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February 2015, Week 2

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Media Bits & Bytes —Byting the Hand edition

February 10, 2015
By 
portside (February 10, 2015)

Cyber contraband; Get ready for the Internet of Things; Your TV is listening; Troll hunters; Return of the little magazines; URLs as clickbait


	
		Inside the Prison System’s Illicit Digital World – Kevin Roose and Pendarvis Harshaw (Fusion)
	
		The Internet Of Things Is Not A Shiny New Toy – Marc Canter (Techcrunch)
	
		Shh, the TV's Listening: Voice Is the New Privacy Frontline – Nicole Kobie (Motherboard)
	
		The Troll Hunters – Adrian Chen (MIT Technology Review)
	
		Optimism of intellect – David Marcus and Roman Schmidt (Eurozone)
	
		Clickbait Has a New Address – Molly Oswaks (New York Times)


	Inside The Prison System’s Illicit Digital World
	By Kevin Roose and Pendarvis Harshaw
	February 3, 2015
	Fusion
	
	America’s correctional institutions are buzzing with illicit tech activity. Some inmates use contraband cell phones to send selfies and texts to loved ones. Others use Facebook and Twitter to complain about their living conditions, and organize collective actions with inmates at other prisons. Inmates’ desire for access to the bounty of the Internet – and correctional officers’ desire to keep those tools away from them – has created new tensions on both sides.

	
	The Internet Of Things Is Not A Shiny New Toy
	By Marc Canter
	December 20, 2014
	Techcrunch
The Internet of Things is the latest, greatest new buzzword du jour and every major technology company, industrial manufacturer, big retailer and health industry player has declared the IoT to be the next big thing. Each of these industries sees a way of taking advantage of tiny low-power intelligent devices or sensors and they’ve baked the IoT into their future product strategies.
	Consumers don’t understand machines communicating with each other (sometimes referred to as M2M) or the cloud per se, as they see that as some weird form of Skynet. Based on public reaction to NSA spying, hackers hacking and Google and Facebook monetizing our data, I’d say IoT has a basic challenge in front of it to build basic trust in the minds of average consumers.
	I see the IoT as the culmination of all modern technology that is finally uniting the online technological world and the real world.

	
	Shh, the TV's Listening: Voice Is the New Privacy Frontline
	By Nicole Kobie
	February 9, 2015
	Motherboard
While the idea of your TV listening to your running commentary of House of Cards or Fargo may seem more amusing than alarming, as we shift to voice-controlled devices in our living rooms such as smart TVs or Amazon's Echo, those additional privacy worries increase.
	Paul Bernal, IT and law lecturer at the University of East Anglia, said voice data is currently less intrusive than Google search or geolocation tracking, but that could change as the technology improves. “Remember also things like the Xbox ​One ‘heartbeat’ monitoring system and motion sensor systems—it is the combination of monitoring and aggregation of data that is the most dangerous of all,” he told me.

	The Troll Hunters
	By Adrian Chen
	December 18, 2014
	MIT Technology Review
	
	It is generally no longer acceptable in public life to hurl slurs at women or minorities, to rally around the idea that some humans are inherently worth less than others, or to terrorize vulnerable people. But old-school hate is having a sort of renaissance online, and in the countries thought to be furthest beyond it. The anonymity provided by the Internet fosters communities where people can feed on each other’s hate without consequence. They can easily form into mobs and terrify victims. Individual trolls can hide behind dozens of screen names to multiply their effect. And attempts to curb online hate must always contend with the long-standing ideals that imagine the Internet’s main purpose as offering unfettered space for free speech and marginalized ideas. The struggle against hate online is so urgent and difficult that the law professor Danielle Citron, in her new book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace, calls the Internet “the next battleground for civil rights.”

	
	Optimism of Intellect
	By David Marcus and Roman Schmidt
	January 3, 2015
	Eurozone
Thanks to a new wave of small intellectual magazines, an infectious buzz has returned to public debate in the United States. Roman Schmidt talks to David Marcus who, as a new editor at Dissent, is well placed to provide the lowdown what's driving this genuinely critical movement.

	
	Clickbait Has a New Address
	By Molly Oswaks
	January 7, 2015
	New York Times
	
	The Internet is at peak saturation, and news sites and popular blogs are toiling to leverage every possible piece of web real estate to capture readers’ attention. The URL, or web address, also sometimes referred to by techies as the “slug” or the “permalink,” is the latest spot for exploitation. Quite literally, the clickable link is the new clickbait.
	“The slug can often be fodder for in-jokes and fun,” said Kwame Opam, an editor at The Verge.
	After the trailer for the new “Star Wars” film directed by J.J. Abrams was released, The Verge published an article about light sabers.
	The headline: “I designed a better lightsaber than J.J. Abrams while I was in line for coffee this morning.”
	The URL: theverge.com/tldr/2014/11/28/7303233/please-hire-me-jj.
	“Especially in the realm of editorials and the kind of voice-y blogging that so many outlets trade in,” Mr. Opam added, “the URL is branding.”

	 

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