The Wednesday Four (11/23/16)

Today’s links are all about the media. I still haven’t decided which media outlets to support and I am taking suggestions (note: I’m not subscribing to WAPO or NYT). Anyway, the links.

  • What Normalization Means: And so we should remain suspicious of efforts to welcome Trumpism into the fold of mainstream American ideas, particularly when normalizing him suggests the privilege to pick and choose, to infer the existence of another’s decency and humanity, to laugh, and to think that, at the end of the day, we all just want the same thing. (New Yorker)
  • Billionaires vs. the Press in the Era of Trump: A small group of superrich Americans — the president-elect among them — has laid the groundwork for an unprecedented legal assault on the media. Can they succeed? (New York Times)

 

 

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The Thursday Ten

I’ve decided to try something different. Instead of listing all the links I’ve read and thought were interesting, I’m going to limit it to just ten, with maybe a bonus link or two. This first week of September will be my first week attempting this. Feedback is always welcome.

Onto the links:

  • Pop culture’s newest apocalypse: Visions of a smartphone dystopia Two acclaimed new books show how our smartphone addiction is changing the way we think about the end of the world  (Salon) Note: I have read neither book, but the premises of both are similar to many a YA dystopia — though that’s not a bad thing. I do wish the author was familiar with other dystopian novels, though.
  • Hong Kong’s Democracy Dilemma: On Sunday the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress issued restrictive guidelines for the election of Hong Kong’s next chief executive in 2017. Shorn of its technical details, the proposal in effect gives Beijing the means to control who could run for the top office in Hong Kong: Voters would get to cast a ballot, but only for one of just a handful of candidates pre-selected by the Chinese government. (New York Times)
  • What’s missing in the Ebola fight in West Africa: If the Ebola epidemic devastating the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had instead struck Washington, New York or Boston, there is no doubt that the health systems in place could contain and then eliminate the disease. (Washington Post)
  • Shenzhen trip report – visiting the world’s manufacturing ecosystem: Last year, a group of Media Lab students visited Shenzhen with, bunnie, an old friend and my hardware guru. He’s probably best known for hacking the Xbox, the chumby, an open source networked hardware appliance, and for helping so many people with their hardware, firmware and software designs. bunnie is “our man in Shenzhen” and understands the ecosystem of suppliers and factories in China better than anyone I know. (Joi Ito)
  • Death to the Gamer: Tainted by its misogyny and embrace of consumption as a way of life, gamer culture isn’t worth saving. (Jacobin)

Bonus links! Something a little more fun:

 

Links: July 18-24

Drone Pictures: Best Aerials Recognized in New Contest (National Geographic)

Netflix says ‘no rules’ would be better than FCC’s net neutrality proposal: Netflix filed a comment with the FCC yesterday strongly condemning the commission’s new net neutrality proposal, which would allow internet service providers to offer so-called “fast lanes” to companies that can afford them. “No rules would be better than rules legalizing discrimination on the internet,” Netflix writes in a lengthy reply to the FCC. Netflix argues that the new rules will turn the goal of an open internet “on its head,” making the internet look more like the convoluted and stagnating cable TV landscape than the innovative and quickly developing platform that we’ve come to see the internet as. (The Verge)

Yes, Facebook is sucking your soul: Once again, social science has done what it so often does: Proven that which we already knew deep in our souls.  In this case, it’s that Facebook is bad for us. (Marketplace)

Intimate Photos Of How People Eat In New York City: Photographer Miho Aikawa explores how the evening meal is evolving in two of the world’s biggest cities. (Fast Company/Co.Design)

The Downing of MH17: A New Precedent for the World’s Battlefields: What the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet says about the military role of non-state actors (The Atlantic)

With jet crash, news media again weigh where to draw the line on graphic photos: As news about the Malaysia Airlines jet crash began breaking Thursday, the Reuters news service tweeted what it described as the first photo from the scene in Ukraine. The image was ghastly: It showed a man hosing down the shattered, still-smoldering remains of a plane that just moments before had carried 298 people. (Washington Post)

A guide to winning the customer service cancellation phone battle: If you want to cancel your account, you must prepare to be (occasionally) nasty. (Ars Technica) Note: I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it’s interesting nonetheless. As are some of the comments. 

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers: FOIA request turns up 9 years of records, including plaintext credit card numbers.  (Ars Technica)

Japan’s vending machines: a shopping spree (engadget)

Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind: Even if you aren’t one of those people worried about media consolidation — there are many in that number — the big bolt of lightning last week that pierced a summer of ennui in entertainment and publishing news was hard to resist. (New York Times)

Hong Kong: Hong Kong is an unbelievably beautiful city and it makes you willing to come back. People there are kind and responsive. You feel respected no matter if you are local or a foreigner. Moreover, the main thing for me is that I never get bored there. The rhythm of life is comparable to Moscow. However, unlike Moscow, Hong Kong only retained the best of it. (ontheroofs) Note: These pictures are truly amazing.

From On the Media:

The End of the Gun Report: The Gun Report was a New York Times blog that chronicled daily shootings across the country in an effort to highlight victims of gun violence between mass shootings.

The Kiss That Saved The Sims: The Sims is one of the most popular video games of all time. But the game came very close to never being released. Bob talks with journalist Simon Parkin about how an unplanned kiss between two Sims characters at a gamer conference created enough buzz to launch the game.

Gaymes: Only a handful of mainstream video games feature gay characters. Bob talks with Samantha Leigh Allen, a transgender writer and academic, about some of the commercially successful games to include LBGT identities.

From NPR:

The Opposite Of Schadenfreude: Vicarious Embarrassment: Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman says he suffers from vicarious embarrassment, and can’t watch cringe-inducing viral videos.

Watch Out For That Butterfly: The Lure Of Literary Time Travel

People Share Moon Landing Memories On YouTube Channel: Sunday is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Buzz Aldrin about his new YouTube channel, where anyone can share memories from the historic day.