Dark Patterns at Scale is a thorough collection of the high-pressure and deceptive tricks used on websites to get you to do things you didn't intend. Some are merely the online equivalents of the late J.C. Penney's neverending sales (96% off socks!), but many are outrageous cons and frauds.
Dark patterns are manipulative or deceptive interface designs that result in unintended outcomes such as recurring subscriptions, oversharing personal information, or making it impossible to close an account. California is banning them, with a monthlong grace period for offenders to fix their shit. The law bans tricks like burdening users with confusing language or forcing… READ THE REST
Security research Ophir Harpaz was trying to book a flight using Onetravel; as she browsed available itineraries, she couldn't help but notice a prominent warning that "39 people are looking at this flight" (this is a cheap gimmick, one of the many "dark patterns" that once lured naive internet users to making rash decisions, but… READ THE REST
Tiktok bills itself as apolitical, despite the fact that is both a de facto arm of Chinese political propaganda (and, weirdly, for Uyghur human rights activists). READ THE REST
Humans really aren't all that different from the other creatures that inhabit this planet. We laugh when cats ignore expensive cat toys while crawling bags or hopping into boxes. But honestly, are we any different? Case in point: in a world with stress balls, weighted blankets, and even adult coloring books, what's one of the… READ THE REST
Cars have been a symbol of freedom for a century. Once you earn a license as a teenager, you've got the means to get out of the house on your own. Later, the freedom of the open road is intoxicating, offering the temptation of limitless adventure if you just hop behind the wheel, turn the… READ THE REST
For decades, they've been mortal enemies. Oil and water. Fire and ice. Hatfields and McCoys. Windows and Mac. Never the twain shall meet. Nowhere is the dichotomous relationship between the two programming giants more evident than when you run an emulator to try and make a Windows app work on a Mac. There's a good… READ THE REST