The New York Times

  1. Weird

    This Video of a New York City Window Cleaner Is Equal Parts Stressful and Fascinating [Video]

    Window cleaners (they don’t like the term “window washer”) aren’t just the random guys who get saved in the first act of every superhero movie. Some of them do their jobs because they love it — like Brent Weingard, who’s been in the business for 35 years and who was interviewed by The New York [...]

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  2. Science

    Elon Musk and New York Times Duke It Out Over Tesla Supercharger Evaluation

    In case you weren't already aware, Tesla Motors' Elon Musk and The New York Times' John M. Broder have been involved in something of a brouhaha ever since Broder published a rather damning evaluation of Tesla's Supercharger network, and therefore their Model S electric vehicles, on the East Coast last Friday. Essentially, Musk and Tesla contend that Broder essentially sabotaged his own review, and Broder argues that everything he did during the review was justified. Musk has since come forward with a whole mess of data on the trip, but the reality of the situation is still rather murky.

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  3. Tech

    New Software Looks to Predict the Future From Newspaper Headlines

    Software that predicts the news of tomorrow by analyzing the headlines of yesterday sounds like the plot of a Nicolas Cage movie, but it's really happening. Researchers at Microsoft and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a system that predicts outbreaks of disease and violence by analyzing newspaper headlines. The system was tested on over two decades of New York Times archives, and accurately predicted outcomes 70 to 90 percent of the time.

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  4. Weird

    Head in Sand: China Blocks The New York Times Over Article Critical of Leadership

    China's fairly notorious for the stranglehold they keep on their country's ability to browse the Internet. Censorship, in general, is the name of the game, and they apply it liberally. It should come as no surprise then that China's gone and blocked the New York Times over an article critical of Wen Jiabao, their prime minister, and his family. Seems that his relatives have become "mysteriously" wealthy since Mr. Wen's rise to power, and China's not a fan of anyone that points it out.

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  5. Tech

    NYTimes Paywall Goes Up at 2PM Today

    The New York Times' paid subscription scheme is scheduled to go live today at 2 p.m. ET, and to ease the transition the Times is offering initial steep discounts on all tiers of its service. Originally announced 11 days ago, the service has been operational in Canada since March 17 as sort of a beta test for the global launch which begins today. For complete access to the Times' digital content, users will have to pay for access at four-week intervals. The system is also tiered, granting access to web browsers at all levels, smartphones on the $15 tier, tablets on the $20 tier, and a $35 all-access level. Perhaps in an effort to ease the transition, or build up a paying user-base, the New York Times is offering all levels of the service for $0.99 for four weeks of use. At the top-level all-access tier, this would save the user $34. For those that need a refresher, the new pay wall will limit non-paying users to 20 articles per month, a limited number of free discoveries through search engines, and an unlimited number of articles which are tweeted or emailed. Current smartphone and tablet app users will continue to have access to the Top Stories tab. So, for all you freeloaders out there, enjoy these last few hours of unfettered access and get ready to start rationing your 20 articles. (Yes, there are plenty of well-documented ways to get around the paywall, but you are a person of honor, right?) (NYTimes via Mashable)

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  6. Weird

    Lost Wallet Returned After 40 Years

    Rudolph R. Resta, 77, lost his wallet way back in 1971 at the old lair of The New York Times. Luckily for Triple R (as he'd be known if he were ever to enter a cage match), current building (now known as the Times Square Building) security guard José Cisneros found the wallet when he explored a void between an unused window and the masonry seal behind it. The wallet still contained identification, which is how it was linked back to Resta. The wallet contained old pictures of his sons, wife, credit card, business cards, and even a eulogy for Robert F. Kennedy. Check out more pictures of the wallet's contents over at The New York Times.

    (The New York Times via Laughing Squid)

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  7. Tech

    Google Tests Cars That Drive Themselves: Not Content to Just Give Directions Any More

    The reveal, yesterday, that Google has been secretly testing autonomous cars brings an immediate vision of a world where cars are lighter (because they get in less accidents), consume less gas, can be summoned to your location without the need to find a local parking space; where freight trucks are empty of human life, cities are less congested, nobody drives drunk, and you can text behind the wheel to your heart's content. Unfortunately, even optimistic estimates expect that the technology will be ready for the regular market no earlier than 2019 or so. And that's without factoring in the legal ramifications of autonomous driving.

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  8. Tech

    Neal Stephenson Launches Own Futuristic Startup: Uncrackable Internet Currency Far Behind?

    It's hard to say what, if any, effect Neal Stephenson's new start up will have on the future of communication, nanotechnology, or Nazi war gold, seeing as how it doesn't really have anything to do with those things and its first project is more about the future of publishing and copyright. From The New York Times:
    The company [called Subutai], based in Seattle and San Francisco, has developed what it calls the PULP platform for creating digital novels. The core of the experience is still a text novel, but authors can add additional material like background articles, images, music, and video. There are also social features that allow readers to create their own profiles, earn badges for activity on the site or in the application, and interact with other readers.
    Their aforementioned first project launches today, a serialized novel called The Mongoliad, co-written by Stephenson, Greg Bear, and other people.

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  9. Tech

    A Reminder: Technology Doesn’t Make You Any Smarter

    This is the unfortunate experience of the American National Park Service, who say that advances in GPS and emergency technologies are great for experienced campers and hikers, but that they also give inexperienced, impulsive, or outright idiotic park visitors new and exciting ways to make nuisances of themselves. From the New York Times:
    "Because of having that electronic device, people have an expectation that they can do something stupid and be rescued,” said Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. “Every once in a while we get a call from someone who has gone to the top of a peak, the weather has turned and they are confused about how to get down and they want someone to personally escort them,” Ms. Skaggs said. “The answer is that you are up there for the night.”

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  10. Entertainment

    Facebook Movie Mostly Fake …Book

    If you're anything like us, you've watched the trailers for The Social Network, the founding-of-Facebook movie, and wondered if the beginning stages of a website's construction could possibly be as fraught with dramatic looks, musical kicks, and Real World-style explosive friendships as Columbia Pictures would like us to believe. Turns out we were right.

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  11. Entertainment

    Elton John’s Animal Farm Musical

    What is the connection between spontaneous musical numbers and Orwellian dystopia? Talking animals, it seems. The Daily Mail is reporting on Elton John and Lee Hall's attempts to adapt Animal Farm into, yes, a stage musical.
    Mr. Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for the film version of “Billy Elliot,” told The Daily Mail that it took about two years to secure the rights for the project, and that he is now “deep into it, writing songs for pigs and other four-legged friends.”

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  12. Tech

    How To Die On Facebook

    The New York Times reports on a phenomenon that is becoming more and more common as the average age of Facebook users rises: those times when an algorithm prompts you to reach out and connect with someone who is no longer alive.
    Facebook says it has been grappling with how to handle the ghosts in its machine but acknowledges that it has not found a good solution. “It’s a very sensitive topic,” said Meredith Chin, a company spokeswoman, “and, of course, seeing deceased friends pop up can be painful.” Given the site’s size, “and people passing away every day, we’re never going to be perfect at catching it,” she added.
    This phenomenon is not limited to baby boomers and older. Reading the article became quite eerie when I suddenly remembered that I also have a deceased Facebook friend. Facebook does have a method of dealing with profiles of those who have died, though it needs improving.

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  13. Weird

    Trending Terror: Mary Sue Eyes

    The combination of Anime and American teenagers has produced a number of things we might be better off without. The suffixes -chan, -hime, and the word baka used without discrimination, not to mention an extensive new genre of slash fanfiction, and now: dangerous contact lenses.

    The New York Times reports on a new trend among young girls in America: circle lenses.

    Lady Gaga’s wider-than-life eyes [from the Bad Romance video] were most likely generated by a computer, but teenagers and young women nationwide have been copying them with special contact lenses imported from Asia. Known as circle lenses, these are colored contacts — sometimes in weird shades like violet and pink — that make the eyes appear larger because they cover not just the iris, as normal lenses do, but also part of the whites.

    Some girls are wearing them every day, like "mascara or eyeliner." The problem is... they're illegal to sell in the US and many doctors think that they are harmful to the eyes. The eyes that are wearing them, we mean.

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  14. Entertainment

    Wonder Woman Gets New Costume, New Origin; We Get Angry, Resigned

    It was revealed yesterday in the New York Times, and now we've gotten the official word from The Source: Wonder Woman #600 releases today, with a new costume and a new backstory. Well, it's a new backstory in the same sense that Star Trek was a restart.  Literally.

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  15. Tech

    Today in Coffee: Free WiFi at All American Starbucks Locations Starting Next Month

    Today, at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that, beginning July 1st, Starbucks will offer free WiFi internet access in every one of its American stores.  No time limit, no registration required.

    Right now, patrons are only allowed to surf for two hours at a time, and have to have a Starbucks card in order to get access.  By this fall, Starbucks will also be rolling out The Starbucks Digital Network, offering free access to a number of for-pay-only sites to its customers.

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