“Seen” Points Out Words Prone to Surveillance

The idea of data surveillance can sometimes feel distant, as if it’s not actually affecting you directly. But in a new project called Seen, communications designer Emil Kozole points out how our everyday language can become prone to secret surveillance. Seen is a typeface that comes preloaded with a set of trigger words that organizations like the NSA or GCHQ often scan for when sifting …

Holly Herndon: Home

The electronic musician questions the intimate relationship with her laptop

As an electronic musician, Holly Herndon spends more time than most with her laptop. And, though this relationship is serious, she’s indignant about the possibility of a threesome with an unknown surveillor—a sentiment felt by many after Edward Snowden triggered the ever-growing snowball of NSA spying revelations in 2013. The issue of being anonymously joined is directly addressed in her new single “Home,” released today. …

The Trickiest Tongue Twister Ever

Reuters' 2013 in photos, Time's person of the year, Miami's new museum and more in our weekly look at the web

“Sally sold seashells by the seashore,” move over. There’s a new kid in town, based on research conducted by a team at MIT. They’ve come up with the phrase “pad kid poured curd pulled cod” as one of the toughest to say quickly, based on creating combinations of alternating words—so hard that some participants simply gave up. The next step of the research process? Measuring …