Awesome CSS IS AWESOME mug

The CSS IS AWESOME mug is awesome -- until it makes you snarf coffee out your nostrils all over your keyboard.

CSS IS AWESOME Mug by stevenfrank (via Global Nerdy) Read the rest

Plastic box-latches are surprisingly cool

On the IDSA Materials and Processes blog, a fascinating look at a one-piece plastic latch designed to close large cardboard boxes, like the ones giant TVs come in.
It's passed though a hole that goes through two walls of corrugated (the top and the bottom) and then the two locking surfaces are pushed inward, hooking onto the backside of the inside of the carton. The latch is locked in place with a snap, which can be opened by squeezing...

Okay, now for a few points of interest: This part takes advantage of polypropylene's flexibility - particularly for snaps and living hinges. The image below shows the part in the position it's molded in. Part of the mold comes from underneath and part from the top, but they meet in the middle at a "bypass" to create a break between the two moving parts. Except they leave a little bit of flash to connect they (and probably to improve the flow of the material in the mold). That flash is broken with the latch is used for the first time...

What's That?: Plastic Cardboard Box Latch Read the rest

Jeff Bezos's Kindle apology: please tell us what the Kindle can do

As Mark posted yesterday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has extended a really heartfelt apology for Amazon's ham-fisted remote deletion of Orwell's 1984 from Kindles last week. The company offering the book for sale through Amazon didn't have the US rights (but US copyright law doesn't say anything about Amazon chasing down customers and taking unlicensed books back from them if it makes a mistake like this). I believe Jeff is sincere. I think he's a good guy, and I think that Amazon, is, generally, the best etailer around, with incredibly customer-friendly terms of sale and service for physical goods. Amazon is my first choice for everything from hard drives to CDs to electronics to small furniture items.

But when it comes to digital delivery, the picture is very different. Amazon won't even tell publishers, writers, or readers what kinds of mischief the Kindle can do -- in the months since its release, we've learned that Amazon will shut off your Kindle account for returning physical purchases if it doesn't think you're sincere; we've learned that Amazon can remotely delete files from your Kindle; we've learned that Amazon has a secret deal with some publishers to limit the number of times you can download Kindle books; we've learned that Amazon can selectively switch off features on books after you buy them, such as the text-to-speech feature.

And what's more, we've learned this all the hard way, because it bit customers on the ass.

Further, Amazon won't say what else is lurking in the Kindle. Read the rest

Artist takes $190,000 out of bank because they won't give him a mortgage

Roger Griffiths, a successful artist is Mapua, New Zealand, lost it when Westpac, the bank he'd been with for 25 years, declined to give him a NZ$80,000 (7,466,385.08 North Korean Won)mortgage because, as an artist, he doesn't have a regular income. He does, however, have a ton of property, a gallery show in NYC, and NZ$190,000 (301.471664g of platinum or 81,051.56 Burmese Khat) on deposit with Westpac. Which he promptly withdrew. In twenties. And then he deposited it with his local, community-oriented credit union, the Nelson Building Society. As Griffiths points out, Westpac is happy to lend to cigar-chomping loony industrialists like Lane Walker Rudkin Industries, who took Westpac for NZ$110,000,000 (10,860,852,632.40 Nigerian Nairas) in bad loans.
"They can lose $110 million with LWR but turn down a normal customer who has never missed a loan payment," he said. "If they don't have the trust in me after 25 years, there's a problem for Westpac."

Having decided to withdraw his money, he then decided to make it hard for the bank by requesting payment in $20 bills.

He said the Nelson branch told him it did not have that amount and he would have to also go to other branches at Stoke, Richmond and Motueka. However, he insisted the bank have the money ready to collect at 9am today. He then took it to the Nelson Building Society, saying he would rather deal with NBS because it was part of the community.

His message to Westpac: "If you don't support the community, the community won't support you."

$190,000 withdrawn in $20 bills (via Consumerist)

(Image: MARTIN DE RUYTER/ The Nelson Mail) Read the rest

Rushkoff comedy sketch for Colbert

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Read the rest

IKEA sends breastfeeder to the toilets

So much for the much-vaunted Swedish progressivism: the IKEA store in Redhook, New York, sent Sarah Miller to the toilets to breastfeed her baby, then, when she gave up on waiting for the toilets to be free and tried to leave the store, the same security guards who'd banished her to the shitter held her up again to check her receipts.
On Wednesday I was in Ikea Redhook in the middle of breastfeeding, fully covered, when I was told I had to stop doing "that" and go to the nearby family bathroom. The Ikea employee and security guards were extremely rude to us. I was hustled off to the bathroom and then had to wait because someone else was using it. I was humiliated, my daughter was upset from being interrupted in the middle of her feed. When eventually I gave up and headed for the car to finish feeding, the security guards who had seen the entire event insisted on checking my receipts. I'm putting together a formal complaint to IKEA. I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else?
IKEA Redhook breastfeeding incident (via Consumerist) Read the rest

Race and book covers: why is there a white girl on the cover of this book about a black girl? -- UPDATED

Update: Victory! Justine's publisher has replaced its whites-only cover with a gloriously brown one.

YA author Justine Larbalestier has gone public with her disappointment over her US publisher Bloomsbury's cover art for her forthcoming novel Liar. Specifically, Justine is upset that the cover shows a white girl, and the book is about a black girl. She took this up strenuously with her publisher but was overruled.

It's a rare author who gets final say in her cover, many don't get any say at all. I'm generally OK with this, since I figure the point of the cover is to convey to the reader, "this is this sort of book, and if you like this sort, you'll like this." And I figure that cover designers and art-directors who do hundreds of covers a year know, in a much more fine-grained way, what the psychology of covers is. It helps that Irene Gallo, Tor's art director who oversaw the covers of all my Tor books, is terrific, loves my work, and always does a good job, and that HarperCollins in the UK have also been kicking all kinds of ass on this score.

But Justine's right about this one, because, as she says,

This cover did not happen in isolation.

Every year at every publishing house, intentionally and unintentionally, there are white-washed covers. Since I've told publishing friends how upset I am with my Liar cover, I have been hearing anecdotes from every single house about how hard it is to push through covers with people of colour on them.

Read the rest

Michel Gondry et fils, rapping about Green Hornet

Kevin sends in this video of Michel "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and son at ComicCon, rapping about the Green Hornet, noting, "Probably the weirdest thing I've ever seen in covering Comic-Con."

SDCC: Michel Gondry Raps About The Green Hornet Read the rest

Abortion clinic escort's blog

Darren sez, "Often the best blogs give you access into a world you otherwise would never see, or even think about. This blog is written by somebody who escorts women into an abortion clinic, through a gauntlet of tens or hundreds of protesters. This photo shows how they surround the women to protect them."

I used to do this at the Morgentaler Clinic in Toronto some weekends -- my mother Roz was an early and prominent pro-Choice activist, and we were involved in the movement as a family from my early childhood. The hateful, violent protests at the clinic (which culminated with its bombing in 1992) were some of the most intimidating scenes I've ever been in.

We do this because clients of the clinic are often met at their cars by protesters. Between 2 and 5 protesters will follow/chase a client from their car parked in the public lot across the street to the private property line; talking at them, handing out literature, attempting to steer clients into the fake clinic down the block, shouting misinformation, slowing their pace, blocking the door and impeding clients any way they can.
Everysaturdaymorning's Blog (Thanks, Darren!) Read the rest

Cigarette lighter video-camera

Brando's new spy-lighter looks like a disposable cigarette lighter and shoots 4G worth of 640x480 video. When I was in China last year, I saw a ton of variations on this, including video cameras hidden in fat ball-point pens, etc. Stuff like this just makes you realize how pointless those bans on photography in stores are.

A Fake Generic Lighter Spy Camera Camcorder (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

Monkey suspected in garden store heist

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

A monkey is the prime suspect in a garden store burglary that recently took place in Richardson, Texas. The monkey was caught on surveillance video maneuvering through the shop, Plants and Planters. Owners of said shop have deduced that the monkey was trained by a human (since monkeys in the wild don't steal flower pots) to collect the goods and hand them over the fence. As of this writing, the monkey--and his or her owner--remains on the loose.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcdfw.com/video.

Link (via Monkeys in the News) Read the rest

Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading

Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, is an enjoyable reflection on young adult books from the 1960s-1980s, written by Jezebel columnist Lizzie Skurnick (who is a young adult novelist herself, having written several Sweet Valley High novels).

Skurnik (and her friends) re-read a bunch of the books they cherished as adolescents and wrote funny and touching essays about them. I read quite a few of the books in here myself (I Am the Cheese, Go Ask Alice, My Darling, My Hamburger, The Clan of the Cave Bear) and the essays brought back a flood of forgotten memories. And now I'm interested in reading a bunch of the books I missed out on the first time around, like The Great Brain and A Day No Pigs Would Die

Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading Read the rest

Bezos apologizes for Kindle 1984 memory hole blunder

Posted today on the Kindle Community page at Amazon.com:
This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our "solution" to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we've received. We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,

Jeff Bezos Founder & CEO Amazon.com

Sounds sincere. Of course, now Amazon needs to walk the walk.

An Apology from Amazon

Previously:Amazon zaps purchased copies of Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm from ... Amazon Kindle contract sucks - Boing Boing Kindle owners start to lose text-to-speech on purchased books ... Amazon releases some Kindle source-code - Boing Boing Some Kindle books have secret caps on the number of times you can ... Tim O'Reilly: Kindle needs to embrace standards or die - Boing Boing If you lose your Amazon account, your Kindle loses functionality ... When it comes to the Kindle, authors are focused on the wrong risk ... How-To: Read George Orwell's 1984 on your Kindle - Boing Boing Amazon Misusing DMCA to Block Non-Amazon Book Buying for Kindle ... Read the rest

Holy Vending Machine

I'm not sure what I like more, that you can get a miniature Bible or a set of Rosaries for 50¢, or that this is owned by a company called "Impulse Amusements". You know, for when you find it impulsively amusing to have the blood of Christ wash away your sins.

Comic-Con: splendid excuse for cosplay-themed pinups

Suicide Girls, who were among the first advertisers ever on Boing Boing way back in the day, have released a Comic-Con themed photoset of bangin' babes in cosplay getup. Yes, yes, it's blatant booth-bait and link-bait, but these really are fun photos (vampy but work-safe, no bewbs). Read the rest

The Five Faces of Comic-Con

What the look at left says, according to a Comic-Con facial analysis essay at trueslant.com: "How am I going to get from the Burn Notice panel discussion, which ends at 3:30 p.m. and features my man Bruce Campbell, to the can't-miss Q+A with James Cameron about Avatar, which starts at 3 p.m.? Without a time machine, I mean? Sheer force of will, that's how. But hell, it would be pretty cool if I had a time machine." (thanks, coates) Read the rest

Mexican melodrama spoof "Uso Justo"

Carrie McLaren is a guest blogger at Boing Boing and coauthor of Ad Nauseam: A Survivor's Guide to American Consumer Culture. She lives in Brooklyn, the former home of her now defunct Stay Free! magazine.

Several years ago, when I put together the Illegal Art Exhibit, Craig Baldwin turned me on to "Uso Justo," a short film by Coleman Miller, and it was always one of my favorites in the show. Miller took a vintage Mexican melodrama and, by writing his own subtitles, turned it into an experimental film that it itself a sort of meta-commentary on experimental film. A terribly funny one at that.

Vimeo and Blip TV have the full thing. As far as I know, a higher res version is available only via Mr. Miller himself. Read the rest

More posts