Bloomberg reporter caught in a scandal for plagiarizing a Reddit post

The Reddit community has been accused of plagiarizing, pirating, and misattributing content since the site’s early days, and to be fair, a large amount of the content generated there is lifted from other sites. Some of the copyright infringement on Reddit is to be expected. You can’t make a meme without taking a photo created by someone else and making it your own by adding commentary or extremely convoluted context that somehow makes it funny (which sometimes only redditors understand).

But what about the other side of the coin? Do journalists ever take stuff written by redditors without asking and attribute the credit to themselves? According to Reddit, they do it all the time, and it’s easy to see the temptation. Pour yourself a hot cup of Joe in the morning while still in your pajamas, head over to the popular subreddits, scan the most upvoted posts for something interesting, run a quick Google search to make sure no one else has lifted it yet, and push out a boilerplate article. Reddit’s new site, Upvoted was launched two weeks ago to battle that problem. It publishes content originally posted on Reddit in a digestible, digital magazine format, without the comments, but with additional commentary and content about the original posts creator and other relevant context.

This morning, a fascinating exposé was posted in the r/journalism subreddit where a Nintendo Forums moderator tells a story about a Bloomberg journalist who took the news the OP broke in a Reddit post and repackaged it as a story, which ended up being a big runaway hit for him, with tends of thousands of news sources all crediting Bloomberg for telling the news first.

I won’t ruin the story by telling the full details here, but the most shocking part was that the Bloomberg reporter had the nerve to speak with the redditor on the phone and confirm the origin of the news, and then proceeded to publish his story without crediting his source.

It was also interesting to observe that, since this was reported in r/journalism, plenty of journalists came to the defense of the clearly unethical behavior of the Bloomberg reporter, and the few people who thought that Reddit should have been credited got downvoted by the end of the day. Fascinating stuff all around.

Source: A Bloomberg reporter lifted my reddit post, interviewed me on the phone, and passed the story off as his own

Google just bought the domain from BMW

While we’re all still processing the sheer awesomeness of Larry Page’s post announcing, I mean, Google’s lawyers have been busy securing the actual domain where the new holding company will reside, which, of course, can’t be anything other than

A few news outlets picked up on the fact that Bayerische Motoren Werke aka BMW was the current registrant of the domain, which the automaker has been using to promote it’s Alphabet car fleet service since July of 2000.  What nobody picked up on is that the domain stopped resolving exactly on August 10, 2015, approximately around the time Larry’s post got published.   See below.

alphabet yesterday on August 9

alphabet today on August 10

Did BMW’s servers collapse under the massive traffic of wannabe cybersquatters rushing to register in order to resell it to Google?  Did BMW respectfully take their site down ahead of  Continue reading Google just bought the domain from BMW

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition receives 700 applications in one week

Transportation doesn’t usually get people super excited or cause uncontrollable media storms, that is unless that transportation is based on a crazy white paper written by Elon Musk. Only a week ago SpaceX announced a pod competition (no, not a pod race, but thanks for the Jar Jar image, NBC) that would take place in 2016 on a test track soon to be built by Musk and co.

Well, yesterday SpaceX teased the press with a Vine showing some neat CG of what seems to be Hyperloop, except it’s so fast you can’t really see it, along with the announcement that 700 people have signed up for the Hyperloop pod competition. I imagine Hyperloop Forums will see an upsurge in activity now, with participants and spectators alike sharing their vision for Continue reading SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition receives 700 applications in one week

Google unveils new AdSense logo, begins AdSense branding refresh

I noticed a new icon in my Chrome tab this morning and after a brief investigation learned that the new icon represents a new Google AdSense logo.

New AdSense icon

Not sure yet how I feel about it, but it’s certainly more distinctive and modern and less generic than the old-school version. Maybe Google’s next step will be overhauling the horrific AdSense web interface and, gasp, maybe even building a competent Continue reading Google unveils new AdSense logo, begins AdSense branding refresh

Twins or Not? Microsoft keeps pushing Azure via simple viral sites

Having spent some time playing with Microsoft’s new Twins or Not tool, I’ll admit–it’s addictive.  The hilarity of the face recognition results, along with the viral nature of the app, will surely propel the new site to the top of Alexa ranks, which is exactly what happened to Microsoft’s previous app called How old am I or something of that nature.  In fact, Mat Velloso, the Microsoft developer responsible for the app, just reported via Twitter that Twins or Not has reached one million Continue reading Twins or Not? Microsoft keeps pushing Azure via simple viral sites

The Upper Peninsula of Minnesota

During a Christmas vacation binge of How I Met Your Mother (we’re already on Season 6), I couldn’t help but get distracted by Marshall’s story in the Desperation Day episode about his family spending time in the Upper Peninsula when he was a kid.  Something didn’t sit right with me as soon as I heard that story.  It’s a known fact that Marshall’s family is from Minnesota (in fact, that’s where the episode takes place), so Marshall’s story would imply that Minnesota has an upper peninsula.

Mind you, we have some family in Michigan, so I am already very familiar with one pretty famous place called the Upper Peninsula (located in Michigan, of course).   I immediately darted to a computer to search whether Minnesota has an upper Continue reading The Upper Peninsula of Minnesota

Bitcoin this, Bitcoin that

If I could have an old-fashioned American nickel for every time I heard the word “Bitcoin” in the past month, I could probably buy, well, a Bitcoin.  That’s right, the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed in 2013, and while the boat was rocked a few times, most recently when China said it would “ban” Bitcoin (lol), it’s continuing to hover just under $900, which is pure insanity, given that a kid from my middle school hacking club was trying to convince me to join him in mining Bitcoins 3  years ago.

You realize where I would be if I had followed his lead, right?   That’s right, not writing posts on Ajax World, but maybe enjoying a jacuzzi Continue reading Bitcoin this, Bitcoin that

Cancelling cable: A soccer/football fan’s perspective

I knew this day would come.   My family has finally made the decision to call it quits on Comcast and cancel the ENTIRE cable TV package.  I would find it hilarious if it wasn’t so painful for them to pull the plug.  Let me explain.

We are heavy watchers of soccer, or football for you non-muricans.  Anything from Premier League, to cheesy Latin friendlies, to the MLS, we will watch.  But the main focus of our sports-watching activities has always been Spanish football–we are huge La Liga fans.  Ronaldo, Messi, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and everything in between–we spent many early mornings watching live La Liga games.

Is there life after cable for soccer fans?   Continue reading Cancelling cable: A soccer/football fan’s perspective

The iPhone 6 hype machine begins

Some kid in my online Photoshop class made a mockup of the iPhone 6 and uploaded it by “accident” for group review instead of the assignment.  He was obviously trolling, and normally this wouldn’t be something to post on Ajax World, but it was actually a pretty good mock-up and, most importantly, and indicator of how early the hype for Apple products begins prior to their release.  We have a whole 10 months to go before the iPhone 6 event (presuming it will happen in October), and people are already Continue reading The iPhone 6 hype machine begins