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May-June 2017

The terrible, awful, no-good internet

The web was supposed to improve our lives. The best of it has yet to come

Tyler Hellard@poploser

Two years ago, some friends and I started our own private chat room on a service called Slack to talk about baseball. We did it because our non-baseball-loving friends on Twitter were tired of us yammering about bat flips and Moneyball and Troy Tulowitzki. I can’t overstate how well used this chat room is. We are […] More »

Friday FTW: Hacker group Anonymous declares war on Hunter Moore

Sara Harowitz

  In my most recent WTF Wednesday, I wrote about the atrocities of the infamous sex troll Hunter Moore. Then yesterday, hacker group Anonymous gave the “revenge porn” lover a taste of his own medicine, inspiring a Friday FTW. But first, let me back up. Over the weekend, Anonymous launched a public war on Moore, saying […] More »
January-February 2012

Online freedom will depend on deeper forms of web literacy

Navneet Alang

Recently, Google ruined my life. I may be exaggerating slightly, given that all they did was redesign and tweak Google Reader, one of their many services that I use daily and for which I pay nothing. But Reader, an admittedly niche product that lets you read articles from many websites in one place, has become […] More »
September-October 2011

Interview: Nieman fellow David Skok on Canadian journalism’s digital future

Paul McLaughlinWebsite@paulmcl

David Skok, the managing editor of GlobalNews.ca, checked into Harvard University in September to begin a one-year Nieman Fellowship. The 33-year-old is the first Canadian digital journalist to receive the prestigious award. He’ll be studying “how to sustain Canadian journalism’s distinct presence in a world of stateless news organizations.” He spoke with This two weeks […] More »

After Vancouver’s riots, how to tame social media mob justice

Navneet AlangWebsite@navalang

After the sheer surprise of Vancouver’s Stanley Cup riots had dissipated, Canadian commentators tried to figure out what it all meant. Most beat their usual political drums—months later we’re blaming the pinko anarchists, capitalist pigs, and beer companies for making their products so darn tasty and portable. But this being 2011, many who broke windows […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Christina Palassio on book futurist Hugh McGuire

Christina PalassioWebsite

Imagine Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness read by a woman with a girlish, high-pitched voice. How would it affect your interpretation of the text? What elements of the story would be heightened, and which ones muted? What effect can a reader have on a text? These are a few of the questions that arise when […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Navneet Alang on blogger-of-the-future Tim Maly

Navneet AlangWebsite

Tim Maly seems like he might be from the future. Since 2007, Maly has, like so many others, written a blog on subjects he cares about. His is called Quiet Babylon, where he writes about technology, architecture and urban spaces. But in 2010, Maly made the brave and unusual decision to quit his regular job, […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Mason Wright on Susanna Haas Lyons

Mason WrightWebsite

They’re called social media for a reason, but for activists like Susanna Haas Lyons, tools such as Facebook and Twitter have much more to offer than funny cat videos and photos of your baby niece. “People spend an average of 14 minutes a day on Facebook,” says Vancouver-based Haas Lyons, a 33-year-old public engagement consultant […] More »
March-April 2011

On the internet, you’re not a citizen—you’re a consumer

Graham F. Scott@navalang

The United States’ decision to invade Afghanistan soon after 9/11 was misguided for many reasons, but one was purely practical: Al Qaeda is a stateless, decentralized network scattered across the globe. The spectral, international scope of the problem was no secret—so why wage a conventional war on one country? It was as if an outmoded […] More »
November-December 2010

In the fight for readers, the most beautiful books survive

Christina PalassioWebsite

In the last year, U.S. publisher New Directions released two irresistible books: Nox: An Epitaph for my Brother, by Canadian poet and classicist Anne Carson, and Microscripts, by Swiss modernist writer Robert Walser. They’re irresistible by virtue of their content, of course, but also their presentation: Nox is a striking accordion of a book, made […] More »
November-December 2010

On a borderless internet, how will we nurture Canadian content?

Navneet AlangWebsite

In 1999, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission took a hard look at the then-burgeoning internet. They then did what many Canadians would consider a very un-CRTC-like thing: they decided not to regulate it. That may come as something of a surprise, as we tend to think that if the CRTC has a thing, it’s […] More »