Study Links Craigslist Personal Ads to Increase in New HIV Cases

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Shutterstock.com

A new University of Minnesota study that was published in MIS Quarterly links the introduction of Craigslist personal ads to a “15.9 percent increase in reported HIV cases. When mapped at the national level, more than 6,000 HIV cases annually and treatment costs estimated between $62 million and $65.3 million can be linked to the popular website, the authors state.” More from hivplusmag.com:

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The Worst Ways to Choose a Computer Password

My son Jake came home from college this weekend to watch the Super Bowl with us — I think because he likes my guacamole. The night before the big game, he and I and my husband got to talking about computer passwords. Jake’s a computer science major, and he announced that the best way to choose a password is to pick any three random words out of the dictionary and string them together. (He said this proved it, which it well might, if I understood it.) I announced that that was stupid, because how would you ever remember three random words?

I grew up in the days when you only had to remember two things in life: your street address and your seven-digit phone number (and the first two numbers of that were actually letters). There was no such thing as identity theft, except on The Fugitive. Now I’m expected to memorize — and keep straight — dozens of different passwords that online gatekeepers to my bank, my work email, my home email, my Twitter account, my Amazon one-click account, my primary-care physician’s health portal, etc., etc., etc., decree must be between seven and 10 characters, or must be at least 11 characters, or can be no more than five characters, or must contain at least two letters or can contain no letters or must be all lower-case or must include at least one upper-case letter and the name of one living ex-president. Read more »

Why Do Trolls Especially Hate Women?

If you’re a reasonably well-adjusted person, you probably don’t spend much time in the comments sections of local news stories — maybe not any time at all.

Before we start, here’s a brief recap of what you’re “missing” from most outlets: racist jab, misogynistic non sequitur, left-field Obama rant, casual grumping that suddenly seems cute by comparison.

Citified, for one, is attempting to keep the conversation civil. Philly Mag’s just-unveiled urban affairs channel will strictly moderate the comments on all posts, weeding out not only the obviously hateful, but the garden-variety dumb and unhelpful as well.

I don’t envy whoever is tasked with sorting through that noise, and I can only hope that a morale-boosting desk puppy was part of the deal. But I’m pretty excited for the new approach — especially for someone who doesn’t, as a rule, read the comments.

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ESPN Unbundles from Cable. Can Comcast Compete?

One thing that’s kept cable from going the way of the music industry in recent years, observers agree, is this: Hulu, Netflix, and other mainstream video streaming services don’t do live sports. People will pay for live sports, which is why the networks pay huge fees to pro and college sports leagues for the rights to air those games.

Now everything is changing. The Washington Post reports:

In a partnership with Dish, 12 major cable stations including the Food Network, CNN and, crucially, ESPN, will now stream their programs on a $20-per-month service called Sling TV. This is big news for many rabid sports fans who pay as much as $90 per month for a bunch of cable stations when all they really want is ESPN. They will now be able to watch sports on anything from an iPad to a smartphone — without paying cable companies such as Comcast and Verizon FIOS for television service.

How’s Comcast going to compete? Three quick thoughts:
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Pa. Supreme Court Cancels Justice McCaffery’s State-Provided Internet, Takes His Computers

There’s a lot about the temporary removal of Justice Seamus McCaffery from the court that almost makes you want to send pornographic emails at work. He’s forbidden to work and he still gets paid? That’s the American dream! Can everyone get that deal just by sending pornographic emails?

But not everything’s great for McCaffery in this deal. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has canceled McCaffery’s state-provided Internet at his home and ordered him to turn in his state-issued computers. Not having computers or Internet in Northeast Philly basically means you live in the late ’80s.

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10 Commenter Tropes That Should Get You Banned From the Internet

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If it were up to me, we’d just call it a failed experiment, like New Coke or Lindsay Lohan’s music career. We tried it. It went off the rails. And now we’re done.

But alas, with every day that passes, the comment sections of news websites persist. The argument in their defense is that they increase engagement and give readers an opportunity to have their voices be heard. Not for nothing, they also keep people coming back to the website, which is great for pageviews and thus, great for advertising which the journalism industry desperately needs to survive as the economics of the news business evolve.

So what’s the problem?

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Philly’s Google Zeitgeist: Here’s What We Searched for Every Single Day of 2013

Google Zeitgeist Philadelphia

We are about to be inundated by 2013 Year-in-Review videos, articles, blogs, cable shows and radio marathons. The most interesting review is already out – yours. Every year, Google puts out a list of the top searched names, places and things of the year gone by. It is like the American Idol of Year-in-Reviews because you vote by your searches on the most important events of the year.

This year death, devices and the Harlem Shake dominate the Google Zeitgeist. Here are the national top 10 searches of the year:

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