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    Ones and Zeros: The Text Message Is Dying and So Is the GIF

    Written by

    Alec Liu


    Our weekly round-up of the network’s best and worst. See last week’s.

    ONE: Google launches Ingress, its alternate reality game

    Sounds like the perfect companion for Google Glass. Take a look:

    ONE: You will not go to space today

    Our Tumblr of the week, inspired by Wednesday’s xkcd comic.

    ZERO: Secrecy’s so dead even the head of the CIA isn’t safe from snooping

    ONE: How to anonymize your email

    You know, just in case.

    ONE: Aaaand… some spy gear to out the Petraeus in your life

    Because these things go both ways.

    ZERO: Israel live-tweets its war effort


    Through the IDF twitter account, witness war propoganda in real-time.

    ONE: WordPress will now accept BitCoin as payment

    Since PayPal blocks access from over 60 countries. Credit card companies aren’t much better. “Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control,” the company wrote on its blog. “Our goal is to enable people, not block them.” Of course, this would require people to actually use BitCoin.

    ONE: Text messaging is on the decline for the first time

    Thanks to programs like WhatsApp, iMessage and let’s not forget BBM. It’s about time really. The whole text messaging thing has always been the cellular cartel’s biggest swindle. Ten cents to transfer a few bytes of data? Really guys? Texting still makes up a big portion of their revenues, but the carriers aren’t worried. They always find new ways.

    ONE: Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year: GIF

    Beating out contenders like YOLO, Super PAC and Higgs Boson.

    ZERO: Then why is the GIF dying?

    But that chart is misleading since we only care about the ones of the animated variety.

    ONE: The British word of the year

    Is omnishambles, which refers to a situation which is seen as shambolic from all possible perspectives (how awesome is that?). In case you wanted to be trendy.

    ONE: Soon, your fast food burger will be made by robots

    Not only is it cheaper, robots make better burgers. “Right now you’re limited by what a 16- or 18-year-old fry cook can do,” says Helen Zelman, the founder of hardware incubator Lemnos Labs. “Robots can perform more complex tasks. You could think about making Five Guys burgers at McDonald’s prices or even higher-quality burgers at Five Guys prices.”

    ONE: DIY rollercoasters

    ZERO: The 6 strikes anti-piracy system kicks off this month

    That means ISPs like Verizon will start throttling repeat copyright offenders and last night was the final opportunity for Internet users to have their say. “Just like SOPA/PIPA, enforcement targets will be arbitralily selected by the content owners, but unlike SOPA/PIPA there will be no appeal via the courts – only to an arbitration firm hired by the program,” writes Joly of the Internet Society.

    ONE: Ben Affleck’s fave Ted talks = Good Hollywood Synergy

    He even gives us his notes on each, like this, the JJ Abrams talk above: “JJ traces his love for the unseen mystery back to its magical beginnings.”

    ZERO: Apple had to pay $21 million for this stolen clock design

    Karmic justice? Meanwhile, Samsung refuses to back down.

    ONE: why MTV doesn’t play music videos anymore

    ONE: This is what 100,000 stars looks like

    Google’s stunning new browser app lets you explore the closest 100,000 stars to the sun.