New FCC rules will let a single company own a town's ISP, newspapers, 2 TV stations and 8 radio stations

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."

No More Media for Murdoch [Petition to FCC] Read the rest

Greenpeace's anime video about hazardous chemicals and fashion

An animated collaboration between Greenpeace and Free Range studios exposes the trail of hazardous chemicals throughout the world.
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Makie doll in a Minecraft sweater

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.

Meena is going to MineCon (Thanks, Alice!)

(Disclosure: My wife is the founder of MakieLab) Read the rest

Story Dice: app for storytelling fun

This attractively-designed iOS app lets you roll virtual dice that have a number of different symbols on their faces.

Demdike Stare's "Hashshashin Chant" (music video)

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.

Floppy Table made from rolled steel, with hidden compartment

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.


Hot-rolled steel (welded) Stainless steel (welded)


27.56" width x 25.59" height x 17.72" depth 70cm width x 45cm height x 65cm depth

Extras: Secret space

Floppy Table (via JWZ) Read the rest

3D printing with moon-dust

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.
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Joss Whedon's extracurricular Much Ado About Nothing gets a release date

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) Read the rest

Cartoonist group photo in Toronto restaurant

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) Read the rest

Make editors and contributors in a Google Hangout at 2pm PST

Join the editors and contributors of MAKE in a Google Hangout right now. We'll be talking about 3D printers and content in the latest issue. Read the rest

Ad for freelance Russian bank-robbers

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. Read the rest

Alec Baldwin sends the saddest tweet ever about 30 Rock

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) Read the rest

How to make surprise balls

How to make pretty "Surprise Balls," which are balls of crepe paper that contain multiple goodies in the layers of wrapping.

Some planets are harder to leave than others

At his Psychology Today blog, Michael Chorost delves into a question about exoplanets that I've not really thought much about before — how easy they would be to leave.

Many of the potentially habitable exoplanets that we've found — the ones we call "Earth-like" — are actually a lot bigger than Earth. That fact has an effect — both on how actually habitable those planets would be for us humans and how easily any native civilizations that developed could slip the surly bonds of gravity and make it to outer space.

The good news, says Chorost is that the change in surface gravity wouldn't be as large as you might guess, even for planets much bigger than Earth. The bad news: Even a relatively small increase in surface gravity can mean a big increase in how fast a rocket would have to be going in order to leave the planet. It starts with one equation — SG=M/R^2.

Let’s try it with [exoplanet] HD 40307g, using data from the Habitable Exoplanet Catalog. Mass, 8.2 Earths. Radius, 2.4 times that of Earth. That gets you a surface gravity of 1.42 times Earth.

... it’s amazingly easy to imagine a super-Earth with a comfortable gravity. If a planet had eight Earth masses and 2.83 times the radius, its surface gravity would be exactly 1g. This is the “Fictional Planet” at the bottom of the table. Fictional Planet would be huge by Earth standards, with a circumference of 70,400 miles and an area eight times larger.

Read the rest

Lost nearly had a completely different leader, who probably wouldn't have grown a beard

Remember the Bad Jack Beard from Lost? The one on Matthew Fox's face that kept insisting that everyone had to go back to the island? If the show's creators had gone with their original plan, that beard would have never existed. In an excerpt of The Revolution Was Televised (featured on Grantland), Alan Sepinwall's new book about the making of ABC's cult hit, it's revealed that despite his early, leaderly standing among the castaways, Jack (Fox) was almost offed and replaced by Kate (Evangeline Lilly).

In the vein of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (or even the pilot of Oz), they planned to pull the rug out from under the audience by killing Jack midway through the first episode, forcing Kate to take charge. After this sudden demise, viewers would realize no one was safe. [Damon] Lindelof says Steve McPherson, then the head of the ABC studio, made a convincing counter-argument that it would teach viewers not to trust the show, and the writers ultimately agreed with him.

In the end, it was decided that the character of Kate wasn't dynamic enough to lead the show; in fact, she had not originally been written as the fugitive she turned out to be. Instead, she was one half of a couple who had been separated in the plane crash. (Those roles ultimately switched over to Rose and Bernard.) Switching from Kate to Jack may have been the best course if her character hadn't been completely decided on. But it's kind of a bummer, especially when you consider that the show's creator, J.J. Read the rest

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