Josh from Free Press sez, "
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to gut existing rules that limit media consolidation. This is bad news for people who care about the effects of too much media in too few hands.
Genachowski's proposed plan would make our media less diverse, create local media monopolies and ultimately mean less news.
This rule would allow ONE company to own a daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in your town. And that one company could be your Internet provider, too. Scary."
Brian from Greenpeace sez, "They say you can tell what next season's hottest trend will be by looking at the colour of the rivers in China and Mexico due to the dyes and hazardous chemicals used by the fashion industry.
An animated collaboration between Greenpeace and Free Range studios (creators of such activist classics as Meatrix and Story of Stuff) exposes the trail of hazardous chemicals from factories in the developing world to the clothes the developed world buys. Greenpeace claims some of the chemicals present in trace amounts in those clothes are banned in European and the US, making your washing machine a potential source of illegal hazardous waste."
Some Staples stores in Belgium and the Netherlands will have MCOR color 3D printers that will print out model-files uploaded to a store website for in-person pickup. MCOR printers use plain pulp paper as build material, so the resulting models will be essentially cellulose, dye and glue, and should be easy to recycle.
Staples’ Easy 3D will offer consumers, product designers, architects, healthcare professionals, educators, students and others low-cost, brilliantly coloured, photo-realistic 3D printed products from Staples stores. Customers will simply upload electronic files to the Staples Office Centre and pick up the models in their nearby Staples stores, or have them shipped to their address. Staples will produce the models with the Mcor IRIS, a 3D printer with the highest colour capability in the industry and lowest operating cost of any commercial-class 3D printer.
The press release promises that this technology will be made available in other Staples stores around the world.
This adorable Makie doll went to MineCon, a Minecraft convention in Paris, with its owner MoggyMoo and her son, a Minecraft enthusiast. In honour of the occasion, Moggymoo knit a tiny custom Minecraft creeper jumper for it to wear.
Last week, my nine-year-old daughter Jane and I were interviewed on NPR about some of our favorite apps for the family. One of our picks was Story Dice. This attractively-designed iOS app lets you roll virtual dice that have a number of different symbols on their faces. You can select the number of dice per throw (from 1 to 10). Every time you shake the phone or tap the screen you get a new throw of the dice. I'm not sure how many different symbols there are, but I see new ones all the time, and we have played with this app quite a bit.
A fantastically-psychotronic and insane video for "Hashshashin Chant" by Demdike Stare, available on their out-of-print Voices of Dust LP or the Triptych box set compiling all three of their essential 2010 albums.
Neulant van Exel's Floppy Table is made from rolled steel, and its dust-guard slides aside to reveal a cavity for storing your TV remote. No pricing info, so I assume this is one of those, "If you have you ask, you can't afford it" deals.
Researchers from the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University have built a 3D printer that can use sorted (simulated) Lunar regolith (moon dust) to print out "crude" objects. This is the premise of a novella I'm working on, so it's pretty exciting to see:
Amit Bandyopadhyay and Susmita Bose, using simulated lunar regolith that are analogies to moon rocks, have used 3D printing to create a number of crude objects. The simulated regolith, found on Earth and supplied by NASA, contains silicon, aluminum, calcium, iron and magnesium oxides but behaves like silica when melted by a laser. Once the regolith is melted, a 3D printer creates objects out of it layer by layer.
Using moon rocks shaped by 3D printers as building material or simple spare parts and tools would vastly decrease the expense of building and maintaining a lunar settlement. 3D printing also has considerable promise for Earth bound construction.
Greg sez, "This project is using a number of computational photography techniques to document Charles Babbage's 'Difference Engine No 2' for the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. There are interactive gigapixel images for the four cardinal views of the device available to view."
That Shakespeare movie that Joss Whedon shot in 12 days (during some spare time while shooting The Avengers) has gotten an official theatrical release date: June 7, 2013. Filmed in glorious black and white, Much Ado About Nothing features several Whedon favorites, like Fran Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods) as Claudio, Alexis Denisof (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Benedick, Amy Acker (also Buffy) as Beatrice, and Clark Gregg (The Avengers) as Leonato. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions stepped up to give this movie a chance in theaters so people could actually see it, because poor Joss Whedon is going seriously unrecognized for his cinematic efforts these days. (photo via Ginsberg Libby)
A gaggle of devastatingly handsome cartoonists pose for a group portrait in a Toronto restaurant. Left to right: Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Seth, Chester Brown, Anouk Ricard, Peter Birkemoe, Adrian Tomine. (photo: Nathalie Atkinson)
Brian Krebs has published an ad from "Foreign Agents," a notorious Russian crime service. They're advertising the availability of foot soldiers in the USA who can help cash out hacked bank accounts and credit cards. Unlike traditional bank-fraud mules, who don't know that they're part of a scam, these "associates" are "неразводные" ("nerazvodni" or "not deceived").
The proprietors of this service say it will take 40-45 percent of the value of the theft, depending on the amount stolen. In a follow Q&A with potential buyers, the vendors behind this service say it regularly moves $30,000 – $100,000 per day for clients. Specifically, it specializes in cashing out high-dollar bank accounts belonging to hacked businesses, hence the mention high up in the ad of fraudulent wire transfers and automated clearinghouse or ACH payments (ACH is typically how companies execute direct deposit of payroll for their employees).
According to the advertisement, customers of this service get their very own login to a remote panel, where they can interact with the cashout service and monitor the progress of their thievery operations. The service also can be hired to drain bank accounts using counterfeit debit cards obtained through ATM skimmers or hacked point-of-sale devices. The complicit mules will even help cash out refunds from phony state and federal income tax filings — a lucrative form of fraud that, according to the Internal Revenue Service, cost taxpayers $5.2 billion last year.
Say what you will about their criminal tendencies, those bank robbers have excellent art direction.
Guys, it's really going to be ending soon. Alec Baldwin sent this profoundly monumental message (at least for 30 Rock fans) this afternoon, reminding everyone that there is, indeed, a limited amount of episodes of NBC's 30 Rock left. But before we mourn, tonight is the episode in which Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) gets married to Criss Chross (James Marsden). Visit Flavorwire if you will be throwing a cocktail party, because they have some fancy mixed drinks just for the occasion! (via Alec Baldwin on Twitter, Flavorwire)
Erica at Honestly…WTF has a nice tutorial on how to make pretty "Surprise Balls," which are balls of brightly colored and decorated crepe paper that contain multiple goodies in the layers of wrapping. I want one filled with dark-chocolate covered coffee beans.
Prepare the supplies by cutting the fine crepe paper, lengthwise, into three 1″ strips per color. When picking out the toys, candy, and surprises, be sure to select an assortment of sizes from larger round shaped items to small flat items. Start by wrapping the largest item. Work in a criss cross pattern to cover as much surface area as possible.