Love in the Time of Algorithms

Science: Men Who Use Smiley Faces Online Get Hit On Less

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Everyone knows it’s creepy when guys use the :) smiley face flirtatiously.

We’re not exactly sure why. It’s probably the “I’m not threatening or scary, I promise” vibe. Either way, a text or email with a :) from someone you haven’t been out with yet is sure to send you running.

It turns out we aren’t in the minority. Actual, real life science (O.K., a “study” from shows that men who use :) in their profile have a 6 percent decrease in incoming messages and 12 percent fewer responses to outgoing messages. Read More

Survey Says

If You Want to Make a Dude Jealous, Just Use Emoticons

Naughty smiley. (Photo: Photobucket)

Are you an indiscriminate emoticon user, flinging coy winky faces and lusty kissy smilies at anybody who engages with you online? We’re sure you deploy emoticons all in good fun, but there’s a good chance the men in your life aren’t too happy with your obsessive use of them. In fact, they know exactly what all those emoticons mean: you’re CHEATING, aren’t you? Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Facebook Talked a Professor Into Helping Build a Better Emoticon

(Photo: screencap)

Heedlessly disregarding the bad luck of looking anything like MySpace, Facebook recently added the option of emoticons for status updates. But, according to Popular Science, the social network couldn’t simply use the same smiley faces that’ve done the Internet perfectly good for more than a decade. No, besides the old standbys you’ll have the option of expressing your feelings with a custom-designed, “compassion-research-based set of emoticons.”

Hey, we’re willing to try anything that’ll keep drama out of our News Feed. Read More


Booting Up: You Can’t Use Square to Sell Guns Any More


The crooner Bing Crosby might’ve been a total dick, but it turns out he was a pretty smart angel investor. Guess the Biebs isn’t so special, after all! [New Yorker]

“They became a virtual criminal flash mob, going from machine to machine, drawing as much money as they could, before these accounts were shut down.” Don’t look now but someone lived out your wildest ATM-related dreams. [The Verge]

If you’re going to I/O, keep your eyes peeled for all the sensors tracking air quality, noise levels and lord knows what else. [TechCrunch]

Square’s TOS was recently updated to add that you can’t sell “firearms, firearm parts or hardware, and ammunition; or… weapons and other devices designed to cause physical injury” using the service. Guess you’re gonna have to start bringing duffle bags full of cash to the gun show again. [CNN Money]

Aereo launches in Atlanta June 17. [Aereo]

This Means War

Emoticon Creator Declares Beef with Emojis: ‘I Think They Are Ugly’

Who dare call these lil cuties ugly? (Photo: I am Cal)

In a feud that will surely go down in the annals of Internet history, the so-called father of emoticons, professor Scott Fahlman, has decided to take issue with the emoticon’s livelier cousin, the emoji. And on the 30th birthday of the emoticon, no less.

Professor Fahlman is widely credited with creating the modern day smiley face emoticon. “I propose the following character sequence for joke markers: :-)”, he wrote in a 1982 email, solidifying his place in history for pounding out a few symbols on a keyboard one day. We should all be so lucky.

But now, all that fame and glory seems to have finally gone to his head. Read More