Link

Mozilla Purchases Pocket

Pocket, the read-it-later service, has been purchased by Mozilla:

Pocket will continue on as a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of Mozilla Corporation. We’ll be staying in our office, and our name will still be on the wall. Our team isn’t changing and our existing roadmap has been reinforced and is clearer than ever. In fact, we have a few major updates up our sleeves that we are really excited to get into your hands in the coming months.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Has Good Music Taste

Dale Earnhardt Jr. likes The Dangerous Summer.

Many consider Junior the poster boy for old-school NASCAR. He’s actually not. He’s far more of a hipster than good old boy. His music taste? There’s Lord Huron, of course, and The Dangerous Summer, a rock band so obscure they broke up in 2014. Then there’s Matthew Good, a Canadian rocker, and Twenty One Pilots, semi-Emo rock band. While he says he’ll listen to any good song, from Taylor Swift to Barry Manilow, one genre is noticeably absent: country music.

Will We Accept Music Written by Robots?

Eugune Wei, writing on his blog, about the “Magic iPod”:

How such work is received by a human audience is about more than its intrinsic qualities, however. In an objective competition like a game of Go, or when considering a mashup which is simply the synthesis of existing creative works, I suspect humans will be comfortable with acknowledging the achievements of an algorithm.

With original creative works, however, like music, novels, movies, I suspect humans will recoil from even intrinsically appealing creation if it was written by a computer program. Call it some variant of the uncanny valley effect.

We have a romantic attachment to human creation, and it may take a generation of people passing on before we overcome that cultural aversion.

How YouTube Serves as the Content Engine of the Internet’s Dark Side

Joseph Bernstein, writing for BuzzFeed:

But it’s on YouTube where he really goes to work. Since Nov. 4, four days before the election, Seaman has uploaded 136 videos, more than one a day. Of those, at least 42 are about Pizzagate. The videos, which tend to run about eight to fifteen minutes, typically consist of Seaman, a young, brown-haired man with glasses and a short beard, speaking directly into a camera in front of a white wall. He doesn’t equivocate: Recent videos are titled “Pizzagate Will Dominate 2017, Because It Is Real” and “#PizzaGate New Info 12/6/16: Link To Pagan God of Pedophilia/Rape.”

Seaman has more than 150,000 subscribers. His videos, usually preceded by preroll ads for major brands like Quaker Oats and Uber, have been watched almost 18 million times, which is roughly the number of people who tuned in to last year’s season finale of NCIS, the most popular show on television.

New Feist Album in April?

The Huffington Post is reporting that Feist will release a new album in April:

Feist has been largely off the radar since the 2011 release of her award-winning album “Metals” and since the album’s subsequent tour came to a close the end of the following year. (Fans can expect her long-awaited follow-up in April as well as her vocals on the upcoming Broken Social Scene record.)

For Nextdoor, Eliminating Racism Is No Quick Fix

Jessi Hempel, writing at Backchannel:

Tolia was dining with his communications director, Kelsey Grady, when her iPhone alerted them to the story’s publication. They read the lengthy feature together. It alleged that white Oakland residents were using the “crime and safety” category of Nextdoor to report suspicious activity about their black neighbors. “Rather than bridging gaps between neighbors, Nextdoor can become a forum for paranoid racialism — the equivalent of the nosy Neighborhood Watch appointee in a gated community,” wrote Pendarvis Harshaw.

Andrew McMahon Asks GOP to Stop Using His Music

Andrew McMahon has asked the GOP to stop using his music at their rallies:

I have done my best to keep my politics and my platform as an entertainer separate. Honestly, it’s something I struggle with daily, but I hold that line out of respect for my fans and out of disgust for the state of American politics. I believe that today’s hyper-politicized world is a serious distortion of reality. I believe that neighbors who disagree with one another have the capacity to find common ground and regularly do. I believe the politicians we elect to represent us and the diversity of our opinions and lifestyles, are failing us by not seeking that common ground. I’ve chosen to stay publicly apolitical because there are few spaces left that have not been politicized. I have immense respect for those who use their platforms to rally people to that which they believe is right and true. Still, I feel in this climate, my greatest contribution could be to remind people as they stand side by side in a live music venue that we are not as different as our televisions and our political leaders would like us to believe. With this in mind I would appreciate it if politicians and representatives of political parties would refrain from the public use of my music as KellyAnne Conway and the GOP did today at their CPAC convention. My music is about uniting people through our common experience and is not intended as hype tracks for political dog and pony shows.

Spotify Adds Original Podcasts to Their Platform

Sarah Perez, writing at TechCrunch:

Spotify is expanding its podcast selection today, with the announcement that it’s adding three new original podcast series on its service, with plans for more originals to arrive later this year. The series, which are produced in partnership with other media partners like Slate spin-off Panoply Studios, Gimlet Media, and Loudspeaker Network, aim to help further differentiate Spotify’s service from other streaming music rivals.

Okay, how do I get some of that Spotify money?

Amazon Refusing to Hand Over Data on Whether Alexa Overheard a Murder

Ars Technica:

Amazon is balking at a search warrant seeking cloud-stored data from its Alexa Voice Service. Arkansas authorities want to examine the recorded voice and transcription data as part of a murder investigation. Among other things, the Seattle company claims that the recorded data from an Amazon Echo near a murder scene is protected by the First Amendment, as are the responses from the voice assistant itself.

NASA Telescope Reveals Exoplanet Discovery

NASA:

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

If we discover life on other planets while Trump is in office, humanity will have definitely jumped the shark.