News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I once asked legendary British commentator Martin Tyler to explain what makes a footballer become a global hero. Tyler, the voice of the English game, responded instantly. “Football,” he said, “is a simple game in which any player has three decisions to choose from when they take possession of the ball. Should I pass, run, or shoot?” He paused theatrically. “The greatest players just make better decisions more of the time than the merely good ones.”

There is no greater stage on which Tyler’s theory can play out than the World Cup, the 2022 edition of which will kick off on November 20. It’s the world’s greatest blockbuster franchise played out live, with a projected cumulative audience of five billion. A crucible of pressure in which the mantle of greatness can be assumed in a heartbeat. One exclamation point goal can forge a generation of memories, and the choreography of feints, flicks, and flamboyance will be mimicked by millions of kids on dusty schoolyards across the world.

The 2022 World Cup is guaranteed to be a singular experience, for reasons both commendable and skulduggerous. The first World Cup to be staged in the Middle East, it will be held in Qatar, a tiny, natural-gas-rich petrostate located on a finger of desert in the Persian Gulf that won the hosting duties corruptly and despite having never previously qualified for the tournament. With summer temperatures in the desert hovering at 106 degrees Fahrenheit, organizers at FIFA were forced to shift the competition from July to November, seeking cooler climes and disrupting the rhythm of the club calendar in the process.

On the field, this will almost certainly be the tournament where the curtain falls on the international careers of two of the most dominant players of all time: Cristiano Ronaldo, that 37-year-old Portuguese bottle of Drakkar Noir in human form, and his archrival, 35-year-old Lionel Messi, the diminutive Argentine with the imagination of a peerless poet-warrior. Football, like nature, abhors a vacuum, so we fans are left to forage for new heroes.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The status of dance in American culture is deeply paradoxical. Concert dance is one of the most elite art forms imaginable. The demands placed on professional dancers are so punishing that those of us who live outside this spartan vocation may struggle to understand the labor involved. Dancers are, in the words of the choreographer William Forsythe, “Olympic-level athletes” whose aim is a perfect synthesis of athletics and artistry. This takes years of training and enormous sacrifice—and for what? An audience composed of a sliver of the urban intelligentsia; a career butterfly-like in its brevity, inevitably cut short by age or injury.

And yet: Dance is also spontaneous, elemental, universal. Cave paintings show that humans have been dancing since at least the Stone Age. Some scientists, having observed that chimpanzees occasionally sway and clap while listening to piano music, believe that the desire to dance predates humanity. Psychologists have argued that group dance supports social bonding. Anthropologists, meanwhile, have found expressive or ecstatic movement at the core of many religious rituals: healing rites, initiation ceremonies, funerals, weddings, preparations for war. Dance returns us to the earliest mysteries of human creation. It is one of our fundamental arts.


Much contemporary choreography emphasizes virtuosity and difficulty, incorporating aerial or acrobatic movement or feats of physical daring. (The choreographer Elizabeth Streb’s 1995 piece Breakthru, for example, requires a dancer to leap through a pane of glass.) But today’s artists are also keenly interested in integrating everyday movements into dance. Some choreographers have turned to amateurs instead of trained performers. Others have highlighted such mundane actions as walking, skipping, kneeling, or toe-tapping in their works. Such performances narrow the distinction between offstage and onstage movement, reminding us that dance is ordinary and ubiquitous. By making dance resemble life, they show us how life, in turn, resembles dance.

Annie-B Parson’s new book, The Choreography of Everyday Life, makes a more radical claim, rejecting the distinction between dance and life altogether. Parson, an acclaimed choreographer best known for her genre-bending work combining dance with theater, offers an exuberant, if lightly sketched, conception of human life as a collective dance, winding and unspooling in endless variations as we move through time and space. For her, dance is not a rarefied form. It is more like the natural, everyday motion of strolling down the street, which, after all, involves considerations of line, space, and tempo. City life, especially, requires dancelike coordination: Strangers streaming down the sidewalk must find a “group rhythm.”


Read the rest of this article at: The Atlantic

On August 15th, an alarming email popped up in the inbox of Diana Pearl, a New York-based news editor. Someone in Moscow had logged into her verified Twitter account, it said. Pearl was familiar with the email content’s theme as it resembled previous automated correspondence from Twitter — featuring a minimal white background, black text, and blue links.

Fearing her account’s safety, Pearl clicked the link inside the email that supposedly would instantly let her secure her account and entered her existing password on the following webpage to update it.

Moments later, a message arrived in a Telegram group. All it contained was a screenshot of Pearl’s Twitter profile and a link. Three hours later, the admin texted, “Sold.”

Pearl had fallen prey to a phishing attack. The email wasn’t from Twitter but from a hacker who had copied the look of an official Twitter message. Pearl was out when the email landed and assumed she couldn’t afford to wait till she was home to read it on her computer. Plus, the email’s urgent tone rushed Pearl to react without verifying its details. If she had, she might have noticed the fishy email address it came from or the fact that the link didn’t lead to the official Twitter URL.

Read the rest of this article at: The Verge

News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Clive Campbell migrated as a child with his family from Jamaica to the United States in the late 1960s, leaving one country roiled by political instability for another. In Kingston, Campbell had become infatuated with the reggae and dub music that blared from giant portable sound systems, and DJs who toasted or talked over instrumental tracks. Campbell arrived in the Bronx during the reign of feel-good disco music, which intersected with the civil rights era and the dire financial straits of a New York City that was facing a declining population and labor unrest. Campbell involved himself in the city’s emerging graffiti scene — which had arrived after originating in Philadelphia — and assumed the tag name Kool Herc.

On August 11, 1973, Campbell hosted a back-to-school fundraising party for his sister, Cindy, at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the west Bronx — and he is widely credited with birthing hip-hop on that day. By then, the teenage Campbell had assembled his own massive sound system, along with an eclectic record collection that included selections from James Brown and the Incredible Bongo Band. At the party, before an appreciative audience of neighborhood teenagers, DJ Kool Herc performed his “Merry-Go-Round” technique of isolating and prolonging the breakbeat sections of songs (the drum patterns used in interludes — breaks — between sections of melody) by switching between two record players.

DJ Kool Herc became a folk hero in the Bronx as his parties attracted larger and larger crowds. He hosted popular block parties and created Kool Herc & the Herculoids with Clark Kent. Acrobatic dancers known as B-boys, B-girls, and breakers (the media eventually labeled them as break dancers, a term still in wide circulation today) flocked to DJ Kool Herc’s parties to compete in dance circles — no longer having to wait out lengthy songs for a brief moment to get down. DJ Kool Herc enlisted the help of his friend Coke La Rock, regarded as hip-hop’s first MC, as La Rock adapted toasting by shouting out the names of friends and encouraging partygoers to dance.

In time, Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmaster Flash joined DJ Kool Herc as Bronx DJs who forged groundbreaking contributions and laid the foundation for hip-hop to flourish, spread, and evolve.

Read the rest of this article at: RollingStone

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News 19.10.22 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Investigating cybercrime was supposed to be the FBI’s third-highest priority, behind terrorism and counterintelligence. Yet, in 2015, FBI Director James Comey realized that his Cyber Division faced a brain drain that was hamstringing its investigations.

Retention in the division had been a chronic problem, but in the spring of that year, it became acute. About a dozen young and midcareer cyber agents had given notice or were considering leaving, attracted by more lucrative jobs outside government. As the resignations piled up, Comey received an unsolicited email from Andre McGregor, one of the cyber agents who had quit. In his email, the young agent suggested ways to improve the Cyber Division. Comey routinely broadcast his open-door policy, but senior staff members were nevertheless aghast when they heard an agent with just six years’ experience in the bureau had actually taken him up on it. To their consternation, Comey took McGregor’s email and the other cyber agents’ departures seriously. “I want to meet these guys,” he said. He invited the agents to Washington from field offices nationwide for a private lunch. As news of the meeting circulated throughout headquarters, across divisions and into the field, senior staff openly scorned the cyber agents, dubbing them “the 12 Angry Men,” “the Dirty Dozen” or just “these assholes.” To the old-schoolers — including some who had risked their lives in service to the bureau — the cyber agents were spoiled prima donnas, not real FBI.

The cyber agents were as stunned as anyone to have an audience with Comey. Despite their extensive training in interrogation at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, many were anxious about what the director might ask them. “As an agent, you never meet the director,” said Milan Patel, an agent who attended the lunch. “You know the director, because he’s famous. But the director doesn’t know you.”

You also rarely, if ever, go to the J. Edgar Hoover Building’s seventh floor, where the executive offices are. But that day, the cyber agents — all men, mostly in their mid-30s, in suits, ties and fresh haircuts — strode single file down the seventh-floor hall to Comey’s private conference room. Stiffly, nervously, they stood waiting. Then Comey came in, shirt sleeves rolled up and bag lunch in hand.

“Have a seat, guys,” he told them. “Take off your coats. Get comfortable. Tell me who you are, where you live and why you’re leaving. I want to understand if you are happy and leaving, or disappointed and leaving.”

Around the room, everyone took a turn answering. Each agent professed to be happy, describing his admiration for the bureau’s mission.

“Well, that’s a good start,” Comey said.

Then sincerity prevailed. For the next hour, as they ate their lunches, the agents unloaded.

They told Comey that their skills were either disregarded or misunderstood by other agents and supervisors across the bureau. The FBI had cliques reminiscent of high school, and the cyber agents were derisively called the Geek Squad.

“What do you need a gun for?” SWAT team jocks would say. Or, from a senior leader, alluding to the physical fitness tests all agents were required to pass, “Do you have to do pushups with a keyboard in your backpack?” The jabs — which eroded an already tenuous sense of belonging — testified to the widespread belief that cyber agents played a less important role than others in the bureau.

At the meeting, the men also registered their opposition to some of the FBI’s ingrained cultural expectations, including the mantra that agents should be capable of doing “any job, anywhere.” Comey had embraced that credo, making it known during his tenure that he wanted everyone in the FBI to have computer skills. But the cyber agents believed this outlook was misguided. Although traditional skills, from source cultivation to undercover stings, were applicable to cybercrime cases, it was not feasible to turn someone with no interest or aptitude in computer science into a first-rate cyber investigator. The placement of nontechnical agents on cyber squads — a practice that dated to the 1990s — also led to a problem that the agents referred to as “reeducation fatigue.” They were constantly forced to put their investigations on hold to train newcomers, both supervisors and other cyber agents, who arrived with little or no technical expertise.

Read the rest of this article at: Propublica

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.