Car tells robot artist what to paint

A robot that paints water colors is super. A car that generates dozens of data streams is awesome. When you connect the two the result is super awesome

A grab bag of new Moleskine products

I recently received a box of Moleskine products to review. I've been using them for a week or so.

The Moleskine Portfolio XS ($(removed)) is a small business card and receipt holder. It has two accordion folders. I suppose it could work as a little wallet, too.

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Drum maniacs Buddy Rich and Ed Shaughnessy, 1978

The late great Buddy Rich and Ed Shaughnessy, who died earlier this year, burn up the skins on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, August 11, 1978. (via John Curley)

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Christmas sweaters featuring Satan, sasquatch, etc.

Shredders offers delightful intarsia sweaters with ironic, crass, and fun designs. You might think I'd be all about the Sasquatch Knit Bigfoot sweater but I prefer the Satanic Knit Baphomet design! Read the rest

History of scary clowns

Afraid of clowns? Perhaps you suffer from coulrophobia. Smithsonian looks at the "History and Psychology of Clowns Being Scary". Above, serial killer clown John Wayne Gacy who famously told police, "You know… clowns can get away with murder." Read the rest

Pile of logs cabin

Dutch cabaret performer Hans Liberg commissioned Piet Hein Eek to design him a delightful log cabin that from the outside really looks like a pile of logs. (via accidental mysteries) Read the rest

The Simonsound's imaginary monorail ride, a music video

Several months ago, I posted about "The Beam," a fantastic space age-inspired experimental music project by The Simonsound (Simon James). It's a wonderful "radiophonic ride" aboard an imaginary monorail through the history of the future. Now Simon brings us this video evidence of the journey. Simon says, the project is "inspired by futuristic transport at mid century World's Fairs, immersive 'dark rides' and the electronic music of pioneering composers such as Raymond Scott, Tom Dissevelt and Tristram Cary, 'The Beam' uses electronic sources such as the Buchla 200e Electric Music Box, alongside manipulated percussion, concrete sound and voices." Read the rest

Darth Vader's Theme vs. Beethoven

Master classical improvisor Richard Grayson satisfies an audience request to perform "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) in the style of Beethoven. Read the rest

Cable customers pay $5.54 a month for ESPN whether they want it or not

Cable bundling, whereby we have to pay for channels we don't want to get ones that we do, hits us in the pocket harder than we realize.

Disney, owner of ESPN, has argued that without revenue from bundling ”it would have to increase the monthly fee for viewers who want ESPN to about $15 a month.” ... As of now, ESPN programming is costing cable subscribers $5.54 a month. This figure can be compared to other sports networks costing subscribers just 75 cents per month, while other non-sports networks are around 28 cents per month.

ESPN is looking to combat these bundling issues with new technologies. With more and more consumers turning to second screens, the network is developing a “push button future”.

It's testament to how backward and clueless these guys are that they look at iPhones and think "push button future". [Sports Networker via Ruben Bolling] Read the rest

Lava Lamps are 50 years old!

The lava lamp turns 50 this year! The product's inventor, Edward Craven Walker, was inspired by a Christmas ornament containing oil and water. This month in 1963, he launched his company, now called Mathmos, named after the lava lake in Barbarella. Check out an early prototype below. Read the rest

Preload YouTube videos

ISP throttling YouTube half the time? Proxy IP-blocking tricks not working anymore? Here's the latest incantation to get video running. [Lifehacker] Read the rest

EU investigates equipping cars with automatic speed limiters

Mr. Hagar, in Europe you can and will drive 55.

In a move to reduce the 30,000 annual traffic fatalities in Europe each year, the European Union is planning to equip cars with technology that senses the speed limit and applies the brakes if the car is speeding.

The scheme would work either using satellites, which would communicate limits to cars automatically, or using cameras to read road signs. Drivers can be given a warning of the speed limit, or their speed could be controlled automatically under the new measures.

EU plans to fit all cars with speed limiters (Thanks, Matthew!)

Update: From the Blogs of the European Commission: “The Commission has supported past research into ISA. There is a current stakeholder consultation and study focusing on speed limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses. One aspect of that is whether ISA could in the long-term be an alternative. And a second consultation on in-vehicle safety systems in general. Taking account of the consultation results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things. That is all. (NB such 'staff working documents' are not adopted by the Commission at political level and have no legal status.) Nothing more is expected in the foreseeable future." Read the rest

Die NSA ist mein Eckermann

In Harpers, 2007, Scott Horton wrote:

Known for his biting satire and his dedication to Socialism, [dissident East German songwriter Wolf Biermann] chronicled his life under surveillance with a powerful sense of humor, and nowhere better than in the “Stasi Ballad” from 1974, with its classic refrain – “Die Stasi ist mein Eckermann.”

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The coolest web videos you missed over Labor Day, all in one place

Some of the most recent video selections you can find on our video archive page:

• Hay Devil: vortex whips field into an amazing sight

• Everyday twerking

• CDZA vs. YouTube: a musical battle experiment

• Danny Kaye + Louis Armstrong

• Scientists host 3-day snail rave

• Teachers who were at the 1963 March on Washington

• I Don't Need a Reason, by Dizzee Rascal

Death Cab For Cutie: Transatlanticism 10th Anniversary

• Hello? NSA? I have lost an email.

• Meet the voice behind many great movie trailers.

Boing Boing: Video archives Read the rest

Global NSA fallout: Brazilian government wants to create secure email system to rival Gmail, Hotmail

After the revelations of broad spying by the NSA, Brazil's government seeks to create a new, surveillance-proof email system that provides citizens an alternative to Gmail and other free web-based services. [HT: Simon Romero] Read the rest

Wikileaks' Assange asks Swedish police to investigate FBI, US intel activity

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher and Australian Senate candidate currently sheltered in Ecuador's London Embassy, "has lodged a formal complaint asking Swedish police to open a criminal investigation into alleged illegal United States intelligence activity in Europe directed against WikiLeaks and himself." [the Age] Read the rest

DEA's vast surveillance of Americans' phone communications dwarfs NSA's

In case you missed it, the latest domestic spying bombshell: At the New York Times, Scott Shane and Colin Moynihan report that for the past six years, at least, "law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans’ phone calls — parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency’s hotly disputed collection of phone call logs." Read the rest

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