Tag Archives | Internet

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

By Christopher via Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

By Christopher via Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

Meet the people who keep graphic and vulgar videos off YouTube and out of your Facebook feed. It’s a thankless task with meager pay.

via Wired:

The campuses of the tech industry are famous for their lavish cafeterias, cushy shuttles, and on-site laundry services. But on a muggy February afternoon, some of these companies’ most important work is being done 7,000 miles away, on the second floor of a former elementary school at the end of a row of auto mechanics’ stalls in Bacoor, a gritty Filipino town 13 miles southwest of Manila. When I climb the building’s narrow stairwell, I need to press against the wall to slide by workers heading down for a smoke break. Up one flight, a drowsy security guard staffs what passes for a front desk: a wooden table in a dark hallway overflowing with file folders.

Past the guard, in a large room packed with workers manning PCs on long tables, I meet Michael Baybayan, an enthusiastic 21-year-old with a jaunty pouf of reddish-brown hair.

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OpenBazaar: P2P Marketplace to Undermine our Corporate Overlords

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Howard Pyle: The Buccaneer (1905)

Around the turn of the century, Amazon, eBay and other online marketplaces provided revolutionary new venues for small-business entrepreneurship, but they have since grown into heavy-handed corporate behemoths that treat sellers like share croppers while exerting an ever-expanding influence over government and the economy. In the future, online marketplaces will be publicly shared via distributed p2p networks. There will be no fees, no trade restrictions, no corporate overlords running the show. The concept is gaining traction; the technology is already here.

One promising effort in this direction is OpenBazaar. They hope to offer a full release in 2014, and are currently seeking beta testers:

OpenBazaar is an open source project to create a decentralized network for peer to peer commerce online—using Bitcoin—that has no fees and cannot be censored. Put simply, it’s the baby of eBay and BitTorrent.

Right now, online commerce means using centralized services. eBay, Amazon, and other big companies have restrictive policies and charge fees for listing and selling goods.… Read the rest

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Facebook to start testing internet beaming drones in 2015

facebook-is-redefining-checkin-numbers-for-pages-483addba84

via Gizmag:

There was an understandable amount of skepticism when Amazon announced its grand plans for delivery drones last year. But if the last twelve months are any indication, Jeff Bezos and his fellow tech heavyweights are actually kinda serious about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. Speaking at the Social Good Summit in New York on Monday, engineering director at Facebook Connectivity Lab, Yael Maguire, has further detailed the company’s vision of internet-carrying drones, with plans to begin testing in 2015.

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s Connectivity Lab and its partnership with the Internet.org project in March this year. The initiative ultimately seeks to use solar-powered UAVs to beam internet down to the two thirds of the global population who aren’t yet connected. But to achieve this, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab and other Internet.org partners must first develop solar-powered aircraft with the ability to fly at high altitudes for long periods of time.

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Do Conspiracy Theorists Feed on Unsuspecting Internet Trolls?

Theodor Kittelsen, Askeladden.jpg

Have fun with this one, disinfonauts, found at Pacific Standard:

You know who you are. Somebody posts some daft claim about chemtrailsfaked moon landings, and a supposed connection between vaccines and autism. You step in, trying valiantly to show them the error of their ways.

Well, your plan won’t work. No, if anything, it’ll make it worse.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by a team of Italian computer scientists, physicists, and, yes, social scientists. They scoured data from Italian Facebook—acquired through the publicly available Graph system—that showed how users had interacted with Facebook pages devoted to science news, conspiracy theories, conspiracy debunkers, and satirists and trolls.

Generally speaking, fans of actual science news and fans of conspiracy theories were pretty similar.

Sorting through 1.2 million users in all, the team first identified individuals who had used 95 percent of their likes on either science or conspiracy pages.

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Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists

Mitt på golvet stod en öppen kista och sutto två förskräckliga troll.jpg

A new study shows that internet trolls really are just terrible human beings, reports Psychology Today, to absolutely no one’s surprise:

In this month’s issue of Personality and Individual Differences, a study was published that confirms what we all suspected: internet trolls are horrible people.

Let’s start by getting our definitions straight. An internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

What kind of person would do this?

Canadian researchers decided to find out. They conducted two internet studies with over 1,200 people. They gave personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the Dark Tetrad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadistic personality…

[continues at Psychology Today]

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Waiting for the Internet’s ‘Mad as Hell’ Moment

[Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Medium.com. It was republished with permission.]

Follow Drew Reed on Twitter


Dear reader: This article ended up being longer than I set out to make it, and you, the average Medium reader, are notorious for not finishing articles. So I’ll make a deal with you, based on a tactic I stole from John Oliver. Finish this article, and at the end I’ll give you that which you most crave in your online existence: a GIF of a cute little hamster eating a miniature burrito! Mmmkay? As Oliver says, the GIF is “as magical and as uncomplicated as you think.”

They’re telling us that we’re living in a “golden age” of television. Game of Thrones! House of Cards! Army of Darkness! OK, so that last one wasn’t a TV show, but you get the idea. TV is now a place for serious people to talk about serious things and be taken seriously.… Read the rest

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A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film

H/T Laughing Squid

Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting explores depictions of texting and online interactions in film.

“Is there a better way of showing a text message in a film? How about the internet? Even though we’re well into the digital age, film is still ineffective at depicting the world we live in. Maybe the solution lies not in content, but in form.”

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Pop-up Ad Creator Apologizes for the Internet’s Original Sin

Hendrik Goltzius' "The Fall of Man" (1616) (Wikimedia Commons)

Hendrik Goltzius’ “The Fall of Man” (1616) (Wikimedia Commons)

A piece about how advertising became the default business model on the web and how it doesn’t have to be that way.

via The Atlantic (please follow the link to read the entire piece):

The fiasco I want to talk about is the World Wide Web, specifically, the advertising-supported, “free as in beer” constellation of social networks, services, and content that represents so much of the present day web industry. I’ve been thinking of this world, one I’ve worked in for over 20 years, as a fiasco since reading a lecture by Maciej Cegłowski, delivered at the Beyond Tellerrand web design conference.  Cegłowski is an important and influential programmer and an enviably talented writer. His talk is a patient explanation of how we’ve ended up with surveillance as the default, if not sole, internet business model.

The talk is hilarious and insightful, and poignant precisely for the reasons Carlson’s story is.

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Randall Carlson on Rewriting History, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Religion and Avoiding Catastrophe

Via Midwest Real
image image 
Every night we go to bed taking it for granted that tomorrow will come. Sure, from time to time we have an unpleasant thought along the lines of “worst case scenario, my heart will give out and I won’t wake up.”

But, what if that wasn’t the worst case scenario?IMG_1109

As we speak, massive chunks of instant extinction are flying by the vessel we inhabit at preposterous speeds. If one of them crosses Earth’s path, it could easily be game over for the human race.

As long as we’ve been aware of that inconvenient fact, it’s been good for precisely one thing- apathy. That’s because the ability to do anything about it was completely absent from the equation. Well, that’s not the case anymore. We actually do have the technology and intelligence to do something about it. However, thus far, we’ve shown a complete and total lack of will to seriously discuss it.… Read the rest

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How The NSA hacks your devices

NSA-octopusFrom The Register:

“It’s not as bad as you thought – it’s much worse.”

A leaked NSA cyber-arms catalog has shed light on the technologies US and UK spies use to infiltrate and remotely control PCs, routers, firewalls, phones and software from some of the biggest names in IT.

The exploits, often delivered via the web, provide clandestine backdoor access across networks, allowing the intelligence services to carry out man-in-the-middle attacks that conventional security software has no chance of stopping.

And if that fails, agents can simply intercept your hardware deliveries from Amazon to install hidden gadgets that rat you out via radio communications.

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