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Updated 2018-12-13 01:21
Canal+ commits copyfraud, gets Banksy's painting-shredding video removed from Youtube
In October, a delightful prank by the artist Banksy involved a painting of his shredding itself shortly after a Sotheby's bidder committed to spending £1.04m to buy it. Banksy shot his own video of the stunt and posted it to Youtube. The video was widely reused by news networks in their coverage of the prank, including by the French giant Canal+.Canal+ didn't just make a fair use of Banksy's video, though: they also fraudulently claimed copyright over his footage with Youtube's ContentID filter, resulting in his video being censored.Youtube eventually restored the video: Banksy is famous, and the video is famous, so Youtube presumably bumped this dispute to the front of the queue. But Canal+ will face no penalties for committing copyfraud: it will still enjoy the privilege of being able to use Youtube's ContentID system to arbitrarily censor works based on evidence-free claims of copyright.If you think this is unfair, strap in: tomorrow, we'll learn whether the European Union will proceed with the new Copyright Directive, and with it, Article 13, which will require all platforms to create ContentID-style copyright filters that anyone can add anything to, with impunity, to censor anything on the internet merely by making unsubstantiated copyright claims.Apparently, the French media giant Canal+ used the material as well. However, they went a step further and have claimed it as their own, asking YouTube to remove the original, which it did.“Video unavailable This video contains content from Canal Plus, who has blocked it on copyright grounds,” a message now reads instead. Read the rest
Woman who hasn't had a haircut in 28 years occasionally trips over her 6-foot-long tresses
A 33-year-old woman in Ukraine hasn't cut her hair in 28 years, and says she doesn't think she ever will. Alena Kravchenko, from Ukraine, says her hair is part of her identity – which, at least in the looks department, she compares to Rapunzel – and she doesn't have any plans on cutting it. But her long mane does have it drawbacks. Over 6 feet long, it's a chore to wash, which she does only once every three weeks. She also occasionally trips on it. And then there's her kids, who love to play in it, causing her to keep it up in a bun most of the time. According to Oddity Central: By the time she had reached her teens, Alena Kravchenko’s hair had already reached halfway down her back, and by her early 20s, it reached her waist, then her knees, and in her early 30s, it started touching the floor. That’s when she began tripping on it, and as her two children got older, it became even more problematic as they loved to play with it, so Alena started tying it up in a bun, only letting it down on weekends and for special occasions. Check out Kravchenko's Instagram photos. Pretty impressive hair indeed! View this post on Instagram Good morning World! #instagram#длинныеволосы#longhair#rapunzel#длиннаякоса#красивыедевушки#topgirls#odessagram#одесса#длиннаякоса#рапунцель#аленакрасадлиннаякоса#длинныеволосыукраина#длинныеволосыодесса#волосыодесса#superlonghair#sexiesthair#hairdiva#reallylonghair#instahair#longhairdontcare#hairstyle#hairfashion#famouspeople#starlife#verylonghair#hairstyles#рапунцельукраина#rapunzelukraine#longhairbeauty#hairinspirationA post shared by Alena Kravchenko (@alenuwka__) on Nov 8, 2018 at 12:27am PST View this post on Instagram Good morning World! #instagram#длинныеволосы#longhair#rapunzel#длиннаякоса#красивыедевушки#topgirls#odessagram#одесса#длиннаякоса#рапунцель#аленакрасадлиннаякоса#длинныеволосыукраина#длинныеволосыодесса#волосыодесса#superlonghair#sexiesthair#hairdiva#reallylonghair#instahair#longhairdontcare#hairstyle#hairfashion#famouspeople#starlife#verylonghair#hairstyles#рапунцельукраина#rapunzelukraine#longhairbeauty#halloweenA post shared by Alena Kravchenko (@alenuwka__) on Nov 4, 2018 at 12:49am PDT View this post on Instagram Если тебе скажут, что мечты не сбываются - не верь. Read the rest
PUMA reissuing its 1980s computerized running shoe
In 1986, Puma gave new meaning to the word sneakernet with the introduction of its RS-Computer running shoe that integrated a digital pedometer in the heel that could interface with your Apple IIe or Commodore 64 computer. See vintage video below. Now the RS-Computer is back with contemporary technology. I just wouldn't recommend wearing them through airport security. From Hypebeast:Updating the 33-year-old trainer for today, PUMA’s updated version no longer requires a 16-pin cord. It can be charged via USB and can now connect wirelessly to your mobile phone via Bluetooth. Other updated features include a miniature 3-axis accelerometer, an extended memory that records 30 days worth of running data, LED indicators, and a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery. Read the rest
You can buy death row inmate's art at the San Quentin gift shop
Never know what to get the person who has "everything"? It's pretty unlikely they'll have anything crafted by death row inmates, and that's where San Quentin State Prison's Handicraft Shop (aka the Hobby Shop) comes in. This unusual Marin County, California store is located right outside the penitentiary's gate and offers a wide assortment of prisoner-made artwork and crafts. That is, if you can get in.No, you don't have to go through security or be related to an inmate or anything like that to shop there. It just always seems to be closed, despite the posted hours. I first heard about the shop in the late 1990s and tried several times, unsuccessfully, to get in. Then, on one late December day some 11 years ago, I caught the attention of the then-new director of the prison's art program as he was closing up shop. He said couldn't let me in that day but promised if I emailed him, he'd get me in soon. Game on. On Christmas Eve day in 2007, myself and two friends got access. At the time, I didn't have the money to buy the bigger art (some of which was painted on the back of blue-and-white-striped mattress ticking). Instead, I bought a couple of inexpensive "Jailhouse Rocks," one for myself and one to use as a Yankee Swap gift I was attending that night. From what I gather, inmates can buy kits inexpensively that they can assemble and then sell for a small profit. The kits for the "Jailhouse Rocks" need actual stones from the prison's yard to complete which I found oddly charming. Read the rest
Nobody is happy in the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame
Having 50% of the universe's population turned into ash by a lunatic seems to have brought everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe down. That said, after the emotional thrashing that Marvel fans took from watching Avengers: Infinity War, anything will likely feel light and airy. Read the rest
Moose unwittingly plays ding dong ditch with his butt
A moose accidentally rang a doorbell with his behind while bumbling around the outside of an Anchorage, Alaska home.On Thursday, Kyle Stultz and his partner Allie Johnstone heard the doorbell ring at 1:30 AM. They thought it was a prankster until they saw the security cam footage. That's when they learned it was a moose whose backside had hilariously set off the bell. The video is everything. KTVA reports:After checking on their dogs and looking out the door to find nothing, Stultz assumed some neighborhood kids were playing a prank."We were thinking kids coming through playing ding dong ditch or maybe a neighbor coming through. We had no idea," Stultz said.So they checked their security system and were surprised to see a moose caboose."We had this nice moose behind waiting for us right here," Stultz said. "And he decided to back up right into it and that’s how he got our doorbell."(Jezebel) Read the rest
US governmental conservationists really hope that young endangered seals will stop getting eels stuck in their nostrils
Hawaiian monk seals are endangered and closely monitored by NOAA scientists who are alarmed that the seals keep getting eels stuck really deep in their nostrils.The scientists have removed "three or four" eels from juvenile monk seals' nostrils over the past two years, mostly in the last few months. The seals are fine. The eels died. The scientists don't know how the eels got stuck up the seals' nostrils. Perhaps they swam up there after getting cornered in a coral reef, or possibly the seals ate them and barfed them up and got them stuck in their noses. They worry that the seals will not be able to keep water out of their lungs when diving -- leading to pneumonia -- or they will end up with rotting eels stuck in their heads.Still, Littnan said it doesn’t seem possible that a “long, fat eel” would end up going through a seal’s nose rather than out of its mouth. The “most plausible” theory, he said, is that monk seal teenagers aren’t all that different from their human counterparts. Monk seals “seem naturally attracted to getting into troublesome situations,” Littnan said.“It almost does feel like one of those teenage trends that happen,” he said. “One juvenile seal did this very stupid thing and now the others are trying to mimic it.”Though no seals have died or been seriously affected by the eels, having a dead animal up their noses for any extended amount of time poses potentially adverse health impacts, said Simeone, director of Ke Kai Ola, a monk seal hospital in Hawaii run by the Marine Mammal Center. Read the rest
How to make some cool balancing toys
High school science teacher Bruce Yeany says, "Here are a few more example of balancing toys that are made with simple materials. Making these types of toys have been especially popular with students. Toys can be a great lead in to the study of center of mass, center of gravity, levers, torque. Also makes a good STEM challenge for students to come up with their own balancing toys and investigate factors that influence its behavior." Here's Bruce's first video about making balancing toys: Read the rest
There's a new Katamari Damacy title for the Nintendo Switch: Reroll
"Katamari" is the Japanese word for "clod" or "lump," and people familiar with the Katamari Damacy video game franchise know that the object is to created a giant clod of stuff by rolling it around like a snowball, picking up increasingly larger objects over time.Reroll is a new Katamari Damacy game for the Nintendo Switch and it looks like fun. I'm going to get it and I'll let you know what I think.Image: Nintendo Read the rest
A Krampus Carol to remind you of why rotten kids should be wary this season
Anthony Bourdain left us earlier this year, but the joy he found in the world's many cultures and traditions will always be around for us to savor.In this quick holiday story, written by Bourdain, North America is given a brief, dark, humorous peek into the mythos surrounding Krampus, a goat-demon who comes during the Christmas holidays to punish children who misbehaved over the last year. A good pal of Santa Claus, Krampus, and the dread he has instilled in rotten kids for generations, most likely pre-dates Christianity. From Wikipedia:There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch – apart from its phallic significance – may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to 'bind the Devil' but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites. Merry Krampusnacht! Read the rest
Fortnite Season 7: You better watch out!
Happy Holidays on the Island! Looks like a mad army of insane snowpeople are on the loose!...and the ominous "Ho! Ho! Ho!" Read the rest
Far out t-shirts that celebrate the SETI Institute!
Is there life out there? That's one of the mind-boggling questions that the SETI Institute explores through its scientific research, all the while inspiring our own curiosity and sense of wonder about our place in the universe. SETI stands for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the official mission of the organization, founded in 1984, "is to explore, understand and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence." Support their efforts with these far out new t-shirts from the SETI Institute's Chop Shop Store. Above, the iconic SETI Logo tee. Below, a graphic expression of SETI pioneer Frank Drake's "Drake Equation" used to estimate the number of technological civilizations that could have developed in our galaxy. And lastly, a design honoring the scientists whose pioneering work underpins the search for extraterrestrial intelligence: Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Carl Sagan, Frank Drake, and Jill Tarter. SETI Institute t-shirts (Chop Shop Store) Read the rest
Penis facials contain foreskins of circumcised infants
"And not everyone is happy."the controversial trend is back in the spotlight—and not in a good way. Penis facials are receiving a lot of backlash following a November 21st Instagram post by actress Kate Beckinsale, who captioned her photo, “After a long flight I do like to lie down and be covered in a mask of liquified cloned foreskins – frankly who doesn’t?”Among the outlets elaborating on this story are People and The Guardian. The penis facial is $650, but there's a two-year waiting list. It is, essentially, minor outpatient surgery akin to a botoxing or chemical peel:I’ll hate myself for this, but can you explain the foreskin facial? Of course! Epidermal growth factor (EGF) serum is derived from the progenitor cells of the human fibroblast taken from the foreskins of newborn babies.And what does it do? Glad you asked. It helps to generate collagen and elastin, which can help to boost the radiance of your face. Fun sidenote: it also smells exactly like sperm!Well, sign me up. Wait, there’s more. For the serum to take hold, a beauty therapist must first microneedle you.I don’t know what that is. Oh, it’s fun. It’s where a pen containing dozens of tiny needles repeatedly stabs you in the face hundreds of thousands of times. It’s excruciatingly painfulHyperreality refers to our inability to separate reality from simulation. This is a feature of postmodern life often associated with VR but baked deeply into our psychological relationship to media in general. Read the rest
See you in court: amid protests, shameless Wisconsin GOP neuters the incoming governor in an all-night, lame-duck session
This year, the people of Wisconsin pronounced their verdict on the GOP legislators who seized control over the state through gerrymandering and voter suppression: overwhelmingly, they voted to replace those legislators and the governor with progressive Democrats (it worked in the case of the governor; the legislature will remain Republican for now, thanks to extreme Republican gerrymandering that renders the votes of many in the state useless).The lame-duck Republicans sitting in the state-house awaiting the new Democratic governor weren't done: like their counterparts in Michigan, they had a giant Fuck You up their sleeves for the voters: a slate of reforms that would neuter the power of the incoming governor and his attorney general, along with a toxic stew of other measures, like a prohibition on handgun bans in the capital. Despite subzero temperatures, thousands of protesters thronged the capital to protest the coup. Despite the manifest popular will on their doorstep, the Wisconsin GOP staged an all-night session and passed nearly the whole state (the sole significant change was the elimination of a proposal to let the state legislature hire its own lawyers to bypass the Attorney General). Governor Scott Walker -- who handed billions in corporate welfare to a Chinese company that has reneged on its promise of creating good, in-state jobs -- has said he will sign the bill.The next stop will be a courthouse: the incoming governor Tony Evers has vowed to fight the legislation there. The bill would weaken the governor's ability to put in place rules that enact laws and shield the state jobs agency from his control until September. Read the rest
Musician demonstrates 10 difficulty levels of playing jazz guitar
Lucas Brar plays Gershwin's "Summertime" on a guitar, starting with a simple bass line, them adding increasing complexity as he continues.Image: YouTube Read the rest
Mueller releases Michael Flynn sentencing memo. All the good stuff is redacted.
The Michael Flynn Memo is out. It's redacted af.According to the sentencing memorandum filed by the Special Counsel tonight, Donald Trump's former national security adviser sat for 19 interviews with the special counsel's office and other attorneys at the Justice Department. Nineteen. Interviews.The memo references several investigations, one of which is completely redacted. The investigations for which Flynn was interviewed appear to include at least one *criminal* probe, which is separate from Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation. What's up with that?Robert Mueller is recommending no prison time for Flynn, given his cooperation in the ongoing investigation(s).The memo hit the internet around 8:36 PM Eastern Time, on December 4, 2018.What does this all mean? It means people higher up than Flynn are in deep trouble.Here's the main memo from the special counsel's office: https://t.co/ihaDJBEd7l / Here's the redacted supplemental memo: https://t.co/BscRgJkO3w— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) December 5, 20183. This chunk of redactions begins with "the defendant also provided useful information concerning...." pic.twitter.com/uC4QubcU9B— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 5, 20184. A significant statement from the Special Counsel on Flynn's participation. pic.twitter.com/3QGAxinzjY— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 5, 2018So the Flynn memo is like a teaser trailer?— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) December 5, 2018Michael Flynn has sat for 19 interviews with Special Counsel and DOJ. The memo appears to list at least 3 ongoing investigations being pursued.One “criminal investigation” is completely redacted in the document, another is also completely redacted.— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) December 5, 2018Michael Flynn has been singing ... Read the rest
A tip to keep your home address off the internet
There are dozens of free "peoplefinder" sites that buy up commercial databases and combine them with other sources to make your home address searchable. You can find instances where this has happened to you by googling your name and home address, and then you can google the removal forms for each of the services and get yourself delisted. But your name will keep getting re-added: if you set a Google Alert for a search on your name and address, you'll get a message ever time you get caught in these databases and you can remove your name again. This won't work on the for-pay background check sites that Google doesn't index, but it will keep your name and address clear of low-level scumbags who stick with free sites for their doxing activities. Read the rest
Shells with teeth
LA's John of Beans makes shells with teeth! Choose from the Smooth Shell With Lowers and the Snail with Molars (both $90) or a Mussel and Barnacle with Molars ($35) (via Creepbay) Read the rest
Learn how to spot a fake painting from art forgery experts
Would you know how to spot a fake painting?In this Wired video, forensic scientist Thiago Piwowarczyk and art historian Jeffrey Taylor of New York Art Forensics go through their five-step art authentication process to determine if they have a legit Jackson Pollock or not. Spoiler alert: it's not, though watching their discovery methods is fascinating.(Nag on the Lake) Read the rest
Can an AI determine if a song is danceable?
BB pal Lissa Soep of YR Media (formerly Youth Radio) writes:Our Interactive team delved into Spotify's algorithm to discover how songs on the platform are scored for their "danceability." We were intrigued by this use of Artificial Intelligence to quantify something as personal and cultural as what makes us want to move our bodies. So we built a tool that invites users to rate a curated playlist for each song’s “danceability” and compare that rating against the one Spotify produced algorithmically. Our writer Deborah Raji uses the project to raise fascinating questions about what it means for AI to be making its way into so many corners of our lives. "Can You Teach AI to Dance?" (YR Media)(Image: detail of illustration by Symone Woodruff-Hardy) Read the rest
Toronto 2033: science fiction writers imagine the city of the future
Toronto 2033 is a shared-world science fiction anthology edited by the incomparable and multi-talented Jim Munroe (previously), where authors like Zainab Amadahy, Madeline Ashby, Al Donato, Kristyn Dunnion, Elyse Friedman, Paul Hong, Elan Mastai, Mari Ramsawakh, Karl Schroeder and Peter Watts were challenged to imagine a future for the city.The book's sponsored by Spacing magazine, and it launches on December 6th at Toronto's punk science fiction bar, See-Scape.In the meantime, you can read Elyse Friedman's story, We Have Everything They Have Nothing (they'll be releasing another story from the book every month for ten months).The motto of Toronto, known to few, is “Diversity Our Strength”.These days, that’s a contentious statement. In the twenty years since themotto was chosen, diversity has become a highly-charged buzzword, withconservatives claiming that diversity actually makes us weak.Science, however, teaches us differently. Science shows us the danger ofmonocultures. Sure, a certain strain of coffee might be the easiest togrow, with the highest yield and the most popular flavour. But it mighthave a particular vulnerability to a disease another strain is moreresistant to. Putting all our eggs in one basket, to coin a phrase, is aterrible idea... because no one knows the future.Until now.Here collected for you are ten peeks into the future of Toronto, from tenwriters chosen for their talent and because they reflect Toronto’s mix ofcultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.Earlier this year, we all met for a design session. Read the rest
Trump ordering military to occupy US-Mexico border through Christmas
The President extends a lump of coal to our troops along the border, in a gesture of Trumpian holiday slime. A Merry Christmas to all, and to the immigrant children locked in ICE dog cages, enjoy your gruel.At least 5,000 migrants, most of whom are part of a caravan that walked north from Central America through Mexico in recent weeks, are now waiting in Tijuana just across from San Diego to ask for asylum in the United States.My source Jeff Valenzuela who was on the scene during the mayhem at the border with the caravan sent me this photo from when tear gas canisters went off @KPBSnews pic.twitter.com/gBjYbem7S9— Jean Guerrero (@jeanguerre) November 26, 2018This is how you ask for asylum, under U.S. immigration laws. A small number of border-rushers, including children, were tear gassed over the Thanksgiving holiday by Trump troops who were presumably just following orders, boss.Missy Ryan, Josh Dawsey, and Nick Miroff at the Washington Post:The Trump administration is expected to extend the military mission along the U.S. border with Mexico, a White House official said Wednesday, likely keeping troops away from their normal posts through the holidays.The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not yet been announced, said the assignment was expected to last at least 45 days beyond its scheduled end date of Dec. 15.That decision would affect almost 6,000 active duty military personnel now stationed in southern areas of Texas, Arizona and California, lengthening a mission critics have described as an unnecessary ploy to galvanize anti-immigrant sentiment. Read the rest
Watch man's horrifying hang gliding trip when instructor forgets to strap him in
This guy from Florida decided to try hang gliding for the first time while vacationing in Switzerland, and ended up clinging on to the instructor and the glider for dear life. Turns out the professionals forgot to strap him in. Here's his harrowing two-minute 14-second trip. Read the rest
US tax shortfalls have our public schools begging for donations
Between Trump's massive tax-breaks for the super-rich and rules like California's disastrous Prop 13 have cities perennially cash-starved and have led to the erosion of the same public services that make cities attractive to businesses (for example, the subway, public education, roads, grid and other public services that made NYC so attractive to tax-dodging Amazon for its second headquarters).After coasting on New Deal fumes for 40 years since Reagan began the American oligarchic regression, cities are reaching a breaking-point, and parents of kids in public schools have become accustomed to a near-constant stream of fundraising emails and flyers brought home from school. Not only can this funding never bridge the shortfalls from austerity, but it converts public schools into a kind of semi-private school where hidden user-fees -- in the form of "donations" -- aren't really optional.Some teachers' unions have made corporate taxation a part of the debate over school cuts: the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers talks about the decline in taxation of Minnesota's largest corporations ("Thirty years ago, Bancorp, EcoLab, Travelers Insurance, 3M and Target were taxed at 13.6 percent. That rate has been cut to 9.8 percent. Wells Fargo paid $15 million less in 2014 than they paid in 1990, when the tax rate was 12 percent. In 2014, 10 corporations paid $31 million less than they did in earlier periods") and explicitly connects those tax giveaways to the budgetary shortfalls that harm the city's kids.It's not enough that corporations give back some of that money in the form of charitable donations: those donations always come with strings attached, shaping curriculum and activities to the priorities of corporate benefactors, and the funding can be withdrawn any time our public schools do work that cuts against the corporate agenda. Read the rest
The Fifth Risk: Michael Lewis explains how the "deep state" is just nerds versus grifters
Michael Lewis is a national treasure, whose gift for explaining how finance grifters think and operate has spawned a whole genre, which he dominates with books like Liar's Poker (an insider view of the S&L crisis); The Big Short (a character-driven, crystal-clear explainer on the financial engineering that led to the 2008 crisis), and Flash Boys (the shitty math and bafflegab behind high-speed trading); and now, The Fifth Risk: an astounding and terrifying book about the experts who fill the ranks in the US government and the Trump-administration grifters who are destroying the work they do to keep us from dying of tornadoes, nuclear accident, food poisoning and a million other dangers, large and small.The Fifth Risk is a very short book, consisting mostly of interviews with current (and usually anonymous) US government officials, as well as former high-ranking officials who left when the Trump administration took over. These are largely extremely technical people, manifestly and palpably motivated by a sense of duty and a commitment to excellence, who have been charged with an insanely hard job: figuring out how to contain all the complex risks of 21st century technical society, including things like a 100-year, 100-billion-dollar nuclear cleanup that involves mitigating vast, badly secured underground stores of waste from the WWII nuclear bomb production effort, which is slowly seeping towards the Columbia River.Each profile takes on a similar form: the expert's journey to government service is explained (for example, how a deep-sea scientist became one of the first US woman astronauts and then helmed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; then, the incredibly technical, incredibly high stakes that person lives with (dealing with all the nation's weather data and figuring out how we can not all die from fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc), and then, the kicker: how Trump's shitty administration of grifters and right-wing thinktankies showed up underprepared, disinterested, and actively hostile to the person and the work they did (in this case, how the guy who runs Accuweather and has been lobbying for years to force the government to stop letting us get weather predictions for free ended up in charge of US governmental weather strategy). Read the rest
Google to delete all YouTube video annotations
Google killed the YouTube video annotations editor last year, and in an "update" to the announcement now says it will be deleting existing annotations in 2019.Update: We will stop showing existing annotations to viewers starting January 15, 2019. All existing annotations will be removed. ... ...As adoption of end screens and cards has grown, the use of annotations has decreased by over 70%. For this reason, we discontinued annotations editor in May 2017.This means you can no longer add new or edit existing annotations, only delete them.Annotations were replaced by "cards", which among other things are integrated into the contemporary advertising and tracking infrastructure built around YouTube, and can coexist better with the underlying video on mobile platforms (especially iOS, which is under another company's control).Though few loved annotations and they were often grossly hostile to viewers, it's also true that they were put to all sorts of legitimate and necessary purposes. None of which interest Google, so they disappear at its convenience. Read the rest
NASA InSight robot lander's amazing first images from Mars
After sticking a perfect landing on the Martian surface this afternoon, NASA's InSight robot lander has successfully deployed its solar panels. Tomorrow, InSight will fire up its scientific instruments and get to work collecting data about the planet's interior. From NASA/JPL-Caltech:NASA's InSight has sent signals to Earth indicating that its solar panels are open and collecting sunlight on the Martian surface. NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter relayed the signals, which were received on Earth at about 5:30 p.m. PST (8:30 p.m. EST). Solar array deployment ensures the spacecraft can recharge its batteries each day. Odyssey also relayed a pair of images showing InSight's landing site."The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries," said Tom Hoffman, InSight's project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which leads the mission. "It's been a long day for the team. But tomorrow begins an exciting new chapter for InSight: surface operations and the beginning of the instrument deployment phase..."In the coming days, the mission team will unstow InSight's robotic arm and use the attached camera to snap photos of the ground so that engineers can decide where to place the spacecraft's scientific instruments. It will take two to three months before those instruments are fully deployed and sending back data.In the meantime, InSight will use its weather sensors and magnetometer to take readings from its landing site at Elysium Planitia — its new home on Mars. Read the rest
New high-end electric scooter with slick form and function
When my friend David Hyman is passionate about something -- whether it's digital music, online games, or audio gear -- he immerses himself in the subject entirely, completely, obsessively. Once he's deep in it, he tries to find problems that if solved would improve the experience for the user. As a result, David has turned his personal, obsessive interests into a string of successful businesses! For the last year, David's been all about electric scooters. ALL about them. And now he's launched Unagi, a beautifully-designed electric scooter that David says is, well, the best in the world. I haven't ridden one yet but the folks at Gizmodo, The Verge, and Elektrek were pretty damn impressed. I helped David with some writing for his project and I hope he sends me the scooter I was promised soon.Unagi is now accepting discounted pre-orders via Kickstarter with shipping in February. Unagi: The Ultimate Electric Scooter (Kickstarter) Read the rest
Meet John Horgan and the BC NDP - North America’s most progressive government
If you live outside province you likely haven’t heard much about our new government, but here in British Columbia changes are happening fast, and you should know about them. From 2001 until May of last year, British Columbia was ruled by a right-wing coalition calling itself the British Columbia Liberal Party, which is not the same as the federal Liberal Party. Under their watch, taxes were cut, services were cut, and controls removed. The result has been increased wealth for the wealthy and increased poverty for the poor. Despite spectacular riches, British Columbia can now boast the highest rates of poverty, homelessness, and opioid addiction in Canada. So, in May of last year, we finally kicked the scoundrels out, and elected (by a hairsbreadth) a New Democratic government, headed by John Horgan, who are now addressing the host of huge problems and challenges that they have inherited, to the delight of those on the left and dismay to the right. Horgan is a working-class guy who, as opposition leader, did a remarkable job healing his party’s self-inflicted wounds, while holding the government’s feet to the fire. You can read a bit about him here.In office, the Horgan government has wasted no time in making changes. Here are a few:* B.C., despite an abundance of wealth, currently has one of the highest rates of poverty in Canada. To quote the government, “Too many people are struggling to make ends meet, earn a living wage, or find and keep affordable housing. Read the rest
Breaking boards is awfully cute
Funny Video of the day for sure! from r/funnyCould this be the cutest board breaking video of all time?Strike first, strike hard! Read the rest
Get this arsenal of Mac apps at Black Friday prices
Christmas is coming early, Mac users. If you've been waiting to "deck the halls" of your computer with the software that will stretch its potential, pick up the Award-Winning Black Friday Mac Bundle Ft. Acorn 6.Like the name says, it's a full arsenal of the most top-rated apps for Mac, packaged together for a fraction of the price for the individual software. For the security-minded, there's the password-management app mSecure Pro and the essential Netshade VPN. Spotless and Gemini 2 will organize your files and keep them that way, and Crossover 18 will even let you run Windows software cleanly and easily on your Mac. And there's a ton for designers: Clip Studio Paint Debut, Next Flipbook Maker Pro and of course, the intuitive and versatile photo editor Acorn 6.We're talking ten apps in all in the Award-Winning Black Friday Mac Bundle Ft. Acorn 6, holiday priced at $25. And right now, you can knock an additional $5 off with the coupon code BFMAC5. Read the rest
While serving, Trump's comms director will get a $7M Fox News bonus for his mishandling of sexual abuse
Bill Shine was forced to resign as co-president of Fox News over his personal mishandling of the rampant culture of sexual abuse, in which he abetted the company's culture of harassment, fondling, and coerced sex by its executives and on-air personalities.Surprisingly, Shine's complicity in sexual misconduct did not disqualify him from serving in a senior role in the Trump White House; he replaced Hope Hicks as the White House's Communications Director, where he has distinguished himself by failing to make the mandatory financial disclosures required of anyone serving in that role, and by illegally barring Jim Acosta from White House press conferences in retaliation for Acosta's refusal to let Trump off the hook when he failed to answer a simple question (Shine has now instituted a one-question/no-followups rule for the White House press corps).On Thanksgiving Friday, Shine belatedly filed his financial disclosure forms, which reveal that Fox News will pay Trump's new communications advisor a total of $7,000,000 while he is serving in the White House, as part of the $15,400,000 bonus that Shine was paid to reward him for his role in Fox's sex-scandal.Shine was also involved in settlements with women who accused former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly of sexual harassment. O’Reilly was ousted from the conservative network last year after the hush payments surfaced and advertisers bailed on his show.Since Shine’s hiring, which was praised by O’Reilly and Fox News’ Sean Hannity, he has been involved in banning reporters from the White House and instituting new “rules” for the media that only allow one question to be asked. Read the rest
One Day in Donald Trump's Army
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH two soldiers in Donald Trump's Army bravely defend the political goals of Donald Trump
A relentless stream of great movie insults, now with a dance beat
Sticks and stones may break my bones but supercuts never hurt me. (NSFW) Read the rest
Massachusetts mayor first in line to legally buy recreational weed
Today, Massachusetts' retail marijuana shops opened for business, and Northampton, Mass mayor David Narkewicz was first in line. Massachusetts is the first state east of the Mississippi to approve recreational marijuana. From CBS News:When asked whether the purchase is simply ceremonial or it will be consumed, Narkewicz said, "I am actually going to probably preserve it and display it…because it is historically significant.""There has been marijuana use going on in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a long, long time. What's changing is it's now being regulated. It's now being tested. It's now being strictly monitored. That's really the major change that's happening," Narkewizc said. Read the rest
Man learns life lesson: Don't remove sweatshirt while on a treadmill
"I meant to do that."(digg) Read the rest
GPU-accelerated dismemberment demo: 10,000 zombies in a giant blender
Brilliant Game Studios follows up on their 2016 video that showed off a crowd-renderer by pitting 11,000 penguins against 4,000 Santas with a new video demoing "our new GPU accelerated dismemberment and procedural wounding system. Limbs can be cut off on a massive scale. Wound from getting hit appear as deep gouges which warp their mesh." I'm really glad that we're using GPUs to do sensible things again, rather than computing virtual Beanie Babies. (via JWZ) Read the rest
The 1995 Anime “Ghost in the Shell” is more relevant than ever in today’s technologically complex society
When the anime movie Ghost in the Shell was released in 1995, the world wide web was still little more than a novelty, Microsoft was just beginning to find its GUI-feet, and artificial intelligence research was in the doldrums.Against this background, Ghost was remarkably prescient for its time. Twenty-three years later, it’s even more relevant as we come to grips with advances in human augmentation, AI, and what it means to be human in a technologically advanced future.Ghost in the Shell is one of twelve science fiction movies that feature in a new book that grapples with the complex intersection between emerging technologies and social responsibility. In Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies (from Mango Publishing), I set out to explore the emerging landscape around transformative trends in technology innovation, and the social challenges and opportunities they present.The movies in the book were initially selected to help tell a story of technological convergence and socially responsible innovation. But to my surprise, they ended up opening up much deeper insights into the nature of our relationship with technology.Identity-hackingGhost in the Shell opens with cyborg special-operative Major Kusanagi helping track down a talented hacker—aka the “Puppet Master”—who’s re-writing people’s “ghost”, or what makes them uniquely “them”, using implanted brain-machine interfaces.Kusanagi inhabits a world where human augmentation is commonplace, and is almost entirely machine. This technological augmentation provides her and others with super-human abilities. But it also makes them vulnerable—especially to hackers who can effectively re-code their memories. Read the rest
The Lie Behind the Lie Detector: how to beat the pseudoscientific polygraph
George writes, "AntiPolygraph.org has released the 5th edition of its free ebook, The Lie Behind the Lie Detector, which provides a thorough debunking of the pseudoscience of polygraphy and explains how to pass or beat a polygraph test." Read the rest
HDR Projects 2018 enhances any image into professional grade
In photography as in film, all the real artistry is in post-production - increasingly so, with the new possibilities cropping up in digital imaging. If you're ready to get serious about your photography, may we suggest HDR Projects 2018 Pro. As working photographers can tell you, this imaging software can help you re-imagine even the most mundane snaps.That's HDR as in High Dynamic Range. In short, it'll allow you to add a range of luminosity to your pics that is higher than what the brain can perceive, resulting in photos that are beyond photo-realistic. HDR Projects 2018 Pro comes out of the box with a professional toolbox packed with 155 presets and filters, all of which can be fine-tuned to create a unique look in 4k resolution. The system will give recommendations and let you view HRD montages to let you choose at a glance the right enhancement. It's compatible with Photoshop and Lightroom, and will batch-process files from every possible photo source.Pick up HDR Projects 2018 Pro on sale now for $29 and start checking out your photos in a whole new light. Read the rest
Turn your photography and videography hobby into a career
A picture can be worth a heck of a lot more than just a thousand words. If you've squinted for ages trying to get just the right photo, you might have the right passion for a career behind the camera. You might even have the right equipment, but do you have the know-how? The Beginner-To-Expert Photography & Videography Bundle is a great start for amateur shutterbugs looking to turn pro.This inclusive series of courses has something for every niche. Starting you off with basics in photography that apply to any great image, moving or still, you'll drill down into a focus on DSLR photo and video production. At your own pace, you can move on to the master class courses in video or photography, and even explore the fundamentals in the tricky art of drone videography.The seven-course bundle has more than 34 hours of instruction, and it's up for grabs at $35 - a substantial discount off the price of the individual courses. Pick up the Beginner-To-Expert Photography & Videography Bundle today. Read the rest
Aviation authority investigating UFOs over Ireland
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) is investigating multiple reports of UFOs over the coast of Ireland on Friday. From the BBC:(A British Airways) pilot, flying from the Canadian city of Montreal to Heathrow, said there was a "very bright light" and the object had come up along the left side of the aircraft before it "rapidly veered to the north..."(Another Virgin pilot said) there were "multiple objects following the same sort of trajectory" and that they were very bright.The pilot said he saw "two bright lights" over to the right which climbed away at speed.One pilot said the speed was "astronomical, it was like Mach 2" - which is twice the speed of sound.According to the IAA, the matter will be "investigated under the normal confidential occurrence investigation process." Meanwhile, the BBC quotes an astronomer who suggests what the pilots saw could have been a meteoroid aka "shooting star."Very interesting report on Shannon high level Friday 9 November at 0630z with multiple aircraft with reported sightings of a UFO over County Kerry. Skip to 17 minutes to listen reports on @liveatc https://t.co/VP1p0hrScn #Aviation #UFO #Ireland— Trevor Buckley (@IrishAero) November 11, 2018image: not the actual UFO over Ireland Read the rest
Yanis Varoufakis on capitalism's incompatibility with democracy
It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows, the feeling is mutual.Varoufakis traces the history of capitalism from the enclosure movement and the industrial revolution and demonstrates that the rise of capitalism is always attended by a weakening of the politics sphere, making it subservient to the economic sphere (he recounts being told by the German finance minister Gerhard Schauble that "financial arrangement cannot be changed by voting," and by Obama that he has been unable to act against the financial sector during the 2008 crisis). He claims that in this moment, 40 years after Reagan and his cohort of deregulators dismantled the New Deal, politics are at their weakest point, and finance at its strongest.The talk and Q&A range over nationalism and internationalism, organizing the precariat, migration and refugees, demographics and Chinese economic expansionism, and many other topics, with the kind of humor and erudition that is Varoufakis's trademark.It's a long block of time, but the visuals are pretty dull and you can get by with just the audio if you're going for a long walk, cleaning the house, or working out.(via Late Stage Capitalism) Read the rest
'Mars' Season 2 is a perfect blend of fiction and science-based documentary
Life on Mars has always been a standard science fiction topic, but Season 2 of National Geographic’s “Mars,” which premieres tonight at 9pm EST, shows how real and attainable that focus has become. The first season of the docudrama series aired in 2016 and was notable for its blending of fiction and science-based documentary, a format the show has maintained and improved. Season 2 picks up several years into the development of Olympus Town, a colony of astronauts working with the International Mars Science Foundation (IMSF), a fictional group. Close quarters living and the extreme environment take clear tolls on characters and their relationships, especially as love interests are established and a number of astronauts fall victim to the perils of space. But for a show titled “Mars,” a significant amount of the footage is of tundras, deserts, and oceans on Earth, as well as people who are not astronauts, but who are currently working to one day put men and women on our neighboring planet, like Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and even Bill Nye. The choice to merge documentary and drama was pioneered in “Mars” Season 1 and continues, polished, in Season 2.Episode four of the series, titled “Contagion,” offers a balanced fusion of these filmmaking approaches using a dual storyline; a pathogen outbreak in the Mars colony parallels the recent emergence of anthrax in the thawing Siberian tundra. Scripted portions of the show are spliced seamlessly with iPhone footage from Yamal Peninsula natives, and the story of a Russian environmentalist whistleblower highlights our lack of knowledge and caution in new climates. Read the rest
The difference between CBD and THC in cannabis, explained
With weed becoming welcome in more locales every week, a lot of folks may be considering partaking for the first time. If you count yourself among them, chances are that you already know what cannabis can do for you. However, it might also do you some good to understand exactly how it does what it does. This short video will see you sorted out. Read the rest
Douglas Rain, HAL 9000's voice in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90.
“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”Douglas Rain, the actor who performed the voice of the computer Hal 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's film '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90 years old."Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye." Douglas Rain, 13 March, 1928 - 11 November, 2018. #HAL9000 pic.twitter.com/p742YU7VdT— Stanley Kubrick (@StanleyKubrick) November 12, 2018A transcript of the '2001' voice recording session in the Stanley Kubrick archives at the University of the Arts, London shows that Kubrick didn't give much direction to Rain, just a few brief notes like this:— “Sound a little more like it’s a peculiar request.”— “A little more concerned.”— “Just try it closer and more depressed.”From an archival New York Times article about the story that led to Rain being cast as the computer's voice in '2001' ---The “2001” historian David Larson said that “Kubrick came up with the final HAL voice very late in the process. It was determined during ‘2001’ planning that in the future the large majority of computer command and communication inputs would be via voice, rather than via typewriter.”But artificial intelligence was decades from a convincing facsimile of a human voice — and who was to say how a computer should sound anyway?To play HAL, Kubrick settled on Martin Balsam, who had won the best supporting actor Oscar for “A Thousand Clowns.” Perhaps there was a satisfying echo that appealed to Kubrick — both were from the Bronx and sounded like it. Read the rest
Local racist angry at protestors in Orange, Texas
This gentleman objected to the presence of peaceful protestors on a street corner in Orange, Texas: "You don't deserve to be in this God-damn country. You don't like it, take your ass home."This man approached us yesterday (Saturday, November 10, 2018) during our protest of the Confederate Memorial of the Wind in Orange, Texas. We had been at the site for about 5 minutes with our signs before he first yelled at us from his car ("F*%# you!"). He then got on the freeway heading west, circled back, and parked his car at the gas station/convenience store across the street. The video is unedited.Note how "Democrats" works as a stand-in for other words, for people whose homes are in other countries. Read the rest
In-flight "brawl" between American Airlines stewards leads to lawsuit
An American Airlines steward is suing the airline, claiming that a colleague assaulted her during a flight and that it refused to address her complaints. A lawyer representing the airline, as quoted by USA Today, says that she had it coming: it is "not liable because Plaintiff caused or contributed to cause the harm".An American Airlines flight attendant who says she was dragged down the aisle by her scarf by a fellow crew member has sued the Dallas-based carrier for failing to investigate the July 2016 brawl or take actions to ensure her safety.In her lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court and obtained by The Dallas Morning News, Kathy Ida Wolfe says another flight attendant, Laura Powers, "maliciously dug her fingernails into my arm, and slammed the door of a beverage cart on my arm" and later "grabbed my scarf, choking me, and dragged me in the aisle and in front of the passengers."Alas, there's no video of the "brawl." Dallas News has more:Wolfe, of Irving, said she followed American's procedures by reporting the attack to the captain, other flight attendants and the flight service manager."I also reported the assault and battery to legal authorities after American Airlines failed to investigate and/or take action to ensure my safety," she said in the lawsuit, which was initially filed in June in Tarrant County district court. Read the rest
Wells Fargo: We can't be sued for lying to shareholders because it was obvious we were lying
Wells Fargo has asked a court to block a shareholder lawsuit that seeks to punish the company for lying when it promised to promptly and completely disclose any new scandals; Wells Fargo claims that the promise was obvious "puffery," a legal concept the FTC has allowed to develop in which companies can be excused for making false claims if it should be obvious that they are lying (as when a company promises that they make "the best-tasting juice in America).The lawsuit stems from Wells Fargo's crooked car-loan program that used deceptive tactics to defraud 800,000 customers, ultimately stealing 25,000 of their cars through fraudulent repossessions.The shareholders argue that when Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan misled investors in 2016, when he said that he was "not aware" of lurking sales scandals (this was four years after the company's internal investigations revealed the car ripoffs and a year before they were made public after a leak to the New York Times).The company argue that Sloan was making "generic statements...on which no reasonable investor could rely" and thus the shareholders should not be able to sue for the losses they suffered when the scandal became public.In other words, as the LA Times's Michael Hiltzik puts it, "We can’t be sued because no one believed us anyway."The shareholder lawsuit focuses on the efforts by Sloan and his fellow executives to conceal the auto-loan scandal from the public. While they were trying to clean up the splatter from the bank’s most prominent scandal, in which sales representatives secretly opened millions of accounts for consumers in order to meet punishing work quotas, the executives consistently stated that they were investigating high and low to make sure the bank was otherwise clean and would fully disclose anything they discovered. Read the rest
Security chips have not reduced US credit-card fraud
The US credit card industry was a very late adopter of security chips, lagging the EU by a decade or so; when they did roll out chips, it was a shambolic affair, with many payment terminals still not using the chips, and almost no terminals requiring a PIN (and some require a PIN and a signature, giving rise to the curiously American security protocol of chip-and-PIN-and-swipe-and-sign).The adoption of security chips has not slowed credit card fraud, either. 60,000,000 US credit cards were compromised in the past 12 months and 90% of those were chip-enabled. The majority of compromised cards were stolen by infected point-of-sale terminals. The US has the worst credit card security in the world.The findings come from a Gemini Advisory report, which blames a "lack of chip compliance" in merchants for the rise.Based on the proprietary Gemini Advisory telemetry data collected from various dark-web sources over several years, we have determined that in the past 12 months at least 60 million US cards were compromised. Of those, 75% or 45.8 million were CP records, likely compromised through card-sniffing and point-of-sale (POS) breaches of businesses such as Saks, Lord & Taylor, Jason’s Deli, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Forever 21, and Whole Foods. To break it down even further, 90% or 41.6 million of those records were EMV chip-enabled. Furthermore, the shift in Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud is becoming more evident with a 14% increase in payment cards compromised through e-commerce breaches in the past 12 months. Payment card data that that was stolen from Orbitz, Ticketmaster, City of Goodyear, and British Airways represented only a small part of the 14.2 million CNP records posted for sale in the past 12 months. Read the rest
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