Here's What's Awesome...

May 1, 2012
(Photo by moonlightbulb via Flickr Creative Commons)

Heres Whats Awesome... Defending awesome. Seriously...awesome is, well, awesome. Facebook: a new place for organ donors to connect to those who need them? Or another way for Zuck to mine our personal (and internal!) data??? How French tweeters used WWII code to get around election law. Is CISPA the new SOPA? A new law to protect social media users? Slumdog map-ionnaire ! Kids take a crack at narrating nature videos... And the kid who could give movie trailer guy a run for his money...

People With Autism Speak Out Through "Loud Hands"

Apr 30, 2012

April is Autism Awareness Month, and we thought it would be a good time to talk about a multimedia project in which people with autism are sharing their stories and perspectives. Its called the Loud Hands Project - and its being spearheaded by our guest, Julia Bascom . She also writes about autism and people with disabilities on the blog Just Stimming . She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the project. Web extra audio: Julia Bascom explains the challenges many adults...

Before Facebook and MySpace transformed how we interact virtually, there was another kind of Internet — a 1980s network, where users connected via phone lines and communicated through simple lines of text. And while that may sound outdated, that version of the Internet is still very much alive. 'A Lot More Elegant' Pat McNameeking, a college student in Concord, N.H., is one champion of this throwback social network known as SDF, or Super Dimensional Fortress. McNameeking, who goes by the...

Friday Is For Memes: Texts From Hillary

Apr 6, 2012
<a href="" target="blank">Texts from Hillary Clinton Tumblog</a>

Shes been Secretary of State, a US Senator, First Lady, the worlds most admired woman ... and now shes gone viral. Hillary Clinton is a meme, thanks to the Texts from Hillary Tumblog . The biggest political meme to hit the web in a good while stems from a photo of the Secretary checking her smartphone, wearing sunglasses. Shes got tons of paperwork in front of her, but shes still got time to dash off a few quick texts to President Obama , her husband , even Oprah and Jay-Z . (Though we should...

As I write todays entry for Heres Whats Awesome, Im listening to a tune by Richard and Linda Thompson called Lonely Hearts. The chorus speaks of lonely hearts in an ocean of loneliness and a shipwreck of pain. As if that wasnt sunny enough, along comes this cheerful verse: No-one needs a friend, no-one cares no more
Theyll look hard at you but they wont take the chain off the door
O they work and slave, keep their conscience clean
They come home at night and they talk to...

The notion that technology equals freedom is a frequent trope, and was used frequently in the early days of the Arab Spring. As the Egyptian Google exec- slash Facebook activist Wael Ghomin put it if you want to liberate a society, just give them the internet. How the digital realm is governed, accessed, and controlled is one of the issues addressed in consent of the networked, a new book by longtime reporter Rebecca Mackinnon. For more than a decade, shes been active in evolving debates...

Here's What's Awesome...

Mar 14, 2012
Drawing and Photo by Evan Hahn, via Flickr Creative Commons

NHPRs All Things Considered host and Word of Mouth Internet Sherpa Brady Carlson joins us for his latest round up of whats viral on the web. Bradys awesome links: African voices respond to the hype over the KONY2012 film. Just one of the criticisms of the campaign. The soft bigotry of KONY2012? The definitive KONY2012 drinking game. Kony? Or Carl Weathers? How would the Three Little Pigs be covered today? The AARP tweets about Biggie Smalls . Wait, What? The webs latest cat meme, Captain...

A Web With No Off-Button

Mar 6, 2012
Photo by Anthony Reeves, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Vents in Egypt and Tunisia prove that although the internet cant be destroyed per se, it can be more or less turned off a fact that has some digital-rights activists questioning the centralized, top-down organization of internet service providers. Julian Dibbell is a tech journalist and author of The Shadow Web , an article in the March issue of Scientific American outlining growing efforts to provide an alternative network that cant be powered down.

Photo by F H Mira, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Critical infrastructure once referred to things like roads, bridges and power plants. But today, the term includes the unseen digital networks that control our visible world. An easy way to protect this infrastructure from hackers is to simply keep it disconnected from the internet, but it turns out many of those systems indeed are connected to the web, unbeknownst to the people that operate them. Joining me to talk about this is Kim Zetter, senior writer for Wired. Her article, Ten Thousand...

Piracy: The Modern Scroll of Historic Salvation

Feb 6, 2012
Photo by Criterion, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Despite the spectacular congressional flop that was SOPA and PIPA, piracy is still a dirty word to most, with file-sharing sites like the Pirate Bay remaining in the eye of the storm and, of course, that made-for-TV takedown of Megaupload making international headlines a few weeks ago. Its fair to predict we should expect more battles in the name of copyright protection in the near future, but computer historian and writer Benj Edwards has a somewhat different take. He thinks that the debate...

NHPRs Brady Carlson, host of All Things Considered provides us with brain food from the Internet buffet - including the censorship of Twitter. Beats so fresh, they arent even born yet. VERMIN SUPREME! Plays like a girl? No way! Check out this 8-year old on the electric guitar.

Friday is for Memes: Sad Packers Fan

Jan 20, 2012

The Green Bay Packers are not going to repeat as Super Bowl Champions this year. That you surely already know. But its not because Eli Manning and the New York Giants managed to contain the Packers offense or outplay the Packs defense. Its because of some sparkly nail polish and an Aaron Rodgers jersey that sat at home, unworn, during the most important playoff game of the year. So explains our senior sports analyst, Sad Packer Fan: I wonder if she has any insight...

The Stop Online Piracy Act now in front of Congress and its Senate counterpart bill, the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, are both stirring up vigorous debates in political, media and IT circles. As originally proposed, SOPA would allow the US Department of Justice , as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders to bar web sites from displaying or promoting copyrighted materialincluding a practice we rely on around here, linking to relevant content from other outlets and from pop culture. SOPAs...

Crossing the BLVD

Jan 18, 2012
Photo by mgarbowski via Flickr Creative Commons

Archie Bunker wouldnt recognize the Queens of today, where cultures normally thousands of miles apart live on the same block, and 138 languages can come together in a classroom. On the streets of Queens, passers by might hear Albanian hip-hop wafting from a market stall, or a gypsy punk riff sill out of a café. The diverse colors, accents and clothing illustrate globalization and multiculturalism in a way that corporate strategists cannot. Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer are finely attuned to...

Gwarlingo's Michelle Aldredge

Somewhere on the list of why making a radio show is so fun would be this: surfing the internet is part of the job. In other office pods, people have to Google on the sly. We consider following links and electronic crumbs rather productive. You never know when you might accidentally stumble onto your next guest. Producer Taylor Quimby was just doing his job when he clicked on a link to Gwarlingo , a beautiful, brilliantly executed blog of essays, art reviews, photographs, poetry and miscellany...

Photo by, eurleif, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

In 2007, Tay Zonday uploaded his video, Chocolate Rain to YouTube. Before the rain soaked the ground, it became a viral sensation. Unlike many VH1 one-hit-wonders, Zondas career continues to thrive more than five years after the chocolate storm ran its course. For musicians, finding a label was been traditionally been the way to stardom. For aspiring actors, heading to Hollywood has been the well-trod, yet equally unreliable gateway. Would-be YouTube celebrities can come from anywhere....

We all go to Wikipedia, which means weve all seen those banners. Please Read: A Message from Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales. Where the face of Wikipedia has his face all over Wikipedia, asking for donations to keep the system running. That alone was meme fodder, but then the late 2011 drive included new faces along with Jimmys - programmers, server managers and other staff. All of which led to a sometimes disturbing but sometimes very funny series of revisions to the please read banner ads....

Friday is for Memes: The North Korean Hearse

Dec 30, 2011

Kim Jong Ils funeral was probably not intended to give birth to any memes, but when the hearse in the military procession featured a giant picture frame , the Photoshoppers eyes got wide and the ideas started to flow. I even put a picture together, using the template Gawker shared . Though now that I think of it, my entry is slightly illogical, seeing as how Keyboard Cat wouldnt be able to play himself off at his own state funeral. You get the idea, anyway. [ Gawker ]

If youre a hockey fan, you know Don Cherry , or at the very least youve seen his amazing collection of suit jackets . Now, the remixers have revealed that Don Cherry isnt just a hockey legend - hes a musical legend (and one not to be confused with the other, also musically legendary, Don Cherry .) Check out how Cherry rocks the invisible piano thats apparently embedded in his desk! Tell me Hockey Night in Canada didnt just...

Kim Jong Il Didn't Just Look at Things, Says the Web

Dec 20, 2011
<a href="" target=Blank">Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass</a> Tumblog

The famous Tumblog Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things has already updated its about section to read in the past tense - it now says the dear leader liked to look at things. Now the remixers have found a whole new side of the North Korean leader - as a DJ. Check out Kim Jong-Il Dropping the Bass to see him in action. [via Cifanic ]

Here's What's Awesome: 2011!

Dec 19, 2011
(Photo by Colinaut via Flickr Creative Commons)

Awesomator Brady Carlson runs down his top ten awesomest online moments of the year.

Friday is for Memes: Misleading Doctor

Dec 16, 2011

From this Friday forward, Heres Whats Awesome will bring you a fresh meme from the depths of web culture. This week, Misleading Doctor - who sets you up with a little news at the top of the image, only to turn that news on its head at the bottom of the image. There are a bazillion of these memes in service now, from Unhelpful High School Teacher to Disappointed Dad Batman to Business Cat . And since there is a virtually infinite number of stock photos, pictures of cats and comic book panels,...

Photo by Vaporizers, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our guest Sabrina Rubin Erdely describes her journey down the Silk Road, an underground website where hack-savvy browsers can buy virtually anything, assuming its illegal. LINKS Sabrinas article about the Silk Road Sabrinas website about other stuff

The Latest Awesome

Nov 15, 2011
Photo by Evan Hahn, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

NHPRs host of All Things Considered and resident web-guru pilots us through the interwebs latest viral videos and telling finds. HERES WHATS AWESOME THIS TIME: Herman Cains webpage error How to win a Russian election Newt Gingrich: Candidate for Action Movies? Putting words in Herman Cains mouth... Upside-down Flying Rhinos Occupy Bachmann Random guy screaming at delivery trucks