Boston Mooninite installer arrested

Ashamed of their own foolish overreaction to finding some battery powered Lite Brites and promptly declaring a code red emergency that shut down Boston, authorities are hoping to save face by arresting Peter Berdovsky, who is charged with installing the innocuous signs.

John Youll says:

This situation is worse than just photoshopping of LED cartoon middle fingers. I hope you will keep it alive beyond just the matter of the official idiocy.

Boston's freaked out police have arrested the guy who stuck those things around town... I'm concerned they're going to come up with all kinds of charges to justify the official panic attack and predictable meltdown suffered by the police and city administration.

And the Boston Globe, always up for some excitement, is trying to "figure the guy out" FBI style, with some amateur sleuthing of a few underlined book sentences on the poor guy's web site. Now the fucking Attorney General is in on the act.

This is going to be a mess for this poor guy. Also, I thought pipe bombs were, well, made of pipes, not LEDs?

The man who sent city and State Police rushing to defuse what they believed were explosive devices around the Boston region was arrested tonight.

Attorney General Martha Coakley scheduled a 9 p.m. press conference to announce the arrrest of Peter Berdovsky, an Arlington artist.

On his personal website, he posted pictures of a small group installing the figures -- little square-shaped men frowning and making an obscene gesture -- on the exterior wall of a hospital, on the awning of a Cambridge bar, at an Urban Outfitters, and a bridge.

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Boston Channel photoshops Mooninite LED signs

WCVB-TV in Boston has photoshopped the extended finger from the Mooninite LEDs. Compare the before-and-after photos of the uniformed and helmeted LED disposal expert as he carefully removes the deadly object. Link

(Thanks, Todd!) Read the rest

Aqua Teen Hunger Force is the Bomb T-Shirts

Raplica is selling T-shirts with a Mooninite and the slogan "ATHF is the bomb" to make fun of the foolish authorities who practically shut down Boston because of a two-week-old so-called "hoax" involving LED signs promoting Cartoon Network's Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Link

Previously on Boing Boing: • LED ad campaign ignites terrorism scare in Boston Read the rest

1970's arcade game: Watergate Caper

Watergate Caper was a 1970s arcade game based on breaking and entering.

Player feverishly twists the dial and punches the code key to reveal a mysterious combination before time runs out and he is caught by double agents.

Spine chilling sound effects create suspense and intrigue. Eerie black light adds to the mystery.

Watergate caper stimulates the larceny in all of us.

Link (Thanks, David!) Read the rest

MP3 player modded into laser tag belt and gun

Make's videoblogger Bre Pettis put the Make MP3 player kit into a laser tag belt and gun. You pull the trigger to advance to the next song. Link

Other Makezine videos: • How to use a MultimeterCircuit BendingHow to Make a Birdfeeder WebcamLearn How To Solder - Skill Building WorkshopMake Video Podcast 2006 WrapupBuild Bridges and Break Them!Woodblock Prints, Aluminum Reliefs, and Write with LightShovercraftCamera HackingRobot Race and Nitinol Lightswitch Read the rest

Watercraft powered by bouncing up and down

Neat video of a watercraft that you propel by bouncing up and down. Link (Thanks, Tim!) Read the rest

Videos of hoboes being drawn by Ape Lad

I could watch Ape Lad drawn Hodgman's hoboes all day long. Link

Previously on Boing Boing: • John Hodgman's hobo mosaic700 imaginary hobo names700 Hoboes project takes off Read the rest

LED ad campaign ignites terrorism scare in Boston

Josh says:

There was a terrorism scare in Boston today -- strange devices were found all over the city. The bomb squad came and detonated one of them, and removed the others. Turns out the devides are part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for [Cartoon Network's] "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." The devices are little LED Moominites.

Phil Torrone told me that CNN (which is owned by Time Warner, the same company that owns Cartoon Network) mentioned Make magazine in connection with this advertising campaign. We didn't have anything to do with it, although I wish we had. Did anyone see the segment that mentioned Make? I'd like to know what they said.


Reader comment:

Anne says: Here's a possible reason why CNN might have mentioned Make: Early blog discussion (eg at Metafilter) thought that Flickr user Vanderlin might have been the source of the LED art in Boston. His photos of the art are part of the Make photo pool on flickr -- presumably because it's the kind of project Makers would be interested in. (He turns out just to have stolen one of the pieces, not to be the source.) If anybody at CNN was looking on flickr, or following a discussion at a place like Metafilter, they would have gotten this kind of connection.

ZDFV says:

CNN only said that they found images of the device and circuit board on, i'm assuming it was [this link].

they also mentioned that you provided details on 'how to build them' (I'm guessing they actually meant the flikr photos) so they '[didn't] know how many others there were out there' and proceeded to say that they were reports of them in Seattle as well.

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NPR Xeni Tech - Guatemala: digital archives may help find "disappeared."

Today on NPR "Day to Day," the third of a 5-part report I brought back from Central America: "Guatemala: Unearthing the Future." In the series, we learn more about the role technology plays in addressing historic problems in Guatemala.

Link to today's episode, "Guatemalan Archives May Help Locate Missing," with streaming audio (Real/Win), and some short video clips. Link to series home page.

Link to narrated slideshow. Here are more photos: Link.

"Xeni Tech" home, and podcast feed.

In rural areas of Guatemala, work is under way to recover and identify remains from mass graves dug during the country's civil war. But in the country's capital city, thousands of people also disappeared. The answers to their fates may lie buried in a massive police archive -- one that wasn't supposed to exist.

At a police compound in Guatemala City, each dark room overflows with documents, some as old as 100 years. These archives may shed light on early US involvement in Guatemala. In 1954, the CIA backed a military coup that overthrew the democratically-elected president, and a long series of military dictatorships followed.

The national police were believed to be responsible for so many atrocities during the civil war that their organization was dissolved and replaced by a new institution when the conflict ended.

Buried in this enormous, dingy compound are answers that the Guatemalan people have waited for for decades. The archive was discovered by accident, during an investigation of a munitions dump. Read the rest

Massive telecom satellite blows up on launch

Mike Jensen says: "A commercial Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket disintegrated in a fiery catastrophe aboard its oceangoing platform Tuesday, destroying a sophisticated telecommunications satellite payload in a dramatic launch pad explosion reminiscent of the space program's early days."

Link | YouTube clip (Best part: the logo appears at the end of the video, as if the people behind this are very proud of the mishap) Read the rest

Giant penis visible on Microsoft map photo

Alex says:

Some years ago, teenage schoolboys at Bellemoor school, Southampton, UK played an end-of-term prank on their teachers. Specifically, they burned a 20ft-long cock into the school's grass lawn using weedkiller.

The teachers had it reseeded, and the incident passed into memory. However, in the interval between the grass dying and the restoration work...

Enter an aerial survey! More importantly, an aerial survey that would later sell its imagery to Microsoft's Virtual Earth Google Maps clone.

Hence, the giant cock was preserved for ever in the soft threads of the Net. It can be viewed at this URL.

The GoogleBird passed over some other time, sadly, so here is the James Dobson-approved version.


Reader comment:

Alex says:

Here's some giant cocks captured by an actual SATELLITE, rather than the microsoft aerial plane! (And on Google maps too!) Link

Sean says:

I'm sure you already know this, but it crops up on Boingboing quite frequently.

The "giant penis visible from space" article at the guardian is wrong. None of this imagery is actually "space" imagery. Most of it is collected by planes flying at 8k-10k feet -- Google Maps and Microsoft Live switch between actual satellite imagery and digital orthophotos when the resolution becomes advantageous to do so.

For instance, Google Maps' data of the site comes from here.

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Powder turns bathwater into thick slime

Gelli Baff is a powder that you pour into your kid's tub to turn the water into colored slime.

The goo is a completely harmless powder that soaks up 400 times it's own weight in water. When the fun's all done, add the disolver sachet and the goo dissapears.

Link (Via Play Library)

Alex says:

Gelli Baff is just SPA (sodium polyacrylate). Sounds like they've found a fun way of marketing sodium polyacrylate, a non-toxic, water-absorbing polymer that's used in everything from disposable diapers to agriculture. You can buy a whole pound of it from Steve Spangler's site for $20, as well as SPA in granular form, which can be used as fake snow.

A lot of other substances work well for "busting" the slime once you're done playing, table salt is one, but lots of other household products will do it as well, try some out!

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Minister "lucky" after tumour spotted on TV

Seamus says: "This is a news piece of an Irish government Minister whose appearance on RTE Television (our national TV Channel in Ireland) lead to the immediate diagnosis of a facial tumor after a surgeon viewer noticed that it did not move as a fatty piece of tissue would."

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Conor Lenihan had a lucky escape after a eagle-eyed doctor diagnosed a tumour on his face as he spotted him speaking on television.

Link Read the rest

Brits! Act now to save the BBC from Microsoft

Paul sez, "The BBC are holding an open consultation regarding how they're going to delivery on-demand content, they want answers to questions like: "How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?" The form takes 5 minutes to fill in, is confidential and could be a defining moment of on-line content delivery. Let's pressure the BBC into embracing open standards!"


(Thanks, Paul!) Read the rest

Jay Lake's comedy sf mashup contest

Campbell-award-winning sf author Jay Lake has challenged readers of his blog to come up with sf high-concept mashups, along the lines of "A Canticle for Lebowski" --

*Repo Man from UNCLE--Emilio Estevez is recruited for a shady job that turns out to be working for an undercover spy network that has developed a flying car/time machine.

*A Boy and His Dogma: A young archangel rescues the mother of God from a gang of roving ex-angels and attempts to conform to her human expectations. Rated R for the grisly ending where Alanis Morissette and Alan Rickman... well, I won't give it away.

*The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Quest - Dent Arthur Dent discovers that all of his adventures were scripted episodes from an old TV show, the Heart of Gold is actually a 14" plastic model lit with Christmas lights, the Vogons are just big lumps of latex with Warwick Davis pulling levers inside, and Alan Rickman actually went insane holding up both ends of a conversation between Dr. Lazarus and Marvin the Paranoid Android.


(Thanks, Danjite!) Read the rest

Dr Who Tardis USB hub

This 4-port Dr Who Tardis USB hub comes with a blue light that flashes when you add or removing a device, and an internal speaker makes the "vorp vorp" noise of a dematerializing Tardis.


(via Gizmodo)

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O'Reilly Emerging Tech conference earlybird reg closes Monday!

Next Monday is the last day for discounted Early Bird registration at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. Last year, the con sold out entirely -- sign up early! I'm speaking this year, co-presenting with Trusted Computing advocate Peter Biddle (notorious as the author of the Darknet paper). Peter and I will be switching up a little this time: I'm going to present the case for DRM, then he's going to present the case against it. Should be fun!

The program is still being finalized, but already there are any number of exciting presentations on the slate, including:

MMOG: Modestly Multiplayer Online Game Building Workshop -- a half-day session on building tiny, federated virtual worlds Toward a New Animism: Old Interaction Paradigms for an Everyware World, Adam "Everyware" Greenfield's presentation on figuring out how to live in a world where all our possessions are smart enough to be trouble If Paper Could Talk, What Would It Say?, presented by Osborne-creating PC hero Lee Felsenstein, on using printed codes to store machine-readable audio No Program Left Behind: Liberating TV from the Tyranny of the Ephemeral, wherein BBC maverick Tom Loosemore (BBC Backstage) opens the kimono on the Pandora Box, a PVR that can record every TV program on every channel at once and archive them all for nine months Super Ninja Privacy Techniques for Web App Developers -- Marc "Wesabe" Hedlund explains the fine, subtle, transcendental points of maintaining privacy through good application design From Pixels to Plastic: the always gnomic and fascinating Matt Webb on the coming revolution in outputting pixel-based designs in solid, volumetric plastic Your Web App as a Text Adventure -- I loved this thesis-statement: "Quite bluntly, if your web application can't easily be adapted as a classic text adventure, your application has serious problems on multiple levels" Body Hacking: Quinn Magnet Sense Norton takes us on a stomach-churning adventure through the world of extreme body-mods RFID Guardian: A Personal Platform for RFID Privacy Management -- when I saw Melanie Rieback present her prize-winning paper on RFID firewalls at USENIX LISA in DC, I knew we had to have her at ETECH; her research on the security of RFIDs shows how we are sleepwalking into a world of incredible instability and insecurity

In 2007, we expect internet access to be instant, music collections to fit into our pockets, and communication as a constant.

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