"Reporter" who wrote ridiculous story about Snowden leaks in China admits he was just acting as a government stenographer

Tom Harper wrote the ridiculous cover story in the Sunday Times in which anonymous government sources claimed that the Russians and Chinese had somehow gained the power to decrypt copies of the files Edward Snowden took from the NSA, depite the fact that these files were never in Russia and despite the fact that the UK government claims that when criminals use crypto on their communications, the state is powerless to decrypt them. Read the rest

White Supremacist wants to build Aryan enclave with Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign

It's been tough for Craig Cobb since discovering on live TV that his DNA shows he's “14% Black Sub-Saharan African.”

Watch Minecraft become holographic in Microsoft Hololens E3 demo

Amazing gameplay footage: Minecraft through the Hololens. The VR demo from Microsoft executive Sax Persson today at the annual E3 games convention completely transforms the experience of Minecraft.

Microsoft acquired Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 billion last year.

From PopSci:

“This is a live demo, with real working code,” Persson said, before donning the HoloLens and projecting a Minecraft map onto a wall, and then a table onstage. Microsoft announced Minecraft would be a main attraction of the HoloLens earlier in the year, but this is the first working demo the company has shown to the public.

Viewers were able to see Persson’s augmented reality through a “special camera” outfitted to show the HoloLens display in real time, as he played the game on the wall with an Xbox controller.

Persson then walked over to the table, said, “create world,” and watched as the Minecraft world poured onto the table. This was met with perhaps the loudest applause of Microsoft’s presentation, as he continued to use voice commands and gestures to manipulate the world. The virtual projection constrained itself to the edges of the table well, and the camera was able to look inside of structures by moving through the virtual walls.

No HoloLens release date yet.

More at Boing Boing's OFFWORLD: “The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event

[Kotaku on YouTube]

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Dog goes bonkers when food bin is opened, manages to contain herself adorably

“My dog gets super excited at the food bin being opened, yet she's very well disciplined.” Read the rest

NASA's Cassini spacecraft to do close fly-by of Saturn's moon Dione on June 16

Cassini will get as close as 321 miles (516 kilometers) of Dione's surface if all goes as planned.

Rock solid car mount - will not budge, droop, or wobble

The folks at Winner sent me the Montar universal car mount to try out. I was already happy with my air vent mount, but I was willing to see how it compared. As soon as I started using it, I realized I would never go back. This thing sticks to my windshield and simply won't budge, no matter how much torque I apply while inserting/removing my phone with one hand.

The suction cup is coated with a very sticky rubber. It reminds me of those toy octopuses that stick to the wall when you throw them. It adheres well to the textured surface of my standing desk. It does not stick to the dashboard of my Prius, but it comes with a plastic disk that you can stick on the dashboard, which will stick to the suction cup. (I'm not going to use the disk because I am concerned it will mar the dashboard.)

The rubberized spring loaded jaws grip the phone so firmly that there's no chance it'll pop out should you drive over a speed bump or pothole. The jaws open wide enough to hold my iPhone 6 Plus in its case.

Check out the video below for a demonstration of this excellent car mount.

Montar Universal Car Mount ($(removed)) on Amazon

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Listen to Isaac Asimov read his favorite short story "The Last Question"

Isaac Asimov wrote "The Last Question" in one sitting. It appeared in the November 1956 issue of Science Fiction Quarterly and Asimov said it was "by far my favorite story of all those I have written."

It's fun hearing Asimov read it in his energetic Brooklyn accent. But if you listen to Leonard Nimoy's magnificent reading (below), you'll understand why it is usually much better to have a trained actor read a story, instead of the author.

[via] Read the rest

And the winners of the international iPhone Photography Awards are...

Out of thousands of photographs entered from all over the world,  this year's top Photographer of the Year of the iPhone Photography Awards went to Michal Koralewski of Poland. His black and white winning shot (above), Sounds of the Old Town, captures the emotion-filled face of a bearded man playing the accordion in a Warsaw market place.

Second place went to David Craik of Surrey, England for a photo of birds, Cafe Birds, he took with his iPad mini (below).

Third place went to Yvonne Lu of New York for her iPhone snap, Before Sunset (below), which gives us a voyeuristic glimpse of a sleeping couple on a train.

Speaking to Time magazine, Koralewski gives us a pointer:

“If you want to take a good photograph, first you need to cut out distractions in the background and focus on the essential parts of the frame. It’s especially important if you take photos with a smartphone,” says Koralewski who also encourages attention to light and experimenting with different angles for varying perspectives.

The top three winners mentioned above will each receive an Apple Sport Watch. There were also three winners each for 19 other categories, including food, travel and portrait. The first place winner of each of these categories will receive a Gold Bar from a gold mint. In its eighth year, the IPPA began awarding phone photographers when iPhones first launched. They are currently taking entries for 2016. To see specifics, click here.

Click here for more winning photographs. Read the rest

Music: "I Don't Need No Doctor," Humble Pie (1971)

He does not need a doctor. Read the rest

The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event

Annual video game press conferences are often an assault on the senses, and on taste. We found the cool stuff for you.

80s Drug Czar William Bennett – yep, still an asshole

Moral scold/problem gambler William "Ram" Bennett co-wrote an op-ed for the LA Times complaining that people have come to the realization that legalizing marijuana isn't such a bad idea after all. Bennett longs for the good old days, when white patricians called the shots:

Over the years, others who have opposed legalization include Republicans Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and Jack Kemp, and think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute and the Claremont Institute.

Remember when marijuana prohibition resulted in racist policies, violent drug cartels, widespread government corruption, pot laced with dangerous chemicals, an untaxable black market, a militarized police, a massive for-profit prison industry, an economy-draining and useless drug war, and children being lured into the drug trade? I remember it, and it sucked. Please go back to Fox News where people believe your bloviating bullshit, Mr Bennett.

RELATED: Don't miss Jacob Sullum's brutal takedown of Going to Pot, a new book co-written by Bennett. Sullum gives many examples from the book that reveal it as a "rambling, repetitive, self-contradicting hodgepodge of scare stories, misleading comparisons, unsupportable generalizations, and decontextualized research results."

Image: Wikipedia. Original photo by Gage Skidmore. Read the rest

Chris Ware's "Minecraft Playdate" cover on New Yorker

Did Chris Ware sneak into our house to draw this? That's my daughter on the beanbag. Read the rest

Excellent Mars Attacks! face paint

Mars Attacks! was a lurid, horrifcally gory series of Topps bubble gum cards produced in the 1960s. Makeup artist Marla Malone created this wonderful face painting tribute to the genius of artist Norm Saunders, who painted the Topps Cards. Watch the video below.

This #marsattack video has been enjoying some viral hits the last few days on #Facebook another look for any of you new guys here !!! Thanks to all daily on here #facepainting #makeupmobb #iloveart

A video posted by Make up Artist MMG (@mariamalone1122) on Jun 2, 2015 at 4:57pm PDT

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Court rules: Workers who use medical marijuana after hours can be fired

Although marijuana is legal to purchase – both for medical and recreational use –  in Colorado under state law, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled today that marijuana users can be fired from their jobs for using marijuana - even for medical reasons and outside of work hours. The case went to court nine months ago after Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic with a medical marijuana card, was fired by Dish Network in 2010 for using marijuana outside of work to control his seizures. His attorney, Michael Evans, says Coats' has no other options.

"For people like Brandon Coats, there really isn't a 'choice,' as MMJ is the only substance both he and his (Colorado-licensed) physicians know of to control his seizures due to his quadriplegia," Evans said. "He has to have it. "

But until marijuana laws are changed on the federal level, the federal ban on marijuana will always trump state laws, and in Colorado it is up each company to come up with their own policy on marijuana use after hours. For more details on the ruling, click here.

Image: "A medical cannabis patient's supply of medicine in their home." Sonya Yruel/Drug Policy Alliance Read the rest

John Carpenter will care about the 'Big Trouble in Little China' remake if they pay him

"'I'm ambivalent about a remake,' said Carpenter, who is also known for directing Halloween and Escape From New York. 'On the other hand, it depends on how much they pay me.'" (via Hollywood Reporter) Read the rest

Pizza-slicing scissors

Slicing your pizza with scissors just makes sense -- better slices, cleaner topping-severance, and easier sharpening and handling than a wheel. (via Canopy) Read the rest

Anti-corruption journalist immolated by cops, allegedly under orders from minister

Jagendra Singh reported on corruption in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh on his Facebook account, which allegedly prompted Ram Murti Singh Verma, a ruling party politician, to send police to his house to burn him alive; he died a week later of his injuries. Read the rest

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