On Motherboard, Brian Merchant's (previously) new science fiction story The Convoy poses an eerily plausible future for political deepfake hoaxing — with James O'Keefe-alikes running the show — that skillfully weaves in elements of the Innocence of Muslims hoax with the current state-of-the-art in high-tech fakery.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post here about the bizarre meme of a fake Avril Lavigne song that started to appear on lyric websites, and eventually spawned its own covers. Several readers commented that it reminded them of "Trap Streets" — a cartography practice where a mapmaker marks their intellectual property by including… READ THE REST
The New York Times published its long-awaited article about the Rationalist movement, about Silicon Valley's neo-reactionary tendencies, and about Slate Star Codex, the blog where it supposedly all came together. The item is a mess, relying on implication and inside baseball. Its overall thesis—that tech titans are in with the far right—is serious. But it… READ THE REST
[The following is from the free version of my newsletter, The Magnet. Sign up here to subscribe. — Mark] The two most memorable 1979 movies about teenagers are Over the Edge and Rock and Roll High School. If you're in the mood for realism, watch Over the Edge, which was inspired by a true story of disaffected teens going… READ THE REST
While we can't seem to agree on much as a nation these days, there's one thing that the past year has helped us all come to terms with — laptop cameras are not very good. From low resolutions to gauzy filters to some less-than-perfect light adjustment levels, the cams built right into our devices don't… READ THE REST
Headphone people generally fall into two camps. There are the dedicated audiophile types who have no problem rocking full over-ear cups to help drink in every morsel of the sound. Then…there's the rest of us. For us, we want great sound too. We just don't want to feel like we're wearing a 5-pound helmet over… READ THE REST
Every house is different. So is every lifestyle. With that in mind, it's easy to see how the seemingly simple act of getting home WiFi networked all-around your house might end up being a tougher assignment than you originally thought. Your WiFi router might be top-of-the-line, but dead zones, physical obstructions, or just some serious… READ THE REST