Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

A Web Hoax, Transformed

Filed under
Web

"SAVE NPR and PBS," reads an e-mail petition being circulated by MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group. "Really. Check the footnotes if you don't believe us."

The group was one of dozens to solicit signatures after a House committee voted to cut federal support of National Public Radio and television shows like "Sesame Street." But many found they had to first persuade a jaded Internet citizenry that their petitions were authentic.

That was necessary because, according to folklorists of the online world, two students at the University of Northern Colorado had sent out a similar "Save NPR/PBS" petition way back in 1995, shortly after Republican legislators began a push to eliminate public broadcasting.

What happened next was in some ways characteristic of what happens to information on the Internet: the students' e-mail campaign soon got out of hand. The petition kept circulating, this time as a hoax, long after the threat to public radio and television had disappeared.

Then, in a reminder of the slippery distinction between digital fact and fiction, current events turned the e-mail's oft-debunked but never killed message into reality. In a classically surreal Internet moment, the new e-mail was taken for the bogus old one, and the old one, for many years a hoax, suddenly became true.

The e-mail's metamorphosis has caused confusion among those long used to seeing "Save NPR/PBS" in an inbox subject line and deleting the message. It also highlights the ongoing clash between the credulous and the skeptical on the Internet.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

Development News

  • GCC 7 Moves Onto Only Regression/Doc Fixes, But Will Accept RISC-V & HSA's BRIG
    The GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) is entering its "stage four" development for GCC 7 with the stable GCC 7.1 release expected in March or April. Richard Biener announced today that GCC 7 is under stage four, meaning only regression and documentation fixes will be permitted until the GCC 7.1.0 stable release happens (yep, as per their peculiar versioning system, GCC 7.1 is the first stable release in the GCC 7 series).
  • 5 ways to expand your project's contributor base
    So many free and open source software projects were started to solve a problem, and people began to contribute to them because they too wanted a fix to what they encountered. End users of the project find it useful for their needs, and the project grows. And that shared purpose and focus attracts people to a project's community.
  • Weblate 2.10.1
    This is first security bugfix release for Weblate. This has to come at some point, fortunately the issue is not really severe. But Weblate got it's first CVE ID today, so it's time to address it in a bugfix release.

Intel Kabylake: Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance

For those curious about the current Kabylake graphics performance between Windows 10 and Linux, here are some OpenGL benchmark results under each operating system. Windows 10 Pro x64 was tested and the Linux distributions for comparison were Ubuntu 16.10, Clear Linux, Antergos, Fedora 25 Xfce, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Read more

Google's open-source Tilt Brush: Now you can create 3D movies in VR