Leaked (final?) TPP Intellectual Property chapter spells doom for free speech online

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Wikileaks has published a leaked draft -- dated Oct, 5, and thus possibly the final text -- of the "Intellectual Property Chapter" of the Trans Pacific Partnership, and it's grim reading. Read the rest

Help convince LEGO to produce "Lovelace and Babbage" play set / Raspberry Pi case


This delightful Lovelace & Babbage Analytical Engine is gathering support on LEGO Ideas (formerly CUUSOO) where the community can up-vote fan-made play sets into consideration for production.

Featuring Lada Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, this set pays beautiful, Victorian tribute to their collaboration on the mechanical general-purpose computer of his design, including her pioneering work in creating the algorithm that would be used to program it.


What's more, the lovely, monochromatic Analytical Engine model can be used to house a Raspberry Pi Linux computer. Swoon.

Creator Stewart Lamb Cromar also proposes two bonus sets, an "Ada Junior Classroom" and a "Babbage Tea Party".

If you're interested in making this set a reality, please head to LEGO Ideas and support the project. Currently at around 3000 votes, they require 10,000 to be reviewed by LEGO for possible production.

Lovelace ande LEGO Ideas set  Read the rest

Canadian Tories funneled $8M in tax money to US Republican Party's NGO


Under the Stephen Harper government, $8M was given to the John McCain-chaired International Republican Institute, a non-governmental organization started by the US Republican party to advocate for right-wing policies abroad. Read the rest

Why everyone needs a weaponized spatula


In the latest episode of the Cool Tools Show podcast, Kevin Kelly and I interviewed Andrew Leonard about some of his favorite tools. Read the rest

Misspelled signs written by people who love English


As Boing Boing's King of Typos, I enjoyed this gallery of misspelled signs written by people who love English. Here are a few samples: Read the rest

Stephen Hawking: robots could give us all material abundance, unless rich people hoard all the wealth


In a Reddit AMA, the eminent physicist warns that while increasing automation could give us a world of "luxurious leisure," that "most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution." Read the rest

Umbrella reveals Mickey Mouse when it rains


Got a spare 12 bucks? If you’re a fan of the Mouse and you live someplace other than California, Nevada, and Arizona, then you might have fun with this collapsible umbrella that appears to be normal — a solid color — when you open it. When the heavens open and the raindrops fall, they bring out a silhouette of Walt Disney’s best pal on the fabric. Fun, but not in the sun... and it looks like this: Read the rest

Laser shines through fly's skin, controls its heart by activating doped cells


Eliza writes, "A researcher from Lehigh University has invented a light-based pacemaker for fruit flies, and says a human version is 'not impossible.' The pacemaker relies on the new technique of 'optogenetics,' in which light-sensitive proteins are inserted into certain cells, allowing those cells to be activated by pulses of light. Here, the proteins were inserted into cardiac cells so the researchers could trigger the contractions that produce heartbeats." Read the rest

Great deal on MFi Lightning cables: 4 for 9 bucks


These 4-packs of MFi-certified Lightning cables are $9. That's $2.25 per 3-foot cable – the lowest price by far I've ever seen for MFi-certified cables. (You can get non-MFi certified cables for less but they suck.) I just bought two 4-packs.

UPDATE: Some of the reviewers on Amazon suspect the cables are not MFi certified, and a lot of the reviews were written in exchange for a free or discounted pack of cables. I'll let you know if the 8 cables I ordered are OK. Read the rest

Saudis halved the death toll in Hajj stampede: true count is 1453

Muslim pilgrims pray around the holy Kaaba at the Grand Mosque

After reporting 700 pilgrims dead in a stampede near the holy city of Mecca two weeks ago, Saudi authorities have come clean with the true number killed after pressure from investigators: 1,453 were killed and hundreds remain missing.

Indeed, Shiite Iran in particular has challenged its Sunni arch-rival’s status as the custodian of Islam’s two holiest sites, warning that if diplomacy doesn’t yield an independent investigation, “the Islamic Republic is also prepared to use the language of force.” Nearly one-third of the deaths in the incident were pilgrims from neighboring Iran.

Given all of this, it’s not terribly surprising that a more accurate accounting of the tragedy had to come from an outside source. As Ruth Graham noted last month in The Atlantic, Saudi officials weren’t eager to take responsibility: “In Saudi Arabia, the country’s health minister chalked up the latest incident to a failure to follow instructions, and the head of the Central Hajj Committee blamed ‘some pilgrims from African nationalities.’”

In the meantime, hundreds of worshipers still remain missing and so the true extent of last month’s disaster is not fully known.

Read the rest

America outdoes itself with not one but two school shootings in a single day

One person has died following a shooting near the campus of Texas Southern University.

America, wow. Great job. You've really outdone yourself.

No longer satisfied with a mere one mass shooting a day, which has been our nation's average so far in 2015, we've upped it to two school shootings today. Read the rest

An odd new headwear trend is sprouting in China

A woman wearing a sprout in Beijing, Sep. 25, 2015.  Reuters.

In China, teens and twentysomethings are wearing little plastic accessories on their heads in the shape of tiny little sprouts, fruit, or flowers. Nobody's exactly sure where or how the trend started, but it's... growing.

Read the rest

Music: "I'll Be Glad When You Are Dead," Marquis and the Rhythm Howlers (2015)


With a style and sound to die for, if you are in the LA Area keep an eye out for Marquis and the Rhythm Howlers! Read the rest

'The Muslims are Coming!' Judge overturns NYC subway's ban on ads for Muslim comedy movie

The Muslims Are Coming! ad in NYC subway station.

A federal judge says a New York transportation agency was wrong to label some funny subway posters for a documentary on Muslim-American comedians as "political," so they could ban the posters from the NYC subway.

One of the six ads for "The Muslims Are Coming!" included the statement: “The Ugly Truth About Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes.”

Photo: themuslimsarecoming.com

Another one of the unfairly banned posters read, “Muslims hate terrorism! They also hate: People who tell you they went to an Ivy League school within 10 seconds of meeting them ... When the deli guy doesn’t put enough schmear on your bagel ... Hipsters who wear winter hats in the summer ... the pickling of everything ...”

The judge said it was “utterly unreasonable” for an MTA official to decide an advertisement including the word “Muslims” was political for that reason alone.

Photo: themuslimsarecoming.com

In the movie, comedians Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah lead an all-star Muslim comedy troupe performing in “big cities, small towns, liberal enclaves, conservative hotbeds, rural and everything in between to explore the issue of Islamophobia.”

The film also includes comedy bigshots Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black.

From The Guardian's coverage of the MTA ad brouhaha:

The ads for the film The Muslims Are Coming! were rejected this year by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway system and the rest of the nation’s largest mass transit network. The MTA, which had first approved the ads, later concluded they violated its new ban on political ads.

Read the rest

The worst traffic jam you will hopefully never experience

Beijing, China. If this fascinates you, so long as you are not sitting in it, I highly recommend Tom Vanderbilt's fantastic book "Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us)."

Below, Tom's presentation at our Boing Boing: Ingenuity 2013 conference.

Read the rest

Playmobil pirate ship includes dark-skinned doll wearing "slave collar"


Ida Lockett of Sacramento, CA was helping her 5-year-old son put together a Playmobil pirate ship kit he'd been given for his birthday when she saw that the instructions told her to put a shackle around the neck of a dark-skinned figurine in torn clothing. Read the rest

Happy birthday, John Lennon

Everybody's talking about Revolution, evolution, masturbation Flagellation, regulation, integrations Meditations, United Nations Congratulations

Imagine Peace

Read the rest

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