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Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com  

LA school district wants refunds for education iPads

BURN

They paid nearly $1000 each for 44,000 iPads loaded with an incomplete educational curriculum they hadn't even seen.

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How the hell did they get 1024 colors out of a 1981 PC?

1k01_graffiti1k2

If technical descriptions of how they achieved the amazing graphical feat flew over your head, this pictorial explanation makes clearer just how insane this thing is.

The idea that such multi-color trickery was possible came to me some time ago, as I was looking at reenigne's code for patching up composite CGA emulation in DOSBox; messing with that patch during development gave me a much better picture of composite CGA's inner workings. When I had ironed out the basic concept for this hack, I divulged it to reenigne for 'peer review' and for testing on real hardware. Soon enough, we had an improved recipe:

Take two familiar (though officially undocumented) tweaks. Blend to an even mixture producing a new effect. Add one crucial new trick – an ingredient of reenigne's devising. Test and calibrate until blue in the face.

It's also a great look at the workings of CGA for the interested but nontechnical layman.

Released at the Revision 2015 demo party, 8088 MPH is a vision of previously undiscovered possibility (a perfect entrypoint to the 19A0s!)—there's even MOD music, including digital samples, at 6:40m, like it's just no big deal at all to do that with 1981 hardware

Roomba is making a lawnmower. Astronomers HATE this.

revengeofthelawn

The proposed lawn-embedded RF barriers could interfere with radio telescopes. Wired's Davey Alba says the fight over 6240-6740 MHz is heading for the rough.

Astronomers say that’s not good enough. The frequency band proposed for the lawnbot (6240-6740 MHz) is the very same one several enormous radio telescopes operate on. Astronomers want the FCC to protect their share of the radio spectrum so their telescopes continue observing methanol, which abounds in regions where celestial bodies are forming.

“The Observatory’s telescopes … do a kind of celestial cartography that measures distances to star-forming regions with high precision, charting the course of galactic evolution,” representatives of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory wrote in public comments to the FCC objecting to iRobot’s application to the agency.

On April 1, Magic Lantern crashed cameras for the laughs

ML

Vladimir Ivanov writes about a most unpleasant April Fools joke. Magic Lantern, an unofficial high-end replacement for Canon camera firmware, saw fit to intentionally BSOD cameras for the day.

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Cop who shot man in back laughed about adrenaline rush

1000 Michael Slager, the North Charleston cop who shot Walter Scott, laughed about the 'pumping' feeling after the incident, reports The Guardian.

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The Golden Ratio is "bullshit"

NOPE

The legendary spiral is a human fetish found rarely in good design or nature.

Crap microwave ovens responsible for mystery radio signals

lol

But maybe aliens are operating the microwaves!

UK to jail revenge porn posters

Revenge porn—sharing intimate photos of people without their permission—is now a criminal offense in the UK. The maximum sentence is 2 years inside.

Amazing demo gets 1000 colors out of 4-color CGA PC card from 1981

"Because there are so many technological world-firsts in the demo, and because we’re bending the hardware in ways that people have never thought to do so, it’s only fair that we try to explain exactly how this was achieved." x 2015-04-10 at 3.25.30 PM

U.S. forbids Intel-China chip deal

061713Tianhe-2master-1371488246512 The Department of Commerce told Intel it's not allowed to ship China chips to upgrade the world's biggest supercomputer. But every sour deal has a sweet lining: "Separately, Intel has signed a $200m deal with the US government to build a massive supercomputer"

Jared Leto's Joker

CCMf5alUAAAB4l_ As posted by David Ayer on Twitter! Looks good to me--the traditional, slimier Joker--without any suggestion of overdoing it in camp fashion.

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Britain's new pylons look like scales of justice

x 2015-04-09 at 3.33.51 PM

The UK is to see its first new electricity transmission tower design in nearly a century, reports the BBC.

The new design abandons the traditional "Mutant Eiffel Tower" style in favor of a sleek "T" shape.

This renders obsolete all those weird British science fiction TV shows from the 70s and 80s, where the regressed medieval future was illustrated with pastoral landscapes studded by the obsolete but still-looming pylons of the barely-remembered 20th century.

The new ones, however, are far more obscenely symbolic of totalitarian self-regard, and surely have a great future in spooky hauntological sci-fi where leather and sack-clad villagers worship science and its manifestations.

This is already most of West Sussex, yes, but just imagine everyone doing it. Pictured above is new pylon, with some classic pylon in the background.

Brushing your teeth has been gamified

"We make brushing teeth fun," declare the creators of Play Brush.

Tyrannosaurs ate one another, evidence suggests

150409083201-large Injuries inflicted on a tyrannosaurus in life appear to be inflicted by another tyrannosaurus. But a new research paper reports similar injuries on another t-rex skull inflicted after death, suggesting that tyrannosaurus scavenged its own kind.

There is no evidence that the animal died at the hands (or mouth) of another tyrannosaur. However, the preservation of the skull and other bones, and damage to the jaw bones show that after the specimen began to decay, a large tyrannosaur (possibly of the same species) bit into the animal and presumably ate at least part of it. Combat between large carnivorous dinosaurs is already known and there is already evidence for cannibalism in various groups, including tyrannosaurs. This is however an apparently unique record with evidence of both pre- and post-mortem injuries to a single individual.

The awesome painting of feathery t-rexes vying to devour one another is by Luis Rey.

Game of Thrones deaths as an interactive chart

x 2015-04-09 at 9.51.40 AM Go, spoil thyself. [WaPo, via]

Skye Terriers going extinct

x 2015-04-09 at 9.39.13 AM Dog breeds as we know them represent an unsustainable Victorian fad. "Skye terrier breeders are doing their best to change the tide," writes Rosie Cima, "but things don’t look good." [Photo: Plelpe2000]

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Apple Watch store availability list; reviews in (Updated)

"Don't plan on camping outside an Apple store," writes The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes. "Steep learning curve," warns the NYT's Farhad Manjoo, "But once I fell, I fell hard."

Update: It will be available in select stores. [via]