Jason sez, "A follow up to last years insanely popular Chocolate Cthulhu Idol comes the Giant Chocolate Cthulhu Idol. Standing 7.5 inches tall and weighing a sanity shattering 2 lbs, this solid green chocolate treat is a must have for the devoted cultist."
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Christopher sez, "We developed an infographic along the lines of 'The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly' to show how Charter Cable is engaging in predatory pricing to kill cable/broadband competition in one of the few places in the US people have a choice. You want to know why we don't have real competition in broadband and cable? Anytime a new entrant builds a better network, these big corporations run them out of town by dropping their rates for crappy cable. If the FTC/FCC bother to act, it will be years from now."
Charter Fights Dirty to Kill Competition in Monticello
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The Arizona Senate has passed a bill
that immunizes doctors from malpractice suits if they deliberately withhold information about prenatal problems because they don't want the woman carrying the fetus to consider an abortion.
) Read the rest
My friend, artist Amy Crehore, has finished a lovely painting, called Basker's Cove. Read the rest
Tavis sez, "A mind-blowingly recursive poster that represents the AD&D rules for procedural dungeon generation as a flowchart which is drawn as a dungeon. From the The Mule Abides blog at NYC's intersection between role-playing games, the gallery art scene, and how Kickstarter can jam 'em together. Cory's linked the Mule before as HOWTO have a D&D party for 8-year-olds; also featured in this post is a nifty Kickstarter for the first publication from the Play-Generated Map and Documents Archive, similarly linked for Homemade D&D module, 1981."
Everything is Flowcharts
(Thanks, Travis!) Read the rest
Mike sez, "With the Texas Primaries coming up in May, I thought you would be interested to know that some of the Redditors that were involved in the boycott on GoDaddy.com and 'Operation Pull Ryan' (where Reddit raised money for Rep. Paul Ryan's opponent), have started TestPAC, a non-connected, registered PAC, with the goal of defeating Lamar Smith in the Republican Primaries."
You'll remember Lamar Smith from such stupid Internet laws as SOPA and the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 (AKA "the Spy on Everyone Always Act"). He's a 25-year incumbent and a powerful committee chairman. And he's kind of a tool.
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What we aim to do is a bit unorthodox: use Texas’ semi-open primary system to edge Smith out in favor of another Republican candidate. When voters identify themselves to the election officials, they must request a party’s specific ballot. As explained on Wikipedia:
Only one ballot is cast by each voter. In many states with semi-open primaries, election officials or poll workers from their respective parties record each voter’s choice of party and provide access to this information. The primary difference between a semi-open and open primary system is the use of a party-specific ballot. In a semi-open primary, a public declaration in front of the election judges is made and a party-specific ballot given to the voter to cast.
This means that Republicans, Independents and Democrats can participate in the choosing of either party’s candidate in the primary election. While Democrats who choose to participate in the Republican primaries are exempt from also voting for their own party’s candidate, it is important to note that their actions would speak volumes in regards to changing the political landscape in their district.
Jon Corbett, who posted a video
explaining a vulnerability in TSA full-body scanners that might allow dangerous objects onto airplanes now reports
that two different reporters have told him that they were contacted by a TSA spokesperson called Sari Koshetz who "strongly cautioned" them not to write about his video. Read the rest
[Video Link] Here's an excerpt from the new book, Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, by Ash Maurya. It's published by O'Reilly (which also publishes MAKE, the magazine I edit).
Running Lean is an ideal tool for business managers, CEOs, small business owners, developers and programmers, and anyone who's interested in starting a business project.
Find a problem worth solving, then define a solution
Engage your customers throughout the development cycle
Continually test your product with smaller, faster iterations
Build a feature, measure customer response, and verify/refute the idea
Know when to "pivot" by changing your plan's course
Maximize your efforts for speed, learning, and focus
Learn the ideal time to raise your "big round" of funding
Buy Running Lean on Amazon Read the rest
[Video Link] These fellows use chopsticks to liberate their comrades of material possessions. It looks like hard work, but their job is made easier thanks to apathetic onlookers who don't intervene. After a long day of stealing, these thieves will have collected a great many facial tissue packs! (Thanks, lunchthief!) Read the rest
Here's the 8th episode of MAKE's podcast, Make: Talk! In each episode, I interview one of the makers featured in the magazine.
Our maker this week is Kyle Machulis, a hardware and software hacker who led the team in making the reverse engineer drivers for the Microsoft Kinect. Kyle is also an avid self-tracker, which means he uses technology to measure different aspects of his health and biology.
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This is an excellent short profile of video game pioneer Ralph Baer. He's 90 and still inventing.
"I still get a big charge out of making something work. I write the hardware, I push a button, I put it into the microprocessor and it works. Ahhh… beautiful."
Ralph Baer is often called the father of video games. His invention, the Magnavox Odyssey, was the first home console system. I photographed and interviewed him this summer as part of my ongoing series on inventors (the book and app for which will be out eventually I promise).
Since he turns 90 years old this week, and this year marks the 40th anniversary of the video game, I chose for this video some bits from our interview in which we talk about, among other things, why he's still inventing at 90 years old.
Director David Friedman says, "This video is part of an ongoing series of photo and video portraits of contemporary inventors
from all walks of life."
(Thanks, Ironic Sans) Read the rest
On Behance, art director Bjoern Ewers shows off the gorgeous macro-photo ads he produced for the Berlin Philharmonic, which depict the insides of instruments as airy atria (or, as Colossal has it, "vast and spacious, almost as if you could walk around inside them.")
ART DIRECTION: INSTRUMENTS FROM INSIDE
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Last week, I wrote about the controversy entailed by the R-rating the MPAA has given to the documentary Bully, effectively putting it outside the reach of most of the young people it addresses. Now the film censor board in British Columbia has given the film an all-ages PG rating, calling the MPAA's judgment into question.
“Last night, I learned of the B.C. board’s decision to grant Bully a PG-rating. I am thrilled that kids of all ages can now join their parents, teachers, social work advocates and leaders to bring about change for this deeply important cause,” Hirsch said Wednesday in a statement.
'Bully' Doc Gets PG-Rating in Canada, Despite MPAA's R-Rating Stateside
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Yesterday, I wrote about Jon Corbett's video, in which he demonstrates a method that appears to make it easy to smuggle metal objects (including weapons) through a TSA full-body scanner. The TSA has responded by saying that they still trust the machines, but they won't say why, "for obvious security reasons."
As Wired's David Kravets points out, Corbett is only the most recent critic to take a skeptical look at the efficacy of the expensive, invasive machinery. Other critics include the Government Accountability Office ("the devices might be ineffective") and the Journal of Transportation Security ("terrorists might fool the Rapiscan machines by taping explosive devices to their stomachs").
Corbett responded to the TSA's we-can't-tell-you-or-we'd-have-to-kill-you rebuttal with "You don't believe it? Try it."
“These machines are safe,” Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview.
In a blog post, the government’s response was that, “For obvious security reasons, we can’t discuss our technology’s detection capability in detail, however TSA conducts extensive testing of all screening technologies in the laboratory and at airports prior to rolling them out to the entire field.”
TSA Pooh-Poohs Video Purporting to Defeat Airport Body Scanners Read the rest