A tiny revelation from James Bamford's compelling new profile of Edward Snowden in Wired: One day an intelligence officer told him that TAO—a division of NSA hackers—had attempted in 2012 to remotely install an exploit in one of the core routers at a major Internet service provider in Syria, which was in the midst of a prolonged civil war. This would have given the NSA access to email and other Internet traffic from much of the country. But something went wrong, and the router was bricked instead—rendered totally inoperable. The failure of this router caused Syria to suddenly lose all connection to the Internet—although the public didn't know [...]
Yahoo buying Tumblr is digital gentrification.
— Jason Chen (@diskopo) May 19, 2013
The question of the weekend is: "Why did Yahoo! spend one-third of their cash on hand to buy a company that by all accounts is about to run out of money?"
And here are some fairly sober answers, including: "if you were given 1.1 billion dollars, would you be able to build a service used by more than ten million people for more than an hour a month? You could not. That's a bigger audience than American Idol, or for that matter anything else (except Facebook or Twitter)." That's very attractive!
(I mean [...]
The longhairs with the pocket protectors had already set up the lines between USC and Stanford and UC Santa Barbara. It was 1969, a weird year of technological and social progress (Apollo 11, Mariner 6 and 7, the Stonewall Riots) and de-evolution (President Richard Nixon, the Manson Murders). Students were still seizing campus buildings—SDS took the Harvard administration building that spring—but on this day 43 years ago, the hippie nerds in the computer labs made the last connection in their four-node Defense Department-funded networked computer project. The fourth computer came online at the University of Utah.
"Mariah Carey and Barack Obama each had something to sell this week, and they made live videos to do it. Both videos bombed."
Have you or your friends had your Gmail accounts hacked for the purposes of shilling Viagra? The good news is that you're not alone. The slightly troubling news is that this mini-epidemic has been ensuing for quite a while in Internet time, and there doesn't really seem to be much news on what, exactly, is going on!
Google's official support forum has a lengthy thread on the hacks, started by someone who felt the pain on April 10:
Checking further I could see someone logged in to my account from Mobile device from brazil and I never use mobile device. Am from India only. Anyway changed [...]
JESUS CHRIST, IT TOOK ME 49 SECONDS TO EVEN FIND THE "TABLE OF CONTENTS" LINK ON THE NEW YORKER'S WEBSITE. All I can see is "MOST EMAILED" and "FOLLOW US ON TWITTER" and a "GET A FREE UMBRELLA" and BUNCH OF DAMN BLOGS and a parade of podcasts that, does anyone listen to those? Maybe they do, I don't know, I don't have a long commute or whatever. Seriously, what the hell people! I want to read your word-based content, I do, I value it, but you are hurting me here! Oooh, a new Vijay Seshadri poem!
When Caroline Eisenmann, a young assistant at a New York literary agency, decided to rename her OkCupid profile, she wanted something that would make her stand out—a name that wouldn’t get lost amongst the omnipresent references to indie bands and cute animals, something that was “flippant” but with “a bit of a melancholic undertone” that would attract a suitably urbane mate, Eisenmann told me. Fingers poised over the keyboard, she wrote:
OkCupid rejected it. That it wouldn't accept the lopsided, grinning face with upturned palms is almost strange: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is, and was, part of the language of the internet, and it has been popping up more than [...]
A "serial entrepreneur" is in "stealth mode" for his "new blog" which, he reveals, is going to "target female readers," because "so much of the new media publishing focus is still on men" and "there is a massive market failure going on right now" and "so few new media properties have tried to capture the demographic ." No, I've actually cherry-picked the good sentences
I know, it's so crazy, absolutely no one has touched the market for women online, now maybe finally someone will build a web publishing company that "targets female readers" and then take it public, because what an amaaaaazingly good [...]
"Is the recession really and truly over," is what we began to ponder, Carrie Bradshaw-style, as the invitations to holiday parties began to overflow our inboxes. "Kind of," is the answer! Because we were pondering that at the same time as the New York Times was planning to lay people off and Rupert Murdoch was shuttering The Daily. So kind of not.
We also learned that there is no party-planning communication between different media outlets. December 12th? You are a holiday NIGHTMARE. Let's look!
"Huffington Post FULL OF SHIT? (Yes!)," an editorial by musician John Mayer, Grade 11.
Two weeks ago, MTV's Video Music Awards embraced the liveblogging concept, hiring Internet personality-construct iJustine to preside over mentions of the show on the microblogging service Twitter-and they reaped Internet rewards when Kanye West ran up on stage and sparked a million angry blog posts. Martha Stewart's eponymous TV show took a similar tack yesterday, when it taped a show to air this Friday devoted to what the domestic empress described as "all you need to know about tech and social netwworking" [sic]. Attendees were encouraged to Tweet and blog throughout the taping; there was even an official hashtag that the warm-up comedian confusedly announced to [...]
I have been sitting on my stoop in the East Village this morning like an old Polish woman and I have counted exactly zero guys with pot bellies, even though this is the hot new trend, according to the elitist New York Times. Here is the thing: Manhattan is an incredibly trim place, on the most part. Last night I was walking by Gramercy Park and I was behind a large group of people who were clearly from out of town, and I could tell only because of two things: they were wearing amazingly cheap clothing and they were, well, a large group of people! That is a fine [...]
New York City is going to replace its ninety-six hundred or so public pay phones, which obviously nobody uses anymore because a) who even talks on the phone and b) on the occasions when people do speak into a small grill to transport their voices across time and space, it's typically one that they carry with them except c) people who can't afford miniature computers or the oppressively priced monthly service plans that allow them to work. They're going to be supplanted by some ten thousand "public communications structures" that will provide free Wi-Fi to anyone, so long as he or she stands close enough to view the [...]
An older relative was visiting me some years ago and became visibly upset because my wifi network wasn't guarded by a password. "What if somebody gets onto it?" he asked.
"That's the idea," I said. "Wireless Internet should be everywhere, so people can use it."
Questioned about the security, I said it was perfectly okay with me if some doubtful guest looked inside the Time-Warner cable modem or the wifi base station. None of it was connected to any of my computers, right? (I am not sure if this was actually "safe" or not.) Plus, this was before Netflix Instant Video and the Hulu and all this bandwidth-intensive streaming and [...]
No, literally, the Internet is over. Average packet loss today in North America? 32%.
Today Google announced its plan to worm its way inside the living rooms of Americans, which will be known as, sigh, Google TV. (It's like WebTV, but branded!) The Google guys claim that their innovation will marry the power of the Internet and the high-resolution screens of America's televisions, with a Google-developed search engine that will cross the boundaries of live TV, recorded TV, and online TV and an Intel-manufactured chip that will go into TVs produced by the likes of Sony. At this afternoon's big splashy launch event, the word "seamless" was apparently used a lot. (So was the term "open source," which will surely butter [...]
Free Wi-Fi in McDonald's starts next month! Soon the only exercise we will get will involve walking up to the counter for more fries! It's been a productive few millennia, human beings, make sure you grab yourselves an apple pie on the way out.
The team behind "People of Wal-Mart," a site I don't really love, have come out of the closet, revealing themselves to be two brothers (Adam and Andrew Kipple) and a friend (Luke Wherry), who hail from the greater Pittsburgh area and currently live in glamorous Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The brothers explained the site to CNN.