The first volume of Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the tech world

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Injection by Warren Ellis (author), Jordie Bellaire (illustrator) and Declan Shalvey (illustrator) Image Comics 2015, 120 pages, 6.4 x 10 x 0.4 inches $7 Buy a copy on Amazon

Science meets folklore. It’s a theme that is pervasive throughout literature, from Frankenstein to Dracula to The Dragon Riders of Pern. And like its predecessors, the first volume of Injection also poses the question, what if these two things aren’t as different as we’d like to believe?

Injection reads like a fairytale brought into the modern century, combining the folklore used by its predecessors with new computers and communication systems. The story jumps backwards and forwards in time, telling the chronicle of five brilliant people with different backgrounds who came together and built an artificial consciousness to “make the 21st century more interesting.” As anyone who has seen The Matrix or Terminator films could tell you, this creation doesn’t do what the team was hoping it would. But instead of being straight science fiction, the novel joins science with the fantastic. The creation begins mimicking folklore, and the solution to defeating it seems to lie just as much in magic as it does in science.

The artwork is classically rendered graphic novel illustration, reminding me of the Hellboy series, or Sandman. What strikes me as the most interesting part of the pictures is the range of color used in them; the palette moves from dark greys and greens to brilliant oranges and reds, and some of the scenes are done in such a surreal manner you feel as though you’ve been transported to another plane altogether (which, truth be told, might just be the case). Read the rest

Judge OKs potentially lethal lawsuit against the world's largest banks

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The biggest banks in the world have admitted to rigging LIBOR, a key interest rate that determines the value of trillions of dollars' worth of assets -- they paid billions in fines as a result. Read the rest

ChicoBags - reusable cloth bag packs into tiny bundle

I've been keeping a ChicoBag in my travel kit for about ten years. It's small enough that I could almost hide it in my fist. But when opened, it's large enough to carry a laptop and charger, or a beach towel and sunscreen, or a fair amount of groceries. It's made of polyester and can carry a lot of weight without bursting at the seams. It has handles. I've used it countless times. The bag has a sewn on pouch, so you can stuff the bag into the pouch, ouroboros-style. A four-pack costs $20 on Amazon. Read the rest

After the precariat, the unnecessariat: the humans who are superfluous to corporations

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The heroin epidemic in America has a death-toll comparable to the AIDS epidemic at its peak, but this time, there's no movement coalescing to argue for the lives of the economically sidelined, financially ruined dying thousands -- while the AIDS epidemic affected a real community of mutual support, the heroin epidemic specifically strikes down people whose communities are already gone. Read the rest

As mobile carriers ramp up bribery program, Internet coalition says no to "zero rating"

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"Zero rating" is a widely practiced business among mobile carriers: they solicit bribes from Internet companies in return for their services being exempted from the carriers' data-caps -- products from companies that pay the bribes can be used for free, while a billing meter ticks for every bit downloaded from their competitors. Read the rest

Grieving mom says 'dirty' police detective stole dead son's money after heroin overdose

Paul "Rodney" DePotter with his mother Penny DePotter.
A police detective in Rock Falls, Illinois has been arrested for stealing more than $1,700 in cash found on the body of a man who died of a heroin overdose. Detective Sgt. Veronica Jaramillo, 43, was taken into police custody on May 17, 2016 by Illinois State Police and charged with theft and official misconduct.

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Philippines' new "dictator" will give a hero's burial to Ferdinand Marcos

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Rodrigo Duterte is the new president of the Philippines: he ran on a promise to be a "dictator" and endorsed execution by vigilante death-squad as a way of combating crime; now he's announced that he will give a hero's burial to the embalmed corpse of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who committed mass-scale human rights abuses and embezzled $10B from the national treasury. Read the rest

Judge handcuffs public defender for speaking out in court

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen -- who is fighting a contested election this year -- put deputy public defender Zohra Bakhtary in handcuffs and made her sit with the criminals in the dock while he sentenced her client, who was unrepresented for the duration of the event. Read the rest

Nobel laureate spots Turkish banknote error

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The Turkish five lira note, issued in 2009, has a DNA helix. But Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar noticed that the note "shows a left-handed Z-DNA helix winding from left to right, when it should be the other way round." What Sancar doesn't know is that the monetary systems of the world are controlled by the lizard people, whose DNA is exactly like that depicted on the banknote. Read the rest

US Marshals send wrong woman to jail, where she was strip searched and shackled

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When a team of "vested up and gunned up" U.S. Marshals in Tennessee apprehended Tracy Hinson and began interrogating her about selling 10 Xanax tablets in 2012, she gave them answers that made it clear they had the wrong woman. The marshal in charge told Hinton he needed to make a call.

"After he went and made a call, he came back and told me that he had to do what the paper said he had to. He asked if I ever lived in Mt. Pleasant, and I said no," said Hinson. "They took me to the Dyer County Jail and I was fully processed there, and that included being shackled and strip searched. They said they were holding me until Lawrence County could come and pick me up that night."

From State Gazette:

Unfortunately for Hinson, officials from Lawrence County didn't arrive until late on Saturday, a full day after being arrested. During the time of being incarcerated, a frightened Hinson said she tried to think of how she was in the predicament, but she simply could come up with nothing.

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Once Hinson arrived at the Lawrence County Jail, with a $5,000 bond, her husband Kenny was not far behind and was able to arrange for her to be bonded out of jail at 11:40 p.m. on Saturday night. The cost was $536 for the bail bondsman, something Hinson hopes at the very least to recoup, along with an apology from the law enforcement agency.

The U.S. Marshal's Office in Jackson issued the following statement: "The West Tennessee U.S. Read the rest

Optography: retrieving a dead person's last sight from their retina

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Could you recover a murder victim's last sight of their killer by extracting it from the retina? Little more than a century ago, forensic scientists thought it might be possible. After all, in 1877 physiologist Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne was able to develop a simple image from an albino rabbit's dissected eyeball. (Above, the two images on the right come from rabbits who stared at two different windows. The left shows just nerves and blood vessels.) From Smithsonian:

The College of Optometrists in the U.K. reports that police photographed the eye of a murdered man in April 1877, "only partly aware of what optography involved," and that investigators on the trail of Jack the Ripper may have considered a proposal to use the technique.

Faith in optography was misplaced, however, as Kühne's experiments showed that only simple, high-contrast surroundings were able to produce interpretable optograms, Douglas J. Lanska writes in Progress in Brain Research. Furthermore, the retina needs to be removed very quickly from the recently deceased.

"How Forensic Scientists Once Tried to "See" a Dead Person's Last Sight" Read the rest

Ant bites butterfly's tongue

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In this video a butterfly is trying to eat something but a turfy ant won't let it. Read the rest

Pixelsynth: fun Web instrument translates images into electronic music

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Pixelsynth is a lovely and compelling Web app by Olivia Jack that enables you to easily turn your own images into weird electronic music and tweak the tones (and graphics) in real time. PIXELSYNTH (via Waxy)

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Sanders donors flock to Tim Canova's campaign against DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is the establishment candidate's establishment candidate: she co-sponsored SOPA, blocked reform of loan-sharking payday lenders, voted against marijuana law reform, called for the prosecution of SOPA, and chaired Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign. She's served six terms in office and never had to face a primary challenger, until now. Read the rest

Real time face capture lets you control famous faces

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Researchers at Stanford have developed face-capture technology that can alter pre-recorded videos in real-time on low cost computers. In other words, you can make George W Bush or Donald Trump appear intelligent.

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target. The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination. We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

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Algorithmic risk-assessment: hiding racism behind "empirical" black boxes

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Courts around America and the world increasingly rely on software based risk-assessment software in determining bail and sentencing; the systems require the accused to answer more than a hundred questions which are fed into a secret model that spits out a single-digit "risk score" that courts use to decide who to lock up, and for how long. Read the rest

Plagiarism detection app vs Russia's elites: 1-2 fake PhDs discovered every day

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Dissernet, a leaderless collective of Russian scientists and journalists scrapes the doctoral dissertations of Russian elites -- who have been attaining advanced degrees at an unprecedented rate -- runs them through plagiarism detection software to flag probable frauds for human review, and publishes the names of officials who've been caught cheating, one or two every day. Read the rest

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