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.
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.
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."
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.]
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
, 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
). He has songs about other animals, like crabs
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
Launching my first product
Brand, Make, Sell
Sell, Make, Brand
: "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]
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.
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...
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.
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.
Build a new internet from scratch
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.
"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
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.
is here to help ISPs make it clear why websites are blocked and to encourage courts to publish blocking orders. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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
When Douglas Engelbart
) 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
DEC - I mean Digital - I mean Compaq - er, CMGI - no, Overture; rather - Yahoo ... will shut down AltaVista for good
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)."
Internet slideshows got you down? Deslide
!* [more inside]
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
), which has been viewed several million times. Since "Grandma", she has tackled the digitization of human consciousness
(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.
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]
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.
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.
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.’
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]
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.
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.
The end of
, the beginning of Blink...
The Evolution of the Web, in a Blink
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.
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.
"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.
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]