You know you’re old, or at least a little old, when you start to love obsolete things for their uselessness.
Before the Internet as we know it today, there were text-based bulletin board systems all over the country that people could dial into. One of those systems, M-net, happened to live in Alex's backyard, and it was his internet home base for the better part of a decade. Alex went back this week and found out that it's actually still running.
“At least I saw the movie Gattaca.”
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has finally admitted that he has smoked crack. Back in May, Gawker broke the story of a video that allegedly (can we stop saying allegedly yet?) showed the mayor smoking crack, but those reports had done little to damage his credibility.
Ladar Levison, founder of the encrypted email service Lavabit, would like some more money. Levison became a hero online after shutting down Lavabit in the face of government pressure to allow snooping on his users.
Welcome back to /r/ politics, Mother Jones.
Tomorrow is Anonymous’s Million Mask March. It’s designed as a global series of multi-city demonstrations, although it’s not clear what’s being demonstrated.
Up until this fall, there was a secret internet. You probably heard about one part of it, the Silk Road, but that was just one secret website among many. This week, we talk to Gawker's Adrian Chen about the rest of the dark part of the internet, and how it's been damaged by the Silk Road arrests.
UPDATE, 11/4: Mother Jones is unbanned. But just Mother Jones.
/R/ politics is one of Reddit's most popular subreddits, with over three million accounts subscribed. On Monday, its moderators added a bunch of websites to their banned list. The ban means that those sites' work is completely barred from being linked to on /r/ politics.
Happy Halloween! It’s the best holiday we’ve got. Zero familial or religious obligations, free candy, and the nighttime air is filled with spooky menace. The only downside is that unlike, say, Christmas, there are less holiday-specific Halloween songs than there ought to be.
This week, Fast Company writer Jason Feifer started a tumblr called Selfies at Funerals. Feifer’s reposting selfies posted by teens on Twitter or Instagram. It’s probably worth pointing out that, in fact, most of the pictures are actually taken before a funeral or after one. With a couple exceptions, these are pictures of kids in suits or dresses, taking a self portrait, usually in their homes.
I’ve been playing a lot of Grand Theft Auto V online lately. My handle is TheSilverWoman, which is a reference to my co-worker Alex Goldman’s last name. In real life, I’m a boringly normal straight dude. But in GTA, I’m a forty-year old woman. Dark bangs, dark eyes. I don’t wear makeup and I’m not particularly fit. I own one set of clothes plus a monkey mask I wear when I rob convenience stores.
Late last night, when most reasonable people were sleeping, NBC News published a story about how, despite Obama’s promises to the contrary, many people weren’t able to keep their existing health care under Obamacare. Then, NBC News did something unusual. They unpublished the story. About a half an hour later, they published it again, but with a seemingly innocuous paragraph deleted.
There’s an old joke - I don’t even know if it qualifies as a joke - about the idea that people claim to read Playboy for the articles. A new Pew study finds that we’re using Facebook for news, but we don’t admit it to ourselves.
On Sunday night, Glenn Greenwald published another revelation about the US spying on an allied European country - Spain, this time. But what you might’ve missed was an explanation of how this is even possible.
It's very nearly Halloween. Very spooky. In honor of that dark holiday, we're sharing a classic OTM piece. It's a look at the most famous scream in Hollywood, the Willhelm. (Transcripts are over here, but what kind of monster would listen to a transcript of a piece about screams?)
Happy Friday! Here are some thrilling links to help you ride out these last hours of workweek banality.
Former NSA head Michael Hayden took the train today. He spent his time on the phone, giving interviews to reporters in which he asked to be identified only as an anonymous former senior administration official.
This is a little weird.