Peak no-fucks-given Jeff Sessions boosts asset forfeitures

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, having been thrown under the bus by Donald Trump, has clearly run out of fucks to give, and so now he's not only reviving the feel-good anti-drug program that convinced kids to take drugs, not only directing fed cops to arrest people who take weed in states where it's legal -- he's also calling for more civil asset forfeiture, that being the polite name for the widespread, illegal practice of cops stealing your stuff and selling it off to fund off-the-books spending on surveillance gear and other goodies. (more…)

This mini-drone is easy to fly for beginners and fun for experts

The Fader Stealth Quadcopter from TRNDlabs packs incredible flight performance into a package small enough to land on your phone screen, and it's available now in the Boing Boing Store.

The Fader’s six-axis gyroscope module gives it perfect balance in the air. This makes the onboard 720p HD camera all the better for shooting amazing flight videos, and it ensures rock-solid control if you’re into amateur drone racing. It can fly for up to 7 minutes at a time, and its battery can completely charge in just 45 minutes.

This drone kit includes a joypad remote with a built-in device mount. Get one of these Fader Stealth drones here for only $99.

How to use a 4K TV as a computer monitor

Brad Templeton is founding faculty for Computing and Networks at Singularity University, and Chairman Emeritus and futurist of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the leading cyberspace civil rights foundation. He is on the board of the Foresight Institute. He also advised Google's team developing self-driving cars, and writes about such cars at robocars.com. He also advises Starship on delivery robots and Quanergy in the LIDAR space. He founded ClariNet Communications Corp (the world's first "dot-com" company.) He also created rec.humor.funny, the world's longest running blog. Cool Tools interviewed him about his favorite tools.

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Show notes:
4K TVs as computer monitors
“[I have] a 50-inch 4K television, and you may think, ‘Wow, that’s really big, how far away do you sit from it?’ I sit the same distance I sat from the 30-inch and the 24-inches that so many people use. In fact, if you think about it, the typical 24-inch HD monitor, that is the most common sort of monitor sold today or a few years ago, that actually is one quarter of 4K and it’s 24-inches, which means it’s basically half of the 50-inch screen. … The great thing though is, they’re selling these TVs really cheap. They’re selling them down, you can get them for five, 600 bucks, even less …They didn't want you to use these as monitors, they designed them to be TVs. So there’s s few tricks to pull, but if you do you can get something that's just amazing."

VoIP PBX
"I run a voice over IP PBX in my home, that's a little unusual. You may not need to do that, but there are lots of voice over IP services now, so you can get even your landline phone to travel with you. No matter where you are in the world, even on your cell phone or on your computer or if you want to bring a small phone with you because you like that landline experience, which I happen to. I like the voice quality and the physicality of it for a real conversation. You can get that and proxy it up so that my phone in California, you can call it, and it's gonna ring at my desk in Paris and I can call you back. It's gonna look like I'm there. A lot of people are doing that.”


Fire TV Stick ($40)
“I brought [overseas] my Amazon Fire Stick. I have the first generation one, that was my mistake. The second generation one can be programmed to do what you need to do here, which is use a VPN, a virtual private network. Why? Because you want to cheat all these global content controls that are telling me, even though I have an American Netflix account and I’m paying money into it right now, Netflix will not show me the things that I pay for in the US, ‘cause I'm in France."


Sony cameras
"I like the fact that my cameras keep getting smaller. … I’ve got the Sony a7RII, that's about the best of the digital SLRs for image quality right now. Now, Sony just came out with their A9 which is possibly better. And then in their line I have their APS-C size, that's the sensor that's about half the size of a full 35 millimeter frame. That drops a lot of weight. … I also have, again it’s Sony so this one doesn't have to be, but it's one of the nicest little point and shoots. That fits in your pocket, and it's the DSC-RX100 IV, and that guy does get some great images. But of course it just has a point and shoot zoom lens on it.”


Starship Technologies
"My favorite tool I'm working on right now is with a company that's based in Estonia, and it's called Starship Technologies. We're making a delivery robot. It's a little robot the size of a big beer cooler, and it's got six wheels, and it's not fully autonomous yet, but it's going to be. It's going to bring you everything that you want to order in 30 minutes, and it's gonna cost under a dollar to do it. … Like so many things these days, you won’t be able to get one. You'll be able to get one to bring you something, or if you're a delivery company you might be able to buy them."

A Ghost Story is not your typical horror film

A Ghost Story is not your typical horror film -- it is a supernatural, philosophical romance that focuses on the life of a ghost and his existential experience of being lost in space and time. The film was directed, written, and edited by David Lowery. One of the most differentiating aspects of the film is that it features a man dressed in a bedsheet with two eye holes. We saw a screening in Los Angeles last night, which was followed by a Q & A with Lowery.

From the Q & A we learned that the ghost costume, lighting, color, and aspect ratio were all designed to convey the nostalgia that Lowery was drawn to when writing the screenplay. I was edtited in Premiere Pro with a full Adobe workflow.

A scene that’s already under the spotlight is one of Rooney Mara's character grieving and eating a pie for minutes. It’s through these long (sometimes uncomfortably long) shots that Lowery underscores the haunting nature of being a ghost stuck in place and time. He explained to the audience that the length of each shot was representative of the age and perception of the ghost. As the film went on, shots became quicker and more lively.

This is likely the most unique film of the summer, and a breath of fresh air for the horror genre. Instead of jump scares or graphic imagery, A Ghost Story sparks a different type of fear, a fear that revolves around the nature of existence.

Synopsis:

Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life's ineffable questions and the enormity of existence.

Fender custom shop re-uses Hollywood Bowl bench boards to make $12k guitars

$12k for a guitar made of the boards where people sat and listened to historic concerts.

What kind of pick-up does this fantastically expensive beauty come with? Best I can tell: Black. I hope it sounds really, really good.

This is especially the case with Fender's new, limited edition Front Row Legend Esquire line. Made in Fender's Custom Shop by Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov, these special Telecasters are built to order using 100–year–old Alaskan yellow cedar from the Hollywood Bowl's original bench boards.

Since its official opening in the summer of 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has spent almost 100 years hosting some of the biggest acts of every decade. Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, and Black Sabbath are just a smattering of the talent that has graced the Bowl's stage, and now, you can own a functional piece of its history.

Shishkov maintained the characteristics of each piece of bench board that he used, with all of its original scratches, cracks, and bolt holes. The top of each guitar will also feature the original seat number.

Via Reverb

(Thanks, Jason Mancebo!)

Neuroscientist explains how your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

In this recently released TED Talk, neuroscientist Anil Seth explains the intricacies of human consciousness and how we all are constantly hallucinating:

Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.

Two people drowned in river baptisms

Two adult men drowned during their baptisms in the Ungwasi River in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania in Africa.

“Following the incident, we have agreed on some measures that will ensure the safety of our followers during baptism in the rivers,” Victory Christian Center pastor Samuel Kamigwa was quoted as saying.

From Religion News:

Kamigwa said churches were considering increasing the number of ministers at one baptism event. They would also baptize one person at a time, while others are kept at a safe distance, and will choose a time when the water is calm enough for the ritual....

Last year, six children died in Zimbabwe’s eastern province of Mashonaland during an early morning baptism in a stream by a self-styled prophetess.

And in January 2015, two elderly Pentecostal church pastors drowned in Mutshedzi River in Limpopo Province of South Africa, where they had gone to baptize four junior church members.

Destiny 2 "Beta" begins on PS4 and Xbox One

As of today both Xbox One and PS4 players can preview Bungie's sequel to Destiny, the MMOFPS successor to Halo.

Wonderful weapons, colorful armor, and well-balanced skills make Destiny PvP the best since the early Halo games. The PvE raids, puzzles and bosses are similarly challenging and fun to play with friends. The story? Bungie's miserable story telling coasts along behind remarkable controls, level design, and gameplay. Unlike Halo, Destiny's story is a confused and boring wonder.

Destiny 2 looks like a new engine, levels, and a lot of new weapons and skills. Evolutionary not revolutionary, I'm sure it'll remain a battle ground for wizened old Atari 2600 owners vs high-pitched pre-teens with excellent reflexes.

I bet the Gjallarhorn will be back. I miss the days of Thorn's supremacy.

You can pre-order through your platform to get into the Beta. It'll also open up next week to the general public.

Watch "Raiders of the Lost Darth"

Fabrice Mathieu delivered this fantastic new cut of his Raiders of the Lost Darth mashup.

Cast: Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Paul Freeman, Carrie Fisher, Fred Sorenson, Warwick Davis, and C-3PO as "The Idol".

Films and Characters created by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Films used:
- "Raiders of the lost ark"
- "Star Wars": episodes IV, V, VI, VII.
- "Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure".
Music by John Williams.

Security robot drowns during patrol

The Knightscope K5 security robot was patrolling a Washington DC office park on MOnday when it met its untimely demise. Apparently the robot rolled too close to the fountain stairs for its own good. From The Guardian:

Stacy Dean Stephens, vice president of marketing and sales at Knightscope, told Cnet that it was an “isolated incident” for the K5 unit and that “no people were harmed or involved in any way..."

Since taking the streets in limited numbers, the K5 patrol bot, which is apparently packed with sensors to be the smart eyes and ears for its human law enforcement colleagues, has had its fair share of incidents. In April, a K5 patrolling the mean streets of Google-home-town Mountain View, California was allegedly involved in a carpark altercation with a 41-year-old man, while in July 2016 another K5 unit was accused of running over a 16-month-old child in a Stanford shopping centre.

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