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Congress slips SOPA into law while Internet blacked out

In Politics and Law, Technology on January 18, 2012 at 6:56 pm

The Stop Online Piracy Act passed through Congress today with alarming speed and an even more alarming majority vote of 94%.

“I’m really glad we could all pull together and do this,” said Senator Al Franken, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “People say it’s partisan politics holding us back from progress, but it turns out it was really the Internet all along.”

The vote happened while most of the Internet was blacked out in protest, ironically temporarily disabling all opposition to the bill.

Alexis Ohanian of Reddit, one of the largest blacked out sites, had this to say: “It’s really ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓ ▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓. Why would we ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓?”

▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓ ▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓.

After his appearance on Al-Jazeera, Ohanian has been held indefinitely on ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ties with terrorist groups.

“In the end, SOPA is a danger to ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓,” said ▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓.

Founder Daily’s editors have decided to take a stand on the issue, first by ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓ ▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓ and then following up with a staunch ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓. We encourage you to ▓▓▓▓ us in this ▓▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓ ▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓.

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Justin.tv ejected from Ruby on Rails community for not being smarmy enough

In Startups, Technology on January 13, 2012 at 3:49 am

A recent post on Djangohire.com has rocked the Ruby on Rails community with the news that Justin.tv is leaving the crystalline palace for the Django slums.

“What happened? I’ll tell you what happened,” said Justin Kan, founder and namesake of the company. “I was at a Ruby event and I said ‘Ruby is just a tool like any other.'”

Kan, sporting an arm cast, declined to comment any further. “My lawyer tells me not to say anything past that.”

Investigation by Founder Daily reveals extensive blacklisting in the Ruby community. The Django community, on the other hand, has accepted the spurned startup with open arms.

“Community?” asked James Penn, avid Python programmer and Django user. “Oh, you mean like, people who use it? Yeah, I guess it’s cool if Justin.tv uses Django too. Is that what you meant? I don’t really understand the question.”

“Ruby is just better,” said every Rubyist we interviewed.

Justin.tv does not yet have a date set for the decidedly worse Django version of their video service.

Twitpic reveals new, celebrity-picture-based currency

In Entertainment, Startups, Technology on May 24, 2011 at 5:16 pm

On the heels of its controversial TOS overhaul, Twitpic has launched a new initiative bringing all the pieces together: A new currency system based entirely on celebrity photos.

“I’m so glad we can finally announce the second half of our plan, and put everyone’s fears to rest,” said Noah Everett, founder. “We were never planning to sell user’s pictures for money. Rather, we’re letting you use them as money.”

This picture of Paris Hilton's cat will soon be exchanged for goods and services.

Twitpic’s currency system has launched to compete with the likes of Bitcoin, as well as other virtual payment methods.

“Celebrity pictures are the perfect currency. They’re always being produced, there’s tons of them in circulation, and they have an intrinsic value.” said Everett. “Someone is always going to be interested in that picture of Britney Spears at a family BBQ. You can’t say that about paper money, or about a chunk of gold.”

“The currency is even kept fresh as celebrities become less famous, eventually fading into obscurity. We’ll look back at the days we shoveled dollar bills into furnaces and laugh,” said Everett.

The new Celebrity Photo Currency (CPC) allows Internet users to buy things online with the intellectual property rights of any celebrity photos. As of publication, the currency held strong, with 10 CPC (an assorted collection including Levar Burton family moments, Daniel Radcliffe’s toenail clippings, and Al Yankovic generally being weird) being worth 12 USD, or about two Bitcoins.

God accidentally reveals universe is testing environment for real universe

In Technology on May 4, 2011 at 6:54 am

A recent, brief change to God’s prayer API revealed an unsettling truth: The universe is just a sandbox testing environment for the real deal.

“I got to see the changes while they were up,” said Paul Hartley, one of the leading experts on the prayer API. “Everything was test.universe this and test.universe that. It was pretty obvious what was going on.”

All references to the testing environment were removed within an hour, but screenshots of the blunder still circulate around the Internet.

The Milky Way Galaxy is likely full of randomly-entered test data and crude inside jokes.

Religious leaders tried to calm followers by claiming the API “testing” references were accidentally “pushed live,” a simple blunder by the omnipotent creator.

“This is the real universe. We are God’s true children,” said Reverend Martin Ashton. “You must keep the faith. You must stay strong. You must use the prayer API as though it were real, because it is real.”

Most programmers remained skeptical.

“It does kind of explain why everything is so fucked up,” said Hartley.

Black people better at Twitter, according to Berkeley study

In Human Interest, Technology on April 27, 2011 at 10:42 am

A recent study out of Berkeley has found that Americans of African descent are better than their lighter-skinned compatriots when it comes to tweeting.

“Not just better,” said Ashley Wessley, a graduate student and the study’s author, “but clearly better.”

Spike Lee was noted as an exception in the study, his Twitter feed described as 'SMS diarrhea.'

The study followed Twitter’s trending topics for several months, collecting data from millions of tweets. Trending hashtags examined by the study include #idontunderstandwhy, #younotfromdetroit, #notsexy, #isturnedonby, #iwasthekid, #whenyourblack, #isbetterthan, #blackpeoplemovies, #imthetype, #iseewhyyoumad and #deletemynumberif.

“After I collected the data, I applied the NBA principle and I arrived at my conclusion,” said Wessley. Established in 1995 by Harvard sociologists, the NBA principle states that if it seems overwhelmingly obvious that one race is better at something, they probably are.

“There’s almost always at least two trending topics that are 90% black people,” said Wessley. “No other race has that.”

Wessley attributes the gap in tweets to poor tweeting habits from other races, particularly whites and Asians. “Fully 86% of tweets from white people amounted to different versions of ‘Hey, I’m on a plane!’ and Asians aren’t nearly offensive enough in their tweets to be interesting to readers,” she said.

That offensiveness might be the key to Twitter equality.

“Be less politically correct,” said Wessley. “It’s okay to tweet bad stuff. Your life doesn’t have to be presented as perfect. It’s just Twitter and nobody really gives a shit anyway.”

Wessley expressed relief at the completion of her study, a major project in her final semester.

“I’m super relieved,” she said. “If I had found white people were better, I never would have been able to publish.”

Ad-supported Kindle to feature automated, in-novel product placement

In Technology on April 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Amazon’s new Kindle offering (touted as “special offers” by Amazon) saves readers 25 dollars, shows ads on the screensaver, and makes very minor alterations to classic novels in the form of product placement.

“If you read The Great Gatsby on our new Kindle, you’ll find that Gatsby now drinks only Miller Lite,” said an Amazon representative. “It’s also served at all of the parties in the novel. It makes it easier to connect for today’s novel readers, and saves them money at the same time. What’s not to like?”

Holden Caulfield's favorite product, The Kindle.

Brave New World is among the most altered of the product-placed Kindle classics, featuring several dozen placements. Old Spice plays into the novel prominently, with entire paragraphs added, including the following:

The Savages on the reservation stank to high heaven. Bernard wondered if even Old Spice body wash could get them smelling like men again. “No,” he thought hard, “unless it was the new Red Zone Plus type everyone was talking about.” That stuff was the greatest, and only for Alphas.

In addition to product mentions, entire bodies of work can be morphed to promote a product. Scream 4 now has mentions in any piece by Edgar Allen Poe.

“It got me excited about education and reading, and now I have a future,” said an Amazon representative, attempting to mimic a six-year-old’s voice over the phone.

The only American classic left untouched by the placements is John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, which a Welch’s executive referred to as “…too boring, even for Welch’s.”

GitHub adds feature to closely examine images, still lacks features to closely examine self

In Technology on March 24, 2011 at 7:57 am

GitHub recently launched an elegant, powerful interface that lets users compare image revisions in their project.

But for some users, that’s not enough.

“I’ve changed a lot since I started my project three years ago,” said Noel Prowitz, an open source coder. “It’s cool to see how my site’s logo has changed, but I’d really like to see exactly how I’ve changed– as a person– in that time.”

Prowitz went through a divorce in 2009 and claims to have several emotional issues to work through.

“Trust, abandonment. Yeah, I’ve got some things going on. Where’s the diff for my emotional center?” asked Prowitz.

With no GitHub-based alternative, Prowitz has been forced to try other alternatives, such as therapy, psychedelic drugs and owning a cat.

“Maybe one day they’ll git their act together,” said Prowitz, laughing and looking around the room for acceptance of his pun, then awkwardly sipping from his drink to drown the silence.

“My social skills aren’t great either. At least they’re adding in some social features.”

That feature would be GitHub’s latest update, which notifies users in an @mention. The user @mention has been subsequently banned from the site to avoid any confusion.

AT&T one step closer to forging the One Ring

In Technology on March 22, 2011 at 8:22 am

AT&T released a press statement today announcing that they are ever closer to forging a ring of power after their purchase of T-Mobile.

“We can’t wait to have our own Ring,” said John Sauron, CEO. “It’ll be great to have all of our power concentrated into one artifact for easy wielding. No phone owner in the world will be able to avoid our ‘service,'” he said, using air quotes for the last word.

Stocks rose as word of the plan to forge a malevolent embodiment of evil hit Wall Street. AT&T representatives would not disclose exactly how close they were to the Ring’s creation, choosing to speak only in vague, dire prophecies.

Critics of the Ring plan highlighted the vulnerable nature of a singular point of power.

“You can’t just put all your eggs in one basket,” said one forum user. “I know the Ring will have its own evil sentience, but that didn’t help Apple when they lost their iPhone 4 prototype.”

Dark clouds gathered in Nashville as the fiery eye atop the AT&T building seemed to burn brighter.

99.6% of Congress unfamiliar with actual definition of net neutrality

In Politics and Law, Technology on March 21, 2011 at 8:29 am

A recent survey of the House and Senate found that out of 535 members of Congress, only Dennis Kucinich and Al Franken knew what the hell they were talking about when it came to network neutrality.

“You just can’t force Internet website pages to always cover both sides of an issue,” said Representative Jacob Wardell (R). “That’s un-American.”

Wardell leads the charge against net neutrality, the least popular concept in recent American political history.

“We have to torpedo this now before it spins out of control. Do you know how many small businesses this will affect? Imagine a mom-and-pop business website that has to write a paragraph about how great their competitors are,” said Representative Wardell, sweating profusely.

Representative Andrea Glensburg (D) held a different view, seemingly opposite of reality. “Net neutrality will allow corporations to stomp all over our rights on the Internet. It treads all over our freedom of speech.”

After the statement, Representative Kucinich tried to politely correct her, but was promptly drowned out by a fervent chant of “USA! USA!” which echoed throughout the chambers.

Representative Joe Franciscus (D) expressed some of the most out-there views, yelling “We’re in a proxy cyber-war with cyber-terrorists like Julian Assange and they want to just give up? Call a cease-fire? Not in my America, no thanks.”

Kucinich openly wept as Republicans introduced the ‘Internet Freedom of Speech Act,’ a bill designed to kill net neutrality once and for all, to raucous applause.

Senator Franken’s aides said he was “devastated, back on the sauce, and unavailable for comment at this time.”

Armchair expert urges people on other side of world not to worry, it’ll be fine

In Technology on March 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

Silicon Valley has a wealth of technical knowledge and top talent. Look past the cutesy location-based games and trendy social networks and you’ll even find experts on nuclear energy production.

Mark Prokopp is one of those experts.

“I mostly do backend stuff for websites,” he said. “But I also like to read about nuclear reactors on Wikipedia.”

Prokopp has recently taken to helping disaster victims in Japan by offering advice on several forums on the Internet. His main tip: Stop worrying so much.

“Nuclear reactors are built for this kind of thing. I’ve read about all of the different systems for cooling them down. It’ll be fine. Nuclear power is always safer and better.”

Prokopp, who lives 5,000 miles from the earthquake- and tsunami-affected Fukushima plant, started his obsession after reading a Wired article about nuclear power. He credits the article and Wikipedia for most of his knowledge, along with several passages from the book The Hydrogen Economy which he read in college.

After the roof blew off of a building at the Fukushima plant, Prokopp posted on tech news site Hacker News, saying, “Reactors don’t even need a roof to work. I bet it’s cooling better than ever now.”

As of publication, the comment had 16 upvotes.