Will $120m video game Star Citizen ever be ready to launch?

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Star Citizen is an epic game development project, crowdfunded to the tune of $124m (million!) and directed by industry legend Chris Roberts. But whether it'll end up an epic game remains unclear, as endless feature creep, ambition and internal rancor see the project enter its fifth year. While Roberts was bothering his devs to add multiple layers of clothing to the game, each with different fabric properties, David Braben was shipping Elite 4 to hungry star pilots. Read the rest

Why I'm Voting For Gary Johnson And Why You Should Too

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Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson makes his case for why he should be included in the forthcoming debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican millionaire Donald Trump. Read the rest

Trump fan Omarosa: "Every Critic, Every Detractor, Will Have to Bow Down to President Trump"

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Frontline's forthcoming documentary about millionaire Donald Trump's bid for the presidency airs next week; the trailer's embedded above. Here's a completely normal, not at all crazy line from Trump supporter Omarosa:

“Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump. It’s everyone who’s ever doubted Donald, who ever disagreed, who ever challenged him. It is the ultimate revenge to become the most powerful man in the universe.”

The Presidency Part 45: The Ultimate Revenge. Read the rest

Disney thought it would be a great idea to sell a brown, tattooed, full-body Polynesian skin suit

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For just $44.95, you too could have worn the beautiful brown tattooed skin of a Polynesian demigod. Too late! Disney's snapped out of it, nudged by a complaint or two.

Disney said it regretted any offence. "The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some," it said in a statement.

tl;dr: We were sure they'd love it!

A sad reminder that Disney's marketing machine is the bad place its good ideas go to die.

The film, due for release in November, tells the story of Moana, a young girl who teams up with the demi-god Maui to make an ocean voyage and save her people.

The character of Moana has been widely welcomed because she is feisty, independent and with a more realistic body shape than most Disney female leads.

She also has no love interest in the story, which was written by New Zealand Maori film-maker Taika Waititi.

What's fascinating about all this is how much effort is put into making something better, only for it to be unraveled by clueless assumptions and mistakes.

The stereotypically obese depiction of Maui had already raised hackles, but it seemed most of those concerned by it were willing to wait and see.

Selling ethnic skinsuits to children, though, suggests an astronomical stupidity quotient among those selling this flick. Where will it manifest next? My bet: in the form of a contemptuous, sighing remark from someone at Disney who obviously just doesn't give a damn about the movie as anything other than a Franchise Inception Unit. Read the rest

Mormon documents leaked

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The exmormon subreddit is hoppin' today: an anonymous poster, mormondocuments, is burying it in a huge dump of files they claim are church documents. But it looks like a lot of sauce and only a little sizzle: "Nothing really juicy so far, other than the fact that the Church has shitloads of cash and spends it all internally," writes one user. Read the rest

Quarter of bumble bee species may soon be endangered in US

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Reuters reports that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes listing the rusty patched bumble bee among America's endangered species.

Though just one of many species of bumble bee, Bombus affinis's sharp decline is a worry to conservationists. About a quarter of bumble bee species face "a risk of extinction."

The agency attributes the decline to a number of factors, including disease, pesticides, climate change and habitat loss.

Bumble bees, as distinguished from domesticated honey bees, are essential pollinators of wildflowers and about a third of U.S. crops, from blueberries to tomatoes, said Sarina Jepsen of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, which petitioned the government for protection of the insect.

Bumble bees’ annual economic value to farms is estimated at $3.5 billion, according to experts.

Read the rest

Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds suspended from Twitter after suggesting motorists run down protestors

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"Run them down" seems to be the tweet that got another prominent right-wing personality turfed out of Twitter. Motoring Tip: it's the police that get to kill without consequence, not you. Even if it makes you angry to see black people rioting, and super-angry when they're in the way of a real American's car. Yes, even then!

As is always the case with these things, it's not clear if the ban is permanent, whether it was for that specific tweet or for other reasons Twitter won't disclose, whether Reynolds thought he was being funny, or exactly how sustained the footstamping will be from white supremacists.

(Apart from the predictable, if plainly stupid belief that it's OK to run over "thugs", they're saying that "run them down" means something other than "hit people with your car". For them, the tragedy of speechcropping on Twitter is that Twitter gets to decide what it means.)

UPDATE: Reynolds is back. His account was suspended until he agreed to delete the Tweet, he reports:

Read the rest

Trump, David Duke agree on the need for police to stop and frisk more black people

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Trump's outreach efforts to the black community are dissolving almost as soon as they began, melted under his loud insistence that black people should be stopped and frisked more often by police.

As Mr. King, the retired boxing promoter, sought to explain how society unfairly categorizes African-Americans, he referred to a “dancing and sliding and gliding nigger,” before quickly correcting himself. “I mean Negro,” he said as Mr. Trump looked on a few feet behind him, grinning.

Mr. Trump described his enthusiasm for stop-and-frisk during a town hall-style discussion, also in Cleveland Heights, after a voter pressed him on how he would reduce violence in black communities. “One of the things I’d do,” he said, “is I would do stop-and-frisk. I think you have to. We did it in New York, it worked incredibly well and you have to be proactive.”

The largely white audience erupted into applause.

In reality, violent crime is lower than it ever has been. But so is the visibility of black people—and the injustices to which they are subjected. Naturally, Trump has friends in low places when it comes to doubling down on racist policing.

Read the rest

Canadian man accused of smuggling $180k in gold in own arse

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An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint stands accused of smuggling $180,000-worth of gold out of the institution in his rectum, reports Kelley Egan of the Ottawa Citizen, "evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick."

“Appalling,” was the conclusion of defence lawyer Gary Barnes, who described the Crown’s case as an underwhelming collection of circumstantial evidence.

“This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,” Barnes said in his closing submission.

“And here the gold is left sitting around in open buckets.”

Some crimes have a smoking gun. But this one had a coating gunge.

Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said. Lawrence did not take the stand — as is his legal right — and the Crown was not able to definitively establish how the gold pucks made their way out of the facility.
Read the rest

Linux "lockout" tangle snarls Lenovo

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After failing to install Linux on a recent Lenovo laptop, a Reddit user claims to have received a short reply from Lenovo's support team: "This system has a Signature Edition of Windows 10 Home installed. It is locked per our agreement with Microsoft." Read the rest

Interesting video about legs

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Ubi ausum, ibi concordia. You may remember director Keith Schofield from the internet classic "porn movies made SFW":

If I were writing for a magazine, I'd fall into the trap and say he exposes the pathos of identity and the recursive bathos of being offended by the offended, but then I remembered this is a blog and that he makes really great ads with animals in them.

Read the rest

Here's the giant portrait Donald Trump commissioned of himself with charity money

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The WaPo's David Fahrenthold exposed incredible self-dealing by millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump, who settled lawsuits to the tune of $258,000 using his own charity's money. More amusingly, he spent charity cash on a giant portrait of himself.

Thanks to a helpful anonymous traveler, the portrait can now be revealed: it's apparently this one, at Trump's own private resort (commissioned for $10k or $20k, depending on which of the listed portraits it is.) I've crudely corrected the perspective, and the original is below.

That it's a paintover of an overexposed publicity photo makes it even better:

The anonymous photo as originally shot:

UPDATE:

Here's another angle, showing the exquisite detail of Liquitex Basics acrylic paint slapped over a gigantic gooogled mugshot.

Happy #bday #godisgood #cashinout #belated #love The First Black President. #trump #national #holiday #greatest #president #ever Yah, I said it.

A photo posted by Scott Fitzgerald McZeal, J.D. (@scottmczeal) on Jun 15, 2016 at 3:36pm PDT

BONUS: Another, even better photo, from Enrique Acevedo, who reports the exact location and dimensions: "a four-foot-tall portrait of Donald J. Trump at the entrance of Champions Bar & Grill at the Trump National Doral Resort in Miami, Florida."

DENOUEMENT: The painter is Havi Schanz; at least for now, his Wikipedia page is a hoot. Read the rest

When tumbleweed attacks

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When I first came to the U.S. from England—to New Mexico—this was my greeting. They got the music right and everything!

BONUS: Here's a video featuring a lady who fears tumbleweeds.

Read the rest

Twitterbot simply retweets people writing "your an idiot"

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@whostheidiotnow maintains a carefully curated selection of tweets: ones where the author types the exact phrase "your an idiot." One man's automated blocklist is another's breakfast entertainment! [via @saladinahmed] Read the rest

1TB SD card puts one sixth of Wikipedia in your camera

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The first terabyte SD card will soon be sold by Sandisk. They were apparently first to 512GB too (don't, PNY's is cheaper), but no-one cared because that's not as arbitrarily interesting a number. No release date, no price. It'll be about $700.

Hitachi sold the world's first one terabyte hard disk drive in 2007, according to Wikipedia, one sixth of which would fit in a terabyte, assuming you're just counting the plain text of articles.

I wish there was an SD card format in the exact shape of tiny 3½-inch floppy disks, complete with a sliding metal hatch over the connectors and a free bootsector virus Read the rest

George H.W. Bush to "vote for Hillary Clinton"

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Politico reports that Kathleen Hartington Kennedy overheard George H.W. Bush saying he's voting for Hillary Clinton instead of party candidate Donald Trump.

On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: "The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”

In a telephone interview, Townsend said she met with the former president in Maine earlier today, where she said he made his preference known that he was voting for a Democrat. “That’s what he said,” she told POLITICO.

The republican and 41th President evidently has no liking for the millionaire TV star and real estate tycoon, but declined to confirm Kennedy's claim to Politico's Darren Samuelsohn.

The report comes--tellingly, perhaps!--a day after Republican National Committee chairman Rince Priebus publicly threatened Republican candidates who refuse to vote for Trump. Read the rest

On "Adiemus" and the world's music

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Karl Jenkins' "Adiemus" is apparently the most-performed piece of music in the world. A sweeping classical epic with vocals written in a mysterious imaginary language, it was composed for Delta Airlines, which wanted to copy British Airways' classic "Aria on Air" ad (itself by the spookily brilliant pairing of Malcolm McLaren and Yanni.) Read the rest

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