OF LETTERS

Protolinguist. Loves metadata. Jesus freak. I'm not original. I just reblog things; they are not my own. Anachronistic and cultivating a dangerous sense of nostalgia for a past that never was. Since 2011

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In the age of YouTube and cameraphones and TiVo, we’re increasingly inundated with moving images. But the animated GIF lets us stop and ponder a single moment in the stream, to resee something that otherwise would zip by unnoticed.

Janet Napolitano Doesn't Use Email 

parislemon:

Joseph Straw on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

Asked if her reasons for sticking to other forms of communication had to do with concerns about email security, she hedged and said she avoids email for “a whole host of reasons.”

I envy her position there.

The Hulu Dilemma: How Private is Your Video Playlist? 

percolatedemo:

Behind-the-scenes tracking of user data is a core part of the business logic of video streaming. That points to a tension between what people might like to share with their friends on social networks and their wariness about having their behavioral data traded to pay for it all.’

percolatedemo:

Although it’s kind of cool to see your photos mapped out, for most of us here at Gadget Lab, the initial knee-jerk reaction was “Yikes! This is creepy.” It was also a huge reminder of how easily we can forget that our location information is tracked and stored by apps.

(via Instagram 3.0’s New Maps Feature: A Privacy Wake-Up Call? | Gadget Lab | Wired.com)

One reader named Joachim Schipper wrote to me with a devious plan to trick Facebook into removing his “deleted” photos from the CDN. The theory involved transferring the US rights of the photo to a friend (complete with notarized document and payment), and then having that friend send a DMCA takedown to Facebook in order to have the photo removed from the original poster’s account. I was unable to confirm that this strategy would work, but when your users are resorting to this level of inconvenience in order to make sure their photos are really offline, you have a serious user experience problem.

Three years later, deleting your photos on Facebook now actually works | Ars Technica

BAHAHAHA this is hilarious. I wonder if this would actually be effective.

Social Media Bubble: Investors See More Signs That It's Popping 

emergentfutures:

 - Social media companies, once hailed by their Silicon Valley boosters as world-changing businesses with limitless potential, are instead proving a sobering reminder of how investors can be seduced by Internet hype.

With a few exceptions, the first wave of social media firms to trade on the public markets has delivered a disastrous performance that conjures memories of the dot-com bust of 2000.Full Story: Huffington

Dudes.

unfuckyourhabitat:

UfYH has appeared in Avengers fanfic. I feel like I’m Internet official now or something.

Thanks for pointing it out, you-know-who!

To obsess over the offline and deny all the ways we routinely remain disconnected is to fetishize this disconnection. Author after author pretends to be a lone voice, taking a courageous stand in support of the offline in precisely the moment it has proliferated and become over-valorized. For many, maintaining the fiction of the collective loss of the offline for everyone else is merely an attempt to construct their own personal time-outs as more special, as allowing them to rise above those social forces of distraction that have ensnared the masses. “I am real. I am the thoughtful human. You are the automaton.” I am reminded of a line from a recent essay by Sarah Nicole Prickett: that we are “so obsessed with the real that it’s unrealistic, atavistic, and just silly.” How have we come to make the error of collectively mourning the loss of that which is proliferating?The notion of the offline as real and authentic is a recent invention, corresponding with the rise of the online.

In great part, the reason is that we have been taught to mistakenly view online as meaning not offline. The notion of the offline as real and authentic is a recent invention, corresponding with the rise of the online. If we can fix this false separation and view the digital and physical as enmeshed, we will understand that what we do while connected is inseparable from what we do when disconnected. That is, disconnection from the smartphone and social media isn’t really disconnection at all: The logic of social media follows us long after we log out. There was and is no offline; it is a lusted-after fetish object that some claim special ability to attain, and it has always been a phantom.

Digital information has long been portrayed as an elsewhere, a new and different cyberspace, a tendency I have coined the term “digital dualism” to describe: the habit of viewing the online and offline as largely distinct. The common (mis)understanding is experience is zero-sum: time spent online means less spent offline. We are either jacked into the Matrix or not; we are either looking at our devices or not. When camping, I have service or not, and when out to eat, my friend is either texting or not. The smartphone has come to be “the perfect symbol” of leaving the here and now for something digital, some other, cyber, space.

But this idea that we are trading the offline for the online, though it dominates how we think of the digital and the physical, is myopic. It fails to capture the plain fact that our lived reality is the result of the constant interpenetration of the online and offline. That is, we live in an augmented reality that exists at the intersection of materiality and information, physicality and digitality, bodies and technology, atoms and bits, the off and the online. It is wrong to say “IRL” to mean offline: Facebook is real life.

Facebook doesn’t curtail the offline but depends on it. What is most crucial to our time spent logged on is what happened when logged off; it is the fuel that runs the engine of social media. The photos posted, the opinions expressed, the check-ins that fill our streams are often anchored by what happens when disconnected and logged-off. The Web has everything to do with reality; it comprises real people with real bodies, histories, and politics. It is the fetish objects of the offline and the disconnected that are not real.

Nathan Jurgenson, The IRL Fetish via The New Inquiry (via stoweboyd)

Ibrahim Tamba, 45, of Southeast Portland hurriedly scrolls through job listings on a career-search Web site at the Midland branch.

Like many library computer users, he’s looking for work. It’s been three weeks since he lost his job driving a truck, and the library offers his only connection to the Internet.

"Most jobs won’t let you call," Tamba says. "They want you to go online."

But he’s got to be fast. Because of demand, the library allows users only one hour a day systemwide. After waiting sometimes two hours just to get online, Tamba says he must then try to search job sites, fill out applications and check e-mail in case an employer contacts him. All within 60 minutes. If he needs to update his unemployment paperwork, that means he won’t have time to apply for jobs that day.

Sometime, his time runs out midway through an application and the computer bumps him off. “The applications ask lots of questions,” Tamba says. “It’s not enough time, and I have to start all over the next day.”

The disadvantages are stark, Gibbon says.

"I have a computer at home and at work — we just take Internet access for granted," she says. "This has been a revelation for me personally to see how disenfranchised people are in this society if they don’t have one."

Internet access has long passed the stage of luxury. Many jobs will only accept inquiries online. As the government seeks to cut costs, it’s moving more of its forms, services and information to the Web.

(via Job seekers without Internet access stretch libraries’ computers | OregonLive.com)

It’d be fine if it was my mother’s maiden name,” Mr. Leeds said. “That is different from ‘What is the name of your first girlfriend?’ You think: ‘Well, what do you mean by girlfriend? Is that the first woman I ever slept with, or someone I liked who never particularly liked me back?’ It’s a march through your entire personal history just to get on some damn Web site which will deliver your groceries.

laughingsquid:

Tumblr Support in WordPress

While the tech press often likes to paint companies in a similar market as competing in a zero sum game, the reality is that all are growing rapidly and services feed each other and cross-pollinate more than anyone gives them credit for. Tumblr built a dashboard reader product that has tons of pageviews and lots of followers, which can provide distribution for blogs much in the same way Facebook and Twitter do. (Its 85%-on-dashboard-centric usage looks more like a social network than a blogging network, actually.) WordPress has fantastic content that people on Tumblr love, and Tumblr has a rich and diverse content and curation community that can drive new visitors to WordPress — it’s like peanut butter and chocolate.
timim1977:

Organizational structure of some key IT companies

timim1977:

Organizational structure of some key IT companies

kottke.org: Facebook and Instagram as company towns 

jkottke:

One of the more thought-provoking pieces on Instagram’s billion dollar sale to Facebook is Matt Webb’s Instagram as an island economy. In it, he thinks about Instagram as a closed economy:

What is the labour encoded in Instagram? It’s easy to see. Every “user” of Instagram is a worker. There…

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