You can find me at beschizza.com, but Martin Shkreli registered "robbeschizza.com" as part of what seems to be a quixotic effort to bother people who write about him. Cyrus Farivar reports that I'm in his Godaddy grab bag.
Shkreli has been offering to sell at least one of the domain names back to the reporters for thousands of dollars. In a public Facebook post, Shrkreli has offered to sell Emily Saul of the New York Post her domain for $12,000. She declined to comment further on the incident.
Robbeschizza.com was registered the same day I linked to a Business Insider story about his initial round of reporter-name domain registrations. Perhaps he just has a bad sense of humor! I wonder if he'll post anything silly there.
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Enjoy this website that works only in airplane mode or when no network can otherwise be found: "You must go offline to view this page".
Do you want to be productive? Just go offline.
I'm one of those people who spends an hour on a flight getting annoyed at how slow and broken the internet is, finally gives up, then enjoys actually reading and working on my computer. Read the rest
Medium, the oft-pivoting publisher and platform, recently introduced an alarmingly twee new metric: "claps". If you like an article, you can "clap" for it, or as one might like to say, "give it the clap." And now The Verge reports that they'll be paying writers on the basis of how many claps they get.
A couple weeks ago, Medium replaced its “recommend” feature — a little heart button at the end of each article — with a “clap” button that you can click as many times as you want (much like how Periscope lets you send broadcasters an infinite number of hearts). The site wants people to send authors claps to show how much they enjoy reading each article.
Now, those claps are actually going to mean something. Medium pays authors by dividing up every individual subscriber’s fee between the different articles they’ve read that month. But rather than doing an even division between articles, Medium will weight payments toward whichever articles a subscriber gives the most claps to. It’s not clear exactly how much each individual clap tips the scale, but you can be sure that writers will be asking readers to click that button.
It’s a pretty strange way to implement payments, since it relies on a really arbitrary metric that individual subscribers might use in really different and inconsistent ways.
Medium should introduce a negative counterpart to "clap" called "slap." Read the rest
Those praising social media for turfing out white supremacists (and those demanding free speech from it), are missing a deeper problem, writes John Herrman: that these commercial simulations of liberal public discourse are broken replicas of it, ultimately ruled by fiat.
But what gave these trolls power on platforms wasn’t just their willingness to act in bad faith and to break the rules and norms of their environment. It was their understanding that the rules and norms of platforms were self-serving and cynical in the first place. After all, these platforms draw arbitrary boundaries constantly and with much less controversy — against spammers, concerning profanity or in response to government demands.
Believing that private companies must embody or guarantee constitutional rights is one of the internet's worst mistakes. It's not about whether they say yes or no; the plain fact is they can't, even if they want to. They are never free of outside pressure or internal cunning. When we yabber at them to do this or that, we're forgetting that we're just speechcropping. The fact a handful of tech companies are becoming the only public square is a growing problem. Read the rest
It seems someone at the Wall Street Journal wasn't happy with how its interview with President Trump came out, because the raw transcript—revealing plenty of "meat left on the proverbial carcass"—ended up being published at a different venue.
In this case, that perception [of the Journal's obsequious smarm] will also be fed by the Journal’s decision not to release a more complete transcript. Plenty of reporters have declined to challenge Trump on each outrageous claim he makes. Others have shown a willingness to engage in small talk and stroke Trump’s ego. But their outlets have been largely transparent in reproducing those conversations for the record. By failing to follow the precedent set by other newsrooms, the Journal played into the narrative that it has taken a softer approach.
One thing the transcript exposes is how Trump's compulsive, obvious lies ("the leader of the Boy Scouts told him his jamboree speech was “the greatest speech ever made to them.”") are politely ignored despite being perfectly topical and worthy of fact-checking and reporting. Friendly media smooths over his endless bullshit, while adversarial media takes it at face value. All agree that the resulting circus is worth it, but don't care much to think whether it was worth it. Read the rest
Doug Fernandez, a newsreader at KOAT in Albuquerque, adapted quickly and efficiently to a technical problem patching in a reporter on location. Then he gave up. Read the rest
Piers Morgan is a British journalist, pundit and Trumpkin who blew his big break in America and now presents breakfast television when not being nasty to women on Twitter. Here he is on Good Morning Britain getting savagely owned by copresenter Susanna Reid.
And here's a supercut of Reidian microexpressions, as she endures day after day of Morgan's vacuous, rambling bullshit:
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Karl Stefanovic: "The Daily Mail has a long, despicable track record of denigrating women, of ridiculing women, of objectifying women."
A London tabloid, the Daily Mail has become wildly successful on the web over the last decade. Beyond the bigotry, its practices (nakedly untrue and plagiarized stories, amateurish editing of photographs, comical yet effective exportation of British tabloid stock stories to new markets) put it at the heart of everything that's gone wrong with news, yet place it almost beyond criticism.
It revels in the fact it has no real credibility, because that sort of thinking only matters to people who remember. But the magic of Daily Mail content is that it's about the world it creates for readers to sink into now, the drug of gossip without the moderation of truth or memory. Today water causes cancer. Tomorrow it cures it.
Most tabloid writers I've met hate their audience: think of the empty, smirking contempt of a character from a Richard Curtis comedy. I'd say it was a British thing, because it's the sneer talk that the marginally middle-class have for working-class people who make more money than them (think: drunks writing for plumbers) but the formula was internationalized so fast and so well it can hardly be that.
Stefanovic famously revealed in an interview that he wore the same suit every day for a year without anyone remarking upon it, unlike female colleagues who receive criticism if they repeat an outfit even twice. Read the rest
Read Max Read's sharp précis of what happened to the internet over the last few years: the slow drifting of message-boards to the right as their inhabitants grew from sad kids to angry adults, then the sudden explosion of that pattern across social networks run by corporations with only an ambivalent interest in stopping it.
This was the core value of message-board political consciousness: sovereignty, a concept similarly important to the politics of the far right. Posters and trolls wanted to reserve for themselves on the internet the power and freedom they couldn’t find off it. And as the online and offline spheres slowly merged over the course of the 2010s, that sovereignty expressed itself as an abject refusal to resocialize — the reservation of a sacred right to be cruel. The puckish left-libertarianism that had characterized the early message-board political activity of groups like Anonymous transformed into a revanchism, seemingly intended to protect “Kekistan” — the joking name, from the LOL-like word Kek, for the safe spaces of the frustrated men of the internet.
This was the sensibility galvanized in 2014 by — what else? — a depressed and frustrated man’s rambling, 9,000-word post falsely accusing his game-developer ex-girlfriend Zoë Quinn of exchanging sex for video-game reviews
Tim O'Brien's painting of Pepe is fantastic: a poisoned meme made creepily, grossly real.
One of the interesting oddities about the Alt Right is a "geek fallacies" thing: loyalty to parasitic luminaries, even though they're crudely exploitative, too weird to be on television, and all seem to hate one another. Read the rest
The New York Times' new columnist, Bret Stephens, is an everyday conservative: he thinks institutional racism is imaginary, that campus rape is a big lie, and that the "Arab Mind" is "diseased". But these are just opinions, and common ones on the right. It is his anti-science positions, on display in his first fact-mangled column about climate change, that has galvanized disgust.
Much has been said about him, but it is the Times itself that has committed a "jaw-dropping error" and whose warped motives promise that it will be repeated.
Ryan Cooper in The Week directs particular ire at the Times' claim about wanting a diversity of voices, where the agreement of millions is enough to justify a hire. This allows so many possibilities that it betrays the excuse.
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If the Times were really committed to ideological diversity in its op-ed page, it would at a minimum hire a conservative who actually supports President Trump, and perhaps even more importantly hire someone with Bernie Sanders-style politics. (Sanders is the most popular politician in the country, yet there are more supporters of torture among columnists of our two major national newspapers than supporters of the senator.)
What we see here is that the neurotic upper-class liberal need for civil debate over important issues stops the moment we reach territory they actually care about. ... A rich, glib, dumb, anti-Trump conservative, on the other hand, can give Upper East Side cocktail parties that frisson of intellectual disputation while conveniently avoiding most of the actually important questions.
When long-lived websites close down, they often give little notice, sending archivists scrambling to rescue its work for posterity. About.com, the venerable topic-mining hive abruptly put to death, seems to be a counter-example: a faceless mountain of bland, undifferentiated, half-plagiarized content that no-one seems sad to see vanish. Its own CEO—who once spoke contemptuously of it before being convinced to take the job—has a plan to make something new and interesting out of the remains.
"I got a phone call from Joey Levin, who is the CEO of IAC. He asked, 'What do you think of About.com?'" Vogel said during a recent interview with Business Insider. "My answer — in perfect arrogance — was 'I don't.' Who thinks of About.com? Nobody."
Levin persuaded him to come in for a job interview anyway, and Vogel walked out convinced he could help turn the company around. Now he is CEO of About.com, and to save it he's trying something that sounds crazy.
He’s shutting down the entire website in early May. In its place, he's launching a half-dozen new sites.
"This is either going to work and be a great success or we're going to crash the plane as we're flying it and this is going to be a horrible failure," Vogel says he told IAC.
About.com was one of the earliest big web successes to cash out: to Prime Media in 2000 for $690m, then to the New York Times in 2005 for $410m, IAC in 2012 for $300m, and now to the deep void—but also the hope that the staff and infrastructure can be used to make something better. Read the rest
We all did so well keeping our kids away from obvious traps like 4chan, but it turns out that during those endless unsupervised hours watching Minecraft videos and Twitch streams, their hosts were muttering on about anime and black IQs and what to do about The Jews. And now our kids are hitting their teens, it's coming out of them like the first belches of sewage from a blocked toilet, and, well, here we all are in 2017!
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...again this week with the news that YouTube video gaming personality JonTron had made several racist and anti-semitic statements. JonTron — real name Jon Jafari — started his week by tweeting support for Iowa representative Steve King on Sunday, after King made the troubling claim that “we can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.” Jafari then doubled down on this stance in an interview with fellow streamer Steven “Destiny” Bonnell, complaining of the erosion of a “unifying culture” in the United States, portraying Black Lives Matter as violent terrorists, and repeatedly making portentous warnings that white people would become the minority in American society. ...
On YouTube, these fringe opinions are insidious, too. They’re not set to Leni Riefenstahl films or videos of the Nuremberg Rallies — they dribble out during video game streams, or in Twitch chat, or in YouTube’s never-ending “up next” queue. These are ostensibly benign spaces that have become politicized in recent years, but not so loudly that the average parent will be able to clock the association.
Gareth Davies' viral yarn about a Japanese man crushed to death by his porn collection has been proven false. Gizmodo's Matt Novak reports that it's about time Americans—and especially American media—realized that a lot of what the Daily Mail publishes is fabricated.
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But almost nothing about that headline is correct. The Daily Mail seems to have taken a sad story of a man’s death in Japan and added a few lies to make it more sensational. And from there it went viral, getting picked up by the likes of The Mirror, The Toronto Sun, CBS Philly, and Sky News Australia, among a host of others.
So what really happened? Recently a Japanese man was found dead in his apartment. The man lived alone and had been dead for a month before he was discovered. The coroner ruled that he’d died of a heart attack. How do we know the real story? It was reported in Nikkan Spa in Japan on February 28, 2017. The Daily Mail story was published on March 3, 2017.
NRKbeta, the tech page of Norway's public broadcaster, ran a story about proposed internet surveillance laws. But to comment on it, you had to know what was in the story.
The team at NRKbeta attributes the civil tenor of its comments to a feature it introduced last month. On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they’re allowed to post a comment. (For instance, in the digital surveillance story: “What does DGF stand for?”)
My first thought is that it couldn't work in America or Brexit because the presence of the test itself would only generate its own towering buttnami of rage. People would pass the test just so they could chock up the comments with complaints about how the test censors them. Read the rest
The New York Times reports that it and at least two other media outlets, CNN and Politico, were barred today from a White House press event. Also locked out were the LA Times and Buzzfeed, writes Politico's Dan Diamond.
Journalists from The New York Times and two other news organizations were prohibited from attending a briefing by President Trump’s press secretary on Friday, a highly unusual breach of relations between the White House and its press corps.
Reporters from The Times, CNN and Politico were not allowed to enter the West Wing office of the press secretary, Sean M. Spicer, for the scheduled briefing. Aides to Mr. Spicer allowed in reporters from only a handpicked group of news organizations that, the White House said, had been previously confirmed to attend.
It's OK, though: Breitbart got in! Read the rest
Amber Sherlock, a television personality in Australia, was angry that a colleague, Julie Snook, wore clothes almost the same color as her own. On-camera, with the screen split and an increasingly alarmed and discomfited guest looking on—also wearing white!—she insisted Snook change her attire and did not commence the segment until she had done so. Read the rest
Twitter's wonderful, but it's also horrible a lot of the time &endash; especially for the people using it. And we all complain about it, too! Anil Dash weaves the obvious and not-so-obvious threads of criticism into a billion dollar gift for Twitter. It comes down to these five key points: Read the rest