Tag Archives | Television

Remembering the Max Headroom Incident, One of the Creepiest Hacks Ever

I actually learned about this on Reddit just a couple of weeks ago. If you haven’t heard of the Max Headroom Incident, you’re in luck because Klint Finley recounts this bizarre, but legendary hacking event over at Wired.

via Wired:

Around 9 o’clock on November 22, 1989, Chicago residents witnessed this epic hack. The evening news sportscast cut out, and a person in a strange mask appeared, dancing around in front of a spinning piece of metal—a rather dark incarnation of Max Headroom, the rather inexplicable character at the heart of the British TV series Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into The Future and two subsequent TV shows. On these shows, Headroom had a tendency to interrupt the broadcasts of the fictional TV station Network 23, but this wasn’t an authorized appearance by the character. It was a real pirate transmission.

After about 30 seconds, WGN’s technicians were able to override the pirate signal.

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Five ways Sesame Street changed the world

USAG- Humphreys (CC BY 2.0)

USAG- Humphreys (CC BY 2.0)

By Todd VanDerWerff via Vox:

How many TV shows have changed the world?

The list is short. Indeed, you could probably count it on your two hands (and, okay, maybe a couple of toes). But somewhere on that list, you essentially have to have Sesame Street, the educational stalwart that turns 45 this month.

The show began on National Educational Television, then transitioned seamlessly when NET became the still existent PBS. And its artistic importance to children’s television cannot be overstated. It codified and created many of the ideas about how TV could be used to teach kids that we still use today. But its influence went well beyond that. By becoming such a bedrock of educational television, Sesame Street changed the country — and eventually the world.

Don’t believe me? Here are five good reasons.

1) Sesame Street invented children’s programming as we understand it — and changed adult programming too

2) Sesame Street solidified the place of PBS — which helped kick off the TV drama revolution

3) The show focused on the education of preschool children, which wasn’t a given at the time

4) Sesame Street helped television diversify

5) It became a shining example of the United States’s soft power

Go here to read Todd VanDerWerff’s entire argument: http://www.vox.com/2014/11/17/7228353/sesame-street-changed-world

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101 Masterpieces: ‘The Twilight Zone’

twilight-zone-movie

via Mental Floss:

For Rod Serling, TV was the perfect landscape to battle bigotry and corporate censorship. But was the nation ready for it?

In the late 1950s, Rod Serling found himself sitting in a London airport tired and ready to go home. As he waited to board his flight, he spotted something eerie. Across the room stood his doppelgänger: a man who looked to be his same height, sporting the same coat and carrying the exact same cowhide briefcase. It blew his mind. As the award-winning TV writer tried to catch a glimpse of his double’s face, a strange thought hit him: What if, through some glitch in the universe, he was watching another version of himself?

“I kept staring and staring,” Serling recalled, “with this funny, ice-cold feeling that, if he turns around and it’s me, what do I do?” Eventually, the gentleman did turn around. He was a decade younger and, Serling joked, far better looking.

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Why You Should Be Afraid Of Your Smart TV

Michael Price isn’t generally a tin-foil hat wearing crank. In fact he’s counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law (i.e., part of the establishment). But now he’s getting the tin foil ready as a result of his new privacy-smashing Smart TV, as he relates at Salon:

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

LG smart TV

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV.

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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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Atheist TV Channel Launches

atheist tvWell I don’t see why there shouldn’t be Atheist TV, considering the proliferation of Christian and other religious television channels. Plus atheists can be just as rigid and dogmatic as religious extremists… From the New York Times:

Atheists are angry, and watch out, because now they have a television channel.

This week the organization American Atheists announced the premiere of Atheist TV, available through the streaming service Roku and over the Internet. That news will certainly prompt assorted knee-jerk reactions in some quarters, and perhaps some confusion:

“Atheist TV? It’ll be full of incest and smut and debaucheries of all kinds. Oh, wait; that’s HBO.”

“Atheist TV? It’ll be nonstop mockery of conservative Christians and Republicans and Middle America. Oh, wait; that’s Comedy Central.”

“Atheist TV? It’ll be godless wiccans and flesh-eating zombies and serial killers and all manner of other people who lack the Judeo-Christian morals that built America.

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An Occult History of the Television Set

tvsWe’ll be right back after these messages… from beyondddddd….

The origin of the television set was heavily shrouded in both spiritualism and the occult, Stefan Andriopoulos writes in his new book Ghostly Apparitions. In fact, as its very name implies, the television was first conceived as a technical device for seeing at a distance: like the telephone (speaking at a distance) and telescope (viewing at a distance), the television was intended as an almost magical box through which we could watch distant events unfold, a kind of technological crystal ball.

Andriopoulos’s book puts the TV into a long line of other “optical media” that go back at least as far as popular Renaissance experiments involving technologically-induced illusions, such as concave mirrors, magic lanterns, disorienting walls of smoke, and other “ghostly apparitions” and “phantasmagoric projections” created by specialty devices. These were conjuring tricks, sure—mere public spectacles, so to speak—but successfully achieving them required sophisticated understandings of basic physical factors such as light, shadow, and acoustics, making an audience see—and, most importantly, believe in—the illusion.

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Turkish Man On TV Dating Show Reveals He Killed Two Previous Lovers

Well this could be a difference in cultural approaches to dating, but I suspect that even in Turkey this gentleman is going to struggle to find a new love interest. Reuters reports on his revelation on a televised dating show:

A man who appeared on a Turkish television dating show in search of a new partner shocked the audience by revealing he had murdered his former wife and a former lover.

Sefer Calinak, 62, told Flash TV’s “Luck of the Draw” he had served prison sentences for each of the murders and had been released under an amnesty programme.

“I’m an honest person looking for a new wife,” he told the show, saying he killed his first wife because he was “irritated” by her behavior and murdered a subsequent partner because he thought she was after his money…

Here’s a video clip of the moment that Mr. Calinak reveals his murders:

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My Brain has Melted- Author and High-Ranking Freemason Robert W. Sullivan Blasts a Torrent of Hidden Knowledge Into Your Ears.

OMG, THEY'RE TOTES WATCHING US RIGHT NOW

OMG, THEY’RE TOTES WATCHING US RIGHT NOW!

Author and 32nd degree Freemason, Robert W. Sullivan discusses the influence of ancient mysteries, ceremonies, sages and astral bodies on the very foundation of America.

I remember it well- the first time I heard the phrase “Freemason”.  Sure, in hindsight, it came from an uneducated idiot at a college party, but it was enough to make me rush to Google for enlightenment.  My 20-year-old brain couldn’t believe what it had read.  Masons seemed to be the stuff of fiction.  A shadowy cabal of powerful men linked to basically every major event that lead to the establishment of the United States.  It was well known- George Washington, Ben Franklin and and a slew of other founding fathers we worship were members of this secretive fraternal order shrouded in creepy symbols, weird phrases and secret handshakes.  How could I not have known this?  Then I came across the claims that masons were devil worshipers, prayed to idols and practiced black magic.
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