Zombies sue Minneapolis for bogus WMD bust

Minneapoliteans who dressed up as zombies and were busted for "simulating weapons of mass destruction" because their costumes had wires sticking out them are suing the city for being freaking idiots:
A group of zombies have risen up to claim the city of Minneapolis and Hennepin County violated their free rights and discriminated against them.

The six adults and one juvenile who were arrested while impersonating the undead in July filed their lawsuit Thursday.

The ragged group were arrested for "simulating weapons of mass destruction" during a dance party near the Minneapolis entertainment district.

Link (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Boing Boing in Toothpaste for Dinner

Hurrah! Toothpaste for Dinner, one of my favorite web-funnies, gave Boing Boing a namecheck in a new toon! Link (Thanks, Coleman!)

See also: Toothpaste for Dinner -- high-larious new book from Drew Funny toons Mad Drew: new Toothpaste for Dinner book Read the rest

Make Magazine Issue #8 Launch Party in LA this Saturday

If you live in LA, I hope I see you at the Make Magazine Issue #8 Launch Party on Saturday at 5:30pm.
Please join us Saturday Dec 2nd at 5:30pm for a very special meeting of Dorkbot SoCal to launch the new issue of MAKE magazine.

Simon Penny (Director of UCI's Arts Computation Engineering program) will speak on integrating interaction design, space design, structure design, mechanical design, electronic design and software engineering using his 3D machine-vision driven interactive digital-video project Fugitive 2 as a case study. Attention will then turn to the pragmatic design and fabrication issues involved in building a custom motion control rig for the video projector in the project. Simon is bringing in a prototype of the motion control rig as tangible example.

Mr Jalopy (Contributing Editor to MAKE and automotive mad scientist) will be giving an epic (yet fast paced) talk on "Deep Sea Suburbs: Custom Vans, Internal Combustion Engines, Backyard Anthropology and the California Dream".

Make magazine issue #8 will be available for perusal and purchase

There is a high probability of free beer and pretzels

Machine Project 1200 D North Alvarado Street Los Angeles, CA 90026 213-483-8761

Link Read the rest

OLPC laptop runs DOOM

Wayan sez, "The $100 laptop is now shipping to Brazil and Argentina, and the OLPC developers are taking a fun break. They installed DOOM and have a video of themselves playing it on the OLPC XO!" Link (Thanks, Wayan!) Read the rest

RIAA sues elderly Rita survivor

The RIAA lawsuits have reached a new low:
An elderly survivor of Hurricane Rita, Ms. Rhonda Crain, has been sued by the RIAA in Beaumont, Texas, in SONY v. Crain.

She is fighting back and has asserted a counterclaim against the plaintiffs, saying that the RIAA's actions "amount to extortion, reciting a litany of other similar cases brought by the RIAA.

Link Read the rest

US Trade Representative fucks Russia over on copyright

The US Trade Representative has declared victory over Russia. Russia will be required to license CD/DVD pressing plants and inspect them day and night -- the US, spreading democracy by requiring licensing of the presses! Russia will also have to shut down AllofMP3.com and stop its collecting societies from representing artists without permission (of course, this doesn't mean that US quasi-governmental collecting societies like SoundExchange will stop doing the same thing).

You might ask why collecting societies are in there at all. That's because AllOfMP3.com claimed that they were paying licenses to a collecting society that made their business legal. Putting this last clause in the agreement sounds like the US Trade Rep is admitting that AllOfMP3.com is a legitimate, licensed business that pays for what it sells.

Russia has to take on board the WIPO Copyright Treaty, which is the treaty that created the US DMCA, a law that has resulted in the jailing of a Russian researcher who visited the USA for talking about math.

* The United States and Russia agreed on the objective of shutting down websites that permit illegal distribution of music and other copyright works. The agreement names the Russia-based website allofmp3.com as an example of such a website.

* Russia will: - take enforcement actions against the operation of Russia-based websites; and - investigate and prosecute companies that illegally distribute copyright works on the Internet.

* Russia will work to enact legislation by June 1, 2007, to stop collecting societies from acting without right holder consent,

* Russia will also work to enact legislation implementing the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Internet treaties.

Read the rest

HOWTO Knit retro computing socks

Check out these retro-computing knitting patterns for socks. I love the Breakout socks! Link (via Make) Read the rest

Gingrich wants first amendment abolished

Newt Gingrich has called for America to tear up the Constitution and throw out the first amendment, because free speech helps terrorism. Didn't this guy take an oath to uphold the Constitution? This is a new low, even for Gingrich.
Gingrich, speaking at a Manchester awards banquet, said a "different set of rules" may be needed to reduce terrorists' ability to use the Internet and free speech to recruit and get out their message.
Link (via /.) Read the rest

Iraqi children run desperately for water bottle held by soldier

Video of a US soldier amusing himself by holding a bottle of water from the back of a truck while young Iraqi children run desperately for it. Link (Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog)

Reader comment:

GarrettThank sent a link to this video of US soldiers using their tank to crush a car owned by some impoverished Iraqi citizens who allegedly stole some wood in a greedy attempt to feed their families. I'm sure the vast majority of US soldiers are excellent people, but these assholes ruin all the good will. He says:

Compared to the GIs in WWII who carried extra chocolate rations to make friends with the locals these soldiers look like punks. Link
(Here's a video of a nice soldier playing soccer with some Iraqi kids. I hope to see more like this one to get rid of the sick feeling in my gut from watching the first two. Link -- Mark)

Reader comment:

David Cassel says:

Speaking of Iraq footage, here's a really cool link. Footage from Iraq shows how YouTube is giving a much better view of the reality in Iraq than the traditional news media.

Combat attacks are seen - from both sides - and towards the bottom there's some surprising hot Iraqi "action" of another sort.

Read the rest

UK artists instinctively choose Creative Commons

Matt sez, "Some interesting titbits in a UK report by Openbusiness.cc and the Arts Council of England on artists utilising Creative Commons licensing in the UK, and their thoughts on copyright. I think it's interesting artists seem to be using CC licenses on instinct, even if many haven't thought through how that can really apply or feed through into their work, other than through network effects related to distribution."
Often the artists that are using CC have chosen to do so almost on instinct. They believe strongly that traditional copyright has not succeeded in providing the promised financial incentives and protection for artists themselves and see CC as a way of limiting negative effects without completely losing control over their work.
Link (Thanks, Matt) Read the rest

Harvey comic book covers from the 60s

"A Sampler of Things" presents a small gallery of Harvey comic book covers from the 1960s. The composition and colors are wonderful. I especially like this one, which takes place in a windstorm. The dots are blowing off Little Dot's dress and hitting Little Lotta, covering her eyes and mouth. Nightmarish. Link Read the rest

Homeland security buffoons blow up data logging device

Over at "Notes from the Technology Underground," Bill Gurstelle writes about a university geoscience researcher who accidentally left a temperature logging device in the trunk of her rental car when she dropped it off at the rental agency. When she and her husband arrived at the airport gate, "five uniformed airport police with flak jackets and guns" were waiting to interrogate her. But they employed a "blow up first, ask questions later approach," because the equipment had been destroyed by Bloomington Police Department bomb squad before giving her a chance to explain.

And for good measure, authorities closed portions of the Twin Cities Lindbergh terminal parking ramp for two hours.

Why in the world would the police destroy the equipment so quickly? Here's a picture I found of the "suspicious looking equipment."

Remember, this thing was in the trunk of an Avis rental car, about a half mile from the nearest runway, not on the tarmac or in the terminal.

Yes airline security is important, but all this paranoia, and rote following of draconian procedures means no flexibility, no common sense, and second chances. Looks like another win for the real terrorists.

Link Read the rest

Gallery of monster toys

The Gallery of Monster Toys is a stupendous collection of kids' monster stuff from the 60s to the 90s. I actually had one of these glow-in-the-dark Mummy models -- though mine never looked half so good as this. Link (via Neatorama) Read the rest

Using tape to repair plane wing -- video

Moustache writes about the time he saw some men repair a plane he was sitting in with some kind of tape.
I dug up this video I shot back in December ‘04 when I was aboard an Air Deccan flight from Bangalore to Mumbai. Looked out my window and what did I see, A group of guys repairing the wing with some sort of muthafcukin’ duct tape. There’s some more repairs to the left of the one they are working on with what seems to be the same technique. Crossed my fingers, tossed back a shot of Black Label, and stayed on the flight.
Link (Thanks, Phil!) Read the rest

EFF accepts Barney's surrender

EFF has won a settlement out of the corporate owners of Barney the Purple Dinosaur -- a pack of legal bullies who use copyright law to threaten people who make fun of their character on the Internet:
The agreement settles a suit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in August on behalf of Dr. Stuart Frankel against Lyons Partnership, owners of the Barney character. Frankel received repeated, meritless cease-and-desist letters from Lyons, claiming his online parody violated copyright and trademark law. EFF's suit asked the court to declare that Frankel's parody was a noninfringing fair use protected by the First Amendment.

"We wish we hadn't had to file a lawsuit to finally get Barney's lawyers to stop harassing a man who was just expressing his opinion about a cultural phenomenon," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Hopefully Lyons Partnership has learned its lesson and will have more respect for fair use in the future."

Link Read the rest

Plank + cheap mic = touch sensitive tablet

Matthew sez, "Some software and cheap microphones is all that is needed to turn a wooden board into a touch sensitive input device. The video is pretty impressive."
Two or more sensors are attached around the edges of the surface. These pinpoint the position of a finger, or another touching object, by tracking minute vibrations. This allows them to create a virtual touchpad, or keyboard, on any table or wall.

The system, called Tai-Chi (Tangible Acoustic Interfaces for Computer-Human Interaction), was developed by researchers from Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France and the UK. "We have made a system that can give any object, even a 3D one, a sense of touch," says Ming Yang, an engineer at Cardiff University, UK, who is coordinating the project.

Link (Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Bruce Lee themepark coming to China

A Bruce Lee themepark is under construction in Shanghai Shunde, which is close to Hong Kong:
...they are also planning a roller coaster that emits Bruce Lee’s signature squawks and grunts! The park will be patrolled by robot-mannequin Bruce Lees! And the whole shebang is controlled by a special secret control room housed in a giant statue! Yes!

The park is slated to be finished in three years and we can pretty much guarantee, without doing any research or talking to anyone, that there’s going to be a hall of mirrors of some kind in this thing.

Link (Thanks, Wei Qin!) Read the rest

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