Pandora, SOMA FM, other net radio broadcasters ask supporters to call Congress ASAP.

Tom Conrad of Pandora tweets, "Help save @pandora_radio: call 202-225-3121 NOW, ask for your rep, & ask them to support H.R. 7084. Critical vote Saturday AM., so call now!"

In more than 140 characters, on the Pandora blog:

After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, artists and record companies are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio. But just as we've gotten close, large traditional broadcast radio companies have launched a covert lobbying campaign to sabotage our progress.

More: Congressional Emergency! (Pandora blog), Pandora Needs Our Help Now! (Digg), Pandora to Congress: Vote now, we're running out of time (CNET: The Social), Pandora, Nearing Survival Deal, Gets New Threat From NAB (Gizmodo). (thanks, Wayne de Geere) Read the rest

Wal*Mart shutting down DRM server, nuking your music collection -- only people who pay for music risk losing it to DRM shenanigans

Hey suckers! Did you buy DRM music from Wal*Mart instead of downloading MP3s for free from the P2P networks? Well, they're repaying your honesty by taking away your music. Unless you go through a bunch of hoops (that you may never find out about, if you've changed email addresses or if you're not a very technical person), your music will no longer be playable after October 9th.

But don't worry, this will never ever happen to all those other DRM companies -- unlike little fly-by-night mom-and-pop operations like Wal*Mart, the DRM companies are rock-ribbed veterans of commerce and industry, sure to be here for a thousand years. So go on buying your Audible books, your iTunes DRM songs, your Zune media, your EA games... None of these companies will ever disappear, nor will the third-party DRM suppliers they use. They are as solid and permanent as Commodore, Atari, the Soviet Union, the American credit system and the Roman Empire.

Boy, the entertainment industry sure makes a good case for ripping them off, huh? Buy your media and risk having it confiscated by a DRM-server shutdown. Take it for free and keep it forever.

From: Walmart Music Team Date: Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM Subject: Important Information About Your Walmart.com Digital Music Purchases To: xxxxxx@gmail.com

Important Information About Your Digital Music Purchases

We hope you are enjoying the increased music quality/bitrate and the improved usability of Walmart's MP3 music downloads. We began offering MP3s in August 2007 and have offered only DRM (digital rights management) -free MP3s since February 2008.

Read the rest

Sink in a drawer

This small-bathroom sink hides in a drawer (presumably it uses a length of flexi-hose for its drains connection). It's a smart space-saving design and it has the additional advantage of making it easy to pour water directly on the floor for cleanup (provided that you've got a floor-drain, of course) -- something common in many countries.

Make a Small Bath Look Larger

(via Cribcandy)

Read the rest

My Little Ponies in elaborate media drag

DeviantArt's Spippo creates elaborate costumes for My Little Ponies based on major media franchises -- Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Alien, and Star Wars, as well as many others!

~Spippo

(via Neatorama) Read the rest

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets

Today at Boing Boing Gadgets, we saw Samsung's Pixon camera-phone, a fakeleak of the new MacBook Pro, a robot communist firefighter from the 1930s, and a web server the size of a business card.

There was a giant light fixture in the shape of a spaceship from Elite; shots of RIM's BlackBerry Storm; a massive price drop for the Redfly; and teen taser action.

Joel armed himself with Dr. Grordbort's Infallible Aether Oscillators "Unnatural Selector" Ray-Blunderbuss and a DIY Full Metal Rubber Band gun. Thus equipped, he approached the Tantric Sex Chair.

Rob complained about the dregs of the AppStore, spotted an MP3 player that'll do games as well, and busted his opponent's balls.

On your way out, don't forget to scan your ID. Read the rest

Serialization of The Deal, Chapter 17

My friend Joe Hutsko contacted with the intriguing offer to serialize his novel, The Deal, on Boing Boing. I jumped at the chance. I read The Deal when it first came out in 1999 and loved the thrilling story about a Apple-like company's undertaking to create an iPhone-like device.

Here's a link to Chapter 17 as a PDF or a text file. (Here's chapter 1 and an introduction to the book, and here are the previous chapters)

To buy a paperback copy of the book, visit JOEyGADGET or purchase directly from Amazon. Read the rest

Fake Disney movie trailer for the Sarah Palin story

Stefan says: "Sarah Palin as Disney comedy character. How do they produce something this good this quickly?" Sarah Palin: Head of Skate Read the rest

Man flies personal jet wing across English Channel

Yves Rossy jumped out of a plane over Calais, France today and flew his jet-propelled wing across the English Channel. After crossing the water, he released his parachute and floated safely to the ground. From the Associated Press:

Backed by a gentle breeze, Rossy crossed the Channel in 13 minutes, averaging 125 miles per hour. In a final flourish, he did a figure eight as he came over England, although the wind blew him away from his planned landing spot next to the lighthouse.

"It was perfect. Blue sky, sunny, no clouds, perfect conditions," the Swiss pilot said after touching down in an adjacent field. He said he wanted to show, "it is possible to fly, a little bit, like a bird."

"Swiss man flies over Channel on jet wing" (SFGate.com, thanks Jennifer Lum!), Rossy's FusionMan site (jet-man.com) Read the rest

Gay fashion is the new straight fashion in "the hood"?

My friends at Youth Radio have just produced another thought-provoking radio commentary in their fantastic "What's The New What" series. In this episode, Anthony Waters says that "gay fashion is the new straight fashion... in ghetto neighborhoods." From Anthony's commentary:

I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the white T look. I’m all about big shiny sunglasses, sparkling necklaces, tight legged jeans…and this cute shirt I spotted at one of my favorite stories: DD’s Discounts.

The straight boys who used to whisper about me on the bus haven’t discovered DD’s yet, but they are jacking my style. It all started when artists like Kanye West, Pherrell, and Cam’ron showed up on the TV screen, suited and booted in outfits I would have picked out in middle school. Now my uber-macho nephew, AR, is raiding my closet.

MP3: What's The New What? Gay Fashion is the New Straight Fashion (Youth Radio), Transcript (What's The New What? blog, thanks Lissa Soep!) Read the rest

Canadians: ask your candidates to take the Copyright Pledge!

Michael Geist sez,

Copyright reform has not generated much attention during the current Canadian political campaign with every indication that the Conservatives will reintroduce the Canadian DMCA if re-elected. There are still several weeks left in the campaign, so there is still a chance to build on the recent emergence of a strong voice for fair copyright in Canada.

Following on the 2006 copyfight pledge, ask your MP or political party to take the 2008 copyright pledge:

Will you commit to a balanced approach to copyright reform that reflects the views of all Canadians by pledging:

1. To respect the rights of creators and consumers.

2. Not to support any copyright bill that undermines or weakens the Copyright Act’s users rights.

3. To fully consult with Canadians before introducing any copyright reform bill and to conduct inclusive, national hearings on any tabled bill.

There are at least three steps to help fight the reintroduction of a Canadian DMCA First, urge all political parties to sign on to the pledge. Second, raise the issue with your local candidates - attend a town hall meeting or debate, pose the question if a candidate knocks at your door, or send an email to all the candidates in your riding. Third, email your copyright question to question@electiondebate08.ca. There are still 18 days left in the campaign which provides plenty of time to ensure that fair copyright concerns are heard before election day.

The Copyright Pledge - 2008 Election Edition

(Thanks, Michael!) Read the rest

Interview with Miss Piggy's creator

Bonnie Erickson was the creator of such esteemed Muppets as Miss Piggy, Statler and Waldorf, and Zoot from the Electric Mayhem band. Erickson's work is featured in the traveling Smithsonian exhibition Jim Henson's Fantastic World, and Smithsonian magazine interviewed her for the new issue. From Smithsonian:

Let's say you get a contract to make a character. How does your creative process work? Well let me take the Philly Phanatic as an example. The managers approached us to design a mascot who could encourage fans to bring their families to the games. So we had to design a character who was child-friendly, who was playful and a little irreverent but not too silly. We'd heard from the Phillies that their crowd had booed the Easter bunny, so it was a challenge to come up with something that was not going to talk down to their audience. We wanted a character who had a life and a story. A lot of our characters are still performing today. We created Youppi for the Montreal Expos, and when the team moved out of Montreal Youppi was left without a home. So he was taken in by the hockey team. In my mind I've always thought of these characters as having a life, so they're free agents in many ways. When they lose a team, they go out and try to find another job.

"The Woman Behind Miss Piggy" (Smithsonian) Read the rest

WaMu BuHoo: website before and after SUPER EPIC FAIL.

BBtv reader Brian Frank says, "I thought Boing Boing might enjoy this...see attached screenshots from Washington Mutual's website at various times over the past 24 hours... I call it, 'peek-a-boo! your bank is toast!' Top: before. Middle: after. Bottom: current."

Read the rest

MAD on the bailout: Smells Like Greed Spirit

Here's a sneak peak at MAD Magazine's upcoming artwork on the bailout! Greed Spirit JPEG (Thanks, Austin!) Read the rest

Horny goat weed as Viagra alternative

Researchers seeking natural "aphrodisiacs" as alternatives to Viagra think that the aptly-named horny goat weed may hold promise. According to University of Milan pharmacologist Mario Dell'Agil, a drug derived from the plant could potentially be as effective as Viagra without the same side effects as the little blue pill. From New Scientist:

Viagra's active compound, sildenafil, works by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5). Because PDE5 helps control blood flow to the penis, inhibiting PDE5 promotes male erection.

Dell'Agli and his colleagues tested the four plants in vitro to see how efficient they were at inhibiting PDE5. Just one – Epimedium brevicornum, also known as horny goat weed and Bishop's Hat – had an effect. This confirmed previous studies showing that icariin, a compound found inside the horny goat weed, is a PDE5 inhibitor.

"Horny goat weed could be better than Viagra" (New Scientist) Read the rest

Turtle with mohawk

Photographer Chris Van Wyk snapped this terrific photo of a Mary River Turtle rocking a mohawk. Or a bit of algae. I prefer to think it's the former. "The punk rock turtle with a bright green mohawk" (Mail Online, thanks Kirsten Anderson!) Read the rest

Boing Boing tv: Floating in Zero Gravity is Fun, Earthlings!

In today's episode of Boing Boing tv, we float around in zero gravity. With me on this Zero-G weightless flight are Intel Chairman Craig Barrett; my friend Sean Bonner from metblogs; and a bunch of science teachers from grade schools and high schools throughout the United States who were on board to conduct microgravity experiments for the kids back home. As you watch, keep an eye out for the floating lego robot, a flying pig, and the barfing guy who is totally barfing for reals -- the rest of us did not, btw, I don't get sick in space.

What you see in this episode is what it feels like, guys, and it feels awesome.

Link to Boing Boing tv blog post with downloadable version of this video, and instructions on how to subscribe to the daily BBtv video podcast.

(Special thanks to Peter Diamandis, and George and Loretta Whitesides) Read the rest

Dentist forcibly repossesses patient's bridge

Police are investigating a German dentist for entering a patient's home and forcibly removing her bridge because he hadn't been paid for the work. Allegedly, the dentist, from the town of Neu-Ulm, was angry because the patient's insurance company hadn't come through with the £320 he was owed. From The Telegraph:

According to police, the dentist knocked on the door of the 35-year-old woman on Monday evening and without saying a word forced her into her living room and tied her hands...

"The dentist is being investigated for assault for the way he forced open her mouth, and theft for taking the bridges," said Christian Owsinski a police spokesman.

"German dentist extracts payment from patient" (The Telegraph, via Fortean Times) Read the rest

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