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How a Guy with a Pepe the Frog Tattoo Feels Now That He Has a Hate Symbol on His Hand

This article originally appeared on VICE US. According to the OED, the term frog was a non-specific term of abuse as early as the 14th century. It was later applied exclusively to the Dutch and the French, shortened from “frog-lander” and “frog-eater,” respectively, and has since faded from prominence as a slur, so much so that some people see it as a rather quaint term. That’s...

Brangelina, the Infliction Economy, and Fly Fishing Graft

Dear Matt, What do you make of the news that Brangelina is no more? Also, completely unrelated, how might you suggest a news website increase its traffic and social-media impressions? Michael W.   I’m only human, so of course I was left hollowed-out and broken by the devastating news last week. Not by news of the terrorist attacks in New York and Minnesota, or of the Charlotte race riots, or of...

Which retailer has the most-loved app?

Fanatics and ASOS’s iOS and Android apps are among the most loved by shoppers, according to the 2017 Mobile 500. Shoppers let retailers know how they really feel in the app store, and the new Internet Retailer 2017 Mobile 500 includes a metric that synthesises those opinions into an app sentiment score. This 0-100 numerical score factors in how many stars the app has on the app stores and the words consumers...

As I scroll through Instagram, my mind tends to slip into a fugue state, the kind that should be expected from beaming a pure and endless stream of delicious-looking food, friends, puppies, celebrities, nature, Confucius quotes, and sunsets into my eyes. I temporarily forget where I am, whether that’s on a street corner or my own couch, and just keep swiping up on my phone’s screen, soaking in images like UV rays in a high-powered tanning bed turned up to “Snookie.” Then there comes an inevitable point in my Insta-hole when I thumb over a bag I want to buy, or a story I want to read. As I skim the image caption, I am abruptly awakened by the words: “Link in bio.” Link. In. Bio: A phrase that launched a thousand 20-somethings’ social media jobs. Kylie Jenner says it. Chance the Rapper rhymed it with pico de gallo once. The New York Times uses a grammatically correct version of it. Ditto the White House. Even Ringer social media manager Rubie Edmondson has been forced to use the phrase on occasion. (She readily admits that she “dies a little inside” every time she writes it.) However grating, those three words have become a necessity for anyone hoping to reap the benefits of Instagram’s growing audience. The six-year-old social media network hosts about 500 million active users a month, including Beyoncé, the Transportation Security Administration, and Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov (he’s a ruthless dictator who has a thing for cats!). Entire cottage industries rely on its audience and yes, those precious bio links, to make money. And yet, Instagram prevents its users from including links everywhere on the site except the “website” section of a person’s profile. Take a moment to think about that. A network that hosts millions of people won’t let them do something that is second nature for digital natives. So its users have concocted their own clunky loophole to get around the problem. It’s as if there were a permanent snowstorm in a city, and the mayor refused to clear the sidewalks. Inevitably, pedestrians would just stomp out their own inelegant roundabout paths to navigate the dirty, urine-filled slush. And just like those slush paths, the “link in bio” loophole is semi-functional, at best. Instagram’s photo feed is no longer chronological. So when a news post says “story link in bio,” that very well could not even be true anymore! It could be a different link, or no there could be no link at all. When I start chasing down a Shade Room link, it rarely leads me to the story I was looking for, because the account posts something like 20 images a day and even I’m not addicted enough to Instagram to catch them all as they post. The same goes for the recipes Bon Appetit teases in its scrumptious food photo captions: I often land on instructions to make a Greek salad when I was really interested in wings. I can only imagine how many thousands of dollars of debt I would be in if I could “click to buy” the items featured on clothing labels’ Instagrams, rather than search for a bio link that leads me to the homepage of a website.

As I scroll through Instagram, my mind tends to slip into a fugue state, the kind that should be expected from beaming a pure and endless stream of delicious-looking food, friends, puppies, celebrities, nature, Confucius quotes, and sunsets into my eyes. I temporarily forget where I am, whether that’s on a street corner or my own couch, and just keep swiping up on my phone’s screen, soaking in images like...

Punctuation past and present: A new word order

Are you manic about misplaced commas? Apoplectic over rogue apostrophes? Distressed by the disappearing question mark? You don’t have to be an outspoken member of the punctuation police to know the significance those swirls, curls, dots and dashes play in every reader and writer’s life. But in this digital-infused age, many of those markers have been turned on their little charcoal heads. As we observe...

Yahoo! data breach likely exceeds 500 million records

InfoArmor is reporting that the Yahoo! data breach likely contains millions more records than the 500-million figure now being bandied about and the total number of user records that have been stolen by the various groups involved in this and other recent hacks could total 3.5 billion. The company is also disputing the idea put forth by Yahoo! that the hack was performed by a state actor; instead, the security...

GE Takes Leadership In Internet Of Things, Offers Long-Term Growth

GE has bet the company on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). GE’s Predix IIoT platform has the potential to become the “Facebook” for the industrial world. GE’s digital revenues will approach $20 billion by 2020. GE is the “digital industrial company” You might have seen the ads on TV – “What’s the matter with Owen?” and “Sarah:...

SAFETY TOOLS for Internet prioritized

Some parents have described the experience of having a child as having their heart walking around outside their body. They want to keep those most precious to them as safe as possible, while allowing them the freedom to learn and experience their world. Now that school is back in session, we’ve asked law enforcement and school officials what they’re doing to keep youth safe in our community. Breckenridge...

Hyperbolic? Experts Weigh In on Google Neural Translate

we broke the story that Google had just published a research paper, which claimed a breakthrough in neural machine translation. In a blog post that went live after we published our article, Google announced that the new Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) is now powering “100% of machine translations from Chinese to English—about 18 million translations per day.” More language combinations will follow. This...

On Escaping Mediocrity

The line goes, “There are some things in life you just can’t teach”. Your reaction, whether one of sage nodding or vehement glaring, will succinctly reflect which side of the line your views reside. Without fence-sitting, the American writer Marya Hornbacher brokers a middling perspective; “You can’t teach an ear, you can’t teach talent… but you can teach people who have those things not to just...