Old: cow-tipping. New: smart-car-tipping

Someone identified as the Canadian owner of a smart car has posted details in an online forum about the terrifying ordeal his "smarty" endured. And lo, "smart-car-tipping" is born. $1000.00 reward for the culprits. Link (thanks, sine~language) Read the rest

Psychedelic Japanese armpit-hair-removal ad

Here's a scan of an armpit-hair-removal brochure found in Tokyo taxis. Snip from loose translation (or so I'm told -- I can't read Japanese and do not speak armpit):
"Do not fuck with us! We will make you stinky and appear to have Brillo pads attached to your body!" they shout.

All hope is lost, is it not? No. Fortunately for you, there is a force they fear.

"You are no match for my powerful happy armpit hair death ray, which I can utilize for only 8,000 yen!" cries your savior, who rides to your rescue on a white coat and sporting a porno mustache. The happy armpit hairs quickly become sad, shaking in fear at what the stranger might pull out of his pocket.

It's only a flashlight, but for some mystical reason unknown to mankind when he turns it on, then utters the words "Let's love armpit happy" the legion of armpit hairs scream in agony then disappear, living your pit smooth and sparkling clean.

Link (Thanks, sid) Read the rest

Ceci n'est pas un PSP

Boing Boing reader zhi yang says:
I was walking around Si-Meng-Ding in Taipei when I came across this shop. I saw that they were selling the Gameking 2 (a PSP ripoff). When the sales girl came over, I asked her whether this was the PSP even though I knew the answer but instead of trying to explain the uncanny resemblance. She said "No, this one is different, not produced by Sony. Our Gameking 2 has better games and is also much more cheaper than theirs."

Reader comment: mrbrown says,

I spotted one of these in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, in February 2005. The price tag on the one I saw said RM899, which is about USD236. A lot of money for something that doesn't play PSP games at all. But the box of the Gameking 2 also says "Fashionable Science & Technology Outlook" and "High-Brightness function and Super-Glare Imitate Color Screen". If you are into portable gaming, you will know that is really important.
Link to blog post Read the rest

Official issue Illuminati leather jacket

For sale from.... Wilsons Leather! Just $49.99. As mentioned in Bruce Sterling's Hacker Crackdown, notorious Legion of Doomer and former BB guest blogger "Frank Drake" painted a similar design on his leather jacket in the 1980s. Link (Thanks David Fox and Dr. Maz!) Read the rest

"More people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks" -- MP3 interview with Bruce Schneier

ITConversations is a terrific source of audio interviews with tech folks. In the latest ITC email newsletter, producer Doug Kaye said that his interview last year with security consultant and author Bruce Schneier is one of his all-time favorites.
This is the one interview I hope everyone will hear. Security guru Bruce Schneier goes beyond cryptography and network security to challenge our post-9/11 national security practices.

* "Homeland security measures are an enormous waste of money." * "If the goal of security is to protect against yesterday's attacks, we're really good at it." * "More people are killed every year by pigs than by sharks, which shows you how good we are at evaluating risk." * "...people make bad security trade-offs when they're scared."

Recorded a year ago, our listeners agree: This is one of our best.

Link Read the rest

Locus Poll wants your favorite sf of 2004

Locus Magazine is the best-read trade-rag in science fiction. Every year they conduct the "Locus Poll" to pick the winners of the Locus Award (I won this last year in the best first novel category, for Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) and to gather demographics on the changing readership for science fiction, fantasy and horror. The Locus Poll draws more voters than the Hugos, making it the largest popular vote on sf in the field.

The Locus Poll is now available online for all and sundry (though subscribers get an extra issue if they participate). There are a lot of sf readers in internetland who don't read Locus or self-identify as fans or industry people -- getting their input to the poll will be really useful and valuable. Link (via Making Light) Read the rest

Ltd edn cartridge with homebrew GameBoy games on it

On Makeblog, PT writes, "GBADev has an annual competition to create home brewed GameBoy games. Instead of giving out cash and flash cartridges the aim is to manufacture a batch of 500 cartridges with the top entries (a 'multi-cart') complete with cart sticker, manual and box. The cartridges will be manufactured by an "independent party" (not Nintendo). The cartridges are in, you can order them now. The games look great." Link (via Make Blog) Read the rest

Share one PC among many users and put a billion-plus online

Some friends of mine in Cambridge have gone public with a new nonprofit project called Ndiyo, which builds on the old AT&T free VNC project to radically increase the number of users per PC. The way it works is that you take a single high-powered PC and a whack of cheap little network boxes that have keyboards, mice and monitors connected to them, then use free software to share resources on the server across all the users. If you can only afford one sixth of the cost of a PC (a position that some billion-plus people around the world are it), you and five friends can club together to share a single machine for browsing, document authoring, email and the like.
The Nivo unit itself measures around 12 by eight by two centimetres. It has no moving parts, but it has ports for ethernet, power, keyboard, mouse and a monitor.

It comes with two megabytes of RAM. The next version currently under development will have a USB port, soundcard, local storage capacity, and will be even smaller.

"Essentially, it is about sending pixels over the net," explained Dr Wills.

"With modern ethernet connections, you can get enough performance by sending through compressed pixels."

Link Read the rest

Jetpack add-on for MSFT Flight Sim

Clive sez, "A division of Spalab has announced that it will soon release JetpakNG -- an add-on pack that will allow you to fly a jetpack in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. It's modelled on the original commissioned by the army and flown for the first time back in 1961!" Link (Thanks, Clive!) Read the rest

Why Dutch iPod levy is futile

On the heels of the news that the Dutch government is going a proposal in the Dutch government to charge iPod owners more than a hundred Euros to compensate artists for the copying of music from CDs to their mobile players, Wendy Grossman writes about the futility of the move.
First of all, levies don't achieve their stated purpose. Let's say you've just forked out a couple of hundred Euros extra on an MP3 player over and above what folks in other countries pay. What would you think? You would think, "I've paid all this money to recompense the music industry for piracy. Therefore, I'm bloody well going to download every damn thing I can, because I've already paid for it." That's just great for the collection societies, whose revenues and importance increase, and the artists who show up on their radar are perfectly happy to be paid extra money they weren't expecting. Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, and Elvis Presley's heirs don't have a problem. Our friend David Mallett is lucky if he gets two more cents. And the many artists whose music is released onto the Net but who aren't members of the collection societies...get nothing.
Link Read the rest

Danny O'Brien goes to work at EFF!

Now it can be told: my pal Danny O'Brien -- co-editor of NTK and agitator for FaxYourMP, creator of Life Hacks and other fantastic projects -- is the latest Electronic Frontier Foundation hire. He's our new Activism Coordinator!
One thing we definitely learnt is that even the smallest bit of new information, or the tiniest of tweaks - in user interface, responsiveness, outreach - can have big effects. So if you have any suggestions about any part of the EFF, or you're running something that you think the EFF should know about, let me know.

Oh, and become a member! That way you can boss me around with impunity.

Link Read the rest

Photos: Tokyo Anime Fair 2005

Boing Boing reader Tamu of FPS Magazine says:
My co-workers from Toon Boom Animation went to the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF). While there, Steven took these fun photos around TAF 2005 and gave fps permission to put them up on the site. Check out the 3D sculpture of Hayao Miyazaki's (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) Howl's Moving Castle (adapted from the Diana Wynne-Jones book) at the Studio Ghibli booth.
Link to photos by Stephen Chu. Read the rest

Burrito of Mass Destruction

A call about a suspected lethal weapon at a middle school caused police to place armed officers on rooftops, shut off nearby streets, and lock down the school. The culprit: a giant burrito. A suspicious onlooker phoned authorities yesterday after seeing a boy carry something long and foil-wrapped into Marshall Junior High.
Two hours later, drama ended when item was identified as a 30-inch burrito filled with steak, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, and jalapenos, wrapped inside tin foil and a white T-shirt.
Link (thanks, caines) Read the rest

The President sings "Imagine" and "A Walk On The Wild Side"

Someone remixed a bunch of President Bush speeches and rearranged his words so that it sounds like he's singing "Imagine" and "A Walk On The Wild Side." Link (More funny remixes here) (via WFMU's Beware of the Blog)

UPDATE: Jon Wiley points out that this song is part of an entire album called The Party Party. Download it here. Read the rest

Photograph gallery of abandoned buildings in Japan

This Japanese language site has lots of interior and exterior photos of abandoned buildings in Japan. Link (via i like) Read the rest

Excellent found photos and ephemera at One Man Safari

It's always a treat to visit the One Man Safari blog and see what the mysterious "one man" has on display -- old home photos, bizarre movie stills, postcards, album cover art, product wrappers, etc. Where does he get all this stuff? Link Read the rest

How do digital music sellers know what religion you are?

Following up on this post about reports of digital music vendors reselling customer data to marketers, many BB readers including Robert asked:
What I want to know is how in the hell can they know your religion ( "The "datacard" says that the company has race, age, gender, religion, and income information on the subscribers." ) when you buy an iPod or use eMusic?
First, Robert, mind your language. Faith-based downloading initiatives frown on indiscriminate use of the word "hell." I don't know the answer to your question, but maybe better-informed readers do -- or perhaps a representative of the data resellers in question would like to reply?

Perhaps the "religion" tag results from probability analysis based on song purchases. My beloved iPod contains music I've bought from iTunes, eMusic, and other sources. Among the many files stored: Hell (James Brown), Don't Fear the Reaper (BOC), Gwine Dig a Hole to Put the Devil In (Leadbelly), Devil's Pickney (Sugar Minott), and Sympathy for the Devil (Ozzy). If my hypothesis is proven correct, you'd find my customer data in the "Consort of Satan" column, which would explain all of the "L:@@K! Sell your s0ul for C*h*e*ap* beachfr0nt purgat0ry T1M3sh4res!!!" spams I've been getting lately.

Boing Boing reader Greg was upset about the possibility that his customer data might be resold, and he tells us:

When I cancelled my [eMusic] account and asked them to remove my information from their servers, I got the following:

"Hello: Thank you for contacting eMusic Customer Support.

Read the rest

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