Teen Talk: Teenagers Shape The Web To Change The World

Teenagers are the compulsive mojo that keeps tech companies relevant. They Snapchat, Facebook, Tweet, Tumbl, and Instagram like nothing else in the universe—If a social media company doesn’t have a cadre of teens using it constantly, it’s a bacterial infection not a viral hit. They are the first people to use new technology and if it pleases them, they have the power to pull networks, apps, and products from obscurity and throw them into mainstream parlance. Teens are the ultimate arbiters of success online. As judge and jury they are legion, and they are obsessive.

But they’re also teensy-weensy-funsy-folk who hate algebra, grumble at their parents, love their friends soooo much, and can’t wait for prom. They are completely aware of their influence. And their decision to damn a product to obscurity isn’t malicious; it’s more of a casual “whatever” before they move onto something else that doesn’t bore them. Millions of dollars of financial value for companies hinges on the capriciousness of teenagers, and this has some adults scared.

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Quantum Computing is Real (But Not Very Useful)

Quantum computing has long been a wacky, borderline fictional, mostly theoretical domain of physics reserved for highly speculative conversation. This is because quantum mechanics, or particle physics as it’s also called, makes some claims completely void of common sense. Particle physicists believe that a subatomic particle called a neutrino can pass through the entire Earth without slowing down, and that particles can be in two different states at the same time, and even that two particles can be entangled in such a way that their properties will match across any distance (imagine if flipping a light switch in Kansas caused a light switch on Saturn to flip as well). Various governments have poured money into the exploration of these theories—a giant sub-atomic roller rink was built in Geneva, Switzerland to test many of them resulting in the discovery of the Higgs Boson. But there hasn’t been much use for these theories in practical application. That is until the concept of quantum computing came about.

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10 Definitive Reasons Against Gay Marriage

There are at least ten definitive reasons why gay people shouldn’t marry.

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Whatever and Ever Today: Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Princeton mother tries to get her son laid, Google stiffs Easter, Boston police are punk rock poseurs, and Nick Offerman break dances.

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Whatever and Ever Today: Saturday, March 23, 2013

The popes get together, Shanghai’s rivers are flooded with pig carcasses, and animals might be much smarter than we ever imagined.

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Whatever and Ever Today: Thursday, March 21, 2013

In The Airspace’s mission of exposing the most promising and important points in technology, culture, and scholarship, there is little room to talk about the daily churn of current events known as the news. Well we’re trying it out today for the first time. “Whatever and Ever Today” is a recap of the day’s noteworthy events. It’s a mix of important stories as well as some items you might find in our commentary ticker. But each piece is distilled down to its essential parts and explained as simply as possible. Think of it as a daily briefing hand-picked and produced to keep you informed.

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On Air Issue 002: Boy Scout’s Coming Out, Cloud Atlas, Internet Society, & The Value of Cinematic Flops

The second issue of The Airspace’s digital periodical On Air is now available. In this issue writers Jon Catlin, Hamid Bendaas, Christopher Smith, and Max O’Connell cover the Boy Scouts of America’s policies toward gay scouts, the complex inner-workings of the near-epic film Cloud Atlas, the reality of technological society, and how seemingly awful blockbuster films are actually important. The four articles contain a total of 13,000 words of insightful and tested prose. Excerpts of Issue 002 are available below.

On Air is the result of our efforts and what we believe is the next step in making the world a better and more intelligent place. Every two weeks, a new edition of On Air will be published containing at least four pieces of completely original high-quality journalism, essay, or fiction. Our articles center in topics on culture, technology, and scholarship and are written by college and university students around America who are burgeoning professionals in the areas they write in.

For $2.00 a month, the newest issue of On Air is delivered to your email inbox every two weeks. You can read it in your email, or on the web. It looks great on a computer, tablet, smartphone, and on paper. No advertisements or gimmicks. Just great writing from students across the country. Subscribe to On Air, it only takes a minute.

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The Best of 2012 on The Airspace

2012 has kept us busy. Since we formed last January we’ve been tracking the world of culture, technology and scholarship to tell you the stories that really matter. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular stories we’ve run in 2012—these are the articles that were most read, most shared, and most loved. And now, they’re all together in one place.

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Upgrade Your iPhone and Your Life: How to Get Every Essential App for Less Than $10

This year alone, over 330,000 mobile applications were added to Apple’s App Store. With hundreds of thousands of applications available, it’s difficult to tell what’s worth downloading, what’s worth paying for, and what’s just crap. Many different people have put together guides that outline the best applications of the week or the month but the reality is that truly great applications don’t come along too often and most of the apps you download (and maybe even pay for) will never be used. To get down to the essential apps, I took my experience downloading and testing different apps so you don’t have to. The following list contains the applications that you will use the most often or will be the most useful when you use them. The great thing is that most of these applications are free. Combine that with some holiday sales going on right now, and you can supercharge your iPhone for less than $10.

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Instagram, Sell My Photos—Please!

The formerly beloved photo-sharing service Instagram has updated its terms of service to reflect the interests of their overlords and owners: Facebook. To nobody’s surprise, the community of users has reacted by forming a mob and levying proclamations at the Facebookstagram monster. The new TOS is unsavory, so the mob is threatening to leave.

Since 2010 I have used the service to slightly alter photos of food and other things people don’t care about and posted them online through the Instagram app. I, like many others, have been there from beginning and in my tumultuous and zesty relationship with the service, I’ve developed quite a soft spot for it. In April, 2012, Facebook made an offer to buy Instagram for $1 billion and like any sane human being, the top brass at Instagram graciously accepted. Now a company doesn’t buy a tiny little mobile application for one-billion-fucking-dollars unless they have big plans for it. The updated terms of service has a couple conditions that show us what those plans are: advertising using your images.

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Commentary Ticker

  • Google Glass Lets You Take Photos With Your Brain
    July 12, 2014 | 4:02 pm

    If you haven’t heard, electroencephalograms (EEGs) have been getting better. Way better. Artificial limbs and even video game controllers are utilizing the non-invasive brain-wave monitoring method to guide computers by thought. Now English startup This Place has developed a way to bring the technology to Google Glass, allowing Google’s wearable to read your mind. Well, […]

  • Android Art: The Accidental Selfies of Google Art Project
    July 5, 2014 | 11:11 am

    Within the cultural centers of the world lurks a mechanical beast draped in silver spinning madly and capturing everything, sometimes even itself. In 2011 Google created the Art Project, an initiative to bring their Street View technology inside the cultural epicenters of the world. Google enlisted 17 world-class museums in short time. Institutions such as […]

  • Purple Mountunes Majesty: The Most Patriotic Playlist
    July 4, 2014 | 12:13 pm

    A while ago, Paul Lamere of The Echo Nest, a music-analysis company, took to finding each state’s most distinctive, yet popular, artist in a viral article. Spotify took note, purchasing Echo Nest for their analytical talent. Together, they’ve released a blog post documenting each state’s most distinctively American song creating a patriotic playlist for the […]

  • Emojinealogy: Where the Heck Emojis Come From
    July 2, 2014 | 3:10 pm

    On June 16th, the Unicode Consortium announced that 250 new emoji would be added to the list of symbols available to people’s cellphones and computer devices. The list of the new symbols can be found on Emojipedia. And no, the list doesn’t include the much needed minority representation, but it does include your favorite (?) […]

  • The Decline and Fall of the American Mall
    June 24, 2014 | 9:07 pm

    For ages, the shopping mall was as essential to the architecture of suburbia as Levittowns and freeways. But in an era of online shopping, these epicenters of brick and mortar yesteryear are quietly being abandoned across the country. While the U.S. currently has around 1,500, the number may soon shrink, and rapidly, leading to abandoned […]

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