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Boing Boing
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Boing Boing
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This smart sonic toothbrush packs 40,000 strokes per minute
Ever wonder if you're cleaning your teeth well enough? If your last dentist visit has you getting a little more thorough about oral care, it might be time to save yourself some guesswork. A lot of electric toothbrushes promise deep cleaning, but there's a Platinum Sonic Toothbrush that has power plus the simple but effective innovation of a timer to make sure you're brushing for the right amount of time, every time. And that's the least of the bells and whistles. It charges by USB, which makes it perfect for travel. Plus, the case has a UV sanitizer which kills up to 99% of bacteria on the brush head while it's charging. Turn the power on, and the Platinum Sonic vibrates at 40,000 brush strokes per minute, which not only loosens fine particles from the teeth but is great for the gums. And best of all, there's an Auto Timer that makes sure you're brushing for the ADA-recommended two minutes. It's like having a dentist on the room with you, minus the guilt. The Platinum Sonic Toothbrush & USB Sanitizing Case are currently $49.99, a full 80% off the MSRP. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
AOC is going to Kentucky
First AOC gave a great speech about how the Green New Deal was good for workers, including coal workers; then she accepted GOP Rep Andy Barr's invite to visit the coal-miners in his Kentucky Appalachian district; then Barr disinvited him, citing her "incivility" in her response to the racist attacks on Rep Ilhan Omar; then it transpired that Barr has no coal mines in his district, but it doesn't matter, AOC is going anyway: "Luckily, we still have open borders with Kentucky, we are free to travel there. We hope to visit and have a town hall, listen to concerns of workers in Kentucky." Read the rest
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Make and share your own GameBoy adventures without learning to code
GB Studio is a "free and easy to use retro adventure game creator for your favourite handheld video game system." Use a modern visual scripting interface to create Zelda-style 2D role-playing games that run on the Nintendo Game Boy or standalone on the web. · Visual game builder with no programming knowledge required. · Design your graphics in any editor that can output PNG files e.g. Photoshop, Tiled, Aseprite. · Example project included to get started right away. · Make top down 2D JRPG style adventure games. · Build real GB Rom files which can be played in an emulator or on device using USB Carts. · Build a HTML5 playable game that also works on mobile and can deployed to any webserver or uploaded to Itch.io. · Built for macOS, Windows and Linux. · Supports both macOS light and dark mode. · Includes the full tools that were used to build Untitled GB Game, free to play on Itch.io. It's by Chris Maltby (on Itch, Twitter) and downloads are available for MacOS, Linux and Windows. [h/t Agies] Read the rest
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Elizabeth Warren is first 2020 candidate to call for Trump's impeachment
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for Donald Trump's impeachment as a result of the findings in the redacted Mueller Report released yesterday. Warren going on the record means every candidate will be put on the spot this weekend regarding impeachment. Things are about to get interesting. (Photo: Flickr/ElizabethforMA) Read the rest
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Halifax! I'm speaking at Atlseccon on April 24 (then Toronto, Ottawa, Berlin and Houston!)
I'm coming to Halifax to give the closing keynote on day one of Atlseccon on April 24th: it's only my second-ever visit to the city and the first time I've given a talk there, so I really hope you can make it! From there, I'm headed to Toronto, where I'm giving a keynote called The Internet Isn’t What We Fight FOR, It’s What We Fight WITH on April 29th at the FITC Technology and Creativity Conference. Then I'm appearing at the Ottawa Writers Festival on May 4, presenting my newest book, Radicalized. After that, it's a quick trip to Berlin, where I'm the keynote speaker at this year's Re:publica conference, presenting a talk called It's monopolies, not surveillance on May 7th. Then I'm headed back to the USA for a weekend's worth of events at Houston's Comicpalooza, May 10-12. Hope to see you! Read the rest
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TSA admits that its pornoscanners flag Black women and others with curly hair for humiliating, invasive searches
Black women have long complained that they get flagged for secondary screening at TSA checkpoints after passing through a full-body scanner; after years of complaints, the TSA has admitted that its scanners struggle to with curled hair, and are prone to flagging anyone wearing an afro, twists, locks, braids, or other hairstyles predominantly found among Black travelers (though white travelers with long curly hair have also reported being flagged for secondary screening). Black women complain that the TSA's secondary screening of their hair is invasive and humiliating, and also leaves carefully maintained hairstyles in disarray. The TSA has officially asked the scanner manufacturers to suggest ways to modify their products "to improve screening of headwear and hair in compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act." Propublica's excellent story on the problems with the machines quotes an anonymous TSA screener who admits that the body scanners also struggle with turbans and wigs, singling out people who wear them for additional screening. The TSA will not say whether it has ever found a dangerous object in a traveler's hair. The TSA is one of the US government's most diverse agencies; many TSA screeners are people of color. Nevertheless, the number of complaints alleging racial profiling in hair searches has increased sharply in recent years, rising from 73 in 2017 to 105 in 2018. The TSA also maintains the right to search travelers' hair even if nothing suspicious appears on scans, leaving who to search and how to search them up to screeners' discretion. Read the rest
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Perhaps the reason @RepAndyBarr rescinded his invitation for AOC to visit the coal mines in his district is that there are none?
Earlier this week, Kentucky Republican Congressman Andy Barr withdrew his invitation for Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit a coalmine in his district (made after AOC defended the Green New Deal as being better for working people, including coal miners, than GOP denial inaction on climate change). Barr claimed that he had withdrawn his invitation because of AOC's "incivility" in her defense of Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who has been at the center of a dangerous, Islamophobic smear campaign started by Republicans but also taken up by establishment Democrats. At the time, AOC speculated that Barr's true reason for rescinding his invitation was his fright: "GOP’s getting scared that up close, their constituents will realize I’m fighting harder for their healthcare than their own Reps
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Thief sucked used Burger King grease into 1,600 gallon truck container to resell for biofuel
Guess used Burger King grease is the new copper wires nowadays. The Associated Press social media editor who composed this little beauty below deserves some kind of a prize today. A whopper of a haul: Police say a Virginia man stole hundreds of gallons of used cooking grease from a Burger King. But he couldn't give police the slip. https://t.co/lAK49gjwVQ #odd — AP Oddities (@AP_Oddities) April 19, 2019 So does the headline writer. From “Grease is the way we are stealing in northern Virginia” — Alvaro Mendez Flores of Richmond admitted to the April 4 theft. Court documents state Mendez Flores backed up his box truck to the grease dumpster at the Annandale Shopping Center and used a hose to begin siphoning the used oil into a 1,600-gallon tank. So, apparently the used cooking grease this guy stole can be resold to make... biodiesel fuel. The suspect, one Mr. Alvaro Mendez Flores, told police he would get paid 25 cents a gallon for the stolen oil. From the local news report at WJLA: ABC7 obtained a search warrant that shows Alvaro Mendez Flores admitted to the April 4th theft. Surveillance video showed the 3:30 am crime—the driver backing up a white box truck, hooking up a green hose, and firing up a generator, which helped pump grease into a 1,600 gallon container in the back of the truck. The footage also showed the police, who said they caught Mendez Flores in the act. Court documents show the Richmond resident told detectives that his boss would give him 25 cents a gallon—around $300 to $400 a trip. Read the rest
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'Confederate' militia detains migrants at gunpoint — with Border Patrol's tacit OK, they claim
“If these people follow our verbal commands, we hold them until Border Patrol comes. Border Patrol has never asked us to stand down.”
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NYC adopts law targeting the handful of skyscrapers that are spiking the city's carbon footprint
New York City's just-passed Climate Mobilization Act rolls up six climate-mitigation laws that comprehensively remake the city's approach to climate change (it's colloquially known as the Green New York Deal). 70% of the city's carbon footprint is generated by heating and cooling for buildings, and a third of that comes from 50,000 of the city's biggest skyscrapers (Trump Tower is an egregious offender); the bill requires these buildings' owners to cut emissions by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 (rent-controlled buildings, hospitals, places of worship and similar buildings are exempted). Also in the bill: electrification of the city's school buses, and switching out gas power plants for wind turbines. So what finally got the job done? Thanks to scientific and governmental reports banging the drum, and superstorms putting New York temporarily underwater, more and more people understand that climate change is an existential threat—especially in coastal cities. New York’s Aggressive Climate Law Takes Aim at Skyscrapers [Adam Rogers/Wired] (Image: New York 2140) Read the rest
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Herbie Hancock's killer original music for the Fat Albert TV special
In 1969, Herbie Hancock found the funk for a collection of music he composed for "Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert," a TV special that eventually led to the long-running cartoon "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." Hancock collected those tracks on Fat Albert Rotunda, the band leader's first LP after bailing on the Blue Note label. It's a deeply soulful affair that presaged Hancock's 1973 jazz-funk classic Head Hunters. Now, Fat Albert Rotunda is readily available again as a high-quality vinyl reissue from my friends at the Antarctica Starts Here label. Dig it. Herbie Hancock - Fat Albert Rotunda LP (Antarctica Starts Here/Superior Viaduct) Read the rest
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Marijuana makes people morally unfit for U.S. citizenship, pot users lack 'good moral character' — Trump administration
Pot makes immigrants ineligible for citizenship even if pot is legal in the state where they reside.
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
New York Times prints 'I'm fucked' on front page
Hell has frozen over.
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
A new robotic arm design for future home robots that do our chores
Remember UC Berkeley researcher Pieter Abbeel's fantastic towel-folding robot? Now, Abbeel and his team have prototyped a new kind of robot arm design meant for the home and other human environments. Compared to robot arms common in factories, this manipulator, called Blue, is less expensive ( Read the rest
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This 2015 Facebook/Instagram post was 'earliest evidence' of Russia's attack, says Mueller report
"Good evening buds!" the post read.
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Review units of Samsung's $2000 folding phone are failing after hours of use
Samsung's folding phone, which will ding buyers about two grand after tax, is already in deep trouble: the review units sent to journalists are dying after hours of use. CNBC's Todd Haselton writes that it was "a tantalizing glimpse of the future — before it broke." During my second day of testing, the screen began flickering and would turn off and on at a rapid pace. It became completely unusable and at times wouldn’t turn on at all. Samsung had said not to remove a thin layer that sits on top of the screen. Other reviewers accidentally removed this layer and ran into similar issues that I saw. But I never removed the protective film or used the device outside any way a normal user might. The Verge titled its video review "after the break" and awarded it the not-so coveted "Yikes" rating. Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly. I’ve done normal phone stuff, like opening and closing the hinge and putting it in my pocket. We did stick a tiny piece of molding clay on the back of the phone yesterday to prop it up for a video shoot, which is something we do in every phone video shoot. So perhaps a tiny piece of that snuck into a gap on the back of the hinge and then around or through its cogs until it lodged in between the screen and the hinge. It’d be sort of like Charlie Chaplin getting caught in the gears in Modern Times. Read the rest
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Read the source code for every classic Infocom text-adventure game!
Jason Scott has made the source available for every one of Infocom's classic and genre-defining text adventure games (previously) for the Apple ][+ and its successors, posting it to Github under the historicalsource account. The code is written in Zork Implementation Language, a Lisp-like programming language that you can learn with this manual. The source seems to have been posted under the general rubric of archival preservation, which is an activity that can fall under copyright's fair use doctrine. If Activision -- owner of the rights to Infocom titles -- decides to push the matter, we might end up with a fascinating and precedent-setting court battle. Included in the collection are all the Zork games, as well as the notorious and brilliant Douglas Adams game "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and partial sources for its unreleased sequel "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe" and the complete sources for an unreleased adaptation of "The Abyss," James Cameron's 1989 movie. Dive in and you'll find that things are very different now than they were then. At the time Infocom was active, personal computers did not have a widely shared architecture, so the path ZIL's architects took was to allow game creators to write instructions for a virtual machine called the Z-machine, which was then brought to the various platforms of the day. There are interpreters available today for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android, among other platforms. The interactive fiction community is still quite lively, and people are still making games using ZIL and the Z-machine today. Read the rest
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Chuck Tingle's Meullerporn: "Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration"
Chuck Tingle (previously) has leapt into action with some of the most trenchant analysis of the Meuller Report yet seen: Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration covers all the most significant details through an exquisitely crafted tale of gay pornography. Ron isn’t a fan of Domald Tromp, but he can’t help feeling like the doomsday predictions of the man’s upcoming presidency are a little overblown. As far as Ron can tell, nothing in his daily routine has really altered that much. All of this changes, however, when Ron notices a little black censorship bar lying out on the sidewalk, and even more hanging from a familiar apple tree. This is how Ron learns that Tromp has signed an executive order to redact the concept of apples, but Ron still does his best to ignore it. Soon, Dom Tromp is redacting things left and right, sending the entire country into turmoil. When a heroic REDACTED shows up to save the day, will him and Ron be able to prove love is real while there’s still time left? This erotic tale is 4,100 words of sizzling human on sentient censored being action, including anal, blowjobs, REDACTED, rough sex, and gay politically concealed information love. Redacted In The Butt By Redacted Under The Tromp Administration [Chuck Tingle/Amazon] (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest
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Telcoms lobbyists have convinced 26 states to ban or restrict municipal broadband
More than half of the US states have passed laws that ban or severely restrict local governments from investing in broadband: many of these laws were copypasted from "model legislation" circulated by corporate telcoms lobbyists (this is a disturbing, widespread practice in America's state houses); and many of the states that have passed these bills have large areas where every ISP is a Net Neutrality violator, and all across America, ISPs are underinvesting in network buildout (especially for rural subscribers) while raising prices and refusing to sell high-speed service to customers who don't also buy cable TV. Municipal internet is the answer: despite the documented lies of Trump's FCC, cities that build their own networks save money and the people who live there are the only Americans who are happy with their broadband. So municipal internet is a huge threat to ISP monopolists: not only do they stand to lose the $5 billion federal subsidies that they receive every year, they also have to compete with superior, lower-cost, higher quality offerings from municipalities. Cities want to offer broadband to residents: that's why so many have sued the FCC to cut off the telco monopolists' subsidies, and it's why the monopolists have been such aggressive litigators and shameless lobbyists against local governments' right to provide internet access to their residents. The figures on state laws blocking community broadband come from a report from Broadbandnow; it also documents how states voted to subsidize private-sector monopolists at the same time as they were banning cities from competing with them, resulting in worse offerings at higher prices. Read the rest
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Where pinball machines live forever
Michael Schiess is the founder of the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, California where he cares for nearly 2,000 pinball machines from across time. Schiess's mission in life? "To inspire an interest in science, art and history through pinball, and to preserve and promote this important part of American culture." Read the rest
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"Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden"
At Bon Appetit, Kristen Arnett wrote a very funny appreciation of Olive Garden as the perfect place for her to take first dates. From Bon Appetit: The right kind of woman for me is someone who won’t give me a hard time about the things I like. The kind of woman who will let me pocket all the leftover breadsticks and doesn’t care if we only discuss our favorite sexual positions and what kind of appetizers look best off the limited-time-only menu. We’re at Olive Garden because it’s kitschy and cute. Nothing that happens needs to be a serious thing. It’s no big deal... Two people eating means you get three sticks total. I like to think Olive Garden did that on purpose, so that you’re forced to break bread with your date. You must share with each other, touch hands. It’s all very romantic, if romance is deciding who gets to take the bigger share of the carbs. "Why I Take All My First Dates to Olive Garden" Read the rest
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The Google Cemetary
The Google Cemetary is an online collection of the useful stuff Google has made (or replicated) and then destroyed. An elegy to things we should never have given over to it in the first place, a lament for the lessons never learned. Read the rest
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For sale: charred remains of Aleister Crowley and Jimmy Page's Loch Ness home
For sale: Boleskine House, occultist Aleister Crowley's infamous digs on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland that Jimmy Page later owned. The Georgian home, sitting on 9.3 hectares (22.9 acres), burned in 2015 but the exterior walls remain. The real estate agent is open to bids over £200,000. According to the sales materials, "The opportunity now exists to restore the house and grounds to create an outstanding property subject to obtaining the necessary consents." Consents? I say, remodel as thou wilt. Here is the listing. Read the rest
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MandalaGaba, a recursive drawing board
MandalaGaba is a recursive drawing board. Click and drag and watch what happens! You can save and share your work; the creator has a blog and an instagram featuring quality examples. After radial symmetry (mandalas) and tessellations, I just finished implementing recursive drawing. Do tweak the buttons & sliders, seeing their effect on a pen stroke is the best way to understand what they do. I hope this is fun. Read the rest
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Faithless, by Operators
Now that's my kind of pyramid. FAITHLESS / Operators Released April 5th, 2019 produced by Napster Vertigo and Arlen Thompson Visuals by Caleb Bardgett and Johnny Dunn Operators is on tour; check them out on Spotify or Amazon if it's your cup of tea, Read the rest
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IPOs have sent Uber and Lyft fares skyrocketing, while driver pay plummets
The public markets are hungry: as Uber and Lyft look to IPOs to let their investors -- who have been subsidizing 40-50% of every ride -- redeem their shares through sales to the public capital markets, the companies are desperate for ways to reduce their unprofitability and increase those share prices. Luckily for them, the rideshare companies operate "two-sided markets," a darling of neoliberal economic orthodoxy, wherein they are able to control the prices that customers pay and the share of those payments that reach drivers, and that means they get to fuck everybody over. Both companies have been ratcheting up fares as they have increased their exposure to the public markets, but not only are they not sharing these new revenues with drivers -- they're actually cutting real wages to drivers. Drivers are figuring this out by sharing screenshots of the fares charged and their remittances with passengers (Uber and Lyft otherwise hoard all information about the spread between fare and wage). “I always check the rider app anytime before taking rides. During morning rush they’re charging passenger $145 to go to the airport. I only get $33. Lyft started doing this four weeks before IPO,” said one Lyft XL (larger vehicles) driver in San Francisco, California, who requested to remain anonymous because they are currently applying for a new job. The driver said they have to work 100 hours a week just to make the same amount of money they did last year. “It’s amazing they have been able to get away with everything they are doing. Read the rest
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Super Mario Bros. released for C64
A pixel-perfect implementation of Super Mario Bros. is now available for the Commodore 64, a good three decades after that computer's (and the Nintendo Entertainment System's) heydey. This is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game SUPER MARIO BROS. for the Famicom and Nintendo Entertainment System. It contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version. It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support. Home computers of the era typically saw sub-par conversions of console hits, even when there was no real technical reason. Below, see Super Mario Bros. as originally released on 8-bit computer platforms; quite a disaster. The Great Giana Sisters was a more accurate unofficial port that, for obvious reasons, displeased Nintendo and led to "pressure" that saw it withdrawn from sale (though it did not, per gamer legend, file a lawsuit). It ultimately became a franchise in its own right. Read the rest
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Freudian news bloopers
Enjoy this fine collection of Freudian slips uttered by news presenters. Read the rest
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Get free HDTV the old school way with this indoor antenna
The digital age is well and truly upon us, but let's not forget there's a load of free TV content floating literally over our heads. No, we're not talking about the internet. Signals from major broadcast networks are still gratis for anyone who can pick them up with an antenna. And before you envision those ugly metal "rabbit ears" above your TV set, get a load of the ANTOP Paper Thin 30-Mile AT-105 Indoor HDTV Antenna. As advertised, it picks up signals within approximately 30 miles of the broadcast area, unaffected by windy or rainy days. That's shows from ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Fox, Univision and more, relayed with support for HD and Ultra 4K content. At a mere .02 inches thick, it comes with a kit for mounting discreetly indoors and is fully compatible with existing digital TVs and converter boxes. Right now, the ANTOP Paper Thin 30-Mile AT-105 Indoor HDTV Antenna is more than 50% off at $16.99. Read the rest
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Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things