Yesterday we had a whole online hoax and debunking between about 2:30 and 4:30 eastern. It started with this SF Bay Guardian post about a purported-Googler yelling at Google bus protesters. The video that was there is now here on the self-debunking page. Sam Biddle initially took the bait. I called it fake because come on. But there was much debate. Finally a local chided the SF media for not knowing this guy and the throne of lies was toppled. We'll be holding Andre Torrez to this though.
Meanwhile The New York Times kicks in its own roundup of recent online hoaxes, which may be late but makes up for it by also being dull.
Read this excellent response by Maria Bustillos in the Awl to Tom Scocca's "On Smarm". She points out that if smarm is a disease, snark is just an immune response, like a fever, but the cure for both is empathy.
Apparently dopey spies thought Second Life and World of Warcraft might be valuable sources of intel. Which, you might be thinking, is stupid. And you are right. But also Thomas Pynchon recently published a novel with some virtual-worldish elements in it. Stay with me here, because Alexis Madrigal put these two dumb elements together, and stuck a "Could Have" in the title, and voila! Thomas Pynchon Could Have Met a Spy in the Virtual World Second Life. So apparently just speculating about dumb things that could have happened is enough now.
Friendlibs is the newest thing from Branch, because ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Facebook is kicking off a big research effort into artificial intelligence. What could go wrong with that? Meanwhile publishers are scared of Facebook withdrawal. They need that sweet traffic man. That sweet, sweet traffic.
I Have Seen Terrible Things: Jony Ive's Secret Coffee Ritual consists of "make espresso." A Ted Cruz coloring book. Wilderness Collective is back (Previously: this a-bro-mination). Hideous new cold-adapted cockroach from Hoth appears in NYC. I don't even understand this journalist slappy-fight. Lee Siegel is idiotic. Don't learn to code, please, Angela Bassett or any of the rest of you, just use this. The New York Post published the worst editorial I've ever seen in response to the NYT "Dasani" article/book yesterday.
And I Have Seen Wonderful Things: Remember Emojitracker? It tracks and counts all emoji use on Twitter in real time. The guy who made it wrote a long Medium post about all the technical issues and details and, ok it's for the nerds here, but it's really great. Ancient cool: "The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays." Visualizing Buffy: The quantified Scooby Gang.
The Only Future Slideshow You Need: Gawker's 22 Most Powerful Photos of 2014
Today's Song: Everybody likes this HAIM song, I don't really get it.
~Deck the tabs with boughs of holly, fa la la la la la la la la~
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