Friday News: The Internet is down, are adult coloring books over, and the Nine Dots Prize
This Is Probably Why Half the Internet Shut Down Today [Update: It’s Getting Worse] – If you’re having trouble connecting to any number of your favorite websites (for me it’s Try the World), it may be due to an enormous denial of service attack that has affected sites from Basecamp to People to CNN to Twitter and Paypal. Check out Gizmodo for more details, including a list of websites reported to be affected:
Twitter, Spotify and Reddit, and a huge swath of other websites were down or screwed up this morning. This was happening as hackers unleashed a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on the servers of Dyn, a major DNS host. It’s probably safe to assume that the two situations are related.
Update 12:28 PM EST: Dyn says it is investigating yet another attack, causing the same massive outages experienced this morning. Based on emails from Gizmodo readers, this new wave of attacks seems to be affecting the West Coast of the United States and Europe. It’s so far unclear how the two attacks are related, but the outages are very similar. – Gizmodo
Is this a sign the adult coloring book fad has peaked? – The end of something is definitely near: NYC’s Museum of Modern Art is now selling a $3,000 box of colored pencils, designed by Karl Lagerfeld, called the KARLBOX. And there’s a waitlist. A WAITLIST for the KARLBOX. Because SERIOUSLY?!
Coloring books geared to adults have surged in popularity during the past two years, with publishers rushing out versions for every type of fan, ranging from “Harry Potter” coloring books to those featuring zombies and, yes, evil clowns. Coloring books once ranked at the top of bestseller lists, but have since been replaced with more conventional books. For most people, coloring is a relatively cheap way to relax, given that a coloring book like “Lost Ocean” by Johanna Basford sells for less than $11 on Amazon. . . .
Still, the $3,000 box of pencils may simply be part of the coloring book fad’s maturing lifecycle. After an immediate ramp-up in growth to fill demand from consumers, competitors edge into the market (witness the surge in types and variety of coloring books), with manufacturers then needing to step up their game to separate their products from the pack. As consumer interest starts to fade, the pressure can become more intense. – CBS News
Announcing the Nine Dots Prize – tackling social issues through creative thinking – If the following question – Are digital technologies making politics impossible? – makes you think groundbreaking book-length thoughts, this prize competition might be for you. Open to both published and unpublished authors, the Nine Dots Prize is basically an advance to write a book that adds to the conversation around the most important societal issues of our time.
Today sees the launch of a new prize – the Nine Dots Prize, which seeks to encourage creative thinking that tackles contemporary social issues. It is sponsored by the Kadas Prize Foundation and supported by CRASSH at the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Press. Its inaugural question, chosen by our 12-strong board, is: ‘Are digital technologies making politics impossible?’ Entrants must respond to the question in 3,000 words. The winner will receive $100,000 to support the writing up of the short response into a book to be published by Cambridge University Press. . . .
In some ways, the use of prizes as measures of esteem is understandable as they are often awarded in recognition of a long and valuable career, given to those whose mark has already been made in the field. We, however, are looking for innovative thinking, whether this comes from new voices or experienced authors. The Nine Dots Prize will be judged by our board, comprised of 12 internationally renowned scholars, thinkers and writers. Each submission will remain anonymous to the board of judges, so the winner will know they have been chosen not because of their past work or current institution but based on the strength of their ideas and their ability to communicate them effectively. – The London School of Economics and Political Science