Boing Boing 

Jenn Shreve, not a "real" journalist?

Former BB guestblogger Jenn Shreve, a former editor at Salon and a longtime contributor to Wired, Slate, and many other publications, is not a "real" journalist. At least that's what she says the USC Annenberg School for Communication implied when she inquired about a media fellowship. From the f blog:
I was preparing my application for a USC Annenberg School for Communication media fellowship, which paid tuition for a weekend seminar on "Covering Entertainment in the Digital Age." I noticed that the application required a lot of information to come from my "supervisor," so I called them up to ask how I as a freelancer should handle this. I'd already obtained a letter of recommendation from my editor of six years at Photo District News, for whom I've written dozens of features about how digital technology was transforming the visual arts. Several years ago when I was awarded two media fellowships from CASE, including one on art and technology, they were extremely accommodating, so I was not prepared to hear that while USC would accept applications from people like me, I might as well not bother because they really couldn't prove I was a "real journalist." When I listed all the publications I've written for over the years, they said it didn't matter. If I didn't work in a newsroom, I apparently wasn't a real journalist in their book.

Postcard confessional

 Images  Img 296 2612 1024 Igot PostSecret is a mail art project where you're invited to send in an anonymous postcard with a "secret" written on it. The submissions are then shared on a blog. This is even more engaging than the old classic Not Proud! After just four months, the organizers have posted lots of heavy, funny, creepy, interesting, and real secrets. Directions to contribute are in the 1/1/2005 post.
Link (via the f blog)

Car smashes into second floor of house

Last night, a car flew from the street into the top floor of a house in Basingstoke, Hants, England and dropped back to the ground. The driver and passenger were seriously injured but are in stable condition. Police say the car hit a curb and "launched through the air."
 Media Images 41086000 Jpg  41086775 Carinhouse203Joyce Harman told BBC News how she and her husband Joe were woken by the crash.

"It was just horrendous," she said.

"My husband thought the dog had knocked something over downstairs but as he got to the bedroom door he could see the hole in the wall and all the furniture moved.

"That's when we came downstairs and saw the car there."

EPIC asks: which digital music service is selling your data? (UPDATED)

Update at end of post.

Boing Boing reader Chris Hoofnagle of EPIC says:

As part of my work at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, I scan direct marketing publications to see how companies are selling your personal information. This data sale appeared today in Direct Marketing News. It proposes to sell the personal information of those who subscribe to "an online digital music community...These consumers pay anywhere from $9.00 to $19.99 a month to gain access to a diverse catalog of over 500,000 music downloads in a variety of genres from top independent labels." The "datacard" says that the company has race, age, gender, religion, and income information on the subscribers. I'm wondering what music subscription site is selling their members' data! Would anyone at the in the Boing Boing community know what company it is?

BB reader thegrubbykid was the first to say:

I did a google search for "500,000 music downloads $19.99" and came up with a cnet review of eMusic. [3] Relevant quotes which match the data sale info are:

users are still rewarded with unlimited playing, burning, and transferring of files provided in the nearly universally supported MP3 format.
You must subscribe to one of three plans: choose 40 downloads for $9.99, 65 downloads for $14.99, or 90 downloads for $19.99. Though eMusic's per-song price works out to be a comparatively cheap 22 to 25 cents, those who prefer the freedom of a la carte downloading (and more mainstream music) are better off with open-handed stores such as iTunes and Wal-Mart Music Downloads.
eMusic carried 500,000 high-quality MP3 files from 1,200 independent music labels, many of which cannot be found at competing online music stores

This is pretty circumstantial, but this could be a healthy lead. Use the google query "500,000 music downloads $19.99 $9.99" and all you get are eMusic links/reviews and spam links.

Many other BB readers wrote in with exactly the same conclusion. Reader Patita points us to this ToS excerpt from the eMusic site:
Our Disclosure of Your Information
We may make your information available to others:

[a few bullets down:] Who are trusted third parties (e.g., promotional partners and advertisers) so that they can promote their products and services and those of their affiliates and partners based on your preferences and interests. You may "opt out" of such disclosure(s) to the extent they include your personally identifiable information by sending an email at any time to indicating your intent to do so. If you consent to share your personally identifiable information with such trusted third parties, their use of such information is subject to their own privacy policies;


Update: Et tu, iPod? Chris Hoofnagle points us to this listing: iPod Generation List Service Direct Inc.

New List
Description: This file contains individuals who have purchased an iPod MP3 player. Selects: more than 2.1 million total file, 3-month hotline, geography, income, age, gender, marital status, mail order buyer, magazine subscriber, computer owner, donor, ethnicity, religion, book buyer, credit card holder, homeowner, length of residence and age of child present
Contact: your list broker or List Service Direct Inc., 2 Christie Heights Street, Leonia, NJ 07605
Phone: 201/585-1447;
Fax: 201/585-1732

Thread continued here, with denial of data reselling by eMusic.

Baby, you are, like, so kawaii

Anime-inspired cosmetics for creating a "supercute" look. If there was ever a good reason for a reality makeover show, this is it. I'm imagining four gender-ambiguous cosplay co-hosts ambushing an unsuspecting woman on the street -- "Congratulations! You're getting a Sailor Moon makeover!" I'd totally volunteer for that shit -- always wondered what it would be like to wander around with giant black inkblobs where my irises used to be. Snipped from Style:
Japanese brands like Shu Uemura, plus such trendy Americans as Stila and Goldie, are jumping aboard the sweet-seeking trend to produce Sailor Moon-ish products and accoutrements–from cleansers in adorable packaging to cosmetics with cartoon-inspired pigments to ice-cream-flavor lip gloss. With black contact lenses, now turning Tokyo teens into walking manga characters, poised to hit the States, artists, manufacturers, and style makers show no signs of coming down from their collective sugar high.
Link (Thanks, Susannah).

Reader comment: Ian Irving adds,

To aid you in your anime dreams, the current (May) issue of Wired Magazine has a brief piece on new contact lenses to give you that gigantic monochromatic pupil look -- under the PLAY| japanese schoolgirl watch section, of course. Link

Mystery ship likely monitoring Titan launch

As several BB readers speculated, the mystery ship, named The Sage, in Portland Harbor (previous post) is apparently in the area to track a giant Titan rocket scheduled for launch tonight. (Link for live coverage.) The Titan will deliver a military satellite into orbit. Neither the Air Force or Lockheed Martin, contractor for the Titan, will confirm or deny that the Sage is monitoring the launch, but all signs point to yes. From the Portland Press Herlad:
 Images  Images  Photos 050423DomeshipThe offshore supply ship is equipped with an antenna to monitor boosters during launches, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, which made the Titan's two boosters. The defense contractor is leasing the Sage...

Roger Guillemette, a correspondent for the Cape Canaveral bureau of, a Web site that covers space-related news, said he has no doubt about the vessel's mission.

"It's there to track the Titan for the Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office," he said.

Brown said the Sage's departure Wednesday has confirmed that it is here to track the Titan. He said NASA is not preparing any other launches in the near future for this flight path.
Link (Thanks, Loren Coleman!)

web zen: generator zen

prior art
text blocks
the surrealist link
dionne warwick's cosmic peephole
they fight crime
vin diesel facts

web zen home, web zen store, (Thanks, Frank).

Girl Scouts sue non-paying customers

Girl Scouts from Waukesha, Wisconsin are filing lawsuits in small claims court against customers who didn't pay for cookies they ordered. From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Christine Slowinski, communications director for council, said the lawsuits, which this year concern amounts ranging from $301.42 to $1,485.68 for 2003 and 2004 orders, are an unfortunate annual undertaking...

Slowinski said the delinquents each year are a mix of parents who owe money for their daughters' cookies and people who pay for cookies with rubber checks.
Link (Thanks, Carlo Longino!)

Jailtime for Chong's Bongs lead to dispute over Marijuana-logues

Brian Braiker of Newsweek says,
You may know Tommy Chong is just out of jail for selling bongs online (not drugs, mind you, glass water pipes). Now he says he's been forced by the terms of his parole to quit a stage production called "The Marijuana-Logues." Uncomfortable with rejoining the cast even after his parole is over in July, Chong is now being sued by the show's producers for breach of contract. Dude can't catch a break, man!

Life-size X-Wing fighter for sale

This life-size X-Wing fighter (built as an authorized promo by a Lucasfilm contractor) is on eBay, bidding starting at $40K Link (via Wonderland)

7m-high electrical garbage statue made from one Briton's lifetime's waste

The Weee Man is a 7m-high, 3.3-tonne sculptural humaniod gracing London's South Bank, made entirely from waste electrical and electronic products (hence "weee"). The 3.3 tonne weight represents the total mass of WEEE that the average Briton junks in her or his lifetime, so it's not just pretty and awesome: it's also thought-provoking. Link

Designer prefab houses coming to Germany

German housing is built to be "fortress-like" -- which is expensive, slow and enviromentally wasteful The solution may be prefab housing, which is efficient and fast to throw up. But Germans hate prefab. Now various German housing outfits have commissioned star architects to procduct designer "off the rack" prefab houses that are really lovely in the hopes that it will eliminate the prefab stigma. Link (via A Whole Lotta Nothing)

Blind woman who sees with sound

CBC radio's Quirks and Quarks science show has a fascinating piece on a woman who uses a technology called vOICe to replace the vision she lost when her eyes were damaged in an industrial accident. vOICe uses stereo cameras in a pair of cycling goggles to convert visual data into audio signals played through headphones, producing a lo-res version of her visual surroundings. One of the more fascinating elements of the program is the stuff on brain-function, and the new theories being engendered by this about the way that what we think of as the "visual cortex" is actually a general-purpose tool for processing sensory data about one's surroundings regardless of whether or not it arrives visuallly. Link (Thanks, Darren!)

Time-management for anarchists from a productive anarcho-geek

My pal Jim Munroe is the most productive anarchist I know: he writes (great) sf novels, organizes a punk-rock multi-city Vaudeville circuit, makes entertaining text adventures, shoots videos and so forth. He's produced a slide show that exposes the secrets of his success, called "Time Management for Anarchists."

Time Management for Anarchists (starring Emma Goldman and Mikhail Bakunin, no less) is a great Getting-Things-Done-style tutorial on how to throw off the yoke of your day job and still remain productive without a labor-alienating boss cracking the whip over you. Jim built it in Flash to accompany a talk he gives, so it runs a little slow without his patter overtop of it. But it's CC-licensed so you can give it a hurry-up if you are so moved. Link (Thanks, Gavin!)

How to: 5-foot-tall painting of a light bulb

 Static Images Articles Bulbpainting My new favorite blog is Steve Lodefink's Finkbuilt. Steve makes some of the neatest stuff I've seen. Like this 5-foot-tall painting of a light bulb. He explains how he does it, making it sound easy. And he says he's not a "real artist." Right.

Tell US govt not to steal tax-funded weather from the public

Donna sez, "EFF has a brand-new action alert that lets people tell Senator Rick Santorum -- yes, that Santorum -- what to do with a new bill that represents the worst kind of stupid IP policy-making:"
The National Weather Services Duties Act (S.786) would ban NWS from "competing" with private entities by making it unlawful for the agency to publish user-friendly weather data and barring NWS experts from speaking one-on-one to news agencies. Why? Because Senator Santorum believes that companies like AccuWeather would make more money if they didn't have to compete with "free." That's right - he believes you should pay twice for your weather information in order to line the pockets of the private weather industry, which *already* benefits from repackaging the data that tax-funded agencies like NWS give away. That's not only unfair, it's a bad precedent for our national information resources.
Link (Thanks, Donna!)

Update: Patrick sez, "One of the pay weather services that would benefit from this bill just happens to be a contributor to Senator Santorum, located in State College, PA."

How NYC cabbies kill time at the airport

Beautiful gallery of NYC cabbies amusing themselves waiting in the queue at an airport: playing soccer, playing cards, praying toward Mecca, etc. Invasive NYT Reg-Req'd Link (Bugmenot for NYT) (via Kottke)