Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone," new interactive music video

The new interactive, faux channel-surfing video for Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", created by Vania Heymann, is quite an accomplishment. I think it's the best interactive music video since Chris Milk's Chrome masterpiece "The Wilderness Downtown" for Arcade Fire's song "We Used To Wait" in 2010. The interactive "Like A Rolling Stone" coincides with the new "Bob Dylan: The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1," available as a box set of 46 CDs or as a limited edition USB key inside a harmonica.

Bob Dylan: "Like A Rolling Stone" interactive music video Read the rest

Xbox One review: a weekend with Microsoft's new console

Rob Beschizza takes Microsoft's new console for a spin. It's good enough, but there aren't enough good games and apps yet.

Price-drop for Makies, design-it-yourself 3D-printed dolls

Makies, the 3D-printed toy company that lets you design your own poseable action doll, has just announced a major price-drop, to £69 (down from £99), just in time for the hols! Makies is based in east London, and ships worldwide.

(Disclosure: I'm extremely proud to be married to Alice Taylor, the founder and CEO of MakieLab) Read the rest

Tank Riot podcast on Lou Reed

Viktor from the Tank Riot podcast writes, "We were annoyed with the rubbish 3 minute obits we saw about Lou in mainstream media. He was a hero of ours and we took the time to discuss him properly. We think that fellow Happy Mutants would like this perspective. He was a truly brilliant guy and an influence on all of alternative culture." Read the rest

Example of how the police can search your car without a warrant or your consent [video]

Question: "Am I free to go or am I being detained?"

Answer: "Duh constitution don't apply at checkpoints."

The cops are desperate to bust this young man. They are surprised to discover that they are being videoed.

(Thanks, Mikea) Read the rest

Data visualization shows US isolation in pushing for brutal Trans-Pacific Partnership

Gabriel Michael, a PhD candidate at George Washington University, subjected the IP Chapter of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaked by Wikileaks last week to statistical analysis. The leaked draft has extensive footnotes indicating each country's negotiating positions. By analyzing the frequency with which the US appears as the sole objector to other nations' positions, and when the US is the sole proponent of clauses to which other nations object, Michael was able to show that TPP really is an American-run show pushing an American agenda, not a multilateral trade deal being negotiated to everyone's mutual benefit. Though Canada is also one of the main belligerents, with even more unilateral positions than the USA. Read the rest

Stolen art hoarding son of Nazi art dealer living in fantasy

The LA Times reports:"'I hope everything will be cleared up quickly, so I can finally have my pictures back,' Gurlitt said." Read the rest

Boars, Gore, and Swords: New Boing Boing podcast!

Look -- Boing Boing has a new podcast! It's called Boars, Gore, and Swords (BGaS for short). It's hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and other lots of other things. You should know that they use salty language. Enjoy! -- Mark

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss chapters Arya VII and Bran III in A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Also: it’s Ivan’s Birthday episode! He joins Red to drink a bottle of wine, discuss Ivan's Give Me Fiction live storytelling show, Arya and archery, 200-yard archery shots, The Hound and Canadian Gold, Hodoring, and mind control. They end with discussion of Ender’s Game and the Thor sequel.

GET BGaS: RSS | On iTunes | Download episode Read the rest

Monty Python to reunite

From the Mirror:"A spokesman for the Pythons remained tight-lipped on what form the reunion would take, and whether they would perform live, in a TV special or film. But he said: 'A press conference is set for Thursday where the Pythons themselves will be unveiling their plans to work together again.'" Fun! Read the rest

Roadblock stops drivers to collect saliva and blood samples

UPDATE: I made a few corrections to the post, as marked.

Reported on the Belarusskiy Partizan a local Texas TV news program:

Some drivers along a busy Minsk Fort Worth street on Friday were stopped at a police roadblock and directed into a parking lot, where they were asked by DAI agents federal contractors for samples of their breath, saliva and even blood.

It was part of a Belarus government research study aimed at determining the number of drunken or drug-impaired drivers.

"It just doesn't seem right that you can be forced off the road when you're not doing anything wrong," said Yuliya Gordyenko Kim Cope, who said she was on her lunch break when she was forced to pull over at the roadblock on Ploshcha Svabody Street in central Minsk Beach Street in North Fort Worth.

The DAI National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is spending $7.9 million on the survey over three years, said participation was "100 percent voluntary" and anonymous.

But Gordyenko Cope said it didn't feel voluntary to her -- despite signs saying it was.

"I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn't let me and forced me into a parking spot," she said.

Thank goodness this would never happen in a true democracy.

Drivers Stopped at Roadblock Asked for Saliva, Blood (Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest

NSA engaged in illegal mass-spying on Norway's phone system

Norway is the latest US ally to erupt in outrage at the news that the NSA was intercepting millions of its phone calls in total disregard for Norwegian law. A new Snowden leak shows that between Dec 8, 2012 and Jan 8, 2013, the NSA logged 33,186,042 Norwegian phone calls, intercepting an enormous amount of sensitive data about Norwegians' private lives. Last June, the former Norwegian prime minister was assured by senior US officials that no such interception had taken place. In addition to being a NATO member, Norway is a close surveillance partner with the US, part of the "nine eyes" surveillance partnership. Read the rest

"Selfie" named word of the year

A car selfie, at that.

By the Oxford Dictionaries

: "A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website." Note, this does not mean it will necessarily be included in the Oxford English Dictionary. I guess it's sort of like a dead Pope's first miracle on the way to sainthood? Anyway, selfies are wonderful, humane, normal things to create and share, and one should be suspicious of those who hate them too much. Read the rest

Tennessee school safety officer arrests parent for calmly objecting to pick-up policy

Here's a video of a Cumberland County, Tennessee school safety officer illegally arresting a parent who disagreed with the school's policy on picking up kids. The policy had recently changed, creating a long traffic jam, so the soon-to-be-arrested man walked to the school to get his kids.

The school safety officer was reportedly upset because the parent had called the local sheriff to complain about the school's new pickup policy and the long waits, and what followed was an argument in which the reasonable, quiet-spoken and polite parent was arrested for "disorderly conduct" by the school safety officer, who put him in cuffs and then into the back of a cruiser without advising him of his rights or enumerating the charge against him.

Presumably the officer was trying to help the local school board get rid of excess cash on its books by creating enormous, pointless liabilities for it.

Update: Here's local coverage from 6ABC/WATE: The school is South Cumberland Elementary. Officer Absolute Obedience is actually Sheriff Deputy and School Resource Officer Avery Aytes. Jim Howe is the dad. Amanda Long, his fiancee, shot the video.

Aytes's boss, Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess is described as saying he "hasn't seen the video and doesn't need to, because it won't tell the whole story. He says Aytes was just doing his job." Read the rest

Vancouver's new building code bans doorknobs

The City of Vancouver -- Canada's only city with its own building code -- is mandating that new doors be fitted with lever-handles instead of doorknobs. The move is intended to increase accessibility -- a doorknob requires substantially more dexterity and strength than a lever -- but it will also make things easier for people with full hands. Doorknobs will remain in use for decades in Vancouver, of course (housing stock has a long shelf-life), but over time, they will dwindle away to historical curiosities. (via Hacker News) Read the rest

Fascinating Edge.org video series: "What's new in social science?"

If you're not hip to Edge.org, it's legendary book agent John Brockman's hub for really smart scientists and other big thinkers to share ideas with each other and the public. At the site, you'll find hundreds of conversations and essays from the likes of Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Daniel Kahneman, Rebecca Saxe, Douglas Rushkoff, Ryan Phelan, and many other very, very bright people. Recently, Edge hosted a small conference, HeadCon '13: What's New In Social Science, and they're now rolling out a series of videos documenting the provocative talks from the event. With this series, they took a rather nontraditional approach to the videos.

Working with BB pal Jason Wishnow (formerly TED's video director), they recorded the talks with five cameras to present a very unique perspective on the proceedings. Above is Yale psychology professor June Gruber's talk about the study of positive emotion and how "they may signal dysfunction and may not actually, in all circumstances and in all intensities, be good for us." Below is video of Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan, co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. A new video is released every Monday. Next week: Brown University professor Fiery Cushman, who studies morality and social cognition, on "The Paradox of Automatic Planning." Watch these in full-screen mode for full effect! More info and transcripts at: HeadCon '13: What's New In Social Science? Read the rest

Holy Robin!

Holy holy! (Holy via Devour!) Read the rest

G4S rips off UK government for £24M, wants to continue receiving government contracts

G4S, the titanic security contractor, has admitted to overcharging the UK Ministry of Justice £24M for its contract to monitor offenders' tracking tags. This is the latest mass-scale cock-up from the wildly profitable firm, whose recent hall of shame includes forging documents in order to deport asylum seekers, catastrophic failure to deliver London Olympics security, and complete mismanagement of a South African prison.

G4S offered to return the money, but the Ministry of Justice rejected the offer.

The firm is anxious to retain its eligiblility to bid on future government contracts, including the private municipal police forces for which it has aggressively lobbied. Read the rest

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