Networking by flickering lights gets some commercial traction

Philips has acquired Luciom, a French startup that makes Li-Fi products, which allow for very fast network connections over short distances by flickering an LED at speeds that are too fast to register on the human eye, and which can ever work in the dark by operating at low dimness settings the human eye perceives as "off." Read the rest

The automated, invisible revert-wars of Wikipedia's bot ecosystem

In Even good bots fight, a paper written by Oxford Internet Institute researchers and published in PLOS One, the authors survey the edits and reverts made by Wikipedia's diverse community of bots, uncovering some curious corners where bots -- rate-limited by Wikipedia's rules for bots -- slowly and remorseless follow one another around, reverting each other. Read the rest

Haunting photographs of Nara Dreamland, a rotting Japanese theme park

We love and celebrate the people who sneak into derelict themeparks and photograph their ruins! Beijing, Orlando, Sichuan, South Carolina, Japan, Berlin, New Orleans, even Walt Disney World! Read the rest

The basics of crypto, in 4.5 pages, using only small words lawmakers can understand

Ed Felten (previously) -- copyfighter, Princeton computer scientist, former deputy CTO of the White House -- has published a four-and-a-half-page "primer for policymakers" on cryptography that explains how encryption for filesystems and encryption for messaging works, so they can be less ignorant. Read the rest

Casemodder builds a tiny, perfect living room inside a PC

The craftperson behind this wonderful, tiny room inside a PC tower is unknown, but they have a flair for detail and style -- dig that tiny newspaper! (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Femme Magnifique! A Kickstarter for an anthology about amazing women!

The fabulous Shelly Bond, former DC Vertigo editor and head honcho, just launched a kickstarter for an anthology called Femme Magnifique that she’s doing in conjunction with Kristy and Brian Miller at HiFi Color. Read the rest

Mechanical spinning globe that shows the night/day terminator

Elenco's Night 'n Day Mechanical Globe uses a system of translucent, exposed gears to rotate an internally illuminated globe that displays the seasonally adjusted, real-time night/day terminator as it spins. Read the rest

Artificial sweeteners be damned; these naturally occurring, safe proteins are thousands of times sweeter than sugar

KSU plant biochemical geneticist Raj Nagarajan describes the properties of Thaumatin, Monellin and Brazzein, all found in west African plants that are generally considered safe for consumption; each is a protein, and they are, respectively, 1,000x, 2000x, and 3000x sweeter than sugar. Read the rest

Required reading: The 2017 Nebula Awards shortlist

The Science Fiction Writers of America has released the ballot for this year's Nebula awards, nominated for and voted upon by the organization's members; the ballot lists novellas, short stories, novelettes, YA novels (the Andre Norton award), dramatic presentations (the Bradbury award), and novels -- including two debut novels I reviewed in 2016: Nisi Shawl's Everfair and Charlie Jane Anders' All the Birds in the Sky. Read the rest

1922 house and furnishings made entirely from varnished paper

Having successfully invented the paperclip-bending machine, engineer Elis F. Stenman set out to build a new summer home for himself in Rockport, Mass in 1922, entirely from paper. Read the rest

A Gmail plugin to do "emotional labor"

Install the Emotional Labor extension and it will automatically add social niceties to your outbound mail -- phrases like "Hey, Lovely! I've been thinking of you." (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

How to talk about shitgibbons with your high school English class

The introduction of "shitgibbon" into America's political discourse is a teachable moment for English classes studying the evolution of language. Read the rest

Philomena Cunk on Shakespeare

You may know Charlie Brooker only through his amazing Black Mirror programs, but savvy Brookerfen are avid viewers of his Screenwipe/Newswipe shows -- acerbic, potty-mouthed media criticism shows that feature talents of Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk, a thick-skulled, oblivious, amazing deadpan comedic persona of Diane Morgan. Read the rest

House Republicans just voted to defund the agency that fights election hacking

All of the GOP's bluster about election fraud couldn't save the budget for the Election Administration Commission, the federal agency that deals with software security risks in America's creating, Windows-2000-based voting machines. Read the rest

This year's nerd Valentines are in, and they are boss af

For the fifth year (previously), Evil Mad Scientist Labs offers a selection of supremely nerdy Valentines to download [PDF] and print! Read the rest

Now in the UK! Pre-order signed copies of the first edition hardcover of Walkaway, my first adult novel since Makers

The UK's Forbidden Planet is now offering signed hardcovers of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009 -- this is in addition to the signed US hardcovers being sold by Barnes and Noble. Read the rest

A Flickr group devoted to the most beautiful old control panels you've ever seen

Do you like dials, knobs, levers, gauges, toggles, dip-switches, knife-switches, blinking peanut bulbs, faders, patch-panels, big red buttons, keyboards, breakers, fuses, stops, fascia, takeup reels, wheels, yokes, tachyometers, odometers, speedometers, emergency handsets, mics, valves, periscopes, oscilloscopes, brush-switches, paper tapes, manufacturer's instructions engraved in acrylic signs, and other control apparatus? I know you do! You will therefore love the Control Panel Flickr group. Read the rest

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