This category contains 12 posts

When Good Means Failing: Resisting Corporate Satisfaction Surveys

This morning before checking out of our hotel, I noticed a letter on the desk in the room. The letter, written by the local hotel’s General Manager, mentioned that we might be receiving a satisfaction survey from corporate Best Western by email within a few weeks. The letter encouraged us to be sure and be … Continue reading

Gold, DVDs, Surveillance Cameras and Meat: Supplies for the End Times

Anti-Cheating Posters on Chinese University Campus

A few days ago I just happened to be visiting a university campus in the outskirts of Shanghai during the beginning of finals week. Along one wall in the lobby of the teaching building I noted a number of very interesting posters discouraging cheating on tests. Done in different styles they all had a singular … Continue reading

Museum Fatigue Reads, April 12, 2014

香港將於33年後毀滅 Hong Kong will be destroyed after 33 years Tiananmen Conference 2014: Keeping the Memory Alive at Harvard Say Goodbye to ‘Peaceful Unification’           Medicinal Soft Drinks and Coca-Cola Fiends: The Toxic History of Soda Pop Jail House Recipes: Prison Cuizine Jennifer 8 Lee: The Hunt For General Tso   Ephemera: Ethics … Continue reading

Facebook’s Tiers of Selling Your Information

“If you aren’t paying for the product, you’re the product” never really made much concrete sense until this morning. The folks over at Boing Boing posted an image from @TheBakeryLDN illustrating what companies know when customers login to their services via Facebook. I suppose much of this could be expected, I posted about the increasingly … Continue reading

Surveillance Graffiti

What Weibo Wipes: A Collection of Censored Images

Sometime this last week a colleague shared a link to a very interesting collection of images erased from the Weibo microblogging website (“China’s Twitter”). The collection is being made by ProPublica and also includes some very interesting related articles about online censorship in China, such as “How to Get Censored on China’s Twitter.” I saved the link … Continue reading

Beijing Sunset

Thanks to high levels of pollution in the air, today Beijing “enjoyed” a sunset that lasted much of the afternoon. Driving home sometime around 4pm, making our way through the clogged streets in the thick pollution, I couldn’t help imagine that I wasn’t in the present but in a not too distant post-apocalyptic future of … Continue reading

Mystery Object #10: Brass Private Property Sign

Last week, while walking on the sidewalk up the street toward Market Square in Pittsburg, PA, I noticed a small brass plaque mounted in the brick sidewalk at the edge of the street at the corner of Forbes Ave and Delray Street. It simply said, PRIVATE PROPERTY. The brass and brick made the simple message—about the size of … Continue reading

The Facebook Database Must Be Fed

Most people around at the dawn of the public Internet might remember the brief period when important webpage addresses circulated by word of mouth, in emails among friends, and were even published in books. Back in 1994, for example, I remember buying a telephone book-sized tome hundreds of pages thick, packed with URLs broken down by type. I’d look in the … Continue reading


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