Cheap mini-TOSlink to TOSlink cable

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Naturally Apple's choice of optical audio-out cable is going to be a pain. Obviously, its not going to be one I'd just have around, that is not the Apple way! Rather than pay $30 plus at an Apple store or hifi audio boutique, this $6 cable does just fine for me.

If you want to use an Apple laptop or Airport Express as a streaming audio source, this cable will come in handy.

Monoprice 3-Feet Optical TosLink to Mini TosLink M/M 5.0mm OD Molded Cable via Amazon Read the rest

The changing world of webcomics business models

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Thom from the Shadowbinders podcast writes, "Journalist Brady Dale from the New York Observer joins us this episode (MP3) as we talk about the changing business model of webcomics. Are webcomics 'dead' -- or just evolving? How will social media play into the business model of digital comics going forward? And what about the money -- where is the MONEY?!" Read the rest

Harlem Cryptoparty: Crypto matters for #blacklivesmatter

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This week's Radio Motherboard podcast (MP3) talks with Matthew Mitchell, a former data journalist who organizes Harlem Cryptoparty, a regular training meeting for black activists who want to learn to defend themselves against the burgeoning police/DHS practice of racially profiling black activists through targeted surveillance.

Though social media surveillance is a modern phenomenon, the US government has a long and shameful history of surveilling black activists (see, for example, the FBI's attempt to convince Martin Luther King to kill himself).

Harlem Cryptoparty is an attempt to help black people armor themselves against everyday surveillance, promoted through barbershops, hair salons, black churches and flyers in the neighborhood.

2:24 Mitchell explains why a cryptography meetup makes sense in Harlem.

5:05 In order to reach the Harlem community, you have to recruit offline.

7:55 Cryptoparties and privacy events are still rare in the inner city in predominantly black and Latino communities, even though it’s not just a hypothetical threat. “You’re worried about, hey this guy threw me against a wall, flashed a badge at me, took my phone, he said if I gave him the phone he’ll let me walk, otherwise I have to do paper work. What was he doing with it?”

9:40 Nusrat Choudury from the ACLU’s Racial Justice program joins us. She wrote this piece, “The Government Is Watching #BlackLivesMatter, And It’s Not Okay.”

12:40 There is a pattern throughout history of the government using the fear of threats to conduct surveillance on “people who look or act different.”

15:30 A private security firm called Zero Fox collected information on protesters in Baltimore and labeled some “high severity physical threats.”

The Black Community Needs Encryption [Adrianne Jeffries/Vice] Read the rest

Undisclosed: the story of Adnan Syed, after Serial

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The blockbuster podcast Serial starts a long-awaited second season today, looking at a different case, but if you are still interested in the story of Adnan Syed, there's "Undisclosed." Read the rest

Leaked recording: pollution lobbyists discuss exploiting Syrian refugee crisis

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A leaked recording made of a conference call hosted by the Edison Electric Institute, which lobbies for the power industry, reveals lobbyists for high pollution companies talking about how they can exploit the Syrian refugee crisis to get a rider inserted into a pending bill that would kill the EPA's Waters of the United States rule, which protects America's waterways from pollution. Read the rest

Open source hardware autonomous tractor uses repurposed drone autopilot

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Matt Reimer's homebrew autonomous tractor uses open source components to accomplish the kind of automation that John Deere's super-proprietary tractors are known for. Read the rest

How Hamilton, ON's violent "accountability" councilor intimidated a journalist out of City Hall

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Hamilton's the kind of city where half of City Hall says they've been bullied at work, where the "accountability" committee charges you $100 to make a complaint and proposed that it would only investigate if you are never quoted in the press on the matter, and where city policy prohibits linking to its website without written permission. Read the rest

Hello From the Magic Tavern: hilarious, addictive improv podcast

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The setup is pretty weird: Arnie fell through a dimensional portal behind a Chicago Burger King and found humself in a magical high-fantasy kingdom called Foon, where he has befriended a shape-shifter in the form of a talking badger called Chunt, and a shouty wizard called Usidore. Together, they record a weekly podcast with lovable Foonites, which Arnies uploads through an unreliable wifi signal from the Burger King (Usidore keeps Arnie's laptop charged with lightning spells). Read the rest

Cheap earbuds that outperform $1,000 alternatives

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Wired recommends the Mrice E300 earbuds, a cheapie ($17-25) option that outperforms many headphones that cost over $1000 (!). Read the rest

An audio murder mystery game where you walk to find clues

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Wonderland is a wonderful idea for a game. It's an old-timey audio drama that lets you solve a puzzle at the and of each chapter—and if you can't, you can walk with your phone to get clues. Read the rest

10,000 wax cylinders digitized and free to download

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The University of California at Santa Barbara library has undertaken an heroic digitization effort for its world-class archive of 19th and early 20th century wax cylinder recordings, and has placed over 10,000 songs online for anyone to download, stream and re-use.

Read the rest

Interview with Serah Ely, creator of the Escape Pod podcast, about her gender transition

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Tony from Starshipsofa writes, "This week on StarShipSofa, I interview (MP3) Serah Eley about her remarkable transgender journey from Steve Eley creator of Escape Pod to Serah. We delve into some of the very real issues that Serah has come across, why she gave up Escape Pod and why now she has stepped away altogether from the SF field." Read the rest

Listen: making sense of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a Canadian election perspective

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The current Canadaland podcast (MP3) carefully parses out the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership from the perspective of Internet freedom, censorship, free speech, business, and transparency. Read the rest

Listen: Ted Chiang's short story "Understand" as a BBC radio-drama

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Ted Chiang (previously) may be the best short story writer in science fiction today; though he produces very infrequently, he wins accolades and awards for every story. Read the rest

Listen: a sexy hymn to Ishtar, in the original Babylonian

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Doris Prechel reads Ammi-ditāna's incredibly hot hymn to Ištar in Babylonian (MP3) as transcribed by D. O. Edzard. Read the rest

Podcast: the only way to get evidence-based policy is to embrace ambiguity in science

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In the 2015 Sense About Science lecture (MP3), Tracey Brown discusses the worst casualty of politicization of science, from fluoride to climate change -- the truth. Read the rest

Phone Call from Paul: new literary podcast from Paul Holdengraber, with Neil Gaiman

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Paul Holdengraber, host of the New York Public Library's legendary literary interview series, has started a new podcast called "A phone call from Paul," which he has inaugurated with a two-part interview with Neil Gaiman. Read the rest

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