Kristy Tillman on Twitter: "People think Kanye is non-conformist. When the desire for acceptance by traditional mainstream power structures literally has him rattled."
People think Kanye is non-conformist.
When the desire for acceptance by traditional mainstream power structures literally has him rattled.
3 days ago
John McAfee: Ashley Madison "Was An Inside Job"
We know from Snowden that insiders with an axe to grind can easily steal data and release it to the public. So the idea that the Ashley Madison hack was an inside job isn’t out of the question. If we take McAfee and his experience at his word, the inside job case seems more than a little plausible. The idea that a woman did this, on the other had, because “only women call men scumbags and men hate Valentine’s Day,” is bonkers—not to mention downright offensive. Welcome to the mind of John McAfee
10 days ago
Jonah Lehrer Wasn’t the Only Journalist Shaping His Conclusions -- New York Magazine
The Insight is less of an idea than a conceit, a bit of alchemy that transforms minor studies into news, data into magic. Once the Insight is in place—Blink, Nudge, Free, The World Is Flat—the data becomes scaffolding. It can go in the book, along with any caveats, but it’s secondary. The purpose is not to substantiate but to enchant.
publishing  bullshit 
11 days ago
Jonah Lehrer Wasn’t the Only Journalist Shaping His Conclusions -- New York Magazine
He was scrambling up the slippery slope to the TED-talk elite: authors and scientists for whom the book or the experiment is just part of a multimedia branding strategy. He was on a conveyor belt of blog posts, features, lectures, and inspirational books, serving an entrepreneurial public hungry for futurist fables, easy fixes, and scientific marvels in a world that often feels tangled, stagnant, and frustratingly familiar. He was less interested in wisdom than in seeming convincingly wise.
11 days ago
An Ashley Madison Recession? Or an Ashley Madison Stimulus? - The New York Times
Let’s guess that 10 million accounts are real and from the United States, and nearly all are men. That still seems high, actually, as there are only 65 million married men in the United States, so that would put 15 percent of them on Ashley Madison.

But let’s run with the number for a worst-case scenario, and let’s say that half of them were dumb enough to use easily identifiable email addresses or can be identified through credit card information. That brings us to 5 million marriages at risk.
13 days ago
The Misadventures of Issa Rae - The New York Times
Rae grew up in the ’90s, which is sometimes called the golden era of black television. Many of the most memorable shows on TV that decade — ‘‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’’ ‘‘Family Matters,’’ ‘‘Martin,’’ ‘‘In Living Color,’’ ‘‘Sister, Sister’’ — starred black actors and were written by black writers, and many had long runs on major networks. Some smaller networks had entire lineups that skewed black, too: Fox, UPN and the WB in particular. But this era was short-lived. Kristal Brent Zook, the author of ‘‘Color by Fox: The Fox Network and the Revolution in Black Television,’’ says that the collapse was caused by these networks tacking toward the mainstream. In the mid-’90s, Fox started to model itself after the Big Three networks. ‘‘Once they had the means to move up in the world, they didn’t need the African-American viewer anymore,’’ Zook says. ‘‘In 1994, they just canceled the majority of black-produced shows in one fell swoop.’’
race  television  gatekeeping 
13 days ago
Advisors on Ashley Madison Hack: “Guys are scared as f**k…” - AdvisorHUB
“we’ve had meetings this morning about this issue and how we may have increased HR questions from advisors and admin staff. Our tech staff gave us a print out, with redacted names and geographies, of personnel that could be affected just based off the last two years of internet activity on their desktops. You’d think guys would be smarter than that – but they aren’t. We’ve already fielded two “anonymous” questions about it. The kind where they are “asking for a friend”. Better than 95% of the data we looked at was from dudes.”
ashley-madison  digital-dump 
15 days ago
Ashley Madison hack is not only real, it’s worse than we thought | Ars Technica
contain addresses, as well as GPS coordinates. I suspect that many people created fake accounts, but with an app that reported their real GPS coordinates.
ashley-madison  gps  faking 
15 days ago
Jonah Lehrer book proposal on love: Did he plagiarize Adam Gopnik?
A chapter on the secret to having a happy marriage, for example, comes close to copying a recent essay on the same subject by Adam Gopnik, Lehrer’s one-time colleague at The New Yorker. Gopnik wrote:

In 1838, when Darwin was first thinking of marriage, he made an irresistible series of notes on the subject—a scientific-seeming list of marriage pros and cons. … In favor of marriage, he included the acquisition of a “constant companion and friend in old age” and, memorably and conclusively, decided that a wife would be “better than a dog, anyhow.”
Here’s Lehrer’s version, from the proposal:

In July 1838, Charles Darwin considered the possibility of marriage in his scientific notebook. His thoughts quickly took the shape of a list, a balance sheet of reasons to “marry” and “not marry.” The pros of wedlock were straightforward: Darwin cited the possibility of children (“if it please God”), the health benefits of attachment and the pleasure of having a “constant companion (& friend in old age).” A wife, he wrote, was probably “better than a dog anyhow.”
15 days ago
How Did Amazon End Up as Literary Enemy No. 1? | Vanity Fair
“What ended up happening was that discovery was becoming the biggest problem in publishing.”...Many in publishing blame Amazon for the natural and inevitable transition to online book sales. This same transition has happened with other forms of entertainment. Rather than innovate and serve their customers, publishers have been resisting technology. They could have invented their own Internet bookstores, their own e-readers, their own self-publishing platforms. Instead, fearing the future, they fought to protect the status quo.
discovery  publishing 
15 days ago
The Greatest Mystery: Making a Best Seller - New York Times
WHEN Shana Kelly, a literary agent at the William Morris Agency, submitted Curtis Sittenfeld’s first novel, “Cipher,” to book publishers in 2003, she had high expectations. She contacted nearly two dozen high-ranking editors at major publishers, expecting every one to make offers for her client’s coming-of-age story set at a boarding school.


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Eric Simonoff, a literary agent, says the unpredictability of the book industry shocks people in other fields.
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Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Predicting sales is extremely difficult, says Bill Thomas, editor in chief of Doubleday Broadway. “It’s guesswork,” he says.
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Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Susan Weinberg, publisher of PublicAffairs, says some of the best and most interesting books have a unique appeal. “I don’t know how you’d research that,” she says.
Within weeks, though, most editors had passed. “They loved it but weren’t sure they could sell a lot of copies, because they couldn’t figure out how to market it,” Ms. Kelly said. In the end, Random House was the only publisher to make an offer, giving Ms. Sittenfeld a $40,000 advance.
17 days ago
some things
Which brings me to the question of why this story stuck out so much: well, surprise, it is about men policing women’s bodies! The fact that the father calls Target back, telling a random stranger that his daughter is pregnant to reclaim his honor from a misinformed accusation, says everything you need to know about whether this story cares at all about the teenager supposedly profiled. To kick it up a level, the whole “revelation” logic of knowledge here is gendered: knowing a girl is pregnant means revealing it to her father, discovering the algorithm behind the scenes is a matter of unveiling/opening the kimono/insert weird sexist, orientalist knowledge metaphor of your choice here, and there is plenty of good feminist STS work that talks about the relationship between male scientists and “female” nature that all this undressing talk stems from.

So, I hate this story, and I hate the understanding of “knowledge” that it promotes at every level. Please everyone stop using it as an example of how algorithms work and why we should care.
tracking  data  fake  analytics  behavior 
20 days ago
20 Home Pages, 500 Trackers Loaded: Media Succumbs to Monitoring Frenzy | Monday Note
A single click on its Mail Online flagship sends a whopping 672 requests, but it manages to run them at blazing speed (19 sec loading time) for a feather weight of 3 Mb, including 2.7 Mb for 578 super-optimized pictures that don’t exceed 120 Kb each.
21 days ago
Building the Next New York Times Recommendation Engine - The New York Times
This works well most of the time, but occasionally degrades the user experience. For instance, one reader noted that while she was interested in same-sex pieces, occasionally in the Weddings section, she was being recommended wedding coverage about heterosexual couples. This is because a low-frequency tag, “Weddings and Engagements,” was in an article previously clicked, outweighing all other tags that may have been more applicable for that reader.
content  metadata 
22 days ago
The ethics of modern web ad-blocking – Marco.org
I recently started using Ghostery on my computers, and a simple homemade iOS content blocker that I may release for iOS 9’s launch. The web performance improvements with these are staggering, and the reports of quite how much Ghostery is blocking on most pages is shocking and disgusting.

Web publishers had things pretty nice for a while. Monetization was usually as simple as dropping a <script> tag from an ad service into your template. Want to add stats and analytics? Just drop in another <script> tag from another service. The bizdev people made a deal to integrate another analytics service for another few pennies? Go ahead, drop in yet another <script> tag.
tracking  web 
22 days ago
Amy Pascal Called Angelina Jolie As Soon As Emails Leaked: Details - Us Weekly
"Everybody understood because we all live in this weird thing together called Hollywood. If we all actually were nice, it wouldn't work."
privacy  sony-hack 
5 weeks ago
Sony Pictures: Inside the Hack of the Century, Part 3 - Fortune
Norse officials say they now believe North Koreans pulled off the attack with “some assistance” from former Sony employees.
5 weeks ago
Sony Pictures: Inside the Hack of the Century, Part 2 - Fortune
On Sept. 25, Pascal, back in L.A. and sitting in temple on the Jewish New Year holiday, emailed Rogen an emotional personal plea to make the scene “a little less gory.” “No one has backed you more than I have,” she wrote. “And this isn’t some flunky it’s the chairman of the entire sony corporation who I am dealing with. You must know there are very few relationships and film makers I would let myself be in this situation for.”

Rogen relented, agreeing to reduce Kim’s “flaming hair by 50%,” cut “three out of four of the face embers,” and alter “the color of the head chunks to try to make them less gross.”
sony-hack  patriotism  film  racism 
5 weeks ago
Bob Mould's Beautiful, Ruinous Life In Punk : NPR
Little bits here and there, and then my first partner and I got together in April of '83 and we were together for six years. So, yeah, I was 22 when I had my first long-term relationship — and I guess by then, in Minneapolis, my sexuality was an open secret. But without the Internet, it's not getting posted on somebody else's social-media page right away, so it takes a little more time for the information to get around the country.
lgbt  closet  punk 
5 weeks ago
John McAfee: The Ashley Madison hack is the death knell of secrets
First and foremost, the group claiming responsibility for the hack – The Impact Team – does not exist. There is only one person involved in this hack. I cannot tell you how I know, but the simple published data should help point to this fact. The group's name has never appeared in any prior hack. The name has not surfaced at any time, neither in the deep web nor the dark web, nor anywhere else
ashley-madison  morality 
6 weeks ago
Mouse can't double-click open folders | Apple Support Communities
"Apparently, I had the mouse double-click speed set at maximum, and that causes the mouse to not be able to click open a file or document. Problem was solved be slowing down the double-click speed a few notches."
mac  fixed 
6 weeks ago
bio — milkred
Rachel Law is a conceptual artist, game designer, web programmer and creative technologist currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

Her practice is centered around social mythologies and how technology facilitates the creation of new communities. Her work spans across a wide range of mediums ranging from interactive installations to film photography and book-art.
artist  data  machine-learning  tracking 
6 weeks ago
About Constant - Constant
Constant is a non-profit association, an interdisciplinary arts-lab based and active in Brussels since 1997.

Constant works in-between media and art and is interested in the culture and ethics of the World Wide Web. The artistic practice of Constant is inspired by the way that technological infrastructures, data-exchange and software determine our daily life. Free software, copyright alternatives and (cyber)feminism are important threads running through the activities of Constant.
art  belgium  feminism 
6 weeks ago
The heads are rolling today | MetaFilter
If you use Reddit, you are now funding some of the worst hate groups on the internet.
6 weeks ago
Reddit: can anyone clean up the mess behind 'the front page of the internet'? | Technology | The Guardian
Most of the time, the Reddit you hear about is a fun site, full of people sharing and creating memes, gifs and communities. Almost every viral trend will have passed through Reddit on its way to going mainstream, assuming it didn’t originate on the site in the first place.

But every now and again, the dark side of the site shows its face. Most recently, that happened with “The Fappening”.
7 weeks ago
If you're not paying for the product, you are the product. I have to admit,…
Google is the most moral company in which I have ever worked.  But guarding our users' privacy doesn't just make moral sense, it makes business sense.  If we purposefully violated our users' privacy, we wouldn't have a business at all before very long.
google  thebook 
7 weeks ago
Native American activist to sue Facebook over site's 'real name' policy | Technology | The Guardian
“They have made it very clear that they don’t want to share how enforcement works because they think people will game the system,” said Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) activist Nadia Kayyali, who has discussed the policy with Facebook in private meetings.

Kayyali said this was ironic because people are using the existing system to target groups.
facebook  real-names 
7 weeks ago
yishan comments on Content Policy update. AMA Thursday, July 16th, 1pm pst.
The free speech policy was something I formalized because it seemed like the wiser course at the time. It's worth stating that in that era, we were talking about whether it was ok for people to post creepy pictures of women taken legally in public. That's shitty, but it's a far cry from the extremes of hate that some parts of the site host today. It seemed that allowing creepers to post (anonymized) pictures of women taken in public, in a relatively small subreddit that never showed up on the front page, was a small price to pay for making it clear that we were a place welcoming of all opinions and discourse.
reddit  free-speech 
7 weeks ago
A Literary Glass Ceiling? Why Magazines Aren't Reviewing More Female Writers. | The New Republic
It was downhill from there, with three publishers scoring around 30 percent—Norton, Little Brown, and Harper—and the rest 25 percent and below, including the elite literary houses Knopf (23 percent) and FSG (21 percent).
7 weeks ago
Tom Weldon: 'Some say publishing is in trouble. They are completely wrong' | Books | The Guardian
"In the last four years, Penguin and Random House have had the best years in their financial history," he says. "Book publishers have managed the digital transition better than any other media or entertainment industry. I don't understand the cultural cringe around books.
7 weeks ago
Fix reddit with bitcoin. — Medium
The only problem is that reddit’s servers are hosted by a central organization. Because humans have interests, and no two humans’ interests align perfectly, it is often the case that the interests of reddit, Inc. come into conflict with reddit, the users. Sometimes this means too much advertising, but more generally it’s that reddit, Inc. focuses a little more on converting content into money so they can pay their bills and give a return to their investors, and a little less on building better tools and giving a better experience for the users of reddit. And the users don’t get paid for their labor.
7 weeks ago
The Death of Reddit | Chuq Von Rospach • Writing & Commentary
I don’t have a Reddit account because, ultimately, I could not support Reddit because of the groups they allow into that basement. How you feel about it is a decision you have to make, but in my mind, to the degree you help Reddit thrive by being a user, mod or contributor, you’re contributing to the success of that basement floor of rooms you’d never want to visit as well. I won’t enable that behavior, even indirectly. I am not judging your decision — but I am encouraging you to think and judge yourself.
7 weeks ago
Is Reddit's New CEO Really Committed To Combatting Harassment - BuzzFeed News
“Instead of promoting free expression of ideas, we are seeing our open policies stifling free expression; people avoid participating for fear of their personal and family safety.” In the post, Reddit’s admins suggest that “one of our basic rules is ‘Keep everyone safe,’” which is why the site implemented a series of protocols “to prohibit attacks and harassment of individuals through Reddit with the goal of preventing them.”
7 weeks ago
How ‘Privilege’ Became a Provocation - The New York Times
‘‘Privilege saturates’’ — and privilege stains. Which might explain why this word pricks and ‘‘opportunity’’ and ‘‘advantage’’ don’t. ‘‘I can choose to not act racist, but I can’t choose to not be privileged,’’ a friend once told me with alarm.
race  language  privilege 
7 weeks ago
'Halt and Catch Fire' Episode 7: Joe goes hard after Mutiny
Donna is horrified at what happened, and has witnessed one of the earliest examples of the internet’s power to bring hurt and evil into others’ lives thanks to its anonymity.
7 weeks ago
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