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Unexamined Privilege and Facebook’s “Your Year in Review” →

December 31, 2014 |

Jeffrey Zeldman:

But when you put together teams of largely homogenous people of the same class and background, and pay them a lot of money, and when most of those people are under 30, it stands to reason that when someone in the room says, “Let’s do ‘your year in review, and front-load it with visuals,’” most folks in the room will imagine photos of skiing trips, parties, and awards shows—not photos of dead spouses, parents, and children.

Via Ben Brooks.

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5,200 Days in Space →

December 31, 2014 |

Charles Fishman pens a terrific story for The Atlantic, on the intricacies of everyday life aboard the International Space Station, and the biological implications of living in space for extended periods of time:

On the station, the ordinary becomes peculiar. The exercise bike for the American astronauts has no handlebars. It also has no seat. With no gravity, it’s just as easy to pedal furiously, feet strapped in, without either. You can watch a movie while you pedal by floating a laptop anywhere you want. But station residents have to be careful about staying in one place too long. Without gravity to help circulate air, the carbon dioxide you exhale has a tendency to form an invisible cloud around your head. You can end up with what astronauts call a carbon-dioxide headache. (The station is equipped with fans to help with this problem.)

Via Josh Ginter.

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The Rolling Stones’ villa on the Côte d’Azur →

December 27, 2014 |

Messy Nessy:

The Rolling Stones were tax exiles from England and shacked up at Villa Nellcôte, a 16-room mansion of the Belle Epoque that had previously been occupied by the local Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940s. French photographer Dominique Tarlé documented the six month-long “house party” that ensued; a summer of sex, drugs and most certainly, rock and roll…

If you’ve ever wondered how rock stars live, here is your answer. These pictures are solid gold.

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Happy Holidays

December 24, 2014

Dear readers,

It’s that time of the year again. For a few precious days, we get to step away from our glowing screens and look in the eyes of family and friends instead. Please, be sure to make the most of them and don’t worry, the Internet will wait. I promise.

Happy holidays, and thank you for reading. Now go grab those marshmallows.

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I Will Not Post This →

December 24, 2014 |

Dave Pell:

So don’t tweet. It’s not worth the risk. Don’t make phone calls. You’re being recorded. Don’t send emails. Sooner or later, we’ll all be reading them. Don’t take naked selfies, because some freak will find a way into your phone and share your photos in the seediest corners of the Internet. And the rest of us will have to look. Again, it’s not you. It’s us. On one hand, sorry for taking away your privacy, security and dignity. On the other hand, nice tits.

Privacy on the Internet is at an all-time low, and getting lower by the day. Companies like Google and Facebook get most of the bad press, but privacy is not invaded by companies, it’s invaded by people. It’s always been people. As long as there’s money to be made by airing someone else’s dirty secrets, this will not change.

If we want better privacy on the Internet, first we must become better people.

Via Ben Brooks.

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6 things The Oatmeal learned from riding in a Google self-driving car →

December 23, 2014 |

Matthew Inman:

When discussing self-driving cars, people tend to ask a lot of superficial questions: how much will these cars cost? Is this supposed to replace my car at home? Is this supposed to replace taxis or Uber? What if I need to use a drive-thru?

They ignore the smarter questions. They ignore the fact that 45% of disabled people in the US still work. They ignore the fact that 95% of a car’s lifetime is spent parked. They ignore how this technology could transform the lives of the elderly, or eradicate the need for parking lots or garages or gas stations. They dismiss the entire concept because they don’t think a computer could ever be as good at merging on the freeway as they are.

They ignore the great, big, beautiful picture staring them right in the face: that this technology could make our lives so much better.

There are still many kinks to iron out, but these cars already sound pretty damn impressive, and their potential is truly exciting.

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A Demon’s Voice reviews ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ →

December 22, 2014 |

I love this guy’s reviews:

At this point in the Hobbit franchise, the Dwarves have made it to the mountain having woken the resident dragon up and told him to move his scaly arse. Their leader Thorin also appears to be going mad which could be due to the magical power of his gold or simply because he can’t find a great big shiny stone. If I can’t find my keys then I start smashing the shit out of the house in search of them, and so I think stomping around a mountain and threatening to banish all of your closest friends from your kingdom is more than reasonable behaviour.

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