As 2011 came to a close, we looked back at our most popular posts. But this year, we’re a little older (a mature year and nine months!), a lot wiser, and thought we’d try something a little different. Thank you for reading!
Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me) In which our intrepid reporter sneaks into Citi Field in drag.
Faith, Hope, and Singularity: Entering the Matrix with New York’s Futurist Set It’s the end of the world as we know it, and they feel fine.
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Israel and Hamas may have agreed to cease hostilities on “land sea and air” but that may not stop the cyberwar. On Wednesday the ZCompany Hacking Crew (ZHC) hacked apart the online life of Israel’s Vice Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom. ZHC took over Mr. Shalom’s Facebook, Twitter account, his blog–just about everything. ZHC tweeted that their control was almost total:
Actually, being in the billion dollar startup club kind of sucks. [New York Times]
Any person with children who purchases a computer in the U.K. will be forced to apply anti-porn safety controls to it, because there’s absolutely no way kids who want to look at porn will be able to get around that. [Daily Mail]
Cisco balls so hard they just dished out $1.2 billion in cash for Meraki, a wifi startup. [TechCrunch]
How did nerds impact the election? Turns out 30,000 Redditors registered to vote after President Obama linked to a voter registration page in his AMA. [The Atlantic]
According to U.S. search results, Americans care more about Twinkies than the Israel/Gaza conflict. We are all the worst. [Virtus Machina]
As part of Anonymous’s #OpIsrael, it appears the hacktivists have wiped the Bank of Jerusalem from the web. The site currently loads a mostly blank page with the message, “Couldn’t connect to the database server.” A tweet appearing to tie the site outage to Anonymous’s support of the people of the Gaza was posted on @YourAnonNews:
After announcing their intention to attack Hamas on Twitter, the Israeli Defense Force began military operations in Gaza yesterday. The Alqassam Brigades, Hamas’s military arm, also has a Twitter account, and the two have been engaging in a sparring match on the platform that elevates typically meaningless Twitter tiffs into the stuff of WWIII nightmares.
Aside from updating their followers on the death toll and the status of military strikes, both accounts have tweeted photos of children (warning: both links are graphic) injured or killed in the conflict. The IDF is letting no social media channel go untouched. They’ve been uploading photos of their operations to Flickr and Pinterest and publishing status updates to their official Facebook page. They also just started a Tumblr account that is littered with pro-Israel propaganda, including a photo showing a cartoon of an Israeli family in the crosshairs of a Hamas target with the message “Israeli civilians are Hamas’s target.”
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Yesterday, the Israeli Defense Force announced on Twitter it would begin military operations on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip. Though social media has long been used as a tool of dissent that can help foment revolution, declaring war on Twitter is a first, and it’s a move that raises serious questions about war and propaganda in the age of the internet. Now Anonymous, the loose collective of hacktivists, has set its sights on the IDF, launching #OPIsrael in response to the country’s decision to shut down internet service in Gaza.
In what is surely a weird moment for Twitter, bastion of cat-fights between tech bloggers and hashtag memes entirely devoted to stupid crap people do when they drink, Israel’s Defense Forces today announced a major operation against Hamas. As Fast Company noted, this “was the first confirmation made to the media of an official military campaign” via Twitter.
The IDF’s announcement is serious business. The tweets speak for themselves: