Why Were New York Government Websites Hidden From an Internet Archive for 13 Years?

Credit: Screenshot
Someone in New York State government apparently didn't want the Wayback Machine archiving their goods.
The nonprofit Internet Archive has an impossibly ambitious mission: to save a copy of every last piece of the public internet, forever, and to make the records freely available for anyone to use.

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New York's Bridge-Climbing Subculture Is Fighting Over Those White Flags on the Brooklyn Bridge

Image via City Council Member Mark Weprin's office
The infamous white flags.
Maybe you heard: on Tuesday morning, or maybe very late Monday night, someone swapped out the American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge and put some bleached white ones in their place. New York's public officials have been competing to see who can be more outraged and appalled over the stunt: Public Advocate Letitia James said the incident "raised serious concerns about our safety as a city," while Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams offered called the stunt a "terrorist act" and "descration" and offered $5,000 of his own money as a reward for information leading to the capture of the flag-swapping menaces.

Meanwhile, in a rapidly devolving debate taking place through Instagram and thinly-veiled jabs in the news, the subculture of daredevil photographers who like to climb high things and take stunning photos are pointing the finger at each other.

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Sleep No More Remixed: Version 2.0, April Fool's Joke, Or Phishing Scam?

Prior to receiving the above "telegram" today, we've been to the McKittirck Hotel twice to engage with Punchdrunk's Sleep No More.

Now, it seems the production is about to undergo a radical change.

Or engage in an April Fool's Day prank against would be returning customers.

Or maybe, as the click through site tells you to return in two days to purchase tickets, it's simply a phishing scam to get your credit card data.

Either way, it's an intriguing mystery.

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The Q Train Loves You and Wants You to Be Happy

The Q train would like to remind you that love is possible, and that it will happen to you, even you! This hopeful memo seen en route from Union Square to Brooklyn this Saturday may be the loveliest thing anyone has ever said to us -- via Post It note, on public transportation, anyway.

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East Village Super Held Time Warner Cable Hostage For 24 Hours

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A very different hostage situation.
EV Grieve had a bizarre story yesterday about a crooked super in the East Village who's been holding a cable box hostage. And not just any cable box, but a node that controls the cable and internet for multiple buildings in the East Village. The super was allegedly not allowing Time Warner to get to the basement of his building and service the box because he wanted free cable, leaving an area of the EV without cable or Internet for 24 hours.

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Alessio Rastani: Real Trader, Prankster, or Both?

The guy in that BBC interview says he's one Alessio Rastani and that he's a trader. The clip has been making the Internet rounds today mostly because of Rastani's bonkers quotes, i.e. "The governments don't rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world." He's either the most honest trader in the world or a hoax. Rastani and BBC are insisting he's legit, and stunt group the Yes Men, who were thought to be behind this, sent us this statement saying they're not involved:

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The Mystery Of George Costanza's New Hair

The sleuths at TMZ have spotted an important sea change on Jason Alexander's head: the famously bald former Seinfeld star has sprouted new hair. "Jason Alexander: The Magical Hair Growth," says TMZ. Behold, the new George:

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This is a post about nothing. Alexander tweeted about the new hair in July:

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Mystery Teenager Wanders Out of German Forest, Doesn't Speak German

Interpol is investigating the peculiar story of a 17-year-old boy who walked into Berlin's city hall and said he had been living in a forest outside of the city for five years. He told investigators that he lived in the woods with his father who died two weeks before the boy arrived in Berlin. Despite living in a German forest, the Independent reports the boy speaks fluent English and only knows a few German words.

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Broken Subway Door Chimes: A Mini-Investigation

A YouTube poster recently uploaded this video, remarking on the "new weird door chime sound" he heard and recorded while riding on one of the 7 Train's R62A cars. It prompted our curiosity. Was this a new, weird, but sort of pleasant, door chime sound from the MTA?

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Steve Duncan, Urban Explorer, on the Secrets Underneath the Cities

Earlier this month we posted a video of Steve Duncan exploring the abandoned Bowery subway station at Spring Street between Bowery and Elizabeth. Because we're generally fascinated by the mystery of what's beyond the face of New York City that we see everyday, we got in touch with him to find out more about how he got started "going underground," what he's seen, and why he can't help being drawn in by urban environments -- whether he's in New York, Los Angeles, or climbing to the top of Notre Dame.

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