Twitter growth grinds to a full stop, Wall Street reacts accordingly

REUTERS

“On Wednesday, after many quarters of slowing user growth, Twitter said its monthly visitors in the fourth quarter totaled 320 million — exactly the same as the company reported in the previous quarter,” reports Mike Isaac in the New York Times. “While the number was up 9 percent from a year ago, when monthly active users stood at 288 million, the figures showed that Mr. Dorsey’s recent moves have made little impact in attracting users.”

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”Fire Is Ours,” a Bernie Sanders anthem by Makana

fireisours

A Boing Boing exclusive premiere: “Fire is Ours” • Lyrics and Music by Makana • Directed by Zac Heileson.

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Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders win New Hampshire primaries

[Reuters]

Hold on to your wigs, people, the 2016 U.S. presidential race is about to get even weirder. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the winners of the New Hampshire primaries.

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In promoting Cybersecurity National Action Plan, White House conspicuously fails to mention encryption

crypto

The White House released an announcement today on President Obama's Cybersecurity National Action Plan. In thousands of not actually bad at all words about cybersecurity, they managed not to say the word "encryption" once.

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NY to probe "radioactive tritium-contaminated water" leak at Indian Point nuclear facility

Indian Point nuclear power plant in Buchanan, NY, seen from across the Hudson River, in this April 6, 2010 file photo. REUTERS

New York will investigate high levels of radioactive contamination found in groundwater at Indian Point Energy Center, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

"Radioactive tritium-contaminated water" leaked into groundwater at the nuclear facility, and caused “alarming levels” of radioactivity to be found at three of the 40 monitoring wells at the nuclear facility.

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Watch the GOP debate's painful, hilarious, very awkward start

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Wanna see what a total clusterfuck the beginning of last night's presidential debate was? Watch this video.

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Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, 6th man on the moon, dies at age 85

Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, Apollo 14 lunar module pilot stands by the deployed U.S. flag on the lunar surface during the early moments of the mission's first spacewalk. Photo: NASA

NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell has died. He was 85 years old.

Mitchell was the sixth human to walk on the moon. He died Thursday night after a short illness. It was exactly one day before the 45th anniversary of the day he landed in the Moon's hilly Fra Mauro region, with crewmate Alan Shepard.

Mitchell was into the paranormal, and the possibility that ESP (psychic communication) could help humans stay connected out in space.

From Bill Harwood at CBS News:

Famous for attempting an experiment in extra-sensory perception on his way back from the moon, Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in 1973 "to support consciousness research and promote awareness of evolving human consciousness," the family said in a statement released by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Andrew Chaikin, author of "A Man On The Moon -- The Voyages Of The Apollo Astronauts," said in a recent interview with CBS News that Mitchell was "super bright" and "an intellectual."

"Just a real lover of ideas," Chaikin said. "It shows in his post-NASA career because he pursued this question of consciousness and the nature of consciousness. On his flight, he had kind of a mountain-top experience where on the flight home, looking at the Earth, he felt that he was experiencing the universe as an intelligent entity, almost an organism. And that really changed him."

Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell in front of a graphic of the mission patch. [NASA]

Here are NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's remarks on his death:

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Snow artist stomps awesome fractals with just his two snowshoes

Sierpinski Triangle in snow by Simon Beck
Skier and snow artist Simon Beck stomps around in the snow for 11 hours or more to make each of his beautiful fractal snow art masterpieces. He has to walk around 25 or 30 miles to stamp a design of about 100 meters square, using only his two snowshoes. It began as a form of exercise, and has become far more.

From The Finch and Pea:

For more than a decade, Beck has made elaborate designs in snow, mainly in the French Alps, using only snowshoes and a compass. He started out making mandala-like circular shapes, but moved on to much more complex designs over the years. Beck told Discovery News that he started incorporating fractal patterns into his work after reading James Gleick’s book “Chaos: Making a New Science.”

More images at the artist's website and on Facebook.

About the image below, he explains:

The first attempt to draw the dragon made for Baslev's movie DRAKONY, in Siberia (Yakutsk) in October 2015. This was rejected as I had used a bit too much artistic licence and not drawn accurately enough according to the sketch I had been given!

Mandelbrot Set in progress

[Via Smithsonian Magazine]

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'Low Pixel,' a ceramic art series by Toshiya Masuda

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For his Low Pixel ceramic sculpture series, Japanese artist Toshiya Masuda “pixelates” common objects. Soda cans, flowers, liquor bottles, all are reduced to low rez video game style facsimiles.

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At CBS, Sumner Redstone is out and Les Moonves is in

Les Moonves and Sumner Redstone. REUTERS

CBS announced today that ailing and aging media mogul Sumner M. Redstone, who is 92, has resigned as the company's executive chairman. Leslie Moonves, CEO, has now taken the role of chairman.

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Drone video of Homs, Syria shows a city destroyed by war

Homs, Syria (2014, Reuters)

Making the rounds online this week: this footage shot by a camera-equipped drone of the Syrian city of Homs. After 5 years of civil war, the city is largely reduced to abandoned rubble.

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Boko Haram attack in Nigeria kills as many as 100, unknown number of women and children kidnapped

A child walks in the rubble of Dalori village, after Boko Haram killed scores in a Jan. 30 raid. [CNN]

Another brutal attack is reported to have taken place in Nigeria, led by the Islamic armed group Boko Haram. On Saturday night, Boko Haram militants carrying machine guns rolled into the village of Dalori on motorcycles, opening fire on every living thing in sight.

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Trump commands mob to ‘Knock the Crap Out’ of protesters, promises to pay legal fees

Donald Trump waves during a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Feb. 1, 2016. REUTERS

You never go full Hitler, bro.

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Justice Department to investigate SF Police, as protests over Mario Woods killing continue

Mario Woods, shot to death by SFPD officers in Dec., 2015.

As protests continue over the death of Mario Woods, who was shot and killed by an SFPD cop in December, the Justice Department announces it will conduct a “comprehensive review” of the San Francisco Police Department.

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As Walter White was to meth, so is the “Drug Wizard of Wichita” to Fentanyl

Photo: Fusion

The potent drug Fentanyl is widely used in medicine as a painkiller, and in anesthesia for major surgery. The intensely concentrated opiate is also a recreational street drug, with a growing number of addicted users--some of whom consume it together with chemically related opiates such as heroin.

Fusion profiles George Marquardt, an eccentric gadgeteer in Wichita, KS who became a career clandestine chemist. How important was he? When the feds finally nabbed Marquardt, the country's first “Fentanyl epidemic” dried right up.

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Google parent Alphabet surpasses Apple as 'world's most valuable company'

Reuters

With the release of its fourth-quarter earnings report today, Google parent company Alphabet became the world's most valuable company, and kicked Apple out of that coveted spot.

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FBI's war on encryption is unnecessary because the Internet of Things will spy on us just fine

Reuters

The war on encryption waged by the F.B.I. and other intelligence agencies is unnecessary, because the data trails we voluntarily leak allow “Internet of Things” devices and social media networks to track us in ways the government can access.

That's the short version of what's in “Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the ‘Going Dark’ Debate,” a study published today by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.

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