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NPR's turkey Soda taste test

Click thumbnail for full-size phonecam snap. "Day to Day" host Alex Chadwick did taste test of that Jones Turkey and Gravy soda yesterday. I was in the studio just before the moment of horror, and snapped this phonecam shot of NPR producer Kathryn Fox preparing for Mr. Chadwick's total grossout. Listen to the segment here, after 12PM PST. Link

Exotica album produced through open collaboration, licensed CC

Michael sez, "Two Zombies Later is a 'double CD' set... The artists featured on these 'discs' are all members of the Exotica mailing list and within the shortest period of time managed to get together and compile this compilation. The whole set is downloadable as MP3s and has been published under the Creative Commons license. They will only be available (at this URL) for 3 months, after that, they are taken 'off the market' and (hopefully) something else will be published." Link (Thanks, Michael)

Guy in Japan makes girl masks from paper, then asphyxiates himself.

Matt Fraction, trying desperately to kick the extreme japorn web hunt habit, found this -- and forwards, with apologies

"Kumiko" says: "can't stop myself to go to the deadline. The second series I took off my wig and I wrapped my head tightly. At my neck, there are no hole for new air. There are no tricks in these pix. Please stop your breath while you're browsin these. Please, please NOT do the same. You must be killed. "

By the time you read this, the Geocities Japan site will be BoingBoinged to death, but: Link (didn't notice nudity or explicit sexual content, but didn't stay too long, either)

Diebold rolls on back, pisses self, begs for mercy

Diebold has withdrawn its lawsuit threats against the sites that republished the leaked memos demonstrating its gross malfeasance in its voting machine business. Having had these memos exposed by whistle-blowers, Diebold sought to use copyright law to censor websites that published them. Then EFF took up the cause of one of the site-operators, the Online Policy Group, and now Diebold is slinking away with its tail between its legs, off to plot the downfall of democracy in some rancid warren of its own devising. Don't let the courtroom door hit yer ass on the way out. Link (via Copyfight)

Diebold ATMs are vulnerable to worms

Diebold's ATMs, which run Windows XP, are the first ATMs to become infected with malware:
It is the first known case of a worm actually installing itself on individual ATM operating systems, says Peter Lind, a security expert at Spire Security in Malvern, Pennsylvania...

Diebold does not know how the worm got on to the closed financial network. But security experts suggest it could have been carried past security measure on an infected laptop computer. The laptop would have contracted Welchia while connected to the internet, and then transferred it when later connected to the financial network.

Link

Hilbert's 16th problem solved by 22-year-old student

A Swedish math student has solved number 15 part of number 16 of David Hilbert's 23 math problems for the Twentieth Century, which has stood unsolved since 1900. Link (Thanks, Mikael!)

35,000 zombies form lobby group in India

35,000 Indians have joined the Association of the Living Dead, a group of people whose relatives have cheated them out of their fortunes by bribing officials to have them declared legally dead. The living dead, being dead, can't afford the counterbribes necessary to get un-dead-ified.
The ``living dead,'' having been cheated out of their property, cannot afford to pay bribes or even legitimate fees to get their cases dealt with.

Lal Bihari, president of the Association of the Living Dead, estimated 35,000 people in Uttar Pradesh state have been wrongly certified as dead.

Link (via Beyond the Beyond)

Creative Commons Moving Image deadline looms

The Creative Commons Moving Image contest (which gets you a G5 or equally shitkicking PC as grand prize for a two-minute film explaining Creative Commons) deadline of Dec 31 is fast approaching -- time to get started! Link

Yesterday was the best day of my writing career (so far!)

Yesterday, I had the flat-out most amazing day of my writing career:

I finally got to see the paperback edition of my novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which is out just in time for Christmas. For various good reasons, Tor elected to publish the hardcover in January of last year, too late for Christmas shoppers. A lot of people complained (including me), but it's clear that they knew what they were doing -- the book didn't end up competing with the big, frontlist holiday titles and sold very well indeed. Still, I'm very grateful indeed that the paperback (which Amazon has for $10.36) is out in time for the holidays this year.

I also got to hold a copy of the second edition of A Place So Foreign and Eight More, my short story collection, which sold out its first print run in six weeks or so and is well on the way to selling out the second edition, I'm told. A bunch of you submitted errata for this printing, and made it a better book altogether. I'm told that the next printing will have the Neil Gaiman quote added to the cover, which is all to the good indeed.

As if that weren't enough, I also got a stack of gorgeous, color-cover advance review copies of Eastern Standard Tribe, my second novel which will be a March, 2004 hardcover on sale in late January (pre-order it for a 30 percent discount). The William Gibson quote on the cover ("Utterly contemporary and deeply peculiar -- a hard combination to beat (or, these days, to find)") looks unspeakably swell...

But the good news kept coming. I also got word that my agent, Don Maass, has sold my next two novels, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town and /usr/bin/god, to Tor for 2005 and 2006 publication.

The icing on the cake is that I signed off on the inclusion of Flowers from Alice, a short story that Charlie Stross and I co-wrote for Mike Resnick's forthcoming New Faces in Science Fiction anthology, in a Year's Best Science Fiction anthology.

Wired: Mark Cuban -- I'm a Maverick, not a mogul!

I interviewed Mark Cuban (Broadcast.com founder, Dallas Mavs owner, HDnet founder, etc.) for this month's Wired Magazine about his recent purchase of Landmark Theatres -- and his plans to build a digital entertainment empire in which production, development, and distribution are all housed under one corporate roof.
Q: How is this any different from the studio conglomerates that led to antitrust laws?

A: Digital makes filmmaking cheaper and more accessible, so we see ourselves as a conduit for new, independent voices who'd otherwise never have a shot. You could shoot your film on digital, dump it on a hard drive, edit it on a laptop, send us that file, and 20 minutes later we could show it in a theater or upload it to a satellite. You could say that if we became huge, we'd risk becoming a Microsoft. But if we become huge, we want to become more like a Linux.

Link

Bruce Sterling and "Tech Nouveau" design examples

On Bruce Sterling's Viridian email list this week, a round-up of 21st-century "Tech Nouveau": buildings and products that incorporate organic forms in a manner similar to Art Nouveau movement of the early 20th century. Some cool outtakes:
* "There is a new, witty nouveau afoot, from the Vallo watering can by Monika Mulder at Ikea, which looks like a stork," Link (halfway down the page)
* "to the coffee and tea set by Greg Lynn for Alessi, which opens like a clove of garlic." Link
* "Tord Boontje's chandeliers for Swarovski look like clouds of slender branches surrounding a light." Link
* "In the United States, the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum looks like a giant bird about to take off." Link
* "William Sawaya, a designer based in Milan, created a blossom-like plastic Calla chair for Heller, which was inspired by a lily." Link
* "A new digital camera for Creative Labs by the California company Whipsaw Design takes its inspiration from the many-chambered spiral shell called the nautilus." Link

Lovemarks.com: I love/respect this brand!

Snarked from Gawker:

Charles "Chucky" Saatchi, swinging advertising mogul, thinks it's time for you to revel in the consuming pleasure that is Lovemarks: the future beyond brands. At the oddly confusing Lovemarks.com, "real people" write in about how favorite brands moved from objects to something more like family members. Adidas: "Reminds me of my childhood." BMW: "Mystery, aura and history oozes out." Abercrombie & Fitch: "I started wearing their clothes and it made me cool and hip differentiating me with the rest of the Gap wearing populace." (Snicker. Mmm, Snickers! I could go for one of those...)

Link (Spotted first by Invisible Cowgirl)

Neckaces made from keyboard keys

Funky jewelry made from keyboard keys. I want one now, along with one of the "I [heart] geeky boys" pins! Link

Kigurimi vs. Cosplay

Welcome to episode four in BoingBoing's crash course on the global cybercartoon fetish pantheon. So, apparently, there's a difference between Kigurimi and cosplay: masks. Fleshbot and BoingBoing reader Sarmoung says:
There's a certain blurring between the two types of dressing up in Japan, but there are certain distinctions. Cosplay is almost always mask free and draws on various video game, manga and anime characters. This is more fantastic in look generally. The majority of cosplayers in Japan aren't too happy about its infiltration into the hardcore adult market, but there's no denying its clear debt/links to the fetish scene. There's a book out in English called "Cosplay Girls" and you can find a fair amount of adult (and non-adult) cosplay related material via J-List. Nao Oikawa has done a fair amount of this adult cosplay work.

The use of masks makes it kigurumi. These are in origin the same as people in Goofy outfits of whatever at Disneyland. You seem them frequently enough at amusement parks in Japan or doing product promotions in the street. These are also generally drawn from the manga/anime/game world. Now some people do this for a living and some do it as a hobby. Obviously it's a step beyond as these people tend to wear full skin-toned body stockings, unitards and whatever in addition to the masks. Also, you suspect that many of the hobbyists are men although this isn't always the case. It's just impossible to tell, although the hands do give it away much of the time.

What you then discover is that kigurumi is further subdivided between people who wear manga styled masks and costumes (pointy chins, huge eyes, etc) and those who go for a ultra-realist look, where the costumes become much more everyday. This then sort of leads on to Japanese ultrarealist love dolls.

Link to "What is Kigurimi?", Links to very strange adult kigurimi: Room 107, Room 108, from dollhouse.jp. (Thanks, fleshbot.) Link

Inkha, the Roboceptionist

BoingBoing reader Roland writes:
In "Robo-receptionist clocks on," Nature tells us the story of Inkha, a robot which greets guests of King's College London (KCL) and adds artificial intelligence to the front desk. "Inkha -- short for 'interactive neurotic King's head assembly' -- will dole out directions and events information. Like receptionists across the globe, she will also comment on the weather and fashion faux pas." Inkha was funded with a £8,400 grant and has become a celebrity in the U.K. It even has its own website, http://www.inkha.net/. More details are available in this overview, which also includes pictures of Inkha.
Link

British Library catalogue soon searchable through Amazon

Amazon has purchased a license to create a searchable index of the entire British Library catalogue, including 1.7 million titles that predate ISBNs.
The deal gives Amazon the right to use the British Library's bibliographic catalogue, which contains 2.55 million books. Crucially it includes 1.7 million produced before the introduction in 1970 of the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), a 10-character code that uniquely identifies any modern book.
Link (via Ben Hammersley)

Erotic cosplay doll-mask photos

The snapshots of photorealistic latex doll faces on this website -- some deconstructed, others complete and ready to wear -- are as unnerving as they are flat-out beautiful. Link