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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

If it's controversial, announce it on Friday evening

Managing Editor Jimmy Soni appeared on CNN Friday to explain The Huffington Post's latest effort to fight trolls: as of next month, commenters won't be allowed to post anonymously on the site. "We're looking to promote civil discourse on our site," Soni said. "We want to do what we've always done: promote a positive, healthy community at our global news website." "We feel like it reflects the maturing internet and our maturing website," he added. Video here.
posted by Benny Andajetz on Aug 23, 2013 - 87 comments

STFU, Howard.

Monstergeddon is an annual, one-night tournament of monsters competing in various categories -- Best Kill, Most Unnecessary Collateral Damage, Sexiest Victim -- with the top prize being the coveted Killer Cup. The objective of the tournament is killing humans.
posted by Faint of Butt on Aug 21, 2013 - 23 comments

cntrl-alt-del

Build a new internet from scratch. Hyperboria is a global decentralized network running cjdns software. The goal of Hyperboria is to provide an alternative to the internet with the principles of security, scalability and decentralization at the core. Anyone can participate. Project Meshnet uses Hyperboria, here is a list of local meshnets, or start your own with a MeshBox or linux router.
posted by stbalbach on Aug 17, 2013 - 28 comments

The Cloud Begins with Coal

"The information and technology ecosystem now represents around 10 per cent of the world's electricity generation, and it's hungry for filthy coal. In a report likely to inspire depression among environmentalists, and fluffy statements from tech companies, analyst firm Digital Power Group has synthesized numerous reports and crunched data on the real electricity consumption of our digital world." - IT now 10 percent of world's electricity consumption, report finds
posted by jammy on Aug 17, 2013 - 34 comments

Down By Law

ISPs often don't say why a website is blocked and court orders are rarely voluntarily published. So when sites are blocked, it's really hard to find out why. 451 Unavailable is here to help ISPs make it clear why websites are blocked and to encourage courts to publish blocking orders. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on Aug 15, 2013 - 30 comments

Internet Ecosystem

How the Internet Ecosystem Works. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 11, 2013 - 11 comments

Privacy Instincts

Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2013 - 14 comments

Possible FBI infiltration of TOR

In a crackdown that FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network has been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail. FreedomWeb, an Irish company known for providing hosting for Tor "hidden services" -- services reached over the Tor anonymized/encrypted network -- has shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was arrested over allegations that he had facilitated the spread of child pornography. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 4, 2013 - 126 comments

You are the machine; the machine is you

This is where you go when you just can't stop looking at pictures on Facebook
posted by latkes on Aug 1, 2013 - 36 comments

The City Of Dreams Resurfaces After A Long Slumber

In the pre-podcast days of 1999, the then Sci-Fi Channel website worked with the Seeing Ear Theater and Bablyon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski to produce a series of Twilight Zone-inspired radio stories called "City Of Dreams" along with a cast that included Steve Buscemi, Tim Curry, Kevin Conway, and John Turturro. 13 episodes were planned, but only 8 got produced, and with the decline of Real Player and the Seeing Ear Theater, the episodes were thought to be lost to the mists of internet history. Until someone uploaded all of them to Youtube. (each episode about 30 min, link goes to the first video for the episode) The Damned Are Playing At Godzilla's Tonight!. Rolling Thunder .The Friends Of Jackie Clay . The Tolling Of The Hour. Night Calls. Samuel Becket, Your Ride Is Here. The Alpha And Omega Of David Wells . MSCD 00121J [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 1, 2013 - 16 comments

ONE WEIRD TRICK TO GET METAFILTER FAVORITES

Matthowie hates him! Mefite's shocking discovery of how to get 100 favorites in 10 minutes. Up your favorite ratio in 10 days with one weird trick, take your mefi performance to the next level. Click here [more inside]
posted by Carillon on Aug 1, 2013 - 104 comments

"I am absolutely clear that the state has a vital role to play."

Online pornography to be blocked by default in the UK, announces Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech today. Internet users will have to contact their ISPs to opt out of the filter. Possession of pornography depicting rape will also be illegal. Here is the full text of the speech. Coverage by The Independent, the Telegraph, and a shortened video of the speech at the Guardian. [more inside]
posted by Drexen on Jul 22, 2013 - 154 comments

People will move mountains to earn a gold star by their name.

Reflecting upon 14 years of blogging and observing internet communities, Anil Dash proposes 10 Rules of the Internet, based upon the lessons that he learned during that time. (via ★interesting; anildash previously on Metafilter)
posted by schmod on Jul 18, 2013 - 96 comments

The Hut Where the Internet Began

When Douglas Engelbart (previously) read a Vannevar Bush essay on a Philippine island in the aftermath of World War II, he found the conceptual space to imagine what would become our Internet...
posted by jim in austin on Jul 8, 2013 - 7 comments

www.altavista.digital.com

DEC - I mean Digital - I mean Compaq - er, CMGI - no, Overture; rather - Yahoo ... will shut down AltaVista for good next week.
posted by dmd on Jul 1, 2013 - 121 comments

Dream 1-1 is not my favorite mud dream.

First, SomethingAwful posted a parody of LifeHacker's How I Work series that imagined it interviewing famed Internetter Nick Smith, aka Ulillillia. Then Smith responded with a detailed 18-point critique of the original post. "Though not an all-out error, I primarily use paper towels instead of napkins for degreasing. Paper towels are far more effective and they practically never stick like napkins pretty much always do (they still do, depending on various circumstances (grease level of cheese and the food's temperature being the main ones)."
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 29, 2013 - 30 comments

one weird trick to improve your internet experience

Internet slideshows got you down? Deslide!* [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 15, 2013 - 35 comments

It's so loony, it might work

Project Loon: Google is testing an Internet access system mediated by stratospheric balloons. They are starting in New Zealand with 30 balloons.
posted by grouse on Jun 14, 2013 - 59 comments

Anonymous chic

Internet anonymity is the height of chic. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jun 13, 2013 - 59 comments

Post Modem Art

Jillian Mayer is a performance and visual artist concerned with new technology and the internet who frequently operates in the medium of viral video. In fact, you may already know her piece I Am Your Grandma (previously), which has been viewed several million times. Since "Grandma", she has tackled the digitization of human consciousness and remade (NSFW, brief nudity) La Jetee starring Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew, a film which screened at Sundance and resulted in Mayer and frequent collaborator Lucas Leyva being collectively named one of Filmmaker Magazine's 25 new faces of independent film for 2012. Her latest piece is a YouTube makeup tutorial on how to use Dazzle camouflage to defeat facial recognition software.
posted by nathancaswell on Jun 7, 2013 - 4 comments

Not a cheery indicator

A recent TV ad for Cheerios depits a heartwarming family vignette: An adorable tyke asks her mother if the cereal is good for the heart, her mother says yes, and the dad wakes up from his nap to find a pile of Cheerios on his chest. But the fact that the mother is white, the dad is black and the child mixed-race has touched off a firestorm of criticism that one media critic described as "a progressive-looking commercial collides with the ugliness of the Internet." Parent company General Mills says it is has no plans to stop airing the spot or to take it down from its YouTube channel. [more inside]
posted by Gelatin on Jun 7, 2013 - 219 comments

Where Looks Don’t Matter and Only the Best Writers Get Laid

How the feminist internet utopia failed, and we ended up with speculative realism. Contemporary mass culture equates anonymity with secrecy or downright negative intent, not harmless experimentation. Who lies about who they are online? Pedophiles, scammers, hackers, bullies, Wikileaks. Anonymity has turned from thrilling to terrifying. 1:1 self-to-body ratio is a moral mandate. It’s no wonder that nailing down objective reality seems so attractive.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 7, 2013 - 34 comments

A bad day for privacy.

Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones on Jun 6, 2013 - 415 comments

The Joy of Quiet

"All of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jun 4, 2013 - 63 comments

You could go to jail for a year for sharing HBO Go passwords

Jail for sharing HBO Go passwords New York Times tech journalist Jenna Wortham made a confession that could be used to send her to prison for a year or more. What was the startling criminal admission? She uses someone else’s password to sign into the cable-subscriber-only HBO Go app to watch ‘Game of Thrones.’
posted by sona on Jun 2, 2013 - 88 comments

A little old man and a little old lady

Abbi Jacobson got a letter in the mail, sent from Lt. Joseph O. Matthews, addressed to his wife, and was sent to her exact MacDougal Street address 70 years ago. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 28, 2013 - 20 comments

Based on your history, we know you are interested in cephalopods.

I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2013 - 30 comments

TrueRedditDrama vs DepthHub

A zoomable, searchable map of subreddits and how they're connected by crossposting.
posted by Zarkonnen on May 14, 2013 - 46 comments

AskMetafilter In 1946.

A Logic Named Joe is a short science-fiction story by Murray Leinster. Published in 1946, the story depicts data-mining, massively networked computers, search engines, privacy/censorship filters and internet porn. Read it here.
posted by The Whelk on May 13, 2013 - 35 comments

The end of "blink", the beginning of Blink...

The end of blink, the beginning of Blink... The Evolution of the Web, in a Blink
posted by Mister Bijou on May 11, 2013 - 61 comments

"Millions make me lose interest. It should have a 'B' in front of it."

How can a company that earns no money be worth a billion dollars? How you answer that question will determine whether you believe that what is now occurring in the office parks and strip-mall coffee shops of the San Francisco Peninsula is the last gasp of another speculative financial bubble or the early articulations of a new world order.
posted by four panels on May 4, 2013 - 106 comments

Poets and fanatics will be known

Security alert: notes from the frontline of the war in cyberspace Jon Ronson interviews Andrew Auernheimer aka weev, Kim Dotcom, 'Troy' from Anonymous and Mercedes Haefer
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 4, 2013 - 17 comments

Some big Internet companies, privacy, and the government

EFF's Who Has Your Back? for 2013. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published the 2013 edition of their analysis of how well your private data is protected from the government by about a dozen big internet companies. Also available as pdf. Focused on the US, but may apply elsewhere, too.
posted by at home in my head on May 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Back online after a year without the internet

"It's a been a year now since I 'surfed the web' or 'checked my email' or 'liked' anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. I've managed to stay disconnected, just like I planned. I'm internet free. And now I'm supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. I'm supposed to be enlightened. I'm supposed to be more 'real,' now. More perfect." Paul Miller is back on the Internet after spending a year offline. (previously)
posted by desjardins on May 1, 2013 - 60 comments

Free Speech on the Internet

The Delete Squad: Google, Twitter, Facebook and the new global battle over the future of free speech.
posted by homunculus on Apr 30, 2013 - 27 comments

Celebrating The Very Best That Tony Danza Never Did.

DANZA DID IT! Free Propadanza for Tony Danza. Call the hotline! "Fanza" fan art galleries. Spread Danza. Tony Danza.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 29, 2013 - 43 comments

Still far from that digital democracy any utopian could hope for.

7 (well, technically 6) myths of the digital divide.
posted by iamkimiam on Apr 26, 2013 - 8 comments

Who would win in a fight? Trudy or Annie?

Paul F. Tompkins and Allison Brie talk Community and Mad Men and then they create unsexy gifs and imitate various internet memes.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 22, 2013 - 157 comments

Cats vs dogs

The Internet is cat; books are dog. "We're reading dogs and clicking cats."
posted by stbalbach on Apr 12, 2013 - 7 comments

IRS Claims Authority to Read Your E-Mail Without A Warrant

The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 11, 2013 - 50 comments

MOOCs of Hazard

Will online education dampen the college experience? Yes. Will it be worth it? Well... [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 3, 2013 - 39 comments

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