DTNS 2550 – Not So Sunny in Philadelphia

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comVeronica Belmont and Tom Merritt talk about whether social networks have devalued links and are ruining the Web.

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14 thoughts on “DTNS 2550 – Not So Sunny in Philadelphia”

        1. Apologies for that. We don’t do anything with the video but let it autopost. YouTube must have had an encoding error of some kind. Someday if we ever get to the video level of patreon we’ll have someone record and post local versions of the video. That would prevent this kind of error.

  1. The information about hitchBOT, as reported by various news organisations, is self-contradicting. It is claimed a photo shows the vandalized robot, and it is claimed the location of the robot is unknown.

    Makes no sense: if a witness has taken a picture then that witness knows where hitchBOT is.

    There is a picture of a broken up hitchBOT on a twitter page, dated 2 aug 2015
    https://twitter.com/AndreaWBZ
    The person who posted that doesn’t say anything about the origin of that picture.

    Makes no sense. Why post a picture like that and say nothing about the origin?

    With self-contradictions like that I say we know *nothing* about what happened to hitchBOT. Is the story true? Is the story fabricated? We know nothing.

    Colin Tennyson

    1. There’s more out about the robot now but at the time they weren’t contradictory. Someone had sent the photo without telling the organizers where it came from. Simple as that.

  2. http://m.hitchbot.me/

    As of 4 aug 2015 the above webpage only states that hitchBOT was vandalized in Philadelphia.

    There is no statement as to whether or not the hitchBOT creators know the location of hitchBOT.
    There is no statement requesting a search for hitchBOT.

    Presumably any picture/video that is not from this source is a hoax.

    Statement from the creators:
    “HitchBOT’s family has limited media availability on August 3rd and are not available on August 4th. More info will be available here on August 5th.”

    Very, very odd.
    If the creators of hitchBOT know for sure that hitchBOT has been vandalized, then why not give the whole story at once?

    Colin Tennyson

    1. You’re right it could be a hoax. But it also could be real. There’s no compelling reason to think either way.

      To me, the fact that the robot is inactivated makes me think the picture could certainly be real.

      The point is that the robot is not moving. Here’s the latest from Wired

      http://www.wired.com/2015/08/parents-decapitated-hitchbot-say-will-live/

      And Hitbot’s own site has Hitchbot saying he was vanadlized – http://www.hitchbot.me/

      And NPR reports volunteers are working to reapir him

      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/03/428990732/group-offers-to-help-revive-hitchbot-vandalized-in-philadelphia

  3. About origin of a picture:
    To bring out the contrast, let me give an extreme hypothetical example:
    Suppose a picture is posted on twitter, with a claim that it is a picture of gang members getting rid of Jimmy Hoffa’s body.
    Nothing is said about the origin of the picture. Not in that tweet and not in the following days.

    Would you believe that picture actually shows Jimmy Hoffa’s body? Surely you wouldn’t. To post a picture like that and remain silent about its origin just screams: “This is fake”.

    The case of the hitchBOT picture is analogous. If it’s for real then the person who posts it will tell where and when the picture was taken, and who took it.

    I’m not saying hitchBOT wasn’t vandalized, I know nothing. I’m saying I don’t trust that tweet-pic.

    Colin Tennyson

  4. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/aug/03/hitchbot-hitchhiking-robot-destroyed-philadelphia

    This article, dated Monday 3 August 2015 16.16 BST, has far more information than any other webpage.

    Frauke Zeller is quoted saying:
    “We can see on all our data that the tablet and battery and everything shut off at the same time so it must have been when they vandalised the bot,”

    She said Hitchbot’s body had been found by some good samaritans who had located the roving robot through a regularly updated map on its website.

    “They sent us images and it’s really beyond repair. There’s not a single wire inside and all the things are broken.”

    Yeah, shocking. It wasn’t an act of random vandalism. That level of destruction is – for lack of a better term – a premeditated attack.

  5. http://cdn1.hitchbot.me/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/hitchBOT-USA-Trip-End-Press-Release-FINAL.pdf

    As the title states: a final press release.

    HitchBOT’s remains, which were found by some of hitchBOT’s fans, are in the process of being sent back to Canada.

    (Presumably these hitchBOT fans located the remains the very next morning.)

    The hitchBOT team unequivocally endorses the assessment that the “surveillance video” is a fake.

    Re-building hitchBOT is among the options that are being considered.

    Because of the need to attend to other matters, media requests will not be granted after Thursday August 6, 2015

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