The Conversation: Minor Google Meltdown Exposes The World’s Utter Reliance on a Single Tech Company

The Conversation: Minor Google Meltdown Exposes The World’s Utter Reliance on a Single Tech Company. “There are few things we completely rely upon in our modern lives, but for many people, Google is one. Its brief disappearance from the internet felt, for many, like an almost-apocalyptic moment – underscoring how deeply ‘googling’ has been integrated into our lives.”

The Verge: These ‘CSS Crimes’ Turn Social Media Posts Into Games

The Verge: These ‘CSS Crimes’ Turn Social Media Posts Into Games. “While major social media giants cling to uniformity and standardized posts, cohost throws all of this corporate banality out the window. My first encounter with this nascent platform was like stumbling across a bygone era of computing — one where websites were unchecked reflections of personal expression and delightfully weird, often awkward vibes. Most importantly, cohost has cultivated a thriving demoscene full of artists, designers, creative coders, and ambitious shitposters ready to push the envelope of computer art.”

The Guardian: From celebrity jets to Pelosi’s Taiwan trip, flight trackers are the sleeper hit of the summer

The Guardian: From celebrity jets to Pelosi’s Taiwan trip, flight trackers are the sleeper hit of the summer. “Want to watch a top-secret government flight live? Track a drug kingpin’s movements in real time? Or know how much Taylor Swift’s jets are polluting the air? They’re all streaming live on the sleeper hit of the summer: online flight trackers.”

Rest of World: The overworked humans behind China’s virtual influencers

Rest of World: The overworked humans behind China’s virtual influencers. “When Akuma laughs, that’s the laugh of the actor who plays him; when Luo waves, it’s because a real person is waving. And when they go off-script to complain about exhaustion, overwork, or low pay, that’s a real person complaining about their actual working conditions – underscoring that virtual celebrities are subject to the same concerns and issues as human influencers.”

Houston Chronicle: Inside the viral video trend that made Houston-area school children the face of Iranian propaganda

Houston Chronicle: Inside the viral video trend that made Houston-area school children the face of Iranian propaganda . “Iranian state-sponsored media and pundits have been sharing a video of Houston-area children singing a popular new religious song that includes references to Iran’s supreme leader — and mentions soldiers and martyrdom.”

Culture Map Houston: Beyoncé rules the internet with historic Twitter emoji celebrating her wildly anticipated new album

Culture Map Houston: Beyoncé rules the internet with historic Twitter emoji celebrating her wildly anticipated new album. “Now, in honor of the news that broke the internet this summer, Twitter has released a new fandom emoji in honor of Houston’s icon. Notably, this is only the second time ever that Twitter is creating an emoji for a fandom: BTS, the insanely popular K-Pop act, received the first custom fandom emoji in 2017 when the group reached 10 million followers.”

Rest of World: Werewolf erotica is the latest global gig work trend

Rest of World: Werewolf erotica is the latest global gig work trend . “The emerging web novel industry spans the globe, taking a business model from Asia, assembling a global supply chain of authors in lower-income countries, and paying them to churn out thousands of words a day for English-speaking readers in the West. Rest of World spoke to four current and former employees at these platforms, who described how the art of novel writing is broken down into a formula to be followed: take a popular theme like werewolves, sprinkle it with certain tropes like a forbidden romance, and write as many chapters as you can.”

Stalkers, Fan Threats, Police Raids: The Hidden Price of Twitch Fame (New York Times)

New York Times: Stalkers, Fan Threats, Police Raids: The Hidden Price of Twitch Fame. “Streamers on Twitch and other platforms have had stalkers show up at their homes and at fan conventions, been targeted by armed and violent viewers or dealt with swatting, a sometimes deadly stunt in which someone calls the local police to report a fake crime at a streamer’s home, hoping the raid will be caught live on camera.”

University of Central Florida: UCF Faculty Combines Harry Potter with Pharmacology Course to Improve Student Outcomes

University of Central Florida: UCF Faculty Combines Harry Potter with Pharmacology Course to Improve Student Outcomes . “Incorporating interactive games in the course has proven to enhance academic success; the number of students who earned an ‘A’ in the class improved by almost 200% in the past three years, and there has been a 73% decline in the number of non-pass students (students who earn a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ in the class).”

Unboxing videos on YouTube: What parents need to watch for (Brigham Young University)

Brigham Young University: Unboxing videos on YouTube: What parents need to watch for. “Videos of a child influencer opening a toy and demonstrating how to play with it have become wildly popular on YouTube, many garnering tens of millions of views from children around the globe. In fact, Walmart has a line of toys based on the reviews of a prominent kid YouTuber, Ryan Kaji of Ryan’s World. Unbeknownst to child viewers, however, is the fact that many of the toys shown in unboxing videos are paid for or provided by a brand, with the goal of influencing children.”

WIRED: Twitter Has Entered the Elon Musk Twilight Zone

WIRED: Twitter Has Entered the Elon Musk Twilight Zone . “Manu Cornet joined Twitter last year after 14 years at Google, where he used his hobby of drawing cartoons to poke fun at his employer’s culture and scandals. His latest three-panel drawing depicts an anthropomorphized version of Twitter’s bird logo delivering a monologue. ‘Your strategy is a model of hypocrisy and bad faith,’ it says, seemingly addressing Musk. ‘You’ve trashed me, disrupted my operations, and destroyed shareholder value.’ The angry bird then pivots to a plaintive question: ‘Will you now finally agree to adopt me?’ Cornet’s cartoon gets to the heart of the illogical situation that has ensnared Twitter.”

NewsWise: Gender Plays Key Role in Influencer Call-Outs

NewsWise: Gender Plays Key Role in Influencer Call-Outs. ” Social media influencers stake their claim in the pop culture landscape by crafting aspirational personas and sharing intimate details of their lives with online audiences. … But in addition to their loyal fans, there is a legion of equally passionate ‘anti-fans,’ whose self-appointed mission is to hold these influential people accountable by calling out inauthenticity, unrealistic portrayals of ‘real life,’ and outright deception. Anti-fandom can serve a social function by allowing people to critique norm transgressions, but it can also be a destructive force, a Cornell-led research team proposes.”