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Silicon Valley asks, “What’s in a [company] name?"

 

“Articles Of Incorporation” is the first episode of Silicon Valley that really gets room to breathe, allowing the characters space away from the crunch time of the story to bring Pied Piper to fruition. This is a show with an eight-episode first season, so there isn’t a ton of time to waste on the plot front—so long as this season builds to Pied Piper hitting the market in some kind of nascent form. But this kind of episode is a test of what kinds of story Silicon Valley can tell when it gets away from the Hooli/Peter Gregory competitive binary and just focuses on some kooky developers chipping away at making a startup into a formidable company that puts out a viable product.

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California runaway teen survives flight to Hawaii in plane's wheel well

"A 16-year-old boy stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from California to Hawaii on Sunday, surviving the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen," reports the AP.

The young man snuck aboard from San Jose, CA, and made it to Maui. The FBI is questioning him.

“Kid's lucky to be alive,” said an FBI agent, who explained that the boy ran away from his family after an argument.

Mystery tool in my backyard

Found this today in a seldom-visited area of our backyard. Looks handmade, with a piece of tire on one end, a tape covered shaft, and a hook on the other end. No idea what it is.

Close up photos

Easter Bunny hates you

I have always loved this. Happy holiday.

Video link

This Day in Blogging History: Warren Buffet v goldbugs; Norwegian pirates buy more music; Dozois leaves Asimov's

One year ago today
Warren Buffet vs goldbugs: “If you put your money into gold or other non-income- producing assets that are dependent on what someone else values that in the future, you’re in speculation,” he said. “You’re not into investing....”

Five years ago today
Norwegian P2P downloaders buy more music: There's a simple explanation for this: if you really love music, you do lots of music-related things. If you're in the 20 percent of fans that buys 80 percent of records, you're probably in the 20 percent of downloaders that download 80 percent of music, the 20 percent of concertgoers that buy 80 percent of the tickets, and so on. The moral is that music superfans love music and structure their lives around it.

Ten years ago today
Gardner Dozois stepping down from Asimov's: Gardner's won the Hugo for best editor 14 times, making him one of the award-winningest editors in the history of the field, and the stories in Asimov's are stunningly well-represented at every year's Nebula and Hugo awards.

Adorable kittens, 9 days old, cry adorably and are available for adoption (video)

Warning: THIS VIDEO MAY CAUSE YOU TO DIE OF CUTENESS.

Happy Caturday. Ah, listen to this 9-day-old kitten's adorable squeals! Boing Boing pal Miles O'Brien was learning how to fly his camera drone with one hand after becoming one-handed. At the drone flying range near Washington, DC, a friend had a few 9-day old kittens hanging out on a blanket.

If you would like to adopt one of them, contact Nikki Driver at ndriver8411@gmail.com. Nikki is a vet, so they're in good hands. She and the kittens are near Charlottesville, VA.

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Zentai: full-body masked spandex subculture from Japan

Zentai (short for "zenshintaitsu," Japanese for "full body suit") is a largely obscure Japanese subculture whose adherents go out wearing full-body patterned spandex suits that cover their faces. In a relatively unsensational article in the Japan Times, Harumi Ozawa talks to a few zentais about their hobby, and learns that for some proponents, being completely covered is a liberating experience. The zentais in the article describe the suit as an anonymizer that frees them from the judging gaze of society, which is a fascinating study in contradictions, since the suits undoubtably attract lots of judgmental looks, but these seem to adhere to the suit without penetrating to the wearer within.

Some zentais wear their suits in superhero fashion, and do good deeds in public, while others wear the suits for sexual kicks. They are often mocked in Japanese pop culture. One academic cited in the article believes that the wearers use the suits to hide their appearance in order to force others to deal with their "true" underlying identity.

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Profile of Aeropress and Aerobie inventor Alan Adler


Alan Adler is a Stanford engineering professor and inventor who's had two remarkable -- and wildly different -- successes: the long-flying Aerobie disc, and the Aeropress, a revolutionary, brilliant, dead-simple $30 coffee maker that makes pretty much the best cup of coffee you've ever tasted. I've given Aeropresses to a dozen friends, I keep one in my travel-bag, and I've got Aeropresses at home and at the office. I use mine to make hot coffee and to filter cold-brew (including hotel-room minibar cold-brew that I brew in breast-milk bags).

Zachary Crockett has a great, long piece on Adler and the process that led to the creation of these two remarkable products. Adler's first success, the Aerobie, was the result of lucking out with the major TV networks and magazines, who provided him with the publicity he needed to get his business off the ground (literally). But with the Aeropress, the defining factor was the Internet, where a combination of coffee-nerd message-boards (where Adler could interact directly with his customers) and an easy means for coffee-shop owners all over the world to order Aeropresses for retail sale made the Aeropress into a global hit.

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Message to NETmundial: protect fundamental Internet freedoms

Jeremie from France's La Quadrature du Net sez, "The farcical illusion of 'multistakeholder' discussions around 'Internet governance' must be denounced! For the last 15 years those sterile discussions led nowhere, with no concrete action ever emerging. In the meantime, technology as a whole has been turned into a terrifying machine for surveillance, control and oppression. The very same 'stakeholders' seen in IGFs and such, by their active collaboration with NSA and its public and private partners, massively violated our trust and our privacy."

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This Day in Blogging History: Free Conan audiobooks; RIP JG Ballard; EFF vs bullshit patents

One year ago today
Great free reading of Robert E Howard's "Conan and the Queen of the Black Coast": This is the Ur-stuff, the sword-and-sorcery material that turned me into a stone Conan freak when I was 12 years old. It's all mighty thews and straining jaws and blood-drenched swords -- and pirates and sinuous dances and so on.

Five years ago today
JG Ballard (1930-2009): "Picturing the psychology of the future is what it's all been about." --JG Ballard

Ten years ago today
EFF waging war on bullshit Internet patents: EFF is going to start actively busting bullshit Internet patents, hunting down prior art and getting the USPTO to revoke the patents.

UK tax authority caught sneaking in plan to sell Britons' private financial records

Just weeks after a plan to sell "anonymized" sets of British health-records collapsed in the face of massive public criticism, a new plan has emerged to sell the country's tax records to companies and researchers, prompting an even more critical response. One Tory MP called the plan "borderline insane," and tax professionals are in an uproar. The plan was buried as a brief mention in the autumn budget. HMRC's defense rests on the idea that the information in the datasets will be anonymized, something that computer scientists widely believe is effectively impossible.

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Craigslister seeks woman to sit in bathtub full of ramen noodles

Brooklyn women who have bathing suits, are down for a 30 minute soak in a tub full of ramen noodles, and are looking to make a quick $175: Look no further.

There's got to be an anime about this already.

Woman to sit in my bath tub full of ramen noodles (brooklyn) Thanks Tessa!

Tetraflex, treat dispensing dog toy

My dog Pretzel tries out another treat dispensing toy, this time it is the Tetraflex! This dimpled ball with cupped opening is simple, durable and has provided well over an hour of entertainment to a young Cavalier this evening.

I went with the medium size, knowing that Nemo, my Great Pyrenees, doesn't have a ton of interest in these types of toy. It is a pretty good size for dogs 15-40 lbs. A larger dog would destroy it. Perhaps the size Large is made of thicker rubber.

Tripple Crown Treat Dispensing Tetraflex Pet Chew Toy, Medium

Previously on Boing Boing:

Treat Triad dog puzzle

Another great dog distraction - the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble

KONG Extreme dog toy

Get a load of these crazy old shoes for rich people


Moorish chopines likely evolved from wooden stilt shoes, like this pair of 19th century Ottoman qabâqi, which were worn by women to protect their feet from the heated floors of public bathhouses. Image courtesy the Bata Shoe Museum.

Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "Hunter Oatman-Stanford just interviewed Elizabeth Semmelhack of the Bata Shoe Museum, who has spoken to us in the past about high heels and flip flops. This time, we chatted with Elizabeth about chopines, an elevated form of footwear that was popular among aristocratic ladies and courtesans in 16th-century Italy and Spain."

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Army comes clean about its recruitment AI, accidentally discloses info about pedophile- and terrorist-catching chatbots that roam the net

Dave from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "Not too long ago, Boing Boing covered EFF's (at the time) unsuccessful attempt to retreive records about Sgt. Star (the Army's recruiter-bot) using the Freedom of Information Act. We've now received the files and compiled our research: It turns out Sgt. Star isn't the only government chatbot -- the FBI and CIA had them first.

The information about the terrorist/child-abuser bots only came to light because the spy agencies failed to fully redact their responses (the type was legible through the black strikeouts).

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