This looks like it could come in handy - the Jackery Jewel is a MFU-certified Lightning-to-USB charging cable with a built-in 450 mAh battery. It's $16 on Amazon with promo code JERJEWEL. I just ordered one. Read the rest
Charlie Warzel of Buzzfeed has written a long piece about Twitter's apparently inability to prevent neo-Nazis, rape apologists, death threats, and racism from flourishing on the platform.
Read the rest
In 2013, Caroline Criado-Perez launched a campaign to put Jane Austen on UK currency and quickly became the target of more than 50 rape threats per hour — which forced Twitter to roll out a “report abuse” feature for individual tweets. The feature came roughly six years into the company’s history and more than five years after [Ariel] Waldman’s ordeal. “It feels like, not only did they have opportunities early on to tackle this, but they had the ability to step up and be a leader in this space — to be proactive instead of reactive,” Waldman said. “That they haven’t done that is beyond me and it’s reckless.”
Around that time, high-profile harassment cases became a weekly, if not daily, occurrence, especially in the UK. Sinéad O’Connor was driven off the service in 2011; she later told the Daily Mail she was “getting too much abuse.” Downton Abbey actor Lily James quit after she became the target of hundreds of hateful tweets about her appearance. Actor Matt Lucas had to shut down his account after trolls wouldn’t stop harassing him after the death of his partner. In the US, stories of Twitter harassment of women, people of color, and religious minorities appeared with increasing frequency, coming to a head in August 2014, when Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda was forced to quit Twitter after trolls flooded her mentions with photoshopped images of her recently deceased father.
BTW: The folks at DeepMiningCorpAssoc sound like assholes.
The shepard tone is an audio illusion which seems to get forever higher but never really does.
Whoever DeepMiningCorpAssoc is, STOP TRYING TO COPYRIGHT THIS! It doesn't have a single bit of your music in it!
All sounds and images in this video are in the public domain and not copyrighted, feel free to use it!
Shepard tone sound was downloaded from Soundcloud (sound not copyrighted), (Thanks to a guy in the comments.)
Read the rest
A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upward or downward, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower. It has been described as a "sonic barber's pole".
A person who goes by the moniker usedcatsalesman227 on Reddit took this photo at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, remarking, "We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off."
Taken at the Whole Foods in Brooklyn -- We think the merchandiser hated their job and decided to quit with this stunt as a final send off.Read the rest
A driver on the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recorded another driver steering her car with her feet while texting with both hands.
A New Zealand thief spotted box of chemicals in a parked car. Probably thinking the chemicals were drugs of some kind, the thief smashed the window and took the box. The box contained 16 small bottles of pungent oil extracted from the anal glands of stoats, which was intended for experimental lures.
From NZ Herald:
Read the rest
The thieves could get more than they bargained for: just a few drops of scent glands in their car or home would stink for weeks.
"We popped a gland in our lab a couple of years ago during research.
"We had fans running and windows open in the middle of a Wellington winter, and it still took weeks to go. Some staff chose to work from home for a couple of days."
The oil was so potent it was in the process of being moved off-site for storage.
The Moral Machine is a website from MIT that present 13 traffic scenarios in which a self-driving car has no choice but to kill one set of people or another. Your job is to tell the car what to do. Think carefully before making your choices, because one of the goals of the website is to crowd source the behavioral rules for self driving cars in the future. By participating, you could affect the outcome of who lives and who dies.
Read the rest
From self-driving cars on public roads to self-piloting reusable rockets landing on self-sailing ships, machine intelligence is supporting or entirely taking over ever more complex human activities at an ever increasing pace. The greater autonomy given machine intelligence in these roles can result in situations where they have to make autonomous choices involving human life and limb. This calls for not just a clearer understanding of how humans make such choices, but also a clearer understanding of how humans perceive machine intelligence making such choices.
Recent scientific studies on machine ethics have raised awareness about the topic in the media and public discourse. This website aims to take the discussion further, by providing a platform for 1) building a crowd-sourced picture of human opinion on how machines should make decisions when faced with moral dilemmas, and 2) crowd-sourcing assembly and discussion of potential scenarios of moral consequence.
Martin O'Leary not only made a cool fantasy map generator, he's giving away the source code and has described the process at a high enough level for an idiot like me to partly understand how it works.
I wanted to make maps that look like something you'd find at the back of one of the cheap paperback fantasy novels of my youth. I always had a fascination with these imagined worlds, which were often much more interesting than whatever luke-warm sub-Tolkien tale they were attached to.
At the same time, I wanted to play with terrain generation with a physical basis. There are loads of articles on the internet which describe terrain generation, and they almost all use some variation on a fractal noise approach, either directly (by adding layers of noise functions), or indirectly (e.g. through midpoint displacement). These methods produce lots of fine detail, but the large-scale structure always looks a bit off. Features are attached in random ways, with no thought to the processes which form landscapes. I wanted to try something a little bit different.
It's an odd feeling to look at these instantly-generated, detailed maps and realize that they represent nothing. I feel like I'm being wasteful pressing the "Generate high resolution map." The Uncharted Atlas is a twitterbot that posts a new map every hour. Read the rest
A person who goes by the moniker The Herb Puffer on Reddit snapped this photo of a Hershey Chocolate Bar bearing Riteaid's latest shoplifting deterrent technology - an RFID sticker with a printed warning.
The website Explain That Stuff explains how that stuff works:
Read the rest
If you walk through the doorway without paying for something, the radio waves from the transmitter (hidden in on one of the door gates) are picked up by the coiled metal antenna in the label. This generates a tiny electrical current that makes the label transmit a new radio signal of its own at a very specific frequency. The receiver (hidden in the other door gate) picks up the radio signal that the tag transmits and sounds the alarm. Why doesn't the alarm sound when you pay for something? You may have noticed that the checkout assistant passes your item over or through a deactivating device (sometimes it's incorporated into the ordinary barcode scanning mechanism, and sometimes it's completely separate). This destroys or deactivates the electronic components in the RF label so they no longer pick up or transmit a signal when you walk through the gates—and the alarm does not sound.
Carla and I just started watching the Netflix science fiction show, Stranger Things, which stars Winona Ryder and is set in 1983. We like it! We also like the title sequence at the beginning, which has a 1980s vibe. Art of the Title is a website about the art of TV show and movie titles, and they recently interviewed Michelle Dougherty, the Creative Director of Imaginary Forces, which produced the title sequence for Stranger Things.
Read the rest
The first meeting was set up by Shawn Levy, one of the executive producers and a director on the show. He told us we’d be working with these amazing creators, the Duffer Brothers, and got us on the phone. After talking with them I could see what he was talking about. They had this incredible vision!
The initial call was them talking to us about some of the film titles that they liked. They referenced Richard Greenberg and all the greats that he’d created — The Goonies, Altered States, Alien, The Untouchables, The Dead Zone, just to name a few. That was great to hear because we understood where they were coming from. That was really refreshing — and pretty surprising — that these creators knew so much about title design.
After that call they sent over some book covers that they liked, from books that they’d either read or seen as children. Most of them were by Stephen King, so we knew they were looking for something that felt ’80s and tapped into this nostalgia by using that typography.
From the introduction:
A logic machine is a device, electrical or mechanical, designed specifically for solving problems in formal logic. A logic diagram is a geometrical method for doing the same thing. The two fields are closely intertwined, and this book is the first attempt in any language to trace their curious, fascinating histories.
I think I need the hard copy.
I've had the Plugable 5-Port 36W USB Universal Smart Charger for over a year. I take it with me on all trips, including business and family travel. Having five USB ports means I can charge everyone's phones and a battery at the same time.
Instead of plugging directly into the wall outlet, the charger has a 48-inch power cord. This is an important feature, because it means I can plug the cord into a hard-to-get-to outlet and set the charging unit itself on a table or desk. The model with 5 smart ports is $22, and the model with 2 smart ports and 3 universal ports is $15. Read the rest
Science fiction author Ted Chiang's Nebula award-winning short story "Story of Your Life" is getting the big-budget Hollywood treatment. Arrival, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker, comes out in November.
When multiple mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team is put together to investigate, including language expert Louise Banks (Amy Adams), mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), and US Army soldier Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker). Humankind teeters on the verge of global war as everyone scrambles for answers – and to find them, Banks, Donnelly and Weber will take a chance that could threaten their lives, and quite possibly humanity.
In past years the New York Daily News has supported the police department's use of "stop-and-frisks." Three years ago a federal judge ruled that they were unconstitutional. The number of stop-and-frisks fell 97%, from 685,700 in 2011 to 22,900 in 2015. Yet, crime did not rise as the paper and police department predicted. In fact, it fell to "record lows."
The Daily News said, "We are delighted to say that we were wrong," adding " there can be little doubt that the NYPD’s increasing reliance on so-called precision policing — knowing whom to target, when and where — has played a key role." Read the rest
The murder count stood at 536 in 2010 and at 352 last year — and seems sure to drop further this year. There were 1,471 shooting incidents in 2010 (1,773 victims). By 2015, shootings had dropped to 1,130 (1, 339 victims).