Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, is apparently the San Bernardino man who first developed Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency and drama machine. He is bemused, and generally unimpressed. Leah McGrath Goodman found him.
But a two-month investigation and interviews with those closest to Nakamoto and the developers who worked most frequently with him on the out-of-nowhere global phenomenon that is Bitcoin reveal the myths surrounding the world's most famous crypto-currency are largely just that - myths - and the facts are much stranger than the well-established fiction.
Marcus Wohlsen covers the plans of Green Mountain Coffee to add DRM to the little plastic cups of ground coffee
used in its Keurig-brand coffee machines,
More than just curbing your coffee choices, Green Mountain’s protections portend the kind of closed system that could gut the early promise of the Internet of Things — a promise that hinges on a broad network of digital, connected devices remaking the everyday world.
He cites new research on interoperability and DRM's fundamental aversion to it; think of what happens when, say, hospitals turn into locked-in, single-vendor institutions. The underlying problem is simple: they're making disobedient computers.
There is a certain elegance to the Keurig idea, though: people who use K-Cups, being lazy and spendthrift, are an ideal target for a new DRM price-control wheeze. It's a bit like Ferrari's cheap and nasty resistive touchscreen implementation of iOS: their customers are rich suckers who would never know better, so why not screw them? The business psychology at hand is simple, short-term greed.
Online "character quizzes," suddenly ultra-viral thanks to adroit Facebook-centric designs at sites like Zimbio, are all the rage. Are they fueled by narcissism? No, says Devon Maloney: it's fear
: "We crave the peace of mind that comes from believing the human condition is quantifiable
." Which is to say, of course, our own conditions. It's the Myers-Briggs sorting hat for a new generation, telling you what you just told it. — Rob
looks like a fun action RPG in a Victorian horror setting. The gimmick: your friends control the enemies! They have a Steam release date
of "first half 2014."
One player controls the Hero, the others possess monsters and traps to kill them. Destroy the hero and it’s your turn to crawl as you instantly take their place. Race to gain enough XP and loot to challenge the dungeon’s boss, cooperatively controlled by the other players!
After an accident, British pop singer George Michael began smoking heavily and "has joked about the time he talked in a regional voice totally unconnected to him
, saying: 'There’s nothing wrong with the West Country accent. It’s just weird when you’re from north London.'" [Western Morning News] — Rob
An amusing headline, but a serious problem for beleaguered beekeepers in England
: "According to committee member David McLarin, nosema is becoming more prevalent in the South West and that is not good news as bees with the problem hardly produce any honey." [Exeter Express via Fortean Times] — Rob
William Adams, the Arkansas County Court-At-Law Judge caught on camera mercilessly whipping his screaming 14-year-old daughter while yelling obscenities at her, has finally lost his job after
a primary challenger defeated him. His victim had anticipated the assault, recorded it, and released it only after she became an adult. Warning: the video shows physical and emotional abuse and will make you angry. Previously.
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Max Read ranks the nation's problems in order of severity
: "5. A loss of perspective on what is and is not important." — Rob
Cody Foster & Co is an art-swiping tchotcke maker, used by big retailers to source fashionable cloneware they want to sell. Accused last year of ripping off a batch of independent designers, Cody Foster wanted to settle. Fast Company's John Brownlee reports the incredible conditions they want to impose on the victim.
Cody Foster's conditions? That the independent designer accusing the company of piracy license her designs to Cody Foster & Co. for $650 and submit to a gag order, deleting any complaints about the company from the web. ... Smith and her attorneys initially declined the offer, indicating that $650 was not worth a gag order on what they had been through, and reached out to Co.Design. Since then, Cody Foster's attorneys have indicated that they are willing to discuss a larger payment in exchange for licensing Smith's designs. As of publication, this remains unresolved.
Fong Qi Wei created these astounding animations from time-lapse photographs of cities and other landscapes, fading into darkness.
"This is a follow up to my previous series Time is a Dimension (TIAD). In TIAD, I spliced different time slices into a single print. That was to work within the nature of a physical print. However, in this set of manipulations, I present a medium that is neither a print nor a video. In short, I use the GIF format (don’t ask me how it is to be pronounced!) to create a looping animation that shows a single landscape / seascape but with a constant shimmer of … time."
Print series are available, for what it's worth!
A toilet is missing from the USA Economy Lodge in Spartanburg, SC., and they're pretty sure they know who took it, but the danged judge won't sign off on the warrant
. [Fox Carolina via Arbroath
] — Rob
Nullify your coffee with Musicians With Guns's Overstepping Artifacts
. Musicians With Guns is a project by a Ricardo Montalban
; see Astroblast
for more of the same.
Filmed at Kruger National Park in South Africa. [Video Link
"Get a life," warns the Economist. "Or face the consequences
." — Rob