Independent news, views, opinions and reviews on the latest gadgets, games, science, technology and research from Apple and more. It’s about the technologies that change the way we live, work, love and behave.
THAT you’re able to think up and found one of the web’s hotter properties does show that you’ve got some smarts. You’re good at doing something at least. But that’s not to say that having done that that you’re smart, as Mahbod Moghadam of Rap Genius has just proven. For he’s gone off and done something so dickheaded that he’s had to immediately resign from the company that he himself founded. He took the manifesto of the UCSB psycho shooter who killed all those people last week and loaded it up onto his own site. Fair enough, that’s what it’s for, you put a document up on Rap Genius and then people can add their annotations to it. But then he started to make his own annotations. Which were not cool, not cool at all:
Rap Genius co-founder Mahbod Moghadam has been fired from the annotation service after posting appalling comments on the memoir of mass murderer Elliot Rodger, who killed six people in a shooting spree earlier this week.
In now-removed annotations on the site on the sick 141-page manifesto, Moghadam added a tasteless series of comments, including “beautifully written” and also “MY GUESS: his sister is smokin hot.”
THE INTERNET has created its own slang, saturated with efficient abbreviations and a constantly evolving jargon that only insiders know. As novel as this seems, just a few decades ago there was another trendy lingo sprung from a new technology: CB Slang.
Citizen’s Band radio had been around since the 1950s, but you had to be licensed and had to use a registered call sign. However, once the CB became widely used on the interstates throughout the US, all rules were thrown out the window. Truckers started making up their own handles and things got interesting.
IN 1985, the Press Association presented the future of journalism.
The pencil and paper remain the most reliable tools in a journalist’s possession.
SENSE About Science is “a charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion”. Science matters. Government quote it when they want to control what you teach, eats and watch.
There are dangers in politicising science.
SAB sees “leading scientists, toxicologists and dieticians debunk common chemical misconceptions.” They’ve produced these posters about what we eat.
FANS of the Black Keys are, like the band themselves, people who look back at a fabled ‘golden age’ of rock that doesn’t actually exist.
See, a lot of fans of bluesy dadrock will tell themselves that, once upon a time, music was made by ‘real’ people who played ‘real’ instruments. Everything was honest. The lunatic were ruling the asylum and people were able to express themselves artistically in a way that people aren’t now.
Of course, that’s complete piss. Music has always been a cesspool and decade on decade, there was exactly the same amount of great music and complete dreck thrown toward the public.
ONE of the great problems in this modern world is that people are forever confusing cause and effect. Or if you prefer, forgetting that correlation does not mean causation. And so it is with this latest report that the internet is making our precious little children sad. For what’s forgotten, not even considered here, is that it could well be that sad people, those with few friends in the real world, go on hte internet more than others, instead of it being going online that makes people sad:
Children who spend too much time on the internet are developing mental health problems, according to government health advisors.
Those who sit behind a screen for more than four hours a day are particularly at risk, although very low levels of use can cause issues, they say.
Public Health England, which issues guidelines to the NHS, said children face social problems such as loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and heightened aggression as a result of overusing computers.
The huge improvements made in children’s welfare over the last 20 years had now been “curtailed and may now be in reverse”, it said.
In a dossier to MPs it warned of a clear relationship between the amount of time spent on social media sites such as Facebook and “lower levels of well-being”.
IN what might not be the very best share tipping column ever the Daily Telegraph is telling us all that we should unload our Twitter shares immediately. This isn’t sensible advice: or rather, it might be but it isn’t for the reasons they’re giving. Which is that the lock in is about to end and thus lots of people might start selling their stock:
Twitter investors should sell shares now as a clause that prevented the majority of shares being sold is about to expire next Monday, May 5. This could cause another sharp fall in the share price as a flood of shares comes to the market from employees looking to bank gains.
When twitter floated last November it offered 70m shares for trading on the US stock markets. However, there are 589.5m shares in existence today but holders of those shares have their hands tied by a “lock-up” clause that prevented them from being sold for 180 days from the November 6.
“I apologize for the hacking your website, but I wanted to congratulate my wife Bashayir, my partner, after graduating. I wanted to tell her this through your website. I would like to wish everyone luck and success.”
IN 1977, Stevie Wonder advertised Atari Video games:
“If I could play video games, you bet it would be an Atari”
WHEN eight-track tapes hit the shelves in the latter part of the Sixties, it was seen as a godsend. All of a sudden, you could listen to your music collection in your car, or out-and-about with the new boom-boxes. There were even rumors it would completely replace the vinyl record. Yet, just over a decade later, the humble cassette tape was able to drive it to extinction. Its heyday lasted from 1968-1975, and by 1980 the poor eight-track was in history’s dustbin, a sort-of laughable derelict from the Seventies.
So what happened? Here are 8 reasons for its untimely demise.
EVER looked at Steve Jobs and thought: “There’s a guy I’d like to watch a film about!” Imagine the thrills and spills as Jobs goes to the bank to get a loan! Gasp as Jobs does some soldering on a motherboard! Swoon as he buys 30,000 black turtle neck sweaters!
Good news! Danny Boyle and Leonardo DiCaprio could well be working together on a biopic of the Apple Honcho.
The film will be based on the biography by Walter Isaacson about Jobs, which was released in 2011. It follows on from the film ‘Jobs’, which starred Ashton Kutcher, which no-one watched.
YOU may or may not worry very much about some of the richest workers on the planet getting screwed over by the companies they work for. We tend to worry more about the poor getting so screwed. But Google, Apple, Intel and a number of other big Silicon Valley firms are getting sued by their engineers for the way in which they’ve screwed them over in recent years.
But next month, Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe will be in the dock to face the same opponent.
A group of technology executives is suing the companies for alleged collusion to suppress their wages, after they signed a series of “no-poach” pacts barring them from recruiting each other’s staff.
The companies, whose collective value tops $890bn (£530bn), could be forced to pay handsomely to compensate them for the losses, but they are likely to be far more worried about the details the case will expose.
AS two different people have now noted, Matt Yglesias and Matt Levine, Yahoo is now officially valued at less than nothing. Which, for a company that has a $40 billion price tag on the markets is a pretty strange thing to try and say. But it also happens to be true.
The conundrum is explained by the fact that there are really two different things here. One is the business that makes up Yahoo, the other the company that owns that business. And that company owns not just the business Yahoo but also good sized chunks of two other businesses, Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, a Chinese internet company (not unlike Amazon). If we take the value of Yahoo the company and subtract from it the value of the stake in Alibaba then we get a negative number. Take away the value of that stake in Yahoo Japan and it becomes even larger.
PSST! Want to buy a vagina? Four women born with an underdeveloped or absent vagina have been living with artificial ones for the past four years. The women suffer from Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH).
* Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome is a disorder that occurs in females and mainly affects the reproductive system. This condition causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent. Affected women usually do not have menstrual periods due to the absent uterus. Often, the first noticeable sign of MRKH syndrome is that menstruation does not begin by age 16…
THE Evinrude Fishing Saucer concept boat designed by Brooks Stevens and made for the 1957 New York Boat Show.
THERE”S always a good time to be had touring through old computer books, especially if there’s lots to point at and laugh condescendingly. Technology has advanced so exponentially that a 1980s computer textbook may as well be ancient Sanskrit written on palm leaves. Suffice it to say, things have come a long way in just a short amount of time, and it’s a lot of fun to look back. So, let’s jump into Living With Computers by Patrick G. McKeown (1986).
“A complete computer system – user, software, CPU, internal memory, secondary storage, keyboard, monitor, and printer – is shown here.”
LANGTON’S Ant is a story of habit. Scientist Chris Langton discovered the phenomenon in 1986.
If you were to put an ant down on a grid of squares and ask the ant to follow two rules something odd would happen.
STUART Meloy is the surgeon at Piedmont Anesthesia and Pain Consultants in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who when experimenting with pain relief discovered the orgasm pill. He recalled the Eureka moment:
“I was placing the electrodes and suddenly the woman started exclaiming emphatically. I asked her what was up and she said, `You’re going to have to teach my husband to do that.'”
THIS is an interesting little calculation that’s been made about how many people you would need on your spaceship if you were to set off and try to colonise the next star system over. Well, OK, it’s interesting to me as someone who imbibed so much SF and Fantasy stuff when in my long ago youth at least. And the answer is a very much larger number of people than you might think.
Here’s what the problem is:
Entire generations of people would be born, live, and die before the ship reached its destination. This brings up the question of how many people you need to send on a hypothetical interstellar mission to sustain sufficient genetic diversity. And a new study sets the bar much higher than Moore’s 150 people.
According to Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith, any such starship would have to carry a minimum of 10,000 people to secure the success of the endeavor. And a starting population of 40,000 would be even better, in case a large percentage of the population died during during the journey.
THE Wound Man is a compendium of all the injuries that a body in the Middle Ages might sustain.
The Wellcome Library advises:
Captions beside the stoic figure describe the injuries and sometimes give prognoses: often precise distinctions are drawn between types of injuries, such as whether an arrow has embedded itself in a muscle or shot right through. (The latter is better – the arrowhead can be cut away and the shaft withdrawn smoothly, whilst the embedded arrow will tear the muscle with its barbs when pulled out.)
IN 1958 New Haven-based toymaker A.C. Gilbert Company turned youngsters onto science with a new kit. The LAB TECHNICIAN SET was a “CAREER BUILDING SCIENCE” kit.
And it was got Girls.
How was it different for girls?