communications


Wondering what the Library of Congress has been getting up to recently? The answer is as follows: Very Important Things! Like making sure everything everyone ever puts on Twitter will be archived for posterity, guaranteeing that the philosophical musings of Russian spambots and records of where you ate lunch yesterday will be forever preserved for the edification of future generations.

Next up to be archived in the hallowed halls of America’s most storied library, the notes you passed in 8th grade math class and every dirty limerick anyone has ever written on a bathroom wall.

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It’s been understood for some time that the machines we use every day will eventually rise up and enslave or destroy us all. At this point, it’s really more of a question of just how much time humanity has left before we are either subjugated or simply vaporized by our cruel metal overlords, and it appears that day may be coming sooner than any of us thought. The robot revolution will start small, when the phone that runs so much of your life betrays you, listening in on your private conversations and reporting on your activities and whereabouts to it’s electronic masters.

Sure, this will begin as particularly unpleasant malware that eavesdrops on you, tracks your movements and accesses your bank account at the behest of particularly savvy and sinister human programmers. But if you believe the coming Mother Brain won’t access this technology and use it as an early reconnaissance  step toward global domination… well, that’s just naive.

Fun Fact - Between Them, These Two Guys Have Never Said One Interesting Thing. Ever.

About 5,000 members of the worldwide dating portal/clubhouse for desperately lonely elitists BeautifulPeople.com have been banned from the site for getting too fat over the holidays.

The site, which is so elite that it cannot currently be viewed by the rest of us CHUDs, for fear that our grotesquely scarred visages will interact with the background radiation produced by the Internet might render the Alphas  less attractive, provides a site for the world’s most beautiful people who can’t get a date in real life to meet, mingle, and talk about how hard it is being pretty. It’s membership, which is strictly policed by members who are prettier than you and know it, informed a number of members who had been determined to be hitting the Christmas ham a little too hard that they would need to re-apply.

Once the process played out, over 5,000 members were banned from the site, determined by a jury of their gorgeous, vapid, dead-eyed peers to have grown too hefty to be termed beautiful.

Site Founder Robert Hintze defended the decision to expel the users in a statement reading, in part:

“Letting fatties roam the site is a direct threat to our business model and the very concept for which BeautifulPeople.com was founded.”

That concept, remember, is providing a social space online for people who are very attractive but still can’t manage to get a date on Saturday night, because they are too vain, or too stupid, or simply because they  are nightmarish human beings who have the toxic souls of monsters, and maintain their good looks via dark magic.

So congratulations are in order, BeautifulPeople.com – you have officially alienated some of the few human beings on the planet who were desperate enough to interact with you, rather than just enjoy looking at you and then talk about what a piece of shit you are every time you leave the room. Happy New Year, fuckers.

Yeah, no shit.

Yeah, no shit.

The University of Utah is doing groundbreaking research in the field of common sense, finally providing a definitive, scientific answer to the burning question of our times.

Just why is it dangerous to text while driving?

Gee, University of Utah, I guess I thought it was because you’re trying to type an excuse for being late to dinner to your significant other on a keypad half the size of your hand while piloting thousands of pounds of speeding metal down the roadway. But hey, you guys did the research. Why don’t you tell me what the reason really is?

Oh, it’s pretty much that?

Well, shit, I’m sure glad we have you around, University of Utah. What are you going to take on next? Why spiders are scary? Lemme give you a hint – eight hairy legs, tons of eyes, and poisonous fucking fangs they use to eat things that are still alive.

I just saved you a grant. You’re welcome.

Holy shit, everybody – all of our grandmothers just found Facebook! Internet use among seniors is up over the last year, but no site has seen as much new traffic from the olds as Facebook. Among sites visited by web users over the age of 65, Facebook shot up from number 45 to  number 3.

This is your last chance to get those pictures of you giving it your all in the Topless Keg Stand Tournament of Champions off the Internet before you cause your Nana to keel over from the intense shame that you have brought upon the family.

Hey, ever wonder what the folks behind Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement were getting up to while everyone was talking about the notable and seemingly harmless news about ICANN approving non-latin domain names surfaced this week?

Funny you should mention that – they’re deputizing your ISP in the name of protecting big Hollywood films studios from the likes of you and me.

Just what exactly negotiators are talking about this week is secret on paper, but leaks coming out of the conference, which is taking place in Seoul, South Korea, suggest that just about every file sharers worst fears could be realized. The worst of it so far looks to be a set of rules similar to the French ‘Three Strikes’ policy, requiring service providers to terminate service to a customer following allegations of repeat copyright violations at a particular ISP. But that’s just one of plenty of unpleasant restrictions that could be coming soon to a computer near you, including the distinct possibility of jail time for US file sharers.

But not, oddly enough to any computers in China or Russia, the two biggest bastions of media counterfeiting. So, that’s effective, right?

Great, in-depth coverage of what this means for you an the rest of the world is available at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of course over on Boing Boing.

Research firm Netbase wants to reinvent the way people search with their fancy new brand of semantic search.

Their website makes some heady claims, including this one:

Our Content Intelligence platform is able to read every sentence inside documents, linguistically understand the content and enable breakthrough search experiences.

Sounds pretty impressive, right? You would think, then, that their newly launched health care research tool, Healthbase, which is meant to be a showcase for their technology, would be reasonably intelligent, capable of parsing words in a variety of different contexts and retrieving meaningful, relevant data.

And, like Leena Rao of TechCrunch, you would be pretty surprised when Healthbase informed you that one of the leading causes of AIDS is “Jew.”

It’s a pretty serious gaffe, and just one of many you can read about in the comments on Rao’s piece, which basically turned into a blooper reel for the young search engine. But if HealthBase has a problem with ‘Jew,’ no worries. It can probably be treated with one of the standard remedies for Jew provided by the site. Like wine, course (sic) salt or Dr. Pepper.

That said, the site isn’t entirely unwise. When queried about treatments for “old age,” it provided some astonishingly frank advice about the condition, recommending medications like marijuana and cocaine.

Works for me.

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