If you haven't already, spend a moment with Timelapse. It takes decades of government satellite images and turns them into short movies that show you what we've been doing to the planet recently.
In addition to watching the Columbia Glacier recede, you can watch coal seams being opened up in Wyoming! And sprawl sprawling in Las Vegas! And rainforest disappearing in Brazil! And, if you use the search function, Seattle densifying!
The girl had walked to Fritz’ home to meet with him, and when she arrived, Fritz allegedly took the girl down to the basement and sexually assaulted her despite her resistance and demands to stop...
Brown and Applewhite then sexually assaulted the girl while Fritz videotaped the rape, according to court documents. Fritz was identified in the video because at one point he turned the camera towards his face, authorities said...
Two days later, the video of the attack was posted on Brown’s Facebook account, according to court documents. The video was also allegedly later posted on Fritz and Applewhite’s Facebook pages.
Here's the Jezebel post about it, which I'm linking to only because half the comments are just GIFs and pictures of kittens, which you might need, because this shit is unbearably grim.
Following up on Cienna's post on street harassment last week, I'd like to call attention to some awesome projects fighting street harassment, all of which were mentioned in the comments section as a place to turn when you're trying to combat that icky, how did I just lose that interaction so hard? feeling.
• Commenters were quick to give a shout out to Hollaback!, a website that encourages women who are harassed on the street to document the incident and post it on the site, creating a record of it and possibly embarrassing the harasser while offering some community to other women. They now run a nonprofit that trains people to run localized Hollaback! sites. Seattle currently doesn't have a local site. Someone get on this!
• I'm in love with Tatyana Fazlalizadeh's wheatpaste poster project, Stop Telling Women to Smile, also pointed out by Bree McKenna in comments. Fazlalizadeh also runs a blog with photos of the posters; the most telling ones, I think, are here. (She also sells shirts.)
• Commenter Tomahawk started the blog I Was Asking For It, where she posts "pictures of the frumpy shit I happen to be wearing when assholes come a'calling." Submissions are apparently welcome. This is a funny middle finger to the but-what-were-you-wearing question.
Doing something about it later is a way to get a little control back, if you aren't quite awake/badass enough to lipstick your entire face, or you were too scared to do anything, or you're just going through the rest of your day climbing the l'esprit d'escalier over and over in your head (remember: shouting a loud "SORRY ABOUT YOUR MICROPENIS" is always an okay go-to retort).
by Dan Savage
on Sat, May 18, 2013 at 1:47 AM
"I am admittedly very high right now," Slog tipper Taylor wrote at 1:13 AM, "but I think someone at the Stranger will find this video amusing enough to post it on Slog. I don't know if amusing is even the right word. Watch for yourselves."
The soft, froggy voice startled me. I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses.
“Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said. “Here, drink this. You’re slightly dehydrated, and your blood sugar is low. This is a blend of water, electrolytes, and glucose.”
The Atlantic Cities on the evolution of Twitter, the nervous system of the emerging global consciousness...
We wrote in late 2011 about some early research suggesting that many Twitter users in fact follow other people located within their same city, evidence, Richard Florida wrote, that the Internet is reinforcing the value of place instead of eliminating it.
But now that Twitter is a few years older – and considerably more global – Leetaru and several colleagues have conducted a massive new analysis of the site that suggests the opposite: "In effect," Leetrau says, "location plays a much lesser role now in terms of who we talk to, what we talk about, and where we get our information."
"In reality on Twitter, even though you may be following a lot of people, you’re probably paying attention more to some than others. But there’s no way of recording that," Leetaru says. "What we can do is say 'well, here are the people you’re talking to. Here are the people you thought were interesting enough to retweet.'"
What it's coming down to is this...
"Where there’s power, there’s Twitter," Leetaru says. "The more power, the more Twitter. That tells us that quite literally even in the most remote areas of Africa, if there’s power there, chances are there’s Twitter there at a relative density of power."
There are a few exceptions: Iran and China show fewer tweets than we’d expect given the electricity levels there because Twitter is censored. But for the most part, once we realize Twitter is nearly everywhere electricity will allow it to go, that picture allows us to examine how (and if) all of these people, all over the world, are interacting with each other.
The researchers also found that the people you interact with regularly are close to you in space, and those you don't, those who reference or retweet just once, are far away.
"The head of Saudi Arabia's religious police has warned citizens against using Twitter, which is rising in popularity among Saudis," the BBC reports. "Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh said anyone using social media sites—and especially Twitter—'has lost this world and his afterlife.' " International Digital Times notes that: "The news rather reminds us of the imam of the Grand Mosque who last April used his sermon—seen by millions on TV—to label Twitter as a threat to national unity. The kingdom's grand mufti (religious head) earlier at several occasions attacked Twitter users calling them 'fools' and 'clowns.'"
One Twitter user looks on the bright side...
@fakedansavage So when I die, I won't go to the same place as Sheikh Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh? Shame, he seems like a really fun guy — Alexander Colgan (@alexcolgan) May 16, 2013
TechCrunch has the story of Social Roulette, which launched on Saturday. Like indicated by its name, Social Roulette claims that by playing it, you have "a 1 in 6 chance of deleting your account, and a 5 in 6 chance that it just posts 'I played Social Roulette and survived' to your timeline." From the site:
Everyone thinks about deleting their account at some point, it's a completely normal reaction to the overwhelming nature of digital culture. Is it time to consider a new development in your life? Are you looking for the opportunity to start fresh? Or are you just seeking cheap thrills at the expense of your social network? Maybe it's time for you to play Social Roulette.
No word on whether or not it was supposed to post anything shortly before it deleted your account. And, sadly but unsurprisingly, Facebook has already blocked it.
My brother deleted his Facebook account last year and recently rejoined, vowing to "be friends with less classmates from high school." I think about deleting my account every day, and Social Roulette might just have been the ultimate way to do it. Instead I've just been checking it less, and since I'm someone who considers myself "a writer," I justify its continued existence by saying that it's "a platform," because I read somewhere that publishers like a writer to have that sort of thing.
Have you deleted your Facebook account? Have you deleted your Facebook account and then gone back? What say you, Slog?
Samsung on Sunday announced that it had developed a core component of its 5G network by solving a problem that has stymied the wireless industry, Yonhap News reported. Using the 28GHz waveband, Samsung says it has achieved download and upload speeds of tens of gigabits per second (Gbps). Current 4G LTE networks top out at around 75 megabits (Mbps).
In practice, that speed would allow wireless users to download a full HD movie in seconds.
Unfortunately, it would also allow wireless customers to use up their entire monthly data cap in seconds.
Watching it is like watching the world think—at least the parts of the world that have computers, internet access, and a modicum of free time.
Here are some stills of someone in Seattle thinking about the Huskies basketball team, someone in Argentina thinking about leggings, someone in Iran thinking about a prominent member of the Chinese communist party, someone in Britain thinking about a Turkish soccer player, and more.
When I first saw this I couldn’t tell if it was cringeworthy or simply awesome. But listening to the whole thing I’m gravitating heavily toward option two. This is Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station, performing Bowie’s Space Oddity from … well, space.
Last week you loved Clarence Ramsey—that is until you heard about this. Now you feel uncomfortable about that.
WELL, HAVE NO FEAR, because here's the NEWEST person for you to love on the internet: Melinda Brown Duncan BAY-BEE, who has a few choice and hilariously filthy (and on point) words to share with the leadership of Detroit. I'd vote for her anytime, and anywhere. (That is until we hear that she did something terrible. What a fickle internet we are!)
YouTube's new paid content service has gone live, and it features fitness channels, a couple of movie distribution companies (including mockbuster manufacturer The Asylum), a Cuban channel, and something called "Fix My Hog Premium," among others. Deadline explains:
Sesame Street and Young Turks are among 30 YouTube services that, beginning today, will offer content to people who pay a subscription fee following a 14-day free trial period. They’ll cost an average of $2.99 a month, payable via credit card or Google Wallet, and some will go for as little as 99 cents...
I don't know. Besides Sesame Street—which is not currently on the list of pay channels, by the way—I'm not sure that anyone would be willing to spend any money on these channels. Maybe this is the beginning of the end of free video on the internet, but as long as the free videos on YouTube are there to discourage people from paying for, well, the paid videos on YouTube, I just can't see this taking off.
President Obama has picked Nicole Wong, Twitter's legal director, to be the White House's first chief privacy officer, CNET has learned.
Wong previously was a vice president and deputy general counsel at Google at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, where she managed a team of lawyers that worked with the company's engineers to review products before they launched. The reviews included privacy, copyright, and removal requests, which earned her a nickname of "The Decider" — as recounted in a 2008 New York Times Magazine article.
This seems like good news to me; the fact that Wong worked at Twitter, which is the most privacy-friendly of the social networks, seems like a sign that she'll take our privacy seriously. If Obama chose someone from, say, Facebook, that would be a real cause for concern.
One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.
The basic idea here is that the act of measuring a quantum object, such as a photon, always changes it. So any attempt to eavesdrop on a quantum message cannot fail to leave telltale signs of snooping that the receiver can detect. That allows anybody to send a “one-time pad” over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication...Today, Richard Hughes and pals at Los Alamos National Labs in New Mexico reveal an alternative quantum internet, which they say they’ve been running for two and half years.
I'm nowhere near smart enough to understand the implications of all this, but I can tell you that it's a really goddamned big deal.
As expected, the US Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act by a 69-27 margin today, allowing states to collect sales tax on Internet and other out-of-state sales. And as expected, the bill faces stiff opposition in the US House, where the Republican majority pretty much opposes anything that could possibly be labeled a tax increase. (Of course, it's not really a tax increase; it just makes online retailers collect the "use tax" that customers already owe, but 99 percent don't pay.)
At stake is over half a billion dollars a year in revenue for Washington State, money that sure would make writing the next budget a little easier.
The Syrian Electronic Army has apparently hacked The Onion’s twitter account, exposing the groups seriously morbid sense of “humor”. “UN retracts report of Syrian chemical weapon use: “Lab tests confirm it is Jihadi body odor”, went one tweet.
Twitter has got to do something about this hacking problem; the TechCrunch article says that two-step verification is in the works, but a few more of these public embarrassments will damage the entire service's credibility. (Also, politicians should take note: Now is probably the best time to say something horrible on Twitter. If even The Onion is getting hacked, accountability for your internet words has got to be at an all-time low.)
by Dan Savage
on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 8:14 AM
You probably got out in the sun or went for a bike ride. Me? I bullied poor Sarah Palin.
Woke up to Sarah Palin's voice. She's taken up chewing tobacco now cuz LIBRULS or Bloomberg or something. Now seeing upside of oral cancers. — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) May 4, 2013
RWNJ's and their RWNJ blogs have been blowing up my Twitter feed since I tweeted that out in my sleep on Saturday morning. Not my best work: the repetition of the word "now" annoys me, and instead of "Now seeing upside of oral cancers," I wish I had written, "Oral cancer approval ratings spike." But for the dimshits who might make it over to Slog today from Glennbeckistan... here's the standard definition of bullying: "Bullying has to satisfy three criteria: it has to be verbal or physical aggression, repeated over time, involving a power differential." I may have said something nasty about Sarah Palin—a lovely Christian lady who has never in her life said a single nasty thing about anybody—but I didn't bully her. I can't bully her. I pointed that out, which led to soon-to-be classic Twitter exchanges like this:
Mr. Schmader was unable to watch the scheduled showing of this week's entry in the Slog Streaming Netflix Club, Jacques Demy's 1967 masterpiece The Young Girls of Rochefort (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort in the original French), due to "technical difficulties" (protip David, it's in the upper right corner marked "ON"), so he has asked me to spray you with enthusiasm in his stead.
DID YOU SEE THIS MOVIE? WASN'T IT GREAT?
I think it was even better than I remembered it. The music certainly was; while this has long been my favorite soundtrack, enough that I have the two-CD expanded set on my iPod at all times, hearing it again brought new brightnesses to light. Mr. Savage is going to bar me from Slog for saying it, but Stephen Sondheim never wrote this well, nor did Leonard Bernstein or Comden and Green; we're in Cole Porter territory here, only the tunes are better. This is Michel Legrand's masterpiece, and evokes the pulse and bounce of the sixties better than anything I've ever heard.
The story is ridiculous, as it should be. All that delicious nonsense about the feminine ideal who just happens to be one of twin sisters who is breaking up with the owner of the gallery where painting of said ideal is hanging, and pining for the lost lover who left you with child ten years ago but happens to have a music shop a block away, and the most beautiful man in the world who turns out to be the seventy-year-old dancer in the lavender sport jacket you bumped into on the street, and so on—this isn't a traditional movie, it's an opera, and the characters spin around their rooms and streets with the same stylistic grace that the musical themes swirl around the town square. It's reminiscent of a '30s screwball comedy, but this plot has as much verve as the costumes. And how many American musicals have bouncy pop numbers about cutting up an old woman and stuffing the parts in a wicker basket?
Speaking of costumes, I was right—every man in the film does wear white (or the palest of khaki) trousers, and there should have been enough tight bottoms in those trousers to please you if that's your thing; but MY thing is white go-go boots, a short pleated skirt, and a pointy sixties bra in a tight, tight sweater, so I was pretty much in heaven the whole time. While the magnificence of Catherine Deneuve cannot be denied, I think lovely Josette at the cafe, in blue, was my dream date — though there was a whole lot of Hullabaloo goodness going on with the street-dancing team as well.
I could go on about my love for this movie—Christ, I could give you six paragraphs just about that cafe. One of them would be devoted to just the shelf of aperitifs over the back bar. But I'll let you have a go instead, in the comments. I'll just leave you with this: how fabulous is Simon Dame's hobby of cutting out paper soldiers and mounting them on little holders?