Sunday, August 25, 2019

New York Times under attack!

A campaign is targeting the staffers of the New York Times:

https://www.nytco.com/press/a-campaign-targeting-our-staff/

This campaign will....unearth old tweets and try to embarrass the staffers?  Or something?  The memo is a little light on specifics.  I'm assuming such a "campaign" would look similar to what happened to Sarah Jeong last year. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

DailyAmericanBuzz.com

Here's another plagiarism website:  DailyAmericanBuzz.com

A few days ago it published an article titled "There's Only One Surviving Blockbuster Left on Planet Earth"
http://archive.is/zuPJO
The text was copied from a Gizmodo article from March 5, 2019, titled "There's Only One Surviving Blockbuster Left on Planet Earth"
https://gizmodo.com/theres-only-one-surviving-blockbuster-left-on-planet-ea-1833075071
I didn't see any ads on the DailyAmericanBuzz article, but there was this annoying "Mailchimp" pop-up:


When I tried clicking the "x", a new tab opened up.  The tab went to this URL...
https://deloplen.com/1/1407888/?var=2224709
Then it redirected here...
http://homepros.zone/service/flooring/index.html?traffic_source=pro&campaign=floor305&keyword=186960768124597127&group=2224709
After I'd closed the new tab, I was able to click the "x" and close the Mailchimp pop-up.

I wonder if that's a genuine Mailchimp pop-up?  It seems kind of strange that Mailchimp would have a feature that makes a new tab open in your browser when you trying clicking the "x."

There are a handful of Reddit accounts posting links to DailyAmericanBuzz.com:
https://www.reddit.com/user/ingeniousmind 
https://www.reddit.com/user/debate2
https://www.reddit.com/user/stuffymind
You can tell something is "off" with these accounts.  They'll post a bunch of links to legitimate news sites like Reuters.com and TheGuardian.com and Today.com, but then they'll sneak in a submission to a URL such as DailyAmericanBuzz.com and it sticks out like a sore thumb.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Maddux Mystery

I went to YouTube to look for footage of Greg Maddux's 76-pitch game against the Cubs from July 22, 1997.  Here's what I found, courtesy of the official MLB YouTube account:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTSZ9xbD4JM
First of all....What is this garbage?  The clip shows just nine pitches. NINE!  I want to see all 76 pitches.  Also, the description for the YouTube video says:
7/22/97: Greg Maddux throws a complete game with just 76 pitches against the Cubs, leading the Braves to a 3-2 victory
The final score of the game was 4-1.  You can see the box score at the end of the clip.  Clearly, whoever wrote the description is dumb.

Curiously, the TV announcer says Maddux threw 78 pitches.  I would guess the TV announcer lost track of the number of pitches, but I can't be sure without watching the full game.  (And why does the announcer say "one hit, no runs."  That's not correct.)

ESPN.com has a clip of the game, but the description says Maddux threw 77 pitches:
https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/24114199
Baseball-Reference.com also says Maddux threw 77 pitches during the game:
https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN199707221.shtml
And an AP write-up of the game says Maddux threw 78 pitches:
https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1997-jul-23-sp-15312-story.html
Will we every TRULY know how many pitches Greg Maddux threw during that game?  No, not until someone posts footage of the full game.

Friday, August 16, 2019

RapidRationale.com

RapidRationale.com is another site that steals content. 

Here is an article from a few days ago titled "Disney CEO Confirms X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool Are Now All Part of Marvel Studios"

https://web.archive.org/web/20190817011447/https://www.rapidrationale.com/2019/08/disney-ceo-confirms-x-men-fantastic.html

The text is copied from an MCUCosmic.com article:

https://mcucosmic.com/2019/08/06/disney-ceo-confirms-x-men-fantastic-four-and-deadpool-are-now-all-part-of-marvel-studios/

Oddly enough, I didn't see any ads on RapidRationale.com when I opened the article in an incognito window.  Although I did get a MailChimp pop-up saying "Subscribe to our mailing list."  That's unusual.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

WIRED on fake Macedonian news websites

This was a good read:

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

I was kinda surprised to find one of the websites mentioned in the article, HealthyFoodHouse.com, is still up and running.  I just...assumed it would have disappeared along with the political websites.

Commit to be Fit!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Varghese discusses YouTube moderation

Sanjana Varghese wrote an article for FFWD titled "YouTube’s Drive to Clean Up its Platform is Erasing Vital Evidence of Potential War Crimes"

https://ffwd.medium.com/youtubes-drive-to-clean-up-its-platform-is-erasing-vital-evidence-for-open-source-investigators-48ec9aa460d2

I had trouble getting through this article.  I think that was because it contained quotes like this:
“As responses to various policy documents develop, we’re hopeful that we can at least get some pragmatic harm reduction measures in place, such as having clear pathways for civil society to audit and input into training data for algorithms.”
That's an academic quote, alright.  That's an academic quote. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Commenting before reading

Annie Reneau at Upworthy is dismayed.  

The Upworthy Facebook page shared a broken link for one of her stories, and the Facebook post got a ton of engagement:

https://www.upworthy.com/comments-didnt-read-the-article
Later in the weekend, however, another share of the article went up, this time with the correct headline, image, and share text. Still no link to the article, though. Anyone who clicked was taken straight to that same 404 error page. 
Guess how many shares and comments that post got before Upworthy got wind of the dead link and took it down.  
More than 2,000 comments. And thousands of shares to other people's Facebook feeds.
The incident does raise an interesting question:  What percentage of the people who comment on an article actually read it?  Is there a way to measure that percentage?

Monday, August 12, 2019

SrGrafo villain

Here's a comic by SrGrafo:



(I feel bad about copying-and-pasting it, so make sure to give his Patreon a quick visit.)

The first thing the comic made me think of was a scene near the end of Justice League.  The Flash is standing around like a nimrod, and Steppenwolf sneaks up, grabs Flash by the neck, and hurls him into the wall.  At the 2:22 mark:



[EDIT: The guy's YouTube channel disappeared a few days after I wrote this post!  Lame!!!  Now I've got to find another clip!]

Steppenwolf has a giant axe.  He was wrecking people earlier in the film with it.  But he doesn't use that axe when it could do some good.  He just grabs the guy by the neck and tosses him.  Then he monologues a bit.