Probing the News for This Week’s Verb

by Whitney Kimball on August 10, 2011 · 0 comments The Verb

Dis-Kinnect, One of the Winners of the Creators Project Hackathon

Hackers are bringing down Facebook, superheroes are getting real, and Marilyn Monroe made a sex tape (well- film)…which brings us to this week’s verb: probe.  Whether getting probed or doing the probing, it seems that every one from the Mona Lisa to Rupert Murdoch is taking part in probery this week.  Find out who’s been probing whom in the art world and over the internet this week:

  • Say goodbye to your loved ones: Anonymous, a cavaliere and desperado-style hacker group has scheduled its execution of Facebook for November 5, 2011.  The group, which has previously probed News Corp, the Pentagon, and released over 10,000 emails from the Iranian government, declares that we are not safe until Facebook is dead:
    “Facebook has been selling information to government agencies and giving clandestine access to information security firms so that they can spy on people from all around the world….even if you “delete” your account, all your personal info stays on Facebook and can be recovered at any time.  Changing the privacy settings to make your Facebook account more “private” is also a delusion. Facebook knows more about you than your family.”
    Now you have a legit excuse not to stay in touch with those 450 acquaintances, until they find you on Google Plus. In addition to your secret files, start printing out your friends' birthdays, phone numbers, and the handful of photos you didn't untag.
  • Not all hackers are serious.  The Creators Project hackathon, which took place last weekend, wanted to see what would happen if you put artists and hackers together, just for fun. The competition lasted three days, with exciting results.  One winner is Dis-kinect, a puppet which mimics the viewer's movements and attempts, futilely, to make music. The other, Free Fall High Score, is an app which give the user points based on the highest duration of free fall. You can watch some one’s iPhone get a high score from the High Line here.
  • While we're on hacking, the Times has announced plans to publish the definitive book probing the Murdoch and News Corp probes.  Though its motives for doing so are obvious, one might muse that they're preaching to the choir. When will people realize that it doesn't matter to the Fox News viewer that Fox News is evil?  Exactly what demographic still “reads” the news?
  • On that note, a relatively new blog called “Literally Unbelievable” charts commentary from Facebook users who literally believe the Onion to be a valid news source.
  • It turns out that the Mona Lisa has a long history of probery.  A timeline on Art Info reveals that she has been frequently probed: in addition to having been spray painted with both paint and acid, she has graced Napoleon's bedroom, and Pablo Picasso was once a suspected thief.
  • In further investigations, London's “Operation Withern” put up a Flickr album to uncover the identities of rioters and looters from this week's violence. Lesson: don't touch anything, unless you’re a hacker.
  • Oddly enough, when Marilyn Monroe gets probed, no one wants to see it.  Or at least, pay for it.  This week, the infamous Monroe sex film fetched not even the lowest expected bid at auction in Argentina. Ex-husband Joe DiMaggio tried to buy it from the FBI for $25,000 after her death, but the identity of the woman in that film is still hard to prove. More updates on sex films coming up!

 

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