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Crimes / Music22.04.2015

The Man Who Broke the Music Business

Witt’s reporting focuses on Kali, the leader of RNS, and Dell Glover, an employee of a CD pressing plant in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Recounting 15 years of IRC chat-room history, Witt chronicles the major label leaks and hacks of piracy collectives the Scene, which initially shared single mp3s, and Rabid Neurosis, a.k.a. RNS, which was the first of these groups to traffic in full, pre-release albums.


Documentary / Videos17.04.2015

Short Film about Vice Magazine’s move to NYC in 1999

"Back in 1999, I directed a short doc of Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi moving their growing little magazine 'Vice' to New York from Old Montreal. They were fresh off a big "million dollar deal", and they were still best friends. It was for a show I made called Moving Stories', one of the first "reality shows" in Canada. It now feels like a sleepy NFB doc, which makes it all the more beautiful."


Berlin / History15.03.2015

From grotesque to quirky: a history of Berlin told through U-Bahn typography

From the ‘authentically German’ typography used by the Nazis, to the ‘boogying Octopuss’ lettering of the late 70s, the fonts of Berlin’s transport system articulate the chequered past of Germany’s capital.


Science / Technology12.03.2015

All Dressed Up For Mars Nowhere To Go

200,000 brave and/or insane people have supposedly signed up for a one-way mission to Mars. But the truth about Mars One, the company behind the effort, is much weirder (and far more worrying) than anyone has previously reported.

Sir Jonathan Ive at the Goodwood festival of speed in Chichester this year.


Jonathan Ive and the Future of Apple

I had previously asked Ive about the rounded corners and edges that have long helped distinguish an Apple product from a ThinkPad or a book. On a day when Ive was so exhausted that it seemed possible he might fall asleep while talking, he became animated when describing the "primitive" design geometry that was usual before the computer era—essentially, two straight lines joined by a fragment of a circle. He then spoke of the opportunities that now exist, if the material permits, to take a more elegant path from one line to another; he talked of tangency breaks and Bézier surfaces. When I mentioned this to Powell Jobs, she cried out, "Yes! That is such a breakthrough, I forgot about that." For each product, Jobs and Ive would discuss corners "for hours and hours." She later noted that she and Ive share a taste for Josef Frank, the Austrian-Swedish designer of rounded furniture and floral fabrics, who once announced, in a lecture, "No hard corners: humans are soft and shapes should be, too."


Games / Technology / Videos06.02.2015

Devs Play – Doom

Doom history enthusiast and Spacebase creator JP LeBreton joins id Software co-founder John Romero as the two play though the first episode of Doom, “Knee Deep in the Dead,” in its entirety. John Romero’s run through each level turns up fresh and encyclopedic insight into how this genre-defining title was designed and set the stage for first-person action games for years to come.


Arts / Misc / Science26.11.2014

Isaac Asimov Asks, “How Do People Get New Ideas?”

In 1959, I worked as a scientist at Allied Research Associates in Boston. The company was an MIT spinoff that originally focused on the effects of nuclear weapons on aircraft structures. The company received a contract with the acronym GLIPAR (Guide Line Identification Program for Antimissile Research) from the Advanced Research Projects Agency to elicit the most creative approaches possible for a ballistic missile defense system. The government recognized that no matter how much was spent on improving and expanding current technology, it would remain inadequate. They wanted us and a few other contractors to think “out of the box.” When I first became involved in the project, I suggested that Isaac Asimov, who was a good friend of mine, would be an appropriate person to participate. He expressed his willingness and came to a few meetings. He eventually decided not to continue, because he did not want to have access to any secret classified information; it would limit his freedom of expression. Before he left, however, he wrote this essay on creativity as his single formal input.


Documentary / Music / Videos25.11.2014

Ewen Spencer – Open Mic

The storied characters of the London grime scene reflect on the mythical genesis of the musical movement in a new film Open Mic, by documentary photographer Ewen Spencer. He reveals iconic footage of early battles and performances and traces the growth of the genre as it blows up – “out of the estates and into Top of the Pops” – with new interview material that looks back on the events with the benefit of retrospect.


Arts / Skate / Videos24.11.2014

Bobby Puleo – Clues About The Rest Of The World

Short film by Tobin Yelland on Bobby Puleo and his art in the spring of 2005.


Celebrities / TV10.11.2014

Jan-Michael Vincent – Der traurige Verfall des “Airwolf”-Helden

Vier "Airwolf"-Staffeln mit insgesamt 79 Episoden strahlte CBS in den 1980er-Jahren aus, die in Deutschland bei Sat.1 zu sehen waren. Vincent war so etwas wie der Brad Pitt seiner Zeit: Er war schön und erfolgreich, hatte viel Geld, er hatte Frauen. Mehr als 200.000 Dollar zahlte ihm der Sender pro Folge, so viel wie keinem anderen TV-Star damals. Doch von dem Vermögen und dem Ruhm ist nichts mehr übrig. Ein neues Video zeigt den ehemaligen Star in einem traurigen Zustand. Ein Schock für diejenigen, die seine Abenteuer einst verfolgten.


Conspiracy Theories / Internet / Media / Politics04.11.2014

Zwischen Lesern und Lobbynetzwerken – Wie die Süddeutsche Zeitung um Deutungshoheit kämpft

Die Debatte um eine zu enge Verbindung von Journalisten deutscher Leitmedien mit transatlantischen Lobbynetzwerken reißt nicht ab. Detailliert äußert sich zu den Vorwürfen nun auch der Außenpolitikchef der Süddeutschen Zeitung, Stefan Kornelius. Stimmen aus der Medienwissenschaft kritisieren seine Stellungnahme. Auch die kürzlich erfolgte Umstellung der Leserforen bei der Süddeutschen sorgt für Kritik.


Crimes / Heists28.10.2014

Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World’s Most Ingenious Thief

Gerald Daniel Blanchard is a Canadian criminal described by police as one of the most sophisticated criminal masterminds the country has ever seen, who orchestrated never seen before high tech crimes crossing 3 continents.


Internet / Pictures / Society23.10.2014

Why Kids Sext

Within an hour, the deputies realized just how common the sharing of nude pictures was at the school. “The boys kept telling us, ‘It’s nothing unusual. It happens all the time,’ ” Lowe recalls. Every time someone they were interviewing mentioned another kid who might have naked pictures on his or her phone, they had to call that kid in for an interview. After just a couple of days, the deputies had filled multiple evidence bins with phones, and they couldn’t see an end to it. Fears of a cabal got replaced by a more mundane concern: what to do with “hundreds of damned phones. I told the deputies, ‘We got to draw the line somewhere or we’re going to end up talking to every teenager in the damned county!’ ” Nor did the problem stop at the county’s borders. Several boys, in an effort to convince Lowe that they hadn’t been doing anything rare or deviant, showed him that he could type the hashtag symbol (#) into Instagram followed by the name of pretty much any nearby county and then thots, and find a similar account.


Internet / Misc / Technology13.10.2014

Amazing Military Infographics

Some nights I like to get the kids to bed, pour a drink, and search the web for military-produced PDFs in order to look at the amazing graphics within them. I’d thought I was the only person with this hobby, but a few weeks ago my friend Finn Smith told me that he, too, likes military PDF graphics. The Internet is wonderful at bringing people together.


Making-Of / Movies09.10.2014

The Making of Pulp Fiction

The first independent film to gross more than $200 million, Pulp Fiction was a shot of adrenaline to Hollywood’s heart, reviving John Travolta’s career, making stars of Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, and turning Bob and Harvey Weinstein into giants. How did Quentin Tarantino, a high-school dropout and former video-store clerk, change the face of modern cinema? Mark Seal takes the director, his producers, and his cast back in time, to 1993.


Arts / Celebrities / Interviews / Sex08.10.2014

David Choe Tells Us Why He’s Giving Away $100,000 in a Scavenger Hunt

And I say, "Why don’t you pick?" And he goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “Look through my phone, here go ahead,” and he goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “Look,” and I show him the pictures, and his eyes were the biggest they’ve ever gotten. I go, “I have hundreds of girlfriends, just pick. You want me to get married so bad, I can’t pick any of them. This one is really good at sucking dick, this one does this for me, this one sucks my dick and then makes me dinner, this one can hold a conversation, this one’s really funny. I don’t know, I can’t pick one, but you really want me to get married.” I’m like, this is crazy, I’m having a real talk with my dad. So he goes, "This is crazy," and I go, “You know what, this feels fucking good.” So since Thanksgiving, I don’t lie to my parents anymore.

Harry Redknapp sends Steve Davies on at Oxford


The day Harry Redknapp brought a fan on to play for West Ham

According to one of football's most endearing fairytales, Harry Redknapp once pulled an abusive fan from the crowd and put him on the field for West Ham. This allegedly happened in 1994, but no video and scant evidence of the incident exist. Jeff Maysh chased this mystery for over a decade before finally catching up with the fan in question.


Conspiracy Theories / History / Interviews / Politics01.10.2014

10 Fascinating Articles From the CIA’s Secret Employee Magazine

In 2007, Jeffrey Scudder, a veteran information technology specialist at the Central Intelligence Agency, came across the archives of the agency's in-house magazine, Studies in Intelligence. The catch: They were classified. So Scudder filed a Freedom of Information Act request. And then things got messy. "I submitted a FOIA and it basically destroyed my entire career," he told the Washington Post.He was confronted by supervisors and accused of mishandling classified information while assembling his FOIA request. His house was raided by the FBI and his family's computers seized. Stripped of his job and his security clearance, Scudder said he agreed to retire last year after being told that if he refused, he risked losing much of his pension. Now, in response to a lawsuit filed by Scudder, the CIA has declassified and released some of the hundreds of journal articles he's requested. Nearly 250 of them have been posted on the CIA's website. Published over four decades, they offer a fascinating peek at the history of US intelligence as well as the corporate culture of "the Company."

Jorge Mendes illustration

Business / Fuppes22.09.2014

Jorge Mendes: the most powerful man in football?

The 20-year ascent of Mendes from Porto nightclub owner and friend of footballers to the beaming broker of the game’s most lucrative transfers has tracked the sport’s pay-TV-fuelled inflation itself, and Portugal’s status as a habitual exporter of players. Mendes built his name and the operation of his company, Gestifute, on attaining a remarkable dominance over the deals done by Portugal’s top three clubs, and he took several of these players on multi-million pound moves to England and Spain. There he has extended his influence, particularly after his client, José Mourinho, made the journey himself from Porto after 2004, to sign as the manager at Chelsea, then Internazionale and Real Madrid, now Chelsea again.



How Gangs Took Over Prisons

“How can you tell what type of cellphone an inmate uses,” he asked, “based on what’s in his cell?” He let me think for about two seconds before cheerily giving me the answer: you examine the bar of soap on the prisoner’s sink. The safest place for an inmate to store anything is in his rectum, and to keep the orifice supple and sized for the (contraband) phone, inmates have been known to whittle their bars of soap and tuck them away as a placeholder while their phones are in use. So a short and stubby bar means a durable old dumbphone; broad and flat means a BlackBerry or an iPhone.



Nass und Gewalt: Das Columbiabad in Berlin-Neukölln

Einmal kamen zwei Jungs und baten darum, dass ihr vermisster Bruder ausgerufen wird. Der Name sei Anikemek Yasharmuta. Also meldeten sie vom Bademeisterturm aus den Namen über die Lautsprecher. Und wunderten sich, dass Tumulte ausbrachen. Frauen starrten sie entsetzt an. Männer kamen angerannt, drohten, außer sich. Kinder lachten hysterisch. Wenn man ihn sehr diplomatisch übersetzt, bedeutet der arabische Satz »Anik emek ya sharmuta«: Ich werde Geschlechtsverkehr mit deiner Mutter haben, du Sohn einer Prostituierten. Die zwei Jungs waren längst abgehauen. Okay. Verstanden. Eins zu null. Es gibt Tage, da gewinnen die, sagt Sven.



“Aint Nothing Shine Brighter Than That Bad Boy” – The Inside Story of Hip-Hop’s Most Notorious Label

The first album released by Bad Boy Entertainment was the Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die, an instant classic and possibly the most influential rap record ever made. For Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, the label's founder, it was the first in a remarkable streak of commercial hits: twenty-one straight gold- or platinum-selling albums, including Puff's own Grammy-winning debut, No Way Out, plus home-grown artists like Faith Evans, the Lox, Mase, Total, and 112. By the mid-1990s, Bad Boy was the biggest label in pop music. This is the story of how it all began.


Interviews / Skate03.09.2014

The Andrew Reynolds Interview

I just went to a Zumiez contest in Nebraska and there were like 30 people there. People think skateboarding is bigger and there’s more money to be made off of it than there actually is. With everybody in the world wearing the Janoski shoe and how it took off… it made people say, “Wow, a pro skater’s shoe can sell like that!!?” because it had a pro skaters name on it. But his shoe just happened to be like a Chuck Taylor or something. Stefan killed it and made a good, timeless design, but it was a once in a lifetime type thing. That and some of the fashion stuff kind of led people to believe skateboarding is something that it’s not.

United Record Pressing

Business / Music30.08.2014

Nostalgia pays in Nashville as rocketing record sales make it the capital of vinyl

"This is the mother, the metal mother," says Jay Millar, examining a brilliant silver disc on the machine floor of United Record Pressing in downtown Nashville. "And the mother is where it all starts."