When COVID-19 hit the UK earlier this year, it quickly became clear that something needed to be done to help stem the tide of infections. There needed to be a way to track COVID cases across the population, to figure out what areas had the most infections, and to encourage those in said locations to isolate to minimise further effects.

But gettig that data was not an easy task. After all, the initial attempts to keep the virus under wraps meant it’d spread to much of the world, and the initial lacklustre government response in the UK made it worse, with millions potentially infected after the initial ‘herd immunity’ plan fell through.


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Recently, a very interesting glitch was supposedly found in Paper Mario: The Origami King. Caused by entering the springs in Shangri-Spa, the glitch would seemingly prevent the player from progressing with the game, since the relevant cutscene that usually played would not occur.

This resulted in a lot of posts about a game breaking glitch in the game, with complaints that their save file was bricked as a result of such.

However, as it turns out, this wasn’t actually the case. No, there isn’t another game breaking bug in Shangri-Spa, and you can’t ruin your save file there.

Instead, what actually happened was that their consoles got affected by Joy-Con drift, and THAT broke the game. …


As the old internet adage goes, you should never read the comments.

This is because the comments section is apparently an unmoderated cesspool of hatred and idiocy, with comments on social media sites and content sharing platforms like Facebook and YouTube supposedly being the worst of the worst.

But is this really the case? Are internet comments really that bad?

Honestly, I don’t think they are. In fact, I think comments and comment sections are some of the most unfairly maligned aspects of the entire internet, and that most of the hatred people have them is way overblown.

And I think that’s the case because people don’t realise one thing about them. One thing that makes all the difference in how the comments for an article or video turn out. …


As you know, the media is currently in decline. With newspapers losing much of their readership, broadcast news appealing mostly to older generations and online news sources struggling to make ends meet, it’s a terrible time to be a journalist or in the news business as a whole.

And there are many reasons that’s the case. There’s the obvious one regarding online competition, since everyone and their dog can become a journalist thanks to the internet. There’s the rise in tech like adblockers, which came about in response to widespread surveillance from the marketing machine. …


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In this day and age, job listing sites are a dime a dozen. From Monster to Indeed, LinkedIn to Reed, the internet is filled with places where would be job hunters can apply for the role of their dreams.

Another one of these examples is Angel.co. It’s a bit different from your typical job hunting site, since its a startup focused one that tries to put startup founders in contact with both employees and venture capitalists. It’s a huge deal in Silicon Valley, and one which is often posted about on Hacker News.

But the site also has a dark side, and it’s one that does a real disservice to its users. One which allows or even encourages companies to exploit them with impunity. …


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In recent weeks, a wave of controversies has spread through the Super Smash Bros community. In its own equivalent to the MeToo movement, it’s turned out that many pro players and community contributors have been acting very poorly behind the scenes, with stories of everything from abusive relationships to sexual assault coming to the forefront.

And this has caused many people to re evaluate common practices in the community and tournament scene. These include the practice of Smash ‘houses’ (where pro players of various ages and genders would live together to practice for tournaments), the backroom parties where underage drinking was allowed and often encouraged, or the complete lack of adult supervision throughout many of these tourneys, with younger and older players allowed to seemingly do whatever they like without organisers or parents stepping in. …


In the last few years, you’ve likely seen a fair few comments about monopolies in the tech industry, and suggestions for breaking them up. These comments usually revolve around the big FAANG companies (or at least, Google, Amazon and Facebook) and suggest the power they hold is unhealthy for society.

And they’re right. It is unhealthy, and definitely acts as a good reason to break up said companies.

But they’re not the only ones that need it, nor the most important cases. No, there are two others that are far more dangerous to the internet, businesses and society right now.

Namely, the payment processing companies, like Visa and MasterCard. …


Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of failed attempts to create alternative social media sites and platforms. From Voat to Gab, PeerTube to 8chan, the internet’s filled with ambitious projects that tried to compete with the big boys yet quickly fell by the wayside.

And it generally happens for one reason; the platforms attract the wrong audience.

Namely, all the people banned or made unwelcome on existing ones. These people tend bring over extreme left/right wing views, and create the perception the community is for others like them rather than the mainstream.

The end result is an increasingly extreme echo chamber that drives off everyone outside of it until the site is reduced to a hateful, dying ghost town. …


Throughout most of the internet’s history, creators and website owners made their money in one of two ways:

  1. Advertising, often with payments being based on how many clicks the ads got
  2. Or subscriptions, where people would sign up and pay for exclusive content

With most (especially those on platforms like YouTube) using the first.

However, in 2013, that all changed. Then, a service called Patreon launched, with the selling point being that creators could get paid by dedicated fans simply for the privilege of creating content they loved.

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It was a simple system that quickly became a huge success, and one which millions of creators have adopted since. Now, everyone from webcomic authors to YouTubers, indie game devs and writers are using Patreon to make money, with many of them using it as their number 1 source of income. …


If you’ve been around the web development community for a while, you’ve likely encountered this comic from XKCD. In said comic, aeroplane designers and construction engineers are shown boasting about the safety of their fields, while some software engineers are shown panicking when asked about voting software.

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Comic by Randall Munroe, used to illustrate the point

With the presumed message being that software engineering is less ‘professional than other fields, because we’re still unsure about the security/quality of our work, and consider normal people’s worries about it as not unfounded.

But is this really accurate or fair? Is the attitude towards voting software here really a bad thing? …

About

CM30

Gamer, writer and journalist working on Gaming Reinvented.

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