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15 Internet April Fools’ Jokes John Oliver Would Hate

April showers bring May flowers, or whatever, but April Fools’ brings a glut of mostly Web-based, absurdist non-humor. As John Oliver so eloquently ranted about the other day, much of April Fools’ is about being a dick, whether it’s simply wrapping your coworker’s desk in aluminum foil or, as so many Internet presences have chosen to do, setting our expectations high for new, bizarre products and then killing our dreams when corporations remind us that business is, in fact, business, and fun is rarely allowed. … Read More

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The Streets Are Teeming with Miniatures and Pac-Men: Links You Need To See

Google often bestows the tiny, uselessly amusing gifts of decorative and sometimes interactive fonts — celebrating a variety of both famous and obscure birthdays, holidays and anniversaries — upon its users. Now, the corporation is letting Pac-Man run loose on the streets of Google Maps for our very mindless entertainment. Similarly on the subject of the Internet’s gifts, here are three mashups of various Muppets performing the hip hop classics.  … Read More

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HBO Might Team with Apple to Drop Standalone Internet Service in April

Like Lord Varys, but without the scheming, the media has its little birds all over this: HBO will potentially be launching their… Read More

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Beware! The Second Coming of the Textbook Wars

It may not happen today, or tomorrow, but the coming textbook wars will be massive, if quietly so. Why? The world of educational publishing is enormous; it is much bigger than you might imagine. It dwarfs, for example, the feeble trade publishing market. At the turn of the last decade, Pearson’s educational arm alone brought in more revenue than all other publishers, with the exception of education-driven Reed Elsevier. That’s just the arm that produces textbooks and other educational material. Frankly, when we talk about publishing as a whole, what we say makes little sense unless we’re talking about textbooks and educational publishing. … Read More

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Google vs. Merriam-Webster: 2014 Was a Weird Year for Search Terms

Almighty Google, index of indexes, inventory of human life, infinitely linked panlexicon of terms, has released “A Year in Search,” its booleanized breakdown of World Thought. “In 2014,” Google says, “we searched trillions of times. What do these searches say about us?” Who is us? Maybe the Google “user” is the updated version of the mass consumer? … Read More

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What Google’s New Study Tells Us About Why People Go to the Movies

Nobody likes feeling irrelevant, and when steering people towards good movies and away from bad ones is part of how you make a living, it’s more than a little dispiriting when it seems no one’s listening. But if the grosses for Trans4mers and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 weren’t enough, now here’s this: Google conducted a study, analyzing nearly two years of search data, to determine what makes frequent moviegoers choose which movies they’ll see. As you may have guessed, the carefully composed missives of yours truly (and my critical brethren) don’t really figure into the equation. But frankly, neither do filmmakers, actors, or even word-of-mouth. No, the biggest influencer is the movie trailer (which might help explain why there’s six or seven of them before every feature nowadays). … Read More

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Everyone On the Internet Needs to Read ‘The People’s Platform': An Interview With Astra Taylor

Do you use the Internet? Then you have to read Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, one of the most important books of the year. In it, Taylor (a writer, activist, and documentarian whose films include Zizek! and Examined Life) argues that the promised utopia of online culture is built upon a lie; in reality, the amorphous mass that we call the Internet is actually a place of great inequality, where the people’s interests are in hock to corporations and billionaires who just go by different names these days, whether it’s Google, Apple, or other Silicon Valley monoliths. Taylor is a clear-eyed writer and a provocative thinker, covering the shifting grounds of how the Internet changes and affects today’s culture, from journalism to music. It makes you very wary about having a Facebook page. I had the chance to talk to her about what we can do to create a sustainable Internet culture, and whether institutions like the library can survive. … Read More

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20 of the Internet’s Best April Fools’ Day Pranks

Thanks to the limitless possibilities the Internet has given us, today’s April Fool’s jokes are a lot more sophisticated than the ones American Girl Magazine used to suggest (“Put a dime and a safety pin in a box, give it to your friend, and say you got them a diamond pin!”). Tech startups (and, of course, established companies) have become especially big players, as they have the platforms, budgets, and creative minds to make really wacky ideas come to life. Some companies go all-out, like Google, which has at least five different pranks (just in America) on its multitude of channelsOthers, like Uber and TOMS, realize they’re a match made in heaven and combine forces into something beautiful. For your entertainment — and to help you avoid falling for an embarrassing prank — here’s a roundup of the best April Fools’ jokes the Internet has to offer today. … Read More

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