Obama speech generator

Want to hear a president talk again? Talk Obama To Me accepts up to 180 characters of text and pieces together a speech by Barack Obama. [via] Read the rest

Sir Roger Moore, 1927-2017

Roger Moore, famous for his portrayals of master spy James Bond and master criminal Simon Templar, is dead at 89, reports the BBC.

Sir Roger's family confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he had died after "a short but brave battle with cancer". The statement, from his children, read: "Thank you Pops for being you, and being so very special to so many people."
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Inexpensive keyboard has two settings: “OFF” and “NO”

The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you'll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch. Read the rest

Don't call Microsoft's upgraded tablet PC the Surface Pro 5

Microsoft announced Tuesday a long-awaited upgrade to its Surface Pro series of high-end tablet PCs, dropping the number from the name and adding Kaby Lake processors, more minutes on a charge and a few dollars to the price tag.

Here's Mark Hachman, Senior Editor at PCWorld:

For Surface Pro 4 owners, the new Surface Pro is a tablet that’s 20 percent faster, with 50 percent more battery life, all for roughly the same price. If you're wondering how Microsoft eked out more battery life, executives said it was a combination of an increased battery capacity as well as efficiencies in both the new Core chip and the Creators Update of Windows 10.

The new low-end fanless model will be good stuff for everyday Windows users wanting a does-it-all gadget.

Tom Warren at The Verge reports that the pen is being significantly upgraded, too, getting tilt detection, 4096 levels of sensitivity and a reduction in activation force: "Inking now feels a lot less laggy and way more responsive on the Surface Pro."

This is key for me. I couldn't quite get used to even the highest-end models in the past because the pen latency was so much worse than Wacom gear or the iPad Pro. I'll check in on the fifth Surface Pro and report back. Read the rest

Ticket checker on the Minneapolis metro thinks he's an immigration cop

A transit officer in Minneapolis, whose main job is to ask "Tickets, please!", was filmed May 14 wanting "Papers, please!".

The video posted on Facebook on May 20 has over 1 million views. In the clip, the officer asks the man, “Do you have a state ID?” The man appears to shake his head no.

“Are you here illegally?” the officer asks next.

Morales then intervenes and asks the officer, “Are you guys authorized to act as immigration police?”

“No, not necessarily,” the officer says.

Morales tells the officer, “Then I would stay out of that. It’s very touchy legal territory.”

After the video went viral, Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington released a statement assuring travelers it was not Metro policy to inquire about immigration status and promising an investigation.

“It is the policy of the Metro Transit Police Department that all members make personal and professional commitments to equal enforcement of the law and equal service to the public. Confidence in this commitment will increase the effectiveness of this department in protecting and serving the entire community and recognizing the dignity of all persons, regardless of their immigration status.”

Never trust someone wearing a shiny badge: they think they have all the other ones, too. Read the rest

Blomkamp to make experimental film series

Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 and Chappie fame) is producing a series of experimental short movies to be released on Steam and YouTube.

He'd teased the idea in a tweet posted in April, and the response was good enough to get the green light, with the director promising a level of transparency and public collaboration rarely seen in Hollywood.

Here's a teaser:

Embedded up top is the "Presidential Motorcade" clip Blomkamp released during the presidential election campaign, with its freaky gold nightmare limousine crawling along to 14 seconds of tense synthetic murmurs. More! Read the rest

Melania Trump slaps away husband's short, vulgar fingers

Worst vacay ever.

First Lady Melania Trump swatting away president Donald Trump's hand on the tarmac in Israel Video of the couple arriving at an airport in Israel shows President Donald Trump reaching out to hold his wife’s hand. But Melania, who was apparently not interested in touching her husband at that moment, appears to slap the president’s hand.

Read the rest

Facebook offering "vulnerable teens" to advertisers shows it is willing to be used as a weapon

Facebook was caught offering advertisers a direct line to psychologically vulnerable teens. Nitasha Tiku writes that this exposes the deeper danger of its insight into our lives: it's not the data that's the problem, it's how it could be "weaponized in ways those users cannot see, and would never knowingly allow."

The company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.” ...

If the users in question weren’t teenagers—or if the emotion wasn’t insecurity—Facebook’s public statement might have been sufficient; the uproar from privacy advocates may have been duly noted, then promptly forgotten.

Instead, as Kathryn Montgomery, a professor at American University and the director of the school’s communications studies division—who is married to Chester—tells WIRED, The Australian’s report served as “a flashpoint that enables you to glimpse Facebook’s inner workings, which in many ways is about monetization of moods.”

As Tiku points out: "It’s not a dystopian nightmare. It’s just a few clicks away from the status quo."

The fences you put up are meaningless if Facebook owns the land.

Read the rest

Trump places hand upon mysterious glowing orb in opening ceremony for Saudi anti-terror center

In this photo from the Saudi Press Agency, U.S. President Donald Trump is joined by Egyptian dictator Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz at the opening of the so-called "Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology." The three men ceremonially "activated" the building by placing their hands upon a mysterious glowing orb and making wishes, or something. The internet is perplexed and fascinated by the event's perfect strangeness. Read the rest

Roger Ailes' son threatens accusers: “I’m coming after them and hell is coming with me.”

Fox News founder Roger Ailes was forced out of the company last year by his bosses in the Murdoch family after being exposed. He died last week at the age of 77. Then his teenage son, Zachary Ailes, honored the old man's memory by threatening his accusers at his eulogy with a quote from Tombstone.

Zachary pledged to fight to clear his father’s name after a series of sexual harassment allegations led to his ultimate ouster from Fox News.

“I want all the people who betrayed my father to know that I’m coming after them,” Zachary Ailes said during a speech at the ceremony, “and hell is coming with me.”

Hey, at least he knows where dad is. Read the rest

Guy from Tinder doesn't look like his pics

Lane Loomis posted a scary story about how manners and expectations lead us into danger, especially when one person has all of one and none of the other.

I walked down to the front door of my building and there was a man there who looked nothing like “Jamie”. The thing about being a woman is that pleasing people is in your blood. From a young age you’re taught that not being liked by a guy is the worst possible thing. No one tells you why this is so bad, or even what would happen that’s so terrible about a guy not liking you. You just have this instinct to do it. It’s hard to go against.

So I saw this guy down there, and I had studied Jamie’s Tinder photos for the last hour since we started talking. I knew it wasn’t the same guy and I was confused about it. But I also didn’t turn around and go lock myself in my apartment. I did the stupid thing. I did the thing that women do and I went down and opened the door and smiled at him.

Read the rest

Paint names selected by neural network

We can't be far off a time where we can order buckets of paint by punching in RGB color values. The big paint companies could obviously do this, but right now all they seem to offer are elaborate, bloated interfaces wrapping their own marketing-driven color schemes. And I'll grant that the paint pigment gamut might have some very weakly-covered areas, lightfastedness issues, and so on. I hope whoever eventually does this (brand suggestion: LATHEX) also creates a robust API for it and a affiliate program, so that Paint Colors Invented By Neural Network can be tested and refined against thousands of actual purchases. Read the rest

Gallery of photos you might not immediately realize all include dildos

Subtle Dildo is a collection of photographs wherein dildos may be found by observant viewers. [via] Read the rest

Brawl at Chuck E. Cheese's set to hardcore metal

I believe the track is called "Limerent Death," by The Dillinger Escape Plan. [Thanks, Mr. Raccoon!]

Previously at Chuck E. Cheese's.

Mob-style beating at Chuck E. Cheese's Chuck E. Cheese targets moms with lattes, salad, and more wine and beer Chuck E. Cheese owner agrees to $950 million buyout Chuck E. Cheese Rock-afire robots in MGMT music video Cheese fight at Chuck E Cheese's The Original Fight Read the rest

Sweden drops Assange rape investigation

Sweden's top prosecutor announced Friday that it is dropping its rape investigation of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, because it was "impossible to serve him notice."

Assange has been hiding in Ecuador's embassy in London for five years to avoid extradition to Sweden, but he's still wanted by British cops for skipping court and they already warned him they'll arrest him if he leaves the building.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said Mr Assange still faced the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, an offence punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. But the UK has not commented on whether it has received an extradition request from the US, where Mr Assange could face trial over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret US military and diplomatic documents.

Assange said he'd submit to extradition to the U.S. if Chelsea Manning, a key Wikileaks source, was released—an offer he later made contingent upon cutting his own deal with U.S. authorities. Manning was released this week. Read the rest

Graduation brawl

USA Today reports a brawl at a high school graduation in Tennessee, with grown-ups throwing punches and their weight around as the trio from Pomp and Circumstance plays on.

Tammy Mason, superintendent of the Arlington Community Schools, said in a statement Wednesday: "Last night we celebrated 500 students who graduated from Arlington High School. This year’s class earned over $30,600,000 in college scholarships. It was unfortunate that a couple of adults in the audience exhibited the behavior they did prior to the ceremony beginning and thus has caused a distraction from the celebration of our students’ accomplishments."

Here's another angle!

And another!

Read the rest

Behold Britain's sheds of the year

A very loose definition of "shed" is allowed, ranging from legitimate sheds to Tiny Houses to structures that are explicitly not even sheds, but these garden buildings are both whimsical and awe-inspiring. Pictured above is the Pricklebum, the Hedgehog Palace of Ludlow, winner in the "unexpected" category. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

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