Reddit’s Solution to the Stress of Moderating 2020 Is a Mindfulness App Subscription

It’s been a very hard year, for a lot of reasons. If you’re one of the thousands of unpaid moderators of Reddit, you’ve likely had to deal with misinformation, harassment, conspiracy theories, hate speech: all the stuff that makes being online an intolerable nightmare. By means of showing gratitude, the site appears to be offering an unknown number of one-year subscriptions to... mindfulness and meditation app Calm, according to a private message Gizmodo received. Read More >>

YouTuber Ends Finger on the App Competition After Contestants Last 70 Hours Trying to Win £20,000

On Friday, YouTuber Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson cut off a massive competition that saw more than 1 million players face off for a $25,000 (£20,000) prize for whoever could keep their finger attached to their phone screen the longest. After more than 70 hours and with the last four contestants showing no signs of giving up, Donaldson ditched the contest’s initial single-winner model and announced that all four would walk away with $20,000 (£16,000) each. Read More >>

Reddit Brings the Banhammer Down on r/The_Donald and 2,000 Other Subs

This weekend’s rumours were true: Reddit has swung its mighty banhammer, taking out 2,000 groups, including r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse. A few hours later, the Verge reported that Twitch temporarily banned the Donald himself, namely over video of his racist rallies, with few additional details. Read More >>

I Miss AIM

These days, there’s a million different ways to chat. Sliding into DMs, group texts, Slack channels, Facebook Messenger, encrypted messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp – you name it. But half these platforms are tied to a social network, and the rest are on your phone. Chances are, your various friend groups are scattered across a half dozen of these apps. Sure, messaging apps have come a long way in the past decade but there are some days where I find myself longing for AOL Instant Messenger. Yeah, you read it correctly. AIM. Read More >>

The Endangered Internet Archive Is Full of Treasures

The Internet Archive set out in the 1990s with an improbable mission to become the “Library of Alexandria Two”; by 2020, they’ve arguably surpassed that goal, plus delivered their collection straight to the masses. It’s the only repository where a NASA recap of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster logically coexists with a 1990 recording of the Grateful Dead live in the US state of Connecticut and a 1979 hip hop mix tape. Whether you need to settle a dispute over the origins of the Buffyverse, or you’re litigating trademark infringement, the Wayback machine’s vast archive of old webpages is admissible evidence. You can search for TV news videos by quotes. At this writing, the archive bot is quietly, surgically extracting rotten links and replacing them with Wayback pages (millions so far), and the archive is filling in over 100,000 book references with live links to pages in full texts. These are the guys who tell us to archive our shit and save it for us anyway when we don’t. Read More >>

Brits Are Spending a Quarter of the Day Online Since Lockdown, Says Ofcom

UK communications regulator Ofcom reckons Brits have been spending far more time online since lockdown, in news that has surprised absolutely nobody. Read More >>

Fibre Could be Stuffed Down Gas and Electricity Ducts to Lower Install Costs

The government's hoping to slash the cost of installing fibre across the nation, by making it easier for the broadband engineers to run cables through the access pipes and down the many and varied holes of the utility companies. Read More >>

MPs Call for Better Broadband and Free Devices for Children of Poorer Families

Children in households without decent internet access are missing out on education and are at risk of falling behind classmates, and the answer could well be emergency legislation to give their families free internet connections and the kids one or two pieces of hardware to do their schoolwork on. Read More >>

BT Has Launched ‘Dedicated Connection’ Broadband, in Case You Desperately Want Two Internet Lines

Here's some odd news that, honestly, sounds like it's come straight out of the '90s - the decade when using the internet and using the phone meant having two phone lines in your house. BT has announced something called 'dedicated connection' home broadband, and it basically amounts to having a second internet line wired into your home for... reasons. Read More >>

Apple Buying DuckDuckGo Would be a Good Thing, Because Right Now it Sucks

On an internet where everyone seems to be trying to track your browsing habits for whatever reason (usually to try and sell you stuff), there aren't many companies like DuckDuckGo. The search engine has a big focus on user privacy, while also showing the same results to everyone and avoiding filter bubbles that push people towards content an algorithm thinks they want to see. It's a noble pursuit, but it comes with the downside that DuckDuckGo is not a good search engine. It's really quite terrible, and I've personally described is as like using a version of Google from 15 years ago. Read More >>

The Best Apps for Fixing Your Wifi

Troubleshooting your wifi can be an exercise in frustration. Why aren’t you getting the speeds you promised? Why does your phone lose connection behind the fish tank? Just how much of a difference is your new mesh router making? To answer these and more questions, you need to install a wifi analyser app on your phone. Read More >>

Virgin Media is Giving Away Free 4K LG Smart TVs or £150 Off Your Bill if You Sign Up With Them

Are you willing to sign your TV and broadband service over to Virgin Media? If the answer to that question is yes, then you might as well do it now - because Virgin is giving away free some LG 4K 43-inch Smart TVs with some of its more robust (read: expensive) packages, or the option of up to £150 off future bills. Read More >>

Alexis Ohanian Is Done With Reddit

Alexis Ohanian has stepped down from his seat on the board of Reddit, the website he cofounded just shy of 15 years ago, in an apparent act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Read More >>

Publishers Mad About Ebooks Again, Sue Internet Archive Over Free Library Program

With schools and libraries closed, essential sources of education and entertainment have been cut off. That’s why, in March, the Internet Archive began digitising books and offering them for free without restrictions as part of its National Emergency Library program. The biggest publishers in the US are now suing the Internet Archive over the free ebook programme, citing copyright infringement. Read More >>

Twitter and Reddit Highlight How the Trump Administration Is Stifling Speech on the Internet

On the same day that Donald Trump signed an executive order attempting to throttle social media to defend his freedom to lie, Twitter and Reddit highlighted how the administration itself proactively, enthusiastically stifles speech online. On Thursday, the companies submitted evidence in support of a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for surveilling US visa applicants’ social media accounts. The policy, implemented in 2019 as part of the administration’s “extreme vetting” efforts, requires most applicants to register their social media identifiers, to be monitored and disseminated. Read More >>