Clickbait Headlines

I’m happy to report that the tidal wave of clickbait headlines — infuriating, manipulative teaser headlines whose writers will do anything to make you click — seems to have peaked.

For one thing, Facebook has tried to block clickbait headlines in its news feed and has had some success. For another thing, clickbait headlines seem to be moving, at last, into the public consciousness. We’re on to them. We understand them. We’re tired of them.

But that doesn’t mean that clickbait is going away. The growth of the tidal wave may be slowing, but we’re still getting drenched.

The editors who crank out these headlines are blatantly tacky and deceptive, so I take tremendous pleasure in yanking the carpet out from under their feet. Here, then, is my seventh installment of Pogue’s Clickbait Spoilers. If a headline says, “You won’t believe what happens next,” I’m going to darned well tell you, ruining the mystery.


Clickbait: It Took Him Only Four Minutes to Bring an Entire Middle School to Tears

Spoiler: This video shows a talk by former professional wrestler Marc Mero. He tells the school kids about how he used to get high and drunk but felt terrible when his mother died.

Yes, some kids are shown crying in the 4.5-minute video, but guess what? It Took Him More Than Four Minutes, Because This Video Is Only an Excerpt of His Full-Length Talk.

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Clickbait: If You Drink Warm Lemon Water Every Morning for a Year, Here’s What Will Happen

Spoiler: Nothing happens.

The article doesn’t even answer the question. It says nothing about drinking lemon water for a year. In fact, if you click on this headline, you discover a different headline. They’re using one headline as clickbait and another, less breathless one for the story itself!

That story is: “20 Reasons You Should Drink Lemon Water in the Morning.” It’s a bunch of stuff like: Lemon water is hydrating, helps digestion, fights infections, helps you lose weight, benefits your skin, blood, joints, liver, bowels, blood pressure, fetus, teeth, etc.

Sure it does.


Clickbait: I Was Blown Away When I Realized What This Image Really Was

Spoiler: An elderly man with cerebral palsy creates amazingly good art using only the symbol keys on a typewriter (it’s a video). That’s it. Are you blown away?

Me neither.

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Clickbait: Tim Cook said this word 5 times on Apple’s earnings call last night — here’s why it’s so important

Spoiler: “Switcher.” Because it means more people buying iPhones.


Clickbait: George Clooney Had the Perfect Response at Comic Con When a Fellow Actor Called Him Old

Spoiler: Beats me.

It’s video clip of a Comic Con panel, where George Clooney makes a “surprise” appearance to promote his movie Tomorrowland.

Hugh Laurie: “He’s 75 if he’s a day.”

Clooney: “It’s not lost on me that I’m spending my honeymoon at Comic Con.”

(It’s funny, but how is that a perfect response to the “old” remark?)

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Clickbait: Dad Opens His Birthday Gift and What’s Inside Is So Overwhelming, Everyone’s in Tears

Spoiler: EnChroma glasses, designed to help colorblind people.

In fact, only one person tears up in this video: the colorblind guy.

I’m hugely disdainful of the text that accompanies the video, which implies that the guy can’t see the color blue (that’s not what happens with colorblindness) and that he can’t tell if a traffic light is red or yellow (um, how about noting its place?).

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Clickbait: What Joe Biden Explains in 1 Minute Will Change Your Life Forever. Seriously.

Spoiler: Here’s another Facebook headline that leads to a different headline on the article: “Joe Biden’s 2012 Advice to Grieving Families Is All the More Poignant Now.”

Biden’s advice is this: When you lose a loved one (Biden lost his wife and son) and can’t imagine how you’ll go on, begin writing down your grief levels on each square of a calendar. “You’ll find that your down days get further and further apart. That’s when you know that you’re gonna make it.”


Clickbait: Forget the iPhone 6. Next Apple Sensation Revealed.

Spoiler: Apple Pay, apparently.

This one’s actually a clickbait ad. I see it all the time on Facebook and on the Yahoo front page.

Ordinarily, I would never click on such a stupid, clickbaity ad. I’m a tech columnist, for goodness’ sake — if Apple had a post-iPhone sensation, I’d have heard of it.

But for the sake of spoiling this clickbait, and to save you time, I went for it. I clicked.

What you get is an endless video — typed words on a screen, read aloud by a male voice — that, after 30 excruciating minutes of talking about how great Apple is and how great the Motley Fool is, turns out to be a pitch for a free annual report (regularly $99!) that’s plugging shares in an unnamed “patent-rich supply lab.”

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I want my 30 minutes back.

Samsung bringing AMOLED displays to tablet market

South Korean electronics giant Samsung might be launching the world`s first tablet to feature an AMOLED screen, according to recent reports.

Samsung has been a pioneer of AMOLED display technology, which eliminates the need for a separate backlight and drastically improves contrast ratios and colour fidelity. Smartphones like the Galaxy S2 have paved the way for AMOLED technology to enter the mainstream market, but up until now anything larger than around four inches has been too expensive for consumer gadgets.

It now looks like Samsung might be introducing a new model to its Galaxy Tab range of tablet computers which will come with a seven inch Super AMOLED screen. The display will apparently have a native resolution of 1024×600 and will be competing with other seven inch tablets such as the HTC Flyer and BlackBerry Playbook. The Android 3.0 operating system is likely to be onboard and of course the real draw will be its display, which should be the best in its class.

Earlier in the year there were rumours that Samsung was working with Apple to produce AMOLED screens for the next iPad. Although it seems unlikely that a 10 inch AMOLED screen will be found on the iPad 3 given the expense that this might add, the news of Samsung`s own work on an in-house tablet with similar technology might give more credence to this industry murmuring.

The bad news is that Samsung and Apple are not on the best of terms at the moment, what with the US firm managing to get sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 halted in Europe as a result of a lawsuit over patent infringements. While existing stocks are being sold off by retailers there are no new orders being delivered and so those who want to buy Samsung`s iPad-beating Galaxy Tab 10.1 will have to rush to do so, unless they want to be stuck with the entry level edition with no 3G connectivity and only 16GB of storage.

Virtually every large tech manufacturer is embroiled in at least one court battle at any given time and so Samsung and Apple will probably sort out a licensing deal at some point. This would be particularly beneficial since their relationship is valuable to each company and while Apple may claim that Samsung ripped of the iPad 2 with its Galaxy Tab, in turn it will be relying on Samsung for components in the future.

Tablet devices already have a whole host of useful features, from compatibility with wireless speaker systems to top notch web browsing and powerful CPUs. However, there is no doubt that introducing AMOLED displays will be a positive step towards the future and either Samsung or Apple could be the first to make that move.

PayPal Freezes WikiLeaks Account, Chooses the Safe Side

In every disputed situation in this world, there are two sides and one of them is definitely safer than the other. PayPal, recently had to choose between being on the safe side or pissing off the US government and it chose the former.
With corporate brands like Amazon crumbling under the sheer pressure from the Government, shady PayPal is the last company we would expect to hold up against the government. This was not much of a choice. Rather, it was an imminent move in this situation.
WikiLeaks used PayPal to raise funds for hosting and other survival costs. eBay remarked on the shutdown by calling WikiLeaks’ activities illegal. The way with PayPal is- shutdown accounts first, talk later.
This is what the PayPal blog had to say,

PayPal has permanently restricted the account used by WikiLeaks due to a violation of the PayPal acceptable use policy, which states that our payment service cannot be used for any activities that encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.

PayPal has done this before. Freezing accounts, deducting balance on charges of abnormal activity spikes, you name it. However, this time, we cannot blame it all on PayPal. This was imminent and WikiLeaks should have moved their balance else than keeping it all with PayPal.
(Via: The Guardian)

Reigning Pwn2Own champion: "The main thing is not to install Flash!"

Here are the highlights from Miller’s interview:

He thinks Windows 7 will prove more secure than OS X Snow Leopard this year, in part because it doesn’t have Java and Flash enabled by default. Windows’ full ASLR (address space layout randomization) also gives it a security advantage.

When asked what he thought would make the safest OS and browser combo, he opted for Chrome or IE8 on Windows 7, with no Flash installed, although ‘there probably isn’t enough difference between the browsers to get worked up about.’

For my money, the juiciest quote from the interview was ‘The main thing is not to install Flash!

On the mobile side, Miller guessed that the iPhone 3GS would be more easily exploitable than the Motorola Droid, mainly because the iPhone’s been around longer, and has been subjected to more extensive security research.

You can check out Miller’s full answers (in English or Italian!) at OneITSecurity.

Google embeded Ta3rabozi feature on gmail!!

Google embeded Ta3rabozi feature on gmail!!: “
Once upon time, some Arab guy living in US wanted to search some Arabic terms but he did not have an Arabic keyboard so he created Yamli.com. His name was Habib Haddad. Habib created a new concept of what we call now, the 3arabeezi language..

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Now google in an extraordinary move brought this concept into their services by introducing a new feature on Gmail, where you can write Arabic words using latin alphabets.

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This means that the Arabic language is officially entered a new level of technology and hopefully this tough competition will come up with huge development in Arabic usage over the internet..

Windows 7 already bigger than Snow Leopard and Linux combined

It’s only been a couple of weeks since Windows 7 was released, but Microsoft’s new OS has already captured a larger percentage of the market than Apple’s OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and Linux (yes, all of Linux). This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, considering how many Windows users were clamoring for Win7 after the flop that is Vista. Microsoft says Windows 7’s launch outdid Vista’s by 234%. Those brisk sales have already netted Windows a 2% share of the world’s OS business, compared to just over 1% for Snow Leopard, and just under 1% for Linux.

Despite the strong sales of Win7, Windows as a whole dropped a quarter of a percentage point in October, with Mac and Linux both making small gains. That quarter of a point hardly matters when you’ve got 90% of the OS market and your new operating system is being adopted quickly, though.

I expect to see Windows swing back up after Windows 7’s been available for a while. I mean, we’re talking about an operating system that outsold Harry Potter in the UK. Right now, it’s only got a 2% share, compared to 19% for Vista and 70% for XP, but that’s after only two weeks. Expect that number to zoom upward by the end of November.