The Internet

My Three-Month Facebook Dialogue With A Scammer From Malaysia Pretending To Be A Beautiful Woman

During Hurricane Irene weekend, while holed up in a friend’s apartment and looking for some stimulation, I got friend-requested and emailed by an obvious scammer on Facebook. The con artist, under the name “Claire Anrie,” used a few professional photos of an attractive young woman (whom I later reverse-image-searched and discovered was a personal trainer in New York) and a typo- and contradiction-filled profile.

"Claire" quickly asked me to send her money by Western Union so she could come back to the U.S. and be with me, her "husband." Over the next three months, I kept up an ongoing dialogue via Facebook messages and chat in which I [...]


Local Twitter Slang, And All That Jawn

.bbpBox{background:url( #131516;padding:20px;}

Would people stop calling me uneducated it offends my muthafuckin alma mater Hunter College.Thu Oct 20 00:21:55 via Twitter for iPadEllen BarkinEllenBarkin

Profanity is alive and well on Twitter, except in Utah, apparently. You'd expect heathen citydwellers to swear, and we do not disappoint, but the Bible belt is pretty foul-mouthed too (no word whether language there trended cleaner on Sundays). Thanks to tweets, blog comments and unlocked Facebook feeds, we know more than ever before about the way regular people—in New York, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, and [...]


Get Ready For Everting, Which You're Probably Already Experiencing To Some Extent

"Between 2009 and 2010 I spent a disastrous amount of time playing Mario Kart Wii. I’d come home at night, grab dinner and then sit obsessively for several hours clutching a little white plastic steering wheel. I’m not proud of this, but it’s necessary back story to explain why, one weekend as I was driving to New Jersey and some Jersey driver was swerving and lane-straddling in front of me on the George Washington Bridge, I instinctively reached down on the steering wheel for the button that, in Mario Kart, would send a red shell flying out in front of me to flip this asshole’s car off the road." [...]


"Pretty Colors" Tumblr to Run out of Material in the Year 5012

There are only 16,777,216 colors that can be represented on the web (under our current system). The Tumblr that celebrates them, Pretty Colors, has posted 1077 of those colors since January. That means this Tumblr can only exist (if it continues posting at the same rate) for another 10,433 years before it runs out of colors. If my math is right. Which it may not be. But it'll have run out of "pretty" colors long before then, most likely. How many of the colors that can exist online can also be considered pretty, even with an open mind? I'd give that Tumblr about another 3000 years. I look forward [...]


Was Aaron Swartz Stealing?

Since the July 19th indictment of Aaron Swartz for surreptitiously whooshing nearly five million JSTOR documents onto a laptop concealed in an MIT network closet, there's been a lot of codswallop written about JSTOR, about Aaron Swartz and about the public's right to access documents in the public domain. A 24-year-old computer prodigy and political activist, Swartz has been caricatured as either a hero or a villain; likewise JSTOR. The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, who brought the charges against Swartz: she might be a bit of a villain, okay. Information wants to be free, it's been said. But whether this means free of charge or merely [...]


Tie-Wearing Cat Makes Good Point

This should be required reading for anyone who is about to post an image macro to the Internet. I mean, it wouldn't change anything, but it would at least make people stop and think for a second before they went ahead and cheezburgered. And maybe in that second they would lose their wifi connection or get distracted or something. It's worth a shot.


In Sympathy With Candle Sniffers

When I was a kid, like eleven, I used to get those tubes of lip balm that smelled so strongly of lime or strawberry or pina colada and keep them in my desk in my room and basically huff them when I was supposed to be doing my homework. God, they smelled so good!


“All the News That's Fit to Gif”

Here, you really, really need this brand new web thing!


Beers In The Pants Dot Tumblr Dot Com

From the Internet that brought you Bros Icing Bros, it's…. Beers In The Pants Dot Tumblr Dot Com. (via, via)


Ifttt: Pretty Much the Greatest Thing Ever

Ifttt is pretty close to being the greatest thing in the world. Go explore the preset recipes or make your own.


Case History Of A Wikipedia Page: Nabokov’s 'Lolita'

Wikipedia has an article on almost every subject—including, it turns out, one on how to write "the perfect Wikipedia article." The guidelines run through a list of the attributes such an article would have—e.g., "[i]s precise and explicit," "[i]s well-documented," "[i]s engaging"—before ending on a cautionary note: The perfect Wikipedia article is, by virtue of the collaborative editing process that creates it, "not attainable": "Editing may bring an article closer to perfection, but ultimately, perfection means different things to different editors." And as editors pursue perfection, they also must keep in mind another essential quality of a good Wikipedia entry: neutrality. That is, no matter [...]


The Internet is Netflix (Or, the Internet is TV)

Remember when Wired was telling us the "web" was dead or whatever? (When, in terms of volume delivered, it grew seven-fold between 2005 and 2010.) Well, frightening new development! Half of North America's web use (or "internet use"; we're being bad with terminology) is "real time entertainment." What's that mean? It means Netflix is 30% of all downstream traffic. (For comparison, YouTube is only 10%.) Now, don't panic: video is "bigger" than text, duh, so just because all internet traffic for pulling websites to you nifty computer is only 18% of total use, well, remember that websites are "smaller." But soon you will be getting your websites [...]


Best Hype Award: The "Dead Island" Trailer

Deep Silver, the publishers-to-be of the videogame "Dead Island," claimed yesterday that they hadn't yet sold film rights to their as-of-yet unfinished and unreleased product, in development since basically forever, despite reports to the contrary. Here's a working theory about this unusual event (the "Dead Island" trailer: has like 2.5 million views, from the last five days): "My theory: Deep Silver knew Dead Island was in video game purgatory and they needed something to gauge the interest in it to determine if they should shelve it or issue yet another release date. So they came up with this bit of cinematic genius, something that would go viral [...]


The Blogger's Cruel Burden

Tweeting is easy; blogging is hard. [Via]


The Man Who Makes Money Publishing Your Nude Pics

The word "hated" adorns Hunter Moore's social-media bios. He has drawn the ire of the music industry, young people from all over the United States (as well as Canada, England and Australia), of privacy defenders—and, well, of many, many other people who happen to come across his website, Is Anyone Up?, and find it appalling. The death threats have not fazed him. Nor has the spectre of lawsuits; while many have been threatened, to Moore's knowledge, not one has been filed.

The stabbing, though; that did get his attention. A young woman, unhappy to have had her pictures posted on his site, ambushed Moore one afternoon in March as [...]


Photos of Sara: The Fake Stalker and His Secret Tumblr

Michael Walker was acting strangely. The 23-year-old Seattle soundman had just been re-introduced to Sara Merker, a college student a couple years older than he was, and the first thing he said was, "Can I take a picture of you for my blog?"

This was the second time Merker had really talked with Walker. The first time was a very brief interaction at a party about a year before. Now Merker was at a bar to meet Nick, a mutual friend, and Walker had tagged along. "I was like, why is this guy being weird to me?" said Merker. "I thought he was kidding. So I said, yeah, sure, let's [...]


JSTOR Makes Early Journal Content Free

Yowza! In a stunning triumph for open access and the free dissemination of works in the public domain, JSTOR announced this morning that all its out-of-copyright journal articles have been made freely available worldwide.

We encourage broad use of the Early Journal Content, including the ability to reuse it for non-commercial purposes. We ask that you acknowledge JSTOR as the source of the content and provide a link back to our site. Please also be considerate of other users and do not use robots or other devices to systematically download these works as this may be disruptive to our systems.

We also have Aaron Swartz to thank for [...]


Okay, Who's Messing with "Help a Reporter"?

There are only two answers, and neither of them are good. Either "Help a Reporter"—a lazyweb service that broadcasts "reporter requests" for sources—is a terrible piece of performance art, or there are a lot of people lazily writing total garbage stories. OH WAIT: there's a third option: someone's messing with the system, man. Hilarious! It starts subtle…

.bbpBox100956094213533697 {background:url( #9AE4E8;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata img{float:left;margin:0 7px 0 0px;width:38px;height:38px} p.bbpTweet a:hover{text-decoration:underline}p.bbpTweet span.timestamp{font-size:12px;display:block}

URGHARO: needs to speak to a camel expert.less than a minute ago via web [...]


Wikipedia And The Death Of The Expert

"Learners are doers, not recipients."—Walter J. Ong, "McLuhan as Teacher: The Future Is a Thing of the Past"

It's high time people stopped kvetching about Wikipedia, which has long been the best encyclopedia available in English, and started figuring out what it portends instead. For one thing, Wikipedia is forcing us to confront the paradox inherent in the idea of learners as "doers, not recipients." If learners are indeed doers and not recipients, from whom are they learning? From one another, it appears; same as it ever was.

It's been over five years since the landmark study in Nature that showed "few differences in accuracy" between Wikipedia and the [...]


Murdoch's The Daily Already Inspiring The Internet

Interested in The Daily but still not sure it's worth buying an iPad for? Check out The Daily: Indexed and The Daily Daily and the inevitable other bunch of Tumblrs that follow in their wake.