Boing Boing 

Your voice-to-text speech is recorded and sent to strangers


Redditor Fallenmyst just started a job at Walk N'talk Technologies, where she listens to randomly sampled speech-to-text recordings from our mobile phones, correcting machine conversions.

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Reddit isn't the future of creativity, but it is a vital part of it

The site has emerged as an important creative platform, but getting—and keeping—an audience there is a tricky thing.

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Long-exposure shot of a rock-climber wearing glowsticks


Redditor Shatteredankle went rock-climbing with glowsticks affixed to wrists and ankles, and took a long-exposure shot of the result -- gorgeous.

Clever student uses red/blue masking to double exam cribsheet


Profcyclist told students that they could bring a 3"x5" card to an exam; a clever student wrote overlapping notes in blue and red ink and brought in gels to read them.

FCC seems to have lost hundreds of thousands of net neutrality comments

Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Sunlight Foundation released a study based on data that the FCC had released to the public about the most recent batch of net neutrality comments. We at Fight for the Future worked really hard to deliver more than 750,000 comments of our own to the FCC, but when we looked at the data, hundreds of thousands of them were missing. Our CTO Jeff Lyon just took to Reddit to try to get to the bottom of this. Maybe you can help?"

Serial and the uncomfortable sensation of reality radio

hae-min-lee This American Life offshoot Serial, where Sarah Koenig is presently digging into the 1999 murder of 18 year-old Hae Min Lee, has become a sensation. Koenig's deep dive into the oddly-patchy evidence and her interviews with key people -- notably Hae's ex boyfriend Adnan Syed, who was convicted of the crime and is still incarcerated -- has turned a nation of listeners and Redditors into amateur sleuths and jurors.

There is something unsettling about The Guardian's recent series of photographs of the case's key locations: it's their bleakness, their small town-ness. Or maybe it's because they serve as a reminder that what's effectively become "reality radio" for listeners concerns a real-life place, a real victim and family.

The Guardian also interviewed Syed's family on what the apparently wholly-unexpected Serial sensation has meant for them. It's certainly interesting to listen to Koening's methodical study of the case, and my household's definitely hooked. Wouldn't it be amazing if her work leads to the truth about a situation where there arguably weren't enough answers?

Watching the murder become property of public opinion—especially with Syed's brother being told by a Reddit moderator that a key witness and former person of interest in the crime might be participating in the threads—leads to complex feelings.

Bible: tl;dr edition

Cabbagetroll's masterful summary of the Bible (both testaments) on Reddi's /r/Christianity really captures the books' spirit.

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E-cigs and malware: real threat or Yellow Peril 2.0?


After a redditor claimed to have gotten a computer virus from factory-installed malware on an e-cig charger, the Guardian reported out the story and concluded that it's possible.

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Tortoise Tardis cosplay


Photographed by Punkpixzsticks at the Minnesota Ren Faire: Angus, a tortoise dressed as a Tardis (Angus has lots of other costumes). (via Neatorama).

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Why #gamergate is bullshit


Luke McKinney demolishes the idea that notional corruption in the press can be fought by harassing women, or participating in an ex-boyfriend's awful, privacy-invading vendetta against his girlfriend -- and notes that the original incident that sparked the campaign was a fabrication.

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Bodies are weird


A great Reddit thread asks "What's something you're pretty sure only your body does, but have been too embarrassed to ask," and comes up with some genuinely great responses.

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Downvoting considered harmful

A study [PDF] published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a "downvote" button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters.

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Reddit AMA now in app form

redama

Reddit launched its official Ask Me Anything mobile app for iOS and Android.

Counterfeit money up close

Someone sent Brian Krebs an envelope of counterfeit $100 and $50 bills, apparently manufactured by Mrmouse, the counterfeiter whom Krebs outed for selling his notes openly on Reddit.

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Birth control cupcakes


Redditor Recycledpaper baked and frosted these delicious-looking birth control cupcakes: can you name all the different methods they illustrate?

I Made Birth Control Cupcakes!

A horrible way to kill fruitflies


Redditor Ergas has a disgusting way to lure fruit flies to a very personal fiery death.

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Stunning pic: Abandoned factory filled with rubber ducks


Redditor Heyitsnick discovered an abandoned Cleveland factory filled with rubber ducks, and that's not all:

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MPAA targeted subreddit is an overnight sensation

Fulllengthfilms, an obscure subreddit with next to no traffic shot up to more than 300,000 daily visitors after it was targetted for takedown by the MPAA. It is now the fastest-growing subreddit on Reddit.

Faded, clown-themed motel that backs onto a plague pit


Tonopoah, NV's Clown Motel is a relic of the Gold Rush town's faded glory years, and it is filled with clowns. Hundreds of clowns stare from every corner, the walls are hung with clown-portraits, and there is a "historic miners' cemetery" out the motel's back door, wherein rest the mouldering corpses of the victims of a mysterious epidemic that is only known as "Tonopah plague." Redditors who've stayed at the Clown Motel have taken to this thread to one-up one-another with tales of the establishment's freaky weirdness. Norwegiancoconut dropped a link to this gallery of photos from a previous stay.

America's scariest motel is haunted... by hundreds of clowns

1969 was a good year for horror-clowns

Redditor CptQuestionMark posted this photo of a birthday clown from 1969. The clown is so frankly terrifying, it suggests some kind of profound aesthetic/cognitive shift in human perception in a scant 45 years.

Ikea's Death Star lamp

As redditor Tomcruiseama points out, the $70 Ikea PS 2014 lamp is basically a Death Star: it's a Hoberman-sphere-like lampshade that can be mechanically expanded or contracted to control the amount of light it emits.

Humanoid wasps' nest built over an abandoned sculpture


Redditor Countbubs posted this photo of a wasps' nest built over a wooden humanoid sculpture, with the wasps' paper following the contours of the underlying form. It's a genuinely nightmarish image. (via Crazy Abalone)

Making a planetary-scale sandwich

Svabialonso, a redditor in Iceland, teamed up with a friend on the (approximately) opposite side of the planet in New Zealand to make a world-sized sandwich: each of them went to a specific location at a set time and pressed a piece of bread to the ground there, with appropriate toppings.

Reddit's /r/technology demoted over scandal of secret censorship that blocked Internet freedom stories


Alan sez, "According to various media reports (e.g. BBC) the technology subreddit has scrubbed its moderator team after users discovered that the sub was holding a secret censorship list of banned words that included 'National Security Agency', 'GCHQ', 'Anonymous', 'anti-piracy', 'Bitcoin', 'Snowden', 'net neutrality', 'EU Court', 'startup' and 'Assange'.

On its face, this looks like a list of politicized terms, and blocking them looks like a highly political and partisan act -- for example, by blocking "net neutrality," then stories that are critical of network discrimination would be blocked, while straight news stories that overwhelmingly quoted corporate spokespeople using uncritical terms would make the front door.

More charitably, it may have been the act of overworked (and ultimately irresponsible) moderators to simply ban hot-button topics altogether.

Here's the Reddit post that outed /r/technology's moderators.

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Engagement ring with tiny slide and projection lens built in


This engagement ring with a built-in lens and slide is apparently a prototype produced by an unnamed Polish manufacturer. According to Technolog, who posted the images to Reddit, the publicity-shy manufacturer hasn't gone into production yet.

Update: Technolog has updated the post with the name of the maker: Marek Mazur of Gdansk

Engagement ring with little photo slide and lens in it (via Super Punch)

Putin your butt


Reddditor Amzfx created a Putin butt-plug by way of commentary on Russia's invasion of Crimea, and he's selling them on Shapeways for €20.22. The print medium seems a little too porous for safe sex play, and the nose looks like a likely candidate for painful snagging. Amznfx has more political 3d prints in his repertoire.

Check out my 3d printed Putin Butt plug (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

Reddit eyes journalism

Matthew Ingram talks to Reddit GM Erik Martin about the site's plans to build out crowdsourced reporting features—and how it will guard them against misuse and chaos.

Martin admitted the moderator system is flawed in some ways, or at least could be improved — by making it easier for users to switch from one sub-Reddit to another, for example — but he also argued that the democratic (some would anarchic) approach the site takes to virtually everything has positive impacts. Someone once asked who created a specific sub-Reddit, and Martin said he had to admit “I have no idea, someone just came along and did it… the fact that it even works at all, when you think about it, is just crazy. It shouldn’t work, but it does.”

Reddit's crowdsourced reporting threads are often the best places to find real-time aggregation of breaking news. But the screw-ups can't be dismissed glibly. If Reddit took a little more responsibility for the major subreddits (the ones that it promotes to the general public as central sections of the site, such as r/news) and applied a more policy-driven approach to how they're run, it would be much easier to communicate the implicit distinctions here between moderation and anarchy (i.e., journalism and histrionics).

Weird true facts that sound false

A great and endlessly entertaining Reddit thread asks for weird facts that sound made up, but aren't, like "The Ottoman Empire still existed the last time the Cubs won the World Series" and "When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the 3rd kidney in your pelvis." And:

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Coloured ice fortress


Redditor Unspeakablefilth lives in northern Ontario, where December was plenty cold (daytime highs of -25C!). He made the best of an icy situation by freezing blocks of coloured ice in shifts, a new batch every 12 hours, ending up with hundreds of them, which he used to piece together a gorgeous ice-fortress that he opened up to his neighbours. The Imgur set does a great job of showing off the build process and the ensuing enjoyment.

It's a great variation on last winter's coloured ice igloo from Edmonton. Can't wait to see what next year brings!

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Shanghai hotel provides smog-masks for guests


Redditor Mthomaseddy snapped this photo of the elegantly packaged "gas mask" (apparently an air-filter mask, not something to be used in gas-attacks) that was waiting in his room at the Shanghai Fairmont when he checked in. China's pretty damned smoggy these days.

Shanghai hotels know how to pamper you (via Super Punch)