Outlook.com's social life

This post sponsored by Outlook.com:

For the majority of us, our online connections with friends, family, colleagues and internet celebrities are managed through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. When YASN (Yet Another Social Network) comes along and asks us to rebuild those social connections from scratch – but this time in "their" sandbox – most of us simply change the channel. Instead of asking you to re-create your social sphere, the new Outlook.com preview connects to the social networks you already use – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and even Google) – to take advantage of the connections and relationships you’ve already created and use every day. Read the rest

Bottles beware! Compilation of Will Keith destruction videos

YouTuber goosmurf published this compilation of videos from Will Keith aka "bbillyk," which includes much smashing.

The Vice-Presidential debate, in animated GIFs

The Atlantic Wire does what must be done: live-blog the 2012 VP debate, in animated GIFs. "The highlight of the debate is Biden's face. Ryan's eyebrows a distant second." Read the rest

Wyclef Jean's highly-hyped Haiti charity defunct and in debt, surprising approximately nobody

Yéle, the Haiti charity of rock star Wyclef Jean that took in some $16 million after the 2010 eaarthquake, is bust. How bust? So bust that their domain, yele.org, has expired.

Deborah Sontag in the NYT, writing about the rockstar who once thought himself a good choice as president of Haiti:

"In a new memoir, Wyclef Jean, the Haitian-born hip-hop celebrity, claims he endured a “crucifixion” after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake when he faced questions about his charity’s financial record and ability to handle what eventually amounted to $16 million in donations."

Read the rest

Scanning whole books is fair use

A landmark fair use ruling: a judge in the Southern District Court of New York has ruled that Google's program of scanning books for libraries, and giving them copies to use for full-text search is fair use. The suit was brought by the Authors' Guild against the Hathitrust Digital Library, which holds the digital books for the library. Timothy B Lee does a good job summing up the judgment and its implications for Ars Technica:

"The use to which the works in the HDL are put is transformative because the copies serve an entirely different purpose than the original works: the purpose is superior search capabilities rather than actual access to copyrighted material," wrote Judge Baer. "The search capabilities of the HDL have already given rise to new methods of academic inquiry such as text mining." Similarly, Judge Baer noted, the scanning program allows blind readers to read the books, something they can't do with the original.

Also key is the fourth factor: the impact on the market for the works. While a book search engine obviously doesn't undermine the market for paper books, the authors had argued that a finding of fair use would hamper their ability to earn revenue by selling the right to scan their books. But Judge Baer rejected this argument as fundamentally circular. He quoted a previous court decision that made the point: "Were a court automatically to conclude in every case that potential licensing revenues were impermissibly impaired simply because the secondary user did not pay a fee for the right to engage in the use, the fourth factor would always favor the copyright owner."

Court rules book scanning is fair use, suggesting Google Books victory Read the rest

Nerdy custom dresses

Etsy's Lameasaurus Awesomesauce makes and sells these custom nerdy dresses, including R2D2, Tardis, Dumbo, Vader, Mickey, Snow White, and many others: "The dress is fully lined dress with a semi-fitted bodice and elasticized back, circle skirt that twirls and swishes beautifully. It is made of 100% cotton with the exception of detailing. The dress can be ironed and washed."

Lameasaurus (via The Mary Sue) Read the rest

Panorama of a despoiled library

Jeffrey sez, "Because there aren't enough things to be sad about in the world. Behold, a once-glorious attic full of books falling victim to entropy and vandalism. I don't know the real story behind this, but I know a sad sight when I see it."

Weberei Eibau Walddorf Dachbodenbibliothek (Thanks, Jeffrey!) Read the rest

Cheating F1 team wins the right to deduct its fines from its taxes

McLaren, a cheating Formula 1 team, got caught and fined £34M, so they deducted it from their taxes. The British tax authority objected, but they appealed, and won. Ren Reynolds has a gamerly perspective on this on Terra Nova:

In short McLaren argue that the fine was an expense related to the trade that they were engaged in. That there are exceptions to this such as statutory fines, but this was not such a fine, it arose out of the contract between them and the sporting body and it was not a 'punishment' but a commercial deterrent as such it was a risk of and thus an expense of trade.

The way that this has been presented in some elements of the UK media is a some what popularist version of the dissenting opinion in the case by Dee. This opinion holds that the fine was a punishment and that 'fines and penalties' of a similar nature are not allowable under tax law. What's more "the conduct of McLaren fell way outside any normal and acceptable way of conducting their trade, as found by the WMSC."

The problem with this view is that it misunderstands the nature of games / sport and in particular their relationship with law.

To put it simply the sort of conduct that is accepted as part of a gaming or sporting practice is not just that set out by the rules but also a wide set of acts that are within the tradition of the actual practice of that game or sport.

Read the rest

Peanut butter ads had the best typography, seriously

On the LJ Vintage Ads group, the always-reliable Man Writing Slash has assembled a collection of some of the finest illustrated peanut butter ads this writer has had the pleasure of seeing. It's a slice of idealized simulacrum straight from the collective unconscious of the American appetite.

Peanut Butter, food of the gods Read the rest

AwayFind gives you the peace of mind to ignore your inbox without fear of missing an important email

I've found that having big stretches of time where I don't frequently check my email boosts my ability to accomplish things. A service called AwayFind gives me the peace of mind to ignore my inbox.

In a nutshell, AwayFind lets you add selected email addresses to a Priority Inbox. When someone on your list sends you an email, a notification appears on your phone. That way, you don't need to check your email inbox every few minutes. I've added my family members, my book editor, my coworkers at MAKE and Boing Boing, and a few other people to my Priority Inbox list.

Does this sound like Apple's new VIP feature? Yes, AwayFind and Apple's VIP share some of the same functionality. However, AwayFind goes beyond Apple's VIP feature, making it much more useful. Jared Goralnick, the founder of AwayFind, wrote a blog post that describes the features in AwayFind that VIP doesn't have. For instance, AwayFind determines the 25 people that you reply to the fastest and makes it easy to add them to your Priority Inbox (this list is regenerated every month). It also notifies you when someone you've scheduled a meeting with sends you an email before your meeting, even if they aren't in your Priority Inbox. These examples just scratch the surface. Check out a list of the other differences between VIP and AwayFind here.

You can try AwayFind for free for 30 days. After that you can subscribe to a personal plan for $4.99 a month, which includes 100 alerts a month, or a pro account for $14.99 a month, which gives you 1000 alerts per month. Read the rest

First new Rolling Stones song in six years cashes in on zombie craze [Video]

Listen to the first Rolling Stones song in 6 years.

Latest celebrity to get swallowed up by the "Bermuda Triangle" of drug bust checkpoints: Nelly

Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Fiona Apple have all been famously busted for possession of cannabis at Texas' Sierra Blanca border checkpoint. But Nelly, who was detained last night, could be in a little more trouble than his fellow musicians. When his bus was searched, officers found 36 bags of heroin, a loaded pistol, and a duffel bag with 10 pounds of cannabis.

One of the passengers, a man named Brian Keith Jones, has fessed up to owning everything and was arrested. A dubious claim, sure, but Nelly and the remaining five people were released.
Nelly detained in Texas for possession of heroin, a loaded gun, and 10 pounds of weed Read the rest

Illustration from a vintage issue of OCD Monthly magazine

Have you been saving your milk cartons?

(Via Phil Are Go!) Read the rest

Adrian Tomine's New York Drawings: exclusive excerpt

Yesterday, I posted my interview with Adrian Tomine on the Gweek podcast. We talked about his new book, New York Drawings, which has every illustration he's done for The New Yorker. Below are some of the illustrations we talked about at length in the podcast. I like the way Adrian tells a little story in a single illustration. Don't miss Adrian's funny autobiographical one-page comic strip about getting into a heated discussion with his relatives about his dislike of e-books.

His book also includes many of his sketchbook drawings and watercolors. Read the rest

Video-game tights

Etsy's eatmeclothing makes kick-ass video-game themed tights, including a Galaga set, Wonderboy, and Bubble Bobble

(via The Mary Sue) Read the rest

Amazing build of the Batcave using Lego

Our friends at Laughing Squid have lots of photos of this great Lego build of the Batcave. I like the dramatic lighting. Incredible LEGO Batcave Built Out of Over 20,000 Pieces Read the rest

Bong: "Live At Roadburn 2010" music review

After enthused hails from the crowd, the first of two loooooong tracks starts up, or seeps in, eerie and airy and understated, quite lovely really, not at all heavy, but nicely hypnotic...

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