Private funding of public services is bankrupting the UK


The right-wing Telegraph can't deny what critics have been saying since the Tony Blair years: when you use private to fund public services, the only people who benefit are the shareholders. Read the rest

Hacker puppets explain screen time limits for kids


You may have heard that "screen time" -- time with TV, phones, tablets, computers, or video games -- is bad for babies and toddlers. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics reversed course on their previous advice about screen time for kids under two."

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MAKE: custom action figure head paint job


Even when action-figure head sculpts are great, the paintjobs can be pretty indifferent, with eyelashes on foreheads. Ibentmyman-thing has, through trial-and-error, come up with a method for priming and painting heads, with gorgeous results. Read the rest

US governors vow to protect citizens from mass-shooters if they are Syrian


Pete Reynolds in McSweeney's, proving that humor is a better source of news than the news is: "I refuse to support special interest groups whose sole mission is to profit from putting weapons into the hands of people, if those people are Syrians." Read the rest

The US government turned down Anne Frank's visa application


Otto Frank sought help from his college friend Nathan Strauss Jr, the son of the owner of Macy's, to get a US visa, but the US State Department turned him and his family down. Read the rest

Seriously, try "view source" on


This week's XKCD has a hell of an Easter Egg, and it's not even in the tooltip. Read the rest

Watching paint dry: epic crowfunded troll of the UK film censorship board


You can't release a film in the UK without a certificate from the British Board of Film Certification, a censorship authority that's been rating and banning movies since it was established in 1912 to prevent 'indecorous dancing,' 'references to controversial politics' and 'men and women in bed together." Read the rest

Manhattan DA calls for backdoors in all mobile operating systems


A new report from the Manhattan District Attorney calls for law requiring "any designer of an operating system for a smartphone or tablet manufactured, leased, or sold in the U.S. to ensure that data on its devices is accessible pursuant to a search warrant." Read the rest

The Qwerkywriter: a delightful Bluetooth keyboard based on a manual typewriter


I blogged the announcement of the Qwerkywriter more than a year ago, when the company was retooling from its successful kickstarter to full retail production. I've had one of the production models in my office for a couple of months now and I've been very impressed! (I wrote this review on it). Read the rest

Selfie-stick follies: man had camera reversed for his whole Vegas trip

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Evan Griffin's dad borrowed his Gopro for a Vegas holiday and walked the strip for days with the camera on the end of a selfie-stick -- pointed the wrong way. Read the rest

CEOs are lucky, tall men


A new working paper [PDF] from three Harvard Business School researchers builds on the work of Texas A&M professor Markus Fitza, whose paper in last month's Strategic Management Journal showed that nearly everything about a CEO's performance can be attributed to chance. Read the rest

America's CEOs and hedge funds are starving the nation's corporations to death


Stock buybacks (previously) allow CEOs to drive up the company's share-price by using profits to buy shares back from investors, rather than investing the money in wages, R&D, capital or expansion. Read the rest

EU official: all identified Paris attackers were from the EU


Despite the rumors that tricked more than half the state governors in the USA into enacting racist anti-Syrian policies, there is no evidence that the Paris attackers came from outside the EU. Read the rest

The Web is pretty great with Javascript turned off


Wired's Klint Finley tried turning off Javascript and discovered a better Web, one without interruptors asking you to sign up for mailing list, without infinitely scrolling pages, without ads and without malvertising. Read the rest

Kickstarting pizza wrapping paper


Two design students are hoping to raise $4900 to fund production on archival/acid-free/recycled post-consumer wrapping paper emblazoned with delicious pizza toppings. They bundle the paper with matching pizza boxes to hold your gifts. Read the rest

If the Paris attackers weren't using crypto, the next ones will, and so should you


Lots of law enforcement agencies hate crypto, because the technology that helps us protect our communications from criminals and griefers and stalkers and spies also helps criminals keep secrets from cops. With each terrorist attack there's a fresh round of doom-talk from spooks and cops about the criminals "going dark" -- as though the present situation, in which the names and personal information of everyone who talks to everyone else, all the time, where they are then they talk, where they go and who they talk to next, is somehow less surveillant than the past, when cops could sometimes use analog tape-recorders to wiretap the very few conversations that took place on landlines. Read the rest

Former ISIS hostage: they want us to retaliate


French journalist Nicolas Hénin was held hostage for ten months by ISIS terrorists, chained in an underground cell; his cellmates were later murdered by ISIS. For nearly a year, he lived with ISIS fighters, and learned what makes them tick. Read the rest

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