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Debauchery and Strangeness on the Internet

We've had a wild week on the internet. This one's all about love, loss, and some very weird discoveries and creations. I really enjoy every single article in this one. Let's dig in!


heh... social... engineering. []

Ashley Madison Code Shows More Women, and More Bots

Apparently the engineers at Ashley Madison spent most of their time engineering chat bots that would automatically talk to men, encourage them to spend money, and even considered doing an affiliate-based prostitution program where women would get paid a certain percentage of the amount that a man spent to sleep with them. Did I mention that the CEO stepped down?

automated romance []

Automating Tinder with Eigenfaces

Guy uses facial profiling software to get his dates. The weirdest thing is that the girls didn't think it was all that weird - though one straight up didn't believe him. He also open-sourced this software, so you could use it, yourself! (I was frankly kind of surprised that Tinder allows you to use their API in this way, but it has some cool results.)

you too can become a part of skynet []

This Social Network Turns Your Personality Into an Immortal Artificial Intelligence

This social network analyzes your posts and behavior in order to turn you into an “AI”. Frankly, I don't know how I feel about knowingly giving away all my data - I prefer to give away my data by ignoring terms of service and privacy policy documents on Facebook and Google.

the dark spectacle []

The Internet Won't Let Us Look Away From Murder

A somber piece. A quote will suffice: “Right now, gunshots reverberate through cables, fiber, airwaves. A killer performs a spectacle for an audience captive to its own hunger and disgust. The image of the world through his eyes replicates itself endlessly. Information, regardless of its provenance or moral valence, wants to be free.”

Strange Creations

god types through his fingers []

God's Lonely Programmer

An absolutely fascinating and compelling look into the life of a schizophrenic programmer who believes God has told him to create a holy operating system called TempleOS. His creation is magnificent and it's amazing what he's done as a lone person, but simultaneously sad and ponderous.

retro glitch []

Old Sierra adventure games transformed into lovely glitch screens

I'm a sucker for a good Twitter bot. This one introduces generative glitches into old Sierra adventure games, including the likes of Kings Quest, Space Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry (see the debauchery tie in?).

machine learning art []

Deep Neural Network Learns Van Gogh's Art

This is awesome. Taking the work done with Deep Dream and applying it to artistic styles--and of course, there's already the code as a service. I still don't think this will replace artists until we figure out how to have robots create compositions, and even then until we figure out how to have robots infer and imply meaning in a sophisticated way.

Glitchet Community Feature

Glitchet Community: Deaf Girl's Glitchy Music Recs

Nico / Deaf Girl was nice enough to put together another mix of songs for me to share with you this week. I picked some of my favorites.

  • 'Courtship Dating (redHat Remix)' by Crystal Castles - Super crunchy, lots of staticky percussion and breakbeat. You'll enjoy it if you like the noise.
  • 'Glitch' by Disasterpeace - I really like this one. This comes from the Fez game soundtrack and combines a whole lot of different disparate sound effects into a weird, disjointed, ghostly track.
  • 'The Strokes 8-Bit Medley' by Dhruv Shankar - A fun 8-bit medley of popular songs by The Strokes.
  • 'data corruption symphony' by sakuraburst - This one is probably my favorite. If you're a Windows user it will mess with you. Manages to use some really interesting source sounds while being both noisy and really beautiful. Oh, and then it drops the bass pretty hard.

    Thanks for sharing, Nico! Some fantastic tracks in here.

The Weird World

pop! []

Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble . . . and What Could Burst It?

A fascinating long read into Silicon Valley's absurdly wealthy, debauched culture that shivers in front of the spectre of a bubble. Are we in a bubble? Many people hope so.

repurposed urban living []

The Offbeat Afterlife of Osaka's Abandoned Stadium

This is a cool glimpse of a repurposed stadium. That's about it. Man, it's so future.

the zen of making billions of dollars []

How Steve Jobs Drew on Myth to Build the Cult of Apple

This is mostly a promotion for a Steve Jobs documentary but it does some justice to Steve Jobs' character and his contradictions: a delicate, almost Zen-like restrained touch applied to a mass consumer product.

secrets on the internet []

Meet The Man Who Solved The Mysterious Cicada 3301 Puzzle

OK, this is just awesome. I stumbled upon this article on Google. Read this description and tell me you don't wanna read the whole thing. “Tackling the puzzle would lead Eriksson to rely on a host of skills from steganography to cryptography, to an understanding of ancient Mayan numerology and a familiarity with cyberpunk speculative fiction. As he worked his way from solving one piece of the puzzle to the next, the journey would lead him to discover that the answers lay not just in the digital domain, but in the real world: From clues left on the voicemail of a Texas telephone number to flyers taped to telephone poles in 14 cities around the world. The quest would ultimately return to the deepest layers of the digital world: the dark web.”