Bloggers who attended a "smile mob" in Minsk, Belarus, were arrested for coming to the central square and smiling at each other. Some face months in prison.
Belarus is an ailing former Soviet state (see previous post about electoral rigging by its corrupt dictator), and it's where my paternal grandfather's family comes from. All my life, it was a kind of romantic place of my origin, but all the news I ever hear from there is like this -- police-state tactics that make the Soviet era sound like a paragon of liberty. Sad.
Blogger [info]anei_aka_kirian writes (in Russian) about Sunday's "Smile" flash mob. It was very simple - people were to come to central square and wander around smiling. Information was spreaded in usual way. There were nearly one hundred of riot policemen near the square waiting for the mobbers. And... anei_aka_kirian visited the square with his girlfriend, both smiling. Policemen advanced to them, checked the passports, and then brutally took him to the bus, leaving his girlfriend behind. In the bus he was searched and his small knife was found. He had the official note of Ministry of Internal Affairs confirming that this knife couldn't be considered as a weapon, and it was wrapped. Nonetheless, policemen considered the guy to be one of the organizers of this flash mob and brought him to local police department. There criminal case was opened, and anei_aka_kirian could be punished with 3 months in prison or more for illegal storing of cold steel, despite that official certificate.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]