Boing Boing 

Twin Towers: All your DVD subtitles are belong to us

Rip-roaringly bad translations of LOTR: TTT. The site intro sums it up: "This webpage celebrates the wonderful engrish subtitles featured in an asian bootleg DVD of Lord of The Rings - The Two Towers. What you see is exactly what appears on the TV screen. The first half of the movie has the most screengrabs, as there is more action than talking later on, and the subtitle writers eventually started getting the name of the characters right. Have fun!" May I suggest this one in particular. Link Discuss (Thanks, Jeff!)

Lego Stanley Cup recovered!

Oh happy day: The 6,000-lego-brick replica of hockey's Stanley Cup has been returned. Question: how do they know it's the real one, and not a replica replica? Link Discuss (Thanks, Rick!)

Qualcomm's cryptophones at the Super Bowl

During last Sunday's Super Bowl, Qualcomm provided Qsec-800 cellular phones to local and federal security agents. These CDMA phones include end-to-end encryption and other security features, and are designed to be secure enough to transmit classified government information. Link to Q-Sec-800 product PDF brochure, link to Wireless Week story, Discuss

People are toxic

"Scientists have been studying pollutants in air, water, and on land for decades. Now they're studying pollution in people, and the results are troubling. This Website reports results from the most comprehensive study ever conducted of multiple chemical contaminants in humans. Blood and urine from nine people were tested for 210 chemicals that occur in consumer products and industrial pollution." Link Discuss (Thanks, Tim!)

Cuban-barrel-aged Glenfiddich banned from US

Glenfiddich Havana Reserve, a really, really nice scotch whisky that's matured in Cuban rum barrels, has been banned from import into the US because, somehow, that violates the embargo against trade with Cuba.
The company has been trying unsuccessfully to have the six-year-old Helms-Burton trade barrier relaxed through its legal representatives in New York.

The act tightened the four-decade-old economic embargo against Cuba and seeks to punish foreign-owned companies that engage in the "wrongful trafficking in property confiscated by the Castro regime".

Now, William Grant is introducing its precious malt to Canada, which has no such Cuban crisis and a waiting list to keep up with demand.

Link Discuss (via Fark)

Latex Mind Research

blog de jeanpoole's interview with a person who uses latex to expand his mind.
I am consciousness researcher and one of my main research topics is the resonator technology, which is based on the particular capability of inflatable latex objects to intensify and modify the perception of bodily vibrations to synchronize brain waves, which helps to learn and intensify meditation (a similar concept like bio-feedback; more explanations can be found on my site). I have studied much about drugfree psychedelics, including principles of yoga, shamanic trance rites and various other spiritual methodologies for inducing alterated states of mind, but as an asexual monk I never had cared about sex departments of the internet.
Link Discuss

Skeleton iBook: transparent computing

The "Skeleton iBook" is an extreme iBook casemod where you make your own injection-molded trasnparent iBook chassis and move the guts to it. Link Discuss (via Charlie's Diary)

INS manager shreds 90,000 docs to lighten workload

A manager at a California INS office got rid of his office's backlog by ordering his subordinates to shred over 90,000 piece of paperwork. As Danny points out, it's possible that a number of the deportainees of the last INS round-em-up whose paperwork was out of order were in fact victims of this lunatic, since they were all local to the office where the documents were shredded.
Among the destroyed papers, federal officials charged, were American and foreign passports, applications for asylum, birth certificates and other documents supporting applications for citizenship, visas and work permits
NYT Link Discuss (via Oblomovka)

Patron Saint sought for Internet

The Vatican has announced a hunt for a Patron Saint for the Internet. You know, there is no shortage of bushy-bearded Unix-geeks with mad saintly eyes that they could consider, but I guess that you have to be dead first, and fatally wounding the ILECs probably isn't enough of a miracle to qualify for canonization.
Will it be Archangel Gabriel, whom the Bible credits with bringing Mary the news that she'd give birth to Jesus? Or Saint Isadore of Seville, who wrote the world's first encyclopedia? Or perhaps Saint Clare of Assisi, a nun believed to have seen visions on a wall?

So far, about 5,000 visitors are casting their votes daily on, something that delights Monsignor James P. Moroney, an expert on prayer and worship for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Jason!)

WiFi companies and military agree on noise-limits

The military and a consortium of WiFi vendors have agreed on interference thresholds for 802.11 devices that will allow them to peacefully (heh) co-exist with military radar.
"We feel comfortable that the new limits will protect military radar," said Badri Younes, a director of spectrum management at the Department of Defense...

"No one is entirely happy, and that's the essence of compromise," said Intel spokesman Peter Pitsch.

Link Discuss

Murdered boy's remains can't be released to family without murderer's permission

A judge won't release the ten-years-murdered remains of a small boy to his family without a waiver from the murderer, who is on death row, but whose property the remains somehow appear to be.
Chad was shot in 1991, and buried in a shallow grave behind a house where Horn's family lived. Horn then tormented the Choice family for years, sending ransom notes and placing Chad's skull on the doorstep of the Choices' home on the fourth anniversary of the boy's disappearance.
Link Discuss (via Fark)

12" Powerbook dissected

Great Japanese photo-gallery that documents the dissection of one of the new 12" Powerbooks. I've got one of these on the way, but I don't think I'll be (deliberately) taking it to bits any time soon. Link Discuss (via MacSlash)

Brobeck collapses

Brobeck, a massive technology/finance corporate law-firm, has collapsed.
Three years ago, Brobeck recorded the highest profits in the city for a firm its size, each partner taking in $850,000, according to the Recorder, a San Francisco legal publication. Its total revenue topped $300 million. And Brobeck handled hundreds of merger deals and IPOs, such as Juno Online Services, the free Internet service provider, and DoubleClick, the online ad company.
Link Discuss (Thanks, ronks!)

Fuel Cell Store

Paul sez: "Caught up in the post-State-of-the-Union excitement over fuel cells, but don't have $1.2 billion to spend? has "accessories & gifts" like demonstration fuel cells, fuel cell powered desktop fans, and -- most exciting -- a remote-control fuel cell car." Link Discuss (Thanks, Paul!)

Space Shuttle runs free software and open protocols

The Space Shuttle is getting fresh data connectivity courtesy of Linux boxen and TCP/IP:
Nasa is keen to use standard terrestrial techniques to route data to and from satellites and spacecraft to cut costs and make off-planet resources easier to manage.

The space agency currently uses a mish-mash of ageing hardware and software to keep in touch with spacecraft and to ship data back and forth.

By converting to tried and tested technologies used to keep the net running, Nasa believes it can cut the numbers of staff needed to ensure spacecraft stay in touch.

Link Discuss (Thanks, Michael!)

Feral hippos haunt druglord's estate

The animals of Pablo "drug kingpin" Escobar's private zoo have gone feral, and ten hippopotami now roam the grounds of his estate north of Bogata.
A dozen refugee children play in the grounds all day, and the hippos watch them from the lake. Only the tops of the hippos' massive, reddish-brown heads and their constantly twitching ears show above the water. If the children come too close to the shore, the hippos snort and bluster and open their jaws menacingly, or make a rolling dive, to scare them away...

The refugees, unfamiliar with the ways of the giant African herbivores, have tried repeatedly to fence them in with barbed wire to thwart their raids on the salt lick and keep them from upsetting the cows. But to a hippo, a barbed-wire fence is an annoyance, not an obstacle.

Link Discuss (via MeFi)

Texas prof won't recommend Creationist students for biomedical study

A prof in Texas is refusing to write letters of recommendation for further study in biomedical science unless his students aver a belief in evolution and disclaim a belief in Creationism. His students claim it's "religious bigotry."
The Web page advises students seeking a recommendation to be prepared to answer the question: "How do you think the human species originated?"

"If you cannot truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to this question, then you should not seek my recommendation for admittance to further education in the biomedical sciences," Dini writes...

He argues that physicians who "ignore or neglect" the Darwinian aspects of medicine or the evolutionary origin of humans can make bad clinical decisions...

A scientist who denies the "fact" of human evolution, Dini writes, is in effect committing "malpractice regarding the method of science."

"Good scientists would never throw out data that do not conform to their expectations or beliefs," he writes.

Link Discuss (via MeFi)

The Last Real Carnival Sideshow?

The Erie Times News ran an interesting article about why the days of the classic carny freakshow are numbered. The article is set in the World of Wonders, one of the last "odditoriums" still on the carnival circuit.
"Thank God as a young boy I saw someone sticking a nail up their nose, or I would have a terrible life,'' said Apocalypse as he pulled a cigarette out of a metal Band-Aid tin. "You want to see a freak show? A guy sitting in a cubicle, staring into a computer all day, typing until he gets carpal tunnel syndrome, with a 'thank God it's Friday' coffee mug sitting on his desk. There's your freak show.''
Link Discuss

Big Privacy Stink Over Small Tech

Gillete announced a plan to embed radio-frequency identification tags in razors to foil shoplifters.
From Small Times: "A pilot is already under way at a Tesco store in Cambridge, England, which is testing whether a Gillette 'smart shelf' can use RFID to foil shoplifters (Gillette has found that if someone takes more than two or three packages of razors, they're probably stealing)."
People are freaked out that if more products become tagged, someone could drive by your house and gather a list of what you buy. The (current) reality though is that the RFID scanner has to be within three feet of a tag to read it. Personally, I'm more interested in the cool nano/micro-fluidic technique Gillete's RFID vendor, Alien Technology, developed to make these things on the cheap. Link Discuss

Mena's Tokyo Disneyland pix

Mena and Ben "Moveable Type" Trott recently took a biz-trip to Tokyo and got to spend an afternoon at Tokyo Disneyland/Disney Sea. Mena's posted a gallery of fantastic shots from the Parks. I am turgid with jealousy. I yearn to visit Japan, to see the Akihabara, to wander the alleys of Tokyo Disneyland, to buy a square watermelon from a vending machine. Link Discuss (Thanks, Mena!)

King Kukulele's Tiki Paradise

Here's an article I wrote for the LA Weekly about a guy named Denny Moynahan who is converting an abandoned building in Los Angeles into a Tiki-themed apartment complex. The Weekly didn't run any pictures, but I've got some here. Link Discuss

Wacko Jacko's nose game

Here's a little quiz for you. Can you pick which of the 15 noses belong to Michael Jackson? (I got 13 out of 15.) Link Discuss

Microsoft's SPOT watch uses FM radio signals

Interesting article about the way Microsoft's SPOT (smart peronsal object technology) watch will work.
Microsoft ... settled on a data rate of 12 kilobits per second. In a given day... more than 125 megabytes can be transferred in the radio broadcasts. Microsoft ... secretly cut deals with FM radio stations around the country to lease the sub-carrier spectrum... enough coverage to hit about 80 percent of the country, and all major metropolitan areas. Microsoft found a way to personalize the watches: giving each a unique identification number. Then, as the watch is receiving the DirectBand signals, it looks only for data associated with the ID number. Hence, your watch only stores data on the sports teams you like and discards the rest. And because the watch knows which radio station it is receiving the information from, it can use that knowledge to reset itself. For instance, if you travel to Dallas, the watch will pick up signals from the Dallas radio station and reset itself for the appropriate time zone.
Link Merc News Discuss

Email campaign to flush Rush shows promise

After listening to Rush Limbaugh call war protestors "anti-American," "anti-capitalist," and "communists," Vietnam war veteran Micheal Stinson started an email campaign to boycott Rush's show. So far Radio Shack, Amtrak, and Bose have stopped sponsoring the program. Personally, I don't care what happens to Rush's program. If his show gets killed (which I doubt it will) some other blowhard will take his place. Link Discuss

Fray Cafe 3 at SXSW

Derek sez, "The third-annual Fray Cafe has been scheduled for Sunday March 9, right after the SXSW Web Awards ceremony. If you were turned away last year when the venue filled up, rest assured that the venue is much larger this year -- The Mercury Lounge! Start practicing those stories." Link Discuss (Thanks, Derek!)

Stross and me on the WELL

Charlie "Hugo Nominee" Stross and I are having a two-week-long discussion on the WELL's public Inkwell.vue conference, in honor of the publication of Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Even if you don't have a WELL account, you can join in by emailing questions to Charlie.
Social incentives are the most powerful forces in our world -- the reason you can't wear your underwear on your head is because of disapprobation. The most disruptive thing about the Internet is its ability to locate you in homogenous communities that embrace the same values as you, so that there's no dialectic in socail pressure: IOW, you can spend all your time in and never get the funny looks that would cause you to reconsider your fashion choices. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (except when it is, i.e., alt.big.nazi.idiots), but it is a powerfully disruptive thing.

Sidebar: in our second collaboration, "Flowers from Alice," we deal with uploaded "people' who can instantiate many copies of themselves in parallel. One of the interesting things about this is that it suggests that attention isn't necessarily a scarce resource -- if you need to do two things at once, you just make another copy to do it...

Link Discuss

Dumpster Diving: an experience not to be missed

This morning's Kuro5hin has a great article on the ins and outs of dumpster diving. I've always been fascinated by diving (and I've done a little myself -- see this Wired article I wrote). I recently got sent a copy of Dumpster Diving: The Advanced Course, How to Turn Other People's Trash into Money, Publicity, and Power, a Paladin Press book written as a follow-on to the classic "The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving." The hardcore divers I know are all a little on the intense side, filled with folk wisdom and radical philosophy about trash and politics, and the author of DD:TAC is no exception. The book is a kind of extended rant, alternating between fish-tales about the big, big dumpster scores, stories of inadvertent discovery of secret information that blows the lid off of political conspiracies, and love found and lost in the trash. The Paladin Press titles vary pretty widely in writing-quality, but this is definitely on the high-end of the scale, and the information is invaluable. As the landfills overflow and the moments of our lives grow ever more ephemeral, there is no experience more life-changing that dumpster-diving. I think everyone should spend a couple nights in the trash, at least once in their lives. Link Discuss

Big trouble on the funnies page

San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum is hosting an exhibit of controversy in comic strips, including both the offending strips and the hate-mail they generated.

1900s: The Yellow Kid and the Katzenjammer Kids are cited for bad influence on youth.

1910s: In Polly and Her Pals, the "new woman" dares to show ankle.

1930s: Little Orphan Annie creator Harold Gray ridicules labor and FDR's New Deal. Dick Tracy becomes the first action strip to depict violence in America's backyard.

1940s: In Li'l Abner, Al Capp kicks against the establishment.

1950s: Pogo creator Walt Kelly lampoons Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy.

1960s: On Stage introduces a black character; several papers cancel the strip.

1970s: "How come there's no blacks in this honky outfit?" asks Lt. Flap in Beetle Bailey. Garry Trudeau brings hashish and Watergate to the funnies in Doonesbury.

Link Discuss

Human sewage recycled into artificial ski-snow

An Australian ski-resort is recycling black-water (sewage) into artificial snow:
Waste from resort is converted into usable water in two ways, both at a recycling plant for initial treatment, and then separately through a three-step purifying process of UV light filtration, ozonation and ultra-filtration. The final ultra-filtration step removes all suspended solids from the liquid including all biological matter, alive or dead. The resulting water is even free of viruses, bacteria and spores from cryptosporidium or giardia. The treated wastewater is then used in conjunction with meltwater and creekwater from surrounding areas to create snow.
Link Discuss (via /.)

180,000 Canadian personal records AWOL from IBM

IBM, which operates data-archiving vaults in Canada, has lost a hard-drive containing the records for 180,000 customers of an insurance company. The records contain everything an enterprising identity thief needs, including Social Insurance Numbers, names, addresses, mothers' maiden names, beneficiaries and pre-authorized checking information. Link Discuss