Thought Experiments

This Plugin Lets You, Not Facebook, Decide How Your News Feed Makes You Feel

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A couple weeks ago Facebook came clean: it wasn’t just your ex and the photos of him and his new girlfriend that were playing with your emotions. It was an inside job. Facebook’s data scientists — or perhaps we should call them omnipotent puppeteers — had manipulated users’ feeds without their consent.

Now, after public outcry and a lackluster apology from Sheryl Sandberg, Brooklyn artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy is helping us reclaim our feelings. Her latest experiment is called the Facebook Mood Manipulator, a Google Chrome extension that allows users to adjust the content of their news feeds according to how they want to feel. Read More

Facebook Faceplant

Sheryl Sandberg Offers Meh Apology For Creepy Facebook Study

"Haha lol whoops sry!!!" (Getty)

Sheryl Sandberg has churned out a lackluster apology for that weird psychological study Facebook secretly conducted on its users, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Delivered yesterday on a trip to New Delhi, the COO’s apology marked the first public statement by a Facebook executive in response to the study, which sought to determine whether data scientists could manipulate the emotions of 700,000 of the social media site’s users (answer: not really). Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Wage Fixing Scandal: Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe Pay $324 Million In Damages

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After the tech crash of the early 2000’s, major tech CEO’s started sending each other emails saying, ‘Hey, why don’t we try not to poach each other’s employees? It could keep salaries from going through the roof.’ Some, including Steve Jobs himself, would call that a gentleman’s agreement. The Department of Justice, however, calls it collusion, and now some of the biggest names in tech history are paying up.

Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for $324 million, Reuters is reporting. About 64,000 tech workers sought a combined $3 billion in damages, and while the settlement is technically a victory, it comes out to roughly $5,000 per employee — a far cry from the roughly $47,000 each that they wanted. Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Sheryl Sandberg to Release ‘Lean In For Graduates’ For The Hannah Horvath in Your Life

(Photo: Girls Wikia)

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Succeed sold 1.5 million copies worldwide, and she’s now retooling it for recent college graduates, USA Today reports. The new addition will include a letter from the author and “six new chapters from experts.”

If Ms. Sandberg needs any help coming up with ideas, she should look no further than HBO’s Girls, which provides myriad examples of what not to do right after you’ve graduated, if you’re the type who wants or needs an actual career. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Jennifer Lawrence Does Silicon Valley and Another Techie Competes for Nerdiest Nuptials Ever

Okay, it also has to be a myth that J. Law actually enjoyed wearing these (Screengrab: Instagram)

The Promo Games Your pretend best friend Jennifer Lawrence embraced her not-so-hidden geeky side this week, plugging her new movie all over Silicon Valley and stopping by Facebook, Yahoo and Google.

She rapped with Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook HQ and posed for a photo. Then, at Marissa Mayer’s palace of purple, Ms. Lawrence promoted Hunger Games: Catching Fire by chatting about Oscar dresses, Katniss’s wardrobe, and her new Kate Gosselin-esque pixie cut. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Kim Kardashian and Kevin Systrom Chill in the Dark and Sheryl Sandberg’s $11M Bunker

(Photo: Instagram)

Cooling with Kim This past weekend saw an unprecedented (but totally welcome) spike in news stories pertaining to both Instagram and the Kardashian Krew, much to our delight. Saturday night, Kim Instagrammed a candid-looking-but-probably-posed selfie of herself and Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom, captioned “Chilling with the creator of Instagram @kevin.” Are the two BFFs now?

More importantly: Second to grandma’s talkshow Kris, the photo-sharing service was one of the first places an official photo of baby Nori was distributed. Take that, Anna Wintour.

Anyway, the pair look like they’re in a closet playing a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Hermione Way’s Vibrator Gets $, Jay-Z Visits Facebook and Free Pineapples From Gary Vee

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Game of Groans Photos from Sean Parker’s Big Sur wedding bash have finally hit the Internet, and they reveal an orgiastic confluence of fur, velvet, coattails, middle-parts and castoff costumes from A Knight’s Tale. Famous people and tech luminaries were abundant, but Mark Zuckerberg declined to attend, VF reports. He probably realized in advance that photos of him dressed as Read More

Girls Night

Lean In Circles Are the Oprah’s Book Clubs of 2013

(Photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Remember in the early 2000s when Oprah popularized the Book Club among suburban matriarchs everywhere? Taking a cue from the media queen, your mom and her friends met monthly to laugh, cry, Eat, Pray, Love, and down Pinot Grigio.

If women sought escapism from their hectic lives through reading and meeting with friends at the turn of the millennium, it seems that this decade, they’re following Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s lead, seeking to buckle down and make office life work for them, if this Slate column is any indication. Read More