McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Let’s Save Sitting!

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Let’s Save Sitting!

We have a massive opportunity here, guys. A REALLY huge client has asked us to help turn their brand around. I’m talking about an ancient practice that every one of us has experienced countless times. The client is Sitting. And right now, it’s in trouble. Apparently, a lot of health nuts are claiming that Sitting is the “new smoking.” Do you guys remember smoking? It’s that thing used to be cool, but thanks to advertising, is now banned in public. So, yeah, you can see why Sitting is flipping its shit.

What’s the plan? Well, per usual, we need to take a broad view of Sitting. We need to find out who’s doing it, where they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, and what they’re saying about it on Facebook. How is Sitting portrayed in movies? Is Rihanna instagramming about it? Has it ever trended? Right now our Cultural Insurgency Team is out gathering data and conducting surveys that — once compiled — will get jammed into at least four Keynote slides that, along with our basketball court and quirky workspace, will convince Sitting that we don’t just know its brand, we fucking LIVE IT. The setup is clutch. If we can we can hook it with unverifiable stats supported by a table full of artisanal scones, it’ll buy whatever creative we present. And I don’t want to jinx it, but I could see the Cannes judges going apeshit for something like this. (Also: I’m on the jury.)


McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: Classic Wisdom for Your Early 20s.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: List: Classic Wisdom for Your Early 20s.

Surround yourself with positive people

Positive people will lift you up, inspire you, and bring joy into your life. Surround yourself with them. Learn from them. Drink of their endless wells of positivity. Drain them of their power — drain them until you’ve sucked them dry. Leave their desiccated shells behind. You don’t need them anymore. It is you who now has a positive attitude.

Learn to budget

Money isn’t the most important thing, but remember: it is the third most important thing.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Let’s Take This Open Floor Plan to the Next Level.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Let’s Take This Open Floor Plan to the Next Level.

So team, let’s take this open floor plan to the next level! In the spirit of transparency and collaboration, we’re implementing the following policies:

    All tables, chairs, and filing cabinets will be replaced by see-through plastic furnishings.

    To spur interactions between departments, all desks will be mounted on wheels and arranged into four-desk clusters. At random intervals throughout the day, a whistle will blow, at which point you should quickly roll your desk into a new cluster. Leftover employees who don’t fit into a four-desk cluster will have their salaries docked.

    You will no longer have access to instant messaging, which leads to private, non-collaborative conversations. If you need to communicate with another employee without leaving your workstation, stand up and address them with your supplied megaphone.

    So that we all know each other’s names, all men will be renamed “Dave” and all women will be renamed “Linda.”

    Employees’ desktops will be randomly projected onto a movie screen in the center of the office.

    You can now dial into a designated phone line to listen in on any calls taking place within the office and add your opinion.

Red Sea Parts for 2 New Islands – Scientific American

Two volcanic islands recently born in the Red Sea have yielded stunning images, providing scientists with new insights about a little-known rift in Earth’s crust.

Both islands emerged in the Zubair Archipelago, a small chain of volcanic islands, owned by Yemen, that rise from the Red Sea between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The first of the new islands, now called Sholan Island, appeared in December 2011. The second island, called Jadid, surfaced in September 2013.

[Calling the rift little-known shows the ignorance of the writer (and editor). In that part of the world it is very well known.]

The Richard Prince – Suicide Girls Circus

The Richard Prince – Suicide Girls Circus

Under the big top: ring leader Richard Prince, notorious appropriation artist, whose itchy feet keep him returning to the same dog and pony show every few years. At his side, our first-of-May act, Selena Mooney, aka Missy Suicide, of Suicide Girls fame, whose Instagram photos were among the work Prince appropriated in-whole, without permission, for a new show at the Gagosian gallery. Prince’s images, which consist of screen shots of other people’s Instagram photos enlarged to 4×5 foot inkjet prints with a single banal comment by Prince, have reportedly sold for $90,000.

In response Mooney produced her own prints, identical in every way to Prince’s except for an additional, equally banal comment. She is offering them for peanuts – $90.

The question of day:
Could Richard Prince’s work be considered fair use while at the same time Selena Mooney’s print of Prince’s appropriation, whose primary element is her own photograph, be copyright infringement? It seems crazy, but the fair use provision of copyright is a side show of its own made of contradiction and legal grey areas where judges have almost complete freedom to decide what is and isn’t fair.

New Wi-Fi antenna enhances wireless coverage — ScienceDaily

New Wi-Fi antenna enhances wireless coverage — ScienceDaily

Wi-Fi routers are essentially two-way radios that connect digital devices to the Internet. But in many buildings, providing complete coverage is a challenge. Radio “dead spots” can occur in areas where solid walls or appliances block a router’s signal entirely, or degrade it to become so weak that a portable Wi-Fi device, such as a tablet or phone, cannot connect reliably.

When electricity flows through the argon-mercury vapour in a fluorescent tube, it forms an ionised gas or plasma. Plasma has conducting properties comparable to a common metal radio antenna. This allows an attached router to send and receive radio signals through the light tube on the standard 2.4-gigahertz Wi-Fi frequency in exactly the same way it does through a regular antenna. The router’s radio waves can ionise the gas in the tube, so it acts as an antenna whether the light is on or off.

A New Study Maps How Much Income You Need to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment – CityLab

A New Study Maps How Much Income You Need to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment – CityLab

The report’s calculations back up its claim. Currently, an average American needs to earn $19.35 to afford rent on a two-bedroom unit. That’s a few dollars more than the $15.16 average hourly wage earned by the average American renters, and 2.5 times the federal minimum wage. It’s also more than the median hourly wage of the the average American worker, which is $17.09.  For 13 states home to cities with skyrocketing rents—including California, Washington, New York, and Virginia—a person would have to earn well above $20 per hour to afford a two-bedroom place.

Even a single bedroom apartment isn’t cheap—requiring people to earn $15.50 an hour to rent. Three-quarters of extremely low-income renters (those who earn less than 30 percent of the average median income in an area), for example, pay more than half their salaries toward rent, the report says. For minimum wage renters, $15.50 is around double what they’re earning, which makes renting a one-bedroom out of question.

Ice hockey players wear boot and stick sensors to up their game – tech – 29 May 2015 – New Scientist

Ice hockey players wear boot and stick sensors to up their game – tech – 29 May 2015 – New Scientist

“In hockey, there are some specific things we know are optimal. For example, some beginners have their hands too high on the stick,” he says. “This system tells you what you can improve.”

To do this, Hardegger’s team fitted traditional hockey equipment with a range of sensors. Instruments on the skates monitor where a player’s feet are and how fast they’re moving. The stick, too, has sensors that can track pressure, strain, and motion.

A smartphone app crunches all the data, letting players review their technique and compare it to a professional’s. An algorithm can pick out different types of movement – like jumps, turns, and power stroke – as well as the characteristics of a shot in the net.

Blood Pressure Vaccine Lengthens Rat Lives – Scientific American

Blood Pressure Vaccine Lengthens Rat Lives – Scientific American

The result is a reduction in angiotensin II’s usual blood pressure raising effects—similar to what blood pressure meds like Benicar do. Less angiotensin II means more relaxed blood vessels, and a drop in pressure. That effect lasted six months in the vaccinated rats, and lengthened their lifespan by eight weeks. Necropsies on the vaccinated rats revealed healthier heart tissue than normally found with high blood pressure, and no damage to their kidneys or livers. The results are in the journal Hypertension.

‘Free’ VPN Hola is LITERALLY flogging access to users’ devices • The Register

‘Free’ VPN Hola is LITERALLY flogging access to users’ devices • The Register

The VPN service Hola, which claims to have more than 9.7 million users, is now selling its access to users’ machines as exit-nodes under the Luminati brand.

Described as “the world’s largest VPN network”, Hola’s Luminati brand is advertised as being simple and effective to use: “Route your HTTP, HTTPS or TLS requests to any one of our ‘Super Proxies’, and they will route the requests through our millions of end nodes.”

Users of Hola route their traffic through each others’ devices, thus freeing the company from those tricky bandwidth expenses.

Those “end nodes” are idling user devices which have Hola’s “free” VPN browser extension or app on them, in another example of users being the product rather than the customer.

As the software only routes traffic through users’ devices when those devices are idling, the interruption to the user is minimised.

This, along with the company’s less-than-forthcoming approach to explaining how their VPN works, means many of its users do not realise that their machines are the VPN.

Now, following the launch of the Luminati service, access to these users’ devices is being sold outside of that user base to businesses, and a poor vetting procedure for those purchasing that access has led to at least one malicious party exploiting those users’ machines for an attack.