Boing Boing 

I've been texting with an astronaut

How a surprising iPhone and Apple Watch bestseller is pushing the boundaries of fiction Read the rest

Medium's new Creative Commons licensing options!

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I'm thrilled to report that today Medium has launched explicit Creative Commons licensing as part of the product. That means when you post a story to Medium, you can simply click to select a CC license for whatever you write!

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Amazon drops "Boy" and "Girl" categories from toy listings


Amazon's toys category is no longer sorted into "Boys" toys and "Girls" toys.

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Which UK MPs rebel against the party, and with whom do they ally?


James Siddle has analysed the voting records of the incumbent MPs in the UK parliament to see how often they rebel against the party line, and who they side with then they do.

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Loki is a modern anti-hero

Loki, as a character, seems to suit our modern times exceptionally well. Of all the gods of Asgard, he is the subversive; the social and racial outsider; a gender-fluid character in a very binary world.Read the rest

Fun with el-wire - flexible portable DIY neon

Do-it-yourself neon. This thin electroluminescent wire (el-wire) glows very brightly. You can bend it easily and tie it to anything. It produces essentially no heat. Best of all it runs on batteries, meaning you can wear it or use it on your bicycle. We make signs with it and, of course, some wild costumes. El-wire (also called Live Wire) has been used to great effect in the night at parades at Burning Man. It comes in various lengths from .5 m to 10 m (you can cut it if you know what you are doing) and in eight colors. You can make it strobe. The coolest thing to do is weave it. It is the world’s most flexible light. It is very cool stuff.

Get a starter kit on Amazon for $19

See more photos at Wink Fun.

Save your guitar with Schaller Strap Locks

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Strap related malfunctions have damaged more of my guitars than I'd like to admit. Sturdy and attractive Schaller Strap Locks are the answer!

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ACLU makes app that sends phone video of police misconduct directly to ACLU servers

Police officers and federal agents who commit crimes on the job don't like people recording them. They have been known to confiscate or destroy people's phones in an attempt to destroy evidence of their criminal behavior. Mobile Justice CA is an iPhone and Android app that streams video straight to the ACLU servers as it's being recorded, so that the recorded evidence can't be destroyed along with your phone. It also has a Witness feature that "allows you to know if people around you are getting stopped by the law enforcement... This feature is especially useful for community groups who monitor law enforcement activity."

Woman secretly summons 911 help with Pizza Hut order

pizza"911hostage help!" is an unusual request for a pizza, so when a Pizza Hut spotted it on an order, they called the cops. The police went to the house and convinced Florida man Ethan Earl Nickerson to put down the knife he'd been using to hold his girlfriend and kids hostage and surrender.

When [the woman] attempted to leave the residence to pick up the children from school, Nickerson grabbed her and took her cell phone. He then accompanied Treadway to pick up the children.

Upon returning home, Treadway eventually convinced Nickerson to let her use the cell phone to order a pizza which is when she sent the message to Pizza Hut. Immediately after the pizza order was placed, Nickerson took the cell phone back from her, according to the arrest report.

Ethan Earl Nickerson, 26, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a weapon without intent to kill, battery, false imprisonment and obstructing justice by depriving communication to law enforcement.

Video: How the Doctor Who theme was recorded

A clip from the "Masters of Sound" special feature on the Doctor Who: The Beginning DVD set, about how pioneering electronic musician Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop recorded Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme.

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Back a community makerspace, get a Dinosaur Comics laser-dino


Andy sez, "What could be better than dinosaurs? Dinosaurs made with lasers, of course! STEAMLabs community makerspace has been working with our friend Ryan North, author of Dinosaur Comics to bring you just that! There are 2 new rewards options for our Kickstarter to equip our makerspace."

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World's most unusual libraries

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Alex Johnson's new book Improbable Libraries surveys some of the world's most unique places for book borrowing.

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Public libraries are a cornerstone of modern civilization, yet like the books in them, libraries face an uncertain future in an increasingly digital world. Undaunted, librarians around the globe are thinking up astonishing ways of reaching those in reading need, whether by bike in Chicago, boat in Laos, or donkey in Colombia. Improbable Libraries showcases a wide range of unforgettable, never-before-seen images and interviews with librarians who are overcoming geographic, economic, and political difficulties to bring the written word to an eager audience.

Improbable Libraries: A Visual Journey to the World's Most Unusual Libraries (Amazon)

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The 2002 roots of the Apple Watch's Digital Touch

In 2002, BB pal Eric Paulos, now a professor at UC Berkeley, built and demonstrated the Connexus project, including a bracelet enabling people to communicate with simple and meaningful messages sent by tapping or rubbing the device and felt by the recipient as subtle vibrations; you could even transmit your pulse. Sound like the Apple Watch's Digital Touch feature? TODAY online points out the similarities:
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Take multi-touch — where you use more than one finger to interact with a screen: Apple popularised it with the iPhone in 2007, but Japanese academic Jun Rekimoto used something similar years before. And the Apple Watch? Its Digital Touch feature allows you to send doodles, touches or your heartbeat to other users. More than a decade ago, researcher Eric Paulos developed something very similar, called Connexus, which allowed users to send messages via a wrist device using strokes, taps and touch.

“I guess when we say none of this is new, it’s not so much trashing the product, but more pointing out that the product has its origins in the research of scientists whom most people will never hear of, and it’s a way of acknowledging their contributions,” said Mr Paul Strohmeier, a researcher at Ontario’s Human Media Lab.

"The path to a wearable future lies in academia"

Eric's 2002 input/output design diagram for Connexus:

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Smartass explains why "Work Intelligent" poster is stupid

This is funny. [via]

Everyone loves this delightful alphabet for all ages

Do you have young ones at home? Or do you simply live in a world where language and phonetics are touchable, colorful, dreamlike living things? Either way, be sure you have not missed Metamorphabet.

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Amazing optical illusions: Einstein or Marilyn? Thatcher or Blair?

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Classic "hybrid images" by Aude Oliva, MIT researcher in computational perception and cognition.

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This poor kid was forced to play an indie game in school

Dejobaan Games' Elegy for a Dead World is a beautiful game—as you navigate endless, lonesome interstellar landscapes, you fill in writing prompts. It's flexible and gentle, a good tool for getting your creativity flowing. And it's lots of fun to sabotage.

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