Fidget toys to disperse your nervous energy


I dote on fidget gadgets -- soothing gizmos intended to give your hands something to keep busy with, like modern worry-beads -- and while you can't buy Chris Bathgate's amazing machined sliders, and the Fidget Cube Kickstarter just closed, there's still Thinkgeek's new Jumbo Noah Fidget Toy, which looks like a lot of fun and "features two interlocking rings that are also connected together with five links on each ring. The center link is larger and has a colored rubber band that rolls back and forth like a treadmill." Read the rest

Wizard Rock the Vote: help the Harry Potter Alliance get out the vote


The amazing Harry Potter Alliance (previously) -- who harness fandom for social good -- are raising funds for their Wizard Rock the Vote campaign, to get new voters into the polling booth this election. Read the rest

Reviving an Ann Arbor Ambassador 60 terminal


JWZ documents his adventures in bringing a 1982/3 vintage Ann Arbor Ambassador 60 terminal (a rare portrait-orientation terminal) back into service -- fitting it with a Raspberry Pi and a new power-supply and getting it to boot its beautiful green-screen. Read the rest

Hillary Clinton campaign fundraising tool: auto-donate every time Trump tweets


The Troll Trump campaign has a simple, ingenious mechanic: it lets you pledge a small donation every time Trump posts a new tweet, meaning that the more Trump loses his temper and posts enraged tweetstorms, the more he raises for his arch-rival. (via /.) Read the rest

ACLU asks court to reveal 23 secret surveillance laws


The ACLU and the Yale Law School Media Freedom Clinic have filed a motion demanding the release of 23 judgments from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret, closed courtroom that evaluates surveillance requests from America's spy agencies. Read the rest

Montana judge unrepentant after sentencing man to 60 days for repeatedly raping his own 12 year old daughter


District Judge John McKeon sentenced an unnamed man to 60 days in prison plus a suspended 30-year prison sentence (which he will avoid if he completes a sex-offender treatment program and other parole conditions) after the man pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his own daughter, who was 12 years old at the time. Read the rest

Turkish court fines bystander/tourist who sued police for shooting out his eye


Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest

By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear


Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear. Read the rest

Better Business Bureau yanks Wells Fargo's accreditation


The scandal-haunted bank has been de-accredited by the Better Business Bureau, a punishment meted out to companies that violate the BBB Standards of Trust, which include "tell the truth," "build trust," "honor promises" and "embody integrity." (via Reddit) Read the rest

Grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs


Austrian artist Martin Roth created an installation of grass sprouted in worn Persian rugs at the UK's Korean Cultural Centre; the grass sprouts, dies, and ruins the rugs. In between, the room looks and (apparently) smells amazing. Read the rest

Projection mapping on a moving surface with a high-speed projector


Projection mapping is one of the most profound visual effects that computers can generate; themepark fans will have seen it in effect on the revamped opening scene to the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland and in the night-time shows that involve painting the whole castle with light (projection mapping is also used to generate the rear-projected faces of the animatronic figures in the new Snow White ride). Read the rest

Turing's law: UK to retroactively pardon thousands of men prosecuted for having sex with men


When the Crown pardoned codebreaking war-hero and computer science pioneer Alan Turing in 2013, we noted that 50,000 other British men who were also convicted of "sodomy" remained criminals in the eyes of the law. Read the rest

A magician debunks the Great Wall of Drumpf


MagicPeaceLove writes, "Magician Justin Willman makes the case for why Donald Trump's proposed border wall between America and Mexico is a bad idea -- physically, emotionally, spiritually and (of course!) magically." Read the rest

Popular design guides are responsible for plague of grey type


A series of recent, influential design books and articles have convinced the web's designers to go for grey-on-white type, despite the fact that many people can't read low-contrast type (and it's even worse on mobile devices, which are often read in very bright sun, on screens that have been dimmed to save battery) Read the rest

Digital Defenders: a free open-licensed booklet for kids about privacy and crypto


European Digital Rights has created a free, CC-licensed kids' booklet about privacy called Digital Defenders. Read the rest

Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy


Today sees the publication of Bonnie Burton's (previously) long-awaited new book, Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy. Read the rest

Public universities and even the US Navy have sold hundreds of patents to America's most notorious troll


Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy. Read the rest

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