It's a good week when we get two new short stories from political science fiction wunderkind Laurie Penny: on Monday, it was The House of Surrender, about a prison in a world without coercion; today it's "The Killing Jar," about the intern to a serial killer employed by an English town council: "Since serial murder was first recognized as one of the English Fine Arts, the trick has always been to keep it original."
Dealing with emails is about half my job. There are always one or two enthusiastic wannabe accomplices, which is stupid, because everyone knows the Council runs the placement system and you can’t apply directly. But most of it’s fan mail. Tony generally answers one or two every day, which I think is overkill.
I feel a bit sorry for Tony. It's not that he's not a good serial killer, it's just that for various reasons things haven't worked out for him, and he hasn't achieved the sort of notoriety that someone with his skill set really deserves.
For instance: The last troubled, hard-drinking detective with unorthodox methods who Tony managed to hook into a daring cat-and-mouse game ended up in rehab for alcohol abuse, thus wasting months of painstaking antagonism. He's alright now, but part of his recovery program apparently involves no longer doing active police work, which pisses Tony off no end after the amount of time he put into the creepy post-crime scene flirtation they had going on.
The new inspector on the case just doesn't have the same sparkle. Sure, he breaks the rules now and then, but his colleagues generally like him and he's Tony says he doesn't have enough personality disorders to be interesting.
The Killing Jar
The Nightmare Machine is an MIT project to use machine learning image-processing to make imagery for Hallowe’en.
The Stormtrooper Decanter is on back-order, but you can pre-order one from the next batch for £22 — it’s based on Andrew Ainsworth’s original movie helmet moulds from 1976, and will provide endless opportunities to point to lowball glasses and say things like “aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper drink?” (via Bonnie Burton)
Yahoo has released a machine-learning model called open_nsfw that is designed to distinguish not-safe-for-work images from worksafe ones. By tweaking the model and combining it with places-CNN, MIT’s scene-recognition model, Gabriel Goh created a bunch of machine-generated scenes that score high for both models — things that aren’t porn, but look porny.
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
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