Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Monica Lewinksy's inspiring TED talk, the end of Internet Explorer, porn parodies and more in this week's look at the web


1. Fashion Month’s Instagrammable Moments

If fashion shows weren’t already the most photogenic events in existence, designers have found a way to make them even more Instagrammable. In this day and age of instant gratification, it’s essential for these shows not only to be DSLR-ready, but quirky enough to be captured through the tiny (yet powerful) cameras of smartphones. Last year, Chanel’s high-end supermarket took over social media feeds, but this year will surely be remembered for Valentino’s Zoolander stunt. Quartz rounds up a few ways designers grabbed extra “likes” this fashion month.

2. Roaches to the Rescue

For a team of scientists at Texas A&M University, cockroaches are anything but pests—they may be the key to surveillance cyborgs. By implanting electrodes into the bug’s brains and outfitting them with recording equipment, scientists can control (with a 60% success rate) the roaches movements and will be able to use them to explore hard to reach places. One day these bionic bugs may be deployed as search and rescue after earthquakes—though being saved by a bunch of roaches may take some getting used.

3. Porn Parodies of Oscar-Winning Films

For every Oscar-winning film seen on the big screen, there’s most likely a porn-a-fied, parodied version playing on a computer screen in someone’s bedroom. These parodies have long been an integral part of the porn industry, dating back to the ’80s. Hopes and Fears did the dirty work for us by digging up gems like “Schindler’s Lust,” “Foreskin Gump,” “Titanic Tits” and more in their comprehensive guide to porn parodies of Oscar-winning films. Check out the full list on their site.

4. Nintendo Finally Gives in to Smartphones

Nintendo has announced a monumental new venture that will finally bring its beloved games to smartphones. Just two years ago, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made it clear that the Japanese gaming institution would not partake in the smartphone gaming craze, claiming that it would find ways to do “things that smart devices cannot do.” But with this game-changing decision, Nintendo will dive straight in—even acquiring a large portion of mobile software company DeNA to help fully realize its mobile potential.


5. Monica Lewinsky’s Poignant TED Talk

In a moving speech at this year’s TED 2015 conference, Monica Lewinsky called for a cultural revolution against cyber-bullying and public shaming. Her speech comes at a time when public scandal is at an all time high—most recently including the leaked Sony emails and nude celebrity photos. Lewinsky points out our “culture of humiliation,” where we’ve built a dangerous cycle by supporting gossip articles. And to those who are facing the public scrutiny that she once did, she urges, “You can insist on a different ending to your story.”

6. Goodbye Internet Explorer

After years of suffering from a negative image, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer brand will finally close its (virtual and physical) doors. The company’s chief marketing officer Chris Capossela announced the news at the recent Microsoft Convergence conference, noting that a new browser is in the works and that it’s been given the codename “Project Spartan.” While Internet Explorer may linger for a while due to enterprise compatibility, “Project Spartan” will become the primary pathway for Windows 10 users to browse the web.

7. Stop Feeding Ducks Bread

Conservationists are urging park-goers to stop feeding ducks bread—and for good reason. While it may seem like an innocent activity, it’s wreaking havoc not only on the health of the ducks, but their habitats and surrounding ecosystem too. Processed items like bread, crackers and chips can cause the birds to become ill or even deformed, and if excreted undigested, they lead to harmful lake-algae growth and attract disease-ridden vermin. Check The Guardian for other foods that are NSFD (not safe for ducks).

8. Google’s Energy-Generating Kites

Google’s secretive innovations lab Google[x] will launch an 84-foot power-generating kite next month in its quest for more efficient clean energy solutions. The test flight is the culmination of years of work on Project Makani, a program that Google hopes will replace outdated ground-based wind turbines with more advanced airborne ones. The kites take advantage of high-speed winds unreachable by standard turbines and, if successful, “would meaningfully speed up the global move to renewable energy.”

Link About It is our filtered look at the web, shared daily in Link and on Twitter, and rounded up every Saturday morning.