Tinyworlds: gorgeous forest photos released under the Creative Commons

Rick "Tinyworlds" Hoppmann has released all of his wonderful forest photos under a non-commercial Creative Commons license. You can use it, remix it and share it yourself so long as you credit him and so long as you don't profit from it.
If you want to use my photos for commercial use (e.g. album covers), please send me an email: rick.kelgar(at)web.de

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Roland revives the TR-808

The classic beatbox – not an expensive clone or a collection of cleverly-tweaked samples – is back. Roland's TR-08 directly models the original machine's analog circuits to recreate its sound as accurately as possible with modern digital technology, and joins revived versions of the TR-909[Amazon] and TB-202[Amazon] in the company's lineup of boutique boxes.

The TR-08 brings the look, sound, and feel of the original 808 — with stunning accuracy — to the Roland Boutique format. From the instantly-recognizable red-orange-yellow-white markings, the shape of the sequencer buttons, switches and knobs are details that have been painstakingly reproduced to match the iconic recreation of sounds. Along with the aesthetic touches, the TR-08 contains new features like 16 sub-steps for fast rolls, independent trigger out track, compression/gain/tune for instruments and a selectable modified “long decay” bass drum for more of that legendary BOOM!

Unpopular opinion time! The Boutique stuff is cute and it is best, but if you just want all the classic beats in convenient form on a modern drum synth, the Roland Aira[Amazon] seems a more pragmatic choice.

Roland recently asked Propellerheads to quit selling Rebirth too, which seems hamhanded but at least suggests the company's taking a welcome interest in exploiting its own technical heritage. The cease-n-decisting of web-based tribute toys is sad and alarming. Read the rest

FBI raided Manafort's home

Paul Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign manager and is otherwise famous for shady dealings in Ukraine, was paid a visit by the FBI in recent weeks. The Washington Post reports that the "predawn raid" was in connection with the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 general election.

Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records.

The raid came as Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena.

Corresponds with when Trump started getting sweaty and shaky about Mueller.

Photo: Reuters Read the rest

U Thant, a tiny man-made island you're not supposed to visit

U Thant, or Belmont, is a tiny artificial island in the East river made from the detritus drilled out for the 7 train's tunnel. Leased to a religious sect since the 1970s, it was designated a bird sanctuary in the 2000s after a protestor occupied it and declared it a micronation. Since then, no humans, please. [via Metafilter; Photo: Pacific Coast Highway] Read the rest

Game announcement booed

Valve, publisher of legendary game series such as Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress, announced a new game at The International, a convention for players of DOTA, one of its big hits. The hyped-up crowd's reaction to finding out that Artifact is to be a "DOTA card game" is quite something.

It seems like a perfect conceptual faceplant, where two popular things are combined to form something comically unappealing. But is there an ironic angle? The völkisch consumerism of gamers got out of hand years ago, so it seems unlikely to be a joke at their expense. In any case, one hopes players have to pay for every single card: a good innovation would be a micro-transaction for every time a card is deployed. Read the rest

Glen Campbell, 1936–2017

Rolling Stone reports that country legend Glen Campbell is dead at 81.

Campbell was a rare breed in the music business, with various careers as a top-level studio guitarist, chart-topping singer and hit television host. His late-career battle with Alzheimer's - he allowed a documentary crew to film on his final tour for the 2014 award-winning I'll Be Me - made him a public face for the disease, a role President Bill Clinton suggested would one day be remembered even more than his music.

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Angry fairies blamed for road damage

An Irish MP is blaming fairies after a mysterious dip in a road surface recurred after repairs.

Danny Healy-Rae claimed the issues with the N22 were caused by "numerous fairy forts in the area" in an interview with the Irish Times.

He said "there was something in these places you shouldn't touch" and that the road passed by a place that was full of fairy magic and folklore.

Here's one of the forts, for reference:

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Reliable recipe for DIY ferrofluid

Braniac75, after trying and failing to replicate the various online recipes for DIY ferrofluid (the consumer stuff is $200+ a liter), figured it out: 1 part iron oxide powder, 1 part "clinging" synthetic motor oil, a stirring stick, and a dangerously powerful magnet to risk your fingers with: "it really is that easy."

The result is more of a paste than a liquid, but it works!

Wanna try ferrofluid yourself but don't want to pay the premium price? In this video I show you how to make your own very easily and cheaply! I couldn't get the common DIY recipes found online to work well but in desperation found another way through my own experiments. I call it ferripaste since it isn't as fluid as the commercial stuff - but that only makes it even more interesting to play with. It will behave in a more varying ways to a magnet than just spikes like the ferrofluid. Hope you can use it to make you own amazing ferripaste experiments :)
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Husky would prefer not to yield passenger seat

Your "waste an hour on YouTube" YouTube channel of the day is Zeus the Stubborn Husky. And unlike the other dog video going viral at the moment, you won't have to watch it squirt salt water out its arse every time it barks. Read the rest

Man spraypaints Twitter office sidewalk with abusive tweets it refuses to delete

Shahak Shapira reported hundreds of racist, sexist, abusive or otherwise hateful Tweets.

Twitter didn't delete them, so he sprayed them on the pavement outside the company's offices in Germany.

Update: Shahak Shapira's name was missing the "r". I eget the eo. Read the rest

Drawing things in the nape of a sleeping otter's belly fur

Otter Wolrd (sic) has dozens of videos featuring otters doing cute ottery things, but the one embedded here shows a man drawing things in a sleeping otter's furry belly. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

User interface from Tron Legacy boardroom scene recreated in HTML

You may now enjoy the Tron Legacy Encom user interface in HTML. The original, as depicted in the movie, was designed by Bradley Munkowitz; the recreation defaults to github feeds, but has all sorts of possibilities to fool around with, such as Wikipedia (pictured) and the weather.

README .TXT END. PROGRAM

Hello User. This is a reproduction of the graphics in the boardroom scene in Tron: Legacy. If you have not seen that movie, check out this background material on the making of that scene before proceeding.

To make this a bit more fun, the boardroom is configured to visualize live updates from Github and Wikipedia, with more streams to come. Click on a stream in the window to the right to continue.

The boardroom visualization requires the use of WebGL and Event Source. The test below indicates the availability of these features on your system.

This was created by @arscan as a learning exercise. It is not affiliated with Disney, Tron: Legacy, Encom, Wikipedia or Github in any way. The source is available on Github.

The typeface is Inconsolata, of course. Read the rest

Astronomy rugs

I chanced across Emoh Store's gorgeous astronomy rugs while googling for the daytime-TV conspiracy science classic "Fabric of Time," and immediately ordered one.

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Toilet paper featuring Trump tweets

Sadly, it's already sold out, but Trump tweets toilet paper is perhaps the gift of 2017. While you're waiting for stock to replenish, you can instead wipe your arse on his face. Read the rest

They'll never see this tiny camera hidden in a screw

These tiny screw cameras are about $20 on Amazon (or $15 on eBay), with versions that plug into CCTV systems, composite inputs, and USB ports. There's also the bare camera, minus the fake screwhead. [via OPSEC]

The Amazon listing includes a photo of it installed in a public toilet door. Naturally, there are some customer questions:

Question: So do you give instructions for installing in public restrooms as seen in the picture?

Answer: You are welcome to check the wires diagram as below to see if it helps: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71lraFgulcL._SL1000_.jpg … see more

By iSoter SELLER on August 4, 2017

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British place-names generated by a neural net

Dan Hon (perfecting earlier work by Tom Taylor) trained an AI on the vast corpus of British place names, then set it loose. The results are amazing, illustrative of an uncannily human humor seemingly at work, something you'd never get from the standard syllable-randomizing place name generators of yore.

"There aren’t as many cocks as you’d think," he writes.

My favorites: Brotters Common, Boll of Binclestead, Farton Green Pear End, Weston Parpenham, Sutsy Compton, Stoke of Inch, Kinindworthorpe Marmile, Rastan-on-croan, Fuckley, Fapton, Waterwitherwell.

See also Hon's AI trained to generate Ask Metafilter post titles.

Surely neural-net-generated Liffs are next. Read the rest

Datorbox is a luxury wood-cased gaming PC

Yours for €2099, Love Hultén's limited-edition Datorbox comes in green or orange and looks like something from another age. Well-specced and tiny, you'll have the challenge of finding pretty peripherals to go with it.

Datorbox is an extremely compact gaming desktop system, enclosed by an elegant handcrafted wooden case. Despite it's small form factor- measuring only 31x24x7cm, this small minimalistic beast delivers monster performance. To fulfill the needs of gamers further, the Datorbox is fully VR-ready and supports 4K video. The wooden casing is designed for optimized airflow and Datorbox runs very quiet, even on full load.

The top of this eye-catching artifact displays a saturn fan grille, and the front panel is adorned by a composition of six big bulb-caps completing an ambient Larson scanner effect when in use.

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