Shared posts

30 Oct 15:33

Leaks to US news media are as bad as terrorism, says new Defense directive

by Xeni Jardin
"Unauthorized disclosures of classified information, leaks to the news media, acts of espionage, and certain other information security offenses are now to be collectively designated as 'serious security incidents,' according to a Department of Defense directive that was published this week." [FAS]

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

30 Oct 18:27

How Prince of Persia's famous jump animation was made

by Rob Beschizza

1989's Prince of Persia, by Jordan Mechner, featured superbly realistic animation when such things were a rarity in computer gaming. Now, two decades later, he's published the original footage of his little brother leaping to and fro, from which each frame was traced and digitized. princeofpersiajumping

Jordan began his pioneering work while still an undergraduate at Yale University. Dissatisfied with the stilted movement of characters in computer games, Jordan borrowed the technique of rotoscoping that he had learned about in his history of cinema class. In 1983 he began experimenting by filming his karate instructor, Dennis, doing a variety of martial arts moves. Then he traced images from the film and used a Versawriter graphics digitizer tablet to copy the images onto the computer. On March 19, 1983, Jordan finished a test of this to see if it would work in a game he was developing, and in his diary he recorded his excitement: “When I saw that sketch little figure walk across the screen, looking just like Dennis, all I could say was “ALL RIGHT!”” Jordan’s game Karateka (1985), a Japanese-themed karate game, became the best-selling title in the country and Jordan had established himself as a video game designer even before he had graduated

Here is Ben Kingsley, villain of the movie version of Prince of Persia, being wrong about experimental rotoscoping footage. giphy

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

30 Oct 15:55

"Great Scott, It's Ghostbusters!"

by Brad
30 Oct 16:44

Nottingham's National Videogame Arcade could be the best museum ever

by Jamie Rigg

I was all ready to put up the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, but this kinda leaves the HoF in the dust. Still my favorite place in Vegas.

Nottingham's probably best known for its infamous sheriff, but next year it'll have another claim to fame when a museum dedicated to gaming opens in the city. The National Videogame Arcade, said to be "the world's first cultural centre for gaming,"...
28 Oct 21:00

God Loves Little Girls Who Stand Up For Others

Retail | Denver, CO, USA

(I’m a manager at a technology store and a lesbian. There are two men holding hands and giving each other little kisses every now and then, a woman who is trying her hardest not to look at them, and a mother and her five- or six-year-old daughter, all waiting in line. The two men get to the register.)

Man #1: “Hi, we were wondering if you do wedding registry here?”

Me: “No, sorry, we don’t. But my wife and I found when we were doing our wedding registry stuff that if you find a shop that doesn’t do a registry, just write down the SKU numbers so people can come in and—”

Woman: “Come on, none of us have time to be dealing with your little gay pride bulls***! None of you should be getting married anyway. It’s a sin!”

(I start to open my mouth, but the little girl stomps her foot and gives the woman the meanest look I have ever seen.)

Little Girl: “That’s not nice! You say you’re sorry, right now!”

(The woman is taken aback, but is not done with her rant.)

Woman: “I will not apologize to sinners! What they are doing is wrong! God hates people like—”

Little Girl: “No! Girls can like girls and boys can like boys. If God wanted boys and girls only to like each other then he would have made them only like each other! And don’t you know God loves everyone, even boys who like boys?!”

(The woman and the little girl look at each other for a good 10 seconds until the woman drops her items on the floor and storms out. The mother, the gay couple, and I are all speechless. Like a total boss the little girl takes the expensive robotic toy from her mother and walks to the counter.)

Little Girl: “I want this, please!”

Man #2: “My soon to be husband and I would like to pay for that.”

Me: “And wouldn’t you know it, we give 50% discounts to amazing little girls here!”

28 Oct 20:47


29 Oct 04:00


Anyway, that's a common misconception. Geese live for a long time; all the ones we can see will probably keep flying around for billions of years before they explode.
26 Oct 14:08

Wet Steel

26 Oct 15:00

LeVar Burton Reading Go The F**k To Sleep

by Mike Fahey

A beautiful thing happened during Rooster Teeth's 24 hour Extra Life stream: more than $240,00 was raised for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. Also, Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton read a book and cursed a lot. It's pretty beautiful.

The book Geordi is reading in this clip (via Tastefully Offensive) is Adam Mansbach's instant classic, Go the Fuck To Sleep, a children's book that every parent who's dealt with a sleepless child over the past couple of years is intimately familiar with. Having had our twins in June of 2011, we own about 20 copies, including the audiobook version as read by Samuel L. Jackson.

Many props to Mr. Jackson, but he's got nothing on Burton. The man's been reading to children on a national scale since 1983. There's an entire edutainment property built around it. You know the one. "Butterfly in the sky / you can fly pretty fucking high!" Ah, memories.

Grats on the big charity haul, Rooster Teeth, and thanks for this.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

27 Oct 22:20

Genius app instantly solves math problems

26 Oct 22:05

Cosmo Confession [via]

Cosmo Confession [via]

24 Oct 23:18

Weed prohibitionists caught telling lies

by Mark Frauenfelder

Carrying on the sleazy tradition of professional liar Harry J. Anslinger (first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics), weed prohibitionists are stretching the truth and outright fibbing in a desperate attempt to reverse the nationwide trend towards legalization.

Joseph Perrone wrote a commentary for the Washington Post on Monday claiming "a handful of deaths in Denver were tied to edible marijuana use this year."

Perrone is referring to Levy Thamba Pongi, a visiting 19-year-old college student who jumped off a Denver hotel balcony after eating a pot cookie on March 11, and Kristine Kirk, whose husband allegedly murdered her on April 14 after eating cannabis candy. Perrone thus inflates the number of deaths by 150 percent and blames them on marijuana through post hoc, ergo propter hoc reasoning.

And Ron Schwerzler, an opponent of Oregon's legalization initiative, claimed at a debate that "there have been five infant children deaths in Colorado that have picked up those drugs."

The actual number, as Schwerzler was forced to admit the following day, is zero. "I really need to retract that statement because I can't back it up," he said. Schwerzler, director of medical services at an addiction treatment center in Eugene, is also a man of science.

Recent polls show that well over half of Americans are in favor of legalization.

Pot Prohibitionists Invent Marijuana Deaths, Scientifically

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

23 Oct 22:08

Combined GIF: Great Vest, Bro

by Brad
24 Oct 17:33

Doctor Who Tested Positive for Ebola

by Brad
24 Oct 02:25

Someone get Conan some aloe. [@conanobrien/@madeleine]

Someone get Conan some aloe. [@conanobrien/@madeleine]

22 Oct 19:57

Man: 0, Gate: 1

22 Oct 04:00

Higgs Boson

'Can't you just use the LHC you already built to find it again?' 'We MAY have disassembled it to build a death ray.' 'Just one, though.' 'Nothing you should worry about.' 'The death isn't even very serious.'
22 Oct 16:01

Snappy coroner's answers to stupid cross-examiner's questions

by Cory Doctorow

"How can you be sure [the patient wasn't alive] Doctor?" "Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar."

"But he still could have been alive, nevertheless?" "Yes, it is possible he could still have been alive and practicing law."

Came across this while I was reading extracts from a book for school which consisted of true things that were said in court... [Reddit]

(via Mitch Wagner)

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

21 Oct 20:17


21 Oct 20:01

WATCH: Well-trained protection dog

by Mark Frauenfelder

I submit that one advantage a dog has over a gun is that it will continue to protect you after you lose consciousness. A lot of work goes into developing the kind of control demonstrated here, though.

The dog is a great listener, but I still wouldn't want to be the guy with the padded arm. [via]

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

21 Oct 13:56

Real life hoverboard introduced via Kickstarter campaign

by Caroline Siede

If there was ever an argument for widespread adoption of solar roads and sidewalks, this is it.

Greg Henderson knows a thing or two about skepticism. The co-founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley think tank Arx Pax approached six different patent firms before finding one willing to get onboard with his unusual idea. He later flew to the U.S. Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia just to prove his application wasn’t a practical joke. As Henderson explains, “When you call up a supplier or a machine shop and you tell them you’re working on a hoverboard, they just laugh and hang up on you.”

But Henderson’s futuristic technology isn’t an elaborate prank like the one Funny Or Die pulled last year. In fact: Meet Hendo, the world’s first hoverboard.

As the video above proves, Arx Pax’s Hendo is a working hoverboard prototype. The company’s newly launched Kickstarter campaign hopes to raise $250,000 to turn it into a fully realized product. For those who grew up mesmerized by Back To The Future II, the chance to try out hover technology is reason enough to contribute.

250 backers will take a five-minute ride on the hoverboard in exchange for a $100 pledge. 25 backers willing to contribute $1,000 will earn an hour-long riding lesson from Hendo’s team. And 10 backers will own one of the world’s first hoverboards in exchange for $10,000. The prototypes will be handed out at Hendo’s Hover Event on October 21, 2015—the date Marty McFly travels to in Back To The Future II. And Arx Pax is hoping to get star Michael J. Fox involved by auctioning off the first hoverboard and donating the proceeds to his Parkinson’s Research Foundation.

Hendo Hoverboard 2 copy

Hendo hoverboard prototype

But just how did a small Silicon Valley company create a working hoverboard? According to Henderson, it took a combination of “intuition and Wikipedia.” An architect by trade, Henderson first began thinking about hover technology while brainstorming better ways to protect homes from earthquakes and floods. One option is to use liquid or gas as a “buffer medium” to protect buildings from seismic shifts. But Henderson realized there might be an even better buffer: an electromagnetic field.

“If you can hover a 15,000 kilogram train, why not a house?” Henderson asks. He set about assembling a 19-person team of physicists, engineers, and graphic designers to figure out a way to hover stationary objects with dynamic payloads. The key to making something hover is to have a force pushing up equal to the downward pull of gravity. Using Lenz’s Law, Arx Pax figured out how to use magnetic field architecture (MFA) to transmit electromagnetic energy incredibly efficiently. The Hendo hoverboard combines magnetic fields to arrange magnetic flux in a certain direction. As of now, the board needs to be placed over a conductive, non-ferrous surface (i.e. copper or aluminum) in order to hover. But part of the goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to encourage co-creation that can improve upon the limitations of this new technology.

For $299, Kickstarter backers will receive a White Box Developer Kit that includes a hover engine and a conductive surface. The kit—which Henderson calls his favorite Kickstarter perk—allows backers to experiment with hover technology in their own homes. It will also encourage innovators to learn about and improve upon Hendo's design. Henderson hopes to one day be able to reduce or eliminate the need for a conductive surface on which to operate.

Hendo Developer Kit 3

Hendo's White Box Developer Kit

In addition to recreational uses or amusement park rides (“Hoverland!” Henderson suggests gleefully), the technology has plenty of practical applications—from protecting hospitals in areas with earthquakes to streamlining factory automation. Hover technology could also drastically increase the efficiency and sustainability of mass transportation. By treating carpool lanes with conductive surfaces, hover vehicles could offer “the freedom of a car and the efficiency of a train.” The whimsical pop culture appeal of the hoverboard is just a starting place for future hover innovations.

 “We’re calling all inventors,” Henderson emphasizes. “We’re hoping for folks to start daring to wonder.”

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

21 Oct 04:10

Air puppets: their strange past and stranger future

by David Pescovitz


Over at Re:form, Sam Dean tells the fascinating history of air puppets, from their invention and 1990s golden era to the laws that banned them in urban locales to their rebirth as scarecrows.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

20 Oct 22:45

The Misadventures of Skooks

by Molly Horan

Check out this bizarre Scooby-Doo mash-up just in time for Halloween.

20 Oct 18:45

John Oliver Has an Adorable Way To Get The Internet To Pay Attention To Politics

Here's more of his show's 'Real Animals, Fake Paws Footage'

20 Oct 21:50

tastefullyoffensive: [explosm]

15 Oct 23:05

Every Customer Service Call Ever in a Nutshell

by Brad

Boston-based sketch comedy group Fatawesome sums up the insufferable pains of having to deal with the customer service department.

15 Oct 21:00

Hang On, Need to Scoop My Brain Up Off the Floor


Can't be unseen. Like the arrow in the FedEx logo.

16 Oct 18:00

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

by Rob Bricken on io9, shared by Tina Amini to Kotaku

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

Fun and games aren't always fun and games — especially not if a kid gets ahold of the wrong toy. These 13 dolls, figures and role-play items, through bad manufacturing, oversight, and sometimes just plain incompetence, have hurt children in real life, and sometimes even killed them. Parental guidance suggested!

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

1) Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper

Ever wondered why every toy with a piece smaller than a baseball has a choking warning on the package? Thank this Mattel vehicle from the original Battlestar Galactica TV show. The Viper had a firing missile, a standard special feature of the time, but which a 4-year-old very unfortunately shot in his mouth and choked to death in 1978. The Viper was recalled, Mattel was sued, and toy packages gained the choking hazard warning forever.

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

2) CSI: Fingerprint Examination Kit and CSI: Investigation Forensics Lab Kit

It may seem like dangerous toys are things of the past, but this 2007 science kit based on the hit murder/crime/drama show that kids probably shouldn't be watching proves otherwise. As stated the kit allows kids to dust for fingerprints; the problem is that the powder used to dust for said fingerprints was chock full of asbestos. The Environmental Working Group reported that the powder contained up to 7% of tremolite, one of the most dangerous forms of asbestos, and more than enough to cause cancer later in life.

3) Bird of Paradise Slingshot

One of the earliest toys that the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend be banned in 1969, this slingshot fired missiles that were "razor-sharp," according to the Wall Street Journal. A slingshot that fired razors seems obviously problematic, but prior to the CPSC only toys made out of dangerous substances were considered dangerous.

4) Sky Dancers

It's easy to understand the popularity of Sky Dancers. They were figures of faeries with soft foam wings; when they were attached to a hand-held base and a ripcord was pulled, the faeries would shoot into the air and twirl back to the ground. What's harder to understand is how it took six years for them to get recalled. See, when the cord was pulled, the Sky Dancers would rocket randomly from the base at great velocity, and while they may have twirled to the ground, they didn't float gently — they dropped, and then it became a game of "dodge the Sky Dancing Kamikaze." As the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported in 2000, when the Sky Dancers were finally recalled, "Galoob has received 170 reports of the dolls striking children and adults resulting in 150 reports of injuries. They include eye injuries, including scratched corneas and incidents of temporary blindness, broken teeth, a mild concussion, a broken rib, and facial lacerations that required stitches."

5) Super Blast Balls

Two balls. Smash them together, and boom — you get a loud, cap-like noise and a few sparks. That's it. That's the whole toy. It's amazing no one figured out a toy that was effectively "lets have children set off caps in their little hands" was going to be dangerous before they were mass produced, but after the first few injuries and fires the CPSC came to its senses and went ahead and banned them.

6) Creepy Crawlers

People often give the Easy-Bake Oven a hard time, basically because it had a lightbulb inside to heat and bake food, and it could get up to 350 degrees — certainly enough for kids to burn themselves if they weren't paying attention. But the Easy-Bake Oven was a beacon of safety compared to the original electric Creepy Crawlers oven of the '60s, which 1) got even hotter than the Easy Bake Oven, 2) produced not hot food but burning hot liquid plastic, which 3) was actually quite toxic. God knows how many kids burned and scarred themselves (or, more likely, their younger siblings) but because it was the '60s, adults decided the Creepy Crawlers sets weren't dangerous as much as they were "learning experiences."

7) Empire Little Lady Stove

In the same theme, while the Easy-Bake Oven had its problems — and Hasbro was forced to recall the toy in 2007 after a girl was forced to have her finger partially amputated after burning it in the oven's bulb — it was made of room-temperature Nerf compared to the Empire Little Lady Stove. This electric kids' stove from the '60s reached temperatures of 600 degrees — most real ovens now automatically shut off when they reach 550! What could a child possibly want to cook that would need 600 degrees of heat?!

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

8) Bat Masterson Derringer Belt Gun

This popular weapon of the '50s was the James Bond-iest device a cowboy could have. The gun was hidden in the belt buckle, and when a kid stuck out his tummy, the gun would swing out and fire on unsuspecting outlaws. Now, the gun fired small pellts, but that wasn't the problem; the problem was that it was also a cap gun for that realistic gun-firing experience. I shouldn't have to tell you the dangers of firing caps right next to your crotch, but suffice it to say any friction could accidentally set the caps off, so even just wearing it was as dangerous as any high noon stand-off.

9) Zulu Blow Gun

Any small toy can be dangerous if it's swallowed by someone young enough, and I've tried to keep from flooding this list with items that were banned after a toddler accidentally — although willingly — ate them. But the classic Zulu Blow Gun toy was different in that it was a tube whose entire play feature was making kids stick tubes containing very small, choke-inducing darts into their mouths. That's just asking for trouble.

10) Moon Shoes

Mini-trampolines for your feet? What could go wrong? A lot, actually. One errant jump in the Moon Shoes could easily lead to a broken ankle. More impressively, the Moon Shoes of the 1970s were made of many, many sharp pieces of metal, meaning kids were essentially wearing mini-trampolines made out of bear traps on their feet.

11) Sky Rangers Park Flyer Radio-Controlled Airplane

This 2007 remote-controlled airplane had a bad habit of, uh… blowing up. Seriously. Even more unfortunately, the planes were launched by hand, so when the planes blew up they often blew up next to kids' heads. They were unsurprisingly recalled.

12) Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid

Many toy companies have held the Cabbage Patch Kids doll license over the years. In 1996 Mattel had the honor, and released the Snacktime CPK for the holiday season, a special doll that would "eat" "snacks" inserted into the doll's mouth thanks to a series of motorized metal roller. While the dolls soft, fleshy lips were already kind of disturbing on their own, the bigger issue is that the Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kid couldn't differentiate between the plastic snacks it was supposed to eat and, say, an actual child's fingers. In January of 1997, Mattel voluntarily recalled the dolls after several incidents of the Snacktime Cabbage Patch Kids snacking on their human playmates.

​13 Of The Most Dangerous Toys Ever Made

13) Lawn Darts

Also known as Jarts, Lawn Darts are possibly the most famous toys to be banned, and justly so. It's been determined they were responsible for sending over 6000 people to the hospital for injuries, most of them kids, many of them disabled for life. And this was after the Jarts manufacturer had skirted a previous ban by putting a "game for adults only" warning on their packaging, because of course kids were going to play with them — and they were still sold in kids' toys stores, too. By the end, Jarts had killed three children and one 11-year-old girl put into a coma.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

20 Oct 12:44

How comic conventions came to have so little room for comics

by Rob Beschizza

I have a hard time feeling bad because comic books were never a primary interest of mine. As I see it the diversification lets the con appeal to a broader spectrum, which includes me.

Comic conventions have been colonized and overwhelmed by mainstream movie, TV and game marketing, a surprisingly rapid process that has finally left comics so marginalized that the fandom despairs. Chris Butcher explains how barren the landscape is--and just how fucked you are if you are dependent on original book product.

The changing convention landscape is inherently shitty for people who make comic books. Art comix, indy comics, mainstream comics, whatever comics, the changing makeup of conventions is hostile to people who want to make and sell comics at comic conventions. And let me be clear, this is comic books and graphic novels, as opposed to ‘prints’ or crafts or whatever manner of tchotchkes makeup most exhibitor tables these days. Basically, comic book conventions are aggressively attracting an audience who don’t necessarily value books, or comic books.

I don't agree with all of his arguments (if semipro cosplayers and youtubers making affiliate bucks are becoming a serious competitive problem, surely that's a symptom of decline rather than a cause of it) but find that conclusion convincing. Comics Beat's Heidi McDonald boils is down to "costumes, celebrities and a cute kid or two."

Cartoonists are being written out of the comic-con story at a very fast pace, and unless something is done, the entire culture of cons is going to be completely shifted to a “remember when there was a broadcast involved in broadcast TV?” narrative

You know why Marvel superhero movies never have proper endings? Because they are comics. The price of guaranteed entry, to the audience that comics used to reach: hundreds of millions of dollars, give or take a zero or a miracle. To participate in one medium is to participate in all of them, now, and you will be at a brutal disadvantage if you lack the capital to do it.

No gatekeepers, no garden.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service - if this is your content and you're reading it on someone else's site, please read the FAQ at

20 Oct 10:45

How to Watch the Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday


Via Fatbob
For those of you in the Salt Lake Valley, the eclipse is scheduled for 4:27 pm, 23 Oct. Get your pinhole projectors ready.


Millions of people across North America could have a chance to observe a partial solar eclipse next week, weather permitting.

Although the Oct. 23 partial solar eclipse may not be as spectacular as a total eclipse, it is still a beautiful and interesting event to witness. The sight of the moon gradually moving across the face of the sun fills most people with awe.

The best views of the eclipse will be in the north, in Alaska and the Canadian arctic, but everyone in North America should see some of it, except in the extreme northeast of the continent. In eastern North America, the eclipse will only be visible near or at sunset, so a low western horizon is essential. Venus is very close to the eclipsed sun, but you will probably need to block the sun from view to spot it. Read more...

More about Solar Eclipse, Us World, and Space