The Trolls: hilarious comedy about...patent trolls?


The Trolls is a new indie feature about plucky entrepreneurs who have their lives destroyed by patent trolls, so they patent the act of being a patent troll, and turn the tables! Read the rest

Whistleblower docs: Wells Fargo was opening fake accounts in 2005


Dennis Hambek was a Wells Fargo branch manager. In 2005, he found Wells Fargo employees creating fake accounts in their customers' names (in order to meeting the company's punishing sales quotas and avoid being blackballed across the industry). He sent a certified letter about the practice in 2006 to Carrie Tolstedt -- the bank exec who oversaw the fraud and retired weeks ahead of the scandal with a $125,000,000 bonus -- and held onto the receipts. Read the rest

Just look at these bananas in a Carmen Miranda/Busby Berkeley musical.


Robbo sez, "From the 1943 Busby Berkeley musical extravaganza "The Gang's All Here" - this is Carmen Miranda singing: The Lady In The Tutti-Fruity Hat. At around 3:20 they bring out the really big bananas." Read the rest

Youtube took down MEP's videos about torture debate


Marietje Schaake (previously) is a Dutch Member of the European Parliament who has a fantastic track-record for getting it right on issues related to technology, free speech, human rights, and privacy; she is the author of a report on export controls for spying technology used to identify dissidents to torture. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom


Documentary maker James H. Carter II is seeking about $4,000 to complete work on "Foolish Mortals," a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom that includes a detailed 3D model of the Disneyland Mansion for you to VR in (or whatever!). Read the rest

Sci-Chi: Tai Chi for science fiction fans


Author Sean Williams writes, "Last weekend I was MC of a small con in Canberra, Conflux 12. To keep people limber, psychically as well as physically, I devised a form Sci-fi form of Tai Chi, which GOH Alan Baxter helped me demonstrate over the course of the weekend." Read the rest

Twice, Sacramento cops tried to run down mentally ill man, then they shot him 14 times


Twice, Sacramento police Randy Lozoya and John Tennis tried to run down Joseph Mann with their cruiser, saying "Fuck this guy. I’m going to hit him" and "OK, go for it. Go for it," before shooting him 14 times. Read the rest

Machine learning, deep-fat fryers, and community cultivation


Maciej Cegłowski's (previously) speech at the Library of Congress, "Deep-Fried Data," describes the way that data begs to be analyzed and how machine learning is like a deep-fat fryer -- a fryer makes anything you put in it "kind of" delicious, and machine learning "kind of" finds insights in your data-set. Read the rest

Survivors of CIA torture describe homebrew electric chair used at Afghan black site


Lufti al-Arabi, a Tunisian man who was arrested in Pakistan while studying at university, spent 13 years in the CIA's notorious "Salt Pit" prison (AKA "Detention Site COBALT") in Afghanistan, enduring incredible, crippling torture, before finally being released without charge, comment, or compensation in 2015; in his first interview since his release, he tells Human Rights Watch about the inhumane tortures of the Salt Pit, including some tortures that were apparently omitted from the CIA's suppressed torture report to the US Senate. Read the rest

YouTube viewing tips you never learned (or maybe forgot)


Since the average user spends over 40 minutes on YouTube each session, this handy refresher course may manage your experience for the better. Vlogbrothers come to the rescue with this handy video that includes tips on keyboard shortcuts, subscription management, and more. Read the rest

Austerity kills the last steam-powered loom in the world


Lancashire Council is shutting down five of its museums, including Burnley's Queen Street Mill Museum, widely known for its appearances in the King's Speech, home to the last steam-powered mill in the world. Read the rest

An ethnographic interview with an AI


Tech anthropologist Genevieve Bell (previously) delivered one of the keynotes at last week's O'Reilly AI conference in New York City, describing how you could do anthropology fieldwork on an AI -- specifically, how you could do an ethnographic interview with one. Read the rest

Women as sinister seductresses in video games


The latest Tropes vs Women in Video Games (previously) is as on-point, smart, and deep as ever. Read the rest

Youtube's new "offline first" product for India treats telcos as damage and routes around them


Yesterday, Google announced "Youtube Go," an "offline first" version of the popular video service designed for the Indian market where internet coverage is intermittent, provided by monopolistic carriers that have a history of network discrimination, and where people have a wide variety of devices, including very low-powered ones. Read the rest

O'Reilly's holding a security conference in NYC, Oct 30-Nov 2


I've been going to O'Reilly conferences since the first P2P conference in 2001; for 15 years, they've been blowing my mind. Read the rest

Machine-learning photo-editor predicts what should be under your brush


In Neural Photo Editing With Introspective Adversarial Networks, a group of University of Edinburgh engineers and a private research colleague describe a method for using "introspective adversarial networks" to edit images in realtime, which they demonstrate in an open project called "Neural Photo Editor" that "enhances" photos by predicting what should be under your brush. Read the rest

Animatronic, maniacally giggling spooky eyeball doorbell


We went to our neighborhood Halloween store yesterday to find cool stuff with which to celebrate the best holiday of the year, and came home with one of these $30 animated, spooky eyeball doorbells, which I am now officially obsessed with. Read the rest

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