Wednesday Walk Around the Web – 01/19/2020

Welcome to the Wednesday Walk Around the Web, where we weave & wind through weblinks weekly. Hopefully you will find the links on offer amusing, interesting, or informative.

  • This Week in Neural Net Processors, Learning Computers: The internet has been manipulating and recontextualizing Garfield for years, but the addition of AI takes the art of Garfield-twisting to places it will never have been.
  • This Week in Ingenuity: In the town of Hamden in the great state of Connecticut, a convenience store worker stole 17 thousand dollars in cash and inventory items on his first night at work, and then stole the personal information he left with his new employer, rendering himself unidentified, his name forgotten. We stan a legend. Not sure precisely whom, but we stan. Note: Neither the Wednesday Walk nor Place to Be Nation endorse theft or fraud. 😉
  • I thought we were past the era of pointing out when various devices obtained greater computing power than the Apollo 11 moon lander when the timeline went from home computers to televisions to phones to watches. But here we are, noting that our chargers have gotten past this totemic milestone. Next up, “smart” light bulbs?
  • Some people take photos of the sun by just going outside and taking a photo. Some people take photos of the sun during an eclipse. But some intrepid pioneers take photos of the sun at night, by looking through our entire planet.
  • There are people out there trying to create alternatives to Amazon, with perhaps less evil intent and more supportive attitudes toward smaller booksellers. Bookshop is the latest, which is trying to siphon off a fraction of the online book sales market to sustain local bookstores.
  • Dear, dear friend of the Walk Steve Wille brings word of one child’s alternative to the McDonald’s Playplace for her birthday party: Target.
  • In 1957, Patti Rumfola lost her purse when it slipped behind her high school locker. It sat behind that locker until last year, becoming an unintentional time capsule.
  • Apple is liable for millions in stolen wages it’s refused to pay its workers.
  • Misinformation isn’t just spread through rumors and photoshopping. A lot of online misinformation is spread by putting misleading and malicious captions on unrelated photos.
  • This Week in Our Steampunk Dystopian Present: Every website and app that you use tracks what you look at, when you do it, how long you do it, while sucking up everything it can from the device you do it on, all to build a profile of you and ultimately guide you toward whatever keeps you on their service. Some teens, bless them, are adapting to Instagram’s corporate surveillance by sharing accounts in mass numbers to flood them with inconsistent and incoherent input. It’s a brilliant strategy of cooperative obfuscation, or as you might call it, the Spartacus method.
  • Also in social media: Twitter’s ad service is here to bring you what you really want. Have you considered organ trafficking, perhaps?
  • Also also in social media: If Facebook decides something is a business, even if it’s literally someone’s anus, it’s a crapshoot whether they’ll decide it violates their precious Community Standards.
  • Ford might soon try to market a jacket with a huge emoji screen on the back for bikers to communicate with drivers. I feel like bikers already have one finger that does the job. Anyway, I already saw the Doctor Who episode about this.

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