Court orders venture capital billionaire to restore access to public beach

Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla must open access to a public beach that he'd closed for private use, says a California court.

From The Guardian:

Khosla’s refusal to restore access has made him something of a symbol of the immense wealth in the tech industry and rising income inequality in the region.

Last year, his attorneys claimed that he would open the gate to the beach only if the government paid him $30m, an amount that state officials said was unreasonably high. In October, Khosla also sued two state agencies, accusing the government of using “coercion and harassment” to infringe on his private property rights.

The California coastal commission, established by voters in 1972 to protect public use of the coast, has reported that beachgoers have increasingly complained about private security guards telling them they are trespassing on private property and forcing them to leave the public beaches.

Photograph of Martin's Beach: Marcin Wichary/Flickr Read the rest

Norwegian Islamophobes mistake bus-seat-covers for burkhas, go bonkers

Members of the Norwegian Facebook group "Fedrelandet viktigst" ("Fatherland first") mistook a photo of an empty bus whose seats had been draped with black covers for a bus full of women in burkhas and went Brevik-bananas, decrying the rampant Islamification of Norway and generally being easily frightened, fragile Aryans. Read the rest

Jewellry store robbers can't hammer through display glass

A gang of robbers with hammers was no match for the polycarbonate-laminated glass at this jewellery store in Malaysia Read the rest

Bat-Signal to shine over Los Angeles in memory of Adam West

The iconic bat-signal will shine on the tower of Los Angeles City Hall tonight in memory of Adam West, the (best) Batman actor who died on Saturday. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetii and L.A. Police Department Chief Charlie Beck will flip the switch at 9pm at City Hall. From the Hollywood Reporter:

For fans who can't make it to the ceremony, West's family is encouraging people to donate to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Donations can also be made to Camp Rainbow Gold, an Idaho-based charity for children battling cancer.

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What colors do you get when you spell words in hex?

The hexidecimal color #C0FFEE (192 Red, 255 Green, 238 Blue, on a scale of 0-255) is a pleasing greenish color, while #BEADED is a kind of mauve. Read the rest

Binky: a fully automated social network that doesn't require you to be sociable

Have you ever wished you had a social media feed you could like, fave, signal boost and comment on without having to actually interact with people in any way? Binky has you covered. Read the rest

Beautiful popsicles made from polluted water

National Taiwan University of Arts students created this genius piece of activist art, popsicles made from the water of polluted local sources. From the translated project description:

We personally take Taiwan’s 100 polluted water sources, made it into popsicles, because the popsicles are not easy to save, we will re-engrave the likeness into a 1:1 poly model to do the show, through the beautiful packaging and content of the sense of contrast to convey that pure water is important, and Then we would like to ask you is: would you want to eat a beautiful frozen polluted puddle?

Polluted Water Popsicles (Facebook via Laughing Squid)

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Facebook offering "vulnerable teens" to advertisers shows it is willing to be used as a weapon

Facebook was caught offering advertisers a direct line to psychologically vulnerable teens. Nitasha Tiku writes that this exposes the deeper danger of its insight into our lives: it's not the data that's the problem, it's how it could be "weaponized in ways those users cannot see, and would never knowingly allow."

The company had offered advertisers the opportunity to target 6.4 million younger users, some only 14 years old, during moments of psychological vulnerability, such as when they felt “worthless,” “insecure,” “stressed,” “defeated,” “anxious,” and like a “failure.” ...

If the users in question weren’t teenagers—or if the emotion wasn’t insecurity—Facebook’s public statement might have been sufficient; the uproar from privacy advocates may have been duly noted, then promptly forgotten.

Instead, as Kathryn Montgomery, a professor at American University and the director of the school’s communications studies division—who is married to Chester—tells WIRED, The Australian’s report served as “a flashpoint that enables you to glimpse Facebook’s inner workings, which in many ways is about monetization of moods.”

As Tiku points out: "It’s not a dystopian nightmare. It’s just a few clicks away from the status quo."

The fences you put up are meaningless if Facebook owns the land.

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Blackout curtains perforated with nighttime scenes

HoleRole created some nice blackout curtains using an age-old design trick: perforating them with patterns, in this case cities at night. Choose from London, New York, or night sky. Read the rest

Trailer for Blade Runner 2049

Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford star in Blade Runner 2049. Ridley Scott, who directed Blade Runner in 1982 (35 years ago!), is the exec producer. It was directed by Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

(Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

Parents buying black-market insulin for their kids as prices skyrocket

Three million Americans have Type-1 diabetes. If they don't get insulin every day, they will slip into a coma and die. The price of rapid-acting insulin, needed by diabetics who can't take slower-acting insulin, has increased 1,123 percent since 1996. Many insurance companies won't cover the costs, forcing desperate parents to look for insulin on the black market.

From NBCNews:

Gabriella is allergic to the kind of insulin her insurer covers at a $25 out-of-pocket cost. She can only take Apidra, but her insurance only covers 25 percent of the price, leaving the family to pay hundreds of dollars a month they can't afford.

So her mom has turned to the black market, trading for the medication with other families with diabetes she meets online, a tactic that regulators and health experts warn is a health risk. And she cut a back-end deal with a sympathetic drug rep: If she bought one vial he would give her 10 vials from his sample kit, nearly a one year's supply. Gabriella's grandmother covered the cost.

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How to draw dotted lines on a chalkboard

Mike Boyd is started a lecturing job, and he wanted to teach himself how to draw dotted lines on a chalkboard. He learned in just six minutes. The trick is pressing the piece of chalk at an angle so it skips across the board. Read the rest

RIP: Silence of the Lambs Director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Director Jonathan Demme, best known for his horror-thriller movie Silence of the Lambs, has died in New York at age 73. He had been battling cancer.

My first introduction to Demme's work was his quirky 1986 film Something Wild, about a free spirited young woman (played by Melanie Griffith) who kidnaps an uptight yuppie (played by Jeff Daniels), who then are both held hostage by her creepy thug ex-boyfriend (played by Ray Liotta). I fell in madly love with this film, which turned me into an instant Demme fan.

Some of his other brilliant films include Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate, and his Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense. And the list goes on. He was survived by his second wife, Joanne Howard, and their three children, Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos. Our hearts at Boing Boing go out to his family.

For more on Demme, here's a write-up by Variety. Read the rest

Watch: nature documentaries are phony

Nature documentaries: the sound is fake, the scenes are concocted, some of the animals are computer animations, and the music is emotionally manipulative. But that's the only way we will sit through them, says Simon Cade, host and creator of this explainer video. Read the rest

Your squeezing hands outperform this $400 IoT juicer

Juicero is a self-parodying high-tech juicing machine that raised millions in venture capital on the promise of delivering a highly calibrated squeeze to a pack of mulch sold in expensive, DRM-locked pouches, for a mere $400. Read the rest

Shoelace knots fail catastrophically, thanks to 7 gees' worth of stress

Update: Whoops, David got there first!

In a new paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, researchers from UC Berkeley reveal that shoelace knots do not gradualy come loose, as was previously supposed -- rather, they fail catastrophically and suddenly, thanks to strange and surprising stresses that they must endure. Read the rest

Breitbart interviews Sean Spicer: "Oh no, we're live now."

New York Magazine shared Breitbart's interview with White House press secretary Sean Spicer. It's glorious.

So much went wrong. There’s the uncomfortable silence at the open, the grade-school-level production values, and the nauseous look on reporter Charlie Sperling’s face. But those things are obvious. The real joy here are the Easter eggs, such as two of the four White House TVs playing President Trump’s most detested “fake news” channel, CNN.

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