People drop things on the Internet and run all the time—so we have to ask. In this edition, Venus Patrol founder and IGF chairman Brandon Boyer tells us more about a recent Saturday night sexbot experiment for the ages.
last night i “fed” the lonely sexbots to each other just to see if it would ever reach a logical conclusion: pic.twitter.com/afY8pKGJ0H
Brandon! So what happened here? So, I have a pretty unfortunate pattern of blithely agreeing to everything without really thinking through the ramifications, and this extends into me accepting basically any iMessage [...]
Longreads wants you to become a member. What do you get? The thing I like best is exclusives: advances on stories before publication. Also I like it when some weirdo I don't know recommends a bunch of stories that maybe I haven't seen before. I do like that! Anyway I gave them thirty whole dollars for a year's membership. That's right, for just $2.50 a year you can keep some starving words from being homeless, won't you give today.
No seriously, which demons did you confront via social media this weekend? Meghan McCain, for one, was busy. My only beef here, I guess, is that when you want to get into it with someone, you actually have to call them. The whole "call me" thing just doesn't work. (via)
Mike Shatzkin, a "widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry" (his bio), counsels that Brightline, Barry Diller and Scott Rudin's new ebook publishing company with the fun and talented Frances Coady, "would appear to be poised to compete with major publishers for major books." And: "Diller and Rudin, with their Hollywood roots, certainly have access to many of the great story-creators and storytellers." True, but they have two bad choices there in order to compete: explain the finances behind ebooks to authors who are used to being overpaid—"Hey, you get 50%! Of something between zero and infinity dollars!"—or, overpay those authors up front, and [...]
This is how it should be more often. One of the great things about rap music is how quickly it can take a piece of pop culture and interpolate it into hip-hop. The ease with which a hit song (in this case, Fun's "Tonight") can be sampled, looped up, and rhymed over, it's why rap is the most immediate—and sure, lots of times ephemeral and disposable—vehicle for artistic commentary on the times we live in. This was how 50 Cent rose to prominence ten years ago, a steady stream of roughed-up music, quickly made, often using pop songs or other rap songs that were on the [...]
"I have never in my life encountered such a thing. I've heard of fish die-offs and other strange natural phenomenon, but I've never experienced one before. It was very strange, but very fun." —Cedar Rapids nature lover Stephen Gwin has been doing a good thing in helping to rescue surviving grebes from among the thousands of dead ones scattered around the Walmart parking lot that a flock of the migratory waterfowl mistook for a much softer landing pad, like a lake, and slammed themselves into. But "fun" is a strange word to read in this instance.
While the lawsuit apparently filed today by the parent company of Nikki Finke's Deadline against the parent company of the Hollywood Reporter is largely about "misappropriating wholesale content" from Deadline, the fun begins when you see they accused the Reporter of straight up stealing code from their site TVLine. (The copyright infringement on the code seems pretty cut and dry. [PDF]) BUT THEN there's also a section on how the Reporter tried to "lure away" Deadline's employee, Ms. Finke, with a decent salary and a "ONE MILLION DOLLAR MALIBU HOME." Then there are like a thousand examples of stories that Deadline posted first and then the [...]
Michael Grimm, the former Marine and FBI agent who 1. spent an infamous 17 minutes in a bar bathroom in Bay Ridge, 2. does real estate business with a crook, 3. worked at a customer-gouging Wall Street outfit, 4. ran a restaurant that refused to pay workman's comp and was accused of not paying minimum wage, 5. was investigated by the FBI for fundraising with a dodgy Israeli mystic, 6. once allegedly held a club full of people hostage while waving around a gun (he claims it was in the line of duty, and was never charged), and 7. claims he never told said night club [...]
So many books. So little time. Every day just brings more! Here's a handy guide to help you choose which new books today you should buy. All of these books are available at your local independent bookseller, including fine establishments like McNally Jackson! Or anywhere else you might care to buy books! Let's begin….
Can we interest you in a reported history of the colonialist construction of the "Middle East" that paved the road to endless instability and death?
Pamela Erens' latest is a tale of two misfits at a fancy boarding school in 1979. The "heiress apparent" to James Salter, goes a blurb! This [...]
Watching Jennifer Udden, a literary agent at Donald Maass, live-tweet her slush pile reading today may upset and offend some people. But it's fascinating AND educational! No seriously, take some notes.
Today's the day that Thunderclap releases its first mass tweet into the wild. Late this morning, almost 2000 people are going to simultaneously Tweet a message from Matt Taibbi. If you don't know of it, Thunderclap is like Kickstarter for mass tweets: if enough people sign on to a message, it goes live. (This particular tweet now counts its total reach at "3,793,447 people.") I have mixed feelings about this project! It's sort of genius? And yet I also dislike shilling and intrusiveness on Twitter. (And FYI, we "signed on" to this tweet as an experiment, because we wanted to see what would happen. In other disclaimer news, [...]
"Republicans have refused Democrats' call for taxes on the wealthy. The president responded by ending the meeting." —Haha, gangsta! Oh wait: "But as he left, Obama added: 'I’ll see you tomorrow.'" Or? Perhaps this account? "When Obama was concluding the meeting, giving the closing remarks and talking about returning to the White House for a Thursday meeting, Cantor interrupted him and raised for the third time doing the possibility of a short-term extension." You know, when you make manipulative mischaracterizations, they're supposed to make you look better, not worse.
My friend Christopher Trapani is a composer of classical music. Apparently he is quite a good one, having won the Julius F. Ježek and Gaudeamus Prizes, among others. Also, one of his pieces was performed at Carnegie Hall, which I've heard of.
Before I met Chris I assumed that new classical music mostly involved people trying to find new discordant ways to extract terrible sounds from instruments that were designed to produce pleasant ones. It turns out that's exactly what it is, but with program notes like this: "Florence in 1899, or the unexplored ends of the earth. An exotic wash of sonorities, mystical metallic shades—almglocken, steel drum, [...]
GREAT NEWS AMERICA. We might get a Jeb Bush candidacy yet! The news is a-flurry with Jeb Bush news, though actual flurries have canceled his flight to D.C. today so he will not be Making News at the Cato Kaelin Institute tonight, with his pronouncements about the future of our race wars.
Question: What does this mean? "I’m not saying yes, I’m just not saying no. I’ve accomplished some things in my life that allow me now to — to have that kind of discretion, to be able to think about it."
I finally read the Olbermann filing against his former employer, Current TV, because it's Friday and I needed a laugh. (PDF.) It's pretty dramatic and overly aggrieved and not that damning, but then all he's claiming is that contracts were breached; it's not like anyone punched him. On the plus side, at least Olbermann is represented by real lawyers—Patricia Glaser (who did well for Conan!) and litigator Jill Basinger. Among Olbermann's complaints: Olbermann was treated as if he was hired to be a puppet! Not literally, I guess, or this would be a much better read.