Assault Trombone

"Say hello to my little friend!" [via @codinghorror.]

Previously: Flamethrower trombone Read the rest

Nokia to resurrect classic dumbphone

Nokia's 3310 is said to be the most reliable phone ever made. It's a classic plastic-and-silicon brick from the turn of the century, long consigned to the recycling bin in the age of smartphones and tablets. But because people actually like and appreciate technology that works, as opposed to all the modern internet-of-shit frippery that doesn't, they're bringing it back. Read the rest

Bridal bouquets but with cats instead

Brides Throwing Cats is a site dedicated to "photoshopping cats in place of bouquets" in shots of brides (and occasionally grooms) hurling bouquets.

No cats were harmed in the making of this tumblr and we certainly don’t encourage anyone to throw a cat ever, let alone on their wedding day. Still reading? Well one last time, seriously, this is fake.

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Gamer star PewDiePie canned by Disney and YouTube after anti-semitic postings

Gamer star PewDiePie was set for the big-time: 53m subscribers to his YouTube gamering channel and a hot deal with Disney to take his clean-cut mug to mass culture stardom. But then he started posting about the Jews.

[Felix] Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swede whose YouTube antics secured him multimillion-dollar deals with YouTube and Disney, posted a Jan. 11 video that included two men laughing as they held a banner that read “Death to all Jews." He made a total of nine other videos that made anti-Semitic comments or used Nazi imagery, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the news.

Disney, which has owned Maker Studios since 2014, said it was severing ties with him.

YouTube also cancelled his reality show Scare PewDiePie and removed him from its premium line-up of ad-supported channels. Excuses were immediately forthcoming.

"I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online," he wrote, continuing, "I think it's important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes."

Here's the sign he paid a couple of Sri Lankans to hold up:

That giggling sociopathic edgyness! The veil of irony spread over it! Imagine that you just got your big family-entertainment break from Disney and the thought that hits you is "right, now to dial that up a notch! Who can I hire to hold up signs saying DEATH TO ALL JEWS?"

It would almost be better if he were a closet fash rather than the soulless vlogger moron he excuses himself as. Read the rest

Kim Jong-Un's half-brother assassinated in Malaysia

Two assassins used poisoned needles to off the disfavored half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, reports South Korean media. Kim Jong-nam was attacked in Kuala Lumpur airport by the women, who then escaped in a taxi and remain at large.

Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport.The police said the man's identity had not been verified. An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital told the agency a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim. A source close to the Malaysian Prime Minister's office confirmed Mr Kim's death to the BBC, adding that his body was now undergoing an autopsy.

Kim fell into disfavor with his then-ruling father, leading to his younger brother winning the throne after his death. Nam's screw-ups included being caught trying to get into Japan on a false passport in order to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

The North Korean government's not saying anything, but you can generate a fake Press release with our North Korean press release generator. Read the rest

A trip to the domain name conference

Ingrid Burrington thought of domain names as "a very niche genre of experimental poetry, one in which radical constraints (availability, brevity, the cadence of an interrupting “dot”) produce small, densely packed pockets of internet magic." At a conference for domainers--the dot.whatever squatters and salesfolk and speculators--she learned that it's more a matter of alchemy.

...brevity is typically a good move, though memorable phrases are also effective. Some TLDs are hot right now (.io), and some single words are always a good investment (lotions.com, furs.com), but good TLDs and good words together don’t always work (as was explained to the owner of furs.io and lotions.io in one session). Long-time domainers also had oddly specific advice—”Hyphens make your domain less valuable—unless you’re in Germany” and “.info is a dead zone.”

Domainers are generally a short-sighted crowd. Lotions.io might be worthless by itself, but one person dedicating themselves day and night to the thorough and remorseless blogging of all the lotions that go in and out? By Christmas lotions.io could be worth thousands. Read the rest

How to become a superstar vlogger

Liam Williams was given money by the BBC to explain the success and culture of YouTube vloggers.

A search for the next megastar vlogger finds an unlikely victor in struggling comedian, Liam, who must undertake a series of challenges in order to win a £10,000 prize. Along the way, several successful YouTubers give him help and advice.

Both an explainer and a The Office-like mockumentary, there is a weird magic about this that seeps out with the skill and naturalism of its performers. Why, exactly, do young people stare for hours at people just like themselves, talking about themselves? And why is there a corresponding caste of tired, decade-older cynical people wishing they could be there with them? Read the rest

Otonamaki: wrapping oneself in cloth to ease pain

Otonomaki, or "Adult wrapping," sees the subject swaddled cosily, even tightly, in a muslin-like cloth. The aim is to "alleviate posture problems and stiffness," reports the BBC, and it's exploding in popularity in Japan.

"The reason why Otonamaki was invented was because some people were worried about babies struggling or feeling claustrophobic while being wrapped up," says Orie Matsuo of Kyoko Proportion, one of several companies that offer Otonamaki to its customers. "We thought if adults were rolled up like them, they could experience how good it feels." And if customer feedback is anything to go by, Otonamaki is certainly proving successful.

The psychological dimensions speak for themselves, whispering from within their calm white cocoon.

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Orange alligator alarms South Carolina, internet

An orange alligator has taken up residence in a pond near Charleston, reports the Associated Press, baffling experts and locals alike. The most promising hypothesis for its unnatural color is that it wintered in a rusty culvert. The timely 5-foot metaphor for mindless aggression, complete with tiny stumpy extremities, will shed its skin "soon," assuming it survives long enough to do so.

Photo: Steve Tatum Read the rest

Global Shark Tracker

Never be caught unawares by a shark again with the Global Shark Tracker. There are apps for mobile platforms, but it doesn't work very well on a small display. Always go with a bigger boat.

In a collaborative environment established by Founding Chairman and Expedition Leader Chris Fischer, OCEARCH shares real-time data through OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker, inspires current and future generations of explorers, scientists, and stewards of the ocean, and enables leading researchers and institutions to generate previously unattainable data. OCEARCH has completed 26 worldwide expeditions.

In 2015, OCEARCH open sourced the data on the Global Shark Tracker to 2.3 million users, achieved an annual global reach of more than 12.2 billion media impressions, a Facebook reach of 150 million impressions, and a Twitter reach of 36 million impressions.

OCEARCH expeditions and digital outreach platforms are enabled through the support of Costa Sunglasses, YETI, Yamaha, Contender, SAFE Boats, and oneQube.

You can follow the OCEARCH tagged sharks by accessing the near-real time, free online Global Shark Tracker, by downloading the Global Shark Tracker App available for Apple and Android platforms, or by following OCEARCH on all social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

As fascinating as the map is, its creators are described as unscientific Jacques Cousteau wannabes whose methods of tagging sharks are held in some disrepute.

“Shark Wranglers” is the same crew (minus Dr. Michael Domeier) formerly featured on the show “Shark Men” on the National Geographic Channel, which itself used to be called “Expedition: Great White.” These guys specialize in a unique, possibly unnecessarily-invasive procedure to catch and tag large sharks.
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"Hyperbolic tiling": can you escape from an extradimensional prison?

The only thing at Hypernom.com appears to be a 3D fractal cage. You can move toward the edge with the WASD and arrow keys. But as you approach it, a new level of detail pops in and you seem no closer to the perimeter. Approached as a game, there is a "trick" to escaping—but I'm not sure you're supposed to. Press numbers to change the forms that bind you. There are all sorts of things going on like this. Read the rest

Seafood-related queries from own internet-connected vending machines brought college network to its knees

A university, mercifully left unnamed, blew off complaints from students about its slow network. When the problem became too bad to ignore, their IT team found the culprit thanks to a "sudden big interest in seafood-related domains."

The firewall analysis identified over 5,000 discrete systems making hundreds of DNS lookups every 15 minutes. Of these, nearly all systems were found to be living on the segment of the network dedicated to our IoT infrastructure. With a massive campus to monitor and manage, everything from light bulbs to vending machines had been connected to the network for ease of management and improved efficiencies. While these IoT systems were supposed to be isolated from the rest of the network, it was clear that they were all configured to use DNS servers in a different subnet. ... botnet spread from device to device by brute forcing default and weak passwords. Once the password was known, the malware had full control of the device and would check in with command infrastructure for updates and change the device’s password – locking us out of the 5,000 systems.

The Internet of Hacked Things strikes again! I'm sure some content filtering and updating passwords will do the trick. Read the rest

80-year-old lady surprised when TSA finds sword inside her walking cane

The AP reports that an 80-year-old South Carolina woman had no idea her cane contained a sword until she attempted to board a plane and it was inspected by TSA staff.

News outlets report that Transportation Security Administration regional spokesman Mark Howell recounted the incident Thursday at Myrtle Beach International Airport as part of an effort to highlight examples of dangerous items recently carried by passengers departing the airport.

Howell told reporters secret swords are not actually that uncommon a discovery for TSA screeners since people sometimes buy the canes at thrift stores without realizing there's a sword inside.

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"Debate Me": parody of internet manliness gurus/dorks

Something Awful has a guest column from one of the manosphere types netizens cannot fail to be familiar with in 2017.

DEBATE ME.

That's right. I've been powering up these logical brain lasers for hours now just to tear through your fallacies like so much tissue paper. Let me set the stage: my house, seven hours, a webcam, and you and me, duking it out with truth-fists. A jury of my choosing, made up of my peers. The loser gives $10,000 to whatever charity deals with the most tragic of cancers.

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I found the best rug tape

After trying several brands of anti-slip rug tape, I can assertively report that the Roberts brand Rug Gripper Slip Tape is the only one that was any good. Read the rest

Review: Lenovo Yoga Book

Lenovo's Yoga Book is the most striking personal computer I've seen in years. More than the original iPhone, or Sony's X505, or the Messagepad, here's technology that seems a few years ahead of schedule. It's compact, attractive and thinner than anything else that might be called a laptop. Imagine two hinged pieces of black glass, one of which glows with the internet and the other with Okudagrams, and you have the Yoga Book. Read the rest

Nicolas Cage emotes

It's from 2014, but it still works: Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit. Warning: salty language. For reference: Jack Nicholson Losing His Shit. Read the rest

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