Tag Archives | Cyberculture

The Rise of Microporn

Vine_apps_logoOK Vine users, now we know your dirty secret, courtesy of New York Magazine:

David is a 21-year-old guy from London who listens to Kendrick Lamar, obsessively watches the British TV drama Top Boy, and tweets about grades and drugs. Whenever he feels like it, he pulls down his pants, points his phone toward his crotch, and tapes himself masturbating for six seconds. He publishes the results on Vine, a microvideo app dedicated to the quick and easy sharing of Internet catnip: pets acting cute, skateboarders falling down, and — inevitably — porn.

In the first eleven days after David joined Vine, he racked up 47 explicit videos, 50 followers who liked what they saw, and — he says — three women who wanted to meet up with him in real life. Unlike a professional porn star, David never needed to show up on set, ejaculate on cue, or show his face.

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Is Internet English Debasing The Language? Not IMHO

Logo "LOL"WTF? Tell us yr thoughts in the comments. Steven Poole defends the corruption of the Queen’s English for the Guardian:

The internet might be a historic boon for kitten-fanciers and steaming-eared trolls, but it’s not all good news. Online writing, you see, is destroying the purity of English as we know it and threatening to dumb us all down into a herd of screen-jabbing illiterates. Or so runs one regular technophobic complaint, the latest version of which has been offered by Robert McCrum. He is worried about what he describes as “the abuse and impoverishment of English online (notably, in blogs and emails)” and what he perceives as “the overall crassness of English prose in the age of global communications”. The remedy, as so often for such linguo-pessimists, is George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language“, about whose loopy prescriptions I have previously recorded my own reservations.

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Workers Spend 60 to 80 Percent Of Work Time ‘Cyberloafing’

FEMA - 32323 - FEMA photographer Mark Wolfe working at a computer in Findlay, OH JFO“They” are on to you, disinfonauts … via Newswise:

Businesses must deal with weary-eyed office workers who are sitting behind computer screens and watching cat videos, shopping online and updating their Facebook statuses.

A Kansas State University researcher studied cyberloafing — wasting time at work on the Internet — and the effects of Internet use policies and punishment on reducing cyberloafing.

Joseph Ugrin, assistant professor of accounting at Kansas State University, and John Pearson, associate professor of management at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, found that company policies are not enough to stop workers from wasting time at work and that sanctions with policies must be consistently enforced for policies to be effective.

The study will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Cyberloafing results in lost productivity and could put companies in legal trouble when workers conduct illegal activity or unacceptable behavior like viewing pornography on work computers.

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Big Business Is Gaming You

Your world is being gamed, reports Nick Wingfield in the New York Times:

Congratulations. Reading the first paragraph of this article has earned you a badge.

If this made-up award makes you feel good about yourself, then you are on your way to understanding gamification, a business trend — some would say fad — that aims to infuse otherwise mundane activities with the excitement and instant feedback of video games.

Many businesses are using these game tricks to try to get people hooked on their products and services — and it is working, thanks to smartphones and the Internet.

Buying a cup of coffee? Foursquare, the social networking app that helped popularize the gamification idea, gives people virtual badges for checking in at a local cafe or restaurant.

Conserving energy? More than 75 utilities have begun using a service from a company called Opower that awards badges to customers when they reduce their energy consumption.

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Internet English Is Blur

Photo: chrislb (CC)

Grammar police, start your engines. The Internet is corrupting the English language at an alarming rate per this report from the BBC News Magazine:

Online, English has become a common language for users from around the world. In the process, the language itself is changing…

There are now thought to be some 4.5 billion web pages worldwide. And with half the population of China now on line, most of them are written in Chinese.

Still, some linguists predict that within 10 years English will dominate the internet – but in forms very different to what we accept and recognise as English today.

That’s because people who speak English as a second language already outnumber native speakers. And increasingly they use it to communicate with other non-native speakers, particularly on the internet where less attention is paid to grammar and spelling and users don’t have to worry about their accent.

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What’s Up With Hunter Moore?

A certain segment of the tech crowd is aghast at the prospect of the return of Hunter Moore to the so-called “revenge porn” segment of the web. A breathless story by Jessica Roy in the New York Observer makes him out to be a modern day Antichrist of the Internet, but I can’t help feeling as though Moore is punking the Observer and its outraged readers – any insight from the disinfoverse?

…Mr. Moore is the proprietor of Is Anyone Up, which until last Spring was the web’s most prominent revenge porn hub, a site where spurned exes post embarrassing images of former lovers. Deemed The Most Hated Man on the Internet by Rolling Stone, Mr. Moore revels in his position as a professional antagonist, gleefully flinging around his favored retort—“I really don’t give a fuck.” He doesn’t sleep well at night, but not because his day job haunts him: he’s an insomniac.

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When Will The World End? Is Neil Armstrong Muslim? Was George Washington Gay?

Apparently the most popular internet search question we have about celebrities is whether or not they are gay. Even, or perhaps especially, the Pope. Via the New York Times:

There are the questions you ask friends, family and close confidants. And then there are the questions you ask the Internet.

Search engines have long provided clues to the topics people look up. But now sites like Google and Bing are showing the precise questions that are most frequently asked, giving everyone a chance to peer virtually over one another’s shoulders at private curiosities. And they are revealing interesting patterns.

Frequently asked questions include: When will the world end? Is Neil Armstrong Muslim? Was George Washington gay?

The questions come from a feature that Google calls “autocomplete” and Microsoft calls “autosuggest.” These anticipate what you are likely to ask based on questions that other people have asked. Simply type a question starting with a word like “is” or “was,” and search engines will start filling in the rest.

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Inside the Deep Web

Chris 73 (CC)

Shawn Wasson at The News Junkie describes his journey into the other Internet:

The Internet has evolved quite a bit since I first logged on to CompuServe in 1994. I’d spent a few years tooling around on BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) connections throughout the country at that point and the most visible portions of a forming World Wide Web were quite innocent in appearance. But as I ramped up my father’s 4600 baud modem and looked around at the fringes of online existence, I unknowingly caught a glimpse at the Web’s early underbelly. From there, pornography, craziness and illegal activities were easily accessible. There weren’t many people logging on so, naturally, there weren’t many people to police this new digital space. Eventually, as AOL, Prodigy and other ISPs became more mainstream, the more nefarious outlets vanished into the shadows. But where did it all go? I recently took a plunge into the ‘Deep Web,’ a sub-surface area of the Internet not indexed by search engines and only available to those on the forefront of technology, namely people connected to the Tor Network.

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Misogyny, Misandry, Freedom of Speech … and Video Games

Ally Fogg, writing at Heteronormative Patriarchy for Men: ... I don’t have much in the way of informed opinions about misogyny in video games, I’ll leave that to others. Nonetheless I couldn’t help but be sucked in by the debate surrounding Kickstarter Anita Sarkeesian, as good an illustration as we’ll ever need of the vitriol of the new gender wars. An intense storm of hatred was roused by her modest idea to crowd-fund research into sexism in the games industry. The many thousands of hostile comments posted on Sarkeesian’s YouTube video were of course heavily gendered and sexualised, but so too was some of the retaliation – notably Charlie Brooker’s description of the mob as “idiotic pebbledicks” who are terrified of women. If one of the worst offences committed by sexists and anti-feminists online is to reduce women...
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