Funny reviews pile up for Donald Trump's dreadful $150 christmas tree ornament

great
On wednesday, president-elect Donald Trump unveiled a $150 Christmas tree ornament: a miniature Make America Great Again hat. Finished in brass and 14-karat gold, it has already been subject to many reviews. Many are funny.

"It called Mary a nasty woman, told Joseph to go back where he came from, built a wall around the manger, and then when you press it it sings "I'm Dreaming Of A Totally White Christmas."

"Every time I try to hang it on the branch, it yells 'WRONG!' No matter which branch I try, it's 'WRONG!' My brother and father can hang it up just fine, but when my mother and I try, it's just 'WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!'

"The angel on top of my tree just hired a lawyer."

The awful ornament is selling like hotcakes on Amazon; you can also get it directly from Trump's political campaign site. Read the rest

HX-01: a feature-length journey in psychedelic space

25022583572b433d3100e813b3947bdd_original
HX-01 is an animated full-length film on the verge of hitting its modest $6k crowdfunding goal. Its landscape of psychedelic geometric video graphics are just my cup of acid; check out the trailer and see if it's yours, too.

Hi, my name is hexeosis. For a little over three years now, I’ve been creating and posting animated GIFs on the internet. I’ve been unreasonably lucky to have connected with thousands and thousands of fans from all over the world. Crazy, but awesome!

I’m launching this Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of a full length, full color, full HD sized animated short film.

PREVIOUSLY: Xeni blogged about creator Hexeosis in 2014 when they were first getting us high on Tumblr. Read the rest

NPR tracks down "fake news" entrepreneur claiming up to $30,000 a month from ads: "I have a beautiful life"

fake-news
The Denver Guardian looked enough like a real news site to convince legions of Facebookers that its fake news about Hillary Clinton was worth sharing. The anonymous creator reused an old handle in an early posting there, though, allowing NPR to track him down to the LA suburbs.

Jestin Coler, 40, weasels at first, claiming it's all an attempt to "highlight the extremism" and show "how easily fake news spreads." But he's soon boasting of a business operation that brings in five figures a month from ads.

Coler's company, Disinfomedia, owns many faux news sites — he won't say how many. But he says his is one of the biggest fake-news businesses out there, which makes him a sort of godfather of the industry.

At any given time, Coler says, he has between 20 and 25 writers. And it was one of them who wrote the story in the Denver Guardian that an FBI agent who leaked Clinton emails was killed. Coler says that over 10 days the site got 1.6 million views. He says stories like this work because they fit into existing right-wing conspiracy theories.

"The people wanted to hear this," he says. "So all it took was to write that story. Everything about it was fictional: the town, the people, the sheriff, the FBI guy. And then ... our social media guys kind of go out and do a little dropping it throughout Trump groups and Trump forums and boy it spread like wildfire."

As with other fake news hucksters, Coler says he also targeted liberals and lefties too, but found that they didn't fall for it the way others do. Read the rest

Mosh: an online suite of image-glitching tools

glitch-forest

Mosh offers 21 different glitching tools to apply to uploaded images, from polar pixelation to Bad Television and barrel blur. Best of all, the results are animated! You can also just click the Mosh Button to give it free rein.

Read the rest

L.A. Thanksgiving traffic almost beautiful from a distance

LAtraffic

Do not drive anywhere in Los Angeles between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m and within 10 days either side of Thanksgiving. [via B911Weather]

Read the rest

Facebook creates censorship tool to convince China to allow it to do business there

Mark Zuckerberg in 2013. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

The New York Times reports that Facebook is completing work on censorship software to accommodate demands made by the Chinese government.

The social network has quietly developed software to suppress posts from appearing in people’s news feeds in specific geographic areas, according to three current and former Facebook employees, who asked for anonymity because the tool is confidential. The feature was created to help Facebook get into China, a market where the social network has been blocked, these people said. Mr. Zuckerberg has supported and defended the effort, the people added.

Filtering fraudulent propaganda is something he insists is both irrelevant and practically impossible, but explicitly censoring credible news comes so easily to him. Seems odd.

Some of us are still talking about Mark Zuckerberg as if he were the moronic child-man depicted in The Social Network, a nerd who must be sighed or screamed at until he Gets whatever human thing is escaping him. But it's long past time to accept that he's a powerful and self-aware adult businessman, as cynical as the best of them, who benefits to our detriment when we cast him in that role.

Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters Read the rest

Doom on the Touch Bar

275559-1280

The street finds its own uses, etc. This one's the work of Adam Bell.

Read the rest

How to make a backpack out of an Ikea bag

f7DACXy

Not sure I'd trust this in the Himalayas, or even the Pennines... but it's absolutely adorable!

The completed bag weighs 17oz. Far lighter than my expectations.

I made sure to include a sleeve that I could slide a Zlite sleeping pad into. This acts as a frame and stiffener, and also as a cushion from the items that you are carrying.

The total cost of the pack was about $30, and a lot of time, but that is part of the fun.

Read the rest

A gauge to accurately measure the force profile of a keypress

253

Annoyed by reviews of keyboards that describe mechanical switches the way men in bow ties describe wine, HaaTa spent fabulous amounts of money constructing a custom gauge that generates meticulously accurate graphs of the pressure profile of keypresses.

I take keyboards way too seriously. However, unlike most of you, I’m an engineer. This means I need facts, data, and real evidence before I can form an opinion. And this lack of actual information has always bothered me when it comes to how the keyboard community at large tends to review switches.

Similar in function to charts of speakers' frequency response, the gauge anchors subjective experience in empirical data that can be verified independently of manufacturers' claims. There are good and bad sides to this sort of thing. On one hand, it burns off technophile mysticism and helps prevents it from being sold on to low-information consumers. On the other hand, the desire to free phenomena from human experience is futile.

Read the rest

Homestuck was the "internet's first masterpiece"

02295

Andrew Hussie's Homestuck was a vast, sprawling, impenetrable, hostile webcomic, and it only become harder to define as its popularity grew and its volume stretched toward a million words...

If you ask a fan, you get a flood of enthusiastic nonsense: It’s… well, it’s a webcomic, but sometimes it’s more like an old-school text-based roleplaying game. It’s about a group of kids who are playing that game, and also cause the end of the world…. It’s about growing up, but there’s also time travel, and of course we can’t forget about the alien trolls! and there’s like, complex four-dimensional romance! and really touching moments, and surreal humor, and so many callbacks, self-references, and running jokes I don’t know what it’s even about except for itself, I mean, the author appears as a character, and then gets killed, and the fourth wall isn’t just broken: fourth walls are a tool used by the characters to travel from the… well, see there are lots of universes, and dream universes-

What it was, writes Ben Tolkin, was the first true work of internet art. Participation in the vast, sprawling, impenetrable, hostile subculture around it was an integral part of the storytelling experience.

Homestuck is the first media directed at people for whom the Internet is a way of life, the constantly connected, information-rich community, rather than the individual viewer. Homestuck may not have been written by all of us, but it was written for all of us; since its beginnings as a forum game, Hussie’s writing can only be read by a team constantly supplying each other with knowledge.
Read the rest

Are Jews people? Find out after the break on CNN

jews

How fast things move! Here's us, suggesting that media people stop using the cutesy term "alt right" to describe Sieg Heiling white supremacists. But they're already moving onto panel discussions on whether Jews are people. Read the rest

UK regulator rules joke about Queen having sex "breached rules"

queen-elizabeth

British regulators determined that a joke about Queen Elizabeth II having sex "breached" broadcasting rules.

The edition of the show, which aired in April this year, featured a panel of comedians who are given a subject which they have to prove is not funny. If the audience does laugh, the subject passes to the next contestant.

Panellist Russell Kane was asked to explain why there was nothing funny about why the Queen, who has four children, must have had sex at least four times in her life.

“Four times we have to think of republicanism as we imagine four children emerging from Her Majesty’s vulva,” said Kane to audience laughter.

Ofcom ruled that the quips, uttered on BBC Radio 4, were "not justified". Moreover, "the potential for offence was increased by the fact that these remarks were broadcast on the Queen's 90th birthday".

The show, Don't Make Me Laugh, was cancelled in the wake of the controversy, which led to a staggering 12 people writing in to complain.

I can't immediately find a clip of the segment in question, so you'll instead have to make do with some amusing media navelgazing over a previous instance of British lese majeste, wherein the line "I'm so old my pussy is haunted" was repeated in Streisand-esque fashion in a watchdog show.

No sanctions were reported other than Ofcom's stern telling-off. But whatever you do, don't talk about Queen Liz getting into bed with Donald Trump.

UPDATE: I believe this is the episode in question, but haven't got a timestamp for you yet:

Read the rest

How to make Fire Tornados the "easy" way

firetornado

"Hopefully plugging something into a GFCI outlet will save me if something goes wrong." Read the rest

The best 2 seconds in the history of reviewing servers

dell

Looking into my options for a compact, inexpensive home server, I chanced across PC Magazine's May 2016 review of the Dell Optiplex 3040. In the middle of it, reviewer and PC Magazine Lead Analyst Joel Santo Domingo is seen very briefly to caress the Dell. Pack it in, gadget reviewers: the best 2 seconds in the history of reviewing servers is over.

I added the music.

Here's the full review:

Read the rest

So much for transparent aluminum

first-contact

I added a line of dialog to Star Trek: First Contact.

PREVIOUSLY: Yeah, Obi-Wan Remembers the Truth Alright Read the rest

Amusing website explains everything it knows about you, right down to the click

wefgwegwegwegewg

Clickclickclick.click has one trick, and it's great: it just sits there narrating what you're doing on the page, from hovering over clickable areas to moving the pointer the way a machine would. It can tell when you're lurking in whitespace to avoid interaction triggers! It's a wonderfully creepy evocation of what ad tech knows (often-inaccurate browser environment information) and the assumptions about you it then makes and sells to agencies.

"Looking at the timezone there, he's at work!" Read the rest

George Takei: "They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims."

imrs

Donald Trump has appointed Gen. Michael "fear of Muslims is RATIONAL" Flynn as his National Security Advisor and Jeff "be careful what you say to white folks" Sessions as his Attorney General. Along with white nationalist hero Steve Bannon's job as Strategic Advisor, that's three strikes for the "give him a chance" crowd from the first three pitches. Japanese-Americans old enough to remember the prison camps know where this is going. Read the rest

More posts