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24 Nov 17:10

Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism

Reuters Institute for the study of Journalism:


“News spaces are no longer owned by newsmakers. The press is no longer in charge of the free press and has lost control of the main conduits through which stories reach audiences. The public sphere is now operated by a small number of private companies, based in Silicon Valley.”

24 Nov 15:30

Have You Played… Spelunky?

by Graham Smith

By Graham Smith on November 24th, 2014 at 3:30 pm.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know the cause of every single one of my thousands of deaths in Spelunky. I died down that snake pit because I frittered away my bombs and ropes, leaving me with no way to escape. I died to that inanimate rock because I drifted down towards it with the jetpack when it was being propelled into the air by a jump pad. I died to that blue frog because I overestimated the extent of its jump.

I died because I am not good enough at negotiating the roguelike platformer’s strict rules. Not yet.

Those rules are really something. Everything about Spelunky’s procedurally generated world is predictable, from enemy movements to trap speeds. The trick to mastering progression through the game is in closing the gap between your ability to mentally simulate what’s about to happen and your ability to execute whatever plan you come up with. The plan: drop down on that spike trap, jump and whip that bat, hop on the head of the caveman. The reality: drop down on that spike trap, take damage from the bat, fall in front of the spike trap, be one-hit-killed by the spike trap. Try again.

The proc gen means that each new death is varied, but also exciting. Playthroughs where you find a free jetpack on an early level feel completely different to those in which you scrape by with few resources. But it’s those rigid, predictable rules that make me keep coming back, to learn something new or to master something previously learned.

The free version is still good too.

Derek Yu, Have You Played, Mossmouth, Spelunky.

24 Nov 15:51

giphy.gif (GIF Image, 298 × 180 pixels)

by djempirical
24 Nov 17:58


by djempirical
24 Nov 18:04

Lauren Purje

24 Nov 18:23

What is costing your country most?

24 Nov 18:30

jacket-buttons: I used to laugh so much about this.  Not once...


I used to laugh so much about this.  Not once in all the movies does a woman die on screen.  

I hope that Jurassic World doesn’t break the canon.

24 Nov 19:00

Lost in space, Peter Elson

Lost in space, Peter Elson

24 Nov 18:50

Girolamo Savonarola, Sermon on the Art of Dying Well, ca. 1500

Girolamo Savonarola, Sermon on the Art of Dying Well, ca. 1500

24 Nov 18:39

Johnny Manziel and his entourage involved in Cleveland brawl, per report

by Jeff Gray

A police report obtained by Scene suggests Manziel's crew assaulted a fan who approached the quarterback for a hug.

Members of Johnny Manziel's entourage were involved in a massive brawl early Saturday morning in downtown Cleveland, according to a police report obtained by Scene.

Police responded to a report of a "riot" involving 20 men and two security guards in a high-priced downtown apartment complex. The police report does not specify whether Manziel himself was involved.

The incident reportedly kicked off when 33-year-old Chris Gonos spotted Manziel and his crew waiting for an elevator and pointed the star rookie out to his girlfriend. According to the police report, Gonos "stated to the unidentified male, 'I'm the biggest Browns fan ever, I love you, I want to give you a hug.'"

Gonos told police that when he took a step toward Manziel, he was punched several times in the face, then assaulted by several members of Manziel's crew. A portion of the police report published by Scene names "Kirk" as the primary offender. Gonos, who told Scene no one was arrested after the incident, said that Manziel did not punch him but that the quarterback did throw a punch at his brother.

"I got a bruised hip and a bruised elbow, and somebody hit me in the back of the head, too. My brother saw what was going on and he ran he tackled Johhny Manziel -- I guess he got the sack and the fumble. He tackled him, yeah, I'm talking about he speared him all the way to the back wall. I was cornered; I was by myself and Johnny Manziel and like three or four of his buddies were all coming at me. (My brother) just came to help me out, and I guess Johnny sucker punched him while the security guard was holding him. It should be all on video.

"All these cops run into the lobby, and they're like, 'Who was fighting, who was fighting?' and I just raised my hand, and was like, listen, watch the camera, and stuff like that. I may be guilty of being a fan, but that's about it. I even showed them the guy that sucker punched me and the cops walked right up to him, talking to him for a while, and they let us all go. They just told me I had to leave the hotel, and me and my ride, we left. Manziel never punched me, but he got a sucker punch on my brother."

The police report claims Gonos was left with "a swollen lip, right eye swollen, red face" and a security guard who stepped in to help was also injured.

The police report claims that there is video footage of the incident, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

The Browns released the following statement to Scene:

"We are aware of the incident and are in the process of gathering additional information in order to gain a complete understanding of what occurred. Nonetheless, the time of the incident is concerning to us. We continually stress to all of our players the importance of sound decision making in an effort to avoid putting themselves in these types of situations. We have addressed this appropriately with the player and will have no further comment at this time."

The apartment complex, The 9, told Scene "We have no comment on any of that."

Update: Manziel's agent released a statement and said Manziel was accosted in the elevator. Here is the complete statement from Erik Butkhardt, via Adam Schefter:

"Johnny and his roommate had been out to dinner earlier in the evening with Johnny's mother, who is staying with him this week. There was no entourage. Johnny and his roommate were trying to get on the apartment elevator at his home when they were accosted by a very aggressive man and his associates. It was an unfortunate situation and he immediately let Ray Farmer and the team know what happened."

24 Nov 17:22

Three Cats Loudly Beg For a Taste of Ready-Made Whipped Cream Whenever They Hear Their Human Shake the Can

by Lori Dorn

Upon hearing their human shake a can of ready-made whipped cream, a trio of house cats loudly begged for a just little taste. The sample was quickly dispensed despite the fact that Minion the grey tabby was a little slow on the uptake. Their human freely admits that she “foolishly gave one of our cats whipped cream once” and that “this is what happens every time we use it now.”

While giving whipped cream to cats isn’t highly recommended, it won’t harm them either. According to a WebMD article posted by commenter lungbutter211, not all cats are completely lactose intolerant.

Most of us have probably given our cats a bit of milk and never noticed a problem. That’s because some cats tolerate milk just fine. …How can you tell? Try offering your cat a tablespoon or two of milk. If you don’t see symptoms within a day, chances are good your cat will do fine with milk as an occasional treat. …Sometimes a cat that can’t tolerate milk may have no problem with other forms of dairy, like yogurt, cheese, butter, or ice cream. That’s because “different forms of dairy food contain varying amounts of lactose”.

via reddit, Daily Picks and Flicks

24 Nov 19:03

“For Women in Science” Video Inspires With Stories From 10 Real Women in STEM - And now for something completely different. AKA good news.

by Dan Van Winkle

L’Oreal and UNESCO’s international For Women in Science program seeks to inspire and help women in STEM fields by bringing their stories and work to the world and awarding funding for their research. They’ve given awards to 82 female scientists so far, including two who went on to win Nobel Prizes, and will have helped over 2,000 more with national and international fellowships by the end of 2014.

Previously in women in STEM

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24 Nov 17:45

iFixit: Nexus 6 is easy to fix if you can get it open

by Andrew Cunningham

If you ever find yourself with a broken Nexus 6, iFixit has your back. The site has just completed its teardown of the Google/Motorola Nexus "phablet," and it turns out that most of the internal components are pretty easy to get to.

Accessing the insides requires prying the logo-coated back cover off with a spudger or pick—it's held on with adhesive, though it's not very strong. A second, internal cover will also need to be removed. While it's not difficult to unscrew the 22 Torx screws that hold it on, iFixit describes the process as "tedious."

Once inside, it's relatively easy to locate, remove, and replace the inductive charging coil, the battery, the cameras, and the motherboard. The Nexus 6 gets a repairability score of 7 out of 10, with points docked primarily because the LCD and front glass are fused together (common in most smartphones and many tablets) and because many smaller items (the speaker, vibration motor, and others) are soldered to the motherboard, making repair of those individual components more difficult.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

24 Nov 18:00

Slack alters privacy policy to let bosses read your messages

by Casey Newton

Slack, the fast-growing workplace communication toolannounced today that it will begin selling a new tier of service in January aimed at large enterprises. Slack Plus, as the tier is called, will offer a handful of new tools aimed at system administrators. But there’s one feature every Slack user needs to know about: companies that subscribe to the Plus plan will be able to request every message that employees have sent on the service, including direct messages to coworkers and a history of any changes you made to your messages.

Slack has revised its privacy policy to accommodate the new feature, which it says was requested by businesses that are legally obligated to retain employee communications. (The revisions are worth reading for anyone who manages a Slack team; among other things, it now requires you to waive your right to a jury trial in favor of binding arbitration if you ever have reason to sue the company.)

Slack now has 300,000 daily users on 40,000 teams

Every enterprise software startup eventually courts big companies, which generally have the most money to spend. But few have done it as quickly as Slack, which launched in February and now has 300,000 daily users on 40,000 teams. Its earliest users were small teams, but Slack is now used at Amazon, Walmart, AOL, and ESPN, among other places. (Also: The Verge.)

But large enterprises, particularly in highly regulated industries like banking and finance, generally won’t buy cloud software unless it meets a long list of criteria. Some industries require companies to store all employee communications, including emails and instant messages, in case of future litigation. For those companies to use Slack, Slack had to build a way for them to access employee messages.

slack for desktop

slack for desktop

For many of us, the idea of a boss (or a federal court) reading all our old chats with co-workers can send a shiver down the spine. Slack knows this, and the system it built tries to balance your expectations of privacy with the fact that, legally, employers do own your workplace communication. Slack won’t offer a "god mode" view of the service that lets a boss snoop on your conversations in real time — but it will let team owners request the entire archive of your team’s conversations.

So here’s how it works. First, none of the messages you’ve sent on Slack to date fall under the new policy; the company will only start tracking them on Jan. 1st. Second, "compliance exports," as the new feature is known, is available only to teams that pay for the new tier of service that will become available in January. And third, exports aren’t available by default — companies have to jump through a series of hoops to request them, including sending a snail-mail letter on company letterhead requesting access. "It’s like having a waiting period before you buy a gun," says Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s founder and CEO.

"It's like having a waiting period before you buy a gun."

If your boss does request compliance exports, you’ll be notified within Slack when it happens. Your boss can’t request chat logs for individuals; the export is a single bulk file of every communication sent on the team. "We’re being up front with users when this feature is enabled, which isn’t always the case with all the communication tools you use in a work place," says Anne Toth, Slack’s vice president for policy and compliance strategy. I asked Butterfield for a recommendation on which software I should use to safely complain about my boss; he laughed and declined to offer a suggestion. But he says he expects only a small fraction of Slack teams will request compliance exports.

Toth joined the company seven weeks ago; its number of users has grown 50 percent since then. "Slack creates essentially a virtual water cooler for a lot of distributed workspaces," she says. "In the real world, you know if your boss was standing there behind you. We’re helping people be thoughtful about the communications they’re having, by giving them information about who’s able to access those conversations."

24 Nov 18:45

Married Woman Claims Facebook Info Sharing Created Dating Profile For Her

by samzenpus
jenningsthecat writes A happily married Ontario woman was shocked and dismayed last January to discover that she had an active account with dating site Mari Sherkin saw a pop-up ad on Facebook for Zoosk, but wasn't interested, so she "clicked on the X to close it. At least I thought I did." She immediately began to receive messages from would-be Zoosk suitors in her Facebook mailbox. When she had a look on Zoosk she was horrified to find a dating profile with her Facebook picture, name, and postal code. Zoosk denies ever setting up profiles in this way, yet their terms of service explicitly allow them to do it, and there are apparently several Facebook pages with complaints of similar occurrences.

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24 Nov 17:21

cleowho: "Superb head." The Brain of Morbius - season 13 -...


"Superb head."

The Brain of Morbius - season 13 - 1976

24 Nov 18:12


24 Nov 18:54

A Softer World: 1177


via willowlind

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24 Nov 15:21

iwriteaboutfeminism: New leaders organize a protest in Shaw,...


via ThePrettiestOne


New leaders organize a protest in Shaw, the neighborhood where VonDerrit Myers was killed.

Part One

Sunday, Novemeber 23rd

24 Nov 11:37



via Toaster Strudel

24 Nov 17:44

prettyblackpastel: prettyblackpastel: Betsey Johnson Spring...


via Rosalind
no skulls

24 Nov 17:52



via Toaster Strudel

24 Nov 15:04

American Voices: Study: Women In Power More Prone To Depression


“Luckily, we’re not promoted very often.”

According to a new study, women in positions of authority who have the power to hire, fire, and determine the pay of workers are more prone to depression symptoms, which may be because female bosses are more heavily scrutinized than their male peers and e...

24 Nov 13:05

Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

by samzenpus

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA that this shit is even necessary writes Kate Briquelet reports in the NY Post that Principal Mark Federman of East Side Community HS has invited the New York Civil Liberties Union to give a two-day training session to 450 students on interacting with police. "We're not going to candy-coat things — we have a problem in our city that's affecting young men of color and all of our students," says Federman. "It's not about the police being bad. This isn't anti-police as much as it's pro-young people ... It's about what to do when kids are put in a position where they feel powerless and uncomfortable." The hourlong workshops — held in small classroom sessions during advisory periods — focused on the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program and how to exercise Fourth Amendment rights when being stopped and questioned in a car or at home. Some law-enforcement experts say the NYCLU is going beyond civics lessons and doling out criminal-defense advice. "It's unlikely that a high school student would come away with any other conclusion than the police are a fearful group to be avoided at all costs," says Eugene O'Donnell, a former police officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. NYCLU representatives told kids to be polite and to keep their hands out of their pockets. But they also told students they don't have to show ID or consent to searches, that it's best to remain silent, and how to file a complaint against an officer. Candis Tolliver, NYCLU's associate director for advocacy, says was the first time she trained an entire high school. "This is not about teaching kids how to get away with a crime or being disrespectful. This is about making sure both sides are walking away from the situation safe and in control."

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24 Nov 16:38

NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

by samzenpus
An anonymous reader writes "Two private companies, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources, have received contracts from NASA to study asteroid redirection and will pursue their plans of asteroid mining. From the article: "Deep Space Industries is planning to build a number of dense spacecrafts called FireFlies, and they plan on sending the satellites on one way missions to gather information about the density, shape, composition and size of an asteroid. They also have plans to build a spacecraft called Dragonfly, which has the purpose of catching asteroids. The asteroid material will be collected and returned to Earth by 'Harvesters'. Planetary Resources, on the other hand, plans to build a number of middle sized and small telescopes that will be capable of examining asteroids near the planet Earth for economic potential. They already have the telescopes Arkyd 300, Arkyd 200 and the Arkyd 100, each having its own specific systems."

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24 Nov 15:00

Block Together

Block Together:

A web app intended to help cope with harassment and abuse on Twitter.

Block Together is designed to reduce the burden of blocking when many accounts are attacking you, or when a few accounts are attacking many people in your community… If you choose to share your list of blocks, your friends can subscribe to your list so that when you block an account, they block that account automatically.

24 Nov 16:46

New York City's ambitious free Wi-Fi plan sounds great, unless you live in a poor neighborhood

by T.C. Sottek

'the network will reportedly operate more slowly on average in Staten Island and poorer neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The mayor's office told the Daily News that the tiered speed system is only temporary, but it could take a long time for the system to get up to speed; the first kiosks are expected in late 2015 but the project could take many years to complete.'

Last week an ambitious public Wi-Fi project called LinkNYC was unveiled: an effort that will erect up to 10,000 pillars offering free wireless internet and domestic phone calls to New York City's residents and visitors. It's a bold public-private partnership that has been sold to the people as a program that "will be built at no cost to taxpayers." CityBridge, the company behind the project, says it will even "generate more than $500 million in revenue for the city over the first 12 years." That all sounds great — except it's not the municipal Wi-Fi dream we were promised.

There was reason to be skeptical of the plan when it was announced last week. Each LinkNYC pillar will throw "gigabit" internet in a radius of up to 150 feet. That's Google Fiber fast, but it all depends on how well the signal can penetrate buildings and other objects around it. And, more importantly, there's also the fact that no wireless devices capable of handling anything close to gigabit speeds exist right now. But those aren't even the biggest problems with the plan.

citybridge wifi

citybridge wifi

Today the NY Daily News revealed that many of the Wi-Fi kiosks throughout the city will provide speeds 10 times slower than the advertised gigabit speeds. While Manhattan will be densely covered by the fastest possible speeds, the Daily News reports that other New York residents won't be so lucky; the network will reportedly operate more slowly on average in Staten Island and poorer neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The mayor's office told the Daily News that the tiered speed system is only temporary, but it could take a long time for the system to get up to speed; the first kiosks are expected in late 2015 but the project could take many years to complete.

And even if every LinkNYC kiosk carried the maximum speeds, the system would fall dramatically short of providing access to all New Yorkers. Each kiosk has limited range, and in many neighborhoods they will be spaced so far apart that residents might as well just go to a coffee shop or library for free internet — it's not going to be pouring into their homes.

LinkNYC is certainly advanced in many respects, and even 100Mbps of download speed is truly better than what most people get from their home ISP or wireless carrier. Those speeds just won't matter much if the people who need it the most, specifically the poorest members of society, won't have convenient access to it.

One of the biggest problems is that LinkNYC will be funded by advertising, and as the Daily News correctly points out, the poorest neighborhoods in the city aren't worth as much to advertisers as tourist-packed Times Square. That's a reality that makes sense for profit-seeking businesses to build around, but not so much for public-facing utilities that ought to provide reasonably equal levels of service to everyone. It's also not what we were sold by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who made this grand statement about the program last week:

"This administration has been committed to expanding affordable access to broadband for all New Yorkers from the outset. It's essential for everything we need to do to be a fair and just city, because we can't continue to have a digital divide that holds back so many of our citizens. With this proposal for the fastest and largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world — accessible to and free for all New Yorkers and visitors alike — we're taking a critical step toward a more equal, open and connected city — for every New Yorker, in every borough."

As Susan Crawford argues, US mayors have great opportunity to bring municipal broadband service to millions of Americans who have been abused or neglected by monopolistic internet service providers. Hopefully New York City residents won't be shafted by another public-private partnership that makes the digital divide deeper while merely claiming to bridge it.

24 Nov 16:49

Hank the Brewers dog went on an adorable dog date

by James Dator

Mandy and Brewers Dog Hank at Hitters Training center #date night

— Rawlings Hitters (@hittersbaseba11) November 21, 2014


Hopefully things went well. It's hard to tell from a single shot, but it doesn't look like Hank and Mandy have too much to talk about. That said, they are perfect for each other. They both love baseball, share the same grooming sensibilities and they're both dogs.

We have an exclusive photo of their romantic dinner.

hank date

24 Nov 01:03

Why Nike Doesn't Sell U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Jerseys To Men


'Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirms that the company does not offer jerseys with stars in men’s sizes. The converse is also true: Jerseys without stars do not come in women’s sizes. Nike, Wilkins says, fears that adding stars to the men’s replicas would be interpreted as a false claim that the men had won two World Cups.'

To signify their two World Cup victories, the U.S. Women's National Team touts two stars on their jersey. To signify their zero World Cup victories, the Men's National Team has zero.
24 Nov 01:34