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The other side of “hacking” – Why support The Media Show?

posted by Gus

Did you catch these videos where Mitch Altman and Emmanuel Goldstein explain what “hacker” has historically meant within the tech community?

If you did, Hi! We’re The Media Show, produced by Gus Andrews and Rob Vincent. We’ve been involved in the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE) conference and Off The Hook for many years. And we’d like to ask for your help to make more videos like these.

On The Media Show, we encourage people to think critically about the media and technology. Often, what that means to us is pulling together some of the great speakers from the hacker community, and having them explain what they’d normally present at HOPE or DEFCON in simple terms, through shorter videos.

We’ve had Mitch talk about the TV-B-Gone; Greg Conti talk about “evil interfaces,” and James Grimmelmann explain fair use. We’ve also done our own episodes about how spam gets to your mailbox and how search engines work. Heck, we even did an episode on how software gets translated.

We’re SO EXCITED about the experiment we want to run this season: answering questions about tech and media which show up in Google search autocomplete when you ask things like “Why do ads… (keep popping up on my computer)?” or “How does the Internet… (make money)?” That means people are actually asking these questions — and often there aren’t any short, entertaining videos to answer them. Instead, the top result is often Yahoo Answers. (Blech.)

Would you kick in $10, $25, even $100 to help us spread hackery goodness and tech savvy to a broader audience? Who knows — it might mean the difference between giving your clueless uncle one of our videos and hacking on a cool new Raspberry Pi project, or┬áspending your afternoon clearing malware off his computer instead.

Backers get exclusive access to behind-the-scenes shot, outtakes, and the production blog. Plus cool swag like puppets, phone or computer art from Rob Vincent, or even a night out in NYC with the cast.

Join us! Thanks in advance for your support.

A gentle way to tell relatives to stop sending forwards – Why Support The Media Show?

posted by Gus

You get them all the time: emails, Facebook posts, and text messages from friends and relatives saying “If you call an 800 number and they put you through to India, you can request to be sent to an American call center!” or “Forward this chain letter or terrible things will happen to you!” or “Obama’s birth certificate isn’t real!” With some people, it never ends, and you just need a gentle way to tell them that the forward isn’t true, or that it’s just rude to send so many forwards to begin with.

We know this. So we made you some videos.

In our second season we produced a number of short, sweet videos everyone could use to send these messages quickly:

  • Snopes Before You Send introduces a new mantra we hope will go through everyone’s head before they freak out about some scary story they heard on the Internet.
  • Netiquette compares Internet etiquette to rules older generations may understand, like holding the door open for your elders or wearing white gloves to tea.
  • Online Predators debunks popular myths about scary Internet strangers.
  • What’s In A Flame shows what happens when you go off on someone online.
  • And most recently, Syntax Terror explains why it’s important to spell someone’s email address correctly.

Read more »

Why Support The Media Show? You have no idea how search engines find web pages for you.

posted by Gus

Don’t be embarrassed — a lot of people don’t know. Heck, search engines showed up after many people alive today even graduated from school. How were we supposed to learn about these things?

The Media Show aims to teach people how technology works, so they can protect their privacy better, avoid scams, and make the most of their time online. We’ve made videos about where spam comes from and the truth about online predators.

Our next series of episodes will actually answer questions that people ask Google about the media and technology — like “Why is TV bad for babies?” or “Why do ads pop up on my computer?” We’ll actually be responding to questions that thousands of people ask every day.

Want to make it happen? Support our campaign to make The Media Show’s next season! We look forward to sharing the mysteries of the Internet with you. Oh — and we’ve already answered your question about how search engines work :) enjoy!

Bored in Marketing Class? Support The Media Show!

posted by Gus

Sometime in 2010, the following comment appeared on The Media Show’s channel page:

“I like to watch the Media Show when I am bored in Marketing class”

This was, of course, exactly what we wanted to hear. We post videos on YouTube because we see advantages to teaching about the media outside of classrooms.

Read more »

You secretly think the word “knees” is hilarious – Why Support The Media Show?

posted by Gus

Do you giggle when you look at the word “knees” for long enough? So did Nicola McEldowney. We set her loose on a couple of scripts because we’d seen her blog, which is pretty hilarious right down to the footnotes. When she turned in the Two Songs Don’t Make A Right script, she said “I’m not sure the ‘knees’ bit is really your kind of humor. You can cut it if you want.” We loved it. The knees stayed in the picture. Nicola also worked on the scripts for What’s In A Flame? and Introducing the Intern.

Like what we do? Pledge and help us make the next few episodes before our Kickstarter fund drive ends!