Boing Boing 

Hypercard at 25

Matthew Lasar at Ars: "Where does HyperCard fit in the narrative of innovation? It's always tempting to go the condescending route and compare the program to, say, the optical telegraph, which was the magnetic telegraph's largely forgotten predecessor; or to John Logie Baird's mechanical television set, a forerunner to electronic TV; or to the cable/satellite music download experiments of Bill Von Meister, all of which tanked but eventually inspired America Online. But these were all flops. In its two decade life span, HyperCard was enormously successful, and it succeeded all over the world."

P.S. Spot anything interesting about his choice of screenshot?

SpaceX Dragon takes fiery ride from ISS back to Earth today

Watch live streaming video from spaceflightnow at livestream.com

UPDATE: The SpaceX Dragon successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 1042AM ET. History made, with the first commercially-built and operated space flight to the International Space Station now successfully completed.


Six days after it berthed with the International Space Station on an historic mission to prove that it could, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle left the ISS today and is now headed back toward our planet. SpaceFlightNow has live streaming video coverage:

The resupply craft was released from the robotic arm at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT) and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean is scheduled for 11:44 a.m. EDT (1544 GMT).

NASA has a HD video feed here, if you prefer.

Artist’s rendition of Dragon spacecraft returning to Earth like a burning meteor. (SpaceX)

Space journalist Miles O'Brien spoke with CNN earlier this morning about the day's significance. On his blog, Miles writes:

With the shuttle fleet pickled, chocked and either in – or on their way to museums, Dragon is the only vehicle designed to haul cargo back to Earth in tact. Freighters from Russian, Europe and Japan are more like trash incinerators – as they do not have heat shields and parachutes designed to insure a safe landing.

Dragon is carrying just shy of 1400 pounds of cargo. More than it hauled up.

On board, about 300 pounds of crew preference items (lots of mementoes for friends and family), 200 pounds worth of scientific experiments, and nearly 800 pounds of station gear including a pump for the station urine recycling system (yes, they drink their own pee up there…).

Dragon will re-enter the atmosphere like a streaking meteor – as its ablative heat shield burns away - protecting the spacecraft from the searing heat.

Read the rest

Canadian border guards demand inbound journalist's mobile phone contacts, prohibit writing while in-country

Henry sez, "Jacobin editor and In These Times correspondent Bhaskar Sunkara got a going over from Canadian border cops who accused him of being 'political' for knowing about health insurance, and of being a 'bigtime journalist embedded in the student movement,' then demanded his phone and details of his contacts."

The other agent, now done examining my roll of dental floss, flipped through the copy of In These Times, and saw my name on the masthead. So you’re a big time journalist? You must be embedded in the student movement, right?

This was the surprise and, to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. For the first few years of my adult life, I’ve dealt with extra screenings at airports and crossings, mostly outside the United States, particularly in the European countries I’ve visited. It was due to my race. My first hour in Canada was like that. Now I was being harassed because I was a leftist going to possibly talk to people in a country terrified of a militant left-wing movement. And I was a “known journalist.” I couldn’t wait to brag to my friends.

They asked me if I had two identities. No, of course not. How come you have all these medical cards that say “Swamy Sunkara” on them? I tried to explain the United States’ employer-based health care system and how young people under a certain age were under their parent’s coverage. You know a lot about this, are you political?

The irony was striking. The system I was explaining was a stark reminder of America’s weak social safety net. It was foreign to the Canadian border officials, who were admittedly not too bright, but it was one of the reasons why so many were marching in the streets of Montreal – to halt the neoliberal offensive. The border officials didn’t want me to join the protesters, but they also didn’t want my health care.

Reading Lolita in Montreal: Canada Doesn’t Want More Journalists (Thanks, Henry!)

New York City mapped by rappers' origins

Click through to A Very Small Array for full size. You may also enjoy The Rap Map.

Click watches look like light-switches


Click's latest watches are the "Wall Switches." As the name implies, they look like wide, flat, blank wall-switches, but have a hidden illuminated time-display that lights up when the switch is flicked.

Click Wall Switch Watches

Toronto cop who arrested drunk-driving off-duty officer harassed by co-workers

A Toronto internal police disciplinary ruling found that Constable Andrew Vanderburgh was "harassed and berated" by other cops because he insisted on booking an off-duty cop whom he'd caught driving drunk. Vanderburgh, a rookie, brought in Breton Berthiaume based on a phoned-in tip about an erratic highway driver. Berthiaume, an off-duty cop, failed a breathalyzer. When Vanderburgh went ahead and booked the other officer, his fellow cops objected, and began a campaign of harassment and intimidation. The Toronto Star's Betsy Powell reports:

“Constable Khawaja is purported to have stated on more than one occasion that evening to different informants that he wanted nothing to do with the arrest of a fellow police officer,” Reinhardt wrote.

Vanderburgh, meanwhile, continued to pay a price.

After Berthiaume was released, Vanderburgh drove a marked police vehicle back to his division and was followed by a 22 Division cruiser driven by Const. James Little.

Little pulled him over and gave him a ticket for allegedly disobeying a red light, which was later dismissed. Last year, Little pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.

Little chose “to disregard his professional obligations and embark on a course of retaliatory action against a colleague performing his sworn, lawful duty,” Supt. Robin Breen wrote in his ruling.

Rookie cop takes heat for arresting off-duty officer (via Reddit)

Cats with flowers on their heads, in baskets, resting in a tree (video)

Video link (shironekoshiro)

Gay porn actor in Canada wanted for killing friend, publishing dismembering videos, mailing body parts

Authorities in Canada are searching for 29-year-old Luka Rocco Magnotta, an adult film actor who appears on various websites featuring hardcore gay male porn. Magnotta is beleived to be the man responsible for killing a friend, videotaping and then publishing online video of the man's dismemberment, then mailing body parts to various addresses in Ottawa, including the ruling Conservative party's headquarters.

A human torso recently discovered in Montreal, and a human hand and foot mailed from Montreal to Ottawa, are all presumed to be connected to the killing.

In 2009, Magnotta (or someone using his name) published a blog post on "how to disappear completely and never be found."

Read the rest

First-person horror game from a two-year-old's PoV

Krillbrite Studio offers a preview of "Among the Sleep," a first-person horror game viewed from the point of view of a toddling two-year-old:

Among The Sleep invites you into the mind and body of a two year old child. After being put to bed one evening, mysterious things start to happen.

Being played in first person, the game let its players immerse themselves in a child's limitless imagination. This is a perspective we all have a distant familiarity with, but few can clearly remember what it felt like.

In the borderland between dream and reality, surreal creatures and diverse environments will present you with both physical and mental obstacles that challenge your creativity.

Among the Sleep (via Super Punch)

In Tibet, a mother of 3 burns herself alive in protest of Chinese rule

A woman identified as Rikyo, said to be 33 years old and the mother of three young children, burned herself to death today in what is believed to have been another desperate act of protest against China’s repressive policies in Tibet. According to the Tibetan pro-sovereignty website Phayul, she set herself on fire near the Jonang Zamthang Gonchen monastery in Zamthang county, in Ngaba region, the epicenter of a continuing wave of Tibetan self-immolations.

Rikyo’s body is currently being kept at the Jonang Monastery, although Chinese security personnel have reportedly demanded the body to be removed. Rikyo is survived by her husband and three children, the eldest, a 9-year old son and two daughters aged 7 and 5.

Just three days ago, two ethnic Tibetan men self-immolated in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, at what is considered to be the ancient city's most important temple. Chinese police and firefighters arrived at Jokhang, extinguished flames, and removed the men. Their whereabouts and conditions are unknown.

Read the rest

SpaceX Dragon scheduled to return to Earth Thu. May 31, 11:44 AM ET

The SpaceX Dragon, having successfully berthed with the International Space Station, is on its way back home. Last week the space vehicle became the first privately-built and operated spacecraft to reach the ISS. Dragon is targeted to land in the Pacific Ocean, about 500 miles west-southwest of Los Angeles, at approximately 8:44 AM PT/11:44 AM ET tomorrow. The vehicle's return voyage, from ISS departure to splashdown, will be webcast on NASA TV starting at 3:30AM ET/12:30 AM PT.

From a NASA update:

Read the rest

After news of an Obama "Kill List," a petition for a "Do Not Kill" list

There's a new petition drive on the White House website, inspired by the New York Times story about a so-called "kill list" the President uses to decide which war on terror enemy should be taken out by drones or air strikes: The Do Not Kill List. If it reaches 25,000 signatures, the White House must respond. (via WSJ)

Why "ethical" people commit fraud

An All Things Considered segment (MP3) with Chana Joffe-Walt and Alix Spiegel looks at the circumstances that lead to people cheating and committing other frauds. They frame it with the true story of Toby Groves, whose brother had been convicted of fraud, and whose father made him swear a solemn oath to be upstanding in his business dealings. However, Groves found himself committing fraud later, and brought several of his employees in on it.

Typically when we hear about large frauds, we assume the perpetrators were driven by financial incentives. But psychologists and economists say financial incentives don't fully explain it. They're interested in another possible explanation: Human beings commit fraud because human beings like each other.

We like to help each other, especially people we identify with. And when we are helping people, we really don't see what we are doing as unethical.

Lamar Pierce, an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, points to the case of emissions testers. Emissions testers are supposed to test whether or not your car is too polluting to stay on the road. If it is, they're supposed to fail you. But in many cases, emissions testers lie.

"Somewhere between 20 percent and 50 percent of cars that should fail are passed — are illicitly passed," Pierce says.

Financial incentives can explain some of that cheating. But Pierce and psychologist Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School say that doesn't fully capture it.

Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things

Virgin Galactic spaceship gets FAA's OK for test flights

ss2_ship2.jpg

The Federal Aviation Administration today cleared SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic's six-passenger commercial space vehicle, to begin rocket-powered suborbital test flights.

More on the experimental launch permit from Virgin Galactic:

Read the rest

Orangutan rescued from poaching, returned to wild, then shot 62 times by thrill-seeking villagers

A blind Sumatran orangutan named Leuser was poached, sold as a gift, rescueed by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, and returned to the wild. Then, villagers seeking entertainment shot him 62 times. He has been rescued again, and his story is told in photos here.

Scarf-wearing pig chased by cops on Pittsburgh highway

Today, the best news story of the entire day was surely this unlikely report of a "sharp-dressed pig running loose on a highway" outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Police chased the little porker, believed to be a juvenile, but "failed to catch it before it scurried off into the woods."

Police say the pig appeared to be a baby and confirmed it was wearing a scarf. Police dont know why that is or who may own the animal.

Full story at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, WTAE Pittsburgh, and Associated Press.

(via Theremina)

Turning out the streetlights in "distressed" parts of Detroit

In Bloomberg, Chris Christoff reports on the city of Detroit's plan to switch off up to half of its municipal streetlights, reducing or eliminating public lighting in "distressed" areas, noting that other cities, including neighboring Highland Park, as well as Colorado Springs, have already done this:

A single, broken streetlight on the northeast side brings fear to Cynthia Perry, 55. It hasn’t worked for six years, Perry said in an interview on the darkened sidewalk where she walks from her garage to her house entrance.

“I’m afraid coming in at night,” she said. “I’m not going to seclude myself in the house and never go anywhere.”

In southwest Detroit, businesses on West Vernor Highway, a main commercial thoroughfare, have sought $4 million in private grants to fix the situation themselves. The state would pay $2.5 million, said Kathy Wendler, president of the Southwest Detroit Business Association.

Jamahl Makled, 40, said he’s owned businesses in southwest Detroit for about two decades, most recently cell-phone stores. He said they’ve have been burglarized more than a dozen times.

“In the dark, criminals are comfortable,” Makled said. “It’s not good for the economy and the safety of the residents.”

Half of Detroit’s Streetlights May Go Out as City Shrinks (via Rejectamentalist Manifesto)