Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Google

Wednesday News: Google & Net Neutrality, Gamergate, the ‘science’ of extraordinary appeal, and extreme OKCupid date = new romcom.

Wednesday News: Google & Net Neutrality, Gamergate, the ‘science’ of extraordinary...

Google is all grown up

This is the realpolitik theory, and represents the simplest and most likely explanation. The point, which National Journal makes too, is that Google is a mature, diversified company that sits on both sides of many policy issues. The company has less interest in staking out idealist positions and, in the case of net neutrality, is rich enough to cut a “fast lane” check to whoever is demanding one.

There is, of course, an irony here in that companies like Google, and especially YouTube, might not have emerged in the first place were it not for net neutrality. But that was then and this is now. –Gigaom

By design, Gamergate is nearly impossible to define. It refers, variously, to a set of incomprehensible Benghazi-type conspiracy theories about game developers and journalists; to a fairly broad group of gamers concerned with corruption in gaming journalism; to a somewhat narrower group of gamers who believe women should be punished for having sex; and, finally, to a small group of gamers conducting organized campaigns of stalking and harassment against women.

This ambiguity is useful, because it turns any discussion of this subject into a debate over semantics. Really, though, Gamergate is exactly what it appears to be: a relatively small and very loud group of video game enthusiasts who claim that their goal is to audit ethics in the gaming-industrial complex and who are instead defined by the campaigns of criminal harassment that some of them have carried out against several women. (Whether the broader Gamergate movement is a willing or inadvertent semi-respectable front here is an interesting but ultimately irrelevant question.) None of this has stopped it from gaining traction: Earlier this month, Gamergaters compelled Intel to pull advertising from a gaming site critical of the movement, and there’s no reason to think it will stop there. –Deadspin

What Rudder and his team found was that not all averages are created equal in terms of actual romantic opportunities — greater variance means greater opportunity. Based on the data on heterosexual females, women who were rated average overall but arrived there via polarizing rankings — lots of 1’s, lots of 5’s — got exponentially more messages (“the precursor to outcomes like in-depth conversations, the exchange of contact information, and eventually in-person meetings”) than women whom most men rated a 3. –Brain Pickings

What happens when “a reclusive writer who spends hours identifying new constellations in the ceiling paint” agrees to go on an OKCupid date with “a wildly energetic university professor”? Well, if they’re two twentysomethings who share an overly robust sense of whimsy, the date turns into a spontaneous three-week trip around the world, which turns into a Salon essay and then into a big-time Hollywood movie. –New York Magazine

Thursday News: Change your Google Password NOW, Apple settlement notice to Amazon customers, RIP Graham Joyce, and Judge Judy gives away free ebook

Thursday News: Change your Google Password NOW, Apple settlement notice to...

Concerned users can use this tool (h/t Lifehacker) to check if their information was leaked. Using it, an editor at Fast Company confirmed his email address was part of the cache, but the password listed was from several years ago. (Some readers said they were uneasy about handing over their email addresses. They can also run a search replacing up to three characters with asterisks–eg. john***[email protected] instead of [email protected]–to return the number of matching results.) In addition, users can turn on two-factor authentication to add a security layer when accessing accounts from new devices. –Fast Company

Those consumers who now wish to “opt out” of the settlement (that is, not to receive payments and to retain their legal right to sue) must do so by October 31. More importantly, however, that is also the date by which requests to receive a check rather than an account credit must be submitted, otherwise settlement funds will be issued as direct credits. –Publishers Weekly

It’s really hard to describe Joyce’s books, or categorize them under one single label. His work is generally described as “dark fantasy,” but he used genre trappings to tell different kinds of stories. At the same time, his books often seemed to feature a kind of magic that’s lived in and a bit worn down, not showy or dazzling. His best stuff often deals with families, and the uncomfortable intimacy that comes with blood relatives. And the moments when private strangeness suddenly becomes public. –i09

In this book I want to have an honest conversation with women about what it really takes to get what you deserve out of life: how to define your worth and stick to it; how to find the courage to take risks–and how to build your backup plan; yow to ignore the chattering classes (and the fearmongers) and create your own destiny. –What Would Judy Say