Internet

6.24.15: Trolls, Back to the Future & Gray Hair

Jun 24, 2015
Darrell Miller via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/biFVsZ

Internet trolls – they shame, threaten, bully…and help sell ads!  A researcher infiltrates a trolling network and the cycle of harassment. Plus, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of back to the future, the billion dollar film franchise that repurposed the Delorian, reinvented time travel, and gave us the hoverboard. And from Rihanna to lady gaga – dyed gray hair is a hot fashion trend. Feminist statement or a passing fad? 

David Coxon via www.flickr.com/photos/davidcoxon

The Southern Poverty Law Center is out with its annual survey on hate groups.  The good news? Active hate groups are on the decline.  The bad news? They've relocated online.  Today on Word of Mouth, a disturbing look at the hidden state of hate in America.  Also, a historian reveals the surprising method many early New Englanders used to pass correspondence from colony to colony: Native American couriers.

Listen to the full show and click read more for individual segments.

Koshy Koshy | Sea Turtle via flickr Creative Commons / Birds: flic.kr/p/cdLdas | Bees: flic.kr/p/dgg8w4

Social media sites are teeming with sexual imagery, jokes, and questionable content. Yet their official policies prevent sex-ed organizations from crafting a message that might actually resonate with the people who need it.

On today’s show, are social media sites censoring sex-ed?  Plus, our series Good Gig continues with a lighting pro who’s illuminated everything from Olympic ceremonies to Super Bowl half-time shows.  

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Wikimedia Commons

We’ve seen this dance before: presidential hopefuls stumping in New Hampshire. On today’s show, we’ll talk to the official candidate from the Transhumanist Party who says we need a new political party and new tactics for the issues of our time.

Then, Jackie Robinson’s major league debut was an obvious, watershed moment in America’s troubled racial history. But we’ll look at a lesser known moment for American civil rights: breaking NASA’s color barrier and the story of the first African Americans in the space program.

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Logan Shannon / NHPR

The National Park Service reports that only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental and cultural history to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, from clamshell tweezers to electrolysis, we’ll take a look at America’s history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status.

Plus, is technology killing the jewelry industry? We’ll find out why global sales of fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Dave via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4rTLFX

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and couples in love are expected to spend in the billions, but spending by singles may have even greater revenue potential. On today’s show, a look at China’s anti-Valentine’s holiday: Singles' Day and how it became the largest online shopping day in the world.

Then, from clamshell razors to electrolysis, humans have gone to great lengths to achieve a smooth, clean shave. We’ll take a look at the history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status in the U.S. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bcz7De

Last month’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic relations sparked waves of speculation about what the thaw means for diplomacy, trade, and tourism. On today’s show: what normalized relations mean for Cuba’s internet infrastructure.  

And we usher in awards season by going off the red carpet. We’ll celebrate some of the best films of 2014 that were not nominated for a Golden Globe.

Plus, we kick off a new series on offbeat college courses, The Uncommon Core. Today: Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond.

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L: Blake Patterson R: The Verge / flic.kr/p/8Z7VsR | bit.ly/1pMBf6S

In the early days of the internet, millions flocked to chat rooms to connect with like minds – and bodies -- the world over. But the group chat was soon replaced by Facebook and Twitter…or was it? On today’s show, the group chat makes a comeback.

Then, western history is dominated by stories of great men and women, but we rarely hear about those who helped them along the way. We’ll unearth history’s secret sidekicks: from the man who encouraged Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to embrace pacifism, to Julia Warhol, who set her son Andy on a path to the art world.

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It was only days after Shawn Jasper won the race for State House Speaker that Twitter had a new user: @SpeakerJasper. There was only one catch: the Twitter user Speaker Jasper wasn’t the actual Speaker Jasper. (The official Twitter account used by the last few speakers, including Jasper, is @NHSpeaker.)

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after posting a Facebook comment criticizing the President's daughters. Today on Word of Mouth, the history of an unlikely American tradition: publicly judging the children of the White House. Also, the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi, and the industry secret behind orange juice’s robust flavor.

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100 years ago this month, a young socialite decided to ditch her corset and slipped into a little something more comfortable. On today’s show, a retrospective of the modern bra, from Jane Russell to Victoria’s Secret. 

Plus, Cory Doctorow shares his thoughts on creativity and profit in the digital age. And we return with a plea from a Chicago Tribune columnist who believes it’s high-time journalists stop overusing the word “reform” in their reporting.

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Stathis Edel / Flickr/CC

Even the least tech-savvy among us has probably built up some kind of an online “past”, whether through photos on Facebook, or a mention in a newspaper article, or public documents- from arrests to divorce to debt.  On one hand, this 'permanent record' can be a great benefit for potential employers and others curious about us, providing a sense of our job history, personal life, and accomplishments all with one Google search. At the same time, though, mistakes, embarrassing photographs, or other indiscretions are also cataloged, seemingly forever.

Former Daily Show reporter John Oliver’s fake news show on HBO is bucking the odds: diving deep into stories that aren’t in the headlines, and climbing in the ratings. On today’s show, what happens when comedy meets investigative journalism ?

Then, A-list DJs appear to live in the top tier of fabulousness. Jet-setting to giant clubs and VIP parties. We’ll get the inside view from Juan MacLean, an international star living quietly in Dover, NH.

Jeremy Weber via flickr Creative Commons

Tesla cars…Louis Vuitton luggage…Philippe Patek watches…luxury brands are selling well. How about a $10,000 cell phone? On today’s show, we’ll learn about the new handcrafted cell phone with optional concierge service that’s become a new symbol of conspicuous consumption.

Also today, from fierce fighters in the Trojan wars to Wonder Woman, Amazons have been described as figures of myth. A classics scholar sifts through new DNA evidence and other proof that these female warriors on horseback were real.

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« RMTOlympic » par Inconnu — Retronaut.com. Sous licence Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

We spoke with The Atlantic’s Robinson Meyer about CV Dazzle, a way to camouflage your face from surveillance technology. He wore one of the designs featured on CVDazzle.com, where there are many more ideas for ways to make your face indistinguishable to technology using facial recognition.

kezee via Flickr CC

Bombs on bats and dolphin mine sweepers.  First, we learn about the Navy’s long-running acoustic warfare program...mimicking mammals for weaponry. Plus, we know where your cat lives. An artist uses all those adorable cat photos on the internet to pinpoint your location. And, want to make sure your face isn’t recognized on surveillance cameras? All it takes is a little make-up and creativity. Today we’re looking at the digital footprints we leave all over the internet.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.


ste3ve via Flickr CC

Melissa McCarthy is hailed as a “plus-sized sweetheart,” a champion of representation for women of all sizes. But is she really just a sellout? Today we look at the difference between her roles in movies and the issues she brings to the spotlight in interviews and profiles to see if she really is the progressive comedian everyone makes her out to be. Then, it’s time for some swashbuckling history. We get answers about what’s real and what are myths when it comes to one of our favorite villains – the pirate. Plus, what is the real cost and benefit of personal privacy in a world where everything is under surveillance?

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Kip Evans

Fabien Cousteau hopes to break the record for longest time spent in an underwater lab, and he's well on his way to achieving that goal. He spoke to us from 63 feet below the surface about Mission 31, a research and outreach adventure intended to promote ocean education and conservation. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware, protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.


Amazon.com is one-stop shopping for Kindle downloads, on demand movies, and illegal prescription drugs? Today on Word of Mouth: steroids, painkillers, and antibiotics delivered right to your door. Then, if you’re bored by life in your cubicle, why not watch someone else’s…in Russia? A look at Opentopia, a curiously popular website that provides access to webcams across the world. Plus, we get the history behind a beloved New England trademark: the summer home.

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Unknown, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past 25 years, the percentage of people with no religious affiliation has more than doubled, at the same time, the internet has been widely embraced. Coincidence? Today on Word of Mouth: does the internet spell the fall of religion? Or is it more of a correlation than a cause? Plus, we peruse the new release section of the bookstore and notice a trend, Catastrophe 1914, 1914: History in an Hour, 1914: Fight the Good Fight. A look into the downside of treating years as celebrities.

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New Hampshire ranked seventh in the nation for Internet speed in 2013, according to a new report.  That’s a slip from the state’s position in fourth place the previous year.

Ayahuasca in San Francisco and Mike Newton via flickr Creative Commons, via onthemedia.org & facebook.com/theamericans

Ahhh. We finally have a week full of warmer temps. What better way to spend your afternoon work break walk than with Word of Mouth? Pop in your earbuds and turn it up; today's show heats up, cools down, and explores real-life risks of the internet and a scandal relived through television.

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The Art Of The Emoji Translation

Apr 3, 2014
Emoji Dick

While researching our story on why there isn't a hot dog Emoji (it's more complicated than you think), we came across the interesting phenomenon of people translating things into Emoji. Here are some of our favorites:

Boston Magazine, Times Books, Hot Dog Emoji Coalition

Today on Word of Mouth, the Boston Marathon bombings happened a year ago this month, but questions about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible involvement in a triple homicide remain. Investigative reporter Susan Zalkind discusses the complicated case, and whether police missed their chance to apprehend Tsarnaev long before the marathon bombs. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware,protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? We'll ask  And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.


Internet Access & Net Neutrality, Explained

Mar 27, 2014
scrawford.net

Taking on the Telecom industry with “net neutrality,” the concept that all websites are treated equally in terms of cost and access.  There’s a rising concern that internet companies are gaining too much control over online content, and a court recently ruled in favor of the industry. We’re talking with the author of a new book called “Captive Audience” and see what may happen next. 

GUESTS:

Your Essential ICANN Primer

Mar 19, 2014
Taylor Quimby

You may have heard news this week that the U.S. is “relinquishing control” over the internet – more specifically, that the Obama administration has decided not to renew its contract overseeing the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN.  The decision has sparked a vocal backlash from conservatives.  Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted “Every American should worry about Obama giving up control of the internet to an undefined group.  This is very, very, dangerous”.  But let’s face it – most of us have no idea what ICANN does, or how this decision will or will not change the way the internet functions.

Rob Fleischman joined us to explain all things ICANN. He is chief technology officer at Xerocole, and our explainer of all things wired.


3.19.14: Big Data, ICANN & Body Farm

Mar 19, 2014
via amazon.com

Today on Word of Mouth, we're unpacking big data. Should we fear or embrace it? Then we get a lesson on ICANN - what it is and how the decision made by the Obama administration not to renew its contract to oversee see it actually affects the way the internet functions. Finally, bodies! How do you study the effects of certain conditions on human remains? With a body farm, of course.

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Viral Images: Duping The Internet Masses

Feb 25, 2014
urbanlegends.about.com

Niagara Falls, 1911. Completely frozen over with a group of people standing where they would otherwise be sucked into the rushing waterfall. Incredible? Absolutely! Totally truthful? Not exactly.

Behind The Scenes Of A Viral Video

Jan 22, 2014
Alexander Ward / PRX

If you search for marriage proposal on YouTube, you’ll get hundreds of over-the-top versions of popping the question, complete with song, dance, choreography, and lots of tears. Among the most popular is “Isaac’s Live Lip-Sync Proposal”—which has nearly 25-million views. What goes into making a viral proposal video? Turns out, a lot. Alexander Ward brings us this story.

Sara Plourde

This is “Rethink 2014”, presenting ways of challenging our habits and assumptions and the status quo. Today: paying for creative content. It’s the axiom of the era: you can find anything on the internet--for free!  The challenge has been figuring out how artists, writers, musicians and content makers get paid for their work. Take the music streaming service Spotify. Sure, users can discover new artists and find a lot of great music, but Spotify is under fire for failing to compensate the artists who make that music. In an opinion piece for the The Guardian last October, David Byrne wrote, “If artists have to rely almost exclusively on the income from these services, they'll be out of work within a year.” Maybe the big-name musicians have it wrong. We bring you the story of an unknown songwriter who is raking in the Spotify royalty checks, one song at a time. PJ Vogt of On The Media’s new TLDR podcast and blog, has the story.

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