I'm a photographer for the [New York City] DA's office and there is a women there who makes these models (trains, apts, buildings, etc) for court cases, as a visual aid for the jury. The train is perfectly hamster sized so I brought my super tame hamster into work yesterday for a little photo shoot. They came out better than expected. I'm really excited about them.(newyorkshitty.com, alternate link for partial gallery is here) Read the rest
Photo:RayphuaA few years ago, I moved a small local newspaper's online edition behind a paywall. Most free content was removed from the web. Instead, we sold a PDF of the newspaper. Web traffic plummeted from about 15,000 views a month to about 8,000. The PDF edition attracted only a few hundred subscribers on top of the daily print run of about 9,000. In other words, it was a big success. Read the rest
Bertie (via Superpunch) Previously:Junk robot sculptures - Boing Boing Junk robot sculptures from Guy Robot - Boing Boing Junk robot sculptures -- Boing Boing Gadgets - Boing Boing Junk robot sculptures from Jason Lane - Boing Boing Small robot sculptures made from junk - Boing Boing Homemade R2D2 steampunk junkbot - Boing Boing Vietnamese junkbot builder - Boing Boing Kitchen appliance junkbot - Boing Boing Nerdbots: found-object junkbots - Boing Boing Read the rest
Quantifying human group dynamics represents a unique challenge. Unlike animals and other biological systems, humans form groups in both real (offline) and virtual (online) spaces--from potentially dangerous street gangs populated mostly by disaffected male youths to the massive global guilds in online role-playing games for which membership currently exceeds tens of millions of people from all possible backgrounds, age groups, and genders. We have compiled and analyzed data for these two seemingly unrelated offline and online human activities and have uncovered an unexpected quantitative link between them. Although their overall dynamics differ visibly, we find that a common team-based model can accurately reproduce the quantitative features of each simply by adjusting the average tolerance level and attribute range for each population. By contrast, we find no evidence to support a version of the model based on like-seeking-like (i.e., kinship or "homophily").Human group formation in online guilds and offline gangs driven by a common team dynamic (via /.)
(Image: Guild Wars, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike photo from dalvenjah's Flickr stream) Previously:Shrink: I will create a WoW guild of shrinks to treat WoW addiction Game Guilds are "distributed cognition" - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Ban on gay-friendly guilds attracts queer-rights ... Read the rest
EU ACTA Analysis Leaks: Confirms Plans For Global DMCA, Encourage 3 Strikes Model (Thanks, Michael!) Previously:New ACTA copyright treaty dodges the UN, poor countries and ... Secret copyright treaty leaks. It's bad. Very bad. - Boing Boing EFF analyzes the legal creepiness of ACTA, the secret copyright ... Everything you want to know about the scary, secret copyright ... Secret super-copyright treaty MEMO leaked - Boing Boing Consumer groups around the world demand transparency on secret ... Petition to Obama government to disclose secret copyright treaty ... Read the rest
(Image: CAMERA ISTANBUL, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike photo from Material Boy's Flickr stream) Previously:Boing Boing: Update on Turkey bans YouTube: all a "you're a fag ... Scroogled in Turkish, Japanese and Slovak - Boing Boing Turkey bans any web content that insults founding leader Atatürk ... Read the rest
Guatemala's Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes and Maya settlements, has been taken over by a massive bloom of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). I'll be traveling to a K'iche' Maya village not far from this place in a couple of weeks. The image comes from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite.
It's no shock to realize that decades of environmental damage have led to this, but it is still very weird to see an image that shows this huge, seemingly pristine body of water transformed into a big pool of slime, with growing "dead zones" where fish and other critters can no longer survive. Guatemala is facing a widespread hunger crisis already -- so, for the at-risk human populations around the lake who live off a subsistence farmer/fisher lifestyle, this means more hunger, more death.
Cyanobacteria are a serious problem both because they are toxic to humans and other animals and because they create dead zones. As the bacteria multiply, they form a thick mat that blocks sunlight. Dense blooms can also consume all of the oxygen in the water, leaving a dead zone where other plants and animals cannot survive. The density of the bloom also affects the cyanobacteria. Since only the top layer of the bloom receives life-sustaining light, the bacteria in the rest of the bloom die and decay, releasing toxins into the water. These highly toxic harmful algal blooms cause illness in people and other animals.The Guatemalan government says it will cost 32 million dollars Cost estimates to "clean up the lake, install water treatment plants, and implement other measures to limit the flow of pollution into the lake to prevent future outbreaks" are around 350 million dollars, according to a source quoted in TIME. Read the rest
The real damage from terrorist attacks doesn't come from the explosion. The real damage is done after the explosion, by the victims, who repeatedly and determinedly attack themselves, giving over reason in favor of terror. Every London cop who stops someone from taking a picture of a public building, every TSA agent who takes away your kid's toothpaste, every NSA spook who wiretaps your email, does the terrorist's job for him. Terrorism is about magnifying one mediagenic act of violence into one hundred billion acts of terrorized authoritarian idiocy. There were two al Qaeda operatives at St Paul's that day: the cop and her sidekick, who were about Osama bin Laden's business in London all day long. Read the rest
From the "Cute Animals Devouring Other Cute Animals" file, I bring you this BBC video showing a mob of starfish ravaging the carcass of a seal pup. (That starfish covered mound in the picture? Seal pup.) Granted, they do this very, very slowly. The video speeds things up with time-lapse photography, which only adds to the alien creepiness as you watch thousands of starfish (plus sea urchins and giant meat-eating worms) damn-near gallop across the ocean floor.
How do starfish eat a seal? Glad you asked. Turns out, they latch onto the seal's side, pop their stomachs out through their mouths, dump digestive juices onto the seal flesh and then slurp up the dissolved "soup". Happy Monday.
Oh, and beware the scene at about 1:50 into the clip. It's a little, erm, not cute. Nature, red in tooth and claw, and all that. Fair warning.Another Hardcore Moment from Nature - Boing Boing Eagle Vs. Reindeer - Boing Boing Read the rest
This illustrates something important. Many people feel that they are wise to certain scams or take steps to protect their property; but, often, these steps don't go far enough. A con artist can easily answer people's concerns or provide all sorts of proof to put minds at ease. In order to protect oneself, it's essential to remove all possibility of compromise. There's no point parking your own car if you then give the valet your keys. Despite this, the mark felt more secure when, in actual fact, he had made the hustler's job easier....Read the rest
...Much of systems security boils down to "allowing certain principals to perform certain actions on the system while disallowing anyone else from doing them"; as such, it relies implicitly on some form of authentication--recognizing which principals should be authorized and which ones shouldn't. The lesson for the security engineer is that the security of the whole system often relies on the users also performing some authentication, and that they may be deceived too, in ways that are qualitatively differ- ent from those in which computer systems can be deceived.
The Wolverton Bible (Basil Wolverton): Wolverton wasn't just a funnybooks illustrator: he was also a member of a millenarian evangelical church called the Worldwide Church of God, a sect that believed in obeying Old Testament lifestyle laws and the literal truth of Revelations. So it was natural that Wolverton ended up with a regular, paid gig illustrating a series of Bible stories for kids and adults published in the Church's magazines like Plain Truth and in booklets with titles like Prophecy and The Book of Revelations, overseen by Church leader Herbert Armstrong, who had converted Wolverton to his faith. Full review | Purchase
Norman Saunders was a prominent illustrator for Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, Modern Mechanics, pulp detective, western, war, and science fiction magazines, men's adventure magazines, and bubblegum cards and stickers, including Wacky Packages and Mars Attacks. Anyone interested in 20th century magazine illustration pretty much has to have this book in his or her library. I devoured the 368 technicolor pages filled with examples of his work from the 1920s to the 1980s. Full review | Purchase