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Updated 2018-09-25 01:23
Kavanaugh denies sex assault claims on Fox News, says he was a virgin at the time (VIDEO)
Watch the full interview with Kavanaugh below. Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh has now been credibly accused by multiple women of sexual assault. He gave Fox News an “emotional” and “intimate” interview, says Fox News, with his wife Ashley Estes Kavanaugh seated beside him as the traditional long-suffering female prop. The content of the interview was creepy, weird, and reveals a lot about how the administration will likely retaliate against Christine Blasey Ford and others who accuse Kavanaugh of serious sexual misconduct.WATCH:“The truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone, in high school or otherwise,” Kavanaugh says on Fox News Channel’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum.” “I want a fair process where I can defend my integrity,” the federal judge says, “I know I’m telling the truth, I know my lifelong record and I’m not going to let false accusations drive me out of this process. I have faith in God and I have faith in the fairness of the American people.”“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh wrote today in an unprecedented letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.”From the Washington Post's coverage of the widely-viewed Fox News Kavanaugh sitdown:In his letter, Kavanaugh said that those who are alleged to have witnessed the two events say either that they have no recollection, or that they simply did not happen. Read the rest
'Game of Thrones' filming locations to reopen as tourist attractions in Northern Ireland
Game of Thrones fans will have a chance to walk through Winterfell. HBO has announced plans to convert several of their filming sets located in Northern Ireland into tourist attractions, as the show ends its historic run in 2019. The planned Game of Thrones Legacy attractions in Northern Ireland will be “on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen,” HBO said, promising fans the first opportunity to set foot inside some of the series’ most iconic locations.Each site will feature the sets from the show as well as exhibits of “GOT” costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, art files, models, and other production materials. In addition, the premium cabler plans to install digital content and interactive materials to showcase VFX used in “Game of Thrones.”No word as to the availability of dire wolves in the gift shop.‘Game of Thrones’ Filming Locations in Northern Ireland to Open as Tourist Attractions [Todd Spangler/Variety][Photo: Flickr/CC BY 2.0] Read the rest
Jewelry in the shape of gerrymandered US congressional districts
Gerrymander Jewelry: charms in the shape of America's most gerrymandered district; you don't have to live in Michigan's 14th, Texas's 35th or Ohio's first to rock one of these. (via Super Punch) Read the rest
Jack Black as twisted Bob Ross doppelgänger in his first episode of "Post Apocalypto"
What do you get when you cross Bob Ross with a post-apocalyptic world? Perhaps this clip, from the first episode of the upcoming six-episode web series, Post-Apocalypto, brought to you by rock duo Tenacious D (Jack Black and Kyle Gass). The series, starting this Friday on YouTube, will promote Tenacious D's new and fourth studio album Post-Apocalypto, which will be released November 2.From Metro:A new episode will be released every Friday until the album’s debut – and viewers will be treated to new songs by the band as well animations drawn by Jack himself. According to the official synopsis, Post-Apocalypto ‘finds Tenacious D thrust into a world of complete and utter destruction following the drop of an atomic bomb’.For now, we have this sneak peek to enjoy. Read the rest
Hear these breakfast sausages cry for mercy as they are cooked
The horror... the horror.(via r/videos) Read the rest
I spoke with the CEO of Sennheiser about audio, virtual reality and the notion of legacy
Working as a technology journalist is a privilege that allows me to play with hardware that I could never afford to own. Last week, while I was in Montreal for the opening of Sennheiser's new Canadian office, for example, I was able to spend some quality time with the company's crazy $50,000 made-to-order HE 1 headphones. For a guy that reviews audio hardware for a living, it was a ridiculous treat. There are times that the privilege of doing what I do extends beyond all of the gear that I get to play with. Among the Sennheiser employees, audio nerds like me, and other folks attending the company's opening day bash was Dr. Andreas Sennheiser. Andreas, an electrical engineer by trade, has been co-CEO along with his brother Daniel of their family's 70-year-old audio company for the past five years. Here in North America, Sennheiser is mostly known for their professional audio products -- microphones and reference headphones for the rich and musically famous, and conference-call hardware for high falootin' boardrooms. In Europe, Asia and Africa, the German company's footprint in consumer audio is massive. They’re one of the oldest names in audiophile-grade headphones and an early, much-respected maker of audio hardware designed to augment virtual and augmented reality experiences. They make cool shit. Once the celebration was over and the caterers had absconded with the all of leftovers, Andreas was good enough to spend a few minutes with me, talking about his company, his family and the notion of legacy. Read the rest
Supersonic: a glorious new art book about the Concorde airplane
During its 1970s heyday, the Concorde, the commercial supersonic plane that did NYC to London in under three hours, wasn't just a revolution in aerospace engineering; it was an icon of industrial design, set the bar in luxury travel, and, quite literally, embodied the jet-set lifestyle. Now, my friend qnd colleague Lawrence Azerrad, the creative director of the Grammy-winning Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set we released last year, has created a glorious art book about the Concorde and its scene in the sky. The book, Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, overflows with historical and technical information and stunning photos of the plane, its marketing materials, and amenities designed by the likes of Andrée Putman, Raymon Loewy, and Sir Terence Conran who wrote this book's foreword. From CNN:Taking a branded item home was part of the experience. Anything that could be removed from the plane would be taken by passengers as a souvenir. Some of these items were particularly sought after, like those designed by Raymond Loewy, the father of industrial design who created cabin interiors for Air France."He used a very forward-thinking, futuristic approach for that time, down to the design of the seats, the headrests, the fabric and, probably more famously, the stainless steel flatware, which Andy Warhol would famously steal," said Azerrad. "There's a story where (Warhol) asked if the person sitting next to him was taking theirs, she said no and he took her set."Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde is a magnificent celebration of the history of our in-flight future. Read the rest
RIP Al Matthews, 'Aliens' fantastic Sgt. Apone
Former US Marine and well-known actor Al Matthews has passed away at the age of 75. His portrayal of Sgt. Apone in Aliens remains one of my favorite all-time military characters.Via Hollywood Reporter:Al Matthews, the real-life military man who portrayed the no-nonsense, cigar-chomping Sgt. Apone in the sci-fi horror classic Aliens, has died. He was 75.Matthews was found dead in his home in Alicante on Spain's Mediterranean coast Saturday at 10 p.m. by a neighbor, the Spanish international news agency EFE and the El Pais newspaper confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.Matthews also had bit parts in Rough Cut (1980), Ragtime (1981), Superman III (1983), The Fifth Element (1997) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997).But it's his performance in James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi horror film that endeared him to audiences. Near the movie's beginning, the crew of the USS Sulaco awake from their deep sleep and Apone instantly reaches for his cigar and shouts instructions to the drowsy crew. Read the rest
Hollywood stuntwoman gives us step-by-step look at how she performs her amazing stunts
Stuntwoman Alicia Vela-Bailey has performed all the hard stuff for tons of blockbusters, including Underworld: Awakening, Total Recall, Wonder Woman, Avatar, Interstellar, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Ender's Game, and Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Here's a fascinating video where Vela-Bailey shows us, blow-by-blow, with diagrams laid over video replays, how she executed her stunts. She's awesome. Read the rest
The classic BIC 4 color pen
Not particularly wonderful to write with, but awesome none-the-less, I had to have a BIC 4 color pen.Click.Click.Click.I spent most of second grade taking these pens apart, and putting them back together. Taking the color indicators and mixing them up, or making a pen with all black indicators, or all red, or all blue. You know, making a 4 color pen into a 1 color pen with 4x the ink... FUN!Maybe the first pen I ever coveted, the BIC 4 color remains a blast.BIC 4-Color Ballpoint Pen, Medium Point (1.0mm), Assorted Inks, 3-Count via Amazon Read the rest
Watch: profile of a 101-year-old tattoo artist
From Great Big Story: "Whang-Od is the last remaining mambabatok—a tattoo artist in the Philippines using traditional hand-tap methods. At 101 years old, she is the last master of the thousand-year-old trade that first began as a way to honor warriors in battle. Using a hammer and thorns, Whang-Od taps coal ink into skin. Today, she is training her grandniece to carry on her legacy, keeping the family mamababatok tradition alive." Read the rest
Boxes of bananas donated to Texas prison contained $18 million in cocaine
Ports of America in Freeport, Texas donated 45 boxes of ripe bananas to the nearby Wayne Scott Unit prison. When the prison officers unloaded the boxes, they "discovered something not quite right.""One of the boxes felt different than the others," TDCJ (Texas Department of Criminal Justice) said in a statement. "They snipped the straps, pulled free the box, and opened it up. Inside, under a bundle of bananas, he found another bundle! Inside that? What appeared to be a white powdery substance."They counted 540 packages of cocaine worth approximately $17,820,000. Now that's bananas!(UPI) Read the rest
Dallas P.D. fires Amber Guyger, cop who entered neighbor's apartment and killed him
After first claiming it was unable to do, Dallas P.D. has fired Amber Guyger, the officer who forced her way into a neighbor's apartment and killed him, supposedly under the impression that it was her home and that he was an intruder.Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall terminated Police Officer Amber Guyger, #10702, during a hearing held September 24, 2018.An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger, #10702, engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter.Officer Guyger was terminated for her actions. She was hired in November 2013 and was assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division.Under civil service rules, Officer Guyger has the right to appeal her discipline.Guyger is trouble, but has received an alarming degree of special treatment since killing Botham Jean. Read the rest
Fortnite introduces nightmare-scary clowns and a Season 6 llama DJ
Fortnite Season 6 is almost upon us! What the heck is going on, on the island...This weekend Epic introduced Nite Nite and Peekaboo, two insane looking clown skins straight out of my daughter's nightmares. I hadn't bought a skin for weeks, but instantly coughed up the cash for Peekaboo.Peekaboo is replacing Cuddle Team Leader as my go-to skin.Fortnite also teased Season 6 with an image of a headphone wearing llama, and the catch phrase "All great parties need a DJ." While the Week 10 secret load screen implies an Bizarro-Universe Fortnite for Season 6, this one promises some electronica -- unless Epic's idea of a DJ is more like Wolfman Jack. Read the rest
iPhone Xs MAX durability test
Jerry of Jerry Rig Everything bought an Apple iPhone Xs Max and proceeded to scratch, burn, and bend and bend the new iPhone Xs MAX to test its durability. Part of the fun of watching these videos is seeing a pristine piece of expensive and coveted equipment get destroyed. Read the rest
Watch: what it's like to live on a submarine
Humans at Sea has a short video with interviews of Navy personnel who spend a good deal of each year living in the close quarters of a submarine.The Navy's submarine force is unlike any other community in the military, a small, tight-knit group of approximately 20,000 active-duty and reserve Sailors who spend months at a time sailing deep below the waves. Between their secretive missions and their lack of contact with the outside world, the submarine community is often a mystery to those on the outside. Read the rest
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein out, say reports
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein expects to be fired today at the White House, according to reports, though Axios reports that he "verbally resigned" in a call with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.Axios:Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has verbally resigned to Chief of Staff John Kelly in anticipation of being fired by President Trump, according to a source with direct knowledge. Per a second source with direct knowledge: “He’s expecting to be fired,” so he plans to step down.The Hill:CNN, Bloomberg and The Washington Post quickly confirmed this report.NBC reported that Rosenstein was refusing to resign by his own volition, saying President Trump had to fire him. Rosenstein's departure follows a story in The New York Times reporting that he suggested secretly recording the President and discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. Rosenstein supervised Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian efforts to influence Donald Trump's election campaign, to the president's constant annoyance. Aides reportedly tried to prevent Trump firing him in the immediate aftermath of the Times' report, lest it unleash yet more political chaos in the run up to November's mid-term congressional elections.What happens next? FiveThirtyEight speculates:There are several ways this could play out. One is that Trump might pressure Rosenstein’s replacement to curtail the Russia investigation. (Solicitor General Noel Francisco is next in line at the Justice Department.) Trump could tell Francisco, for example, to stop Mueller from pursuing any avenue of inquiry that involves Trump’s financial records or other sensitive topics, or he could order him to fire Mueller and either allow the investigation to continue with a replacement (or without a special counsel at all) or shut it down entirely. Read the rest
Watch "Punking Out," a short 1978 documentary about the CBGB scene
Maggi Carson and Juliusz Kossakowski directed "Punking Out," a terrific 1978 short documentary about the early punk scene at New York City's iconic CBGB nightclub, featuring The Ramones, The Dead Boys, and Richard Hell & The Voidoids. Read the rest
The Monkees recorded a new Christmas album
Hey, hey... the surviving Monkees -- Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork -- are putting out their first Christmas album next month. It's called Christmas Party and it features songs they've recorded with other groovy musical artists, including the vintage vocals of late Monkee Davy Jones.Rolling Stone:Christmas Party features new songs written by Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo (“What Would Santa Do”) and Andy Partridge of XTC (“Unwrap You At Christmas”). Novelist Michael Chabon and Schlesinger collaborated on “House of Broken Gingerbread,” while R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 wrote the title track and play on a cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ.” Nesmith didn’t write any songs for the album, but he does sing lead on “The Christmas Song” and “Snowfall.” Other tracks on the album include “Wonderful Christmastime,” “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Merry Christmas, Baby.”Christmas Party drops October 12th. Pre-order it at Rhino Records. (Don't worry. If you still play the LDB game during the holiday season, don't worry, there's NOT a recording of Little Drummer Boy to be found on this album.)Thanks, Josh!2nd image via Rhino Read the rest
Self-solving Rubik's Cube
It looks like any other Rubik's cube, but for the little mechanical squeaks it makes as he scrambles it. He puts it down on the table and watches it in silence for a while. Then it moves. Read the rest
Neo-Noire, the ultimate 1980s brush font
Created by James White (previously), the Neo-Noire font represents the apogee of 80s-style brush type. It's $30 at his online store and comes with uppercase and alternate caps for the lowercase, numbers and a layered PSD exemplar so you can see how those glowy gradients are done. Read the rest
3D-printed gun promoter arrested in Taiwan, returned to US, and bailed on sex charge
Charged with paying a 16-year-old girl for sex at a hotel in Austin, Texas, Cody Wilson was bailed Sunday and is a free man again—at least for now. The BBC reports that Wilson, famous for promoting 3D-printed gun plans, was arrested by Taipei police and returned to the US over the weekend. KHOU 11 filmed him leaving jail and hopping into a cab.Wilson’s attorney Samy Khalil of Gerger, Khalil & Hennessy released a statement late Sunday evening.“We are glad that Cody is back in Texas again where we can work with him on his case. That’s our focus right now, representing our client and preparing his defense.”It’s been a long journey back for the accused 3D-printed gun designer.Authorities say the 30-year-old flew out to Taiwan after a friend told him he was being investigated for allegedly paying $500 for to have sex with a 16-year-old girl he contacted online.Surveillance video shows Wilson checking in to a Taipei hotel Thursday. That’s where police finally arrested him on Friday.How can this guy call himself a Libertarian? You go to Thailand, not Taiwan: just ask Elon! Read the rest
"Ghosting" is so popular that it's now a Halloween costume
Here's something truly terrifying: a "ghosted" Halloween costume. And it's "sexy" to boot. Boo!Halloween costumes eerily reflect what's really hot in pop culture and apparently this year it's ghosting. Because, what could be scarier than disappearing without a word on a friend who's put their trust in you?This frighteningly skimpy costume is available for $24.99 at Party City.If someone's blowing up your phone, ghost them in a Ghosted Costume for women! The costume is a hooded white dress designed to look like a ghost with a series of unanswered texts on the front. The texts include "???," "R U OK!?," and more. Eager texters will know not to bother you in this Ghosted Costume!Previously: Ghosting is now happening in the workplace too Read the rest
Record numbers of people have downloaded and used the Democrats' mobile app for doorknocking canvassers
MiniVAN (Android, Iphone) is a mobile app designed for volunteers who canvas door-to-door during election seasons; though the app has been around since 2010, it's seeing a surge in popularity, with 218,189 logged-in users in the 2018 midterm season, compared with the 153,513 users in the 2016 presidential race.On every metric, MiniVAN usage is crazy-high, and the surge can't be explained away with the continuing shift from pen-and-paper record-keeping to mobile tools. Even more exciting: the increase is for a midterm election, and is being compared to the 2016 presidential election, which typically sees a much higher level of activity (fundraising, canvassing, voter turnout).Canvassing numbers don't necessarily predict election turnouts, but they do measure grassroots interest. It's one thing for billionaires to throw fortunes in dark money at a mid-term, but it's another altogether for ordinary Americans to get off their couches and go door-to-door to support progressive candidates."It's very unusual for a non-presidential campaign to have much volunteer power at all," says Eitan Hersh, an associate professor of political science at Tufts University and author of the book Hacking the Electorate, who has studied log-in rates for NGP VAN's tools. There are exceptions for candidates like senator Elizabeth Warren or, this year, for O'Rourke, but Hersh says, "For a typical congressional election, the only person logging into the VAN is the candidate or their spouse."Coulombe says that the spike in MiniVAN usage this year is spread across the country. The weekend MiniVAN set its new record, the top five states for users were New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Florida. Read the rest
George Carlin's narration for Thomas the Tank Engine spiced up with other George Carlin voice-overs
You know what you're getting here going in: things that George Carlin voiced over the years, inappropriately added to his kid-friendly narration of Thomas and Friends. It's really great and fairly NSFW. When the aliens find whatever's left, I hope they judge us by this. Read the rest
At least two more women come forward with Kavanaugh sexual assault claims
In The New Yorker, Ronan Farrow details the account of Deborah Ramirez, who remembers a freshman party at Yale where a drunken Brett Kavanaugh got his meat out and waved it in her face“I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.” She said that she pushed the person away, touching it in the process. Ramirez, who was raised a devout Catholic, in Connecticut, said that she was shaken. “I wasn’t going to touch a penis until I was married,” she said. “I was embarrassed and ashamed and humiliated.” She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.”Meanwhile, Michael Avenatti (Stormy Daniels' lawyer) says he is representing a third woman who reports serious sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh while he was in high school. Avenatti—a showman as well as a lawyer—has put out some tantalizing clues but no specifics beyond confirming that his client is not Ramirez or Professor Christine Ford, who had two weeks ago accused Kavanaugh of trying to rape her when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. “I represent a woman with credible information regarding Judge Kavanaugh and Mark Judge,” he wrote on Twitter. Read the rest
Canada's legal weed stock-bubble is a re-run of the dotcom bubble
Canada and Uruguay are the only two countries to have legalised the recreational use of marijuana (the Netherlands has laws on the books against it, but they're not enforced); the Canadian Securities Exchange has been transformed into "the cannabis stock exchange," a latter-day NASDAQ filled with hyperinflated stocks in legal weed companies.For example, Constellation Brands Inc (Corona and Modelo beer, etc) has invested more than $4 billion in Canopy Growth Co.As the WSJ writes, "the optimism has grown beyond any reasonable fundamentals" -- marijuana grower Tilray is valued at $4 billion on $11 million in revenue.All told, listed Canadian weed companies have a market cap of $40B, a 1,000% increase in a single year.Investors are betting that legal weed will hit the USA, and that this will open a Canadian export market (or that Canadian firms will be able to move quickly to establish US subsidiaries). These are both extremely long-shot bets!“This is like a gold rush,” former Mexican President Vicente Fox said during a recent visit to Toronto to promote Khiron Life Sciences Corp. KHRN 11.92% , a Canadian medical-marijuana company where he serves as a director. Khiron, which reported a net loss of 6.7 million Canadian dollars (US$5.2 million) and no sales for its second quarter, raised C$13 million through a stock sale earlier this month.Jesse Pytlak, a Toronto analyst with Cormark Securities, estimates cannabis stocks are currently valued at more than 10 times the C$5 billion to C$9 billion market expected to emerge in Canada by consulting firm Deloitte after legal recreational sales begin. Read the rest
After the debate, Beto O'Rourke air drummed to The Who at a Whataburger drive-thru
On Friday night, after the first Texas Senate debate where he faced Ted Cruz, Beto O'Rourke went to a Dallas Whataburger and air-drummed to The Who's "Baba O’Riley" while waiting to get to the drive-thru window, commenting, "This is the best song ever." This clip is just part of a 45-minute long live-streamed video he shared on Facebook Live. Thanks, Julie!(Aaron M. Morales) Read the rest
Since 2007, debt-haunted grads have been doing public service to earn loan forgiveness, which they won't get
The roster of people carrying student debt is really just "a list of people liable to additional taxation after graduation"; in 2007, GW Bush signed into law the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program that would allow debt-haunted grads to earn loan forgiveness by foregoing the private sector and working for lower wages in public service for a decade.In theory, thousands of people should be having their debts wiped away this year. In reality, less than one percent of the people enrolled in the program will see that happen. The rest are screwed.The PSLF program is a bureaucratic nightmare of paperwork mountains that must be perfectly ordered, at all times -- despite the administering agency routinely losing and messing up its own records.In addition, the eligibility requirements are incredibly confusing, resulting in many of the enrollees being signed up, even though they shouldn't be -- a fact they don't discover until their decade of service is up.All that adds up to the fact that in about a decade, millions of people are likely to find themselves in the same position as Debbie Baker. She's a teacher in Oklahoma who had always been under the impression she was going to have her debt erased, only to find out to her horror that she had the "wrong type" of loan when she went to apply."I almost threw up," she told CNBC. "I've been teaching 18 years and I still don't make $40,000— and now I have to start all over."You're Probably Not Getting that Loan Forgiveness You're Counting On [Allie Conti/Vice](Image: Donkey Hotey, CC-BY) Read the rest
Exploring the ruins of a Toys R Us, discovering a trove of sensitive employee data
When the private equity raiders who took over Toys R Us, saddled it up with debt, extracted $200,000,000 and then crashed it, they took the employee severance fund with them, but that wasn't the final indignity the titans of finance inflicted on the workforce before turning them out on the unemployment line.Hackaday's Tom Nardi went on an urban exploration adventure through an abandoned Toys R Us, checking out the fixtures and fittings that remained after its inventory had been sold off and the auctioneer had come and gone.Nardi discovered that -- to their credit -- the company's liquidators had taken care to wipe out historical customer data from Toys R Us (unlike, say, Canada's NCIX), but that the same care was not taken with the employees' own data.In a room he dubbed "the records room," Nardi and his friends discovered a trove of extremely sensitive employee data: tax forms, photocopied drivers' licenses and Social Security cards, medical records and more.The amount of personal information left behind for anyone to find was really staggering, especially since these were the company’s own employees. We saw the great lengths the company went to protect customer information, so to see how little regard they had for their own people was honestly infuriating.At the time of this writing, there’s still a question of what to do with all of this documentation. My suggestion was to just start a bonfire behind the store and burn it there before even more people run their eyes over it, but reader suggestions are welcome. Read the rest
Lawrence’s “Living Room” makes retro soul new again
You've got to check out the band Lawrence and their new album, "Living Room"
Anonymous stock-market manipulators behind $20B+ of "mispricing" can be tracked by their writing styles
In a new Columbia Law and Economics Working Paper, Columbia Law prof Joshua Mitts uses "stylometry" (previously) to track how market manipulators who publish false information about companies in order to profit from options are able to flush their old identities when they become notorious for misinformation and reboot them under new handles.Stylometry is a field of text analysis that seeks to identify authors by stylistic quirks, including word-choices, punctuation habits, and subtler cues like sentence-length and structure.Mitts studied 2,000 "attacks" published on the finance site Seeking Alpha, showing that the scammers involved were shedding old identities when their financial analysis proved to be incorrect -- and also showing that someone (maybe the scammers, maybe the Seeking Alpha editors, maybe someone else) -- was making a killing by buying options before the publication of erroneous data.Mitts uses stylometry to identify when multiple consecutive pseudonyms seem to belong to the same anonymous author, but he doesn't actually attempt to unmask the author, though the same stylometry techniques could produce evidence, if not proof, of the scammers' identities. Pseudonymous attacks on public companies are followed by stock price declines and sharp reversals. I find these patterns are likely driven by manipulative stock options trading by pseudonymous authors. Among 1,720 pseudonymous attacks on mid- and large-cap firms from 2010-2017, I identify over $20.1 billion of mispricing. Reputation theory suggests these reversals persist because pseudonymity allows manipulators to switch identities without accountability. Using stylometric analysis, I show that pseudonymous authors exploit the perception that they are trustworthy, only to switch identities after losing credibility with the market. Read the rest
OLIVE: a system for emulating old OSes on old processors that saves old data from extinction
Olive ("Open Library of Images for Virtualized Execution") is an experimental service from Carnegie Mellon University that stores images of old processors, as well as the old operating systems that ran on top of them, along with software packages for those old OSes; this allows users to access old data from obsolete systems inside simulations of the computers that originally ran that data, using the original operating systems and applications. This is a very powerful model for maintaining access to old data formats; while modern apps are often capable of parsing old data formats, they have well-understood shortcomings. For example, buggy versions of old apps may have been able to understand the corrupt files they created, but newer programs may only parse the old data if it was written to "spec." Attempts to overcome this with "bug-compatibility" and "quirks modes" are imperfect substitutes for actually running the old code, bugs and all.it's also a powerful rebuttal to the lazy idea that digitized data is inherently less stable than, say, print records. We often hear about how obsolete file-formats, media and computers are causing "digital decay" of our old data, but the story is much more complicated than that.Old storage media is definitely unstable. Magnetic and optical media literally rots, delaminating and decaying. I/O devices like tape drives and disk drives go out of production, break down, get scrapped, and can be next to impossible to find, creating races against the clock to find a device to read out old media before it decays beyond use. Read the rest
This little known government agency is responsible for bringing the remains of missing or captured U.S. soldiers home to rest
Founded after the Joint P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Command and the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office were folded into a single agency, the Defense P.O.W./M.I.A. Accounting Agency (D.P.A.A.) is an incredibly important part of the United States military. They're responsible for the locating and identification of the remains of soldiers who were deemed to be Missing in Action or who died as prisoners of war.Sometimes, the task of identifying and repatriating remains can be conducted with immediacy. In other cases, the realities of war--that a body can be torn asunder, rendering it near unidentifiable--or discovering the remains of skeletal remains of a soldier decades after they died, can slow this process down. In such cases, forensic experts are brought in to assist in identifying the dead. This past August, the North Korean government allowed the U.S. military to repatriate 55 coffins full of the mixed skeletal remains of American soldiers who died in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. That nothing's left of these soldiers but bones would make identifying them difficult enough. When the bones are mixed in with one another? That's a puzzle that few people are qualified to deal with. Dr. Paul Emanovsky is one of those few. He's a forensic anthropologist that's worked to bring closure to the lives of the loved ones of missing military personnel since 2002. If you're interested in a fascinating, morbid read, the New York Times recently published an interview with Dr. Emanovsky, where he talks about his work and the recovery projects that the D.P.A.A. Read the rest
Hypnotic video of 3D-printed plant forms undulating underwater
Hydrophytes are 3D-printed multimaterial forms that explore the possibilities for engineered plants of the future.Via University of Wellington:Introducing Hydrophytes, 3D printed 'plants' that respond to their surroundings in incredibly lifelike ways. These objects are part of unique research into multi-material 4D printing by Master of Design Innovation student Nicole Hone, and they're drawing international attention.• Hydrophytes (YouTu8be / Victoria University of Wellington) Read the rest
These $530 pre-distressed sneakers are pissing people off
Would you spend $530 on a pair of sneakers that were described like this? Crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature sidewall star and a grungy rubber cupsole.Yeah, neither would I, and neither would these folks (aka "the internet"):Golden Goose comes out with a pair of sneakers listed at $530 that are worn down and kept together by tape. Since when is it a trend to glorify the appearance of used sneakers and poverty? pic.twitter.com/1yLTuitIBX— Bryan Heckman (@b_hecky) September 20, 2018Poverty is real, I’ve been bullied for wearing thrifted clothes before thrifting was “cool”, and now we have high end brands capitalizing upon many people’s past and current poverty related suffering. Thank you Golden Goose. I hope the designer that came up with this is happy. https://t.co/iixNhxip7T— 1-800-ARE-YOU-DYIN (@evelyn_art_) September 20, 2018The new fashion is wearing worn out looking shoes that include taped one that costs a bomb from $530 to $1340. Glorifying poverty or making a mockery of poverty, can't decide. #fashionstyle #GoldenGoose pic.twitter.com/k8mxvchw4n— Kumar Manish (@kumarmanish9) September 20, 2018There's a quote from something, wish I could remember what, but it goes something like "the rich kids all want to be poor and the poor kids all want to be dead". Seems relevant— steph 👻 (@Thespookysteph) September 20, 2018Once available at Nordstrom online, these held-together-with-tape sneakers by Italian luxury brand Golden Goose are currently sold out (or removed??). Not to worry, they have plenty of other filthy, overpriced shoes to choose from. Read the rest
Jordan Peele's hosting his Twilight Zone reboot and I am so there for it
As a latchkey kid, I was raised, in part, by the 20" RCA console TV that sat on the floor of our living room. I never cared too much for cartoons. I did, however, have a thing for old TV shows. For years, everyday after school I'd come home to catch shows like Combat!, Have Gun Will Travel and my absolute favorite, The Twilight Zone. I don't have cable and our Internet connectivity is often too sketchy to use streaming services. But man, after seeing what Jordan Peele did with Get Out, I'm going to have to find a way to watch his reboot of one of my all time favorite programs. Read the rest
This DIY drone kit teaches you STEM skills
Gone are the days when you needed to pore over a 400-page physics textbook to learn about weight ratios, aerodynamics, and all of those other STEM concepts that let us take to the skies. Thanks to Force Flyers' DIY Building Block Drones, you can foster your STEM knowledge as you build and fly your own functional drone. You can get one on sale today for $42.99.Compatible with your favorite toy building blocks, these DIY drone packs have you experiment with STEM concepts as you create and customize your own flying or driving machine. The drones boast a responsive 6-axis gyro, giving you enhanced control, and they're even capable of executing 360° stunt flips. Plus, with auto-stabilization and a durable ABS plastic construction, these kits are a safe pick for novice pilots.Force Flyers' DIY Building Block Drone packs come in a variety of styles, like police, army, and firefighter, and they're all on sale today for $42.99 each. Read the rest
Startlingly simple, brutal political ad
There are no crying children, no victims, no poor seniors or struggling patients. But this ad is one of the most brutal I've ever seen. Despite the manifest vileness of its target, Paul Gosar, it is restrained, measured, straightforward, and you should stick with it to the end. Read the rest
The Yogi Bear Graveyard
The Yogi Bear Graveyard was a short-lived accidental tourist attraction in North Carolina. After Yogi Bear's Honey-Fried Chicken restaurant chain dwindled to just one location, the owners sold all the fiberglass statues of Yogi, Boo-Boo, Cindy, and Ranger Smith to a local Jellystone Park campground. After that failed, the statues were dumped behind a truckstop.Travelers who find themselves in Hartsville South Carolina can still visit that last location standing. The beginning of the end for the chain came when Hardee's bought the honey-flavored chicken additive they used in their chicken. Via The Post and Courier:From its first location in Myrtle Beach, Yogi Bear expanded to Charlotte, Rocky Mount and Hartsville, among other cities. The franchise was about six stores strong when Hardee’s expressed interest in the honey technology; the Rocky Mount-based chain purchased the method for $1 million, according to Davis.But once Yogi Bear belonged to Hardee’s, the branded stores were largely neglected.“It was mismanagement,” says Yogi Bear’s current owner, George Atkins. “All the rest of them just didn’t control their costs.”Anyone who finds themselves in Hartsville can still stop by Yogi Bear's and enjoy some batter fried corn, liver, or even the original honey-fried chicken.• The Yogi Bear Graveyard Read the rest
Relax with this gorgeous 360 VR surfing video
The Anatomy of Surf rides along with surfing legend Ian Walsh as he describes the sensations of surfing, set to footage of some beautiful waves."Time completely stops when you get into the barrel. Your feet dig into the wax, and your toes start to grip into the board. You're seeing the lip slowly cascading over. The feeling of that just leaves a mark with you and literally never gets old."• SAMSUNG VR - The Anatomy of Surf w/ Ian Walsh (Vimeo / Hidden Content) Read the rest
Looping GIF of Trump's weird "hiss"
I have looped a GIF of Trump's viral "hiss" from a higher-definition angle. Pray I do not loop it further. Read the rest
Mama bear plops her cubs in a minivan in the hopes of a roadtrip
Look, if a bear can figure out how to open the door of a minivan and get her cubs seated for a ride, I don't think it's too much to ask that she be able to take those kids of hers on a cross-country roadtrip to Disneyland. Hand over the keys. Read the rest
Search the databases of Trump political appointees' resumes and discover their undisclosed conflicts of interest
Property of the People and Propublica used the Trumptown database of Trump's political appointees and the Freedom of Information Act to pull the appointees' resumes (chock full o' data that doesn't appear on their financial disclosure forms) and put them in a searchable database. Read the rest
PayPal Gives InfoWars the boot
If I'd known that this month was going to be so fully of celebratory toasts to Alex Jones' bigoted InfoWars media empire being torn apart, piece-by-piece, I'd have bought one of those magnum-sized bottles of Jameson from Costco.From The Verge:PayPal will no longer do business with Infowars, according to a post on the conspiracy theory site this morning. PayPal broke the news in an email to Infowars yesterday, saying the company had conducted a comprehensive review of the Infowars site and found that it “promoted hate and discriminatory intolerance against certain communities and religions,” a violation of PayPal’s acceptable use policy. Infowars had used PayPal to process transactions for its on-site store; the site will have ten days to find new payment processors.PayPal’s partnership with the site was highlighted in August by Right Wing Watch’s Jared Holt, who described “highly publicized and egregious violations of the platform’s own terms of service.” Reached by The Verge, Holt said today’s move had been a long time coming. “Removing PayPal from the Infowars platform inhibits Jones’ ability to make money from his malice,” Holt said, “but it’s a bit odd it took so long given how egregiously Infowars violated the platform’s terms of service.”So yeah--kicked to the curb like so much crazed, racist conspiracy-peddling trash. For those of you keeping score at home, that's PayPal, YouTube, Twitter and Apple's iOS App Store that have all told InfoWars to jog on. Given the number of lives Jones' hateful bullshit touches on a regular basis, I'm very happy to see every possible avenue he has to profit from the bile and fear he spreads to make a living go up in flames. Read the rest
Fascinating overview of how firefighters fight wildfires
Wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems, though more and more are human-caused. Wendover Productions takes a look at how firefighters work to minimize the spread of wildfires in grueling and dangerous conditions.I hope you guys enjoy this video! It's obviously quite an enormous topic that people will spend years studying condensed down into a ten-minute video so this isn't the comprehensive guide to stopping wildfires but for those that know nothing about wildfire suppression techniques I hope this will be interesting and informative!• How Fighting Wildfires Works (YouTube / Wendover Productions) Read the rest
Research shows that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents to companies they later work for
In their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper From Revolving Doors to Regulatory Capture? Evidence from Patent Examiners (Sci-Hub Mirror), Business School profs Haris Tabakovic (Harvard) and Thomas Wollmann (Chicago) show that patent examiners are more likely to grant patents for companies that they subequently go to work for; they also go easier on patents applied for by companies associated with their alma maters (where they have more connections and will find it easier to get a job after their turn in government service).We begin by showing that revolving door examiners grant 12.6-17.6% (8.5-11.9 percentage points)more patents to firms that later hire them. This result is robust to varying the level of controls, e.g. theinclusion or exclusion of examiner and firm fixed effects, or limiting the sample to only firms that hireat least one examiner, which cuts the sample by roughly two-thirds. While the “headline” numberalone is not proof of capture, the robustness does suggest that unobservable differences—at least alongthe aforementioned dimensions—are very small.We next ask whether revolving door examiners extend this leniency to prospective employers aswell. Here we rely on two premises: first, that examiners face uncertainty about which firms will havefuture job openings and, second, that conditional on the type of work, an employer’s location is themost important attribute on which workers base their choices [Barber and Roehling, 1993, Turban,Eyring, and Campion, 1993, Powell and Goulet, 1996]. Thus, we test whether they grant more patentsto other firms in close proximity to the firm that hired them (after excluding any observations wherethe filing firm later hired the examiner). Read the rest
Sony to retire PS Vita in 2019
We've come to the end of an era in portable gaming: according to Engadget, Sony has announced that they'll cease producing their handheld PS Vita in Japan, next year.At the 2018 Tokyo Game Show, Sony has announced the birth of a new product and what could possibly be the final nail in the coffin for another. Sony Interactive Entertainment SVP Hiroyuki Oda has revealed that the company will cease PS Vita's production in Japan sometime in 2019. Further, he said the electronics/gaming giant has no plans to create a successor, echoing Shuhei Yoshida's revelation way back in 2015 that Sony doesn't see a market for a follow-up to the handheld console.That it's not going to be produced for the Japanese market any longer is likely the final nail in the PS Vita's coffin. Japan was the nation where the handheld was most popular. If it's dead there, it'll soon be dead everywhere else as well. I for one am sad to see it go. I have a large library of PS Vita and PSP games that I still enjoy goofing on, from time to time. The size of the PS Vita and its performance made it an enjoyable piece of kit, for me. I ran out to buy one as soon as it became available in Canada and never regretted the decision.Image via Wikipedia Read the rest
That Time Danny DeVito Saved Michael Douglas' Life (Surprise Ending!)
I was not expecting the surprise ending to Danny DeVito's retelling of how he once saved the life of his 'Romancing the Stone' co-star Michael Douglas on location in Mexico. 😳 🐍Warning very scary content.If you no like snek, no watch-a the video. He talk about snek. Here is the story. Michael Douglas might have died if Danny DeVito weren't such a totally on top of it dude.During an appearance on the morning television show “The Talk,” Devito, who is 73, retold a crazy story about that time when he and Douglas, 73, were in mexico shooting the early ‘80s movie “Romancing the Stone.” DeVito remembers there was a man nearby driving a flatbed truck with something in a cage -- oh, hey, it's filled with snakes.“The guy’s got a snake on his arm,” DeVito says. “And he says, ‘Mr. Douglas, Mr. Douglas.’ And all the kids are coming around. Michael grabs the snake and I say, ‘Michael, don’t touch that snake! That’s a snake man. That snake could bite you, man.'”Danny was right. A snake bit Douglas.“Wack! The snake bites him on the hand,” DeVito said. “The guy gets it off. I overheard that the best thing to do is you suck the poison out right away. So I did!”“Grabbed his hand … spitting all over the place,” he says as audience member go nuts. “And I said, ‘It’s a good thing this thing didn’t bite you on the balls, man! You would be a dead man!’”“Romancing the Stone” (1984) earned almost $77 million at the box office. Read the rest
Backyard Blockbusters: a documentary about the amazing genre of fanfilms
John Hudgens writes, "My documentary feature BACKYARD BLOCKBUSTERS (which Boing Boing had run two prior articles on) is finally available, streaming on Amazon's Prime Now service. Free if you have Amazon Prime, and available for purchase/rent as well."What's it about? Did you ever see that movie where Batman fought a Predator? Or where kids remade Raiders of the Lost Ark? What about the fourth season of classic Star Trek?If none of these are familiar to you, that's because they're not studio projects, but fan films.For years, people have been making home movies, many times using pop culture properties that they may not own, but love.In recent years, these types of projects have come to be known as "fanfilms".Backyard Blockbusters looks at the history and influence of the fanfilm genre, as well as the copyright and fair use problems these films create, featuring highlights from and interviews with the creators of many popular films." Read the rest
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