Business
384
Sports
285
Sport
564
Politica
613
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
unread news (Demo user)
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
unread news (Demo user)
Catherynne Valente schools her racist neighbors about the asylum seekers in their midst
[Author Catherynne Valente (previously) posted this outstanding rant to her Facebook page; I asked her permission to repost it here so it would have somewhere to live outside of the zuckerverse and she graciously gave her permission -Cory] I live in Portland, Maine. We have recently had an influx of African asylum seekers and the city has been scrambling to find shelter and support for them. Cue NextDoor, that wretched hive of scum and villainy. Every day someone would post some new hateful jingoistic nonsense about how horrible these people are and that they need to get out of 'Merica and leave it to the 'Mericans. I try not to get involved on NextDoor because I live in a small community and I have to see these people at the ferry dock. But I got mad. And I got involved. And it got long. So I decided to share it with you. Please feel free to share it with others who might need to hear it. You know, I was going to let this thread go by without saying anything. It's not worth it, I said to myself. These people aren't going to listen. But y'all can't stop being hateful and I'm tired of getting notifications that someone else is being and absolute bell-end about their fellow man on NextDoor. So buckle up. First of all, "they" aren't illegal. They are asylum seekers. It is legal in every nation on the planet to seek asylum, and they are abiding by the law. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Trump's impeachable offenses are okay because Wisconsin's economy is good: GOP Rep. Sean Duffy
These guys really aren't even trying to hide how feckless and corrupt they are anymore, are they. On 'All in With Chris Hayes' this evening, Republican congressman Sean Duffy of Wisconsin made the argument that a robust economy in Wisconsin during the presidency of Donald Trump means it's perfectly okay for Donald Trump to commit impeachable offenses. Sean Duffy is on Twitter, and he encourages the good citizens and voters of the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin to contact him, because he is “here to serve you, and so is my staff.” Watch. GOP Rep. Sean Duffy says the strong economy in Wisconsin means it's okay for Trump to commit impeachable offenses. #ctl #p2 pic.twitter.com/5ek3h3we1d — PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) June 19, 2019 Read the rest
2 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Ex-GOP staffer who racially assaulted black woman and wrote for white supremacist sites now writes for WSJ, Forbes, The Hill
Meet Marcus Epstein, aka Mark Epstein. Marcus Epstein is a former GOP operative, a former Richard Spencer associate, and once wrote for white nationalist site VDare. He also pled guilty to assaulting a Black woman and calling her the n-word. But as white nationalism goes mainstream, so has Epstein. Lately, he's been rehabbed as an opinion contributor to mainstream publications including Wall Street Journal, the Hill, and Forbes, under the pseudonym “Mark Epstein.” As Ryan Mac and Joseph Bernstein at BuzzFeed News write, this is only the latest example of the Trump-aligned racists “becoming part of the mainstream conservative movement over the last decade.” The Wall Street Journal just ran an Epstein piece titled “Antitrust, Free Speech and Google” earlier in June, but wouldn't tell Buzzfeed if Epstein's history was examined before the piece was published. Marcus Epstein, who worked for former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo and founded a nativist political club with white nationalist Richard Spencer, has written more than a dozen opinion pieces for the Journal, the Hill, Forbes, US News and World Report, and the National Review over the past two years. His pieces, which mainly focus on the regulation of the technology industry, were published under the byline “Mark Epstein.” In six different pieces for the Journal, Epstein is identified as an “antitrust attorney and freelance writer” and addresses topics including the supposed threat to conservative speech posed by Google and Facebook, and the ways regulation and antitrust might be used to ensure “viewpoint neutrality” and consumer protection, respectively. Read the rest
2 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
During World War II, a 56-year-old British noblewoman stood up to Nazi occupiers on the tiny island of Sark
In June 1940, German forces took the Channel Islands, a small British dependency off the coast of France. They expected the occupation to go easily, but they hadn't reckoned on the island of Sark, ruled by an iron-willed noblewoman with a disdain for Nazis. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of Sibyl Hathaway and her indomitable stand against the Germans. We'll also overtake an earthquake and puzzle over an inscrutable water pipe. Show notes Please support us on Patreon!   Read the rest
2 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
'Keep America Great' is apparently Trump's new campaign slogan
Here we go again. Donald Trump held a rally in Orlando, Florida tonight, and brought out all the great 2016 campaign trail hits -- 'lock her up,' 'acid washed,' 'deplorables', plus he trashed the Mueller report. Trump also made it official: The 2020 Trump re-election campaign slogan is KAG, Keep America Great. As Hunter Schwartz wrote last week, this is not a new tagline. Donald Trump trademarked the reelection slogan "Keep America Great" before he even became president. Excerpt: Trump’s been polling supporters about the “Keep America Great” at recent events, and the reaction isn’t particularly decisive. Even Trump waffled on whether or not he likes it. “KAG. I don’t know if I like that as much,” he said. At another fundraiser in April, he suggested the campaign could also keep “Make America Great Again” and use both. The trademark for “Keep America Great” was filed for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. on January 18, 2017, two days before he was sworn into office and subsequently filed for reelection, and 882 days before his scheduled 2020 kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida. Trump is known for thinking ahead when it comes to political branding; he trademarked “Make America Great Again” on November 19, 2012. "My only special interest is you," @POTUS tells #MAGA crowd. pic.twitter.com/5wvdAcYOyV — Steve Herman (@W7VOA) June 19, 2019 Read the rest
3 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Trump calls Mueller report “an illegal attempt to overturn the election”
'Lock Her Up' and 'acid washed' also made a comeback in Trump's rally-rant.
3 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
India's 6th largest city just ran out of water
Chennai's 4 main reservoirs are completely dry.
3 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Trump's Fourth Of July 'Salute to America' now includes Air Force One flyover of Mall
It's not supposed to be a political campaign ad. But it will be.
3 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
NASA accused of misrepresenting costs in new GAO report, Trump's moon mission now threatened
Trump’s moon mission threatened
4 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Complete instructions for making a replica of the Minivac 601 educational computer kit
Michael Gardi built a nice replica of the Minivac 601 computer kit, and made the plans available on Instructables. Created by information theory pioneer Claude Shannon as an educational toy for teaching digital circuits, the Minivac 601 Digital Computer Kit was billed as an electromechanical digital computer system. Produced by Scientific Development Corporation in the early 1960s it sold for $85 (about $720 today). Minivac 601 used electromechanical relays as logic switches as well as for very basic storage. Simple DPDT switches and SPDT push buttons made up the binary inputs, with lights to represent the outputs. A large motorized dial allowed the user to enter decimal or hexadecimal numbers, and to output numbers, or to act as a clock signal generator. For more information about the Minivac 601 here are some additional references: Wikipedia Center for Computing History Time-Line Computer Archive The Instructable presented here is for a full size replica of that Minivac 601 from 1961. I have tried to remain as true to the original as possible given the technologies and resources available to me. I don't have a "vintage" unit so this replica has been constructed based on photos and from the original manuals that were available online. I have included these manuals in PDF format as part of this project. I brought these files to a local copy center and had them printed as the spiral bound booklets you can see [below]. I'm really happy with the results. Read the rest
5 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
On Paul McCartney's birthday today, listen to Tammy Wynette cover "Yesterday"
Sir Paul McCartney turns 77 today. To celebrate, enjoy this lovely cover of "Yesterday" as recorded by country music superstar Tammy Wynette in 1968. Read the rest
6 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
The world's first Tesla pickup truck
Master maker Simone Giertz and her friends transformed her Tesla Model 3 into an electric pickup truck. Their fake TV commercial is above; build video below. TRUCKLA: Available nowhere. Now. Read the rest
6 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Video of violent turbulence on a flight
This is a reminder to wear seatbelts when flying. Image: YouTube Read the rest
7 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
50 people from 50 US states speak in their local accents
I never thought I had a distinctive Colorado accent until people from California noted my dropped Gs at the end of "ing" words. I've since stopped dropping Gs, but when I go back to Colorado I can't help myself and I drop my Gs. In this Condé Nast Traveler video, 50 people from 50 US states speak in their local accents. Image: YouTube Read the rest
8 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Cheap wireless laser printer with 3rd party toner is the way to go
I've had a Brother wireless laser printer for close to 10 years. It's so much faster and cheaper than an inkjet printer, and doesn't cause problems like an inkjet printer.  Right now, Amazon is selling the Brother HL-L2350DW, which prints on two-sides of a sheet, for . Official toner cartridges are for a high-yield toner cartridge (3,000 pages), but you can get TWO third-party high-yield cartridges for just , making this a cheap, reliable printer. Read the rest
8 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Vast majority of truck-driving jobs are not under threat from automation
The looming threat of mass-unemployment driven by automation has been grossly overstated: while it's true that "truck driver" is one of the most common jobs in America, the vast majority of truck drivers are not long-haul drivers, which are the drivers at risk of having their jobs automated out of existence. What's more, the US Standard Occupational Survey conflates "truck drivers" with "driver/sales workers" -- meaning that the oft-cited figure of 3,000,000 US truck drivers is grossly inflated. Truck drivers don't just drive trucks: they engage in a wide variety of non-driving, difficult-to-automate tasks: "checking vehicles, following safety procedures, inspecting loads, maintaining logs, and securing cargo"; as well as a variety of customer service roles and so on. Short-haul truckers have an even wider variety of tasks, navigating city streets and dealing with complex situations involving multiple vehicle types. That said, trucking remains one of the most exploitative industries in America. Several reasons account for our differing opinion. First, the number of truck drivers that can be potentially affected by automation is fewer than many have assumed, because of misunderstandings about the nature of the occupational classification system. Second, although the occupational designation of heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver makes the primary task of the job—driving—apparent, it is important to note a number of non-driving tasks required of truck drivers, many of which are less susceptible to automation. Third, and most important, the requirements of autonomous vehicle technology, combined with complex regulations over how trucks can operate in the United States, imply that certain segments of trucking will be easier to automate than others. Read the rest
8 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Independent tribunal concludes that Falun Gong prisoners in China are targeted for organ harvesting
The UK China Tribunal has concluded that China is indeed harvesting organs from prisoners, especially imprisoned members of the banned Falun Gong religion; Falun Gong members have long claimed this to be the case, though the Chinese state denied it and said that it had halted the transplantation of organs from executed prisoners in 2014. The tribunal heard that investigators who cold-called Chinese hospitals inquiring about donor organs found them to be in suspiciously ready supply, with the hospital staff candidly admitting that organs had previously come from Falun Gong members. Jennifer Zeng, a Falun Gong member who was imprisoned in a hard labor camp, testified that she and her co-religionists were repeatedly medically tested, which she believes might have been a prelude to organ harvesting. Former Uighur prisoners also testified that they were subjected to repeated medical tests while imprisoned. Some countries enforce a ban on citizens traveling to China for organ transplants; the UK is considering such a ban. A representative of the Chinese state told the Guardian that they hoped that Britons "will not be misled by rumours." In her statement to the tribunal, she said: “Inmates of the labour camp were not allowed to exchange contact details, so there was no way to trace each other after we were released. When anyone disappeared from the camp, I would assume that she was released and had gone home. “But in reality that cannot be confirmed, as I had no way to trace others after my release and I now fear they might have been taken to a hospital and had their organs removed without consent and thus killed in the process.” As many as 90,000 transplant operations a year are being carried out in China, the tribunal estimated, a far higher figure than that given by official government sources. Read the rest
9 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
The British press used to be amazingly homophobic, and the backsliding has begun
Mediawatch was a column that ran in Britain's Gay Times for almost 25 years, with author Terry Sanderson cataloging coverage of LGBT issues by the mainstream press. The archives are being posted online in a blog format, and Buzzfeed published an interview and retrospective with Sanderson himself. Poofters. Benders. Shirtlifters. Bumboys. Lezzies. This was how British tabloid headlines referred to gay men and lesbians in the 1980s — an echo of the taunts heard on the street before a beating. The stories beneath would expand on the pejoratives, justifying them with news of “sick”, “evil”, “predatory” gays — all arising from a presumption: that readers would agree. The twist is that the readers didn't agree. The pervasive homophobia of British newspapers was increasingly out of step with the times, revealing more about the neurotic obsessions of Fleet Street creeps than the country at large. The open bigotry evaporated in the early 1990s as circulations began to decline and reality asserted itself. But I must admit to being taken aback by just how homophobic they were. Sanderson chronicles not merely slurs and AIDS-baiting headlines, but calls for reprohibition, pogroms and executions--all delivered in the same blurting, jokey yet seething-angry tabloid cadence that foreshadows the reactionary right's approach to social media now. One thing stood out to me in particular: a quote from Garry Bushell, then a columnist in The Sun, remarking that Stalin had the right idea by getting rid of the poofs. By the time I hit my teens in the 1990s and started paying attention, such talk was not merely history, but forgotten: Bushell was a huge mainstream TV star then, an award-winning critic, but I never saw a whisper of that talk. Read the rest
9 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Howto: make better salads
Bon Appetit's 20-tip roundup of salad-making tips is full of culinary wisdom, from the mechanical (how to use a salad-spinner properly and how to apply dressing for a good, even coat that doesn't turn delicates to mush) to the chemical (using salt to tenderize raw cabbage) to the culinary (toast your nuts, put chopped veg in your dressing, mix your vinegars). It's a great and timely piece for anyone getting ready to enjoy the summer's garden veg or anyone trying to get kids to eat more veggies. (via Kottke) Read the rest
9 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Canada's telcoms regulator adopts a sweeping new pro-competition agenda
For decades, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has been missing in action, standing idly by as Canada's telcom companies merged with each other and with media giants, created three bloated, anticompetitive vertically integrated monopolies; now the CRTC has repented its sins, adopting its proposed pro-competition agenda (which was bitterly opposed by the Big Three), with far-reaching implications for mobile virtual network operators, facilities sharing, rural coverage, accessibility and investment. The policy goes into effect immediately. Read the rest
9 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Elizabeth Warren profile: portrait of a savvy politician who appeals to working people, and who can get stuff done
Sheelah Kolhatkar's 10,000 word New Yorker profile of Elizabeth Warren is mostly a "color piece," giving a sense of where Warren is coming from, personally and politically; as such, it's a good read, but mostly redundant if you've already read Warren's (very good) 2018 book This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class; that said there's a couple of key political insights that are very timely for anyone trying to figure out whom to support in the Democratic presidential primary (I am a donor to both Warren's and Sanders's primary campaigns). First is the relationship between Warren's rhetoric and Trump's, which bears some similarities in that both campaign on economic justice for the "forgotten" people of America. As a staffer says, the inflammatory "rigged system" rhetoric is deliberate, "It’s not enough just to inspire. You have to inspire and fight for something. You have to name a villain." Warren describes the difference: "Donald Trump says, ‘Your life isn’t working, and the reason is all those people who don’t look like you. They’re not the same race as you, they don’t worship like you, they don’t talk like you. So blame them.’ His answer is: divide working people. It’s racist. And, ultimately, it makes everyone poorer." Kolhatkar also provides a glimpse of how well Warren's proposed wealth tax is playing out, as Warren reminds people that middle-income voters -- whose only substantial asset is likely to be their home -- already pay an annual wealth tax in the form of property taxes: "All I want to do that’s different is include the Rembrandt and the diamonds!" (to which an audience member yells, "And the yacht," and Warren agrees, saying "And the yacht with the Imax theatre!"). Read the rest
9 h
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
This trig problem kept me up too late last night
My daughter is taking a precalc summer school course. Last night she was doing her homework, which was about verifying trigonometric identities. Out of the 25 homework problems, there was one that she got stuck on. I decided to give it a try and spent two hours on it without solving it. Here it is. Verify the identity: (sec x - tan x)² = (1 - sin x )/(1 + sin x ) You don't need to know anything about trigonometry to solve this. All you need to know are the fundamental trigonometric identities, which are: My daughter is in class now and she texted me the answer. There's not too many steps involved. Let's see how fast you can solve it. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Startling photo of magically levitating fisherman
It's not Photoshop. I can tell by the pixels and from seeing a number of levitating fishermen in my time. (r/confusing_perspective) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Mongodb's plan to limit breaches: "Field Level Encryption"
Many large-scale data-breaches involve attackers gaining access to administrators' database logins; from there, they can clone the whole database and plunder it at will; but leading nosql database vendor Mongodb proposes to add another layer of security it's calling "Field Level Encryption" which encrypts the data in database fields with its own key -- possibly a different key for every user or every field. That means that attackers will have to compromise a lot of cryptographic keys as well as breaking into a server. Depending on how it is configured, Field Level Encryption also severely limits the ability of vendors to spy on their customers. The downside is that it adds complexity -- key management -- to the design of clients and possibly user key-management. The Field Level Encryption tool is free/open source software, and open to auditing and improvement by all comers. Both Adobe and Google -- as well as other giant tech companies -- rely on Mongodb for some database technology and could use Field Level Encryption to add another layer of security to their data-handling practices. However, relational SQL databases would struggle to implement comparable measures, so Field Level Encryption will be limited to nosql applications. For regular users, not much will be visibly different. If their credentials are stolen and they aren't using multi-factor authentication, an attacker will still be able to access everything the victim could. But the new feature is meant to eliminate single points of failure. With Field Level encryption in place, a hacker who steals an administrative username and password, or finds a software vulnerability that gives them system access, still won't be able to use these holes to access readable data. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Snail slime inspires new super-strong reversible glue
Snail slime -- called an epiphragm -- is an incredibly strong yet reversible adhesive. Now, University of Pennsylvania scientists have developed a new kind of glue that employs the same mechanism as the epiphragm. The new material dries like superglue but once wet, it loses its adhesion. For years, scientists have explored adhesions inspired by nature but none have been demonstrated to have the same amount of strength and reversibility. For example, the researchers report that their new adhesive "is 89 times stronger than gecko adhesion." From the University of Pennsylvania: The breakthrough came one day when Gaoxiang Wu was working on another project that involved a hydrogel made of a polymer called polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate (PHEMA) and noticed its unusual adhesive properties. PHEMA is rubbery when wet but rigid when dry, a quality that makes it useful for contact lenses but also, as Yang's team discovered, for adhesives. When PHEMA is wet, it conforms to all of the small grooves on a surface, from a tree trunk's distinct ridges to the invisible microporosity of a seemingly smooth wall. This conformal contact is what allows PHEMA to stick to a surface. To demonstrate just how durable their PHEMA adhesive is, one of Yang's lab members and co-first author, Jason Christopher Jolly, volunteered to suspend himself from a harness held up only by a postage-stamp-sized patch of their adhesive; the material easily held the weight of an entire human body. Based on the lab tests, the team determined that, although PHEMA may not be the strongest adhesive in existence, it is currently the strongest known candidate available for reversible adhesion. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Florida property-tax auction winner didn't realize he was bidding on a 12"-wide strip between two houses
A combination of hubris (failing to heed the stern warnings that bidders should only participate if they know what they're doing), cryptic annotations and confusing illustrations resulted in a bidder buying a 12" wide, 100' long strip between two properties in Broward County, Florida -- an odd parcel that had been formerly owned by the developer, who folded and stopped paying tax on it, sending it to the auction. The buyer thought he was buying the "villa" next to the property, which is valued at $200,000; apparently so did the other bidders in the auction, who bid up the strip of grass to $9100. All sales in the auction are final, but the buyer is trying to get out of his purchase. On the other hand, it is strange that this piece of turf was ever defined as a separate “parcel” at all. It seems more likely there was a mistake in defining the adjacent parcels, and this strip was just left over. According to the report, it still belonged to the subdivision’s developer until that company dissolved and stopped paying the taxes. The unhappy buyer apparently has some internal memos in which county officials ponder the oddity of selling a 1′ x 100′ strip of land that runs under someone else’s building, but they decided the relevant statutes required them to put it up for auction. So far as I can tell, nothing in the statutes precluded them from adding a little note about the weird circumstances here, but they chose not to do that. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Watch this owl's incredibly precise flying
Not only are owls incredibly agile flyers, they're also silently stealthy. (r/NatureIsFuckingLit) Owl through legs (full speed) Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Amazon shows a 43% price difference in the same item shipped to the same address, but to a different account
Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle (who also founded the company Alexa, now an Amazon division) ordered a pack of Sharpies from Amazon using the Internet Archive's business account, then, minutes later, ordered another pack using his personal account, both to be delivered to the Internet Archive: the order for the Internet Archive was priced at $8.63, while the personal order was priced at $12.37. According to Kahle, the price difference is a feature, not a bug: businesses who pay extra for Business Prime ($179/year versus $99 for non-business Prime) get significant discounts on some items. I have Business Prime and I see the price as $12.63 whether in a logged in tab, or in private browsing mode. Below are the receipt for the Internet Archive, offer to me, and offer to my home business account (same price as the Internet Archive). Turns out I stumbled upon “Business Pricing.” It’s a “feature.” Business Prime costs $179/year, as opposed to consumer Prime for $99/year. Amazon.com Charging Me 43% More Than Another Customer [Brewster Kahle] Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Berlin Senate approves five-year, citywide rent freeze
The Senate of Berlin has approved a five-year, citywide rent freeze in a bid to halt the city's skyrocketing rents, driven by increased demand that has attracted large-scale corporate landlords who have acquired swathes of properties and raised rents on them, pricing tenants out of their own neighborhoods. Next, the bill proceeds to the Berlin Parliament for approval; it is expected to pass, and will go in effect in January, and apply retroactively to June (heading off any last-minute rent-hikes ahead of the freeze). The corporate landlords say that the rent freeze will discourage new building to take up demand; historically, Berlin managed this dynamic through the construction of public housing. The rent freeze exempts new buildings. Berlin rents have doubled in a decade, rising 7% last quarter alone. Rents nationwide are climbing, and there is a movement for a national rent freeze. The flyers appeared overnight on lampposts in my neighbourhood. A picture of a young couple who explained that they were flat-hunting and, as professional photographers, would offer a free photoshoot to any landlord who'd take them on. It's not an unusual phenomenon. One woman recently offered to bake regularly for anyone who'd rent her their flat. Berlin can't build affordable accommodation fast enough for the city's rising population. An open showing of a newly available flat is likely to attract well over 100 hopeful, would-be tenants. Demand is pushing up rents as corporate investors buy up and renovate old or dilapidated buildings, and it's pricing Berliners out of their old neighbourhoods. Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things
Jealous stag beetles fight over girl friend
Male stag beetles' horns are longer than their body, and these two boy beetles put them to use in a scuffle to win the heart of a girl beetle. The winner mates with the girl beetle of his dreams, but then makes a terrible mistake. Image: YouTube Read the rest
Boing Boing - A Directory of Mostly Wonderful Things