Monday, September 5

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The idea that people would “inexpensively have access to a tremendous global computation and networking facility” was supposed to create wealth and wellbeing. Has it instead created a technologically advanced dystopia?

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The idea that people would “inexpensively have access to a tremendous global computation and networking facility” was supposed to create wealth and wellbeing. Has it instead created a technologically advanced dystopia?

Tuesday, August 23

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In the first seven months of 2011, 94,000 people were sued for illegally downloading porn. Not one case has been decided by a jury. On the industry’s new strategy to make downloaders pay.

Friday, August 19

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A profile of Tarn and Zach Adams, creators of the computer game Dwarf Fortress:

Dwarf Fortress may not look real, but once you’re hooked, it feels vast, enveloping, alive. To control your world, you toggle between multiple menus of text commands; seemingly simple acts like planting crops and forging weapons require involved choices about soil and season and smelting and ores. A micromanager’s dream, the game gleefully blurs the distinction between painstaking labor and creative thrill.

Tuesday, August 16

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A cautionary inquiry into the unchecked hive mind.

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A cautionary inquiry into the unchecked hive mind.

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A profile of Jaron Lanier, virtual reality pioneer and the author of You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.

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A profile of Jaron Lanier, virtual reality pioneer and the author of You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.

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A profile of Jaron Lanier, virtual reality pioneer and the author of You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.

Wednesday, August 3

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On a decade-long war:

Hackers from many countries have been exfiltrating—that is, stealing—intellectual property from American corporations and the U.S. government on a massive scale, and Chinese hackers are among the main culprits.

Tuesday, August 2

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On how search and advertising became indistinguishable, the finer points of not being evil, and why privacy is by nature immeasurable. How Google made us the product:

“Google conquered the advertising world with nothing more than applied mathematics,” wrote Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired. “It didn’t pretend to know anything about the culture and conventions of advertising—it just assumed that better data, with better analytical tools, would win the day. And Google was right.”

Sunday, July 31

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A look at the dating site's new algorithm.
Codenamed “Synapse”, the Match algorithm uses a variety of factors to suggest possible mates. While taking into account a user’s stated ­preferences, such as desired age range, hair colour and body type, it also learns from their actions on the site. So, if a woman says she doesn’t want to date anyone older than 26, but often looks at ­profiles of thirty-somethings, Match will know she is in fact open to meeting older men. Synapse also uses “triangulation”. That is, the algorithm looks at the behaviour of similar users and factors in that ­information, too.