A Good American: a documentary about Bill Binney, an NSA whistleblower who says 9/11 could have been prevented

Bill Binney resigned from the NSA in October 2001, after 30 years with the agency where he was viewed as one of their best analysts: he quit because he believed that Bush-appointed leaders in the Agency had chosen to respond to the challenge of electronic communications by building out illegal, indiscriminate mass-surveillance programs that left the country vulnerable to terrorists while diverting billions to private contractors with political connections. Read the rest

djBC and friends release a legal mashup album on vinyl

djBC writes, "My mashup record with Boston MC Moe Pope and ska/punk legends Big D & The Kids Table was picked up by Asbestos Records! It's 100% legal, too. And there are some great guests like the legendary rapper Edo G and saxophonist Dana Colley of Morphine. Asbestos Records did a lovely job with two different vinyl colorways- black/clear (100 available) and blue/clear (500 available). They even produced one of those 'word' videos for the jaunty single 'Fuckin' Love Music' featuring guest vocals from The Doped Up Dollies. GET IN!" Read the rest

Fifth-grade teacher has an elaborate personal handshake for each and every one of his students

Barry White, Jr teaches fifth grade English at Charlotte, NC's Ashley Park School. Every day, he greets every one of his students with an amazing, personalized handshake, to "bring them excitement and pump them up for a high-energy class." Read the rest

Autonomous bat bot weighs 93g, flies like a bat

A team of roboticists from Caltech and Urbana-Champaign have built a biomimetic "bat bot" that uses nine joints to deform a foot-wide wing membrane to achieve breathtaking aerial maneuvers. Read the rest

Dial-a-Grue: play Zork with nothing but an old phone

The first iteration of Dial-a-Grue, in 2011, was to kit out an old rotary dial phone with an embedded computer and text-to-speech engine so that you could play Zork with nothing but the handset. The new, 2.0 version of the project, is "to port Zork I (via a z-code interpreter) to an embedded platform, and enclose that and an old modem inside a telephone, so that the game can be played from a teletype, TDD, or old computer with an acoustically coupled modem." (via JWZ) Read the rest

A lively history of DRM and gaming

17 minutes of funny and informative notes from the history of DRM from Lazy Game Reviews, starting with Bill Gates's infamous Open Letter to Hobbyists and moving through to the modern era with its activation codes, rootkits and scandals. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

Andrew 'bunnie' Huang and Adafruit's Ladyada: an in-depth interview

The legendary hardware hackers speak for two hours about gender, participation and representation in tech, teaching electronics with papercraft, and the joys of open source hardware. Read the rest

You can install ransomware on a Samsung Galaxy by sending it an SMS

Researchers from Context Security have identified a vulnerability in Samsung Galaxy phones: by embedding commands in the obsolete, 17-year-old WAP proptocol in an SMS message, attackers can put them into endless reboot loops, or encrypt their storage and charge the phone's owners for a decryption key. Read the rest

Make: an Arduino-based soda vending machine that fits in your school locker

Mistablik is an American high-school student who put his mind to finding alternate uses for the lockers that lined his school's hallways -- lockers that sit empty as students switch over to electronic textbooks -- and decided to build a tiny, secure, Arduino-based vending machine that would sell soda to his fellow students. Read the rest

Excellent advice: 3 minutes of Poppy reciting "Delete Your Facebook"

Surreal Youtube star and musician That Poppy has a message for you: "Delete Your Facebook." It's timely advice, and sound. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Listen: I Can't Keep Quiet, an anthem for the Women's March

More than 8,000,000 people have watched this video of a flashmob choir performing "I Can't Keep Quiet," a song by LA musician MILCK, who performed it at Saturday's Women's March. Read the rest

Graffiti grammar cops prowl the night, spraypainting corrections

Agent X and Agent Full Stop are a pair of graffiti activists who call themselves Acción Ortográfica Quito: they sneak around the streets of Quito, Ecuador with cans of red spray-paint, correcting the punctuation, grammar and spelling of the city's prolific graffiti writers, bringing legibility to boasts, professions of love, and political messages. Read the rest

Bake: a pixel-art Mario pie for National Pie Day

Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin (aka @ThePieous) writes, "It is National Pie Day in America tomorrow (not to be confused with "International Pi Day" - the cooler big cousin of pie holidays on March 14th...) In honour of this occasion I've posted a new tutorial video that is very attainable for any novice pie-geeks out there thinking about whipping something up nifty. It features our favourite 8 bit plumber hero, with a special guest appearance at the end." Read the rest

Bristol cops mistake their own race relations advisor for a suspect, taser him in the face at the gate of his home

Judah Adunbi is a 63-year-old black man who lives in Bristol, England, where he volunteered as chairman of the independent advisory group on race relations; police confronted him while he was walking his dog in front of his home on Saturday. When he refused to show them ID, they tasered him, sending him crashing to the ground, cracking his head on the pavement. Then they charged him with "assaulting a constable in the course of his duties." Read the rest

100 amazing years of Planned Parenthood in 4 minutes: THESE DOORS STAY OPEN

With Congress set to defund Planned Parenthood and millions of women and allies on the march across America, what better time to reacquaint yourself with this amazing, vital, brave organization that has withstood domestic terror, vile slander, and endless depredations to provide services to women for more than a century. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Astronaut: watch YouTube videos with no views

Most YouTube videos have at least a few views: the uploader making sure it works and applying basic edits. But zero views? That's a special class of film: automated, forgotten, mistaken, baffling, beautiful. Astronaut will show them to you. [via MeFi]

Today, you are an Astronaut. You are floating in inner space 100 miles above the surface of Earth. You peer through your window and this is what you see. You are people watching. These are fleeting moments.

These videos come from YouTube. They were uploaded in the last week and have titles like DSC 1234 and IMG 4321. They have almost zero previous views. They are unnamed, unedited, and unseen by anyone but YOU.

I can't stop watching. It seems almost too perfect, like a montage in a movie about the wonderful, unbeknownst things humans were doing before the Orange Death held sway. Read the rest

Coded: new documentary series on hackers

Seth Godin sends us this trailer for Coded, a new documentary series on hackers: "There’s an invisible war being waged. And we’re all part of it. Foreign governments are hacking major corporations. Major corporations are collecting massive amounts of consumer data. And the NSA is listening…to everything. But a new generation of programmers armed with powerful technology is rising up and fighting back. Freethink presents a new original series: Coded." Read the rest

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