1. Rumor Has It
It may not come as a great shock that the viral story about a woman who had a third breast surgically implanted turned out to be a hoax “after it was reported that a three-breast prosthesis had been previously found in the woman’s luggage.” But as is often the case, the correction to the story was shared a lot less than the original. The NYT’s Brendan Nyhan takes a look at why rumors outrace the truth online.
+ You undoubtedly heard that the iPhone 6 has a bending problem. But did you hear that Consumer Reports did a test and found that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are not as bendy as believed. Next week’s headline: The iPhone is Inflexible.
2. Umbrella Stand
Hong Kong residents were promised direct elections by 2017. But Beijing has since ruled that ballot choices will be limited to a pre-approved slate of candidates. That’s the root of the protests in Hong Kong that started out peacefully, were met with police action, and have since attracted the attention of the world. From Vox: Hong Kong’s unprecedented protests and police crackdown, explained.
+ The protests have quickly come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution. Here’s the BBC on how the humble umbrella became a protest symbol.
+ Foreign Policy (No registration required for ND readers): “Future generations may well commemorate Sept. 28, 2014 in the history of Hong Kong as the day when the famously apolitical city turned unmistakably political.”
+ The Verge: What if everyone in Tiananmen Square had been carrying a smartphone. And Buzzfeed: The Hong Kong Occupy Central protest has triggered mainland China’s biggest ever crackdown on Weibo. (The Chinese are censored while we use devices they built to gain unfettered access.)
+ InFocus has an excellent collection of photos from the scene.
3. Stringer Bell and Omar Don’t Count?
“The only news most people ever hear about the inner city comes from grim headlines; the only residents they can name are characters on The Wire. Of course, ignorance of a community doesn’t stop outsiders from having opinions about it or passing laws that govern it.” The Atlantic’s James Forman Jr. explains how aggressive police surveillance transforms an urban neighborhood: The Society of Fugitives.
4. Troll Position
“It’s why trolling isn’t really trolling anymore. The motive isn’t sublimated. The rage is bare. Trolls don’t expose the vanities of the world these days; the world exposes the vanity of trolls.” From Emmett Rensin: The Confessions of a Former Internet Troll. (I’m nostalgic for the days when this was a troll.)
5. Poll, Pass and Kick
First there were the brain injury stories. Then there was the elevator video seen around the world. Then there was the mishandled response when the league’s best running back was arrested for child abuse. The seemingly endless series of bad publicity led many fans (especially women) to leave the NFL huddle. That much is clear in recent polls. It’s less clear in recent television ratings.
6. Caffeine Intelligence
Writing names, any names, on the cups makes the “caffeine-addicted” customers nervous. And the Barristas are given background checks before they can foam their first latte. Welcome to the CIA Starbucks: “There are no frequent-customer award cards, because officials fear the data stored on the cards could be mined by marketers and fall into the wrong hands, outing secret agents.” How little they share provides a cautionary reminder of how much data we share each time we participate in almost any transaction, even if we stick to decaf. It’s also a reminder that it’s National Coffee Day.
“‘I heard a bang-bang-bang. I’m thinking it’s, like, Amazon.’ It wasn’t a delivery. It was a team of federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security, wearing bulletproof jackets and carrying guns.” The NYT’s Jenna Wortham with an excellent story about the deposed Queen of NinjaVideo, The Unrepentant Bootlegger. Even after the Queen and others have done serious time in jail, “online piracy is thriving. File-sharing, most of it illegal, still amounts to nearly a quarter of all consumer Internet traffic.”
8. Leadership Style
In gorilla society, it’s easy to pick out the leaders because of key characteristics such as hair color, size, posture, fitness, and the sounds they make. It turns out, the same is pretty much true in human society where, as The Economist reports: “The typical chief executive is more than six feet tall, has a deep voice, a good posture, a touch of grey in his thick, lustrous hair and, for his age, a fit body.” (In my industry, the leader is typically a jittery guy in a t-shirt sitting on a beanbag chair.)
+ Want to dress for success? Then lose the orange sweater and follow these rules.
9. The Finisher
“When Dennis Holland died of cancer this spring, he left behind a lifetime of unfinished projects, perhaps more than one man could hope to complete. The dream of finishing them kept him young.” And now his son is taking over and working to complete all the unfinished efforts.
10. The Bottom of the News
It’s the end of an era. While it’s already been essentially dead for years, Yahoo will make it official as they shut down the onetime hub of everything Internet. Say goodbye to the Yahoo Directory.
+ There is a compound in hops that could make you smarter. So have a beer. And then have 5,635 more each day and we’ll see if it works.
+ From the always-entertaining Dave Pell: Band Names for Aging Rockers.
+ Cats don’t need to do anything to get covered on the Internet. Dogs, on the other hand, have to surf.
+ Take a closer look at these 50 clever logos.