The origin of a web meme may be difficult to identify; the images with funny captions and viral videos seem to pop up overnight. Watch as memes get passed from friend to friend and make up 21st-century water cooler chatter. For those that can't get enough cat lolz and YouTube laughs, check out these five popular memes that wouldn't be too difficult to bring to life this Halloween.
Ashton Kutcher has been named as Charlie Sheen's replacement on Two and a Half Men, and it was announced earlier today that Ashton will play an "Internet billionaire with a broken heart named Walden Schmidt." While these Internet tycoons may not all have broken hearts, we'd like to see Ashton draw inspiration from them for his next role.
Kickstarter, the crowd-sourced funding platform that turns creative ideas into reality, this week announced its 10,000th successfully funded project in the company's two-year history. We've spent hours exploring the projects up for support on the website. From musicians looking to record their first studio album to helping technology entrepreneurs gather cash to make a gadget prototype, surfing through the funding requests shows a glimpse into the passions of the Kickstarter community. If there is a campaign appealing to users, they can pledge various dollar amounts to help bring the ideas to life.
The graph provided by Kickstarter shows most of the successfully funded projects are music or video. Though there are many technology projects on the site, many have significantly higher budgets due to the costs of manufacturing, which may be why there are far fewer completed tech projects. The 10,000 projects raised over $75 million to fund the budding entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, designers, and writers.
Have you pledged money to any Kickstarter projects? After the break, take a look at Kickstarter's video breezing through the 10,000 funded projects.
Never one to win a round of Trivial Pursuit? A new study in Science magazine suggests you're not alone. Our culture is becoming increasingly reliant on Internet searches in lieu of old-fashioned memory.
The study led by Betsy Sparrow, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University, examined how likely people are to remember facts if they are easily available online via a Google search. Researchers had a group of college students type trivia into a computer. Half were told the statements would be saved, and the other half were told they would be erased. Those told the text would be erased were able to better recall the statement than those who thought the information was saved. Researchers argue that unless told to remember something, like when studying for a test, we are less likely to recall facts for future use, letting search engines pick up the mind's storage slack instead.
Though his memory may still be in tact, former Twitter addict John Mayer said at a recent college appearance that he quit thinking in 140 characters, because the digital platform also affected how he thought. He said: "I stopped using Twitter as an outlet and I started using Twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song."
Have you had a similar experience? Has Internet use changed the way you process information and remember facts?
June is Internet Safety Month, so for the next few weeks we'll be giving you tips and advice on how to stay safe online.
Some Internet users browse the web totally unaware of the dangers that are lurking right around the corner. I don't want to strike fear in your geeky little hearts, but the truth is — you need to know how to protect yourself from hackers and evildoers. Your first line of defense against web danger (besides common sense) is your firewall. But what exactly is a firewall? Find out below!
What is a firewall?
A firewall is a barrier between you and the Internet at large that filters information that your computer can receive. Companies usually have firewalls in place to keep certain kinds of websites, people, and information from being accessed from outside their networks, keeping sensitive info safe, and you focused on the job. Your home computer and/or modem can have a firewall built-in as well, acting as the gateway to your home network and the Internet.
Find out why you need a firewall after the jump.
Celebrities are constantly ambushed by misinterpretations, exaggerations, and misinformation, so a new website would like to come to their rescue. ICorrect allows anyone to counter rumors about themselves for $1,000 without any fact-checking.
Founded by Sir David Tang, who The New York Times calls "a businessman, socialite, and celebrity friend extraordinaire," the site had a rough start. Not only did everyone think it was a joke, but most people didn't see any potential. Because tabloids — the very organizations fueling rumors — aren't particularly interested in setting the record straight. Right now the newly launched site is scant on corrections, and nearly all are said to be plucked from Sir Tang's Rolodex. So what are they? Find out below.
Last week the New York Observer published a trend piece that concluded young New Yorkers are having less sex. A sweeping statement based on a handful of people noticing no couples pairing off at the dead end of night. From there, he hastily drew a familiar conclusion: everyone's a narcissist now. People would rather groom their online persona by posting where they're at than actually interact, but — I can assure you — nobody loves sex more than a narcissist.
Nobody knows how much sex people have without straight-up asking (and even then, who knows?), so I did the next best thing. I talked to someone who knows a lot about "young New Yorkers," their parties, and — for better or worse — their sex lives, Brooklyn-based writer Diana Vilibert. See what she thinks below.
Yesterday morning we told you about how AT&T will begin capping Internet bandwidth in May. While the company reported that this change will only affect about two percent of its user base, I'm a little concerned for those who stream a lot of movies, or have canceled cable in favor of other Internet entertainment options.
Just how much will the DSL 150GB cap get you? You might be surprised. Find out more after the jump.
Here we go, folks: AT&T has confirmed that they will be capping DSL and U-Verse high speed Internet services for its customers beginning on May 2.
You should see a notice explaining the changes arrive in your mailbox starting this week, but here's the details now: caps will begin at 150GB per month for DSL customers and 250GB for U-Verse subscribers, adding a $10 fee for every 50GB over. The good news is that AT&T will allow customers two grace periods before imposing the overage fees (meaning two months will be warnings, and you'll be charged beginning on the third month), so you'll be able to adjust your usage accordingly.
Find out why AT&T decided to instate the caps after the break.
Nobody knew what the Internet would become in the early '90s. At first, everyone thought it would function like some kind of gentleman's club, a place to go be anonymous and dirty. That's probably why Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com, snatched up sex.com first in 1994.
Yet the story behind the url is more fascinating than the site itself, which looks like nothing more than domain-squatting page: it's the most expensive url in the world. Last November, it sold for $13 million — a record — to a company called Clover Holdings, which according to Inc. is in the business of "selling remanufactured toner and inkjet cartridges."
I won't even touch that, and it's beside the point. Though Kremen lost sex.com to a conman (he was rewarded with millions in court), I suspect Match would still be the brand we all know on today's Internet — where real life and Internet life have become one — and sex.com would exist in the Internet's seedy underbelly.