Hackers take Yahoo: 453,000 login credentials nabbed

Dan Goodin at Ars: "The dump, posted on a public website by a hacking collective known as D33Ds Company, said it penetrated the Yahoo subdomain using what's known as a union-based SQL injection. ... To support their claim, the hackers posted what they said were the plaintext credentials for 453,492 Yahoo accounts." Read the rest

Nudes of performance athletes

ESPN's "Bodies We Want" photo series features "tasteful" nudes of performance athletes (tasteful inasmuch as all the genitals and women's nipples are figleafed). It's a pretty amazing series, in part because so many of the images are sexually charged in some way, and yet the athletes' bodies are very different from the sort that appear in either pornography or body-building images, the other genres that habitually display nude or near-nude people whose bodies are far from the median of human appearance.

2012 Body Issue's Bodies We Want - ESPN The Magazine

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Danell Levya, photographed by Peter Hapak -- downsized thumbnail) Read the rest

Maker Station in Library Parking Lot = All Kinds of Awesome

A collaboration between the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a local nonprofit called TekVenture has created a hub of awesome for local makers called the TekVenture Maker Station.

Although it looks plainer than even the most generic bookmobile (or school mobile classroom), this 50-foot trailer is packed with the kinds of tools that makers can’t wait to get their hands on: a CNC Milling Machine, Metal Lathe, a Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer, an Egg-Bot, a CNC Router, tools for welding, an injection molder, and laptops to program everything a maker could imagine. Read the rest

San Diego Comic Con Roundup: Day -1

Unfortunately, I am not at San Diego Comic-Con to cover it because, well, I am in New York. But in my travels through the internet today, I've found some interesting developments leading into Preview Night tonight. For starters: a logo for the new Evil Dead. Read the rest

Michael Bay's Wizard of Oz

As requested in the thread concerning Michael Bay's Ninja Turtles. You're welcome. Read the rest

Letter to Chuck Close from the digital artist whom he threatened with a lawsuit

Scott Blake is a computer artist who created a Photoshop plug-in called th "Chuck Close Filter," which transformed images into mosaics reminiscent of the famous hand-made mosaics created by Chuck Close, whom Blake calls "the 14th richest living artist." Close objected to the filter, and threatened legal action, so Blake complied; although Blake believes that what he's made is legal under the doctrine of fair use, he can't afford to litigate against a multimillionaire adversary.

The issue has eaten at Blake since the 2010 exchange, and he's published a long, illustrated article laying out the case for his work, and placing it in the history of art, the history of computer art, and within Close's own work. He's got a (somewhat daffy) plan to republish his work long after Close and he are dead, but that's a distraction from the main point, which is a heartfelt letter from a young artist to an older artist who first inspired him and then prohibited him from making the art he was inspired to produce.

I believe my art is fair use, but I don’t have a war chest to back up that assertion in a courtroom, so the wealthy bully wins by default. My only recourse is to publicize my defeat in order to shine a light on these types of situations. My hope is that Chuck Close develops a sense of shame and regret, realizes his mistake and offers up an apology. I want this article to serve as a point of reference for current and future artists.

Read the rest

Baseball at relativistic speeds and other wild hypotheticals

Randall "XKCD" Munroe's new "What If?" feature answers one wild hypothetical per week. The first two are corkers: Relativistic Baseball baseball asks what would happen if a baseball pitcher could throw a ball at 0.9C; the second, SAT Guessing, looks at the (very long) odds against getting a perfect SAT by bubbling in random guesses. Here's a taste of Relativistic Baseball:

The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary. Air molecules vibrate back and forth at a few hundred miles per hour, but the ball is moving through them at 600 million miles per hour. This means that as far as the ball is concerned, they’re just hanging there, frozen.

The ideas of aerodynamics don’t apply here. Normally, air would flow around anything moving through it. But the air molecules in front of this ball don’t have time to be jostled out of the way. The ball smacks into them hard that the atoms in the air molecules actually fuse with the atoms in the ball’s surface. Each collision releases a burst of gamma rays and scattered particles. fusion illustration fusion zone of baseball

These gamma rays and debris expand outward in a bubble centered on the pitcher’s mound. They start to tear apart the molecules in the air, ripping the electrons from the nuclei and turning the air in the stadium into an expanding bubble of incandescent plasma. The wall of this bubble approaches the batter at about the speed of light—only slightly ahead of the ball itself.

Read the rest

Ice-cream that looks like spaghetti: spaghettieis

Click Clack Gorilla's "ode to spaghettieis" celebrates a German ice-cream dish that looks like spaghetti Bolognese. The noodles are extruded white ice-cream. It was invented in 1969, and remains popular.

It really looks like spaghetti, doesn’t it? I imagine that it is made using a machine much like the one that came with the Play Dough restaurant set I had as a child. (Yep, it is, says the internet. Shops use a fancy automatic press, and you can make it at home with any old noodle press.) I’ve never tried it myself, but I’m willing to bet that it’s as much fun to make as it is to eat. A heap of noodle-shaped vanilla ice cream on a bed of whipped cream and covered in strawberry sauce and coconut chips (or nut chips)? Yum.

But the whimsy doesn’t stop there. Oh no! There are other varieties. Carbonara (with a brownish liquor sauce and nuts), and oh crap I can’t remember the rest (I was at the ice cream shop a couple of hours ago, but I’m going to have to call breastfeeding brain on this one). Just take my word for it. It’s a theme with a number of amusing variations.

When Spaghettieis and I met, we fell in love instantly. It was tasty, it was novel, it was cheap (2 DM to the dollar in those days), and it was responsible for at least half of the ten pounds I gained during our month-long high school exchange. I ate it every chance I got, which turned out to be every day during our final week in Krefeld.

Read the rest

Yoga teacher fired for glaring at Facebook employee

Alice Van Ness was hired to teach Yoga at Facebook's Menlo Park Campus. She told employees who took her classes to refrain from using cellphones, but one female employee ignored her and used her phone during a session. Van Ness says she gave the employee a "look of disapproval."

The employee complained to the woman's boss, who fired Van Ness.

According to the termination letter, the employee said Van Ness had "made a spectacle of her" during the class by stopping instruction and glaring at her when she pulled out her phone.

Van Ness said she didn't know the employee's name or whether she is a high-level executive at Facebook.

San Carlos yoga teacher loses job after glaring at Facebook employee for using cellphone in class Read the rest

Hip-hop sea-shanty

David Minnick is a genius. That is all.

A remix of the Snoop Dogg/Kid Cudi song "That Tree". The idea for this sort of remix was born when I became aware of the great similarities between the lyrical themes of rap and the lyrical themes of pirate music (Self-aggrandizement, the quest for money and treasure, romantic view of violence, sexism etc..) In spite of this "serious" description, this remix was really just a hilarious idea that I somehow managed to finish. Enjoy!

I Can't Forget the Sea (Snoop Dogg remix) Read the rest

Trees stained by a toxic spill, with the high-tide line aligned to the horizon

This image comes from The Line, a book of photos by Palíndromo Mészaros, "a Spanish photographer and architecture student whose life jumps between Madrid and Budapest." It shows the high-tide line of an aluminum spill from a chemical factory in Hungary, which flooded out a forest in Ajka. Mészaros lines up the red residue with the horizon, producing an effect that is beautiful and terrible and delightfully disorienting. The book, which is produced on demand through Blurb is €127.92, and is printed on Proline Pearl photo paper - 32'4 x 27'6 cm.

"The Line photobook"

(via Reddit) Read the rest

Ron Jeremy as bait for Canadian Cannibal?

More than a year ago, porn celeb Ron Jeremy was reportedly asked by animal rights activists to help snare animal torturer (and eventual "Canadian Cannibal") Luka Rocco Magnotta by inviting him to be in an X-rated film. Jeremy: “It’s like an episode from some TV show. The [guy] comes to the set with lube in one hand and his schmeckle in the other thinking he has a job, and the cops tackle him to the ground. That’s good for the movies. That doesn’t work in real life.” (The Canadian Press) Read the rest

Declassified report about "mind altering" drugs at Gitmo

"One detainee, so-called 'dirty bomber' Jose Padilla was tricked into believing he was injected with a “truth serum” during an interrogation, possibly a form of LSD or PCP. In reality, it was a flu shot."U.S. Injected Gitmo Detainees With ‘Mind Altering’ Drugs (Wired)

Much more here: "'EXCLUSIVE: DoD Report Reveals Some Detainees Interrogated While Drugged, Others 'Chemically Restrained'" (Truthout) Read the rest

Kickstart a sculpture that lets you toss around 80,000 lbs of stone and steel

Zachary writes,

Blurring the line between art and...a freight train, artist Zachary Coffin is leading a team building a massive human powered stone and steel merry-go-round for Burning Man 2012. This experimental hybrid of art and engineering utilizes railroad parts and more to see just how much fun you can have moving over 80,000lbs of stone and steel (bring your friends, solo just ain't gonna work). The sculpture, Universe Revolves Around YOU will be 30 feet (10 meters) in diameter and 27 feet tall and will feature huge slabs of granite and three spinning boulders with room for maybe fifty to ride. You can also step into the middle of the work and be back on terra firma as giant rocks and steel whirl around...YOU.

This sculpture is pushing the limits of art and human interaction and they are asking for help via this Kickstarter campaign. The work will be tested as only a crowd at Burning Man can do. Then the Universe team is looking for new and exciting venues worldwide. So not only can you get cool swag, maybe you can help bring this sculpture to a place nearby. Any open flat space with a LOT of excited people will work, suggestions welcome. More information and build progress here.

(Thanks, Zachary!) Read the rest

Charming teens turn into cold-hearted capitalists playing AT&T phone company simulation

Dan Rubin says:

SimCity and D&D have nothing on "New City Telephone Company," a business simulator that challenged 1970s kids to run a phone company. AT&T commissioned and distributed the game to schools in the mid-1970s, and this film documents two middle and high school classes as they navigate a minefield of disgruntled workers, plaintive investors, and shark-like sales teams.

Don't miss the evil half-smile of the cute redhead as she listens to a pensioner complain about company stock, or the room full of bored faces as the proctor explains in ridiculous detail the proper way to rank goals. If you enjoy watching nascent capitalists eagerly discuss how to get one over on the staff, this is the video for you.

AT&T Tech Channel: New City Telephone Company (Thanks, Paul!) Read the rest

Scarlett Johansson: $20 Million For The Avengers 2

According to The New York Post, Scarlett Johansson will become Hollywood's highest-paid woman, snagging a cool $20 million paycheck for assembling for the sequel to this spring's humble, low-budget sleeper hit The Avengers. This will mean that for her supporting role -- because there was no official lead in the ensemble superhero flick -- she will receive one million more dollars than Angelina Jolie made for her lead role in The Tourist, which was a colossal flop and a running joke at the Golden Globes in 2011. Does this mean more screen time for the Black Widow? Does it mean shawarma every night of the week? Is she making anywhere near what Robert Downey Jr. will make? (Answer to that: No, but no one is, really.) Read the rest

Let's compare two Philip Seymour Hoffman characters: Plutarch Heavensbee and Scotty from Boogie Nights

We all know that Philip Seymour Hoffman is an "actor's actor" -- a chameleon who can play all kinds of roles, whether they be dramatic or comedic, manipulative or a pushover. Now that we know he is playing head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee in Catching Fire (and, most likely, Mockingjay), let's look at a past role that probably didn't prepare him for this one, unless it totally did: Scotty from Boogie Nights. Read the rest

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