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Motorized tricycle that runs on human poo

Toto, Japan's foremost toilet manufacturer, has made a motorized tricycle that runs on human crap. The saddle is a functional toilet, and if you can muster up enough colonic motility to keep up a steady stream, you could travel the world.

Toto makes some damned fine toilets, incidentally -- we went to rather a lot of trouble to get one of the Toto toilet-seat/bidet devices imported to the UK and converted to local voltage, and never regretted it.

Lisa at TokyoMango explains:

As the person drives, he can poop into the bowl, and that poop will be turned into fuel for the car. It's actually part of a campaign that Toto is running in an effort to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% in the next 6 years. The motorcycle will be making its way from Kyushu to Tokyo over the next month (departing in six days). Very exciting! I'm not sure who's driving but I'm sure that, in addition to having a drivers license, they had to check his stool to make sure its healthy and fuel-worthy.

(via Tokyo Mango)

A secret U.S. memo authorized assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki

“What constitutes due process in this case is a due process in war.” The Washington Post reports that a secret Justice Department memorandum authorized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. The operation involved the CIA, and military assets under CIA control.

Technique for fighting submission-form spam

Ned Batchelder sums up a series of technique to keep spammers from attacking submission forms with automated bots (it won't work against humans, but even cheap humans are more expensive than bots). Some of these techniques look like they'll continue to work even if they're widely known, while others depend merely on exploiting vulnerabilities in spammer techniques that will be refined as soon as the exploits are widespread.

We get titanic amounts of spam to the anonymous Boing Boing submission form, and most of it gets stopped using variations on these techniques. One interesting thing about our submission spam is how indiscriminate it is: various scumbags have gone to some lengths to figure out how to send spam to a form whose output is emailed to four people, and who will never, ever accidentally post their submission to this blog -- indeed, I just bulk-delete the stuff that makes it through the filter without even opening it -- our spammers are indiscriminate enough to use spammy subject lines, which means, I suppose, that they think they're going to end up someone a human being won't see them but a search-engine might.

The comment form has four key components: timestamp, spinner, field names, and honeypots.

The timestamp is simply the number of seconds since some fixed point in time. For example, the PHP function time() follows the Unix convention of returning seconds since 1/1/1970.

The spinner is a hidden field used for a few things: it hashes together a number of values that prevent tampering and replays, and is used to obscure field names. The spinner is an MD5 hash of:

The timestamp,
The client's IP address,
The entry id of the blog entry being commented on, and
A secret.

The field names on the form are all randomized. They are hashes of the real field name, the spinner, and a secret. The spinner gets a fixed field name, but all other fields on the form, including the submission buttons, use hashed field names.

Honeypot fields are invisible fields on the form. Invisible is different than hidden. Hidden is a type of field that is not displayed for editing. Bots understand hidden fields, because hidden fields often carry identifying information that has to be returned intact. Invisible fields are ordinary editable fields that have been made invisible in the browser.

(via O'Reilly Radar)

Occupy Wall Street: Snapshots from September 30, 2011

Maximus Clarke shares photos taken today at Occupy Wall Street.

NYC Transit Union workers join Occupy Wall Street (and so does Michael Moore)

[Photo by Jim Kiernan]

Michael Moore, holding a copy of the announcement that the New York City Transit Workers' Union has voted unanimously to support the #occupywallstreet movement. The Transit Union has 38,000 members. More photos from the protests and from last night's book signing with Michael Moore at the St. Mark's Bookshop (which needs your help to stay around) are in this photo set by Jim Kiernan. And Moore's new book is here: Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life .

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and my friend Glen E. Friedman, photographer and serial shit-stirrer, were in the house, too. So was this woman: one of the protesters who was pepper-sprayed.

(thanks, Glen E. Friedman!)

Show and Tell for MAKE at Crashspace in LA - tonight 9/30/11, 8pm

[Video Link] My friends at Crashspace are opening their doors to the public tonight for a fun event: its members are going to show me things they are working on and we are going to figure out the best way to present them in MAKE. There will be about eight 10-minute presentations. I can't wait to see what the projects are. Hope to see you there!

Crashpace: 10526 Venice Blvd, Culver City CA 90232

Another hit from NYPD's "Mace in the Face" cop, DI Anthony Bologna

This video, labelled as being recorded "moments after" NYPD DI Anthony Bologna's now-infamous unprovoked mace assault on four women at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration, shows the same office in another mace attack. How many before we can call it a rampage? How many before the NYPD admits that it's wrong and unacceptable?

Report: "Internet companies increasingly co-opted for surveillance"

Reuters reports from the Internet Governance Forum in Nairobi: "Google, Twitter and Facebook are increasingly co-opted for surveillance work as the information they gather proves irresistible to law enforcement agencies, Web experts said this week. Although such companies try to keep their users' information private, their business models depend on exploiting it to sell targeted advertising, and when governments demand they hand it over, they have little choice but to comply."

Occupy Wall Street spreads to more US cities

The "Occupy Wall Street" protests in New York City are inspiring similar demonstrations in other US cities. Above, in San Francisco on Thursday, protesters scuffle with a Charles Schwab employee at the door during a rally against corruption and fraud by American banking institutions.

Are there demonstrations in your area, Boing Boing readers? We're hearing of similar rumblings in Detroit, and other areas. Let us know what's happening where you are, in the comments.

(REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Occupy Wall Street: crowds march on NYPD, and the Radiohead concert that wasn't

Gawker's Adrian Chen is liveblogging the afternoon's events at the Occupy Wall Street protest in NYC. Sounds like some of the protest organizers (or an overenthusiastic supporter?) pranked the media about that "Radiohead concert," which is now revealed to have been a hoax—for the lulz? Or for more media attention? There are bigger crowds there now, at any rate. Along with the Wikileaks truck.

New reality: US assassinates it own citizens with no due process

Glenn Greenwald reports on the US assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen in Yemen, who had not been charged with (or convicted of) any crime.

Read the rest

When illustrators were almost as famous as the Kardashian sisters


An advertisement from the good old days when illustrators were celebrities. See some examples of Jon Whitcomb's work. (Look at that big bowl of chicken broth, too!)

Drawn: Hard to believe illustrators once had enough celebrity clout to be advertising spokespeople

Halloween makeup lesson from a 5-year-old: how to be a cheetah

[Video Link]

Caturday arrived early. That's good, because you'll need extra time to handle all the cute. Madison has previously appeared on Boing Boing, teaching us all how to be sunflowers. (thanks, MaDonna Flowers)

XKCD: Why you should give bad reviews to hotels you like

Today's XKCD proposes a strangely optimal strategy for reviewing the hotels you love, provided you don't mind being a jerk. He calls it the "tragedy of you're a dick."

With a Little Help now available to libraries

Daniel Krause interviewed me in Booklist about my DIY short story collection, With a Little Help, on the occasion of that book being listed in the Ingram catalog, which'll make it easy for libraries to get copies.

NY Times' "Sexy Chicken" has a Twitter

You like what you see, don't you? She's on Twitter now. Previously ogled by Dean here on Boing Boing.

Swimming with the squids

Last June, Xeni posted some photos of a huge school of squid swimming off the California coast, taken by photographer/1st grade teacher Jon Schwartz. This month, Schwartz got to swim with the squids again. Only this time, instead of little palm-sized tentacled beasties, Schwartz was in the water with 2-to-3-foot-long Humboldt squids.

Humboldts have a nasty reputation for being cruel dudes—larger ones have been known to rough-up divers. But Schwartz did some homework, gave it a go, and came away with some great pictures. He says:

"After calling several experts, I decided to give it a go. It turns out that this particular population of Humboldts was just the right size for me to investigate without having to worry about getting dragged down, body slammed, or chewed on. Actually they might chew on me a little bit."

Read more about the dive, and see more photos, at Schwartz' site.


[Video Cat]

Today's weird animal viral video is, like all great examples of the genre, equal parts funny, creepy, cute, and sad.

Read the rest

Sylvia Robinson, "mother of hip-hop," has died at age 76

[Video Link: Sylvia Robinson performing her hit "Pillow Talk" on Soul Train]

"Most famous for assembling the Sugarhill Gang, Sylvia Robinson was a songwriter, performer, producer and label owner. 'RIP Ms Rob,' tweeted Public Enemy's Chuck D. 'A black woman putting rap records on the map/now a scene where today women are voided out of it." More at the Guardian.

Mystery hit-and-run enema

A visually impaired man who'd recently undergone intestinal surgery answered the door to find a woman who announced that she was there to give him an enema. He complied, but later felt that there was something suspicious about the proceeding, so he called his doctor, who confirmed that no enema had been ordered in his case. His visual impairment is severe enough that he can't describe his assailant.

A day later, on Monday, the enema recipient began wondering about what had happened to him but took no action. By Tuesday, he felt compelled to shed some light on the experience, so he contacted police. An investigating officer promptly called the man's doctor and was told no enema had been prescribed, ordered or approved.

Sonoma police turned the case over to the domestic and sexual assault unit of the Sonoma Sheriff's Office who have yet to make sense of the caper.

(via Lowering the Bar)

Occupy Wall Street gets support from MoveOn, trade unions, community groups

A coalition of activists, community groups and trade unions (whom Crain's New York Business hilariously refer as "agitators," as though they were the Red Menace a post-WWII installment of Little Orphan Annie) are set to join the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The new group includes MoveOn, some SEIU chapters, Workers United, the United Federation of Teachers, and a Transport Workers Union local. They're also being backed by the Working Families Party.

Signs and chants will likely call for an extension of the so-called millionaires' tax and a roll-back of state budget cuts. They will also likely show support for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's position that a proposed settlement between banks and attorneys general over troubled mortgage pools is too lenient.

Organizers of the march said they aren't looking to take control of the Occupy Wall Street protest, which has captured headlines since it began nearly two weeks ago, but add to it.

“We're not trying to grab the steering wheel or to control it,” said Michael Kink, executive director of the Strong Economy For All coalition. “We're looking to find common cause and support the effort. It's the right fight at the right time and we want to be part of it.”

(via Consumerist)

(Image: Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 14, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shankbone's photostream)

Day after big debit fee hike, BofA homepage fails


Christopher Maag of write:

Bank of America’s homepage was down Friday morning, a day after the megabank announced that it will begin charging customers $5 a month to use their debit cards. Instead of the bank’s normal site, visitors receive a notice stating “Home Page Temporarily Unavailable.”

Instead of the bank’s normal site, visitors receive a notice stating “Home Page Temporarily Unavailable,” followed by the message, “We’re sorry, but some of our pages are temporarily unavailable.” The site indicates that the bank’s online banking system is still working, but a number of commenters to’s website say that it is not.

Day After Big Debit Fee Hike, BofA Homepage Fails

Euthanasia Coaster: the suicide roller coaster


Alex Santoso of Neatorama says: "The Euthanasia Coaster, designed by London's Royal College of Art's student Julijonas Urbonas, lets you ride the last ride of your life. Literally."

The three-minute ride involves a long, slow, climb -- nearly a third of a mile long -- that lifts one up to a height of more than 1,600 feet, followed by a massive fall and seven strategically sized and placed loops. The final descent and series of loops take all of one minute. But the gravitational force -- 10 Gs -- from the spinning loops at 223 miles per hour in that single minute is lethal.
Euthanasia Coaster: The Suicide Roller Coaster

BART cops get shirt-pocket snitch-cams

San Francisco BART police are going to start wearing video cameras that record their interactions with the public (transit cops in SF have committed some controversial high-profile shootings lately). The cameras are tamper-"proof" (in practice, more like "tamper-resistant," I'm sure) but officers have to manually activate the cameras to make them work.

I'm guessing that even honest cops will forget to turn on their cameras in most potentially dangerous interactions. After all, danger situations are rare, and things you do infrequently are things you forget to do. And for crooked cops (or cops who make mistakes, or lose their cool), this provides good cover for "forgetting" (rather than merely forgetting) to turn on your snitch. Plus the placement makes it easy to accidentally (or "accidentally") cover up the lens with a pocket-flap, arm, or random moop.

Officers wearing the cameras won't be able to delete or tamper with the videos they shoot - that all has to be done back in the station once the video is downloaded to a computer. The only caveat is that the officer actually has to flip the camera on to begin recording. Seems simple enough, but it could be tricky if an officer suddenly finds himself in the sort of hostile situation that needs to be recorded. "The idea is to make the camera as much as a tool for police as a Taser or radio," CBS explains.

The transit police force had mentioned the possibility of rolling out lapel cams in recent months, but has been slow to make any changes even after weeks of protests. Assemblyman Tom Ammiano recently spoke out about the lack of action on the part of BART's Board of Directors and especially Mark Smith, the independent auditor hired three months ago to review BART PD operations, who has yet to hire any staff

(via JWZ)

Tsunami survival capsule

This is the "Noah" capsule, a Tsunami survival pod now sold by Japanese company Cosmo. From The Guardian:

Capsuleeee The company's president, Shoji Tanaka, said the capsule could hold four adults and had survived many crash tests.

It has a lookout window and breathing holes, and could also be used as a toy house for children.
"Japanese 'Noah's ark' disaster capsule goes on sale"

Obama: Trick the Bridesmaid

[Video Link] "Let's creep in the frozen aisle and think one thought: trick the bridesmaid to get her to take it off." I appreciate the work Bad Lip-Reading does to make politician's speeches bearable.

Swimming cap fashions (1950s)

[Video Link] Here's the swim cap fashion show set in a Punch-and-Judy theater that you've been waiting for. Pete Emslie would be happy with the colors! The brooding people in the audience look like they are plotting to kill someone to get a swim cap. (Via Dangerous Minds)

Buddy Rich drum solo

[Video Link] Happy birthday, Buddy Rich! (1917-1987) (Via Thomas Arey)