The Down And Dirty History Of TMZ →

TMZ scoops linked to government employees, however, have led to multiple wide-scale internal investigations. In 2010, longtime Los Angeles County Superior Court spokesman Alan Parachini was very publicly fired amid rumors that he had been caught accepting regular bribes from TMZ that intensified when, in 2008, he hired former TMZer Vania Stuelp to serve as his deputy. Parachini contested his firing, but the optics, especially when Stuelp lost her job in a series of layoffs and returned to TMZ, were damningly suggestive.

Could’ve used more editing, but interesting.

The Fasinatng … Frustrating … Fascinating History of Autocorrect | Gadget Lab | WIRED →

A handful of factors are taken into account to weight the variables: keyboard proximity, phonetic similarity, linguistic context. But it’s essentially a big popularity contest. A Microsoft engineer showed me a slide where somebody was trying to search for the long-named Austrian action star who became governor of California. Schwarzenegger, he explained, “is about 10,000 times more popular in the world than its variants”—Shwaranegar or Scuzzynectar or what have you. Autocorrect has become an index of the most popular way to spell and order certain words.


❝ The same things that make Sovaldi so important to patients — and groups advocating for access — are what make the drug expensive. Its a breakthrough treatment that’s highly valuable. ❞


Each of these Hepatitis C pills cost $1,000. That’s actually a great deal. - Vox

No fucking shit. The inventor gets to name the fucking price.

If TaskRabbit Is the Future of Employment, the Employed Are Fucked →

If the company wants to abruptly, drastically change the nature of their work, it can do so at will, and its employees have zero recourse if their bottom line is slashed. That’s because they aren’t technically employees, but contractors, bereft of the same protections and benefits granted to full-time workers. Management is invisible. When Rabbits stormed the company discussion forum with complaints, it was shut down, while the company, like Uber, balks at the idea that it’s an employer of any Rabbits at all.

TaskRabbit is a platform. TaskRabbit is a mediator. TaskRabbit is not a bad boss, because it was never a boss to begin with — it’s just operating an algorithm. The notion of unionization in the “sharing economy” is of course preposterous and unheard of — not even Facebook has organized — so who needs collective bargaining when you’ve got trust, and community, and other ukelele-and-Vimeo startup platitudes?

My 14-Hour Search for the End of TGI Friday's Endless Appetizers →

12:38 p.m. So far today, the music volume inside TGI Friday’s has fallen just short of deafening. My booth is situated almost directly underneath a Bose speaker, and I consider asking for a trade until I realize the room was designed by M. C. Escher, and there are no tables not under speakers.

1:30 p.m. I goddamn hate these fucking mozzarella sticks. The more of them I eat, the more I feel like I can taste every ingredient. Ingredients include: cardboard left in a hamster cage in the sun; acid.

1:45 p.m. I ask Gabby if she’s had the mozzarella sticks, and what does she think of them? She tells me “They’re good.” Gabby and I are not yet good enough friends that we can be honest with one another.

9:06 p.m. Even though they don’t have plastic on them, the sixth order of mozzarella sticks is by far the worst. They look like I feel: flat, and greasy, and congealed. I eat one so that I can win $3 from Taylor, and then take single bites of two more without thinking about it. When I realize what I have done, it makes me so sad.

Caity may be reaching Fave status.

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers | Ars Technica →

The 76 new pages of data, covering 2005 through 2013, show that CBP retains massive amounts of data on us when we travel internationally. My own PNRs include not just every mailing address, e-mail, and phone number I’ve ever used; some of them also contain:

The IP address that I used to buy the ticket My credit card number (in full) The language I used Notes on my phone calls to airlines, even for something as minor as a seat change


Don't Cut Your Hamburgers In Half →

Someone put this signature at the bottom of a work email I received the other day:

Please excuse any typos, this message was Sent from my iPhone

Is this still a thing?

Typing on an iPhone is still a shitty user experience. It’s virtually impossible to put the cursor where you want it, especially when your fingers are always covered in frosting like mine are. Copying and pasting is a fucking disaster. And there are no arrow buttons to just move the text prompt to where you would like it. But just because the technology needs improvement doesn’t mean you have permission to fire off an email that’s barely in English.

❝ Only when the company held customer focus groups did it become clear why. The Third Pounder presented the American public with a test in fractions. And we failed. Misunderstanding the value of one-third, customers believed they were being overcharged. Why, they asked the researchers, should they pay the same amount for a third of a pound of meat as they did for a quarter-pound of meat at McDonald’s. The “4” in “¼,” larger than the “3” in “⅓,” led them astray. ❞


Why Do Americans Stink at Math? - NYTimes.com


The Top 200 Ways Bleacher Report Screwed Me Over →

I wanted to be a part of this. I saw my relationship with Bleacher Report as mutually beneficial: As I developed as a writer, I would become a credible media personality making a living by reaching the niche audience of sports fans in the Twin Cities area. In turn, I would generate viewership for the site and be someone it could claim as its own. As the site grew, so would the platform I was writing on and the influence I would have as a content provider, which would help the site grow, and so on, in a virtuous cycle.

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