after around 90 hours

The Economist takes a quantitative look at prostitution in the Internet age.
posted by meowzilla on Aug 12, 2014 - 26 comments

> implying I can't even

Are There Internet Dialects?
posted by Sticherbeast on Aug 8, 2014 - 48 comments

Surprise lap dances are not cool.

Stephanie Woodward is a 26 year-old Floridian woman who blogs about dating. Ms Woodward is an attorney who happens to have spina bifida. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 4, 2014 - 37 comments

How to Invent a Person Online (Is online anonymity even possible today?)

On April 8, 2013, I received an envelope in the mail from a nonexistent return address in Toledo, Ohio. Inside was a blank thank-you note and an Ohio state driver’s license. The ID belonged to a 28-year-old man called Aaron Brown—6 feet tall and 160 pounds with a round face, scruffy brown hair, a thin beard, and green eyes. His most defining feature, however, was that he didn’t exist. I know that because I created him.
posted by spock on Jul 28, 2014 - 34 comments

Twitter: More Educational Than You Thought

The Race Swap Experiment What happens when a black woman uses a white male avatar on Twitter? Something a lot more positive than what usually happens for her when she uses a picture of herself. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Jul 19, 2014 - 39 comments

I'd Like To Throttle Verizon

Colin Nederkoorn used the Netflix test video to show Verizon's horrendous throttling versus running his connection through a VPN.
posted by gman on Jul 18, 2014 - 49 comments

Rebuilding Prodigy, one screen at a time

Where Online Services Go When They Die
posted by motorcycles are jets on Jul 13, 2014 - 32 comments

Say Cheese

"Is it OK to take a selfie at Auschwitz?", asks archaeologist Paul Mullins. Selfies are people in places, not objects in spaces, says Katie Warfield.
posted by Rumple on Jul 11, 2014 - 76 comments

Ping City

A tour of the physical internet infrastructure of New York City From r/nyc. Also Previously.
posted by lalochezia on Jul 9, 2014 - 8 comments

www.pranksters.gop

The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 8, 2014 - 213 comments

N’existe Pas

For many years Bruce Sterling has been writing about the battle for freedom on the internet, a subject he first wrote about in the highly acclaimed book The Hacker Crackdown in 1992. In this book, Sterling predicts that the term “privacy” may already be obsolete, along with those who once thrived on violating the integrity of others. Like spies, the paparazzi, rumour mongers—who actually has the most to lose in this transparent world?

posted by infini on Jul 8, 2014 - 7 comments

The Other Net

The Energy Sciences Network is a private Department of Energy network operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, that links research institutions in the United States and the world. In 2011 researchers acheived 91+ Gbps disk-to-disk on their 100 gbps network. The Shadow Internet.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 1, 2014 - 16 comments

Internet, Why So Blue?

The Awl reflects on the color of the Internet.
posted by fings on Jun 27, 2014 - 34 comments

Familiar with all Internet traditions

I was sitting NIFOC and TLOL when I ran across this list of Internet slang [PDF] developed for FBI agents trying to navigate Twitter's ARE. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion on Jun 24, 2014 - 44 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

How difficult is it for the NSA to spy on your Internet use?

On a bright April morning in Menlo Park, California, I became an Internet spy. This was easier than it sounds because I had a willing target. I had partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) tech correspondent Steve Henn for an experiment in Internet surveillance. For one week, while Henn researched a story, he allowed himself to be watched—acting as a stand-in, in effect, for everyone who uses Internet-connected devices. How much of our lives do we really reveal simply by going online? Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jun 16, 2014 - 15 comments

Narcissistic, Machiavellian, psychopathic, and sadistic.

Personality Psychology Proves It: Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People.
posted by shivohum on Jun 11, 2014 - 72 comments

50 views or less

Petittube is a Youtube video aggregator that shows you videos with 50 views or less. [possibly NSFW results]
posted by Taft on Jun 7, 2014 - 25 comments

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