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TLDR

WNYC Studios

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A weekly podcast featuring short, surprising stories about the internet.
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#34 - The Accidental Outing of Rwanda's Most Powerful Troll

12:45 | Aug 18th, 2014

Steve Terrill is a journalist who works in Rwanda. Or at least he worked in Rwanda, until he accidentally got the office of Rwanda's president Paul Kagame to implicate itself in a long-running online harassment campaign. Alex talks to Steve about ina...Show More
#49 - Do URL Believe in Magic?

10:34 | Mar 13th, 2015

What happens when you buy a magic spell on Etsy? Writer Jaya Saxena and her husband Matt Lubchansky recently tested one witch's wares, and they talk to TLDR about being careful what you wish for. Plus, TLDR hires our own spellcaster, a mystic named M...Show More
#48 -- Art Critics Love Us On Yelp

10:10 | Mar 5th, 2015

Brian Droitcour is a professional art critic, and a Yelp user. In 2012 he started using the popular review site to post his reactions to galleries and museums, using a distinctly un-art world-y voice. This week, Brian sits down with TLDR to talk abou...Show More
#47 - JebBushforPresident.com

12:24 | Feb 26th, 2015

CJ Philips and Charlie Rainwater bought JebBushforPresident.com back in 2008 -- but not because they're huge Bush fans or want to sell the address at a markup. With the 2016 election approaching, the pair have launched the site as a place for discuss...Show More
#46 - Episode 45 Redux

23:40 | Feb 19th, 2015

The last episode of TLDR was titled "Quiet, Wadhwa." It concerned a man named Vivek Wadhwa, but we did not ask him for comment. The episode was later removed. This week we look at the controversy we've become a part of and our role in it. To read Ame...Show More
#44 - Prostitute Laundry

10:20 | Jan 29th, 2015

Charlotte Shane writes a TinyLetter called Prostitute Laundry, writing frankly and lyrically about her feelings, her relationships, her body and her sex lives -- both personal and professional. This week TLDR looks into women writing personal, voice-...Show More
#16 - *WIN A MILLION DOLLAR MANSION FROM YOUR HOME COMPUTER*

09:17 | Jan 22nd, 2015

"Sweepers" are people who spend their free time entering hundreds of online sweepstakes -- the contests most of us skip because we're sure they're all scams. It turns out, we're wrong. Some people win big. Sandra Grauschopf is About.com's Contests an...Show More
#43 - Hey Ladies

14:20 | Jan 16th, 2015

If you've ever been a bridesmaid, in a sorority, or just been friends with two or more women, you have probably received an off-the-wall planning email or two. Caroline Moss and Michelle Markowitz have been parodying these chains for The Toast since ...Show More
#42 - GodTube

12:49 | Jan 8th, 2015

When Will Rogers discovered GodTube.com, he was bothered by the idea of Christians segregating themselves from the larger cultural conversation. So he set out to start a dialogue. Meredith talks to Will about his GodTube.com videos, what he wanted to...Show More
#41 - Tell Me How To Live My Life

09:14 | Dec 18th, 2014

Susan Miller, proprietor of Astrology Zone, is the biggest name in internet astrology. Her fans are many and devoted, and among them are both Meredith and Laura Mayer (this week's co-investigator). This week marks Miller's 19th year reading the stars...Show More
#40 - Tinder Bros

07:34 | Dec 11th, 2014

The first message you send to a Tinder match can determine the rest of your relationship. To ease this pressure, some men on the internet have taken to their favorite forums to crowdsource the perfect opening line. Meredith evaluates their results.  ...Show More
#39 - Little Sh*ts

06:29 | Dec 4th, 2014

For the past three years Alanah Pearce has been reviewing video games on YouTube. Like other women doing just about anything publicly online, she gets harassed, and in the past she just hasn't replied. But recently Alanah got fed up with not respondi...Show More
#38 - Ask Leah

14:43 | Oct 15th, 2014

In the late nineties Leah Reich was working for the video game website IGN, which was the most popular website on the internet for 13 to 18 year old boys at the time. She started reading and responding to the site's mailbag, and before she knew it sh...Show More
#37 - Every City Gets the Hero it Deserves

07:16 | Sep 17th, 2014

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Police released a video of some unidentified suspects in a brutal attack on a gay couple. Within a few hours, a Philly sports fan and his online friends had identified some of the people in the video without the blizzard ...Show More
#36 - The Mystery of Childish Gambino

11:38 | Sep 15th, 2014

Rapper Childish Gambino (A.K.A actor Donald Glover) famously claims to have received his rap pseudonym, "Childish Gambino," from an online Wu-Tang Name generator. But investigating whether this story is true or not led TLDR host Alex Goldman on an od...Show More
#35 - Stolen Pictures

07:14 | Sep 3rd, 2014

This week, hackers stole and published naked photos of female celebrities. Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill has covered stories like this before, but she says that this latest example has completely changed her mind about who to blame for these thefts an...Show More
#33 - Unfollow A Man

08:52 | Aug 7th, 2014

A few weeks ago, writer Katie Notopoulos created a holiday called Unfollow a Man Day, wherein everyone (women and men) was encouraged to Unfollow a Man on social media. Men's rights activists were enraged, cable news was intrigued, and a lot of peopl...Show More
#32 - An Imperfect Match

14:21 | Jul 31st, 2014

This week, dating site OK Cupid put up a blog post describing experiments it conducted on its users. In one experiment, the site told users who were bad matches for one another that they were actually good matches, and vice versa. Alex and PJ talk to...Show More
#31 - Race Swap

09:43 | Jul 17th, 2014

Whether you think the internet is a great or terrible place is partly a reflection of which parts of the internet you choose to visit. It's also a reflection of who you are, and how people online react to you. Mikki Kendall is a writer who deals with...Show More
#30 - The Russian Troll Army

10:34 | Jun 26th, 2014

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddon about why they do it, and how successfu...Show More
#29 - Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager

10:09 | Jun 18th, 2014

Rob Dubbin accidentally built a teenage girl named Olivia Taters who lives on the internet. She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she's convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she's very, very funny. PJ ...Show More
#28 - No Trail

09:48 | Jun 5th, 2014

In February of this year, Philip Welsh of Silver Spring, Maryland, was murdered. His murder remains unsolved, largely because he didn't use the internet, and left no digital trail. Alex talks to Philip's family and reporter Dan Morse about the case.
#27 - How Google is Killing the Best Site On the Internet

10:55 | Jun 2nd, 2014

A couple weeks ago, Matt Haughey, the founder of TLDR's favorite website, Metafilter, announced that his website is dying. And he says it's because Google algorithmically stopped directing traffic to the site over a year ago. Alex tries to figure out...Show More
#26 - A Gold Bottle of Champagne The Size of An Adult Human Man

08:00 | May 23rd, 2014

Most people use social networks to present themselves as happier than they really are - it's hard to get an honest read on anyone. But writer Charlie Warzel believes there's a secret method you can use to find out how someone is actually feeling onli...Show More
TLDR Public Service Announcement

02:07 | May 12th, 2014

Hello folks. This is not an episode. It is a short/urgent PSA.
#25 - Monsters

10:56 | May 8th, 2014

Kim Correa loves the online game DayZ, which lets you interact with other humans during a zombie apocalypse. DayZ's appeal is that it allows weird, spontaneous interactions between players. It also allows really terrible ones. Kim talks about her exp...Show More
#24 - The Million Dollar Homepage

07:16 | May 1st, 2014

In 2005, Alex Tew was a 21-year-old entrepreneur who wanted to make a million dollars before college. The only problem was he had literally nothing of value to sell. So he made The Million Dollar Homepage -- possibly the most ambitiously garish websi...Show More
#23 - A Bitcoin Story for People Who Don't Care About Bitcoin

10:22 | Apr 24th, 2014

When Wired reporter Andy Greenberg read Newsweek's cover story claiming to have found mysterious Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, he was disappointed. Not so much that the mystery had been solved, but that the answer to the search was not all that i...Show More
#22 - What Happens When You Tell The Whole Internet Your Password

11:26 | Apr 18th, 2014

Earlier this week, a commenter named Y. Woodman Brown posted his online passwords in the Washington Post comments section to show just how little his online security mattered to him. It was quickly picked up by the press as an example of online secur...Show More
#21 - There Is No Such Thing As Silence

09:06 | Apr 10th, 2014

Continuing our expose into the very hush-hush world of Silence, we look at an app that promises to deliver you four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. PJ talks to Larry Larson, who helped design the 4'33" app.
#20 - Silence

0:00 | Apr 3rd, 2014

Update: Vulfpeck received an email from Spotify asking the band to remove "Sleepify" from Spotify. See our update here. A band called Vulfpeck has asked fans to stream an entire album of silence on Spotify while they sleep, so the band can use the ro...Show More
#19 - Project Flame

10:30 | Mar 20th, 2014

In 1966, a bored college freshman created Project Flame, an early computer dating system that promised to pair lonely hearts. Project Flame was an overnight sensation. The only problem was that the guy who founded didn't have a computer. Or any idea ...Show More
#18 - The Army's Robot Recruiter

11:43 | Mar 6th, 2014

Sgt. Star is the army’s robot. Specifically, he’s a chatbot designed to influence potential recruits to enlist in the US Army. So how do we feel about that? Alex talks to the Army and a reporter who's covered recruitment abuses to figure out if we're...Show More
#17 - Hey, Guess What? I Found Truth For Us

08:59 | Feb 27th, 2014

Last fall, TLDR covered a bunch of hoaxes. Some we liked, most we didn't. On this episode, we talk to Paulo Ordoveza and Adrienne LaFrance, a couple of people who have devoted themselves to trying to debunk the innumerable falsehoods flying around th...Show More
#16 - *Win a Million Dollar Mansion From Your HOME COMPUTER*

09:26 | Feb 20th, 2014

"Sweepers" are people who spend their free time entering hundreds of online sweepstakes -- the contests most of us skip because we're sure they're all scams. It turns out, we're wrong. Some people win big. Reporter Laura Mayer takes us into the onlin...Show More
#15 - Internet Time

08:05 | Feb 13th, 2014

In 1998 Swatch tried to completely reinvent our concept of time. Swatch Internet Time (or .beat time) would have been a new way to conceive of moments. There'd be no time zones, and also, no hours, minutes, or seconds. PJ talks to Gizmodo's Eric Lime...Show More
#14 - The Knowledge

13:31 | Feb 7th, 2014

Every year, a small group of sports fans scattered across the US play a game called "Last Man." The goal is to be the last man in America to find out who won the Super Bowl. TLDR Sports reporter Lisa Pollak followed the game this year, and found out ...Show More
#13.5 - I'm Matthew Mills

08:02 | Feb 5th, 2014

A special mini-episode of TLDR to get your mouth watering for tomorrow's non-mini episode! This week, a man named Matthew Mills interrupted the post-Super Bowl MVP press conference to let the world know that 9/11 was perpetrated by the US Government....Show More
#13 - Managing a Monster

09:11 | Jan 30th, 2014

The Slender Man is the internet's monster - the subject of countless remixes, tributes, and parodies. He's so ubiquitous he feels like he's been around for ages, like folklore. But Slender Man has an owner and a point of origin. Alex talks to Eric Kn...Show More
#12 - Hunting For YouTube's Saddest Comments

08:13 | Jan 24th, 2014

YouTube's infamous for having one of the worst comment sections on the internet. There's no reason to ever read them. Unless you’re writer & filmmaker Mark Slutsky. Mark spends hours scouring the comments section on YouTube, and occasionally, scatter...Show More
#11 - RIP Vile Rat

10:53 | Jan 22nd, 2014

This episode of TLDR contains some explicit language. On September 11th, 2012, gunmen attacked two American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans. Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the attack, was an IT manager in the real world, b...Show More
#10 - One Hundred Songs In A Day

12:24 | Jan 22nd, 2014

One way to make money making music online is the boring way. Write one song that does incredibly well and live off the royalties for the rest of your life. Matt Farley is a musician who’s gone a different route. He's written over 14,000 songs and he...Show More
#9 - The Second Life of Marion Stokes

09:17 | Dec 12th, 2013

Marion Stokes was a hoarder. When she died last year, her family had to figure out what to do with 9 separate residences and 3 storage locations full of stuff - everything from tens of thousands of books to decades-old Apple computers. This is the st...Show More
#8 - The Pace Picante Salsa Robot Has Gone Haywire

13:32 | Dec 5th, 2013

This episode of TLDR contains some explicit language. This has been a crazy season for internet hoaxes. This week, we investigate one we actually deeply enjoyed being fooled by -- about a social media bot for Pace Picante Salsa going insane and inadv...Show More
What does TLDR mean?

31:26 | Nov 22nd, 2013

Hello! We are taking a week off the podcast to work on some special things that you will like a lot. This episode is a Best Of*, in case you have a friend who hasn't gotten a chance to check us out who you might like to share TLDR with. It also inclu...Show More
#7 - It's Rating Men

07:03 | Nov 15th, 2013

Lulu is an app that lets women rate guys they've slept with. Was he willing to commit? Was he gassy? The ratings are anonymous, and men can't see their profiles.
#6 - Ghost Town

08:40 | Nov 6th, 2013

Before the Internet as we know it today, there were text-based bulletin board systems all over the country that people could dial into. One of those systems, M-net, happened to live in Alex's backyard, and it was his internet home base for the better...Show More
#5 - Goodbye, Secret, Invisible Internet

07:01 | Oct 31st, 2013

Up until this fall, there was a secret internet. You probably heard about one part of it, the Silk Road, but that was just one secret website among many. This week, we talk to Gawker's Adrian Chen about the rest of the dark part of the internet, and ...Show More
#4 - The Unicorn

08:22 | Oct 21st, 2013

Millions of Americans don't use the internet at all. Some don't have access because of poverty, geography, or age. But some just never logged on. This week, Alex goes on a quest to find a unicorn -- someone who lives a life just like his, but entirel...Show More
#3 - JOKES.TXT

06:25 | Oct 3rd, 2013

Daniel Drucker's father died earlier this year. Daniel was excavating stuff on his Dad's computer when he found a file called JOKES.TXT. It was filled with thirty one punchlines to jokes, but not the jokes themselves. So he turned to the internet for...Show More
#2 - Stereotyped

07:14 | Sep 26th, 2013

Christopher Hermelin has a project called "The Roving Typist," where he writes stories for people in the park on his typewriter. One day last summer, he found his photo posted to Reddit, and suddenly his image was the butt of jokes all over the inter...Show More
#1.5 - The Bonkers Conclusion to Pronunciation Book

07:30 | Sep 25th, 2013

One last update to episode 1 of TLDR. We all found out on Monday that Pronunciation Book (along with horse_ebooks) were part of a collaborative stunt between Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender to promote their art project Alternate Reality Game, Bear St...Show More
#1 - Something Is Going to Happen in 7 Days

07:24 | Sep 17th, 2013

A YouTube channel dedicated to pronouncing words suddenly starts issuing ominous warnings, and a reporter tries to get to the bottom of it.