Technology | Nation

Tech Week That Was: Online Comments, iPad Hacks And The ACC

NPR | Sept. 27, 2013 7:12 p.m.

Contributed By:

Elise Hu

What to do about trolls in comments sections? It's part of a big conversation in tech this week.

What to do about trolls in comments sections? It's part of a big conversation in tech this week.


It’s time for your NPR All Tech Week in Review! Here’s a rundown, in case you missed any of the technology and culture coverage on the airwaves and around the interwebs this week.


I’ve never received so much email about a story than I did this week, after declaring war on the ACC, or “angry/annoying” CC. That practice of adding a boss-type third party to an ongoing email conversation in order to denigrate the original recipient’s position needed a name. Almost all of you could relate, though not everyone thought it was such a bad practice. Elsewhere on the blog, we questioned California’s new law requiring social media companies to let teens delete their profiles, and chose a new way to Skype with your dog as our Weekly Innovation.

On the airwaves, Steve Henn eulogized the BlackBerry once so addictive that it was called a CrackBerry, Laura Sydell talked with All Things Considered about how a surprisingly high percentage of the reviews we read on Yelp are fake and West Coast producer Sam Sanders covered the clever kids in Los Angeles who found a way around the blocks on their school-issued iPads.

The Big Conversation(s)

Can comment sections be redeemed? The sometimes troll-infested world of online comments came into focus when Google’s YouTube, long a place for comment detritus, announced that it would tie comments to Google+. In separate moves, Popular Science magazine declared their own comments sections ‘bad for science’ and killed them off, and Gawker Media updated its Kinja commenting platform that give users’ power to rearrange, filter and prioritize comments. GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram wrote that that’s the kind of move we should support — rather than kill off comments, organizations should be making comments sections better. Meanwhile, The New York Times Magazine wrote about the evolution of comments over time and offered four suggestions for improving commenting culture. Thoughts? Leave a comment, naturally.

What Caught Our Eye

Time: Man Uses Nipple To Unlock iPhone Instead of Fingerprint

Of course, there’s a video. Hey, the more you know, right?

PRI’s The World: When there’s no 911, Kenya tweets for help

The weekend terror at the upscale mall in Nairobi stretched into the start of this week, and PRI profiled one way the victims reached out for help.

NPR’s Two Way: iPhone Map drives people into the tarmac at the fairbanks airport

Yet another fail for Apple maps. Just download the Google Map app, folks.

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