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Love in the Time of Algorithms
After a round of public voting, a newly-discovered Thai wasp species has officially been named Ampulex dementor, inspired by the soul-sucking dementors in Harry Potter.
Dementors — for those who don’t live and breathe fictional wizardry — are hooded, flying creatures that suck victims’ souls out through their mouths, leaving them cold, lifeless shells of their former selves.
A few months ago, this Betabeat reporter jokingly created an OKCupid account on a whim with the username “ilovebitcoin” to solicit amusing messages from people who were shocked–shocked–to discover that ladies know about cryptocurrency, too. (“Think of all the randos who will want to message me!” she thought to herself one evening, feverishly pecking away on her keyboard all by her lonesome. “My life is awesome.”)
Indeed, the messages we received were oftentimes hilarious, so we’d occasionally forward them on to friends. What we didn’t realize, however, was that every time we forwarded an OKCupid email to someone, it gave that person direct access to our account–every silly message, chat and photo could be seen and even edited.
The United Nations predicts that by 2050, the Earth’s population will reach 9.6 billion. Even though we’re getting really good at force-feeding factory farmed cows—and even growing test-tube burgers—we’re still going to need a lot more meat if we’re going to want to feed ourselves. Enter Farm 432 with a solution: forget those damned cows; grow your own bugs instead.
Between 8:20 a.m. and 9 a.m., Twitter completely crashed, leaving many users devastated and distraught. We desperately cast about for answers in the bittersweet shelter of other social networks, begging our Facebook friends and our Tumblr followers for an answer to the long-lasting outage. An error page brought no relief: “Whole server runtime (in this case Ruby engine) is down and web server send raw code to client browsers,” a helpful commenter attempted to clarify, but we still had no idea what % = reason actually meant. It was a rough 40 minutes.
The service came back up a few hours ago, but Twitter hadn’t explained itself until now. So what happened? Was it a hacker attack? Olympic overload?
If you’ve got a case of the Mondays, prepare for your day to get even Mondayer. According to Engadget, a Skype bug following a June update included a bug where “instant messages have repeatedly and unintentionally been forwarded to random people in their contact lists.” Awesome!
As if it’s not already easy enough to accidentally drag the person you’re shit talking into the bubble solely dedicated to shit-talking them (like, hypothetically speaking), now your messages may accidentally be forwarded to them even without your sloppy clicking. The Internet, amiright?
Skype submitted a statement to Engadget saying that they’re aware of the bug and will be rolling out a fix in the newest issue of Skype, available for download in the next few days. In the meantime, your might want to stick to the safe haven of off the record Gchats.