Web Curios 17/08/18

Neville Southall Adult Baby Twitter Takeover. Take those words; taste them; roll them around your mouth and revel in their juicy savour. So rich! So DENSE!  I'm choosing to focus on the ridiculous rather than the awful in the intro this week, seeing as the past couple have been pretty frothy with fear and rage and seeing also as it's my girlfr...
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Web Curios 10/08/18

Can we all agree that whilst Boris Johnson may himself not be a racist he's spent this week behaving in a manner designed explicitly to appeal to racists and that that's not really that much better? Good! Now we've got that cleared up, let's crack on with the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF. Given that Summer is now over (bet you wish you hadn't complained ...
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Web Curios 03/08

Wife-beating, justice-perverting peddler of race-hate Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is out on bail! HUZZAH FOR FREE SPEECH! I am exercising mine right now in order to call all his fans and supporters intellectually moribund racists at worst, or credulous idiots being puppeteered by actual proper fascists at best! Isn't free speech great! BUT! None of you c...
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Web Curios 27/07/18

Web Curios 27/07/18
HOT! SWEATY! DAMP! MOIST! SUPPURATING! ROTTEN! FETID! SEETHING! TURGID! All of the above - and frankly there would me more were I not, as ever, so desperately pressed for time - can be used to describe the sensation in our great capital this week as we edged ever closer to a full-on, heat-induced brainmelt.  Even worse, you've now clicked on t...
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Web Curios 20/06/18

Web Curios 20/06/18 Wendy Stone
 I...I don't know  whats  going on. Do you? Can you tell me? Can you explain? Honestly, I seem to have totally lost the run of things this week, and am utterly confused as who to believe and what to think about  anything .  Do I believe Donald? Do I believe Vlad? Do I believe T'reese, or peaky-looking Jacob, or 'funny' Bori...
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Is Facebook the future of the national census?

Is Facebook the future of the national census?
 E very ten years, governments around the world conduct their national census: a count of the resident population. This is no easy task. The 2011 Chinese census, for instance, was a vast operation relying on six million enumerators taking census questionnaires from door to door. Knowledge of a population's composition is crucial for government...
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Best practices for reporting on the far right

Best practices for reporting on the far right @TrumpBabyUK
NY-based research group Data and Society has released a comprehensive report on how the media should report on the far right, called  ​The Oxygen of Amplificiation: Offering extremely candid comments from mainstream journalists, the report provides a snapshot of an industry caught between the pressure to deliver page views, the impulse to cove...
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Web Curios 13/07/18

Web Curios 13/07/18
Oh Christ. What a MESS.  Look, let's focus on the positives - the kids got rescued!  What else? Eh? Oh.  Sorry everyone, I have literally NOTHING else today - it's all just TOO MUCH (and I have a lunch to get to, then theatre with a godchild, and then dinner with my girlfriend and then Fat Bob's birthday tomorrow and then, doubtless,...
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Google extends its Pay offer

Google extends its Pay offer
​Google Pay has been improved, with new support for both mobile ticketing and peer-to-peer payments. We've always rather liked GPay; it still seems behind Apple Pay in terms of general adoption, but the fact that it works with any contactless terminal makes it much easier to use. The tradeoff is that Apple Pay has greater functionality - something ...
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In defence of the semicolon

In defence of the semicolon
This piece on the ; in  ​The Millions ​ magazine,  is lovely.  Stylistically, the latter half of the 20th century (and the 21st) has seen a general shift toward shorter sentences. This seems understandable on two fronts. First—and this is total conjecture—MFA writing programs came to the cultural fore in the 1970s and over the last f...
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New publication focussed on gaming

New publication focussed on gaming Sam Howzit, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha75/4906597152
Whether you're 6, 16 or 46, the row of game cabinets in an amusement arcade tempts, distracts, and delights. While all human life may not be here, there are certainly characters - both in the games and out of them - whom one can remember, and paint a narrative upon. Whether your era was  ​Gorf, Out Run  ​or the  ​Virtual Fighter...
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Brutalist web manifesto takes things back to their roots

Brutalist web manifesto takes things back to their roots
 The older and more jaded among you will look at this and think  ​"Huh, that's just how the web used to be" ​ but to the less savvy, the manifesto for Brutalist Web Design should be a compelling and rational call for designers and digital agencies to strip the crap out of their websites. The BDW guidelines are: ​ Content is readable on al...
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Life, by an algorithm

Life, by an algorithm
Luke Rhinehart's 1971 novel  ​The Dice Man ​ has been updated of sorts: software developer Max Hawkins has been living his life based on events suggested by a set of algorithms. He's done it in a pretty considered way: rather than just be completely random, he has overtly chosen to reject advice which the algos have suggested ("Kill a dee...
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What happens when people lose trust in the Internet?

What happens when people lose trust in the Internet?
An April 2018 survey by the Pew Research Centre has found that fewer people believe that "the Internet has been mostly a good thing for society" as compared to four years ago. This worsening perspective on the social benefits of the Internet contrasts with the view that these same respondents believed that the Internet continued to be a good thing ...
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Web Curios 06/07/18

Web Curios 06/07/18
Pride! Pride in our country! Pride in Gareth's Plucky Young Lions! Pride in the idea of IT coming home (what is 'it'? Have you considered the idea that maybe the 'it' whose return you're all so joyously anticipating is, I don't know, a horrific monster borne out of irradiated Chernobyl isotopes, temporarily disguised as 'football'? HAVE YOU? I don'...
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Camera draws cartoons by reinterpreting what it sees through a neural network

Camera draws cartoons by reinterpreting what it sees through a neural network
Dan McNish has built a new type of Polaroid camera, and... well, if  ​I ​ was the Polaroid brand manager, I'd be pinging Dan with a chequebook at the ready. The camera is a mash up of a neural network for object recognition, the google quickdraw dataset, a thermal printer, and a raspberry pi. Initially, I began with some experiments on my lapt...
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WhatsApp launches message broadcast feature

WhatsApp launches message broadcast feature
​WhatsApp has launched a feature which we're surprised hasn't been included before. Available to all users, administrators can now broadcast messages to a group. WhatsApp highlights the use cases as: T oday, we're launching a new group setting where only admins are able to send messages to a group. One way people use groups is to receive impor...
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Instagram tests a new "Questions" feature

Instagram tests a new "Questions" feature Tracey le Blanc
Facebook-owned Instagram is trying Questions, a new feature where - obviously - it's possible to run a Q&A from within an Insta story. The new feature is only rolling out to select users at first (let us know if you're one of them), and offers yes/no and slider functionality. The slider, as you might expect these days, uses a scale for an emoji...
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Richard Shotton: burden of proof

Richard Shotton: burden of proof
"The Choice Factory" is the most popular new book for marketers so far this year. Well read, well discussed and well liked from everyone, it casts an eye on the the history of how customers come to given decisions, and the psychological background behind them doing so. We caught up with its author  ​Richard Shotton ​ on the book's themes,...
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The warmth of Net culture in the 1990s

The warmth of Net culture in the 1990s Wikipedia
Before the insane fascist nonsense that currently pervades our networks like liquid shit on a towel, there were some parts of the Internet that were warm, friendly, and intensely personal. People wrote to each other; they met up in real life; and had communities where mutual trust and support were baked in. Helena Fitzgerald reminisces about t...
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