Boing Boing 

Daily Show on Wal-Mart

Lisa Rein has just posted a scathing and high-larious Daily Show commentary on Wal-Mart, in which Jon Stewart rebuts the latest round of feel-good PR from the retail giant. Link

Disney park family videos from yore and present

On the Webjay community playlist, an amazing trove of Windows Media (ugh) clips of family videos of Disney parks. I'm utterly taken with this 3.1MB WMV clip of a family enjoying the long-gone Disneyland Flying Saucers in 1961. Also available: the entire Monsanto plastic house of the future audio, a 1959 tour of the monorail, and some very funny clips of British families trying to make sense of the parks. Link (Thanks, Kirby!)

Paid volunteer opportunities for tech work in Africa

Wayan Vota of Geekcorps says:
In bringing the world wide web to the whole wide world, [we are] looking for a few volunteers to travel to Africa for four challenging IT projects that are changing the role of information and communication technologies in the developing world.
Link to details about Geekcorps' paid volunteer assignments in Mali, Ghana, Senegal, and Kenya. (via DMCA-Discuss listserv) Despite what the BBC reported of Bob "Mr. Bloody Africa" Geldof's comments today, Africa is not neccesarily "boring." (via Warren).

FCC spectrum sale attracts billion$ in bids

Wireless tech companies and others bid nearly $1 billion last Wednesday during the first day of an FCC auction of spectrum in the 1850 MHz to 1990 MHz bands. Nearly 250 licenses were up for sale in what some analysts say may be the last major spectrum auction until mid-2006. Link to NYT story, link to NYT reg-generator. (Thanks, Frank Keeney)

More on twinkie-oid food and sushi-esque chocolate

Last week, in the throes of a low-carb-induced delirium, I posted a bunch of stuff on BoingBoing about high-concept chow. Twinkies, sushi, chocolate, and combinations thereof. One of those entries pointed to a photo of "savory twinkies" by reader Ranjit Bhatnagar; he has now very kindly blogged the recipe for us all. He says, "Of course, it really comes down to 'Wrap cheese with polenta, bake, and serve,' but it was more fun to do a photo essay." If you look closely at the recipe photos, you can see a few clumps of snow from last week's New York blizzard. Link to Ranjit's recipe, and Link to a beautiful collection of "produce scans" on his blog.


Speaking of odd food, here's some Hello Kitty-shaped sushi (thanks numlok), and there is a chocolate cake disguised as a giant head of cabbage. (thanks, heidi). Special thanks to all the readers who submitted that website about people in Japan who carve elaborate designs in the flesh of watermelons -- but I'm kinda holding out for the website about people in Japan who carve elaborate watermelon designs in their own flesh.

Previously: Yet another chocolate sushi site; chocolate solar system, Twinkie Sushi, Candy Sushi, Chocolate Sushi.

Pramulator: Bloblike baby carriage

 Images Art Pram.6.A1This baby carriage, manufactured by Bent Fabrication, makes me want to have a third child so I can push it around in one of these. Link (via The Cartoonist
)

Claire Robertson's stuffed animals

 Journal Images Kittendoll02Loobylu blogger Claire Robertson sure makes cute stuffed animals. Link

Services that insert sounds into mobile phone conversations

A growing number of tech providers now offer "sound insertion" services for mobile phone users. Think: ringtones you plug into the "body" of a voice conversation. Sonic emoticons. Ronan Higgins of cafe.com says:
Lightwav for PalmOne Treo smartphones has a feature called "CoverUp Sound" where you can trigger sounds to play in the phone conversation.

I hear that this application is popular in Japan with cheating "salary men" husbands. They'll trigger sounds of a train station, a busy office or a bar, while explaining to their wives why they won't be home until later. Single men trigger the sound of a girl in the background saying "come back to bed" to make their male friends jealous.

I use it to insert a bad connection effect: "I can't hear you, you're breaking up on me, I'm losing signal, I'll have to call you back about that. Kshhhh."

In related news -- last week, San Francisco-based Phonebites nabbed a US$3MM venture round. They, too, offer a service that allows mobile phone users to insert a pre-recorded sound clip into a live conversation - like a radio soundboard, but for your cell phone. Here's a related Engadget post from last October: Link. (thanks, Marc Nathan, via the unwired list)

Update: BB reader Daniel says,

There's also such an application available for Seiries60 smartphones. The app is called CallCheater. And it works quite nicely.
Link

Web Zen: Rock Star Zen

learning from iron maiden
electronic superstar
dead rock stars club
top 10 silly black metal pics
reverse rock
more about dead rock stars
rock and roll fantasy camp
fake bands
rock star kenny
backstage pass
cooking with rock stars
Image: Rock Star Kenny, a mid-'80s toy created by a Mattel licensee in Argentina. web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank).

Spanish-speaking bloggers blogging in English: an aggregator

Blogger and communications professor Jose Luis Orihuela in Pamplona, Spain says: "Thanks to VĂ­ctor Ruiz, an idea that's been around for a long time -- an RSS aggregator for feeds of English-language blogs from Spanish-speaking bloggers -- has finally launched. A beta version is available here: Link." There's more background (in Spanish) in this post on Jose Luis' blog: Link

Everything's coming up Gandhi

Where's Mahatma Gandhi? According to this TV ad produced by Young and Rubicam Italia for an Italian telecom -- he's your new cellphone wallpaper! He's on laptops! He's on gigantic plasma screen displays affixed to the sides of buildings! Wait, now he's a ringtone! File under "tasteless corporate appropriation of the dead."
Link (Thanks, Rohit Gupta in Bombay!)

VW car-bomber ad: dispute about more than copyright?

Following up on this previous Boing Boing post, reader raging red says,
I've been doing a tiny bit of research into the German crime of "public incitement" in response to your post about the fake VW ad. This is not simply a copyright infringement issue. The theory here is that this ad could provoke someone to commit a car bombing. Under German law as I read it, even if the ad does not in fact incite someone to commit a car bombing, the two men who produced the phony ad are still subject to a maximum penalty of five years in prison, simply for creating the ad.
Link

Update: raging red says:

Some people [in the comments section of my blog] have corrected me. Apparently the translation from German in the Reuters article is a little off. The crime they may be charged with is a different kind of public incitement. It's called "Volksverhetzung," which apparently means agitation of the public or incitement of hatred. It's basically a hate speech statute. The punishment is 3 months to five years. I haven't verified this information myself yet, but the people in my comments sound like they are correct, and one person has given the text of the statute in my comments.

Soccer Mom Metadata

Move over, Peeing Calvin: another series of car sticker graphics also say "total fucking idiot on board." Boing Boing reader Denise Howell says,
Family tags: In a weird confluence of SoCal suburbia and meatspace metadata, people are tagging their cars with stick figure facsimiles of their family. What's next, the corporate version? (Stick figure CEO holds hand of middle manager holding hands with a legion of cube-dwellers...)
Link

Update: Boing Boing reader Mario Lopez says:

These stickers started appearing in Mexican cities around 2001 and spread like wildfire. Now they are everywhere and even political candidates have resorted to this kind of advertising. They are sold everywhere and are customizable with the name/nickname of your children and pets and whatnot. It is all pretty abnormal and ugly. I can only guess that this fad was brought to the US by chicanos returning from these last holidays in their hometowns.

For once Mexico is not 10 years behind the US, now we are like 3 years ahead in the bizarre family sticker business. When everyone started using these things on their cars, authorities advised to the contrary, they said it was an unnecesary risk to broadcast so much information about your family (names, how many boys, girls, aproximate ages, etc) to potential kidnappers. No one seemed to care.

I will look for some really odd ones on the street and send them if they are really good.

Last five tickets to E Coast hacker con auctioned for EFF

Pablos sez, "Thanks in part to an early mention on Boing Boing, the first ever Shmoocon is sold out. Starting Friday is our attempt to have an East Coast security and hacker conference without the marketing crap but with a heavy emphasis on the geek projects that inspire us. The last 5 passes are being auctioned on eBay and their entire proceeds will be donated to the EFF."

Reviews for Make

There's still time to contribute a review to the second issue of MAKE, a technology project magazine I'm editing.

Is there some gadget, tool, web site, newsletter, instructional video, book, magazine, CD-ROM, or instrument you already own and love? Then write about it for MAKE. We'll pay you if we run it.

Reviews should be approximately 100-300 words, and be written in the first person. Think more "recommendation" and "experience" when you write these than "review." We want to hear about your involvement with it.

The old Wired guidelines for reviews went like this: “Write your review. Then write us a letter explaining why we should devote space to your item. Throw away your review and send us the letter.” That's the way to do it.

Send your reviews to markf@oreilly.com

Eyes on the Screen torrent mirror

Eyes on the Screen is an amazing Downhill Battle project that we blogged earlier. The idea is to get people to download the seminal documentary Eyes on the Prize, which chronicles the American civil rights movement. It's a Black History Month perrennial, but because of the prohibitive cost of clearing the copyrights to the archival footage used in the series. Once the series has been downloaded, you'd be encouraged to host a screening party for your friends and neighbors on February 8th, and ensure that the vital messages of this documentary don't fade away due to outmoded laws.

The Downhill Battle torrents for Eyes on the Prize have gone away, but there is still a mirror of them available. Please consider using the mirror to get your own copies and host a party of your own.

At 8pm on February 8th we will celebrate the struggle and triumph of the civil rights movement with screenings of Eyes on the Prize Part 1: Awakenings. Eyes on the Prize is the most renowned civil rights documentary of all time; for many people, it is how they first learned about the Civil Rights Movement (more about the film). But this film has not been available on video or television for the past 10 years simply because of expired copyright licenses. We cannot allow copyright red tape to keep this film from the public any longer. So today we are making digital versions of the film available for download. Join us in building a new mass audience for this film: organize or attend a screening in your city, town, school or home on February 8th.
Link

High schoolers on free speech

A new study reveals that far too many US high school students don't seem to understand the meaning of free speech, aren't taught about the First Amendment, or simply don't care. A few choice excerpts from the AP story:
...When told of the exact text of the First Amendment, more than one in three high school students said it goes "too far" in the rights it guarantees. Only half of the students said newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of stories...

Three in four students said flag burning is illegal...

About half the students said the government can restrict any indecent material on the Internet.
Who is teaching these kids? Link

UPDATE: Fortunately at least some students aren't being entirely short-changed by their schools, as this email from BB reader Maxx points out:
"I am a junior (11th grade) at Cocalico High School. Our school has a mandatory course named Principals of Democracy. In this class, we are taught everything about the Constitution including an in depth study of the Bill of Rights. The students must also write a essay about a section of the bill of rights and also conduct a formal debate against fellow classmates. On this essay we must use at least 34 sources and my paper turned out to be 16 pages on the second amendment right to bear arms. So, just to clarify, some of us do know a thing or two about the constitution. Also, as students, we do not have the right to free speech, protection from unreasonable search or seizure, or freedom of assembly."
UPDATE: As reader Steve Jones points out, the common "principals" vs. "principles" spelling error in Maxx's email is particularly ironic in this case.

UPDATE: Blogger Britta Gustafson says:
Students do have the right to free speech, protection from unreasonable search or seizure, and freedom of assembly. The rights are more restricted than those of adults, but we have them. The extent depends on your state and school district.

I'm in 12th grade at a high school in the horrible Los Angeles Unified School District. My friends and I started an underground newspaper because the principal insisted on prior review if we did an official one. She can't stop us from publishing and distributing our paper as long as it is not disruptive, libelous, or obscene. We can only be searched randomly or if there is reasonable suspicion. We are free to assemble on and off campus as long as it is not disruptive.

The problem is that students don't have the resources to protect their rights. We get suspended if we don't wear the school uniform -- even though mandatory uniforms are illegal -- and we can't do much about it. The District bureaucrats don't care and legal action is out of reach for most of us.

But we write about it. High school journalism is still alive -- and the best way for us to learn what our 1st Amendment rights really mean.