There’s a moment on Eminem’s new album where he seems to have run out of stars to shoot down. “So, who’s left? Lady Gaga?” he asks. “Messed with the Bieber. Nah, F with Christina, I ain’t fucking with either Jessica neither—Simpson or Alba—my album’s just sicker than struck with the fever.”
Earlier in the track (“Evil Twin”), he gripes with more than a touch of self-awareness, “I’m frustrated ‘cause ain’t no more *NSYNC, now I’m all outta wack, I’m all out of Backstreet Boys to call out and attack.”
But if he was stuck for famous people to diss when he wrote those lines, it was only temporary. Enough stars get hit with lyrical shrapnel on The Marshall Mathers LP 2, that we were compelled to update The Atlantic’s old catalog of every celebrity Eminem has ever disrespected. All in the service, of course, of better understanding the world’s most popular troll.
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Before Barack Obama moved into the White House, he was just another autocorrect joke. Microsoft Word 2003 gently suggested that typists might mean “boatman” and “Osama” when spelling out “Obama,” and early versions of Word 2007 did the same. The president later made it into Word’s dictionary, meaning that the program now recognizes his name as a regular English word. But other than the leader of the free world, who do tech companies choose to include in their autocorrect dictionaries, particularly on smartphones and tablets? How do they keep their dictionaries up-to-date with current events, trends, and rising celebrities?
To understand this question, a short primer on autocorrect might be helpful.
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The singer’s social media presence combines faux intimacy and calculated messages that make events out of her most normal moments.
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The Velvet Underground and Nico may have nabbed the most iconic Warhol cover ever, but these other ten shouldn’t be overlooked.
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The fame of Martin Amis is peculiar—by which I mean peculiar to Martin Amis. It’s not a broad, old-school writerly fame, a Rider Haggard fame, whereby they’re naming glaciers after you in Canada. Amis sells too few books for that. (He might merit a small pub: the Martin Amis.) It’s not a bitchy, tinnital modern fame, some species of celebrity. Nor is it literary notoriety, exactly—Amis has run with no bulls, head-butted no Gore Vidals, repented for no fake memoirs, staggered blotto from no White Horse Taverns. He has never been carted off to Bellevue, or made a radio broadcast on behalf of an enemy power. He has not committed suicide. Now 63, he has led a writer’s life, sedentary and doggedly productive, the crowning scandal of his career being his failure (so far) to win the Booker Prize. True, now and again from his nicotine cloister he’ll pad forth—moon-rock brow, kippery color—to say something languidly provocative on Charlie Rose. But all the other writers do that too. And yes, he has a second wife. But so do all the other writers. So what is it about Amis? Why is he—rather than, say, A. N. Wilson—the sport and quarry of a feverish commentariat, such that when he goes to the dentist, or leaves his agent, or moves (as he recently did) to Brooklyn, you read about it in Slate, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Republic, The New York Times again, and the silver-haired Smithsonian? Is it possible—can it be—that he is famous just for writing?
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From Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s impetuousness, gawky dance moves, and all-consuming frizz (early on, at least) as Elaine Benes on Seinfeld to the countless public wedding-party embarrassments Kristen Wiig tackled with gusto as Bridesmaids' social train wreck, Annie; even Nora Ephron's self-effacing claim that she was the only White House intern during the Kennedy administration that JFK didn’t bother to hit on
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Photographer Philippe Halsman, whose credits include more than 100 Life magazine covers, had an avante-garde approach to finding his subjects’ souls. Jumping brings us to life.
Read more. [Image: Philippe Halsman]
— Betty White explains how she ended up on Hot in Cleveland. She discusses her new book, If You Ask Me (But Of Course You Won’t), and her 63 years in show-business with the ineffable Kevin Fallon at The Atlantic. Read the whole interview.
A couple weeks ago, Huffington Post blogger Dan Mervish noted a funny trend: when Anne Hathaway was in the news, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway’s shares went up. He pointed to six dates going back to 2008 to show the correlation. Mervish then suggested a mechanism to explain the trend: “automated, robotic trading programming are picking up the same chatter on the Internet about ‘Hathaway’ as the IMDb’s StarMeter, and they’re applying it to the stock market.”
The idea seems ridiculous. But the more I thought about the strange behavior of algorithmic trading systems and the news that Twitter sentiment analysis could be used by stock market analysts and the fact that many computer programs are simply looking for tradeable correlations, I really started to wonder if Mervish’s theory was plausible.
I called up John Bates, a former Cambridge computer scientist whose company Progress Software works with hedge funds and others to help them find new algorithmic strategies. I asked, “Is this at all possible?” And I was surprised that he answered, roughly, “Maybe?”
Read more at The Atlantic