Warchalking by the sea

Check out the seaside wireless warchalking action at Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass! Link Discuss (Thanks, John!) Read the rest

Bicycle groupware

The Conference Bike is a bicycle built for seven, with the seats arranged in a ring to facilitate conversation. Link Discuss (Thanks, Matt!) Read the rest

Heinz ships nuclear frites

Heinz has unleashed a new series of multi-hued, potato-based flavor treats:
They're called Ore-Ida(R) Funky Fries(TM), and they're the wildest, wackiest, most fun frozen food on the market today. Featuring five funky varieties such as cinnamon and sugar, cocoa and even a blue variety, new Funky Fries are the most radical thing to hit french fries since ketchup itself...

-- Cinna-Stiks(TM), cinnamon and sugar potatoes, perfect for breakfast, snack time or any time;

-- Cocoa Crispers(TM), cocoa-y potatoes, designed for kids with a sweet tooth;

-- Kool Blue(TM), crispy, seasoned potatoes with a radical blue color that are sure to light up traditional french fries;

-- Crunchy Rings(TM), cylindrical potatoes that crunch as they delight; and

-- Sour Cream & Jive(TM), crispy potatoes seasoned with just the right amount of sour cream and chive flavoring.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Steve!) Read the rest

An 0wnz0red glossary

Joey's written a glossary for nontechnical people struggling to understand my story, 0wnz0red.
haxor (also H4X0R): hacker.

X0R is often used as the suffix "-er"; for instance "fucker" becomes "fuX0r" in 1337speak. Often a 1337speak noun ending in X0R becomes a present tense verb when followed by "s" or "z" or a past tense verb when followed by "ed". For instance, "this beer sucks" becomes "this beer sux0rz" (or, if you really want to go whole-hog, "+|-|1z b33R sUx0rz".

0wnz0red: owned, which means "screwed over". If someone has cracked your computer's security and taken it over or beaten you in a game of Quake, that person has 0wned (or 0wnz0red) you.

Note that this is different from the term 0wns (owns), which means "is very good" or "rules". An example: "I love my new computer! It 0wns!"

pr0n: porn. "pron" is a common typo that eventually got accepted as a synonym for porn; it then was made more 1337 by turning the "o" into a zero.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Joey!) Read the rest

Apple uses DMCA to shut down software

What a revoltin' development. Apple has shut down a software company that made an interoperable software product that extended the functionality of iDVD, allowing it to burn video to external, non-Apple DVD drives. Apple sent a nastygram that cited the DMCA to the company and the company backed down, letting Apple bully it out of providing innovative improvements on Apple's technology to Apple's customers. I'm sick about this. Dammit. Link Discuss (Thanks, Rael) Read the rest

Canadian junkfood etailer

Canadian Favorites is a mail-order house that ships Canadian packaged goods (Red Rose tea, Aero bars, Cherry Blossoms) to the US and elsewhere.
The premier site for Canadians worldwide who are craving a taste of home. Shop safely online from the widest available selection of Canadian food products including Tim Horton's Coffee, Nestle Chocolate, E.D. Smith Jams, Red Rose Tea, Humpty Dumpty Chips and so many more we know you'll be happy to see.
Link Discuss (Thanks, May!) Read the rest

Anti-comet airbag plans

A scientist in Oklahoma is planning to build giant, anti-comet airbags that can be sent into space and inflated to deflect the course of world-threating lumps of celestial rock.
Far better to send up a space ship equipped with a massive airbag that could be inflated to several miles wide and used to gently buffet the invading solar body away from a collision course with earth.

"It seems a safe, simple and realistic idea," Burchard told the magazine's latest edition.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Dave!) Read the rest

Metablog for the WorldCon

I leave for ConJose, the 60th World Science Fiction convention in distant, exotic San Jose in just a couple hours. I'm bringing down three wireless access points and plan to hook them up wherever I can find an Ethernet drop, so that bloggers at the con can post while they're there. Meanwhile, Bill Humphries has set up a ConJose metablog, with a Movable Type TrackBack system that allows any bloggers posting about the con to ping him and get listed on the page (even if you're not using MT). Link Discuss (Thanks, Mena!) Read the rest

Dewie the Internet Safety Turtle: Give a hoot, don't look at Internet porn!

The FTC has launched "Dewie," the cartoon Internet Safety Turtle, companion to Smokey the Bear and Woodsy the Owl. Ah, nothing connotes the lightspeed changes on the Internet like a turtle in a sportscar.
Officials said the Dewie campaign is part of the federal government’s broad effort to promote a “culture of security” and the view that every person who uses computers and networks, such as the Internet, has a role in keeping cyberspace safe.
Link Discuss (Thanks, Stefan) Read the rest

Warren Ellis has a blog!

Die Puny Humans is Warren "Transmetropolitan" Ellis's new blog. It's every bit as brilliant as you'd expect, coming from one of the most talented writers working today. Link Discuss (Thanks, Remi!) Read the rest

Hail Macintosh! Hail Satan!

"Founded by long haired hippies, (Apple) has consistently supported 60's counter-cultural 'values.' But there are even darker undertones to this company than most are aware of. Consider the name of the company and its logo: an apple with a bite taken out of it. This is clearly a reference to the Fall, when Adam and Eve were tempted with an apple by the serpent. It is now Apple Computers offering us temptation, thereby aligning themselves with the forces of darkness." (Scroll to see the Apple bit, but the rest of the page is a hoot too.) Link Discuss (Thanks, John!) Read the rest

Blog the Vote!

Kevin Marks has started a new blog for pointed questions to ask your stumping congressional candidates this election season. He's also set up a state-by-state portal for links to sites that are campaigning for copyright reform and Internet-friendly law state-by-state. Link Discuss (Thanks, Kevin!) Read the rest

Coin-operated convenience store

Great NYT piece about a mega-vending-machine that stocks almost as many SKUs as a corner convenience store but only occupies one tenth of the square footage and costs a fraction of the overhead to run.
This machine, the Shop 2000, is the only one operating in America. Some locals call it an eyesore, but others are happily posing for photos in front of it, and in its second week of operation, more than a few people are feeding it their cash and credit cards. If the test in Washington goes well, its manufacturer predicts a new era in convenience for Americans, as do rivals working on similar machines.

These kiosks, known as automated convenience stores (a better name might be RoboShop), are similar to multipurpose vending machines already operating in Japan and some cities in the Netherlands, Belgium and other European countries where labor is expensive and real estate is scarce. Those constraints are now being felt by American retailers. A study by the National Association of Convenience Stores suggests that a shortage of labor will be one of the industry's biggest problems in coming years.

Link Discuss (via /.) Read the rest

RIAA's site defaced

The RIAA's site was rather subtly and relatively humorously defaced this morning. While I'm not a big fan of this kind of vandalism, it's refreshing to see it pulled off with some wit. Link Discuss (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!) Read the rest

MP3 patent dirty pool gratifies Ogg Vorbis team

Emmett Plant has written an open letter to Thomson Multimedia, who own the patent on MP3 and have suddenly started charging money for people who make MP3 decoders. Emmett's one of the people behind the patent-free Ogg Vorbis MP3-alternative format, and he couldn't be happier:
Thank you for providing the impetus for millions of people and hundreds of companies to give an open, free alternative a try. We love it when people get a chance to evaluate technology, and we've been happy to present them with a superior alternative to mp3. If it weren't for the removal of the free-decoder exemption, it might have taken even longer for people to try it out.

Thank you for setting a precedent in providing free technology until the world has become hooked on it, and then charging a lot of money afterwards. This isn't a new idea, but we're glad that you've taken a stand to ensure that this practice will continue as long as vested interests control patents on multimedia. We hope that you'll continue in this pattern with MPEG-4, since we'll be releasing a free MPEG-4 competitor next summer.

Link Discuss (via Happiest Geek on Earth) Read the rest

iMac-style "laptop dome" stand

Check out these awesome laptop stands styled after the iMac's base. My physiotherapist has sternly warned me to start working with my iBook at eye-level and so I've been perching it on a spare oscilloscope on my desk, but this might be even more stylish. Link Discuss (Thanks, Mike) Read the rest

Jediology big in Australia

"More than 70,000 Australians identified their religion as Jedi, Jedi Knight or Jedi-related in last year's national census." Link Discuss (Thanks, Howard!) Read the rest

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