Advanced parenting with a child who loves garage doors

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Artist Kiersten Essenpreis has a kid who loves garage doors and she isn't shy about encouraging their passion. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders responds to CEOs of Verizon and GE: "I welcome their contempt"

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Bernie Sanders denounced the CEO of GE for the company's tax-dodging practices and the CEO of Verizon for doing the same and exploiting its workers, 40,000 of whom are out on strike. Read the rest

List of people barred from south London pub

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The staff of Half Moon pub in Herne Hill in south London maintain a pseudonymous list of customers who are permanently banned from the premises; their colorful descriptions are a thing of beauty. Read the rest

Larval form

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Read the rest

Trains Botting: twitterbot posts a new emoji train landscape every 4 hours

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Trains Botting/@choochoobot is a new twitterbot from prolific botmaster and EFF staffer Parker Higgins. Read the rest

Jerks were able to turn Microsoft's chatbot into a Nazi because it was a really crappy bot

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Microsoft Research deployed a tween-simulating chatbot this week, only to recall it a few hours later because it had turned into a neo-Nazi, and the next day, they published a bewildered apology that expressed shock that it had been so easy for trolls to corrupt their creation. Read the rest

BART's twitter manager drops truth-bombs, world cheers

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On Wednesday night, the person who runs the Twitter feed for San Francisco's BART system began answering riders' frustrated tweets with frank, honest statements that eschewed the bland "thank you for your feedback" and the chipper "we're working on it!" norms of corporate social media in favor of brutally honest assessments of the sorry state of the system, starting with, "BART was built to transport far fewer people, and much of our system has reached the end of its useful life. This is our reality." Read the rest

Glitch News Network: glitched and mashed news in less than 2 seconds

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The Glitch News Network is the latest twitterbot from Shardcore, a prolific purveyor of mad bots (previously). Read the rest

Understanding Trump supporters, with empathy

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In a linked series of tweets, @hilzoy offers an empathic, incisive explanation for the rise and rise of Drumpf. Read the rest

Thieves saw through bike-racks, cover the cuts with tape, wait for bikes to be locked to them

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PC Mark McKay, a police officer in Camberwell, London, tweeted this warning to locals to beware of bike racks that thieves have sawn through and camouflaged with gaffer tape; once the bikes are locked up, the thieves return, remove the tape, and make off with the bikes. Read the rest

Clay Shirky: social media turned Dems, GOP into host organisms for third party candidates

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In an "essay in 50 tweets," Clay Shirky explains how the growth of direct-to-voter channels has ruptured the mainstream political parties in America, who relied upon party power-brokers to enforce a prohibition on mentioning the third-rail topics that are the fissure lines the parties paper over. Read the rest

Brianna Wu pwns a misogynist troll

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When a prick on Twitter attacked Gamergate arch-nemesis Brianna Wu's game dev credentials, sneering that her latest game looked "like something that would've been shitcanned on the ps1," Wu proceeded to shred the fool with a masterclass in the technical capabilities of the PS1 and their relationship to Revolution 60, Wu's new game.

Female Video Game Developer Snaps at Twitter Troll, Results Are Fantastic [Mike Dever/Vice] Read the rest

Pathetic, smirking attention-whore Martin Shkreli does something

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He sent Kanye West a public offer of $10M for West's next studio album, which Shkreli alone would be able to listen to and enjoy. Read the rest

Elements of telegraphic style, 1928

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Nelson E. Ross's "small booklet" sets out the principles of sending telegrams "in the most economical manner possible," so you can take full advantage of a communications medium that "annihilates distance and commands immediate attention." Read the rest

Twitter growth grinds to a full stop, Wall Street reacts accordingly

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“On Wednesday, after many quarters of slowing user growth, Twitter said its monthly visitors in the fourth quarter totaled 320 million — exactly the same as the company reported in the previous quarter,” reports Mike Isaac in the New York Times. “While the number was up 9 percent from a year ago, when monthly active users stood at 288 million, the figures showed that Mr. Dorsey’s recent moves have made little impact in attracting users.”

Read the rest

"Late stage capitalism" is the new "Christ, what an asshole"

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If you've grown weary of recaptioning your New Yorker cartoons with any of the other universal punchlines ("Christ, what an asshole," "Hello, I'd like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin" and "What a misunderstanding," to name only three), Matthew Garret invites you to try "Late stage capitalism." Works a treat! Read the rest

How Twitter "quietly banned" harassment and hate speech

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Sarah Jeong reports on how Twitter has begun to take control of the hatred, harassment and general horseshit posted on its site.

Twitter talked some big talk, but it has buckled under both lawsuits and media outrage, tweaking and changing the Rules around speech whenever something threatened its bottom line. For a business, free speech can only be a meaningful value if it doesn’t really cost anything. … The Twitter of today strikes an uneasy balance between its old self and the unapologetic, ideologically-unburdened censoriousness of Facebook and Instagram. It remains yet to be seen whether the company has the vision and creativity to live out its new identity.

The "free speech wing of the free speech party" couldn't have done this but two years ago. They had to wait until the issues at hand were understood (at least by and large) not as abstractions to be dealt with on principle, but as practical issues of everyday human suffering. Read the rest

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