What the Pentagon learned from Muhammad Ali

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Matt Taibbi takes to Rolling Stone to tell us about the lessons that the US military learned from the powerful bruising it received from Muhummad Ali's refusal to fight in Vietnam: namely, that America should fight its wars with all-volunteer armies whose ranks were disproportionately drawn from the poor and desperate, which dissipated the political pressure that arose from drafting the rich, the powerful and the famous to fight. Read the rest

Science fiction's Radium Age: prewar stories of postscarcity, peace and justice

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For nearly a decade, science fiction historian Joshua Glenn has waged a campaign to resurrect the "Radium Age" of science fiction: the period from 1904-1933 when writers turned their pens to "Air Battles, Antigravity, Interplanetary Voyages, Lost Worlds, Mad Scientists, Time Travel, and Utopias," before writers like Andre Norton and Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov began their careers. Read the rest

How a "lost" Marx Brothers musical found its way back to the stage

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Noah Diamond is a Groucho Marx impersonator, actor and singer whose obsession with the Marx Brothers led him, along with his wife, the director Amanda Sisk, to research "I'll Say She Is," a Marx Brothers stage musical that ran to rave reviews in 1924/5 and has not been mounted since. Read the rest

Arcade cabinet enthusiasts discover trove of 50+ games in ship, derelict for 30 years

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In 1979, the Duke of Lancaster -- a cruise liner turned car ferry -- was retired from service and moored at Llanerch-y-Mor, North Wales, where it was made over as a "Fun Ship," whose car-deck was refitted as a coin-op arcade. Read the rest

Technology's "culture of compliance" must be beaten back in the name of justice

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In 1989, Canadian activist, engineer and thinker Ursula Franklin gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the politics of technology design and deployment called "The Real World of Technology." Read the rest

Ramones 40th anniversary box-set coming in July: rarities, demos, live shows

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The $80 Ramones 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition collects 3 CDs, one LP and a hardcover book, in a limited, numbered box (the edition is limited to 19,760, which is a number you can interpret as either symbolic of the year 1976, or "this edition limited to the number we anticipate selling"). Read the rest

United offered men-only "executive" flights until 1970

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The flights operated between NYC and Chicago and LA and San Francisco, came with complimentary cigars and specially prepared meals, and were off-limits to women and children; some services were co-branded with the Wall Street Journal. Read the rest

129 of Gandhi's speeches on India and self-rule

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Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "From May 11, 1947 until January 29, 1948, Gandhi gave a speech after prayer meetings 129 times. It was a narrative of his life and of the times. All India Radio broadcast his talks to the nation, and everybody stopped to hear what the Mahatma had to say. On January 30, Gandhiji didn't make it to the microphone. " Read the rest

Famous writers with their first word processors

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U Maryland English professor Matthew G. Kirschenbaum has a new book called Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing that tells the story of word processing from writers' perspectives; an accompanying gallery collects photos of famous authors with their first word processors (mine was an Apple //e). Pictured above: Stephen King with his Wang System 5 Model 3 word processor in 1982. Read the rest

The weird, humiliating nicknames George W Bush gave to everyone

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Remember when "Turd blossom" was the affectionate nickname the President of the United States used to refer to his chief advisor? Read the rest

UPDATED RIP Ray Tomlinson, email inventor and at-sign popularizer

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UPDATE This is a couple months old -- I read "Mar 5" as "May 5." My apologies.

Ray Tomlinson created the first networked email system in 1971 while working on his MIT doctorate and collaborating on the early ARPAnet at BBN; he used @ -- the at symbol -- to separate the username from the machinename because "it did not appear in user names and did not have any meaning in the TENEX paging program." Read the rest

Doom, remade with ultraviolent claymation kitties

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Animator Lee Hardcastle reimagines the quintessential first-person shooter as an even gorier game, starring Claycat, a fearless and fearsome claymation character. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Venerable hacker zine Phrack publishes its first issue in four years

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Phrack has been publishing erratically since 1985, but the four year gap between the previous issue, published in April 2012, and the current issue, published yesterday, was so long that many (me included) feared it might have died. Read the rest

Tiny, 8-bit console designed for hackability and homebrew game development

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Pocket CHIP is a tiny, $50, ARM-based pocket games console with a full keyboard and a Bluetooth interface. Read the rest

Belushi widow & Aykroyd produce Blues Brothers animated series

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Judy Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are developing a kid-oriented Blues Brothers animated series with Bento Box, the studio behind Bob's Burgers. Read the rest

Archives of pioneering "Internet Talk Radio"

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Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "In 1993, I started a radio station on the Internet, engaging in activities that later became known as podcasting and webcasting. I'm pleased to say that I've finished uploaded the archive of Internet Talk Radio to the Internet Archive." Read the rest

Astounding, visionary video about hypertext from 1976

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Brett Bobley writes, "'Hypertext: an Educational Experiment in English and Computer Science at Brown University' is an amazing documentary film from 1976 made by Brown University computer scientist Andries 'Andy' van Dam." Read the rest

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