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Dumbest salvo yet in the war on terror, courtesy of the London police

Today I spotted this sign at a Tesco's grocery store in Islington, London -- it might just be the single stupidest salvo in the war on terror to date, courtesy of the London Metropolitan Police:
Terrorism: If you suspect it, report it

TERRORISTS NEED INFORMATION
Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

TERRORISTS NEED TRANSPORTATION
If you work in vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?

TERRORISTS NEED TO TRAVEL
Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they are going?

TERRORISTS USE COMPUTERS
Do you know someone who visits terrorism-related websites?

TERRORISTS NEED COMMUNICATION
Anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical. Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobiles? Has it made you suspicious?

Translation: god help you if you worry about CCTVs in your neighbourhood, get into an argument at the car-rental agency, don't feel like telling your co-workers that you go off to have regular dialysis treatments, look at websites that the guy next to you in the Internet cafe isn't familiar with, or can't get credit and use pay-as-you-go phones instead. After all, the police here don't even need to charge you with a crime in order to lock you up for 42 days. Absolutely the stupidest salvo in the war on terror to date, Tesco's, Islington, London, UK

Gamer's Bill of Rights

Edge Magazine's Brad Wardell has a great, provocative 10-point Gamer's Bill of Rights that runs the gamut from DRM to quality assurance:
1 Gamers shall have the right to return games that don't work with their computers for a full refund.
2 Gamers shall have the right to demand that games be released in a finished state.
3 Gamers shall have the right to expect meaningful updates after a game's release.
4 Gamers shall have the right to demand that download managers and updaters not force themselves to run or be forced to load in order to play a game.
5 Gamers shall have the right to expect that the minimum requirements for a game will mean that the game will adequately play on that computer.
The Gamer's Bill of Rights (via /.)

William Gibson's playlist

From William Gibson, a playlist of ten musical tracks to get you in a Spook Country mood (sez Bill, "I have always regarded music with lyrics as a species of fiction.")
1) Country Blues, Dock Boggs. On finally learning to hear this music, you literally become some different, more primal manner of flesh. There is simply nothing else like it. It is an Ur-thing, sere and terrible, yet capable of profound and paradoxical rescue in the very darkest hour. Dock Boggs lived in Wise County, Virginia, not far from where I grew up. I am haunted by the possibility that someone could have listened to this recording in Paris, in 1927, the year it was released.

2) Make Me Down a Pallet on Your Floor, Lucinda Williams. A ravishingly young woman (1978) channels all the sexuality, injustice and spirituality of the American Gone World. For Smithsonian Folkways, no less.

3) Decoration Day, Drive-By Truckers. Like early Cormac McCarthy, but with three lead guitars. Hyper-literate narrative song-writing in the service of an act of stingingly efficient shamanistic cultural recall.

Living With Music: A Playlist by William Gibson (via Beyond the Beyond)

Simple way to keep your download folder tidy

From Danny O'Brien, a nice hack for keeping your download folder tidy -- a script that deletes everything that's more than a week old. I'd like one of these to run on my ~/.Trash folder, too.
I've had bad experience with handing "delete file" powers to an automatic script before, so I'll disclaim any warranty ("TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW" as the GPL shouts), but it's pretty straightforward, and works for me: I have it in a cronjob. The tmp folder it cleans up is my default save folder on Firefox, and where I generally download everything. If I want to save anything longer than a week, I find it a place in the rest of my filing system. It's sort of like having a cleaner come around every week: occasionally you go "Garr! Where's that coffee-stained, have torn copy of last month's New Yorker! I was going to eventually get around to reading that!", but mostly your cruft just silently disappears without you noticing a thing.
the most useful simple script i have

1736 thieves' cant dictionary

Here's a scanned and indexed copy of a 1736 guide to thieves' cant, for those times when you want to play stern thief-taker and naughty pickpocket.
AUTEM-CACKLETUB
AUTEM-CACKLETUB, a Conventicle, a Meeting-House for Dissenters.
Canting Dictionary (Thanks, Gabe!)

Singularity Summit: Oct 25, San Jose CA

Tyler sez,
Singularity Summit 2008: Opportunity, Risk, Leadership takes place October 25 at the Montgomery Theater in San Jose, CA, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence announced today. Now in its third year, the Singularity Summit gathers the smartest people around to explore one of the biggest ideas of our time: the Singularity.

Keynotes will include Ray Kurzweil, updating his predictions in The Singularity is Near, and Intel CTO Justin Rattner, who will examine the Singularity's plausibility. At the Intel Developer Forum on August 21, 2008, he spoke about why he thinks the gap between humans and machines will close by 2050. "Rather than look back, we're going to look forward 40 years," said Rattner. "It's in that future where many people think that machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence."

The first Singularity Summit was held at Stanford in 2006 to further understanding and discussion about the Singularity concept and the future of human technological progress. It was founded as a venue for leading thinkers to explore the subject, whether scientist, enthusiast, or skeptic.

The Singularity Summit 2008 (Thanks, Tyler!)

Moon-cake USB sticks


Happy Mid-Autumn Festival -- celebrate in nerd style with one of these moon-cake-shaped USB sticks -- 4GB for $28. USB Mooncake Flash Drive (via Neatorama)

Katrina, three years on: Clayton Cubitt


Photographer Clayton Cubitt updated his "Operation Eden" blog today to mark the third year since Hurricane Katrina. He grew up in and around New Orleans. That's his mom on the far left. Here was his first post on that blog. She lost their (very modest) family home in the storm, as did many thousands of other moms, many thousands of other families. Clayton's mother is doing okay, but in spite of -- not thanks to -- the systems we're supposed to rely on in America, the systems created to help the helpless in greatest time of need. New Orleans -- and all the other poor communities nearby, all hard hit by Katrina -- never mended. Snip from Clayton's post today:

She recently received a creepy pre-recorded phone warning from Governor Haley Barbour telling her to evacuate in the path of Gustav, as if she wasn't planning on it already.

That's her on the left in the above picture. Next to her is her childhood friend Russell. Next to him is her sister, my aunt Lorraine, who's self conscious about her down-turned smile since the stroke, but who I think is just as beautiful and beaming as she's always been. The three of them grew up together first on Piety Street, then on McKain Street, in New Orleans.

Their dads worked together in the junkyard, chopping up cars for scrap using big hand axes. Russell had nineteen brothers and sisters, in a family poorer even than mine. Now he lives in a FEMA trailer on an abandoned lot with two dogs, a bunch of Katrina junk, a statue of the Virgin Mary he hand painted, and an old school bus backed up to a canal cruised by alligators, which he fishes out of for meals.

His sister was murdered in New Orleans last week. The New York Times wrote a piece about the crime in New Orleans, the crime that took Russell's sister.
Three Years On (Operation Eden)

Jared Joslin art exhibit

chanteuse.jpg

We've featured the exquisite work of Jessica Joslin on Boing Boing a few times. It turns out her husband, Jared Joslin, is a terrific artist, too. He has a show currently running in Los Angeles.

Solo Exhibition of paintings by Jared Joslin.
August 14- September 13, 2008.
YARGER/STRAUSS Fine Art
354 N Bedford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA
August 14- September 13, 2008
Jared Joslin -- Shadow of the Silver Moon

Morph's Outpost 15th anniversary

  96Aixoox-Za Slsatwkzfyi Aaaaaaaadhu L32Mtkaqxlm S1600 Mo.Aug93 In the early 1990s cyberculture, Morph's Outpost on the Digital Frontier was a hip multimedia technical magazine inspired in design (and consciousness) by 60s underground newspapers. This month is the 15th anniversary of the first issue. To celebrate, co-founders Jody Radzik (Art Director), Doug Millison (Editor), and Dave Pola (Ad Developer), have made the magazine's signature comic strip, Morph's Outpost On The Digital Frontier, by Fred "Sundance" Gromadski, available online. Millison has also launched an online Morph's retrospective. Dig that logo treatment by Kai "Power Tools" Krause!
Morph's Outpost comic, Morph's Outpost site (Thanks, Jody Radzik!)

Serialization of The Deal, Chapter 13

deal-cover.jpgMy friend Joe Hutsko contacted with the intriguing offer to serialize his novel, The Deal, on Boing Boing. I jumped at the chance. I read The Deal when it first came out in 1999 and loved the thrilling story about a Apple-like company's undertaking to create an iPhone-like device.

Here's a link to Chapter 13 as a PDF or a text file. (Here's chapter 1 and an introduction to the book, and here are the previous chapters)

To buy a paperback copy of the book, visit JOEyGADGET or purchase directly from Amazon.

Best of BBtv - Bill Barminski (animation and short films)


The Boing Boing tv crew continues their hard-earned snooze in the sands of a swingers' resort on the south shore of Mars today, but we're revisiting the best of the show while we slack off in outer space. (Robot! Bring me another red Rover martini.)

Today, we feature the work of animator, filmmaker, and music video director Bill Barminski, a longtime Boing Boing fave.

Above, "Drive in," a soothing ambient work I like to watch before bedtime.

Another beloved Barminksi joint is below, S.E.X.Y. R.O.B.O.T.: Pinker Tones music video by Walter Robot.

Here's a link to all of the BBtv episodes which have featured Barminski's work.

My favorite appears in the second half of this BBtv episode: the "Fuji Apple" animated short from Barminski's production team Walter Robot, with music by Boards of Canada (song: Roygbiv, from "Music has the Right to Children.") I could just watch that over and over again, and I often do.

Web Zen: Tourist


vintage trailering
giant lava lamp
luna parc
kate's lazy meadow
arizona state fair
roadside signs
weird america
dasparkhotel
their circular life
passing by
souvenirs

previously on web zen:
travelling zen

Permalink for this edition. Web Zen is created and curated by Frank Davis, and re-posted here on Boing Boing with his kind permission. Web Zen Home and Archives, Store (Thanks Frank!)

Katrina, 3 years later: Banksy throughout New Orleans.


Jonno D'Addario says:

Over the past few days, Banksy street pieces have been appearing around New Orleans. This one is in my neighborhood, and the timing seems to coincide with the third anniversary of you-know-what this week.

Someone else took a photo of this one in the Uptown neighborhood of New Orleans. It references a local (in)famous anti-graffiti crusader named Fred Radtke, aka "The Grey Ghost", whose one man mission to eradicate street art and tagging in NO involves painting ugly grey squares over everything. (Lots more on him via Google)

More photos from Flickr user anthonyturducken, still more here from Jonno's Flickr stream, and a gallery on Sky.com.


Chinese political cartoon art, 1958-60.


Ethan Persoff of Comics with Problems shares this collection of Chinese political comics from 1958-60. The images address perceived exploitation and human rights offenses committed by the United States. Above, an "illustrated man" with tattoos of A-bombs and H-bombs all over his back.