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23 Nov 14:13


22 Nov 12:53

Bible: tl;dr edition

by Cory Doctorow

Cabbagetroll's masterful summary of the Bible (both testaments) on Reddi's /r/Christianity really captures the books' spirit.

God: All right, you two, don't do the one thing. Other than that, have fun.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
Satan: You should do the thing.
Adam & Eve: Okay.
God: What happened!?
Adam & Eve: We did the thing.
God: Guys

God: You are my people, and you should not do the things.
People: We won't do the things.
God: Good.
People: We did the things.
God: Guys

The stories of the Bible in TL;DR form [Cabbagetroll/Reddit]

(via Kottke)

(Image: The Wolverton Bible)

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18 Nov 20:00

Feel the Hate, and Hate the Love

Feel the Hate, and Hate the Love

Submitted by: Unknown

Tagged: allergy , Cats , funny
19 Nov 19:00

They Have All Sorts of Uses

They Have All Sorts of Uses

Submitted by: Unknown

20 Nov 18:04

The Shirt That Ended All Shirtstorms

by Brad
21 Nov 19:25

Abandonware heroes

by Rob Beschizza
2 Gizmodo's Kate Knibbs reports on people who do the hard work of recovering and restoring forgotten games, so that they may be remembered—and, Heaven forbid, played again.

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19 Nov 18:50

IGN's Pokémon ORAS Review: Too Much Water

by Brad

Pokémon fans are having a field day with IGN’s latest review of Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire for Nintendo 3DS after the gaming review site listed “too much water” as one of its drawbacks.

20 Nov 00:30

A Six-Step Guide to Realizing Art Is Hard

by Brad
19 Nov 04:51


18 Nov 18:02

Bob Marley’s Family Is Starting A Line Of Branded Marijuana For Reasons No One Must Explain

by Mary Beth Quirk

In a branding combination that goes together like Bob Marley black light posters and college students, the late musician’s family says it’s starting a new line of Bob Marley marijuana. If you need someone to explain the relationship between Marley and Mary Jane, go ask your 19-year-old niece/nephew/son/daughter living in the basement.

The family has partnered up with a private equity firm that focuses on the cannabis industry called Privateer Holdings. The two have struck a 30-year licensing deal, reports Fast Company, to create Marley Natural (what, not Marleyjuana?!), a pot brand that will have a slew of products on the market at dispensaries around late 2015.

The line will come plastered with the new Marley Natural logo of a lion, which is an important symbol to Rastafarians, anchored with two leaves. Products include topical things hemp-derived lotions and the like, as well as six “heirloom” strains of marijuana that were personal favorites of Marley.

“We really want the products to be rooted in Bob’s life and in his message, and be authentic to his Jamaican roots,” Privateer CEO Brendan Kennedy told Fast Company. “We’re doing everything out of respect for Bob and out of respect for his vision.”

The deal had to be worked out in secret ahead of today’s announcement, seeing as the company’s headquarters is in New York City, where recreational pot is not legal.


18 Nov 20:22

Computer Engineer Barbie Needs Men To Write Code, Can’t Reboot Computer

by Mary Beth Quirk

I'm guessing someone in the Amazon comments beat me to it, but is Barbie doing computer engineering in the kitchen?

barbieengineerIt’s taken the media at large many months to catch on, but Amazon reviewers have been up in arms over a book from Mattel’s “I Can Be” Barbie series, I Can Be A Computer Engineer (Mattel created a Computer Engineer Barbie in 2010 as well) for months now. Why? Because Barbie doesn’t seem to actually do anything a computer engineer does, only has the skills to design a game and needs the help of men to code it and heck, she can’t even reboot her computer right.

Let’s set the scene, as noted by yesterday and subsequently posted to Reddit: Barbie is working on her laptop one morning, eating yogurt as one does in front of computers, and Skipper asks what she’s up to. She’s busy computering, it seems.

“I’m designing a game that shows kids how computers work,” explains Barbie. “You can make a robot puppy do cute tricks by matching up colored blocks!”

Right on, girl power! Wait — designing adorable puppies is one thing, but they need to be coded.

“Your robot puppy is so sweet,” says Skipper. “Can I play your game?”

“I’m only creating the design ideas,” Barbie says, laughing. “I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game!”

Yes, really.


She then proceeds to give her computer a virus while failing to email her design ideas to the boys who must help her, and can’t figure out to reboot her computer. If that’s not bad enough, she also puts a virus on Skipper’s laptop, losing all her important homework files.

And yes, there’s more — a whole lot, including a scene where the boys tell Barbie she can fix things faster if they help, and the end where Barbie takes the credit for all the work she didn’t do and gets extra credit to boot: ” ‘I guess I can be a computer engineer!” says Barbie happily.’ “

Those are not the messages parents say they want their daughters to hear, as reviewers have been noting on the Amazon reviews of the book since January. It’s part of a two-pack offering along with I Can Be An Actress.

Of course there’s been an avalanche of negative reviews since yesterday, but the bad reviews stretch back 11 months.

January 31, 2014:

I found the sexist drivel that this book portays[sic] to be especially inflammatory, so much so that I’ve placed it near my fireplace for emergency use during a power outage. The demeaning words add extra fuel as they certainly come from the fire of hell itself.

Also wonderful for starting your backyard grill.

February 11, 2014:

I just read this book, and it’s incomprehensible how misogynistic it is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got removed from the shelves soon.

Still on virtual shelves by February 13, 2014:

An appalling representation of how women act in the world of technology.
Lessons you learn from “I Can Be a Computer Engineer”:

A girl needs a boy to do anything of value.
Women are not able to fix their own computer problems.
Girls need boys to do their work for them but can simply take the credit and no one will worry about who really did the work since, duh! a girl couldn’t have done it by herself.

Basically this book enforces all the bad stereotypes about women/girls not being capable enough to compete with men/boys when it comes to careers in technology. Fantastic.

November 17, 2014, people are catching on even more:

To add insult to misogynist injury, the depiction of “computer engineer” has nothing to do with either engineering or computer science. As far as I can tell, this story seems to think “computer engineer” means being utterly ignorant of how computers work, and not actually using them to write software.

Do your daughter a favor, and just download the past year of @SwiftOnSecurity’s tweets, instead. She’ll learn far more about computer security, engineering, and girl power from a real fake girl than from this waste of tree carcasses.

Which brings us to today:

Wow, and here to think I’ve been foolish enough to do my own work all these years when I could have just found some boys to do it for me. Where were Steven and Brian when I had to write my dissertation?

Seriously, with all the hard work so many are putting in to make sure that girls know that computing can be a great career for them it’s absolutely appalling to see something like this out there to reinforce the gender stereotypes.

I wish I could say this is the first time we’ve seen a major company send a message like this, but of course there was “Math is hard” Barbie, followed by a slew of bad retailer decisions that, intentionally or not, tell girls they can’t do something boys can do, or should like only stereotypically girl things like shopping and the color pink.

We’ve reached out to Mattel for comment and will update this post if we get a response.

19 Nov 16:38

Comcast Hits Man With $2,789 Fee For Moving To Area Not Served By Comcast

by Chris Morran

I'm sure Comcast would argue that once they eat TWC, they'll control the area the guy was moving to, and so this issue shouldn't happen again.

comcastbillWhen a Tennessee graphic designer decided to move an hour away, Comcast originally told him that he could move his business-class service and even set up an appointment for installation. But when the Comcast installer never showed up, the company finally told the man that (A) his new address wasn’t served by Comcast and (B) he owes the company nearly $3,000 in early termination fees.

“I was just blown away,” the man tells Nashville’s WSMV-TV about the $2,789 in fees from Comcast. “That’s way too much money for somebody like me to be able to pay.”

Comcast told him that he was in a 3-year contract for his business broadband service, and per the business-class terms of service [PDF] he owed a fee equal to 75% of the amount he would have eventually paid over the balance of the contract.

“They kept telling me the same thing,” he recalls. “‘You’re under contract, that’s what the contract says.’”

The former Comcast customer, who said he’d never had any problem with the company until this incident, says he understands that there’s an early termination fee for those who cancel service, but he wasn’t attempting to get out of his contract. He’d tried to relocate his service and he’d been told that Comcast could install service at his new address.

“I didn’t think that was fair, to pay an early termination fee, because I wanted to keep their service,” he explains. “And due to them not offering it in my area, I feel like I was being punished because they don’t offer the service here.”

A rep for Comcast confirmed the early termination fee to WSMV but said there were extenuating circumstances in this case and that the fee is being waived.

19 Nov 04:32

World's oldest photograph, and more cool "oldest" objects

by David Pescovitz
oldest-photo.jpg__800x0_q85_crop Smithsonian posted a gallery of "ten of the world's oldest everyday objects," including the above photo by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce from 1826 or 1827, thought to be the oldest surviving photograph. It's titled "View from the Window at Le Gras" and housed at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center.

Niépce, considered the father of photography, invented the camera out of necessity because he couldn't seem to master drafting images by hand. As early as 1793, Niépce talked about the possibility of capturing images through light. By using a mixture of bitumen of Judea, which hardened and became insoluble after prolonged exposure to light, Niépce was able to capture the first photograph from a camera onto a pewter plate.

Check out the other objects Smithsonian selected, including a soccer ball, book, and leather shoe: "Where to See the Oldest Artifacts in the World"

More background on "The First Photograph" here at the Harry Ransom Center.

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19 Nov 15:11


by jon



Day Four of Sciencemaster Adler’s Science Rampage finds him saving the day in a major way. What will happen on Friday? Probably something!

My Patreon has fallen off a bit in recent weeks, would you consider becoming a patron and supporting SFAM? If we can hit $3000 a month I’ll increase my comics output. We’re only $340 away from that!


17 Nov 11:12

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

by Chris Morran

Man, what's it going to take to get Franken the presidency?

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas attempted to slam the notion of net neutrality, dubbing it “Obamacare for the Internet” and claiming that it would result in prices and services being set by the government. But over the weekend, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called Cruz’s claim “baloney,” pointing out the fact that we’ve had net neutrality for years and cable companies have been doing just fine.

“He has it completely wrong,” said Franken on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley. “He just doesn’t understand what the issue is.”

The Senator clarifies that neutrality has existed throughout the Internet age. It’s the ISPs, led by Verizon, that successfully sued to gut the rules so that they can add fast lanes and charge more to companies that can afford to pay.

So the move to keep the Internet neutral is intended to maintain the status quo. It just requires new rules because the cable companies don’t want to abide by the old ones.

On the other hand, points out Franken, Obamacare is a program that created something new. Whatever your opinion of the Affordable Care Act, it’s in no way analogous to net neutrality.

“This would keep things exactly the same as they’ve been,” says Franken of neutrality.

The reason that the FCC is even considering the idea of reclassifying broadband as telecommunications infrastructure — as opposed to its current designation as an information service — is because it’s the only way in which the government can effectively tell ISPs to not create fast lanes, and there are some who contend that even reclassification may fail a legal challenge.

“It’s because these ISPs, which have been getting bigger… they essentially have an oligopoly,” says Franken about the need for FCC-enforced neutrality. “They have been talking about a fast lane — they have been talking about charging big, deep-pocketed corporations extra money to go faster, meaning everyone else goes slower.”

As for the claim that reclassifying broadband would cripple innovation and investment, Franken says, “That’s baloney,” and that a truly neutral Internet won’t be the end of investment.

“All this stops them from doing is making a whole bunch of extra money,” says the Senator. But this is not going to stop them from wiring the country.”

For an even better rebuttal of Cruz’s “Obamacare for the Internet” claim from someone without any sort of legislative agenda, check out this hilarious response from The Oatmeal.


18 Nov 05:00

November 18, 2014

17 Nov 18:45

NYC to replace most of its payphones with free gigabit WiFi in 2015

by Sean Buckley

Agreed. If I were a cable company executive, I'd be looking at this and saying, what if the poor saps who opt for the free or low price service get horrible-but-barely-acceptible quality VOIP service, while those who opt to pay $1 or more by the minute get studio quality sound on either end. This is the definition of a slippery slope.

Can you remember the last time you used a payphone? Neither can we. Public telephones are an outmoded piece of our communication infrastructure, and NYC is ready to replace them. The city has been toying with the idea for years, and today it finally...
17 Nov 13:00

Big Hero 6 Makes for Touching Flipbook Animation

by Brian Ashcraft

I have no idea what the Japanese lady is singing, but I bet it would have me in tears.

Big Hero 6 Makes for Touching Flipbook Animation

Tekken, the Japanese comedian named after the fighting game, is back with another flipbook animation. This time, it's for Disney's Big Hero 6.

The spot is part of the movie's promotional campaign. But, like Tekken's other work, it's surprisingly touching and sweet.

『ベイマックス』鉄拳「パラパラ漫画」オリジナルPV [Disney@YouTUbe]

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

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17 Nov 14:20

Skyrim And Winter Have A Lot In Common

by Gergo Vas

Skyrim And Winter Have A Lot In Common

And it's not just the snowy setting. These similarities—five really serious ones— presented by Dorkly are much much deeper.

And most of them work with other RPGs as well.

Skyrim And Winter Have A Lot In Common

5 Reasons Winter Is Just Like a Bethesda Game [Dorkly]

To contact the author of this post, write to:

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17 Nov 05:00


The universe long dead, IsaAC surveyed the formless chaos. At last, he had arrived at an answer. 'I like you,' he declared to the void, 'but I don't LIKE like you.'
10 Nov 22:34

A Letter from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to Barack Obama

by Juan Thompson

Harsh. They should really rub it in his face and give one to Snowden.

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

It was late in the evening when we first learned of your decision Friday to deploy an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq. Sorry, we were catching up on the latest episode of “Lilyhammer.” But, seriously, is that a tradition in the States? Releasing such news late on a Friday with the fatuous hope people would forget by Monday? But on second thought, after perusing the American media, it’s possible such schemes may be effective. There appears to be more concern over one Ebola patient— in a country of 316 million people— than the news that your administration is invading Iraq all over again.

Did you forget the words you spoke in Chicago on October 2, 2002? “What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. . . That’s what I’m opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics”. Were those your words or merely the pandering musings of a state senator with grander political ambitions? If so, you succeeded. Because in 2011, as President, you announced the “end” of the Iraq War, and you boasted “The tide of war is receding”. Was that a twisted joke? You have bombed 7 predominately Muslim countries. That’s not to mention the thousands killed because of your imperialist policies or the Americans you have targeted with military drones, and without due process.

Did you also forget your speech on that crisp December day five years ago next month? “Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don’t.” You certainly haven’t followed said standards; it doesn’t appear you ever even intended to. After all, your expansion of executive war powers will be the biggest stain on your floundering presidency. Worse than George W. Bush.

You are the most undeserving Nobel Peace Prize winner since the odious, war-mongering Henry Kissinger. What company you keep! We were delusional dupes for giving the Peace Prize to him and you both. That is all. Now, back to “Lilyhammer.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee
Drammensveien 19 NO-0255 OSLO

Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

The post A Letter from the Norwegian Nobel Committee to Barack Obama appeared first on The Intercept.

16 Nov 19:05

I ain't gonna lose that bus!

16 Nov 19:32

"Chick Chick": The Farm Animal Music Video

by Don

Check out Chinese pop star Wang Rong’s bizarre music video “Chick Chick,” in which she mimics noises made by a variety of farm animals.

16 Nov 14:17


11 Nov 07:01

Tuesday, November 11 @ 7:01:34 am

by tfbrown69


14 Nov 13:49

EFF makes DoJ admit it lied in court about FBI secret warrants

by Cory Doctorow

Department of Justice lawyers told a judge that when the FBI gives one of its secret National Security Letters to a company, the company is allowed to reveal the NSL's existence and discuss its quality -- it lied.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is litigating on behalf of an unnamed telco that received an NSL, caught it out and made it apologize to the court.

"During oral arguments, we were surprised to hear the government retreat from its position that NSLs gag recipients from talking about the 'very fact of having received' an NSL," said Cindy Cohn, EFF's legal director, in a statement. "But now we learn that the government's position remains unchanged. Because the government's argument to the Ninth Circuit depended in part on the assertion that the NSL gag order does nothing to stifle public debate, this later retraction significantly undermines its case."

Cohn called the mistake a "very strategic error" by the government, noting that the correction was given only after her organization asked for specific clarification.

"They didn't draw the attention to the Court, I did," Cohn said. "You can call it an error ... but we've seen the government willing to shave the truth and mislead Congress" on surveillance matters.

Justice Department Admits It Misled Court About FBI’s Secret Surveillance Program [Dustin Volz/National Journal]

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18 Oct 09:00

Life is Hard Even if You're a Psyduck


Via Lori

Life is Hard Even if You're a Psyduck

Life can GIF you a thrashing.

Submitted by: (via Big)

Tagged: life , Psyduck , gifs , sad but true
14 Nov 08:00

U Michigan makes up a bunch of non-reasons why it doesn't have do record retention

by Cory Doctorow

"Unfortunately, for a university of its size and wealth, these fines clearly aren't much of a deterrent."

We clearly need a better deterrent system than fines for non-flesh-and-blood legal entities.

The campus newspaper, Michigan Daily, is investigating a campus scandal that resulted in the athletic director resigning and a football player being expelled for sexual misconduct, but the university has engaged in blatantly illegal destruction of records to stymie the investigation.

The university spokesman, Rick Fitzgerald, has issued a stream of excuses for why UM has failed to live up to its legal obligations for document retention and Freedom of Information requests, effectively claiming that the retention policy can be made up on the fly, and that valid retention policies include "When we get a request for a record, we destroy that record."

Inquiries sent to other local colleges show that Michigan University is an anomaly in its refusal to adhere to the state's FOIA law. The school's "do what thou wilt" retention policy may result in it being fined. State law provides for a $500 fine plus compensatory damages for "arbitrary and capricious violations" of the Act, as well as an additional $1,000 fine and/or two-year prison sentence if it can be proven that University employees willfully destroyed records. Unfortunately, for a university of its size and wealth, these fines clearly aren't much of a deterrent.

Michigan University Claims Its Public Records Retention Period Is Whatever Each Employee Wants It To Be [Tim Cushing/Techdirt]

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14 Nov 20:05

FCC calls AT&T’s fiber bluff, demands detailed construction plans

by Jon Brodkin
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.

Two days after AT&T claimed it has to "pause" a 100-city fiber build because of uncertainty over network neutrality rules, the Federal Communications Commission today asked the company to finally detail its vague plans for fiber construction.

Despite making all sorts of bold promises about bringing fiber to customers and claiming its fiber construction is contingent on the government giving it what it wants, AT&T has never detailed its exact fiber plans. For one thing, AT&T never promised to build in all of the 100 cities and towns it named as potential fiber spots. The company would only build in cities and towns where local leaders gave AT&T whatever it wanted. In all likelihood, only a small portion of the 100 municipalities were likely to get fiber, and nobody knows which ones.

Yet this week, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson made it sound as though a full 100 cities and towns would lose a fiber opportunity if the company doesn't like the FCC's final net neutrality proposal. "We can't go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed," he told investors Wednesday.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

14 Nov 16:16

Nevada game poaching ring caught via Facebook

by Jason Weisberger

Poachers are scum. Support your local Department of Fish and Wildlife and buy a damn hunting license.

"Game Warden Cameron Waithman said the investigation that led to state and federal charges against several men started in June 2013, with an ill-advised Facebook post showing three men with two dead deer near Hiko, Nev."(via)

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