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Xeni Jardin

Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: xeni@boingboing.net.

Gorgeous drone footage of Fall farm harvest in County Tipperary, Ireland

Silage is harvested grass or fodder that cows, sheep, and horses munch on fresh throughout the winter.

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Overgrown sheep sheared back to safety

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In Australia, an animal humane society brought in a champion sheep-shearer to trim a badly overgrown sheep that was found wandering in the woods near the capital.

From the Guardian:

A bushwalker spotted the sheep near Mulligan Flats, just outside Canberra, and called the RSPCA, which mounted a rescue mission on Tuesday.

Tammy Ven Dange, the chief executive of the Australian RSPCA, said five staff members were needed for the job.

It appeared the sheep had become lost from its herd. Ven Dange said merino sheep were bred to grow wool and could suffer infections or flystrike if they were not regularly groomed.

Of the wool removed by that award-winning sheep shearer, the RSPCA rep said, ““It’s pretty disgusting. I don’t think anyone is going to want it.”

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LA: internet punk foodies Starry Kitchen resurface at Echo Park video-game bar

Starry Kitchen's social media hype man, Nguyen Tran. (Instagram)


Starry Kitchen's social media hype man, Nguyen Tran. (Instagram)

 Starry Kitchen's totally insane tofu balls are the punch line in many of founder Nguyen Tran's raunchy instagram captions.


Starry Kitchen's totally insane tofu balls are the punch line in many of founder Nguyen Tran's raunchy Instagram captions.

1505999_10152458712746324_3367230699080945985_nAngelenos, our city's best Uber-and-Facebook-based restaurant and its banana-suit-bedecked hype man are back. Nguyen Tran and Thi Tran, a husband-and-wife chef and viral marketing powerhouse, will be serving their adventurous Asian fare out of Button Mash, a new video game themed bar in Echo Park.

They have been missed. The Tran's adventurous culinary projects began out of their North Hollywood apartment in 2009, made it to Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurants list, and became Yelp’s top rated Asian Fusion restaurant in Los Angeles.

As LA Mag explains,

After it was shut down because of legal complications a year later, and the inaugural brick-and-mortar shuttered shortly after that, the operation became a whirlwind of semi-permanent pop-up stints. When their January Kickstarter campaign failed to raise $500,000, it looked as if Starry Kitchen was left for dead.

Well, then they became an Uber-delivery-only experiment, and blew everyone's minds again. And their marijuana dinners were literally the hottest underground ticket in LA for a while.

Can't wait to get over to Echo Park.

The adorable Mr. and Mrs. Tran,  of Starry Kitchen (Facebook)


The adorable Mr. and Mrs. Tran, of Starry Kitchen (Facebook)

Tickets to the Marijuana Dinner.


Tickets to the Marijuana Dinner.

Women react to really weird old sex advice throughout history

Women sure got some weird sex advice back in the day.

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In Guatemala, a popular uprising may send a US-backed president to prison. It's about time.

Guatemala is a place where justice seldom reaches those who deserve it most. But today in Guatemala, something amazing has happened. And they're calling it “Guatemalan Spring.”Read the rest

“I caught a fish with my drone!”

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I believe this to be very likely faked, but nonetheless fantastic.

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Here is how much of a badass Jorge Ramos is

Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos, the Univision reporter/anchor who was famously thrown out of a Donald Trump circle jerk for practicing journalism without permission has a long history of pissing off dangerous, rich, powerful criminals.

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Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and others join to create royalty-free video codecs for all

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Microsoft, Google, Mozilla, Cisco, Intel, Netflix, and Amazon today launched a new consortium, the Alliance for Open Media (Twitter). The group plans to develop a new generation of royalty-free open source digital media formats, but creating a new, open video solution is the primary goal. The new formats would be used for commercial and noncommercial content.

From the Alliance for Open Media website:

The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:

Interoperable and open;
Optimized for the web;
Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.

Peter Bright at Ars Technica:

The issue of patent licenses and royalties continues to plague the video industry. While H.264/AVC video had relatively cheap licensing, it looks as if its successor, H.265/HEVC, is going to be considerably more expensive. Organizations that derive significant income from patent royalties and IP licensing weren't happy with the low-cost model used for H.264, and so are pushing back. This is a great threat to open source and non-commercial streaming, which has no obvious way to pay the royalties. The HEVC royalty structure would even threaten the viability of commercial streamers such as Netflix.

The Alliance for Open Media would put an end to this problem. The group's first aim is to produce a video codec that's a meaningful improvement on HEVC. Many of the members already have their own work on next-generation codecs; Cisco has Thor, Mozilla has been working on Daala, and Google on VP9 and VP10. Daala and Thor are both also under consideration by the IETF's netvc working group, which is similarly trying to assemble a royalty-free video codec.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon, others, aim for royalty-free video codecs [Ars]

And here's the press release.

Amazon Prime will soon allow users to download, not just stream, videos

The awesome comedy show created by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe, is among the original shows Amazon will allow Prime users to download.


“Catastrophe,” the Amazon series created by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan.

Amazon ratcheted up the streaming video competition stakes today, by offering downloadable videos to Amazon Prime video customers. There's a catch: Amazon Prime users will only be allowed to download to Apple and Android phones or tablets, including Amazon's Fire, but not to desktops or laptops.

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In Google's new logo, serifs a no-go

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Google has a new logo. Everything's coming up sans serif.

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Apple wants to make original movie and TV programming, reports Variety

Tim Cook. Image: Reuters


Tim Cook. Image: Reuters

Apple is exploring getting into the original programming business, reports Variety. “An Apple representative declined comment,” but you knew that was coming. If the report is accurate, it makes sense that the most valuable company in the world​ wants to go head-to-head with Amazon​ and Netflix​ on streamable original video content.

From Variety:

Sources indicate the Cupertino, Calif., colossus has held preliminary conversations in recent weeks with executives in Hollywood to suss out their interest in spearheading efforts to produce entertainment content. The unit putting out the feelers reports into Eddy Cue, who is Apple’s point man on all content-related matters, from its negotiations with programmers for Apple TV to its recent faceoff with Taylor Swift.

[...]The scale of Apple’s ambitions vary depending on whom is asked, but one high-level executive who talked with the company said the goal is to create development and production divisions that would churn out long-form content to stream in a bid to compete with Netflix. Apple is hoping to put a headhunting firm on those hires in the coming months, according to source, with the goal of being in operation next year. Unknown is whether the focus is on TV series, movies — or both.

Apple Eyes Move Into Original Programming (EXCLUSIVE) [variety.com]

BBC TV host is very excited about this Blue Whale that just showed up

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“I can see it now! The largest ever known to have lived on our planet, larger than any of the dinosaurs, a creature we hunted so much that 99% of its numbers disappeared is right here, right now, live!”

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China state TV airs footage of detained reporter saying he regrets writing stock market story

Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with Caijing Magazine, delivers what looks like a forced apology after being held by Chinese authorities for a week.


Wang Xiaolu, a journalist with Caijing Magazine, delivers what looks like a forced apology after being held by Chinese authorities for a week.

A Chinese news reporter who has been held for a week by authorities in China, accused of spreading “false information” about the economy, has surfaced.

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World's most powerful digital camera gets green light from U.S. Dept. of Energy

”The LSST’s camera will include a filter-changing mechanism and shutter. This animation shows that mechanism, which allows the camera to view different wavelengths; the camera is capable of viewing light from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared (0.3-1 μm) wavelengths. Illustration: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.”


”The LSST’s camera will include a filter-changing mechanism and shutter. This animation shows that mechanism, which allows the camera to view different wavelengths; the camera is capable of viewing light from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared (0.3-1 μm) wavelengths.
Illustration: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.”

The US Department of Energy has approved the start of construction for a 3.2-gigapixel digital camera, which would be the world’s largest, at the heart of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

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Selfie drones are a huge problem in the ancient ruins of Provence, and the New York Times is ON IT

hahaha

Never change, New York Times.

“Wire Cutters,” a wonderful short film on the rough lives of off-world robot miners

“A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.”

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Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author, dies at 82

The neurologist and author explored the mysteries of the brain in 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,' and died after an earlier form of cancer in his eye returned and spread throughout his body.Read the rest