New York Public Library installs high-tech, wall-climbing book-train

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The new conveyor system will open the week of October 3, ferrying books from the vast, subterranean archives beneath Bryant Park to researchers working in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Read the rest

Australian library releases free, remixable webcomics maker

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Australian libraries and games guy Matt Finch (previously) writes, "This year the Queensland State Library has designed and built a drag and drop comic maker for Fun Palaces and released the code on Github too. Read the rest

Novum Pharma's $240, semi-useless acne cream now costs $10,000/tube

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The cost of Aloquin -- an acne cream based on iodoquinol and aloe, whose component ingredients cost virtually nothing -- was raised by 128% this week by manufacturer Novum Pharma, who now charge $9,561 for a 60g tube. Read the rest

Lickspittle consigliere: how the super-rich abuse their wealth managers as loyalty tests

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Sociologist Brooke Harrington got her Trust and Estate Planning certification in order to study the super-secretive world of the wealth managers who are in charge of hiding the $21 trillion controlled by the world's super-rich from tax authorities, feckless descendants, religious leaders, tax justice activists, kidnappers and extortionists. Read the rest

Free trade lowers prices -- but not on things poor people need (and it pushes up housing prices)

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Part of the economic argument for free trade deals is that they benefit workers by producing cheaper goods -- even if you lose your manufacturing job, you can buy stuff a lot cheaper with the next job you get. Read the rest

Really excellent advice for finishing a book

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Chuck Wendig (previously) celebrates the release of his latest novel Invasive with 25 extremely good pieces of advice for people trying to finish a novel. Read the rest

Advice for people defrauded by Wells Fargo

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If one of the 2,000,000 fraudulent accounts Wells Fargo opened was in your name, the US government has some advice for you. Read the rest

What yesterday's hilariously awful testimony by Wells Fargo's CEO portends for his future

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Yesterday, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf addressed the Senate Banking Committee about his bank's years of fraud, driven by threats of firing for low-level employees if they didn't meet unrealistic sales-targets, overseen by an executive who was given a $125m retirement bonus when she quit last summer, just before the scandal broke (though the bank had known it was going on since 2011). Read the rest

RCMP: Former Canadian mint worker smuggled out $180K by hiding it up his butt

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According to RCMP investigators, Leston Lawrence would make 210g "pucks" of gold using the mint's "dipping spoon," hide them up his butt, then pawn them for about $6,800, at the Ottawa Gold Buyers in the Westgate Shopping Centre, depositing the cheques at a Royal Bank in the same mall. Read the rest

Old school speech synthesizers perform Monty Python's "Argument" sketch

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John Cleese is played by the Intex Talker, Michael Palin is played by the Dectalk Express ("Perfect Paul modified to sound more like Stephen Hawking"), and the video was made by Per Kristian Risvik, who is an evil genius. I could watch the entirety of the Python oeuvre conducted like this, and in so doing perhaps put behind me John Cleese's shameful support for Brexit. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Making Conversation: 59 lively and delightful essays from Teresa Nielsen Hayden

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It's been more than 20 years since the publication of Making Book, Teresa Nielsen Hayden's collection of essays, mostly drawn from the pre-online days of fanzines and letters columns; this year, in honor of Teresa's stint as Fan Guest of Honor at Midamericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, NESFA Press has published a second volume: Making Conversation, a collection of essays drawn from the online world on subjects as varied as moderation and trolling, cooking, hamster-rearing, fanfic, narcolepsy, the engineering marvels of the IBM Selectric, and more.

Kickstarting a boardgame version of the Zombies, Run! exer-game

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Zombies, Run! co-creator Adrian Hon writes, "That's right, we turned our running app and audio adventure into a board game! It's a frantic, fun, real-time audio-driven sprint across a zombie-infested landscape for 2-4 players, who must rescue survivors, uncover secrets, and (hopefully!) find a cure." Read the rest

Javascript dress

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Thinkgeek's $59 JavaScript Code Fit & Flare Dress comes in sizes 6-14; no word on what the code does (I hope it's malware that poisons OCR systems!) (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

French schools use 3D printed anatomical clitoris models in sex-ed classes

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The amazing internal anatomy of the clitoris is a mystery that has surfaced and vanished in history, coming into focus in 2005 (!), when Royal Melbourne Hospital urologist Helen O'Connell published her groundbreaking MRI studies. Read the rest

Using Benjamin Franklin's behavioral economics maxim in magic

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When Benjamin Franklin wanted someone to like him, he'd ask that person to do him a favor, because he noticed that people who'd done him a nice turn would rationalize this by assuming that they'd done so because they liked him, and so they'd continue to do him other favors in the future based on that affection. Read the rest

Sitelock abuses DMCA to censor rival's criticisms

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Sitelock is a major player in online security; a rival, White Fir, thinks its products are subpar, and has published extensive articles explaining why White Fir's products are superior -- articles that Sitelock has targeted with fraudulent copyright claims. Read the rest

Netzpolitik publishes more damning, leaked German surveillance reports, despite previous treason prosecution

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Netzpolitik is an amazing German activist/journalist organization; in 2015, they braved a treason investigation by publishing Snowden docs that showed that the German intelligence services were conducting illegal surveillance and illegally collaborating with the NSA; now they've done it again, publishing a new leaked oversight report on spying at the Bad Aibling surveillance station. Read the rest

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