The Wednesday Four (09/09/15)

I hope everyone had a nice, long Labor Day weekend, if you celebrate it, that is (or, you know, live in the US). We have new New York Times links today. And yes, before you ask, I am a Serena Williams fan.

  • Like It’s 1999: On Serena Williams’s Dominance and the Passage of Time (Grantland)
  • The Agency: From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg, Russia, an army of well-paid “trolls” has tried to wreak havoc all around the Internet — and in real-life American communities. (NYTimes)

Serena Williams

Serena Williams  Day 9 action at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open. (photo (c) mirsasha)

The Wednesday Four (04/29/15)

Today’s links want you to binge watch, I think you should just marathon. Also, as an aside, there’s a link here from Vice and while I’m not a huge fan of the site, this article is actually quite interest.

  • HBO to Netflix: Bring It On How HBO’s quest to win the streaming wars becamse a binge-worthy drama as juicy as Game of Thrones. (Fast Company)

I would be interested in HBO if they included TBS, TNT and TCM content — except for two things. The first is that, as of launch, it will only work on Apple device (which means I can’t watch it on my computer, tablet or TV) and it costs $14.99 a month — which I find to be a ripoff. Sure, I’d like to get the content, but I can get two difference services (Hulu+ and Netflix) for only a couple of bucks more. That’s not to say that I don’t pay for other services, I do (Dramafever and, at some point, I’ll start paying for SoompiTV again), I’m just saying that $14.99/month is way too much (even Prime’s $99/year is cheaper, when you break it down). C’mon, HBO, make it cheaper, you won’t regret it.

The Wednesday Four (04/22/15)

Hey, look, some links!

  • The future of loneliness  As we moved our lives online, the internet promised an end to isolation. But can we find real intimacy amid shifting identities and permanent surveillance? (Guardian)

As someone who has a social life divided by the internet and the physical world, I found the first article to be fascinating, if somewhat ill-informed. I truly believe that friendships you make online are just as real as those you make in person. Actually, I don’t just believe this, I know it. I have several very close friends who I only know through the internet. I’ve met a couple of them in person and I was the bridesmaid in another’s wedding. But there are others who I may never meet, as we live oceans apart. This doesn’t devalue our friendships in any way, shape or form.

I believe the crux of the problem is relying on the idea that followers on social media are the same as tangible friends — the ones you talk to (you may email them every day, or every week, month or even once or twice a year — but they are your friends and not just people you happen to know). I have over 100 followers (each) on twitter, tumblr and on Facebook. I would only consider a handful of these to be actual friends and of those, even fewer who are close friends. If you confuse friendship and followers, then you’re missing two things: the point of social media is not to create a super large group of actual friends and friendships cannot be bound or determined by anything other than the relationship between two people. I feel that the author, at the end of the article, came to realize that it is the quality of the friendships, not the quantity of the ‘friends’ that really matters.

Friday Links (on Saturday)

I know, I haven’t updated it over a week. Things got a bit busy (at life/work/etc), but I’m updating again and will try to do better. So, have your Friday links, but on Saturday, because I can.

  • China dissident Chen Guangcheng heads for US  (BBC) Ever since Chen escaped from house arrest and showed up  at the US Embassy, I’ve been following this story pretty closely. I’m relieved that he and his family finally were able to get out of China, but it’s clear that there are a lot of forces at work and not all of them good. Especially because Chen’s family and friends have been beaten/attacked by Chinese government officials. While I’m interested in Chinese culture (both history and popular), there are still plenty of things wrong over there.
  • May 16th’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is absoutely stunning: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (APOD/NASA)
  • Two articles (relevant to me) about Comcast and their datacap of 250Gb. I download/stream a lot of stuff, but I’ve never come close to 200GB, much like 250GB. I find it interesting that Comcast is getting rid of the 250GB  limit and possibly making it 300GB, with the option to buy more. I don’t think it’ll have any impact on me, but it’s interesting, none the less. Comcast suspends 250GB data cap—for now and Comcast answers data cap questions (Ars Technica)
  • File-Sharing Is Linked to Depression, Researchers Find (TorrentFreak) I’m just sharing this post because it’s hilarious, placed in the context of the fact that when I was in college, a friend of mine and I were in a course called Religion in Popular Culture. For our final project, we managed to do a presentation/report about how downloading music could be a religious experience. We totally got an A, too.
  • I’ve always been a big fan of renewable energy and wind farms are completely awesome and fascinating to me. So I totally hope this ends up working: East coast wind grid gets a go ahead (Ars Technica)
  • Flight of the rays (KQED) I’m not sure how to describe this, except that that’s a lot of manta rays, amazing, and it reminds me of scenes from Jurassic Park and a children’s book of my sisters, about a dinosaur (but I can’t remember the name of it*).
  • And now for the fun stuff: Vampire Prosecutor vs. Vampire Idol (Dramabeans): I adore VP and desperately want to watch VI, and this Thing vs. Thing just makes me want to watch it more; some adorable pictures of my favorite mandopop singer JJ Lin (fyjjlin) at the Singapore e-awards (that vest is totally doing it for me); and, lastly, my favorite kpop band, CNBlue, posing like the Beatles (cnbjonghyun).

*My sister suggested that the book I’m thinking of is Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up  by John R. Horner