Two teenage sandwich artists thwarted an attempted robbery this week using nothing more than their natural apathy and the weight of their crushing indifference, WPRI reports.Read more… →
“Earlier this year, ‘Trump for President, LLC’ trademarked ‘Trumpocrat’ and ‘Trumpublican.’ The possible uses included ‘salt and pepper shakers; posters; shirts; ties; cufflinks; colognes; chocolate; nameplates; key rings; eye wear; playing cards; surfboards; editions of automobiles’ and more.”
Three New Jersey teenagers were detained for several hours this weekend after they mistakenly knocked on the door of a state trooper who then shot at them as they drove away, the NY Daily News reports.Read more… →
Ray Tensing, the former University of Cincinnati Police Officer charged with murdering Samuel DuBose , was released from jail Thursday night after posting 10 percent of a $1 million bond, WXIX reports. His next court date is scheduled for August 19.htt… →
Police say six people were injured, one of them critically, when an ultra-Orthodox assailant began stabbing attendees of Jerusalem’s annual Gay Pride Parade on Thursday, Haaretz reports.
Morrissey, famous dirge singer and old-timey English racist , claims a TSA agent inappropriately fondled his junk as he was passing through San Francisco International Airport en route back to London Monday afternoon. Read more… →
The only thing crazier than paying $32 (plus water and shoes) to ride an exercise bike in the dark is the way SoulCycle is describing itself to potential investors, now that it’s going public. The word “SOULccolade” makes an appearance.http://gawker.com/5978735/we-cam…
A bodybuilder formerly known as Matt Kroczaleski has come out as transgender, and now goes by the name Janae Marie Kroc. The Daily News reports that—in addition to being a champion powerlifter, cancer survivor, and former U.S. Marine—Kroc takes Grade A selfies, which you can find on her Instagram account.
Deadspin Why Your Team Sucks 2015: New York Giants | Gawker Brazil Is Full of Shit | Gizmodo Is Earth’s Closest Cousin a Dying Planet? | Kotaku Ask Dr. Nerdlove: Help, I’m Hopeless With Women And I Hate Myself | Kinja Popular Posts
Husbands are terrible and no one should have them, because they do “absent-minded” (read: life-ruining) things in an effort to “de-clutter our space.”
The long-awaited refresh on the Apple TV set-top streaming box is coming in September, according to a new report from BuzzFeed’s John Paczkowski.
Earlier reports claimed that Apple was initially aiming to announce the new Apple TV at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, but that event instead centered around the Apple Music streaming service and Mac OS X El Capitan.
But Paczkowski reports that Apple is finally ready to unveil the redesigned Apple TV at the same fall event where it usually reveals the newest iPhone, with the extra time resulting in a “more polished” Apple TV streaming box.
On the hardware side, Apple is said to have slimmed down the Apple TV itself, and the Apple TV remote is also getting a redesign that includes a new haptic touch pad. It sounds like Apple is also updating the Apple TV’s processor to one of its A8 chips, and it’s also adding more RAM for a speed boost.
On the software side of things, the biggest news is that Apple is reportedly revealing an Apple TV App Store that will allow developers to create third-party apps and games for the device. Siri is also said to be compatible with the new Apple TV, which combined with the redesigned remote, should make navigating the menus far easier.
Are unethical people more likely to ascend to positions of power? Or does power change people for the worse?
Research provides some evidence for the latter, suggesting that power makes people greedier and less socially appropriate.
In 1998, researchers conducted what they now refer to as the “Cookie Monster” study. Experimenters led participants into a lab, where they were divided into groups of three. In each group, one person was randomly appointed the leader. After the participants completed a simple exercise, an experimenter brought in a plate of five cookies.
Sure enough, the designated leader was more likely to take a second cookie. And not only that, they were also inclined to eat with their mouths open and get crumbs all over the place. Male participants were especially messy eaters.
The Cookie Monster study helps explain some important societal phenomena. In a 2003 meta-analysis that cites the yet-unpublished study, the authors write that “power disinhibits more pernicious forms of aggression as well,” including hate crimes against minority groups and rape in cultures where women are subordinated.
“When you feel powerful, you kind of lose touch with other people,” study co-author Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., says in a video produced by the University of California. “You stop attending carefully to what other people think.”
Ironically, Keltner writes, “the skills most important to obtaining power and leading effectively are the very skills that deteriorate once we have power.”
This research has meaningful implications for the workplace. Organizations might want to simply tell newly appointed managers about this research, and urge them to monitor their own tendency to turn selfish or boorish.
It’s important for leaders to be both empathetic and self-aware, and a Cookie Monster in the C-Suite could be a recipe for disaster.
When Windows 95 came out twenty years ago, its headlining feature was the new Start menu, giving easy access to programs and documents.
The official theme song for the Windows 95 launch was even “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones.
20 years later, the Start menu is still with us, making headlines once again as a key part of Windows 10.
It’s something that gives Danny Oran, the ex-Microsoft interface designer who holds the patents for the Windows 95 Start menu and taskbar, mixed feelings.
“In some ways, it’s a little disappointing the same stuff is in there,” Oran says.
One the one hand, millions and millions of people use his invention every day. But it also means that in the 22 years since he first invented the concept, nothing better has come along.
“In retrospect, I wish I got a royalty,” jokes Oran.
Oran first joined Microsoft in 1992. As a trained behavioral psychologist, Microsoft brass was hoping that Oran could figure out ways to make Windows easier to use for non-technical people.
Oran was uniquely qualified. At Harvard, Oran had undertaken his first user interface design project, overseen by no less than famed behavioral scientist BF Skinner.
Skinner asked Oran a simple question: “How would you teach chimps to talk?”
To answer that question, Oran ended up working with two teenage chimpanzees named Austin and Sherman, using a home-built device out of wood as a kind of keyboard for a computer program that would, ideally, teach them English.
“Did the chimps learn to talk? No. They didn’t even come close,” wrote Oran in a presentation. Still, it provided a lot of insight into how to design a computer program so even a chimpanzee could use it.
At the time, Microsoft needed the help. Windows 3.1, the version in use around 1992, had a reputation of being hard to use. And as a big fan of Apple’s Mac operating system, Oran could come at it from an outsider’s perspective.
One of the first steps along the way was to watch how customers were actually using Windows in the wild. As part of a usability study, Oran and some programmers would instruct a subject on how to complete a simple task and watch how they did it.
This would become a frustrating experience for Oran very quickly. The Windows programmers wouldn’t recognize that the problem was with the operating system and not the users.
For instance, one study subject took twenty minutes of staring at a Windows 3.1 desktop before being able to open a text editing program. Finally, a programmer spoke up that this was unacceptable, to Oran’s relief. But that relief would be short lived: “Our customers are morons!” exclaimed the programmer.
This was frustrating enough, Oran says. But then they talked to that user, and it turns out that he was actually a propulsion engineer for Boeing.
“He was literally a rocket scientist,” Oran says. “And even he couldn’t figure out Windows.”
Then he had an epiphany on his commute to Microsoft’s Redmond headquarters.
If users couldn’t figure out where to go in Windows, Oran says, it was a design failure. So instead, he thought to give them one single button to push that led them to everything, the same way he had to teach the chimps, button by button, how to use software.
Originally, Oran says, it was called the “System” button, and it lived at the top of the screen. But for whatever reason, maybe because it sounded too technical, users in these Windows studies wouldn’t click a System button no matter what.
But once they renamed it the “Start” button, people understood it intuitively.
Oran knew he had a winner when a test subject was able to use the Start menu to complete their task before he was even given the instructions.
The other piece of the puzzle was the taskbar. A big issue with Windows 3.1 was that people didn’t know how many programs they had open. People would open a new game of Solitaire, minimize it when their boss came by, and then open a new one when they wanted to start playing again.
Windows 3.1 had a task manager to show you what programs were running, but most mainstream users would never figure out how to get to it. Their computers would gradually just get slower until they restarted the machine and started the cycle all over again.
“There was no way of knowing,” Oran says.
So to solve this problem, Oran came up with the basic idea of a bar that would show you what was running. It was originally conceived as a bunch of tabs on the top of the screen. The earliest version of the concept looks a lot like browser tabs in Chrome or Safari.
But these tabs took up too much space on the screen, especially since most monitors at the time were small and ran at a 640 by 480 resolution.
Eventually, Microsoft was guessing, there’d be bigger screens with higher definition displays (and they were right), but at the time, it wasn’t practical. Oran ended up making the tabs smaller and making them into buttons.
For the sake of convenience, the Start menu and the taskbar were combined into one thing that sat at the edge of the screen. But for reasons that were unclear, Microsoft made the call to bring the taskbar down to the bottom, where it still sits by default in Windows 10.
Oran says he heard a rumor that Microsoft did this because placing the taskbar at the top made it look too much like Apple Mac OS, and Microsoft was worried about legal action. But he never found out for sure.
Oran left Microsoft in 1994, before Windows 95 was released, to continue his graduate school program at Harvard.
These days, he’s putting his behavioral science background to use for social good: Previously, he was at progressive activism site MoveOn.org, studying how social network effects can encourage a higher voter turnout and creating its Social Report Card product for the 2012 election. He also worked with early-stage startups in the Cambridge Accelerator.
Today, Oran is living in the Washington DC area and working in the healthcare industry, using his expertise to come up with strategies for fighting suicide.
“As fun as the Windows stuff was,” Oran says, the work he’s doing now is literally “life and death.”
He only watches Microsoft from the outside, and he hasn’t gotten his hands on Windows 10 just yet.
Still, those mixed feelings remain: Windows 8 had its ups and downs, he says, but at least it tried something new besides a Start menu he invented decades prior.
But he has a little bit of advice from his experience: Oran was still very young when he worked for Microsoft, but what he did had a lasting effect. The lesson for aspiring innovators just starting out is clear.
“The things you work on can have a surprising impact,” Oran says.
My favorite person on Facebook is a 58-year-old woman we’ll refer to as Nancy. Nancy is the mother of an old college friend. We became friends on Facebook my sophomore year of college, when Facebook opened up its network of users to include those outside the walls of higher education.
It’s been nearly 10 years since Nancy and I became friends, and I look forward to seeing her status updates every day. Why? Because Nancy is a “Facebook Wine Mom.”
Okay so, you’re probably wondering, what or who is a Facebook Wine Mom? But you probably already know one! She’s a mom who posts about it “being 5’oclock somewhere!” or “needing an IV of pinot grigio!” She’s the 60-year-old equivalent of a high school junior who had their first box of Franzia in someone’s basement.
The term was first mentioned on Twitter, according to Topsy, by user @capecodkyrakyra on March 24 of this year. But a few weeks earlier, the definition had been added to UrbanDictionary.com as:
Though there is no mention of social media or Facebook in the UrbanDictionary.com defnition, that’s usually where the wine moms unite. And don’t be fooled. Being a Facebook Wine Mom isn’t just about loving alcohol. Facebook Wine Moms can be found posting memes or updates about needing coffee, vacations, weekends, or ice cream.
Sometimes they post about their kids or husbands. Other times they post about wishing their kids or husbands would leave them alone.
And their not just using Facebook — you can find wine moms on Instagram and Pinterest, too.
I find Facebook Wine Mom culture both endearing and entertaining.
The post below, a promo for a floating wine glass that also can be propped up in the sand, was endlessly shared by the moms I am friends with on Facebook. For days. For weeks! The sharing never, ever, ended. Originally posted by a radio station’s page on June 8, the ad haunts me to this day. (Weirdly, radio stations share insane amounts of Facebook Wine Mom content.)
There’s something to be said for this.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey wrote “How Moms Won the Internet,” explaining to us millennial folk that while we might be the most savvy at internetting, we are not the intended audience for the majority of massively viral content ricocheting around the web, coming from sites like Little Things, or Viral Nova, which craft grabby headlines that play into readers’ emotions and get millions of monthly visitors.
“… Moms are both “more clicky” and more eager to share,” Dewey writes, then shares “the words of Viral Nova CEO Sean Beckner: ‘To them, Facebook represents a highly intimate social club, a place to share pictures of your kids and requests for health advice and that video of a puppy sleeping with a baby that almost made you cry.'”
Unlike their children, Facebook Wine Moms (baby boomers) are not in the mindset of developing or curating their internet personas. They are not self-conscious. They, unlike their kids, are not out to convince everyone their life is perfect through a series of carefully crafted filtered photos.
In fact, they unite to revel in the fact that their lives aren’t perfect!
Facebook Wine Moms are the best.
A popular Facebook group “Moms Who Need Wine” has 700,000 fans (a quick search confirmed four of those fans are moms I know, and none of those moms know each other.)
MWNW is a site, a blog that at first glace, looks like it was created to be a community for moms to connect with one another and share (what else) memes. But it’s also a business — partnered with the California Wine Club to provide wine in bulk to its readers for a price club dollar amount.
In 2011, when MWNW had 400,000 fans, The Huffington Post wrote that wine is increasingly being marketed to moms, citing these online communities. Former HuffPo reporter Laura Stampler wrote at the time:
These popular sites serve as a virtual mother’s group where moms with a sense of humor vent about day-to-day parenting issues. One “Mom Who Needs Wine” recently asked the group if she was the only one who had ever served her child Oreos for breakfast. (The Answer? Oreos are a kind-of justifiable food group.) On OMG, one mom declared, “it’s probably going to be a long summer when you look at a bottle of wine & think about making homemade popsicles with it.”
Brian Feldman, writing for The Awl, explains the worst meme the internet has to offer: The Minion memes. And Tech Insider’s Molly Mulshine took note that there’s no one more obsessed with Minion memes than moms.
But what do their children make of their Facebook Wine Moms? Turns out it has given them something to aspire to.
A quick Twitter search for “Facebook Wine Mom” yields mostly the same kind of tweet:
Can’t wait to be a middle aged mom who drinks wine all the time and shares minion memes on Facebook
— Bethany (@bethanyschagane) July 18, 2015
Omg I went to a shop today and it was so Facebook wine mom aesthetic I was in love pic.twitter.com/ZFqFN9VPLB
— sarah (@sarahslayhee) July 24, 2015
I can’t wait to be a wine mom who posts all of her kids achievements on Instagram and Facebook
— elizabeth (@e_graveline20) July 23, 2015
Occupation : future white soccer mom who makes terrible jokes on Facebook about wine and chocolate
— JENNY (@nahjenna) July 17, 2015
facebook wine mom posts make me feel so alive
— maddie mueller (@maddieluvstacos) June 14, 2015
For the haters out there, I encourage you to embrace Facebook Wine Mom culture instead of making fun of it.
After all …