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Updated 2018-02-25 09:36
A cybersecurity style guide
Information security firm Bishop Fox's "Cybersecurity Style Guide" is 92 pages' worth of usage notes from the confusing world of technical jargon, a combination of glossary, pronunciation guide and style manual (in the manner of the jargon file), and includes the notation that "cyber-" is an ill-advised prefix. (more…)
GOP lawmakers attempt to define gay marriage as 'parody'
GOP bigots in South Carolina and Wyoming have decided to try and weasel around the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed "legal" marriage to everyone.I can not begin to understand the religious babble these 'lawmakers' enter into, trying to describe how two people committing to share their lives is anything wrong. Jeff March, the president of South Carolina Pride, commented “Pure prejudice is what that is. Pure outright prejudice."Via PinkNews:
There's a semi-secret Burning Man calendar that you can (shockingly) buy
While some can only think of the Burning Man as a party in the desert, diehard Burners, its citizens, will tell you that it's much more than it. They'll tell you that it's a year-round community whose leadership is, amongst other things, determined to protect their unique culture from commodification. People looking to exploit the culture with "commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising" will promptly be shutdown. Amazingly, besides some coffee and ice, nothing at the annual Burning Man desert event is for sale.In fact, decommodification is so important to them that they've made it one of their 10 Principles.Now, I've been in the Burning Man community since 1995 and I've just learned this week that the Project does actually have one product for sale: a calendar. You can buy it online, like I just did.Through a recent blog post on her site, I discovered that my pal Arin Fishkin has been the calendar's designer since its beginning in 2004. In the post, she not only shares the calendar's history -- highlighted by lovely sample pages of each year's edition -- but also tells why an organization that protects itself from commodification is selling it to begin with. She writes:
Watch cute babies try winter Olympic sports
I give all of these babies a gold medal!
Flowers look way more beautiful if you're a bug
The world looks a lot cooler if you're a bug, as Craig P. Burrows demonstrates in his striking series of flowers shot in ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence. (more…)
Amnesty International warns that Trump's hatemongering sets "a dangerous precedent for other governments to follow."
If you've had the sneaking suspicion over the past year that the world is going to hell, you're not alone. Amnesty International's 2017-2018 State of the World's Human Rights Annual Report says that in many countries, the politics of hate and fear are quickly becoming the norm.The report, which covers the activities of 159 countries paints a troubling picture of the conditions that many people are forced to endure on an alarmingly more regular basis. For those who keep track of human rights issues, this is old hat--the world can be a shitty place, full of shitty people doing shitty things to folks that don't deserve it. What's new this year, although it's likely news to no one, is that America is one of a small group of countries at the forefront of Amnesty International's concerns. In a press release for the report, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, states:
This tool helps your site beat the SEO scramble
The web is vast, and while there's room for everyone, competition is stiff when it comes to landing on that first page of a Google search. That's why developers aren't afraid to spend exorbitant amounts of time and money on search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure their sites rank higher than others. However, not all of us have these resources, especially when we're just starting out. That's where SEOPop comes in. This tool helps you visualize your site's SEO performance and gives you tips on how to improve it, all for $9.99.SEOPop analyzes a website to generate an SEO report card based off of an extensive list of factors and then creates an in-depth audit of the URL being examined. From there, you can look at your site's report card, identify problems, and see how it stacks up against the competition. You'll get insights on your site's speed and loading times, plus you'll also receive breakdowns of your social signal impact in SEO, including Facebook and Twitter page analysis.SEOPop gives you the means to improve your site's exposure while keeping tabs on your competition, and it's on sale for a limited time. Normally retailing for $149.99, lifetime subscriptions are available for $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.
A Fresh Voice for San Francisco
Editor's note: I've known Shahid Buttar for years, in his capacity as an activist organizer, drawing on his background as a constitutional lawyer and his deep commitment to a just world to help start effective grassroots groups across America; now Shahid has taken leave from EFF to challenge Nancy Pelosi -- a consistent force for more surveillance and profits over people -- for the Democratic nomination to Congress in San Francisco's 12th District. I'm proud to endorse his candidacy. -Cory (more…)
Trump and the weird attention economy of Facebook
When you try to buy online ads from Facebook's self-serve ad-auctioning platform, merely being the highest bidder isn't enough to guarantee that your ads will get through: Facebook multiplies your bid by a software-generated prediction about how responsive the audience will be to it, so the clickbaitier your ad is, the less it costs to place it. (more…)
Gothamist unionized and its evil Trumpist billionaire owner shut it down; now public radio is bringing it back
Last November, evil Trump-supporting billionaire Joe Ricketts shut down Gothamist (and its sister sites) to punish its staff for forming a union. (more…)
Paul Manafort's inability to save Word files as PDFs provided the evidence necessary to indict him for fraud
Paul Manafort, one-time Trump campaign manager, has been indicted for cooking his books in order to qualify for a loan; prosecutors secured the evidence of his fraud by searching his email, which contained attachments that clearly showed him doctoring his financial statements and then emailing them to his co-conspirator Richard Gates so Gates could convert them to PDFs, which literally just involves selecting "Save As..." and choosing "PDF." (more…)
Taking one cent, ever, from the NRA should disqualify you from ever running for office as a Democrat
New Jersey State Senator Jeff Van Drew wants to run for Congress as a Democrat; he visited 17-year-old Emily McGrath's school, Egg Harbor Township High, where McGrath questioned him about whether he'd taken money from the NRA; Van Drew said he hadn't, and he was lying. (more…)
You know who hates Net Neutrality? The NRA.
It's CPAC! The annual far-right hootenanny for preppers, false-flaggers, climate deniers, truthers, and the sort of person who closes their eyes and thinks of The Fountainhead, featuring Marion Maréchal-Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage, Sean Hannity, and mass-murder enthusiast Wayne LaPierre. (more…)
Candles for book lovers
Candles that smell like a bookstore, old books, or a musty old cellar? Pal, you sure like books!My home is filled with books, and pets. Guess which one lends more to the olfactory nature of my domicile? Frequently, especially after running the carpet deep-cleaner, I'll want to light a candle... or burn a sage Great Pyrenees in effigy.Candle store candles, or simply walking into one of those mall candle-shops, makes me sick-to-my-stomach. Finding candles that help clear the air, rather than fill it with a chemical scent worse than hospital, is pretty tough. Bookstore is working well for me, tho I am not sure which bookstore it is supposed to be. Most of them now smell like their coffee counter.Bookstore - Book Lovers' Soy Candle - 8oz Jar via AmazonImage via Amazon
US Customs and Border Patrol made forging e-passports easier
One of the things that make every RFID implanted US Passport 'safe' is each document's unique cryptographic identifier. Customs and Border Patrol can use this key to verify the authenticity of each passport, if they'd bother to install the software to do so.For 12 years they have not.Via Wired:
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler pens a touching thank you to fans
Following the unprecedented success of his film Black Panther, director Ryan Coogler shared this sweet thank-you letter via the Marvel Studios Twitter account:https://twitter.com/marvelstudios/status/966115769388998656?s=11The letter reads:
Incredible overview of making mirrors for the world's largest telescope
The Giant Magellan Telescope is a marvel of engineering, and Dr. Patrick McCarthy explains the years-long process to make an optic mirror that costs over $20 million. (more…)
Watch this very good boy fearlessly escape a pack of wolves
While bopping around Italy's Abruzzo National Park, zoologist Paolo Forconi witnessed a pack of three young wolves assaulting a garden variety house pooch. While it takes a few nips from the wolves, their young jaws, according to Forconi, weren't able to do much damage. Tthe dog was able to make its escape through a small hole in a fence.
Rancher takes feds to court over camera they placed on his property without permission
Ricardo Palacios, a 74-year old rancher, had gotten used to Customs and Border Protection officials tromping across his south Texas ranch lands without permission over the years. But finding a wireless surveillance camera set up in one of his trees? Not OK. Upon discovering the device, Palacios removed it immediately. It wasn't long after that he started receiving calls from CBP and the Texas Rangers demanding that he turn the camera over to them or face charges.Having taken enough of their shit, instead of turning the camera over, Palacios gave the feds something else instead: a lawsuit.According to Ars Technica, Palacios, who's been a lawyer for 50 years, named the two agencies and a CBP agent in a lawsuit that accuses them of violating his constitutional rights, by trespassing on his land, and setting up cameras where ever they damn well please. It's an important case: CBP claims it has a right, within a 100-mile radius of the American border, to stop people (including U.S. citizens, which flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment,) search cars and personal belongings in the name of border security, without a warrant. But this doesn't allow them to go traipsing on to private property in the name of their duties without permission. They're only allowed to do that within 25 miles of the border.Palacios' ranch? It's 35 miles away from the edge of the U.S./Mexican border. This alone would be enough to warrant a suit against the government. But there's more:
Here's the Harlem Globetrotters' Rube Goldberg 'trick shot' machine
Yep, the Harlem Globetrotters are still doing their thing and as evidenced by their YouTube channel (don't miss their "one take" video from last year), these basketball-spinning darlings are doing it better than ever.These courtside jesters recently teamed up students from Georgia Tech's colleges of Industrial Design and Music to make this Rube Goldberg 'trick shot' machine. Watch as their starred, red, white, and blue basketball makes its way through a complicated path from a Globetrotter to an impressive hole-in-one.It's a fun watch (despite all those editing cuts).(Sploid)
Share your big emotional moment on this crowdsourced map of NYC
Ever had something life changing happen to you in the Big Apple? Here's your chance to mark that emotional occasion on a crowdsourced map of the city.To contribute to Kate Ray's "Crying in Public" map, you'll need to first sign up (no signup required to gawk at other people's hot messes). Then, pick an appropriate emoji that matches your life moment (a peach for "NSFW," crying face for "cried in public," swirly lollipop for "peaked at an altered state", etc.) and place it on the map along with its abbreviated story.P.S. Don't go to the Chipotle at 6th Avenue and W. 13th.(Waxy)
This vintage-looking speaker produces cutting-edge sound
Many of us enjoy the aesthetic of vintage electronics, but trying to use most hardware from the 1950's isn't necessarily practical. This is especially true where speakers are concerned. While most of us can appreciate the old-school feel of retro speakers, they have a hard time matching the convenience and power delivered by today's Bluetooth speakers. The Lofree Poison bridges this gap by offering a cutting-edge speaker wrapped up in a nostalgic design, and it's on sale for $79.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Packaged in a retro, 1950's frame, this Kickstarter success boasts an enhanced bass driver and ultra large diaphragm, allowing it to pump out powerful and full-bodied bass without sacrificing mids and trebles. It utilizes 20-watt amplifiers to boost its sound potential, and it's rated to last up to six hours at a time thanks to its 2000mAh rechargeable battery.Normally retailing for $119, the Lofree Poison is on sale for $79.99 in the Boing Boing Store.
China sets up anonymous snitch-line to report strippers at funerals
The Chinese Minister of Culture has launched a campaign in Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces to end the practice of hiring strippers to draw crowds to funerals -- these crowds are seen as a mark of respect and status for the departed that epitomizes the virtue of "filial piety," regardless of how they are brought in. (more…)
Before standing for the Democratic nomination in a NY congressional race, Patrick Ryan was in business spying on union organizers and left-wing activists
Patrick Ryan wants to be the Democratic nominee for New York's 19th district in the Hudson Valley, a Republican seat that Dems hope to flip; he's gone on record stating that he can do the job because of his entrepreneurial success -- but he didn't mention that he built his career at Berico Technologies by pitching a product to help businesses spy on union organizers and left-wing activists, a plan that included spying on left-wing Democrats and planting fake documents in order to discredit labor unions. (more…)
Trump's tiny sausage fingers too small to mask his "how to human" crib-sheet for mass shooting presser
On Wednesday, President Trump met with mass-shooting survivors to dismiss their pleas for basic gun safety laws that might negatively impact gun manufacturers' profits by instead proposing stupid shit like filling schools with armed veterans and giving guns to teachers. (more…)
It could happen here: How China's social credit system demonstrates the future of social control in smart cities
Adam Greenfield (previously) is one of the best thinkers when it comes to the social consequences of ubiquitous computing and smart cities; he's the latest contributor Ian Bogost's special series on "smart cities" for The Atlantic (previously: Bruce Sterling, Molly Sauter). (more…)
Now that Trump's FCC has killed Net Neutrality, we all need to participate in instrumenting the net to document violations
Ajit Pai's Net Neutrality-killing order is scheduled to go into effect on April 23, and when that happens, it'll be open season on the free, fair and open internet. (more…)
Judge finds that Disney "misused copyright" when it tried to stop Redbox from renting download codes
Redbox buys DVDs and then rents them through automated kiosks, including DVDs from Disney that come with download codes to watch the videos through a DRM player. (more…)
Fully Automated Small Screen Luxury Communism: Amazon is making a TV show out of Iain Banks's Culture novels
The late, lamented Scottish writer Iain Banks (previously) was several kinds of writer, but one of his main claims to fame is his role in developing the idea of fully automated luxury communism, in his beloved Culture novels, a series of wildly original space operas about a post-singularity, post-scarcity cooperative galactic civilization devoted to games, leisure, and artistic pursuits, populated by AIs, city-sized space cruisers, spy networks, and weird bureaucracies. (more…)
Some free short stories from Soviet-era science fiction author Anatoly Dneprov
This week I found several stories by Anatoly Dneprov, shared free on the series of tubes we call the internet.Anatoly Dneprov, a science teacher, wrote wonderful, fast-paced, and oh-so very representative of Russian's science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s. Not only does Dneprov masterfully communicate the headspace of living in a dystopic society, but his ideas about self-replicating machines, 3D printing and number of other things-to-come are eerie to the point of disbelief.The Purple Mummy is a fantastic story about first contact coming from someplace completely unexpected. In just a few pages, as these stories are short, Dneprov launches quite a few huge ideas, and brings the story to a conclusion that doesn't feel lacking. Advances in medicine, the birth of 3D printing, and some very Russian existentialism over an anti-Universe are all strung together in a way that makes more sense than it should.I also enjoyed his short The Maxwell Equations.Links are via the Internet Archive and offer all the e-versions you might want.
Fantastic video of New York City's Gay Pride Parade in 1989
In the 1980s, Nelson Sullivan was ubiquitous in the downtown NYC art and club scene, documenting his community and culture on his handheld video camera.(more…)
Ursula K. Le Guin on vinyl! "Music and Poetry of the Kesh"
Ursula K. Le Guin's "Always Coming Home" (1985) is a combination novel and anthropological study of the Kesh, a culture that "might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California." Early editions of the book included a cassette of faux "field recordings," indigenous songs, and other audio of the Kesh. Now, the good people at Freedom to Spend are bringing the Kesh experience to vinyl in a lovely limited edition that includes an LP containing the audio of the original cassette, "a deluxe spot printed jacket with illustrations from Always Coming Home, a facsimile of the original lyric sheet, liner notes by Moe Bowstern, multi-format digital download code and a limited edition bookmark letterpressed by Stumptown Printers in Portland, OR." From Freedom to Spend:
20th Anniversary Edition of "Your Woman"
Your Woman was a 1997 one-hit wonder from White Town, AKA Jyoti Prakash Mishra, notable for its ultra low-fi stylings, as if right out of the KLF's legendary Manual. A British musician whose second hit was the phrase "better than a no-hit wonder," Mishra recently created this 20th Anniversary Edition for everyone's enjoyment.
Venezuelans with transplanted organs are dying due to a lack of drugs
Venezuela is in crisis. The South American country has been a sore festered with political turmoil and socioeconomic woes for years now. Unemployment is a pandemic in the country and, thanks to the devaluation of their currency, what little food can be had there, is largely unaffordable by the nation's people. As a result of these conditions, crime has become rampant, countless businesses in the country have shuttered and shortages of the staples we take for granted have become commonplace. Reuters reports that the shortages have begun to effect an unexpected, exclusive group of Venezuelans: organ transplant recipients.According to Reuters, there are around 3,500 organ transplant recipients living in Venezuela today. Thanks to modern medicine, theses recipients have been able to lead largely normal lives. But as the country's ability to afford medicines made in other countries, make their own drugs or pay medical personnel diminishes, the lives of its organ transplant recipients are being put at risk. The drugs needed to keep their new organs from being rejected by their bodies have run out. So far, at least seven of the country's citizens have died as a result, with 35 additional transplant recipients reporting that their new organs are now being rejected by their bodies.The suck doesn't stop there: thanks to the fact that only around half of Venezuela's dialysis machines are operating, tens of thousands of people waiting for lifesaving surgeries are at risk of dying as their blood can't be cleaned of toxins. The doctors who are still working to keep people alive in the country are exhausted and frustrated by the conditions they're now forced to work in:
The Justice League Honest Trailer doesn’t pull its punches
DC’s Justice League movie was a bit of a mess, so Screen Junkies has plenty to make fun of in this new Honest Trailer—especially Henry Cavill’s weird CGI lip (thanks for that Paramount).https://twitter.com/DanaSchwartzzz/status/931325744667680768The Justice League Honest Trailer also features a pretty impressive collection of the many scenes from the trailers that didn’t make it into the final film thanks to reshoots and rewrites.
Endless Archery
Endless Archery is a free browser game similar to Desert Golfing but with archery as the theme and the chunky low-res pixel-precision of Pico-8. I found the basic mechanics more difficult, but once mastered, the procedurally-generated levels are relatively forgiving. I lost half an hour to it last night before an existential crisis set in, it's pretty good!
Pay what you want for 50+ hours of Python training
Python is one of the most popular and versatile programming languages used by developers today, making it an ideal first choice for those looking to kickstart a career in programming. While you could go back to school or sign up for a pricey coding bootcamp, you can learn the essentials of coding with Python at home and for a price you choose with the Pay What You Want: Absolute Python Bundle.Here's how the deal works: Simply pay what you want, and you'll instantly unlock one of the collection's five courses. Beat the average price paid, and you'll get the remaining four at no extra charge.Ideal for beginners and veterans alike, this collection includes more than 50 hours of training on Python's core concepts and associated tools. From understanding variables and strings to automation testing with Selenium, you'll tackle the ideas and techniques critical to creating your own websites. And with lifetime access, you can learn at the pace that's right for you.Simply choose your price, and you can start learning Python with the Pay What You Want: Absolute Python Bundle.
QuillBot is "a smart thesaurus for sentences"
QuillBot rewrites phrases, making it easy to tweak results and understand what it's up to in each variation.
Highway wolves
The music is "Lonely Boy" by The Black Keys:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_426RiwST8
Crash Course is launching a series all about media literacy
One of my favorite things on the internet is Crash Course, a free, high-quality educational YouTube channel that offers “crash courses” on science, math, history, literature, philosophy, and so much more. The channel’s latest project is a 12-week miniseries all about media literacy. Hosted by Jay Smooth, the series aims to give viewers “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication.” It’s hard to think of a more relevant tool to have in our current political and cultural climate. The series officially launches next, but here’s a preview video of everything it’s going to cover: https://youtu.be/sPwJ0obJya0
A flooded river turns a jungle path into a crystal clear underwater world
The Olho D'Agua river in Bonito, Brazil flooded in early February after a heavy rain, submerging the jungle around it. You'll see in this trippy video that the river's waters are so crystal clear that the path, vegetation and foot bridge are perfectly visible underwater.The footage was captured by a park guide at Recanto Ecologico Rio da Prata, an ecotourism group that operates in that area. They write:
Bill Gates attempts to guess the prices of everyday grocery items
Microsoft founder Bill Gates admittedly hasn't been in a supermarket in a long time, so when Ellen put him up to estimating the prices of some pretty typical grocery store items, he was hilariously lost. Particularly watch the look of pity Ellen gives at the 1:12 mark when the billionaire guesses that a container of Tide Pods is only four dollars.With a lot of help from the audience, Bill was able to get the price right (within a dollar) of three items. Because of his "win," that audience will return for Ellen's popular "12 Days of Giveaways" segment.(reddit)
The Copyright Office is spending the year deciding technology's future, but the future doesn't get a seat at the table
Every three years, the US Copyright Office creates temporary exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's ban on breaking DRM, provided that people can show that they've been prevented from doing something customary and legitimate with their own property. (more…)
Watch this excellent 1977 documentary about makers and mad inventors
Directed by Howard Smith, "Gizmo" (1977) is a delightful collection of mid-century newsreels celebrating ingenuity, invention, and the eccentric minds who make their wild ideas real.
A deeply unsettling GIF
Click play below and, er, enjoy.
Some Silicon Valley residents with incomes up to $400,000 consider themselves "middle class"
The Palo Alto Weekly in Silicon Valley asked more than 250 residents of that city "How do you define your social class?" From the survey results (PDF):
Comedian Jena Friedman jests: 'treat Nazis like we treat women'
https://youtu.be/xy2bh1L5_pIComedian Jena Friedman killed it in her recent standup set on Conan. I somehow missed this a couple of weeks ago when it came out. Glad it landed in my feed today.If you liked this, she's got a new special on Adult Swim called "Soft Focus with Jena Friedman" that's hilarious too. Her segment with Gilberto Valle (the "Cannibal Cop") is simultaneously subversive and awkward. Win-win!
Slime after Slime, a slime-making parody of Time after Time
Parents know, kids can get really obsessed with making slime. She's not that into baking but give my daughter some Borax and glue and she'll spend hours mixing up batches of slime in our kitchen. She got so into it at one point that I started buying gallon jugs of Elmer's glue just to keep costs down.YouTubers The Holderness Family understand. They turned Cyndi Lauper's 1983 Grammy-winning song "Time after Time" into "Slime after Slime," a silly parody about this messy hobby.Thanks, Heather!
Oasis' Liam Gallagher grilled by school kids, calls his brother Noel 'naughty'
A room full of young children got the opportunity to ask former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher nearly anything they wanted.They quizzed him with questions like, "What's your favorite Disney movie?" (Finding Nemo) and "What instruments do you play?"(none).When one boy called him "naughty," Liam wasted no time bringing up his estranged brother Noel, calling him "naughty."It just got more beautifully awkward from there when one rosy-cheeked boy asked the hard-hitting question on everyone's mind, "What's your favorite fart?" (loud ones). Gallagher's sage advice for the young'uns: "If you wanna be a rock star, look out the window, stare at the clouds and do loud farts."Gallagher is currently on a worldwide tour for his hit solo album, As You Were.(COS)
Inside the makeshift headquarters of the Parkland teens working to stop mass shootings
In this powerful new article, BuzzFeed News’ Remy Smidt reports from inside the grassroots activist group that’s been formed by teens who survived the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead and 14 wounded. The students have emerged as vocal activists on both social media and traditional media platforms (a CNN excerpt of senior Emma González’s impassioned speech has been shared thousands of times on Twitter). And they’ve inspired a wave of other young activists too; high school students in Maine recently staged a gun control protest in place of a routine lock-down drill.The Marjory Stoneman Douglas students have done an incredible amount of organizing over the past week, including planning the nationwide March for Our Lives demonstration on March 24. And Smidt reports on what it’s like to watch the young activists at work:
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