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23 Oct 01:51

Sci-fi Famicom RPG Lagrange Point translated ⊟ I’d never...

by ericisawesome














Sci-fi Famicom RPG Lagrange Point translated ⊟

I’d never heard of this game until today, but HG101 has a great article on why the Japan-only RPG is notable:

"Lagrange Point is one of the most technically advanced RPGs on the Famicom. Published in 1991, at a point where the system was losing ground to the 16-bit systems, its graphics are a huge step above the likes of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, it has a relatively involved sci-fi conspiracy plot that contrasts with the typical medieval fantasy setting, and it’s simply far more densely packed than most other similar titles on the system. Most impressively, it’s the only title to take advantage of Konami’s VRC7 memory management chip, which included an onboard FM synthesis chip and produces a soundtrack completely unlike anything on the system."

And 14 years after work first began on a fan translation for the game, Aeon Genesis has finally put out an English patch (after taking over the project in 2007)! Thanks to Obscure Video Games for pointing out the release.

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22 Oct 23:38

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22 Oct 23:10

45,000-year-old modern human bone yields a genome

by John Timmer
The femur from which the DNA samples originated.
Bence Viola, MPI EVA

Svante Pääbo's lab at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany has mastered the process of obtaining DNA from ancient bones. With the techniques in hand, the research group has set about obtaining samples from just about any bones they can find that come from the ancestors and relatives of modern humans. In their latest feat, they've obtained a genome from a human femur found in Siberia that dates from roughly the time of our species' earliest arrival there. The genome indicates that the individual it came from lived at a time where our interbreeding with Neanderthals was relatively recent, and Europeans and Asians hadn't yet split into distinct populations.

The femur comes from near the town of Ust’-Ishim in western Siberia. It eroded out of a riverbank that contains a mixture of bones, some from the time where the sediments were deposited (roughly 30-50,000 years ago), and some likely older that had been washed into the sediments from other sites. The femur shows features that are a mixture of those of paleolithic and modern humans, and lacks features that are typical of Neanderthal skeletons.

Two separate samples gave identical carbon radioisotope dates; after calibration to the 14C record, this places the bone at 45,000 years old, give or take a thousand years. That's roughly when modern humans first arrived in the region. That also turned out to be consistent with dates estimated by looking at the DNA sequence, which placed it at 49,000 years old (the 95 percent confidence interval was 30-65,000 years).

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

23 Oct 00:40

Windows Update drivers bricking USB serial chips beloved of hardware hackers

by Peter Bright

Hardware hackers building interactive gadgets based on the Arduino microcontrollers are finding that a recent driver update that Microsoft deployed over Windows Update has bricked some of their hardware, leaving it inaccessible to most software both on Windows and Linux. This came to us via hardware hacking site Hack A Day.

The driver in question is for a line of USB-to-serial chips designed by Scottish firm FTDI. FTDI's chips are incredibly popular in this space, as just about every microcontroller and embedded device out there can communicate over a serial port. But this popularity has a downside; there's a vast number of knock-off chips in the wild that appear to be made by FTDI, but in fact aren't.

FTDI develops drivers for its chips. The drivers can be obtained directly from FTDI, or they can be downloaded by Windows automatically, through Windows Update. This latter feature is a great convenience for most people, as it enables plug-and-play operation. The latest version of FTDI's driver, released in August, contains some new language in its EULA and a feature that has caught people off-guard: it reprograms counterfeit chips rendering them largely unusable, and its license notes that:

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

23 Oct 00:44

Parliament Hill shooting: Soldier killed, one gunman dead; both now identified - Yahoo News Canada

by gguillotte
The gunman was later identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 25, in reports by CBS News and CBC News, which confirmed the dead shooting suspect's identity, saying he was a Canadian born in 1982 and that he possessed a criminal record in Quebec "dating back 10 years on some drug-related charges" and a criminal record in B.C. as well. An image of Zehaf-Bibeau was first posted on a Twitter account associated with the Islamic State militant group, but the account has since been suspended. CBC News reports that he had his passport revoked in recent months and that he had been known to authorities.
23 Oct 00:47

Is there a problem between Russell Wilson and some Seahawks teammates? | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports

by gguillotte
Freeman said the issue with some players is they seem to think Wilson is “too close to the front office,” and that Wilson “doesn't always take the blame with teammates for mistakes he makes.” Freeman also said, based on several interviews with Seahawks players, “that some of the black players think Wilson isn't black enough," a strange claim that nonetheless paints the Seahawks situation as a little less close than we remember from last season's playoff run. Are the players who don’t like Wilson jealous? If that's the case, it presumably won't get better after Wilson goes from his $662,000 base salary this year to a contract extension that might be about $100 million. Is the "anti-Wilson" group made up of some leaders of the team or is it just fringe guys? Do the players the Bleacher Report story cites represent a significant portion of the locker room or a tiny amount of disgruntled players? Is any of this real, or just perception from some in the locker room? Whatever is actually going on in the locker room, it’s another thing the Seahawks have to deal with during their title defense.
23 Oct 01:16

Secret Service Arrests Man Who Jumped White House Fence - Businessweek

by gguillotte
Video footage captured by news organizations showed the man, wearing shorts, on the grass of the White House’s North Lawn. He kicked a police dog who ran at him, and wrestled with a second one before being brought to the ground. Police and security personnel in Washington are on alert following today’s shootout in the legislature in Ottawa and the slaying of a soldier guarding Canada’s war memorial.
22 Oct 21:33

strangelfreak: Conchita Wurst for Jean Paul Gaultier 2014

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.



strangelfreak:

Conchita Wurst for Jean Paul Gaultier 2014

22 Oct 08:38

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sext



21 Oct 22:49

FBI: Three American Girls May Have Been Trying to Join ISIS - NBCNews.com


FBI: Three American Girls May Have Been Trying to Join ISIS
NBCNews.com
Three American teenagers were detained at an airport in Germany while apparently on their way to join ISIS in Syria. VIDEO TRANSCRIPT. WORLD HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK, THIS IS "NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" WITH BRIAN WILLIAMS. >>> GOOD ...

and more »
21 Oct 23:48

Here's What Crows and Ravens Are Really Saying

by Annalee Newitz
firehose

Bou loved this video

OK, so we don't know exactly what they're saying, though I suspect that at least some of the time they are yelling, "Give me a peanut, human!" But this fantastic video from ornithologist Kevin McGowan helps you recognize the difference between crow and raven calls, as well as what they could mean.

Read more...








21 Oct 22:52

miraguey: fouronthefloor2: what a time to be alive



miraguey:

fouronthefloor2:

what a time to be alive

image
22 Oct 21:22

Darius Kazemi Discusses the Lottery of Creative Success at the 2014 XOXO Festival in Portland, Oregon

by Rollin Bishop
firehose

the guy who does the Wire gifs

Darius Kazemi discussed the lottery of creative success at the 2014 XOXO festival (previously) in Portland, Oregon back in September. The talk starts off as a parody of talks typically given at these kind of festivals before discussing the inherent luck involved. Kazemi creates, in his own words, “Weird Internet Stuff,” and only a select few of his many projects have achieved measurable success despite the relatively similar amount of work put into each.

21 Oct 15:55

The Pentagon Still Has A Transgender Ban

The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell let gays, lesbians, and bisexuals serve openly in the military. But transgender individuals remain excluded. A conference Monday examined that policy.
22 Oct 22:25

Seattle Meowtropolitan | Cat Cafe

by gguillotte
firehose

Seattle's getting a cat cafe in 2015, apparently

We will host cats from local shelters and rescues in our Seattle cat café. Our space will be comfortable for cats and humans, so come on in and play with our cats. Feel free to adopt one on the way out, too.
22 Oct 01:14

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22 Oct 22:16

jessicalprice: All right, ladies (and non-binary folks!): real...

firehose

Paizo's hiring a RPG dev, and they're pushing hard for someone who's not a white dude



jessicalprice:

All right, ladies (and non-binary folks!): real talk time.

We currently have zero female developers or designers on the Pathfinder RPG staff. (I know, right?) 

EDIT: I made a big stupid mistake. We DO have a female designer, the awesome Tanis O’Connor, on the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. We don’t have any female designers on the RPG. Sorry, Tanis. *blush*

But we have an opportunity to change that. We’re hiring a new developer.

A developer is basically the movie director for their products. They work with the managers and other developers on the production team to come up with ideas for what each book is going to be about and fit it into our overall product array (so, if you’re a campaign setting developer, some of the areas of our world you cover will tie into current adventure paths or modules or hardcovers, while on others, it’s basically carte blanche to do something interesting). Then they outline the book, assign it to freelance writers, work with the art team to figure out what art is going to be in it, and develop the freelancer text to ensure it’s exciting, well-written, and sounds like Pathfinder.

Even junior developers do that — they just may get help from our more senior developers, but it’s still a position where they get to have a direct hand in building our world, writing stuff that’s published in our books, and so on. It’s a creative position with the sort of influence and direct control, at least from my experience in video games, for which you usually have to work for years to get even a small piece of. 

It’s a chance to be at the center of making the best-selling tabletop roleplaying game in the world, on a team of A+ human beings who are wildly creative, funny, and devoted to making great games that welcome everyone into our world. 

I really want to see this position go to someone who’s new and fresh. If you are a strong writer who plays and loves Pathfinder, I want you to apply. Yes, you. I don’t care if you’re just out of college. YOU. 

Now let me talk to you not as a Paizo employee, but as a woman who’s been around the block in games several times. 

We’re doing blind applications-writing/design tests, which means no one is going to know who you are when they review your test. Any unconscious biases anyone might have about your name or your school or your experience or whatever? Not going to be a factor in reviewing your test. (And if you’ve read much about women in predominantly male fields, you’ll probably know that blind applications are one of the single best things for women’s chances of getting hired.)

There’s no embarrassment here if you don’t make it to the round of people who actually get interviews. We’re not going to judge you for applying. You’re not being presumptuous or arrogant by applying. You’re being a badass, like Mythic Kyra up there.  

So put aside your impostor syndrome. Stop telling yourself that you don’t have the experience or the talent or the qualifications — I guarantee you there are a ton of guys who are less qualified than you who aren’t telling themselves that — and stop worrying that we’re going to think you’re presumptuous or silly for applying. We’re not.

And believe me when I tell you this is one of the good ones. You’re not going to make as much as you might in video games — tabletop’s a different industry — but you will have more creative input than you’re likely to get in your first job in video games. You’ll also have Wes Schneider, the single best manager I’ve ever worked with, as a manager. You’ll have a great team around you, full of people who genuinely want to make great games and want to work with you instead of competing with you. You’ll get to work with awesome freelance writers like Amber Scott and Crystal Frasier. You’ll have the chance to hone your craft in a supportive environment. I’ll be there and I’ll have your back. 

You’ll be working for a company with a female CEO. She’s a badass and one of the founders of the entire RPG industry. 

You won’t have to put up with daily sexist microaggressions. You won’t have to be one of the boys to be one of the team. I mean that. 

(Also, you’ll get free copies of everything we make, and yearly bottles of Goblin Fire red wine.)

So. Do you live (or want to live) in the Seattle area? Are you a strong writer? Do you GM Pathfinder and create your own content? Do you have an English degree, or equivalent writing experience?

Apply. Do it now. Yes, there’s a big, scary-looking list of requirements. There is for every job. Do it anyway. Did you answer yes to all the questions above? Then apply. Look up at Mythic Kyra. She believes in you. 

We want you to apply, we want you to be good, and we all had to take leaps of faith at some point and say, “I believe I am good enough to do this.” That’s how we got here. 

Come tell stories and build worlds with us. 

Art: Mythic Kyra by Eric Belisle

21 Oct 00:25

Hong Kong has too many poor people to allow direct elections, leader says

by Heather Timmons
Whoops.

HONG KONG—Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protesters have been demanding that the city’s top official, CY Leung, step down for weeks now. They may soon be joined by many more of the city’s 7 million residents, after a controversial interview last night in which Leung suggested that election reforms sought by the protestors would invite undue influence from the city’s poor.

Speaking at his official residence, a colonial-era mansion set above the city—it’s furnished with crystal chandeliers and guarded by massive stone lions—Leung addressed three foreign newspapers that target Hong Kong’s wealthy international community. Allowing the entire voting population of Hong Kong, some 5 million people, to directly nominate candidates for the city’s top official position would be a mistake, Leung said:

“If it’s entirely a numbers game—numeric representation—then obviously you’d be talking to half the people in Hong Kong [that] earn less than US$1,800 a month. You would end up with that kind of politics and policies.”

Leung gave the interview to the Financial Times, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. The three publications frequently keep their content behind a paywall, but their write-ups of the interview were quickly circulated on social media, where information about Hong Kong’s protests has spread quickly:

Not sure who breached paywalls of WSJ/FT/NYT (👎) but here's CY Leung's remarks in joint interview #OccupyCentral http://t.co/Y0GOWhGGtF
Danny Lee 李嘉洪 (@JournoDannyAsia) October 21, 2014

Economic inequality in Hong Kong is the highest in the developed world, and among the highest in East Asia, as Quartz has reported before. About a third of the population lives in public housing, and one in five lives below the poverty line.

Currently, candidates for Leung’s job are chosen by a 1,200-member nominating committee that is heavily weighted by business interests. While the protests in Hong Kong’s central business district have been mostly student-driven, and spurred by demands for direct nomination, more spontaneous protests have sprung up in the working class neighborhood of Mong Kok, powered in part by dissatisfaction over public housing policies.

Leung himself is the son of a police officer, but the millions he made as a real estate executive earned him the nickname “emperor of the working class.” Already he has been hung in effigy, depicted as Dracula, and openly told to go to hell during the protests in Hong Kong.

Government representatives (but not Leung) and representatives from the protest movement are set to meet today, for the first time since the protests started three weeks ago. Leung said last night that his fellow officials would be “all ears.” They may get an earful on Leung’s latest public pronouncements.

22 Oct 18:30

iwriteaboutfeminism: The police and the media are trying to...

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.



















iwriteaboutfeminism:

The police and the media are trying to change the message- and the truth- of what happened to Michael Brown. 

Tuesday, October 21st

22 Oct 18:07

We Ran the Best Bits of Chris Kluwe’s Blistering #GamerGate Essay Through the Madden Giferator - Prepare to be wargleblargled.

by Rebecca Pahle

@TheMarySue please put the best parts on some of those hilarious Madden gifs

— Maud (@AzureDome) October 21, 2014

It started with former NFL player Chris Kluwe’s brilliant, profanity-laden denouncement of all things #GamerGate. But that isn’t where it ended. Oh, no. The above tweet spurred us into action. Maud, you are our muse, our goddess, our guiding light. Hit the jump to see “wargleblarging,” “a debilitating case of genital warts,” and more represented in Giferator form.

Sadly, we had to change some of the wording, as the Giferator likes to keep it classy(ish). I’m impressed with how many of these required no editing at all, though. Creative cursing is a gift to the universe.

wargleblarging

debiliatating case of genital warts

i like my walls

paint-huffing shitgoblins

poopsock-sniffing douchepistol

slackjawed pickletits

slopebrowed weaseldicks

Previously in GamerGate

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22 Oct 16:48

After review, NSA’s CTO can no longer work part-time for agency’s former chief

by David Kravets

A top National Security Agency official will no longer be moonlighting part-time with a private consulting firm run by former NSA chief Keith Alexander. The end of that arrangement comes days after the NSA said this particular work situation was "under internal review" due to potential conflicts of interest.

The private company at issue— IronNet Cybersecurity—was founded by Alexander, who ran the spy agency from August 2005 until March 2014. IronNet Cybersecurity offers protection services to banks for up to $1 million per month. Patrick Dowd, the NSA's current chief technology officer, had been working with Alexander's private venture for up to 20 hours per week.

Reuters reported Tuesday that the deal was over. "While we understand we did everything right, I think there's still enough issues out there that create problems for Dr. Dowd, for NSA, for my company," Alexander said.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

22 Oct 22:04

Starbucks' New Chestnut Praline Latte Will Save Us From the Pumpkin Spice Latte - TIME

firehose

fuck you go to hell


TIME

Starbucks' New Chestnut Praline Latte Will Save Us From the Pumpkin Spice Latte
TIME
Your knight in shining armor is the Starbucks' new-nationwide Chestnut Praline Latte, slated for release at Starbucks locations across the country this fall. The impending national release of the Chestnut Praline Latte (from here on out referred to as 'CPL') is ...
Move over, Pumpkin Spice. Chestnut Praline Latte coming soon to StarbucksKABC-TV
Starbucks Debuting First New Holiday Drink in 5 YearsKSTP.com
Starbucks Is Gifting Us Its First New Holiday Drink In Five Years!!PerezHilton.com

all 32 news articles »
22 Oct 20:24

→ John Gruber on the new iPads

firehose

"This is the first year that Apple’s flagship iOS devices are available in sizes that will often result in poor user experiences."

Excellent, fair review and perspective. The storage section at the end is especially incisive:

Apple should not be selling 16 GB iPads. The starting tier for typical consumers should be 32 GB. There’s just not enough usable space on a 16 GB iOS device to do the things Apple has worked so hard to make easy to do. …

I also understand the product marketing angle. That there are a lot of people who will look at the 16 GB models, see that they can get four times the storage for just $100 more, and buy the 64 GB model instead — when they would’ve bought the base model if it were 32 GB. I get it. There’s no doubt in my mind it’s good short-term business sense to go with a 16/64/128 lineup instead of 32/64/128. But Apple is not a short-term business. They’re a long-term business, built on a relationship of trust with repeat customers. 16 GB iPads work against the foundation of Apple’s brand, which is that they only make good products.

Apple has long used three-tier pricing structures within individual product categories. They often used to label them “Good”, “Better”, and “Best”. Now, with these 16 GB entry-level devices, it’s more like “Are you sure?”, “Better”, and “Best”.

This relates to my argument in last week’s Accidental Tech Podcast that Apple’s high hardware margins are a strategy tax that hinders other important factors within the company.

A balance must be struck between healthy profit margins and making good products. I don’t think Apple has ever only made good products,1 but the introduction of “Are you sure?” models has only come to iPhones and iPads in recent years — the first few generations of iOS devices (and iPods) were all high-end when they came out.

And until this year, the “Are you sure?” iOS devices were just older models that got pushed down the product line over time with embarrassingly low storage sizes, like 8 GB.2 But iOS, cameras, and apps have progressed to the point that even 16 GB devices are now constrained, exacerbated by iOS’ poor user storage management. This is the first year that Apple’s flagship iOS devices are available in sizes that will often result in poor user experiences.

Not long ago, we could just tell our friends and family to buy “an iPhone” or “an iPad”, unqualified. They were all great.

Now, if our parents call us and say, “We just got an iPad!”, we need to think, Oh no, which one did they get? Please don’t be one of the shitty ones…


  1. The cheapest Macs have usually shipped with too little RAM. No computer can be called good today if it ships with less than 8 GB of RAM, like the base models of the Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and non-Retina MacBook Pro — or if it only ships with a hard drive instead of an SSD or Fusion Drive, like the base models of the Mac Mini, 13” MacBook Pro, and non-Retina iMacs. 

  2. The free-with-contract iPhones have all been 8 GB, including the 5c this year. 

∞ Permalink

22 Oct 21:44

Historical Map: Proposed City Railway Company Lines, New York,...







Historical Map: Proposed City Railway Company Lines, New York, c. 1890s

Cutaway diagram, map, and accompanying text describing the construction of an electric motor-powered rapid transit subway that would have run through the basements of “fire-proofed buildings constructed along the line”. Despite shallow excavations of only nine-and-a-half feet, the blurb promises “no perceptible vibrations from the passage of trains”. Hmmm.

nyplmaps:

The City Railway Company, rapid transit passenger lines [189-?]

This map shows the location of a proposed underground rapid transit line and an “alternative line” in Manhattan and the south west Bronx. There is text describing the proposed line and a section cut diagram of transit tunnels.

22 Oct 19:07

Some early Apple Pay users hit with duplicate charges

by Chris Welch
firehose

~it just works~
~twice~

Large-scale consumer launches are rarely perfect, and Apple Pay isn't proving to be an exception. Plenty of people using Apple's mobile payments feature over the last few days have reported successful results. We tried it ourselves around New York City and found that it largely works just as Apple claims. But not everyone's been so lucky; per Bloomberg, "hundreds" of Bank of America customers were reportedly double-charged for a single purchase in the immediate hours following Apple Pay's rollout. Apparently it's not Apple that's to blame, though who knows if consumers are making that distinction.

Bloomberg reports that "a processing glitch that occurred between the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank and at least one payments network" is responsible for the duplicate charges. Bank of America has said it's working to refund the extra charges. "We apologize for the inconvenience and are correcting this issue immediately and all duplicates will be refunded," a spokesperson told Bloomberg. To be absolutely sure you haven't been hit with the same fee twice, it's probably a good idea to compare your transaction history in Passbook against your account activity at your bank's website.

Apple Pay cards view

Apple Pay cards view

Another early Apple Pay glitch involves the preview images for credit and debit cards in Passbook. Some users are seeing the wrong image for their respective card, This shouldn't have any impact on actual transactions and is more of an annoyance than anything else. When working properly, the Passbook images provide an easy reference for which cards you've set up for Apple Pay. But as 9to5Mac notes, if you've got multiple cards from the same bank and are experiencing this problem, things could get pretty confusing. Cards from Citibank and Chase are reportedly affected by this glitch, though 9to5Mac says that a fix is already in the works.

22 Oct 22:03

BitTorrent Performance Test: Sync Is Faster Than Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox

by timothy
firehose

... if you have a Gigabit internet connection

An anonymous reader writes Now that its file synchronization tool has received a few updates, BitTorrent is going on the offensive against cloud-based storage services by showing off just how fast BitTorrent Sync can be. More specifically, the company conducted a test that shows Sync destroys Google Drive, Microsoft's OneDrive, and Dropbox. The company transferred a 1.36 GB MP4 video clip between two Apple MacBook Pros using two Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapters, the Time.gov site as a real-time clock, and the Internet connection at its headquarters (1 Gbps up/down). The timer started when the file transfer was initiated and then stopped once the file was fully synced and downloaded onto the receiving machine. Sync performed 8x faster than Google Drive, 11x faster than OneDrive, and 16x faster than Dropbox.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.








22 Oct 19:17

Jumping Air Gaps with All-in-One Printers

by Bruce Schneier

Last week, Adi Shamir gave a presentation at Black Hat Europe on using all-in-one printers to control computers on the other side of air gaps. There's no paper yet, but two publications reported on the talk:

Theoretically, if a malicious program is installed on an air-gapped computer by an unsuspecting user via, say, a USB thumb drive, attackers should have a hard time controlling the malicious program or stealing data through it because there is no Internet connection.

But the researchers found that if a multifunction printer is attached to such a computer, attackers could issue commands to a malicious program running on it by flashing visible or infrared light at the scanner lid when open.

[...]

The researchers observed that if a source of light is pointed repeatedly at the white coating on the inside of the scanner's lid during a scanning operation, the resulting image will have a series of white lines on darker background. Those lines correspond to the pulses of light hitting the lid and their thickness depends on the duration of the pulses, Shamir explained.

Using this observation the researchers developed Morse code that can be used to send pulses of light at different intervals and interpret the resulting lines as binary data­1s and 0s. Malware running on an air-gapped system could be programmed to initiate a scanning operation at a certain time -- for example, during the night -- and then interpret the commands sent by attackers using the technique from far away.

Shamir estimated that several hundred bits of data can be sent during a single scan. That's enough to send small commands that can activate various functionality built into the malware.

This technique can be used to send commands into an air-gapped computer network, and to exfiltrate data from that network.

21 Oct 16:40

johndarnielle: chipsandbeermag: Warning Signs of Satanic...



















johndarnielle:

chipsandbeermag:

Warning Signs of Satanic Behavior. Training video for police, 1990

the perfect photoset

22 Oct 21:07

Newswire: The Chinese government is mad at Kenny G, needs to relax somehow

by Katie Rife

The Chinese government is currently very upset with Kenny G, finally giving them something in common with Prince. Those wondering how the human embodiment of rose petals on satin sheets and his leonine thatch of burnished chestnut curls could ever inspire emotions besides sensual abandonment need look no further than Kenny G’s own Twitter account. Earlier today, G tweeted mellow support for the peaceful pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which were no doubt lulled into a kitten-like state of contentment by the presence of their tranquil idol:

in Hong Kong at the sight of the demonstration. I wish everyone a peaceful and positive conclusion to this situation pic.twitter.com/mEp5jIXLjj

— Kenny G (@officialkennyg) October 22, 2014

This did not sit well with the government in Beijing, which felt compelled to hold a press conference reminding “foreign governments and individuals” to “speak and act cautiously and not support [Hong ...

22 Oct 21:25

Air New Zealand Has Done Another Cameo-Filled, LotR-Themed Safety Briefing - Dean O'Gorman, why are you wearing a seatbelt you are on a horse.

by Rebecca Pahle
firehose

Sylvester McCoy will do anything beat

I may not get to cavort around New Zealand anytime soon—something about it costing money, I dunno—but at least I get to watch “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.” You milk those Middle Earth movies, Air New Zealand. You milk them as long as you possibly can.

If you like this short (and I’m guessing you will, because it’s remarkably well-done), it was directed Taika Waititi (Flight of the Conchords), who has a really good coming-of-age comedy called Boy on Netflix Instant. He also played Gandalf in the above vid, but we’ll forgive him for not being Ian McKellen because he rocks that fake beard rather well.

(thanks to tipster Kelly)

Previously in Middle Earth tomfoolery

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