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03 Sep 04:21

hoverboardbandit: These are their stories.

firehose

official firehose is off thor 4ever share

add me on inoreader at http://www.inoreader.com/u/firehose

stay here and subscribe to my inoreader shares at http://inoreader.com/stream/user/1005954687/tag/user-broadcasted

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hoverboardbandit:

These are their stories.

02 Sep 17:29

donna-remembers: tramtheram: It’s amazing how often Donna is...

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne





donna-remembers:

tramtheram:

It’s amazing how often Donna is needed to tell the Doctor to stop. It makes me wonder what would have happened had she seen eleven during some episodes.

The Doctor doesn’t need a gaggle of women who basically step aside and let him do whatever beacause they have a fucking crush on him.

He needs someone to yell out “oi! Spaceman you stop it right now or i’ll slap you so hard you won’t need a tardis to see tomorrow!”

Or the quiet voice of reason that says “that’s enough, you can stop now.”

Reblogging for the comment ^

BEST COMPANION.

01 Sep 19:21

milsae: Girl doodles

firehose

via Toaster Strudel
epaulettes beat









milsae:

Girl doodles

02 Sep 01:40

drst: This woman is a gift.

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne



drst:

This woman is a gift.

02 Sep 00:45

sizvideos: Korean restaurant for singles Video OMG is it just...

firehose

via Toaster Strudel

















sizvideos:

Korean restaurant for singles

Video

OMG is it just one or both people who press “Yes”??? This is awesome and hilarious!! 

02 Sep 15:38

THE FALL THE FALL THE FALL THE FALL THIS IS LITERALLY MY FAVOURITE MOVIE IN ALL THE WORLD. I'M NOT EVEN JOKING. I LOVE IT MORE THAN I LOVE THE PRINCESS BRIDE. I SAW IT IN CINEMA WHEN IT FIRST CAME OUT (TWICE) AND I CRIED. IT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF CINEMATIC ART I'VE EVER ENCOUNTERED. THE FALL.

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne

HELLO YES CAN WE SCREAM ABOUT “THE FALL” TOGETHER, IT’S KIND OF RARE TO FIND ANOTHER FAN OF THAT MOVIE SO I RARELY TALK ABOUT IT OKAY IT’S ONE OF THE RARE MOVIES I CAN GET EXTREMELY PASSIONATE ABOUT

SO I’M GONNA TALK ABOUT IT NOW

SO IF ANYONE ELSE IS READING THIS: BASICALLY IT LOOKS PRETENTIOUS AND OVER THE TOP BUT IN FACT IT’S THE VERY VERY SMALL STORY OF TWO PEOPLE IMAGINING A STORY TOGETHER AND IT’S SO TOUCHING

THEY ARE BOTH WOUNDED AND BORED AND THEY ARE MAKING A BIG EPIC, THE ADULT NARRATES AND THE KID IMAGINES THE VISUALS

SO THEY LOOK LIKE THIS

image

BUT IN THEIR IMAGINARY WORLD THEY LOOK LIKE THIS

image

AND WE QUICKLY NOTICE THAT THE ADULT’S STORY ISN’T VERY ORIGINAL, THE GUY JUST TAKES A LOT OF ELEMENTS FROM A LOT OF EXISTING THINGS TO CREATE HIS STORY

BUT THE KID, ALEXANDRIA, IMAGINES ALL THE VISUALS AND SHE HAS AN INCREDIBLE IMAGINATION AND IT’S PURE EYE CANDY

I MEAN

image
image
image

THE COLORS

THE COLORS LOOK AT THE COLORS

ALSO SHE DISTORTS SOME DETAILS BECAUSE SHE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING HE’S SAYING, FOR EXAMPLE IN HIS STORY THERE’S AN “INDIAN” AND HE’S SUPPOSED TO BE A STEREOTYPICAL & KINDA OFFENSIVE AMERICAN INDIAN CHARACTER BUT THE ONLY “INDIAN” SHE KNOWS IN REAL LIFE IS FROM INDIA

SO IN HER VERSION HE LOOKS LIKE THIS

image

ALSO LOOK AT THAT TEAM THERE’S A MASKED BANDIT WHO CAN’T PICK AN ACCENT AND AN INDIAN WARRIOR AND AN EXPLOSIVES EXPERT AND A BADASS EX-SLAVE AND CHARLES MOTHERF█CKING DARWIN IN A WEIRD-ASS COAT 

NOT PICTURED HERE: A MYSTIC COVERED IN MUD WHO KEEPS LIVING BIRDS IN HIS STOMACH AND THE DAUGHTER OF THE MASKED BANDIT WHO’S BASICALLY A SELF-INSERT CHARACTER FOR ALEXANDRIA

image

ALSO THEIR WHOLE STORY IS SLOWLY INFLUENCED BY THEIR OWN LIVES AND I’M NOT GONNA SPOIL ANYTHING ELSE BUT IT’S BOTH CLEVER AND SIMPLE

BASICALLY THERE’S A MOVIE

IT’S CALLED “THE FALL”

I LOVE IT

IT’S BEEN NINE YEARS AND I’M STILL SCREAMING

02 Sep 01:29

Neuromantic

firehose

via Rosalind
SARDARUMP




Ads by Project Wonderful! Your ad could be here, right now.

Claire has a very vague idea of what "cool Claire" would actually look like

01 Sep 05:27

n64thstreet: The Rock greets the millions in WWF No Mercy, by...

firehose

via Toaster Strudel



n64thstreet:

The Rock greets the millions in WWF No Mercy, by Aki/THQ.

02 Sep 01:19

salesonfilm: The Masque of Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964)

firehose

via Toaster Strudel

















salesonfilm:

The Masque of Red Death (Roger Corman, 1964)

02 Sep 18:25

Whites Quit Working With Black Mississippi Judge, Then He Got Sacked

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne

Whites Quit Working With Black Mississippi Judge, Then He Got Sacked:

yosoynickelz:

showmethebeautiful:

Do with this as you will be this is racism at it’s finest.

Summary: This black judge in Mississippi was charged with misconduct because he refused to send drug users to prison - instead he would send them to local rehab centers, which statistically, has kept drug users from usage again. Moreover, he was so popular with the vote in his county, holding 55% of the vote, Sheriffs and deputies stopped sending criminals to his court. Even one bailiff refused to open his court by saying the “all rise.” He is the first black judge in this county for over 149 years and he is currently suing the government for his forced removal. 

I just think this is an interesting piece because here we are being told “if you want to see the change, be the change”. Here is a brotha who put in the work to be that change and still white supremacy works to dismantle our efforts.

02 Sep 20:40

annalisekeatting: Things I need more of: Ms. Marvel and...

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne





annalisekeatting:

Things I need more of: Ms. Marvel and Wolverine interacting

“Wait–so what was the most upvoted story?”

“Umm… Cyclops and Emma Frost’s romantic vacation in Paris?”

“This is the worst day of my life”

01 Sep 18:53

Survey: Fewer Americans going without health care because of cost

by rss@dailykos.com (Joan McCarter)
firehose

via ThePrettiestOne

Bar chart showing change in number of people who report not being able to afford health care since 1997.
A new survey from the Centers of Disease Control shows the least number of people in 15 years reporting they didn't get medical treatment because of the cost.
During the first three months of 2015, 4.4 percent of Americans surveyed said they went without health care at some point in the past 12 months because they couldn't afford it, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research released on Tuesday.  

That's the lowest percentage of Americans forgoing health care since 1999, when 4.3 percent of respondents said they abstained from medical care because they couldn't afford it. It's also the first time since 2002 that the number dropped below 5 percent.

In addition, the uninsured rate dropped in the first quarter of 2015 to 9.2 percent, down from a high of 16 percent five years ago, when Obamacare was first passed but not yet implemented. According to their survey results, 15.8 million fewer people were uninsured by April of this year than in 2013, before the law's insurance benefit provisions kicked in.

That's very good news. However, it's not to say that high costs still aren't a barrier to health care. In fact, more than 60 percent of the still uninsured say they are still uninsured because they can't afford it, including many who fall in the Medicaid gap. Among the newly insured, about 40 percent "report feeling vulnerable to high medical bills and say they have encountered problems with health care costs."

It's gotten tremendously better with Obamacare, but there's still work to be done to make sure that health care really is affordable for everyone.

01 Sep 16:03

This is the 2000-year-old temple that ISIL apparently just destroyed

by Caitlin Hu
Reduced to rubble.

“The city of Palmyra, noble for its situation, the riches of its soil and its pleasant streams, encloses its fields with a vast compass of sands,” wrote Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder in Natural History (in 77 AD). “And as if shut out by nature from all other lands, it is by a peculiar lot between two mighty empires, the Romans and the Parthians, wherein discord is ever the first object on both sides.”

That cultural discord remains in Palmyra today. New satellite images reveal that the ancient city’s iconic Temple of Bel has been blasted to rubble by terror group ISIL.

Taken on Aug. 27 and released today by the United Nations, these satellite images confirm rumors of an explosion over the weekend.(EPA/UNOSAT)

Constructed in 32 AD, the once-splendid Temple of Bel was nearly 2000 years old. It was “one of the most important religious buildings of the 1st century AD in the East and of unique design,” according to UNESCO, which lists Palmyra as a World Heritage site.

Just weeks ago, on Aug. 19, ISIL was reported to have publicly murdered Khaled al-Asaad, an 81-year-old archaeologist who had worked to preserve Palmyra’s antiquities for decades.

ISIL often justifies its claims to vandalism—including the destruction of nearby Baalshamin temple—as part of a purge of idolatrous relics. Smaller historical artifacts claimed to have been pillaged by ISIL have also been sold on the black market to unscrupulous collectors, apparently to fund the self-declared caliphate’s activities.

Palmyra’s ruins were once so beautiful that, according to legend, they inspired 17th- and 18th-century Western travelers to revive classical architecture in the West. Very soon, there may be nothing left to see. For a look at Palmyra before the ravaging of the historic site, see the photos below, or tour UNESCO’s photo gallery here.

The Temple of Bel in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria.(REUTERS/Sandra Auger)
Colonnade in the historical city of Palmyra, Syria.(Reuters/Sandra Auger)
The Funerary Temple in Palmyra.(Reuters/Sandra Auger)
The historical city of Palmyra.(Reuters/Sandra Auger)
Colonnade in the historical city of Palmyra.(Reuters/Sandra Auger)
The Temple of Bel.(Reuters/Sandra Auger)
The Temple of Bel.(Reuters/Omar Sanadiki)
General view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, just northeast of Damascus.(SANA via AP, File)
A Syrian family drives in front of the famous Roman ruins of Palmrya.(EPA/Jorge Ferrari)

 

 

 

01 Sep 21:15

The Beautiful Art of Crafting a Japanese Naruko Kokeshi Doll From Spinning Blocks of Wood

by Lori Dorn

In this beautiful video by Te to Te to Te, artisan Yasuo Okazaki, known for his signature Naruko Kokeshi style, demonstrates how he crafts the dolls from spinning blocks of wood, how they are shaped, then fitted together before the paint is painstakingly applied. Okazaki learned the Naruko style from his father, who trained him in the craft. Te to Te to Te also offers a really great online guide to the different Kokeshi dolls that come from all over Japan.

The Naruko style of Kokeshi developed at Naruko hot springs. One of the unique characteristics of these Kokeshi is that their heads squeak when turned. They have kind faces and flared shoulders and skirts. The stripes at the top and bottom of the body are painted on the lathe, and the body is often painted with a chrysanthemum motif. The bangs are painted like the dolls sent as gifts from the Imperial Palace. Naruko Kokeshi wear a red headdress.

via WTF Japan Seriously

01 Sep 21:49

blacklamb: Part 2: Miley needs a reminder

Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.





















black–lamb:

Part 2: Miley needs a reminder

01 Sep 21:54

CBS will stream several NFL games for free this season, no TV subscription required

by Adam Epstein
firehose

all carriers

New York Jets Miami Dolphins

Some said American football on the internet would never happen. The NFL and the major broadcast TV networks have one of the strongest business relationships in the world, and neither party would do anything to jeopardize that. Well, it appears that’s changing, perhaps faster than anyone thought.

CBS announced today (Sept. 1) that it will stream multiple regular-season NFL games, four playoff games, and the Super Bowl, for free, without requiring a subscription to cable TV. The games will be available on computers and tablets as well as streaming devices like Xbox One, Apple TV, and Roku.

First on the streaming slate will be the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins in London on Oct. 4. Then CBS Sports will stream the Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26.

This comes only a few months after the NFL announced that Yahoo will provide the first-ever free, global stream of a regular-season NFL game (between the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills on Oct. 25, also to be played in London). Both the NFL and CBS seem willing to experiment with these relatively low-profile London contests, especially given that the league is keen to expand overseas and is already targeting viewers outside the US and Mexico with an international streaming package.

But for the most part, fans of the sport in the US are stuck paying for cable TV subscriptions (or signing up for DirecTV’s pricy NFL Sunday Ticket) if they want to watch NFL games. Other broadcast networks like Fox and NBC make some games available for streaming, but those require proof that you subscribe to a pay-TV provider.

What’s clear is that the networks now fear losing NFL viewers to cord-cutting, and are increasingly finding ways to put games online without threatening the existing infrastructure. It’s likely we’ll see more and more games find their way online—NBC and Fox could follow CBS’s lead. That said, the whole landscape isn’t going to change overnight. If you’re thinking this means pay TV’s stranglehold on America’s most popular sport is in serious jeopardy—think again. The networks have a $5-billion-per-year deal with the NFL that runs through 2022.

01 Sep 22:18

Elizabeth ArdenThe FBI Vault



Elizabeth Arden

The FBI Vault

01 Sep 23:01

Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke on Shortlist for Star Wars: Episode VIII - HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY CHOOSE?!

by Teresa Jusino

Gina Rodriguez at PaleyFest

I have never been this torn in my WHOLE LIFE.

Apparently, director Rian Johnson is thisclose to choosing the female lead for Star Wars: Episode VIII, and a shortlist has emerged. And that shortlist is making me tear my hair out! Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel are all up for the role! We still don’t know what the role is, but as several insiders told The Wrap, all three ladies will be doing chemistry reads with John Boyega by the end of this month.

Now, we all know how brilliant Maslany is on Orphan Black. She plays multiple characters on one show, and she was already in the running for another Star Wars lead in Rogue One before the part went to Felicity Jones.

BUT, Rodriguez is brilliant on Jane the Virgin, and has proven her acting chops both on that show and in indie film. What’s more, it’d be nice to see more non-white faces in the Star Wars universe, don’t you think.

I’m the least familiar with Cooke’s work. Which, of course, probably means she’ll get the role, ’cause she’s probably brilliant, and I just don’t know about it.

But seriously, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO DECIDE?!

What do you think? Who’d you love to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and what type of role do you think this lead will be?

—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—

Do you follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

01 Sep 16:00

Asus ZenPad S 8.0 review

by Chris Welch
firehose

'this new Asus ZenPad S 8 can be a decent-to-good purchase, but getting it there takes legitimate work that regular consumers probably wouldn’t bother with. They shouldn’t have to. Once you rid it of the bloatware and annoying notifications, the hardware you’re left with scores higher than most other devices at this price point. Install another launcher and it’ll even be pleasant to look at.'

Where have all the great, inexpensive Android tablets gone?

Cheap Android tablets aren’t so great anymore. Three years ago, I remember rushing to Adorama here in New York City (along with several other Verge editors) to buy the first Nexus 7 when the store put it on sale early. That tablet, made by Asus, was pretty good. And then Asus came back the next year with an even better cheap Android tablet. The second Nexus 7 was $229 and, aside from an annoying16:10 aspect ratio, had few obvious faults. It was great. Fast forward to today, and we’re looking at Asus’ latest inexpensive tablet, the ZenPad S 8.0. But this is a much different tablet than the Nexus you may still have on your coffee table or tucked in a drawer somewhere. In some ways that’s good, but it’s mostly a regression. We’re somehow moving backwards.

The Asus ZenPad S 8.0 tries to reproduce what was so appealing about the ZenFone 2. It’s impressive hardware being sold at a very low price ($199 or $299 depending on specs) with few gotchas to be found. But this is no Nexus, and left to its own devices, Asus is a company that struggles with software design. Whether the rest of what’s here can compensate for that will depend entirely on how you use a tablet.

Asus ZenPad

Asus ZenPad

From a design perspective, the ZenPad 8 S earns big points — again, especially for the starting price. It's very thin and noticeably light at 0.66 pounds (Samsung’s 8.4-inch Tab S weighs 1.2 pounds). The back features a combination of etched aluminum and faux leather. That sounds more gaudy than it really is, and the materials make the ZenPad plenty comfortable to hold. This feels just as good as those old Nexus tablets, though the way everything’s laid out tells me Asus wants you to hold the device in landscape. But it’s 4:3, so the choice is all yours, and the bezels are easy enough to ignore when you’re staring at the display.

For what you're paying, this is pretty good hardware

That screen is a QXGA (2048 x 1536 pixel) IPS LCD. It's sharp, but also shares some unwanted traits with the ZenFone 2: it won't get terribly bright and the colors skew on the cooler side. Neither of those things will ruin your Netflix or gaming experience. Most of the time you probably won’t notice, but the screen is clearly one area where Asus cut costs.

Unfortunately, there are also some pretty bad software gimmicks that tie into the display. A thing that Asus calls "Tru2Life+" is easily the worst offender; Asus claims this video processing feature leads to smoother motion, but all it really does is bring the soap opera effect I hate seeing on TVs to tablets. It comes enabled by default, but thankfully you can turn it off with a quick trip to settings.

Asus ZenPad

Asus ZenPad

Another improvement over the fabled Nexus 7 is sound. The ZenPad S 8.0 features dual front-facing speakers. They're not revelatory, but Netflix and YouTube videos sound a touch better than what you'd get from Amazon's Kindle Fire 8.9. Seriously, every tablet should have front-facing speakers by now. The tablet’s cameras (8-megapixel on back, 5-megapixel up front) are adequate only when your phone is far out of reach, though, which isn’t exactly a huge surprise. Depending on which model you get, the ZenPad includes 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of built-in storage with support for microSD cards up to 128GB. For charging, Asus opted to go with USB Type-C, a choice that’s more hassle than convenience for the first smartphones that’ve made the same leap. But I’m more forgiving of tablets here; you don’t charge them nearly as often (and rarely away from home), and you’ll be all set when your next smartphone (or the one after it) inevitably uses the same port.

Asus ZenPad camera

Asus ZenPad camera

ZenPad

ZenPad

Powering the ZenPad 8.0 S is an octa-core, 64-bit processor from Intel and, in our review unit, 4GB of RAM. (The less expensive, $199 ZenPad has a slower chip and 2GB of memory.) The tablet zips around and hops between apps with no noticeable stutters or lag. It’ll load games quickly, but I’ve seen some concerning issues during extended sessions. The ZenPad seems too cautious about overheating, and as a result it’ll sometimes hijack control of screen brightness to keep things in check. But it never really felt overly warm when these warnings popped up, so I’m hoping Asus will address this with a software update. The ZenPad doesn’t offer quick charge, nor can you top it off wirelessly. But its endurance matched the 8 hours that Asus is promising, and it’ll go way longer with intermittent or casual use. That’s how most people tend to use tablets, after all.

But the company’s overall grade on software remains very mixed. Asus’ ZenUI bares little resemblance to stock Android, and it’s not for the better. There’s some good stuff; swipe up on the home screen and you get access to a ton of cool, nerdy customizations that let you choose new animations, icon packs, and fonts throughout the system. The software’s appearance is colorful and I wouldn’t label it offensive or unusable. It works, but it’s a far cry from Google’s vision for Material Design.

There's an ungodly amount of bloat and useless apps crammed into the ZenPad

And then there’s the bloat. The amount of unnecessary software that Asus crammed onto this thing is a truly shameful accomplishment. There’s a "Mirror" app that does nothing but open the tablet’s selfie camera, for instance. And even tools that are supposed to be helpful prove incredibly annoying and overbearing. It’s well established by now that Android runs just fine without memory management tools or anti-virus apps, and yet the ZenPad comes bundled with Clean Master and an obnoxious battery assistant that constantly wants you to know the game you’re playing is affecting battery life. (Obvious much?) The company even pesters you to review its keyboard in Google Play. Seriously?

Asus ZenPad software

Asus ZenPad software

Most of this crud can be disabled or uninstalled entirely, and even if you leave the unwanted extras alone, the ZenPad still performs strongly. But this is where Android tablets really splinter with Google’s own products like the Nexus 9, which comes with apps that people actually enjoy using. You’ll never open half the stuff loaded on the ZenPad, and it’s an ugly situation I assume is mandated by Asus’ business partnerships.

Android has become stagnant as a tablet operating system

But let’s not let Google off too easy. Android tablets — regardless of cost — have progressed at a snail’s pace in recent years. Android Lollipop remains an underwhelming tablet OS now just as it did when the Nexus 9 shipped last year, and nothing new has been brought to the table. Google’s priorities are clearly smartphones and Chromebooks, and tablets (even the good ones) seem to be languishing by the wayside. Sure, the ZenPad will run Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and YouTube just fine. And Google Play Newsstand or Flipboard make for a decent way of scrolling through the day’s news. But so many other apps remain unchanged from what you’d get on a phone. When it comes to multitasking and productivity, companies like Samsung have had to devise their own solutions to stand out. As you might expect, Asus didn’t bother with any of that for a tablet that starts at $199. There’s little that’ll wow you here, but we’ll at least give Asus credit for meeting an impressive bar for performance and speed.

The question is whether that’s good enough. For tech enthusiasts willing to tinker, it might be. Like the ZenFone 2, this new Asus ZenPad S 8 can be a decent-to-good purchase, but getting it there takes legitimate work that regular consumers probably wouldn’t bother with. They shouldn’t have to. Once you rid it of the bloatware and annoying notifications, the hardware you’re left with scores higher than most other devices at this price point. Install another launcher and it’ll even be pleasant to look at. But if you’re willing to spend even $100 to $200 more, you’re better off with something from Samsung or even Dell. And if media consumption is your main interest in owning a tablet, put your money toward Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX line or an iPad instead. If Apple isn't your flavor and $300 is your absolute ceiling for spending, the ZenPad S 8 is likely the best you can do. But the tablet market is stalling hard for a reason, and if you’re looking for one compelling reason why you need this in your life, well, it probably doesn’t exist. And that's pretty disappointing, seeing as this is the very same company that made those great Nexus tablets.

Asus ZenPad

Asus ZenPad

The Breakdown

More times than not, the Verge score is based on the average of the subscores below. However, since this is a non-weighted average, we reserve the right to tweak the overall score if we feel it doesn't reflect our overall assessment and price of the product. Read more about how we test and rate products.

  • Design 7
  • Display 7
  • Camera(s) 5
  • Speakers 8
  • Performance 7
  • Software 6
  • Battery life 8
  • Ecosystem 8

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01 Sep 18:05

Stephen Colbert can now give you directions in Waze

by Chris Welch
firehose

interested only if as Phil Ken Sebben

"Ha HA! ... U-turn."

The latest celebrity voice calling out turn-by-turn directions in Waze is none other than Stephen Colbert. You'll be able to hear Colbert — set to debut on The Late Show on September 8th — until September 22nd. Yeah, it's an obvious promotion and press move, but it's a fun one if you're a Waze user. And it turns out there are many of those. "For years, I navigated the roadways using a compass, a sextant and the guidance offered by the stars," Colbert said in a statement. "But now I can just listen to my own dulcet tones instructing me on Waze." Waze is also adding Neil Patrick Harris and Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots as other voice options.

In other, probably-more-useful news, Waze has also recently added a feature that will alert drivers when they approach accident-prone or generally dangerous intersections. The company has gathered data from five major cities and will warn you if you approach a roadway that's got a reputation for high collision rates, high injury rates, or frequent accidents involving bikes or pedestrians. Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. are the first cities to help make Waze a bit safer in this way.

Waze accident warning

Waze accident warning

01 Sep 19:25

Stupid Patent of the Month: “Internet drink mixer” vs. everyone

by Joe Mullin
firehose

barbot beat

It's that time of the month again: the Electronic Frontier Foundation has selected a winner for its "Stupid Patent of the Month" contest.

Patent-holding company Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations (RCDI) owns US Patent No. 8,788,090, which was granted in 2014 and describes a system where a "remote server" "transmits" a "product preference" via a "communication module." Using those broad claims, RCDI has sued more than 20 companies for making things that connect to the Internet. The company sued ADT (PDF) over its Pulse product that allows for things like adjusting a thermostat.

The patent relates to an application filed back in 2006 that essentially describes an Internet drink mixer. A consumer can customize products by connecting to a server on "the global computer network, e.g., the Internet," which can then "provide product preferences of a user to a product or a mixing device, e.g., a product or beverage dispenser."

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

01 Sep 20:30

Google will demote mobile sites that use terrible app install ads

by Ben Popper

There are lots of problems with the mobile web, but one of the most annoying is clicking through a search result and having your entire screen taken over by an app install ad. You search in vain for a tiny, opaque "X" to tap, only to miss its center by a millimeter and inadvertently trigger the trap. Today Google announced an update to its search algorithm that will try to crack down on these odious advertisements, marking any site that presents too many of them as not "mobile friendly," a designation that will push that site down in its search rankings.


Google, of course, earns most of its money selling search ads, and makes it clear in today's announcement that other kinds of app install ads, like banner ads, are just fine. After all, the company knows that the future of its business may have more to do with directing people to apps than webpages. Facebook and Twitter have been building a great business around app install ads, and Google is eager to be a part of that rapidly expanding market.

To that end Google recently rolled out a way for developers to have their apps indexed directly in search, a bridge between its traditional business model and the brave new world of mobile. Today's news is part of the delicate balancing act it must strike between growing that revenue stream and ensuring users aren't so infuriated with web search on their smartphones that they switch to something else entirely.

01 Sep 20:58

Indian woman who sued Uber after alleged rape voluntarily ends lawsuit

by Kwame Opam

The 25-year-old Indian woman who sued Uber in January after accusing one of the company's drivers of raping her has voluntarily ended the suit. According to Reuters, no details were released about how the case was settled, and neither Uber nor the woman have released statements about the case.

Uber was briefly banned in Delhi after the accusations

The unnamed passenger stepped forward last December to name 32-year-old Shiv Kumar Yadav as the driver who allegedly raped and beat her while she was on her way home from a dinner. The incident took place in Delhi, which, in the years since the fatal gang rape of a woman on a bus in 2012, has come to be known as the rape capital of India. The Delhi government took swift action, and banned Uber in the city outright.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick called the incident "horrific," and stated that the company would improve its policies going forward. "We will also partner closely with the groups who are leading the way on women’s safety here in New Delhi and around the country," he said, "and invest in technology advances to help make New Delhi a safer city for women." Service was reinstated in January, and the company added an SOS button to its app the following month to address concerns. However, after the passenger sued, Uber asked a San Francisco court to drop the lawsuit.

01 Sep 21:02

Comcast tests $30 fee that gets rid of internet data cap

by Adi Robertson
firehose

all carriers

Comcast's data caps make it an outlier among US home broadband companies. While Verizon, Charter, and other wired ISPs usually have a breaking point with their unlimited service plans, it's nothing as formal as Comcast's series of "data usage plan trials," which set a (generally) 300GB limit in certain areas of the country. Now, though, Florida subscribers can get truly unlimited data — but it costs an extra $30 a month.

As first noticed by DSL Reports, Comcast is introducing a new option in its Florida markets of Fort Lauderdale, the Keys, and Miami. Normally, customers who exceed 300GB a month would pay an extra $10 per 50GB of data, with a three-month grace period before the charges kick in. But by enrolling in a plan that costs $30 more per month (regardless of whether users exceed the cap), they can theoretically use as much bandwidth as they want.

If you choose to enroll in the Unlimited Data Option, you will pay a flat fee of $30 per month regardless of how much data you actually use. That way, you can have the certainty of knowing exactly what your bill will be each month. However, like all other Xfinity internet customers, your use of the Xfinity internet service must be consistent with our Acceptable Use Policies and network management system.

Comcast's limits are more liberal now than they were three years ago, when the company lifted a flat 250GB cap for home subscribers. Since then, it's been testing different tiered pricing models, which could ultimately be incorporated into a nationwide plan. Most places are cap-free, but Comcast is currently running trials in parts of nine states: Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

The options vary. In Tucson, Arizona, data limits are scaled up for faster internet packages, and a separate "flexible" option offers a $5 discount to people who shrink their monthly usage to 5GB or less. Business customers, as well as people who sign up for Comcast's 505Mbps and Gigabit Pro internet tiers, are exempt from caps. (Comcast has previously argued that none of the limits are "caps," calling them "thresholds" or "flexible data consumption plans" because users can choose to pay for more data.) The company said in 2014 that it was interested in testing unlimited plans.

01 Sep 21:40

Popcorn Time lawsuits continue as 16 are sued for watching Survivor

by Joe Mullin

The "Popcorn Time" app was launched in 2014 as a kind of "BitTorrent for dummies" with a simple Netflix-style interface for viewing movies. But now with a second lawsuit filed against users of the app, it looks like 16 as-yet-anonymous watchers may soon need a primer on "mass copyright suits for dummies."

The lawsuit (PDF), entitled Survivor Productions Inc. v. Anonymous Users of Popcorn Time (Does 1-16), targets 16 Comcast subscribers who allegedly used the app to watch Survivor—not the reality series, but a thriller starring Pierce Brosnan released earlier this year.

Lawsuits over BitTorrent piracy of non-pornographic content are rare to begin with. Survivor Productions now joins Voltage Pictures in being one of just a few movie studios willing to pursue individual downloaders over copyright claims.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

01 Sep 21:15

A studio is suing Popcorn Time users for illegally downloading a Pierce Brosnan movie

by Lizzie Plaugic

Popcorn Time, the Netflix-like streaming service that delivers pirated movies to users, has battled legal difficulties since it launched, and the pile of complaints leveled against it just got a little bit bigger. Indie studio Millennium Films and its affiliate Nu Image filed a lawsuit against Popcorn Time users in Oregon today, claiming they were responsible for more than 10,000 illegal downloads of the 2015 assassin movie Survivor, which starred Pierce Brosnan and Milla Jovovich.

Brosnan would not approve

A formal complaint has been filed against 16 individual Popcorn Time users in the state, who have been accused of downloading and distributing multiple copies of Survivor across the Bit Torrent network. The studios claim they are making an example of these "habitual copyright infringers" to prove a point about the effects of piracy on film. The law allows for each defendant to be fined up to $150,000, but the studio says if the copyright infringers comply with their requests immediately, they'll agree to resolve each case for the "statutory minimum in damages," which is $750.

The studio argues Popcorn Time is no different than walking into a store and stealing a DVD:

It is our belief that the transfer of data, storing of physical data locally on a hard drive and facilitation and redistribution of stolen data to others should be considered a ‘physical taking’ under Oregon law and we felt compelled to take this opportunity to fight back and ensure that those who choose to engage in this type of behavior face real repercussions, just as a person would if they shoplifted a DVD or other physical consumer product from a retailer.

Popcorn Time launched last year, but its creators shut it down after a week, citing ongoing legal concerns. The BitTorrent site YTS soon picked the project back up, and the legal difficulties began again almost immediately. In December of 2014, Hollywood studios fined US users for illegally downloading Dallas Buyers Club. Earlier this year, movie studios in the UK won the first injunction against the service, effectively banning the app from the UK. In Denmark last week, two men were arrested for running sites that made it easier for people to use Popcorn Time.

Millennium and Nu Image were the studios behind Expendables 3, a movie that was leaked online weeks before its official release in 2014. The studios estimate that leak cost them $161 million in revenue.

01 Sep 22:16

‘Batmetal Returns,’ with lots of head-banging (and -smashing)

by Kevin Melrose
Backed once again by his band the Children of Batman, the Dark Knight has returned to kick butt and belt out metal.
13 Mar 21:10

New Bar in [Town]

by Max Chanowitz
firehose

via Russian Sledges

"Who else is excited for the new cocktail bar?

I’m talking about the one opening up in [historical building] in [up-and-coming neighborhood]. If you haven't heard the buzz on [local news site] or [social media place], it’s time to crawl out from under that rock, because it sounds like it’s going to be [hyperbole].

It’s a new venture by [notable local restaurateur], the owner of [famous upscale bar], [spin-off of famous upscale bar], and [spin-off of the spin-off] — so you know it’s going to be good. The bar will feature inventive cocktails with a local twist, including hand-made [ingredient] from [local boutique food business]. There will also be a limited food menu of “small bites”, including such delights as [unexpected meat] sliders and Sriracha [something].

Prices are reasonable — most drinks will run you from $[outrageous number] to $[5 more than that].

The new bar is taking over the space that used to house [charming yet now-defunct local business]. [Said business] was a much-loved fixture in [neighborhood] for decades, providing [charming yet outdated product] to the local community. The owner, [beloved immigrant with heartwarming success story] who inherited the business from his father, shuttered the store last year, explaining that [the charming product was too old-fashioned to sell to mainstream consumers, yet not old-fashioned enough to sell to hipsters] meant that the store could no longer be economically viable.

The building’s previous tenant is gone but not forgotten — there are plenty of cheeky references to [charming relic business] in the decor and cocktail names. They have a drink called The [the street it’s on], and another one named after [famous person in local lore]. They also reportedly serve a [neighborhood name], which is like a Manhattan, but with [unnecessary twist] instead of [what it should be]. Intriguing.

The space is beautifully done, with reclaimed wood siding and antique light fixtures taken from [defunct local factory].

The interior design was done by [Trendy Interior Design Firm], the same folks that designed [the other new cocktail bars up and down the block from this one]. They spared no expense including all sorts of interesting touches, from the [unexpected material] tabletops to the [old-timey objects] adorning the exposed-brick walls.

Anyhow, this place shows a lot of promise, and it just may become the next neighborhood [ironic outdated expression for a bar]. It will certainly be a great setting for [moneyed twenty-somethings] to [idly stand around and flirt with each other].

The bar is called [Something] & [Something Else]. I'll see ya there!"

There’s a brand-new bar in the neighborhood — but you’ve already been there.

Continue reading on Medium »

01 Sep 17:31

feelsmoor: lotrlocked: thebestoftumbling: The raptors in...

firehose

via ThePrettiestOne



feelsmoor:

lotrlocked:

thebestoftumbling:

The raptors in Jurassic World during filming…

I was hoping it would be like this

I wish they’d left it like this

01 Sep 22:42

Why rich political donors are wasting a lot of money

Two recent Supreme Court decisions—Citizens United in 2010 and McCutcheon in 2014—make runaway spending possible, by allowing donors to give unlimited amounts to so-called super PACs and by eliminating limits on how many candidates donors can give to. “Outside spending by a tiny number of mega-rich donors has played an increasingly important role in each federal election since Citizens United,” the Brennan Center for Justice Analysis wrote in a report earlier this year. Academics Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page warned recently that the increasing influence of “economic elites” in politics threatens to undermine democracy itself. Even politicians complain about incessant fundraising that can take up half of every workday in Washington.

Nobody disputes that record amounts of money are pouring into political races. But the return on investment to big donors appears to be less than the fretting over the health of democracy suggests. “The money going into super PACs is not determinative in most elections,” says political scientist Adam Bonica of Stanford University. “Whether these donors give as shrewdly to politicians as they run their businesses is probably a resounding ‘no.’”

Yahoo Finance conducted its analysis by determining the “winning percentage” for the 10 biggest political donors—the percentage of candidates they gave money to who actually got elected. We also calculated the winning percentage for about 100 political-action groups—including super PACs—that received money from big donors during the last two cycles. (Full details on our methodology are at the end of this story). Here’s how each of the 10 biggest donors fared:

View gallery

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One top donor appears to have a high success rate -- former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has an 85% winning percentage. That could be because Bloomberg’s a political independent who tends to donate to electable centrist candidates rather than more controversial ones on the fringes.