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Daily Links

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet

How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet

“They didn’t realize the power they were unleashing,” says FBI supervisory special agent Bill Walton. “This was the Manhattan Project.”

www.wired.com/story/mirai-botnet-minecraft-scam-brought-down-the-internet/

The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation

The Reddit Moderator Getting a PhD in Online Moderation

Kat Lo is studying the largely thankless job of unpaid content moderation so we can make open and safe online communities.

motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a3jkd4/the-reddit-moderator-getting-a-phd-in-online-moderation/

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook

“I once rewrote the lyrics of 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ to make it about the migrant crisis.”

Scientists sequence extinct Tasmanian tiger’s genome

Scientists sequence extinct Tasmanian tiger’s genome – Futurity

The sequenced genome of the Tasmanian tiger reveals that the iconic Australian animal would have struggled to survive had it not gone extinct.

www.futurity.org/tasmanian-tiger-genome-1629182-2/

 

Daily Links

Police shoot more than twice as many Americans as previously understood

Police shoot more than twice as many Americans as previously understood

An exclusive analysis of data from the 50 largest local police departments in the United States shows that police shoot Americans more than twice as often as previously known.

news.vice.com/story/shot-by-cops/

The Father-Daughter Duo Who Found the Truth Behind a String of Century-Old Murders

The Father-Daughter Duo Who Found the Truth Behind a String of Century-Old Murders

‘The Man From the Train’ co-author Rachel McCarthy James on unraveling the identity of a long-ago serial killer

melmagazine.com/the-father-daughter-duo-who-found-the-truth-behind-a-string-of-century-old-murders-8f4725322e01/

The Dirty Secret of the Global Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

The Dirty Secret of the Global Plan to Avert Climate Disaster

The Paris agreement on climate change charts a narrow path to avoiding a global apocalypse. Just one problem: Its centerpiece is a technology that basically doesn’t yet exist.

www.wired.com/story/the-dirty-secret-of-the-worlds-plan-to-avert-climate-disaster/

Daily Links

In defense of drinking one dozen Diet Cokes a day

In defense of drinking one dozen Diet Cokes a day

“Nobody drinks that much Diet Coke in one fucking day. He [Trump] might be a serial killer,” wrote one Twitter user, the declaration garnering more than a thousand retweets.

quartzy.qz.com/1152498/in-defense-of-donald-trump-drinking-a-dozen-diet-cokes-a-day/

‘Star Wars’ Was Influenced By The Nazis — And It Fails To Hold Them Accountable

‘Star Wars’ Was Influenced By The Nazis — And It Fails To Hold Them Accountable

While Nazi-inspired aesthetics and plots provide “Star Wars” with a convenient shorthand for “evil,” the ideological core of Nazism’s evil is missing.

forward.com/culture/film-tv/389632/star-wars-nazi-influence-leni-riefenstahl-triumph-of-will/

“Cat Person”

“Cat Person”

“It was a terrible kiss, shockingly bad; Margot had trouble believing that a grown man could possibly be so bad at kissing.”

www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/cat-person

The 63-Year-Old Retiree Who Broke A Game Looking for The End of the World

The 63-Year-Old Retiree Who Broke A Game Looking for The End of the World

How one retiree’s obsession with ‘The Flame in the Flood’ encapsulates a lifetime of enjoying digital worlds.

waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/z4y3v9/the-63-year-old-retiree-who-broke-a-game-looking-for-the-end-of-the-world/

Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere – The Nearly Now

Trump, Putin and the Pipelines to Nowhere – The Nearly Now

You can’t understand what Trump’s doing to America without understanding the “Carbon Bubble”

thenearlynow.com/trump-putin-and-the-pipelines-to-nowhere-742d745ce8fd

Greenland shark is oldest living vertebrate and could be 512 years old, study finds

Greenland shark is oldest living vertebrate and could be 512 years old, study finds

If the data proves correct, the shark could have been alive before Galileo Galilei was convicted of heresy and before Dutch settlers made it to New York City.

www.newsweek.com/greenland-shark-longest-living-vertebrate-science-740965/

Daily Links

Cuphead artists illustrate the game’s five-year dev cycle

Cuphead artists illustrate the game’s five-year dev cycle

See what it took to make one of the year’s biggest hits

www.polygon.com/features/2017/12/7/16745144/cuphead-artists-illustrate-five-year-development-cycle/

A Fake-News Warning From a Former Propagandist

A Fake-News Warning From a Former Propagandist

Why readers shouldn’t underestimate the power of disinformation.

www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-02-27/a-fake-news-warning-from-a-former-propagandist?utm_content=view/

Do We Want to Live in Facebook’s Utopia?

Do We Want to Live in Facebook’s Utopia?

The company recently unveiled a range of tools meant to further “social good.” What happens when a single company tries to build a global infrastructure?

www.theringer.com/tech/2017/12/7/16743104/facebook-social-good-initiative/

Daily Links

The Complicated Legacy Of A Panda Who Was Really Good At Sex
Pan Pan saved his species by being really, really, ridiculously good at sex.

The Surprising Evolution of Dinosaur Drawings
Since the 1800s, paleoartists have tried to imagine what prehistoric creatures looked like—with wildly different results.

Scarlet Fever is Making a Comeback
Scarlet fever, a disease that struck fear into the heart of parents when cases surged in the days of yore, appears to be making an unexpected and puzzling comeback in parts of the world.

Reading List

A collection of #longreads from the last week.


800

New York Above 800 Feet

We are currently in the midst of another clambering epoch. The city has 21 buildings with roof heights above 800 feet; seven of them have been completed in the past 15 years (and three of those the past 36 months). In this special New York Issue, we explore the high-altitude archipelago that spreads among the top floors of these 21 giants.


dogs

A New Origin Story for Dogs

Some say wolves were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, while others say 30,000. Some claim it happened in Europe, others in the Middle East, or East Asia. Some think early human hunter-gatherers actively tamed and bred wolves. Others say wolves domesticated themselves, by scavenging the carcasses left by human hunters, or loitering around campfires, growing tamer with each generation until they became permanent companions.

It still blows my mind that all breeds of modern domesticated dogs came from wolves.


iceland

Iceland’s Ghost Fleet

Ironically, the same Icelandic search team that was dispatched more than four decades ago to try and rescue the crew at the crash site is now being dispatched every single day to rescue tourists trying to find the crash site.

But even as viral images and music videos are luring crowds to come find this dead plane, the story behind its final descent has remained a mystery. No one seems to know why this thing crashed, why it was abandoned, and why it’s still lying on the beach.

UK Artists Make More Money from Vinyl than YouTube

Vinyl | punyweakling.com

“The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the Guardian. So who’s responsible? Taylor places the blame on “dominant tech platforms like YouTube,” which he says are “dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”

Recorded music as a consumer item is less than 100 years old as an industry, and the tech behind it has changed rapidly. Taking a long view historically, there’s been very little stability in the music industry as a commercial undertaking at all. The Internet has redefined an industry that’s already been completely redefined multiple times since records became popular. We’re still at the very start of this adjustment period, and the entrenched entities are flailing about a bit while the dust is starting to settle.

Blaming dominant tech platforms for year-on-year discrepancies is myopic, but the music industry as a whole – and record companies in particular – have never been particularly visionary beyond the hunt for profits. “…dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists” – yeah, that sounds familiar.

Read: Music artists are still making more money from vinyl than YouTube (qz.com)


Related:

Subscription-based music streaming, on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion.? – Bandcamp

Blerging About I/O

Chris Lacy kindly asked me to join him on The Blerg, re-treading some ground from his first I/O Keynote breakdown with Koush Dutta.

Chris had more thoughts on the keynote in the days since, and wanted to get me on the horn to sound out a few ideas and hear my impressions of the presentation. Have a listen here:

The Blerg #26: Google I/O Keynote followup with Karl Smith

…and be sure to subscribe to The Blerg on your favourite podcasting app.


Links:

Don’t Use Allo…?

Google is giving consumers two options: Insecure with a wonderful user experience, or secure with an inferior experience. What do you think the masses are going to choose? – Motherboard

I think this article misses the point somewhat. When you need the app to be useful you’ll use the useful features, and when you need it to be secure you’ll turn encryption on.

The fact is, for me at least, 99.9% of my comms are completely innocuous. If the Google assistant can make a small handful of things easier for me, then I’m totally fine with that.

Also this cracked me up:

Early sentiment about Allo is overwhelmingly positive…

They’re obviously not on G+.


Link: Don’t Use Allo (Motherboard)

The Melbourne Artist who Spent 15 Years Stealing Silverware Used by the 1%

Forked

For the last 15 years, Melbourne-based artist Van T. Rudd has been obtaining the forks with which the uber-rich have feasted with at the five-star hotel Rudd worked at in Melbourne. The fruits of this 15-year collection process is Rudd’s The Rich Forks — 40 forks as readymade objects still full of food debris and saliva.

Meet the Melbourne Artist who Spent 15 Years Stealing Silverware Used by the 1% | The Creators Project

Google Save

Google Saves

So Google Save is pretty interesting. I tend to keep stuff in a weird combination of Pocket (for articles), Pinterest (for mood board stuff), a Twitter “read later” list and a few other places. I wonder if this could become a real catch-all for me.

A few observations:

  • You can edit the link title AND description, which is pretty interesting
  • No inline player for YouTube, seem like an oversight
  • No reading mode, so Pocket will still be my go-to place for a raw reading list
  • This seems best used for making Collections of links – think: researching a topic, or collecting links on areas of specific interest
  • You can’t currently share a Tag/collection, but surely that’s coming…

Links: