Odds and Ends 

Spaghetti Got a Knit Sweater for Christmas and Couldnt Be Happier

Photograph by Rancor_Emperor on reddit Four years ago, reddit user Rancor_Emperor (aka Sean) became the adopted parent of ‘Spaghetti’, a cute little corn snake that had previously been owned by his old roomate. After his roomie got accepted into a Masters program overseas, he was unable to bring Spaghetti and asked his friends and family on Facebook if anyone could adopt him. Having lived with him for two years when they were roomates, Sean took Spaghetti in and has been caring for him ever since. This year for Christmas, his…

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Headlines 

US regulator scraps net neutrality rules that protect open internet

Decision, which critics warn will hand control of the web to big cable companies, a major victory for FCC chair and Trump appointee Ajit Pai The USs top media regulator voted to end rules protecting an open internet on Thursday, a move critics warn will hand control of the future of the web to cable and telecoms companies. At a packed meeting of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, the watchdogs commissioners voted three to two to dismantle the net neutrality rules that prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from…

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Headlines 

Monetising millennials: what the corporate world thinks it knows about young people

At Sydneys Millennial 20/20 conference the wifi password is SmashedAvo and the attitude is predatory infantilisation Before the opening keynote of the Millennial 20/20 Sydney conference, a man strides up, folds me into a boardroom-firm handshake and gazes deeply into my eyes. His impeccably tailored business shirt, open to the third button, and swept-back blond hair make him look like a more handsome version of the Trump sons, maybe a second cousin. But our meeting is an error; I inadvertently sat in one of the conferences many designated networking spaces,…

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Odds and Ends 

Get The Whole Online Experience By Trying Our Internet Simulator

This feature requires JavaScript to function. Begin Simulation. Wow. You are a very rare person who is known as “an outdoorsy type.” You have no interest in the Internet, and you never have to delete your history because you never had one. When someone asks if you would like to look at a website with them, you say, “No, I prefer to read a book or look at a REAL tree or get married.” You get your news from the things people shout out of their cars during bad traffic,…

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Headlines 

This Is Chaos: Day 5 in Storm-Ravaged, Blacked-Out Puerto Rico

A nursing home in San Juan desperately pleaded for diesel as its power generator ran low. An elderly man was carried out on a stretcher after going a week without dialysis. Children wearing nothing but diapers camped out on balconies to stay cool. Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images Hurricane Maria, which smashed into the island five days ago and devastated the power grid run by Source: NOAA The lack of phone and internet access isn’t helping. Puerto Ricans pulled over along highways over the weekend to take advantage of the rare…

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Headlines 

Lurid Trump allegations made by Louise Mensch and co-writer came from hoaxer

Mensch and Claude Taylor pushed false information on Trump that was invented by hoax source whose work was not checked, emails show Explosive allegations about Donald Trump made by online writers with large followings among Trump critics were based on bogus information from a hoaxer who falsely claimed to work in law enforcement. Claude Taylor tweeted fake details of criminal inquiries into Trump that were invented by a source whose claim to work for the New York attorney general was not checked, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The…

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Headlines 

Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip

It was December 2012, and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future. Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the companys blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle. The tables curved around the outside of the room in a U-shape, and Ballmer was surrounded by his top lieutenants, his laptop open. Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new…

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Headlines 

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens Its important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. Im going to tell you that libraries are important. Im going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. Im…

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Odds and Ends 

This Guy Cant Stop Photoshopping Himself Into Kendall Jenners Instagram Pics

@KirbyJenner is a self-described “Amateur Model / Lover of all things / Fraternal Twin of Kendall Jenner”. He’s also really good at Photoshop, and has used that skill to insert himself into Kendall Jenner’s Instagram pics. The cheeky ‘shops have garnered the digital artist a rabid following of his own, and his (verified) Instagram account now boasts nearly 500,000 followers. One reason why is that his Photoshops are above-average quality. He takes time to try to match the tones and lighting and it shows. Below you will find some of…

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Headlines 

Are smartphones really making our children sad?

US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a malign affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf Last week, the childrens commissioner, Anne Longfield, responded to the campaign. The assumption that time online or in front of a screen is life wasted needs challenging. It is driven by fear, he said. The best thing we can do is to focus less on the time they spend on screens at home and more on the nature of the activity. This exchange is…

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Odds and Ends 

Use The Internet To See If Homestar Runner Is Censored, And 4 Other Tips For A Perfect Day In Hong Kong

If youve only got 24 hours in Hong Kong, here are the things you absolutely have to do! 1. Use the Chinese internet and see if Homestar Runner is censored: Any good traveler knows about Chinese internet censorship, but if you went and visited Homestarrunner.com in Hong Kong, would the government actually try and stop you? Who knows, but while youre there, maybe just go ahead and check in on Homestar and the gang! That is, assuming Xi Jinping doesnt have it out for them. 2. Trip over an extension…

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Odds and Ends 

Apple removes VPN apps from the App Store in China

The Chinese governments crackdown on the internet continues with the news that Apple has removed all major VPN apps, which help internet users overcome the countrys censorship system, from the App Store in China. The move was first noted by ExpressVPN, a provider based outside of China,which said in a blog post all major VPN apps including its own had been purged from Apples China-based store. The company shared a note from Apple (below) explaining that its app was removed because it includes content that is illegal in China. The…

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