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Inside the Fukushima exclusion zone: the photography of Satoru Niwa

Among the recent projects of London/Tokyo-based photojournalist Satoru Niwa is this stunning series of images captured near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan, just days after the March 11, 2011 quake, tsunami, and ensuing nuclear disaster.

Above: a policeman wearing protective gear to guard against radiation, 15 miles from the plant, on March 25, 2011. Below, a family's photograph found in the tsunami mud, 5km from the plant in the now-abandoned town of Futaba.

Link to photo gallery: SILENCE/Fukushima.

Related works on his site include this equally powerful series of moonlit photos taken in the tsunami-devastated town of Miyagi, just two weeks after the disaster.

You can follow him on Twitter.

(via Miles O'Brien)

The FBI file of Steven Paul Jobs

In 1991, the FBI began interviewing Steve Jobs and people he worked with, as the CEO of Next Inc. "began to be considered as a candidate for sensitive, presidential appointments."

Here is Steve Jobs' FBI file, released under the Freedom of Information Act.

"Several individuals questioned Mr. Jobs' honesty stating that Mr. Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals," reads the FBI summary.

Other elements of note: as a student, he had a 2.65 GPA. There was a bomb threat against him in 1985. There's a passing reference to a "hippie friend" on whose apple orchard the man who would later co-found Apple worked. And there's an excellent specimen of early 1990s FBI fax art, page 129.

You'll be shocked, shocked I say, to learn that Apple has declined to comment on the file's release. More context: WaPo, Wired, LA Times, SF Chron.

(Photo: Jobs beneath a photograph of him and Apple-co founder Steve Wozniak from the early days of Apple during the launch of the iPad in San Francisco, January 27, 2010. REUTERS.)

Breaded Cats

The Breaded Cats (or Breading Cats, or Cat Breading) website has been making the rounds for some weeks now. Like a fine wine, or a cat, but not a loaf of bread, it seems to improve with age.

Cat Breading How To:

1) Take a piece of bread

2) Cut a hole approximately 1 inch larger than your cat's head. This trips some people up. Remember: the bread has to fit around not just the cat's head, but it's ears, too.

3) Gently place the bread around your cat's head.

Warning: NSFGF (Not safe for the gluten-free).

(via Sean Bonner and many others)

Monk and Tiger share a meal

Here is the most wonderful photograph you'll ever see of a Buddhist monk sharing food with a tiger. Shot by photographer Wojtek Kalka at the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Worth noting: animal rights advocates do not think the temple itself is wonderful, as the afore-linked Wikipedia entry explains, because the big cats there are kept in abusive conditions. (via Bill Gross)

Martian watches


CDR sez, "Watches that keep Martian time. Originally for a Mars Mission, now for anyone who needs something useless yet infinitely desirable."

Mars Watches

Rudy Rucker, KW Jeter and Jay Lake: free reading in San Francisco this Sat

Rina from San Francisco's SF in SF reading series sez, "Join SF in SF for a very special evening with steampunk innovators K. W. Jeter, Jay Lake, and Rudy Rucker on Saturday, February 11th. Each author will read a selection, followed by Q & A moderated by author Terry Bisson; booksigning and schmoozing follows. Books for sale courtesy of Borderlands Books." (The Hobart Bldg., 1st Floor, cash bar and doors open at 6PM, San Francisco). (Thanks, Rina!)

Recursive UK petition

A UK e-petition: Public Hanging for those who propose public hanging: "The proposed punishments for some crimes are so horrific that the proper punishment for proposing this punishment is the death penalty..." If you ask me, hanging's too good for 'em. (Thanks, Alex)

Shu Sugamata's origami spaceships


Avi sez, "Shu Sugamata has been making origami spaceships since 1977 and has amassed quite a body of gorgeous work."

ORIGAMI SPACESHIPS (Thanks, Avi!)

The hidden beauty of the bottom of toy cars

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At Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky's interest in the bottoms of toy cars borders on the Nicholson Bakeresque.

The bottoms of toy cars are fascinating because it's a revealing insight into the mind of the toy designer. Generally, you don't really have to do anything at all, but most toy cars have at least some attempt made to have some measure of detail or accuracy. On many models, there is a genuine attempt to get the mechanicals shown below as accurate as possible, and often the results are quite good. You can see corrugated oil pans, suspension arms, mufflers, differentials, driveshafts, and more. It's clear the designer actually looked at the original car.

Other times, even if the body is accurate, the bottom can be this sort of collage of parts the designer knows should be there– most often propshaft and some kind of exhaust– but the locations and sizes are placed with a certain casual whimsy. I like these as well, as they give a nice view of what someone who may not know much about cars thinks a car underside should look like.

The Hidden Beauty Of The Bottom Of Toy Cars

Canadians speak out en masse against pro-censorship, pro-DRM copyright proposal; government ignores them

Michael Geist sez,

Tens of thousands of Canadians have spoken out against proposed copyright reform in recent days that could combine the US DMCA with SOPA to create restrictive digital lock rules along with targeting of legitimate websites and website blocking. Canadians recognize that the bill will have an impact on the legitimate activities of millions, creating barriers to creators, students, journalists, researchers, and the visually impaired. While the government is right when it says there has been wide consultation, the question is whether it has taken the public comments into account and conducted a full analysis of the implications of its current proposal. There is reason to believe that it has not.

When asked about enforcement concerns, Industry Minister Christian Paradis said "enforcing these rights in a given instance, however, is a private legal matter on which the government cannot speculate." This post does some speculating for the Minister, demonstrating how the law will chill freedom of expression and scientific research, jeopardize fair use, and impede competition and innovation.

Canadian Government Has Consulted on Copyright but Won't Consider How Its Law Will Be Enforced

The Pirate Bay will fit on a ZIP cartridge

The Pirate Bay is making good on its long-announced plan of moving from hosting a torrent-tracker to hosting "magnet links" that allow BitTorrent file-sharing without a centralized tracker. This will vastly reduce the amount of data that TPB needs to store and serve, so much so that the entire TPB index will only be 90MB -- a file that you could fit onto an original ZIP cartridge.

The Pirate Bay team told TorrentFreak that one of the advantages of the transition to a “magnet site” is that it requires relatively little bandwidth to host a proxy site. This is needed, because The Pirate Bay is currently blocked in several countries, and more are bound to follow in the months to come.

Without torrents, the Pirate Bay also becomes extremely portable which makes it possible for people to download a personal backup. As we said before, such a copy would easily fit on a thumb drive. Pirate Bay user “allisfine” was intrigued by this idea and decided to find out how small a copy of the torrents site would be.

“I did a complete snapshot of ALL the Pirate Bay torrents, in case somebody wants to close it or something similarly crazy,” he told TorrentFreak.

Download a Copy of The Pirate Bay, It’s Only 90 MB

KILL ACTA

Stop ACTA & TPP: Tell your country's officials: NEVER use secretive trade agreements to meddle with the Internet. Our freedoms depend on it!

For European users, this form will email every MEP with a known email address.
Fight For The Future may contact you about future campaigns. We will never share your email with anyone. Privacy Policy


Tiffiniy from Fight for the Future sez,

Together, we beat SOPA in a huge victory for internet freedom. But this Saturday, internet freedom protests are breaking out in over 200 cities across Europe. Why?

Because the companies behind SOPA are using international trade agreements as a backdoor to pass SOPA-style laws

SOPA's supporters are pushing two agreements: ACTA and TPP1. ACTA would criminalize users, encourage internet providers to spy on you, and make it easier for media companies to sue sites out of existence and jail their founders. Sound familiar? That's right, ACTA is from the same playbook as SOPA, but global. Plus it didn't even have to pass through Congress2.

TPP goes even farther than ACTA, and the process has been even more secretive and corrupt. Last weekend (we wish this was a joke) trade negotiators partied with MPAA (pro-SOPA) lobbyists before secret negotiations in a Hollywood hotel, while public interest groups were barred from meeting in the same building.3

Trade agreements are a gaping loophole, a secretive backdoor track that--even though it creates new laws--is miles removed from democracy. Trade negotiators are unelected and unaccountable, so these agreements have been very hard for internet rights groups to stop.

But now the tide is turning. Fueled by the movement to stop SOPA, anti-ACTA protests are breaking out across the EU, which hasn't ratified ACTA. The protests are having an impact: leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia have backtracked on ACTA.4 Now a massive round of street protests in over 200 cities is planned for this Saturday February 11th.

We're planning an online protest this Saturday to support the protests in the streets. Why? Because together we can drive millions of emails to key decision makers--and start tipping the scales like we did on SOPA.

Can you take part? Click here to get the code to run on your site!

We just built an ACTA & TPP contact tool, and it's not just a petition. It's code for your site that figures out the visitor's country and lets them email all their Members of European Parliament--the politicians who will be voting on ACTA in June--or the trade negotiators behind TPP. This direct contact between voters and their officials, driven by websites of all sizes, was instrumental in the fight against SOPA.

Kill ACTA

Over 100 NGOs ask WIPO to postpone secretive South Africa meeting

Over 100 NGOs have asked the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization to postpone a summit in South Africa on the grounds that notice of the meeting was not published, the agenda has been set without any transparency, and the speakers all favor a single, narrow view on copyright and patents.

In a letter to the WIPO director general Francis Gurry, more than 100 international NGOs expressed their concern over co-organising the summit in partnership with US, France and Japan which are known for advocating TRIPS plus agendas in developing countries in the interests of their own industries and priorities. For instance these countries are proponents of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a plurilateral treaty that is widely criticized for its secret negotiating process and the detrimental impact on public interest issues such as access to medicines, freedom of expression over the internet and access to knowledge.

To make matters worse the Summit is being sponsored by the private sector in particular the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Company etc., that clearly have a strong stake in a pro-IP protection and enforcement agenda. The involvement of the private sector also raises issues of conflict of interests.

Besides, the NGOs said, the summit lacks a development and public interest dimension. The summit concept paper suggests a programme that undermines the spirit of Development Agenda. It is premised on the notion that heightened IP protection and enforcement will deliver development and protect public interest. This distorted approach has no historical or empirical basis and has been clearly rejected by the Development Agenda process. Important development issues such as the different levels of development, the importance of flexibilities (e.g. LDC transition periods, exceptions and limitations e.g. parallel importation, compulsory licensing,) in meeting developmental objectives, examining and addressing the impact of IP on critical public interests issues such as access to affordable medicines, and access to knowledge, appear to be disregarded.

Over 100 international NGOs ask WIPO to postpone forthcoming IP Summit in South Africa

Make: Talk 004 - Steve Lodefink, Broad-Spectrum Hobbyist

Atomic-Clock-1

Here's the fourth episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I'll interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.

Our maker this week is Steve Lodefink. An inveterate tinkerer and "broad-spectrum hobbyist," Steve just can't say no to a cool project. At 3, he was already reverse-engineering the peanut butter and jelly sandwich: "I figured out where all of the parts were, found a good tool, and built one. I've been doing it ever since." He lives in Seattle with his wife and two sons, two cats, five tarantulas, and 24 African cichlids, and thinks that one of life's great pleasures is a really sharp aged cheddar cheese. "I'm a simple man," he says. He looks at life's debris at finkbuilt.com.

I talked to Steve about his Easy Sunburst Guitar, Atomic Ball Clock, Soda Bottle Rocket, and more.

And, at the beginning of the episode, Maker Shed Marc de Vinck describes our new Tiny Wanderer Robot Kit, an autonomous robot with a $2 microcontroller brain.



U Washington's best-of-breed 3D printing lab shuts down knowledge sharing after administration introduces sweeping patent-grab

Michael sez, "The Open 3DP lab at UW has been doing some amazing things with 3D printing. More amazingly, they have prioritized sharing what they are learning with everyone else in order to make 3D printing better. A change to UW's intellectual property policy has essentially forced them to stop sharing what they are up to with everyone else. That strikes me as shortsighted and a real shame. The folks who run the lab say that the best thing to do is to email Provost Ana Mari Cauce at provost@uw.edu and tell her to let the lab share again."

The UW lab is the source of some of the most amazing and relevant 3D printing research in the field today. This is an absolute travesty.

Since approximately, October 17, 2011, we’ve been a little bit more guarded about what is going on in our lab and perhaps a little less helpful or open to some of you. We’re sorry. Our University has decided, with no faculty involvement to change our consulting/engagement forms...

This “minor” change in our consulting form has produced a claim of total University ownership of any and all intellectual property (IP) associated activity paid or unpaid (in which one should or might have gotten paid). Thus, if we help you, or offer advice (free consulting), we put you at risk of losing any and all of your IP in the transaction.

Sorry we’re not so Open lately (Thanks, Michael!)

Insurer offers discounts to customers running in-car GPS telemetry

Writing in PC Pro, Stewart Mitchell describes a partnership between GPS vendor TomTom and Fair Pay insurance, an auto insurer, to offer discounts to people whose GPS devices report low incidences of sudden stops and unsafe turns. I rather like this idea, the idea that your device could offer testimony on your behalf, but a lot depends on how it is implemented.

On the one hand, TomTom could generate trustworthy readings by completely locking its device so that users can't inspect or modify their operations, which would open up the possibility that your device was recording and transmitting information about your location and movements without your knowledge or permission. On the other hand, TomTom could produce a stats-gathering app whose workings were publicly disclosed, but which used a TPM-style module to verify that it hadn't been modified for the purposes of gathering and signing information that you can pass on to the insurer.

This would give TomTom owners the choice of booting their device into a known, publicly verifiable state that respected their privacy, but also produced statistics that third parties could trust. It would also give TomTom owners the choice of booting into alternative environments that did different things.

"We've dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you're a good driver, we'll believe you and we'll even give you the benefit up front," said Nigel Lombard of Fair Pay Insurance.

“If you think of your insurance as your car's MPG - the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last. Good drivers get more for their money and in that sense they will pay ultimately less."

Drivers on the scheme will be given a TomTom PRO 3100 as part of the package, and the device will include Active Driver Feedback and LIVE Services to warn drivers when they were cornering too sharply or braking too hard.

The TomTom will also have a LINK tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored.

TomTom tech to set driver insurance premiums (via /.)

Tool for finding out what information your apps are leaking

mitmproxy, "an SSL-capable man-in-the-middle proxy," is a useful little free software utility that can sniff the traffic between your computer or mobile device and its servers and determine what data the apps you're running are leaking to the mothership.

mitmproxy is an SSL-capable man-in-the-middle HTTP proxy. It provides a console interface that allows traffic flows to be inspected and edited on the fly.

mitmdump is the command-line version of mitmproxy, with the same functionality but without the frills. Think tcpdump for HTTP.

* Intercept and modify HTTP traffic on the fly
* Save HTTP conversations for later replay and analysis
* Replay both HTTP clients and servers
* Make scripted changes to HTTP traffic using Python
* SSL interception certs generated on the fly

mitmproxy (via O'Reilly Radar)

Every Apple Design Ever in 30 seconds


I thought this week could do with some more "fanboy", so cobbled together this blast of Every Apple Design Ever (ish) in 30 seconds. I'm a Sony guy, at heart, but even if each of its products were given only a single frame of animation, such a video would not end before the heat death of the universe. Also, times have changed.

Image and sourcing credits go to The Shrine of Apple, Apple-History, Edwin Tofslie, MacTracker, Ed Uthman, operating-system.org, and Apple itself.

BONUS FEATURE! After the jump, Every NeXT Design Ever in 30 seconds!

Read the rest

Video: when hip young technophiles become alter kakers

Social Media Week's "Future Hipsters" video imagines today's young technophilic changesurfers as old farts in 2062, wearing out-of-date fashion and telling rambling stories about being embarrassed by videos of themselves passing out at dubstep gigs. It's a nice illustration of the parenting advice Bruce Sterling once gave me: "No matter how outre and bohemian you are, when your child is fifteen, you will epitomize contemptible bourgeois normacly to her."

Future Hipsters (Thanks, Eli!)

William Gibson on aging futurism

In the latest Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, William Gibson talks in depth about his terrific new essay collection, Distrust That Particular Flavor, and explains how he feels about doomsaying by elderly futurists:

“Futurists get to a certain age and, as one does, they suddenly recognize their own mortality,” Gibson says in the Wired premier of The Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “And they often decide that what’s going on is that everything is just totally screwed and shabby now, whereas when they were younger everything was better. It’s an ancient, somewhat universal human attitude, and often they give it full voice.”

Why William Gibson Distrusts Aging Futurists’ Nostalgia, MP3 link

People in a bathroom sing "I Wanna Be Like You"

Here's a perfectly delightful cover of I Wanna Be Like You from the Disney film "The Jungle Book," performed by a group of young people crowded into a bathroom. Good acoustics and fine choreography!

JUNGLEBOOOK - I Wanna Be Like You (cover) (Thanks, Bethany!)

Cyclists would rather ride a bike than have sex

In a recent survey of 5000 Bicycling magazine readers, 50% of men and 58% of women said that—if pressed to choose between sex or bikes—they'd pick the bikes.(Via Maria Popova)

The song of a Jurassic cricket

Re-creation of Jurassic Cricket song, from Bristol University in the UK by qparker

Listen to this recording. It sounds a little like Sputnik, but it's actually a noise that's not been heard in 165 million years.

This is the song of an extinct species of bush cricket, the fossils of which have been found in China's Inner Mongolia region. Researchers recreated the sound by studying the fossil remains of the crickets' sound-producing organs. From the BBC:

A "plectrum" on one wing was dragged along a microscopic comb-like structure on the other. This produces a continuous "chirp" as the male insects rub, or "stridulate" their wings in a scissor-like motion. Dr Zapata described this stridulation as similar to playing a tiny violin.

Dr Zapata then set out to calculate the frequency of the tone, which denotes how high- or low-pitched it sounded. To to this, he simply compared the size and shape of its music-making or "stridulatory" instruments to those of living cricket species

There are modern bush crickets, but their songs are played at a higher pitch. The low tones produced by this extinct cricket imply that it might have been best adapted to do its singing on the ground, rather than elevated on branches or tall stalks of grass. Lower pitched sounds travel further from that elevation than a high-pitched one would.

Read the full paper at PNAS

Thanks for Submitterating, arkle!

Nevada police beat the hell out of man immobilized with diabetic shock, screaming "Do not resist, motherfucker!"

Here's footage of the police in Henderson, NV beating the crap out of Adam Greene, a man immobilized diabetic shock whom the police have mistaken for a drunk driver. The police point guns at him, pull him from the car, throw him to the ground, pile on him, and one officer, Sgt. Brett Seekatz begins to kick him over and over again, while someone screams "do not resist, motherfucker!" Eventually, they realize that he's not drunk and not resisting and call an ambulance.

Greene has received a $158,500 settlement from Henderson city council; his wife got a further $99,000, and the state of Nevada paid $35,000 for civil rights violations.

Police spokesmen won't say whether any of the officers have been disciplined.

Officials wouldn’t specify how or if Seekatz was disciplined over the incident, saying the information is a personnel matter and will not be released. He remains a member of the Henderson Police Department.

However, the department issued a statement noting changes since the incident.

“Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers ordered a closer look at the training Henderson officers receive,” the statement read. “The training on use of force techniques was subsequently modified.”

Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock – and Nevada City Pays for It (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Water bubbles orbiting a knitting needle on the ISS

Astronaut Don Pettit is a national treasure. He's been to space three times—once for a six-month stay on the ISS. On every mission, he's found time to make huge contributions to the public communication of science, including making a series of amazing "Science Saturday" videos and inventing (from spare parts he found lying around the ISS) a system to help the space station take clearer, sharper pictures of the Earth at night.

Pettit went to space with an international crew in December 2011 and is currently in space. This new video—where he demonstrates the way a small electric charge can manipulate the behavior of water droplets in microgravity—is a great addition to his oeuvre!

Thanks for Submitterating, James!

Video Link

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Father John Misty: “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” (MP3 download) - Boing Boing Exclusive!

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Sound it Out # 17: Father John Misty “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”

I’m extremely happy to share this free/exclusive download of Father John Misty’s first single.

Father John Misty is better known as Josh Tillman, former drummer for Fleet Foxes and a solo artist. He has a new album called Fear Fun that’s out on May 1st. I’m often quite bad at inferring the deeper meaning of songs, so I went to the source and asked Josh. Here’s what he said:

The central idea in this song is that the customs we have at our disposal to deal with grief, or commemorate a life, generally spectacularly fail to do either of those. Sometimes, and in my case, those attempts at reconciling life with grief fare much better while hooking up in a graveyard.

The song evokes an interesting combination of sorrow and rage. It hasn’t driven me to go get it on in a cemetery, but I’m not entirely ruling it out.

NYT publishes "infringement is theft" column and rips off another paper's article in the same weekend

The Boston Phoenix's Carly Carioli points out that on the same weekend that the New York Times carried a column from Bill Keller decrying piracy as a war on creative people, the Times's op-ed page pirated an article to which the Phoenix holds the copyright. And of course, the Times is the same corporation that claimed that aggregating its RSS-feed headlines in a mobile app was piracy, and shut down an app called Pulse. (Thanks, Light Bulb!)

Fables Super Team: turning the Silver Age superhero inside out to find the fables within

The sixteenth collected volume in Bill Willingham's long-running Fables series is Fables Super Team, and Willingham uses the volume to demonstrate his absolutely catholic approach to mythmaking and storytelling.

Read the rest

Stephen Fry on the techno-cluelessness of English judges


David Weinberger sez, "Stephen Fry explains that when a frustrated traveler tweets something about wanting to bomb an airport where there have been delays, the traveler isn't really announcing that he is about to bomb the airport. Social media, Fry explains, need to be understood as conversations. And then Fry kicked into the fund for the frustrated traveler's legal fees."

Fry really lays into the English judiciary here, and with some justification. They are notoriously aloof from the world of mortal humans. I keep hearing tales of an English judge in the 1980s had to ask a defense lawyer what a t-shirt was, and whether it was something you only wore at tea time, though I can't locate a reference on teh googles, but the prominence of this story (myth?) in English folklore says something about the national perception of the bench.

Unfortunately, the BBC video isn't embeddable because, well, public service, right?

Stephen Fry says British judges don't understand Twitter

(Image: Stephen Fry @ BorderKitchen, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from raaphorst's photostream)