Halloween li'l baby squid costume

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Vomit Barrel -- Halloween prop

Anybody willing to spend $2,750 on an animatronic robot zombie puking into a barrel deserves this. Enjoy the video. Link (Thanks, Spluch!) Read the rest

China official: What 'net censorship? What jailed journalists?

Speaking today at a United Nations internet summit in Athens, a Chinese government official claimed that the PRC does not practice any form of internet censorship.
[Yang Xiaoqun]: I don't think we should be using different standards to judge China. In China, we don't have software blocking Internet sites. Sometimes we have trouble accessing them. But that's a different problem. I know that some colleagues listen to the BBC in their offices from the Webcast. And I've heard people say that the BBC is not available in China or that it's blocked. I'm sure I don't know why people say this kind of thing. We do not have restrictions at all.

Nick Gowing, BBC anchor and session moderator: Would you like to elaborate on that?

[Yang Xiaoqun]: How can I elaborate on it if we don't have any restrictions?

Some people say that there are journalists in China that have been arrested. We have hundreds of journalists in China, and some of them have legal problems. It has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

Link to article by Declan McCullagh at CNET (thanks, Jim)

Reader comment: Dave says,

The Chinese official not named in the CNET article is Yang Xiaoqun. He is "First Secretary, Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva" according to ICANN wiki.
John Cashman says,
I live in Shanghai. I have never been able to access a BBC website in the 11 months I've been here. Until last month, wikipedia was completely blocked.
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Aronofsky's "The Fountain", and outer space sans CGI

Steve Silberman has an article in the November issue of Wired Magazine on the challenges faced by director Darren Aronofsky ("Pi," "Requiem for a Dream") in creating "The Fountain," his latest science fiction feature which opens in the US on November 22. Steve tells BoingBoing,

One of Aronofsky's primary ambitions was to create outer-space environments without using CGI, and he succeeded brilliantly with the help of a microphotographer in England named Peter Parks who lives in a 400-year-old cowshed and created luminous, Blake-like visions of exploding nebulae for "The Fountain" using curry powder, baby oil, shrimp larvae, and other wacky substances, magnifying them with a device called the microzoom optical bench that employs both Victorian prisms and state-of-the-art digital cameras. (The Parks stuff is near the end of my article).
Link Read the rest

Omakaseween: Cylons, pumpkins, phantoms of lost liberties.

* Link to Battlestar Galactica-themed greenhorncomic.com funny.

* The Mac-o-Lantern: Link.

* Scare the bejeezus out of people, and dress up as the Patriot Act: Link.

* This pumpkin carves itself: Link

* HOWTO cook a realistic, bloody brain: Link. No advice for HOWTO eat it.

* Marshmallow mummy and monster cupcakes: Link

* Suicide Girls comix-themed Halloween photoset (for adults only): Link

* For one day, today, this child has transformed into a fearsome samurai: Link.

* Zombie Clown Haikus:

Split them wide open Entrails look like sausages Go get the ShopVac

* Stop sending me links to goatse jackolanterns. Stop. All of you. Because I won't post them, I say, not one single link. No. So played out.

(Thanks, Sean Kennedy, Steve, Scott Fuller, Damon, Jesse Thorn, Alec Muffett, Matthew Harris, Helen @ SuicideGirls)

Previous Omakase linkdumps: - Omakase linkdump: Trick or 1337 - Dem belly full - I wanna tear you apart - Sexy taco, space gun, deli flesh. - Arabic smokes, Norway bimbo, Danish BB ringtone - Post-holiday bluesnixer roundup Read the rest

MySpace will block uploads of copyrighted music

MySpace.com announces it will attempt to prevent uploads of unauthorized, copyrighted songs by using database and monitoring technology from Gracenote:
The move comes amid pressure from major studios and record labels against popular online sites like MySpace and YouTube, which they accuse of infringing the copyrights of their artists' music and videos.

MySpace, one of the most popular sites on the internet, licensed technology from privately-held Gracenote allowing it to review music recordings uploaded by community members to their profiles.

The technology compares those filed with Gracenote's database of copyrighted material and can block uploads without proper rights. Terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

Link (Reuters), Link (BBC) (Thanks, Lisbeth, Phil)

Reader comment: Aaron Newton says,

So, what if you're the owner of the copyrighted work? I built/launched Download.com Music which is host to thousands of mp3s from indie and labels alike. When we spot a file that looks like a pirated file, we contact the uploader and seek credentials, but we can't always spot everything. The DMCA protects us in the event that a user uploads something illegally (not that I'm stumping for that terrible piece of legislation). If Myspace blocked every upload based on the gracenote db, how would all the bands that happen to be in there upload their own music? It's moves like this, which aren't necessary due to the way the DMCA works, that makes sites like this less socially relevant. MySpace is a haven for bands because it gives them these tools and doesn't make them really work hard to get their stuff online.
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George "macaca" Allen's staff beats up blogger at campaign rally

Wonkette reports that blogger Mike Stark (of dailykos.com) was physically attacked by people presumed to be staffers for Sen. George Allen (R-VA) during a campaign rally today, after the blogger asked Allen, "why did you spit on your first wife." Link, includes video. Stark has written a letter about the incident, and why he asked that question, here. (Thanks, Craig)

Reader comment: Unholy Moses sez

Mike Stark may crosspost at DailyKos, but he is better known for running the Web site "Calling All Wingnuts" (callingallwingnuts.com), where he chronicles his attempts to call into right-wing radio shows and take the host(s) to task. Oh, and he'll be filing a lawsuit, per his letter to the Richmond Times Dispatch: Link.
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NPR "Xeni Tech": update on FBI raids fake boarding pass website

It was a dark and stormy night, when agents pounded on the door of Christopher Soghoian's apartment and shouted, "boo!"

OK, it's not a Halloween story at all. But for today's edition of the NPR News program "Day to Day," I spoke with host Alex Chadwick about the recent online controversy surrounding the "The Northwest Airlines Boarding Pass Generator" (cache link) website, and the late-night federal raid that followed. For the segment, I spoke with:

* the office of Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), who called for Soghoian to be apprehended, and the website killed -- then changed his mind * Bruce Schneier, author of "Beyond Fear" and computer security researcher who first wrote about the airline security flaw in 2003 * Avi Rubin, author of "Brave New Ballot" and Johns Hopkins professor for whom Soghoian briefly served as teaching assistant * FBI Special Agent Wendy Osborne, who explains where the investigation is now, and whether charges will be filed.
Link to archived audio.

PREVIOUSLY: * Ceci n'est pas un fake boarding pass (10-29-06) * Congressman on Boarding Pass Generator guy: Uh... oops? (10-29-06) * Fake Boarding Pass Generator guy and FBI: what about the law? (10-28-06) * FBI returns to "Fake Boarding Pass" guy's home, seizes computers (10-28-06) * Fake boarding pass guy reports he was visited by FBI (10-27-06) * Congressman wants fake boarding pass guy arrested (10-27-06) * Website generates fake boarding passes (10-26-06) * Slate's Andy Bowers on airline security loopholes (02-07-05)

ELSEWHERE TODAY: There's a good roundup of the latest on this story at Wired News here. Read the rest

Wired acquires social news aggregator Reddit

Story here: Link.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Reddit, which has four full-time employees, will move from Boston to Wired Digital's headquarters in San Francisco. It will operate under the Wired Digital umbrella along with Wired News, the daily technology news publication.

(...) "We're thrilled to become a home for this young company that has grown to more than 1 million unique users a month by building such an open and democratic community for the social filtering of news," said Kourosh Karimkhany, general manager of Wired Digital. "Our goal will be to build Reddit as an independent company by collaborating with Wired through the integration of its core technology, and by offering partnerships to allow others to do the same."

(Thanks / congrats, Kourosh Karimkhany!)

Reader comment: Frank Hicinbothem says,

I saw your entry on BoingBoing about Wired acquiring Reddit. While I'm happy for them and all, it's not all good. As of the news this morning, they've seen fit to pull the plug on their most excellent NSFW aggregator: nsfw.reddit.com. That's a bummer, because it was a nice, low key aggregator for adult topics, in a world where such things are hard to find. Oh well, c'est la vie.
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Fantagraphics bookstore in Seattle

My favorite book publisher, Fantagraphics, opened its first bookstore on October 21. I'm going to check it out when I attend my art opening at Roq La Rue on November 10.
The store will contain everything Fantagraphics has in print (as well as Eros Comix), and will also house our soon-to-be-legendary DAMAGED ROOM, featuring heavily discounted and often out-of-print books unavailable anywhere else.

The space also has room for art exhibitions, which we'll have more news about very soon.

Be sure to check out FLOG!: The Fantagraphics Blog for more information, including pictures. And then stay tuned for a lot of great shows and events to come in 2007. In other words, start making your Seattle vacation plans NOW, and if you have friends in Seattle that might be interested, please pass on the news. Here's the 911: FANTAGRAPHIC BOOKS 1201 South Vale Street Seattle, WA 98108 Mon. - Sat 11:30 - 8 Sun 11:30 - 5 206-658-0110

Link Read the rest

Halloween cover from 1958 Saturday Evening Post

This is the best Halloween-themed illustration I've seen this year. It's from a 1958 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Lief Peng's commentary about it on his blog, Today's Inspiration, is wonderful:
When I look at this illustration by John Falter, I'm reminded of the stripped-down environments Charles Schultz used to draw his Peanuts characters into during the early years of his strip: the shoebox houses, inconsequential trees and indoor/outdoor carpet lawns, devoid of landscaping, that represented 50's suburbia. Here Falter presents us with a more fully realized version of Charlie Brown's world.

John Falter(1910-1982) has never been one of the illustrators of the 50's that I really get worked up about. But here he has captured a quality of typical childhood experience that is so astute and understated that it is spectacular in its mundanity.

Link Read the rest

Jack Black Tenacious D video directed by John K

My favorite animator, John Kricfalusi, directed an animated video for Jack Black's band, Tenacious D. It's for grown-ups only, and is definitely not safe for work. Link | Pencil test and screen shots here Read the rest

Lights and Shadows of New York Life -- neat old book

Thank goodness Mickey Mouse wasn't created in 1872. For if he had, Congress would have certainly passed a law preventing all creative works from that year forward from entering the public domain.

And that would be a shame, because then fewer people would be able to read "Lights and Shadows of New York Life, or, the Sights and Sensations of the Great City," by James D. McCabe, Jr.

Fortunately, books published in 1872 are in the public domain, so you can download this fantastic book about life in New York in the late 19th century for free from Project Gutenberg or Manybooks.net.

This is the world of Scorsese's Gangs of New York, one of my favorite movies. The table of contents include intriguing chapters, such as:


From the section on Street Children:

In spite of the labors of the Missions and the Reformatory Institutions, there are ten thousand children living on the streets of New York, gaining their bread by blacking boots, by selling newspapers, watches, pins, etc., and by stealing.

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Time-lapse drawing of a wasp

It's fun watching this time-lapse video of JW drawing a wasp. Link Read the rest

Moscow film from 1908

Here's a seven-minute movie of Moscow filmed on a snowy, windy day in 1908. Brrr. Link Read the rest

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