Maine Gov. LePaige: people of color are the enemy

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Paul LePage, the Republican governor of Maine, told reporters that people of color are the enemy in his state. Read the rest

The long and twisted tale of the Nibbler arcade game

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Never heard of Nibbler? You’re not alone. Nibbler was one of a handful of arcade games produced in the early 80’s by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company, a company better known for its stylish jukeboxes. Designed by programmers Joe Ulowetz and John Jaugilas, Nibbler is the bastard lovechild of the Pac-Man and the cell phone game Snake, which you may remember playing on your 2001 Nokia handheld. Oft-maligned by classic arcade gamers as less worthy than games like Donkey Kong, Dig Dug or Defender, Nibbler is actually a fun and fairly addictive game which starts out easy and steadily ramps up difficulty as the player advances through levels of mazes. Since only about 1,500 Nibblers rolled off of the assembly line, it was a somewhat rare find in the arcade scene of the day, especially when compared to the hundreds of thousands of Pac-Man cabinets that proliferated, yet interest in Nibbler has endured into the modern era, spearheaded by a coterie of die-hard Nibbler fanatics. You see, what made Nibbler special is that it held a secret, it was the first game of its era that could be played to one billion points and beyond.

The secret was discovered by Tom Asaki, who at the time was an undergraduate at Montana State University studying physics. The founding member of the “Bozeman Think Tank,” Tom had been one of the early arcade pioneers who cracked Ms. Pac-Man (on which he held world records) and he quickly mastered Nibbler. Tom soon noticed that the score counter kept adding places and noticed that the game could hold at least nine digits. Read the rest

Smári McCarthy: a pirate who goes after corporate criminal ships

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As the former editor-in-chief of the technology project magazine MAKE, I’ve learned that makers don’t limit themselves to simply making things. Their urge to be an active participant in the world around them means that they also have a strong desire to make the tools, processes, systems, and organizations that empower other people to do the same. One example is Safecast, a global volunteer-centered project that developed a low cost collaborative monitoring network to measure radiation levels in Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Safecast has not only generated the world’s largest open dataset of background radiation measurements, it has also established a standard for collaborative environmental data measurement projects.

Similarly, another program benefiting from maker enthusiasm is the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a non-profit collaborative organization consisting of a large number investigative groups and media from around the world. The chief technologist of OCCRP is an astonishingly prolific activist and maker named Smári McCarthy.

A short version of McCarthy’s resume includes co-founding Iceland's Pirate Party and the Icelandic Digital Freedom Society, doing pioneering work in the field of digital fabrication, and helping establish Iceland’s first Fab Lab. It was at the OCCRP where McCarthy co-developed, along with OCCRP executive director Paul Radu, something called the Investigative Dashboard Project, a web-based tool to help journalists conduct forensic research across millions of documents and scraped databases, including the ones from the Panama Papers, the mind-bogglingly massive leak financial and legal records that revealed the hidden offshore holding companies used by corporations, wealthy individuals, and criminals to hide their money, evade taxes, and conduct illegal business transactions. Read the rest

North Korea launches Netflix-like streaming propaganda service 'Manbang'

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, shown here, is not going to like this themed hackathon at all.

Despite its name, Manbang is not a gay male pornography service. Kim Jong-un's regime unveiled the service today as a propaganda-filled streaming service delivering on-demand videos to televisions through a set-top box.

Read the rest

Cop captures Bigfoot on video

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A person claiming to be a law enforcement officer sent this video to The Sasquatch Chronicles, with the following message:

I will make this as short as possible. I have a video from a trail cam which appears to show a bigfoot.

The video is not conclusive as it doesn’t show the face. Here is the history of the video. I am a 20+ year Law Enforcement Officer, three of which were done as a Game Warden. I received this video from a collage of mine. He was assigned to a federal task force working gorilla grown Marijuana.

This group would go into remote areas of Northern California and set trail cams in an attempt to catch the growers on film. This particular trail cam was 27 miles back in the Sequoia National Forest, not accessible by vehicles only ATV then foot. He retrieved the trail cam and found the attached video. He did not know what to do with it as he was afraid of repercussions etc. I openly speak about the subject and my beliefs and another officer referred him to me and he provided me the video. I only ask we discuss what to release about the video before sharing if you decide to.

I also have experienced events, i.e. tree knocks, footsteps, and extreme fear for unexplained reason. I have also found a few footprints.

Comment from The Sasquatch Chronicles:

I spoke to the Law Enforcement Officer today and he said that gamecam appeared to be ripped off of the tree and this creature had buried it in leaves.

Read the rest

Watch a tornado flatten a Starbucks in seconds

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When a tornado destroyed this Starbucks in Kokomo, Indiana on Wednesday, there were reportedly more than a dozen people inside. After store manager Kim McCartney called employee Angel Ramos to tell him about a texted tornado warning she'd received, he rushed everyone into the bathrooms. A few minutes later, a tornado destroyed the building leaving only the bathrooms intact. Amazingly, nobody was injured.

“I could see the sky from holes in the bathroom ceiling, so I figured there was some chunk of the store that would be missing,” Ramos said in a report posted on Starbucks.com. “I didn’t know it would be the whole thing.”

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See you at Burning Man!

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I'm about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude. Read the rest

Hydraulic press vs. carbon fiber yields interesting results

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Hydraulic Press Channel shows why carbon fiber and variants like carbon nanotubes have so many uses: depending on the configuration, they can hold up against the hydraulic press. Read the rest

Koko the gorilla plays bass with Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea

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Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea visited Koko at her home in Woodside, CA and let her play his bass. Said Flea,"This is the greatest thing that ever happened. I will never forget."

[via] Read the rest

Awesome doctor gives toddler a vaccination

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The only person who wouldn't approve of this doctor is Jenny McCarthy. Read the rest

Things I miss: Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots

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One of my favorite management techniques, back during the dotcom boom and bust, was to have engineers on my team solve their differences with Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots!

A quick check shows Rock 'em Sock 'ems aren't gone, but I haven't seen a set in years. Mine are in a box in my basement, marked for the last start-up wherein I attempted decision-making by robot duel.

The controls? Kinda awful. Opponents sliding forward/back and side-to-side tends to keep the boxing ring bouncing about. Those buttons also take a lot of force, and over time one robot or another's head latch would get loose, giving the opposing color a sure win. Repairs were possible, but over time both robots would become incredibly sensitive. Sometimes, as the weary boxers aged, heads would break free and launch themselves into orbit!

I miss knocking your block off.

Current Era Mattel Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots via Amazon Read the rest

Shaper Origin is a handheld CNC router

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I just watched a few of the demo videos for the Shaper Origin. It's a handheld, computer numerical control, router that allows you to cut precise shapes into flat stock. Since it is handheld, there's really no limit to the size of the things you want to cut out. Looks really cool. It costs around $1500. Read the rest

Points of inflection: monochrome generative audiovisuals

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Alexander Senko wrote Pure Data code that "produces a lissajous figure with different frequency ratios and a phase modulation. The curve generates pitch, harmonics and volume of sound. The inflection points on the curve create rhythmic structures."

I don't always blog about figures, but when I do, they're lissajous ones. Read the rest

Fantastic 1980s motion graphics of movie and TV production logos

And you thought Stranger Things had a cool opening. (via /r/obscuremedia)

Read the rest

Zoe Quinn and Chuck Tingle are making an amazing game

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Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn is making a new punk game, in collaboration with Amazon deep weird porn-writer (and table-turning, MRA-confounding Hugo nominee Chuck Tingle, and It. Looks. Awesome. Read the rest

First music video created in Prisma app

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You've probably seen a few profile pics processed with the Prisma app. Now you can watch Drive like Maria's new music video, the first created entirely with the app. Read the rest

Wade among interactive koi in this stunning art installation

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TeamLab creates gorgeous interactive art installations, like this beautiful piece poetically titled Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People. It's not a video loop, but a program where the swimming koi interact with each other as well as the people wading among them. Read the rest

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