Instagram has a massive harassment problem

Instagram has a massive harassment problem Anthony Quintano, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/34066749252
When Brandon Farbstein first joined Instagram in 2014, he was 14 and optimistic. Farbstein was born with a rare form of dwarfism, and he wanted to use the photo-sharing site to educate people about his condition—to, as he told me, "show people a glimpse into my life and inspire people." Soon enough, though, the hateful messages started coming: deat...
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Web Curios 19/10/18

Web Curios 19/10/18
Does this mean we now have to stop lauding the Saudi regime for its incredibly progressive decision to let women drive cars? Does this mean that they're the bad guys again? What? They were  always  the bad guys? GOD IT'S ALL JUST SO HARD. Welcome to yet another week in which once again we have been shown that if you're rich enough you rea...
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The 27-year-old guy who tweets for Steak-Umm is millennial angst personified

The 27-year-old guy who tweets for Steak-Umm is millennial angst personified
Nathan Allebach doesn't consult a formula, research keywords or track online trends before he hits "send" on one of his tweets. That would, in a lot of ways, defeat the point of his abstract craft. Sometimes, he bolts awake in the middle of the night with a genius idea for a truly dumb shitpost . Other times, he lets loose his views on the world wh...
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John Battelle: This is how Amazon loses

John Battelle: This is how Amazon loses Fabian Hurnaus
Yesterday, I lost it over a hangnail and a two-dollar bottle of hydrogen peroxide. You know when a hangnail gets angry, and a tiny red ball of pain settles in for a party on the side of your finger? Well, yeah. That was me last night. My usual solution is to stick said finger into a bottle of peroxide for a good long soak. But we were out of the st...
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E-commerce towns, and why Bezos needs to be the next Baťa

E-commerce towns, and why Bezos needs to be the next Baťa Bata shoe factory, East Tilbury. David Anstiss, CC licence
Spend an hour or two on pretty much any motorway in the world and you will inevitably drive past an e-commerce distribution centre. Sometimes they are branded in accordance with the contracting logistics company; sometimes they are branded by the e-commerce company itself; and sometimes they are branded by the landlord. Whoever owns and brands them...
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Dieter Rams wants Silicon Valley to stop

Dieter Rams wants Silicon Valley to stop
Dieter Rams is done giving interviews, and Gary Hustwit can only poke at his tempeh hash with a laugh here and a sigh there, hoping he did the legend justice. I sit with Hustwit in a chilly Chicago diner before screening the film later that night at its Midwestern premiere. Hustwit cannot know this documentary represents the last time Rams will spe...
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Patents uncovered: turning intellectual property into art

Patents uncovered: turning intellectual property into art
Artist Paolo Cirio has mined public patent repositories to "reveal thousands of technologies that conceal the social control, manipulation, and surveillance at play on the Internet". The work, entitled  ​Sociality ​, aims to expose laws related to the regulation and monitoring of users by tech companies. Many such patents are de...
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Web Curios 12/10/18

Web Curios 12/10/18 Gordon Hatton, CC licence
Can we all agree that noone is ever allowed to use the term '4-dimensional chess' ever again, even ironically? Good, at least we can agree on  something .  You know, one of the worst things about writing this godawful newsletterblogthing is the fact that I painted myself into a corner a few years ago by creating a sort of editorial policy...
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From innocent idealism to pragmatic fixes: two decades of internet culture

From innocent idealism to pragmatic fixes: two decades of internet culture
Like many people of the Internet Generation – those of us who became seriously involved online in the mid to late '90s – I was caught up in the wave of idealistic euphoria that surrounded the first communities to come together on the web. It's easy to see why we saw the cyber world through rose-tinted mirror shades. We were a self-selecting group o...
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Facebook launches video chat device

Facebook launches video chat device
Facebook has enjoyed mixed success with hardware. The rumours surrounding a Facebook phone were just that - rumours - and the company only got as far as launching an Android UI. On the upside, though, its acquisition of Oculus, in order to get a foothold in the VR market, has been pretty successful - if only because the Zuckopticon has kept its gru...
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Digital transformation: a cautionary tale from history

Digital transformation: a cautionary tale from history
Many large companies, agencies, consultancies are talking at the moment about “Digital transformation". This is both a theoretical and practical approach to corporate strategy, where the organisation is redesigned in order to compete in a market where both market and consumer demand is “digital first". The public now expects, and assumes, products ...
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Banksy - a help or hindrance to art?

Banksy - a help or hindrance to art?
The now-famous reaction of Banksy to Sotheby‘s auction of his Girl with balloon for £1.4m has gone down like... well... a girl with a lead balloon in some artistic circles. Whether you think that the stunt , where the work shreds itself after being sold, is an appropriate response to the overheated art market or just a crass piece of PR is perhaps ...
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Geocities finally dies in 2019

Geocities finally dies in 2019 Yahoo Geocities Japan
Who knew that Geocities was - in contemporary parlance - still a thing? Yahoo Japan, a business separate to its troubled creator, has announced that Geocities Japan is to be finally put to rest in 2019. Yahoo Japan itself is a very different beast. Originally created in 1995 as a joint venture between Yahoo and SoftBank, the company continued ...
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How to kill your tech industry

How to kill your tech industry Martin Skøtt, CC licence https://www.flickr.com/photos/skoett/4182370780
​ If the incredible rise of computing is one of the biggest stories of the twentieth century, then the failure of the nation that invented the electronic computer to capitalize on it is undoubtedly one of history's most important cautionary tales. In 1944, Britain led the world in electronic computing. The top-secret codebreaking computers that the...
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Web Curios 05/10/18

Web Curios 05/10/18
Were I a different type of writer, making an unsuccessful pitch for a scriptwriting gig on a mid-level Radio 4 topical comedy show, I’d probably open by making some poorly structured and slightly hackneyed gag about October’s arrival, noticing a chill in the air, and OH LOOK IT’S THE COLD WAR AGAIN. Thankfully for all of you, I am...
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Regulate social media? It’s a bit more complicated than that

Regulate social media? It’s a bit more complicated than that
Free speech is a key aspect of the internet, but it has become increasingly obvious that many online will push that freedom to extremes, leaving website comment sections, Twitter feeds and Facebook groups awash with racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise unpalatable opinions and vitriolic views, and obscene or shocking images or videos. The border...
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Burger King gives AI a chance of creativity; fails beautifully

Burger King gives AI a chance of creativity; fails beautifully
Ever one to differentiate, Burger King has unleashed what it calls "high-end computing resources and big data" to write some TV ads. The results are beautifully horrifying. In the ad  ​"Chicken fries beat potato loser" ​, the robotic voiceover says:  "Burger King's new chicken fries are the new potato.  We are not sorry, the potato d...
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How to teach a robot to make the bed

How to teach a robot to make the bed Jaymantri
Robots, as we know, are extremely good at menial tasks which require systematic completion. As such, they are perfect for putting bolts into a car, processing tickets, or tasks within software. However, when such menality requires a bit of creativity, it can be a challenge. Enter a project entitled  Deep Transfer Learning Using Depth Sensing o...
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​Tech-free tourism: the rise of digital detox holidays

​Tech-free tourism: the rise of digital detox holidays Scottish Highlands, Eberhard Grossgasteiger
For years, experts in science and mental health have warned about the damaging effects of too much screen time . But how harmful are our s martphone s , tablet s , laptop s, and television s , and what can we do to reduce our reliance on technology in 2018 ? One solution that has gained momentum is the 'digital detox holiday'. A digital detox is es...
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Mayfly is given a delicate video

Mayfly is given a delicate video
Cologne-based artistic collective GradeDie have been in touch to tell us about their new video for recording duo  Alice Rose & Moniko. The work has been produced by Lenny Grade and Catrin Mackowski. It’s a pretty, delicate video using glitch techniques and oodles of text floating over silhouttes. The single, Mayfly , also comes with a prin...
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