Last Chance Ends Tonight: Save 40% on Jamstik, the award-winning wireless smart guitar

Hey there, rockstar. Go ahead and let your star shine. You deserve to be heard, and not just by your cat when you play alone in your living room. If jamming out is your jam, you’re going to need a bigger beat. Instead of just sitting on your porch, strumming away, you could be a straight-up recording artist right in your own home with this easy technology upgrade. The Jamstik Wireless Smart Guitar is currently 40% off and takes your guitar playing from solo show to high tech album sesh.

It’s small, lightweight and super easy to set up, connecting in a flash to your tablet with one simple wire. Rather than trying to finagle tons of antiquated recording equipment, simply plug this guitar into your device and unlock tons of new tricks. The software connects you with all the hot music apps to record and edit your sound, plus a bevy of teaching platforms if you want to up your skill level with customized music tutoring. The infrared light technology on the strummer lets you see your hands in action so you can correct any errors, plus it’s got full MIDI controller functionality that lets you swap sounds and change octaves.

Does the music inspiration sometimes strike you late at night after everyone has gone to bed? No problem. Just plug this smart guitar into your iPad and listen with headphones on for a party of one. This powerful instrument is 40% off and comes compatible with all the top music apps, plus it’s so portable you can take your tunes with you anywhere you go. Read the rest

Tzump_(Wikipedia article from the future)

One of the funny things about Boing Boing is gaining access to the broken ansible in the lair's basement. Due to some as yet untheoretical relativistic cross-wiring, all it can access are random wikipedia articles from the distant future. We've been instructed in no uncertain terms never to use it, and the last editor to do so disappeared in a flash of late 1970s-era BBC special effects, presumably an extremely painful demise. This 24-bit PNG found on their laptop didn't make a lot of sense until lately; here it is for your topical interest. Read the rest

Open Source Initiative says standards aren't open unless they protect security researchers and interoperability

The Open Source Initiative, a nonprofit that certifies open source licenses, has made an important policy statement about open standards. Read the rest

Second Wachowski sibling, Lilly, comes out as a transgender woman

The Wachowski Sisters. Deal with it. Read the rest

Goodnight, sweet Mythbusters, and tribute supercut videos sing thee to thy rest

Watch this beautiful homage to Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman's Mythbusters, the much-loved show now ending its epic TV run with a 19th and final season on Discovery. Read the rest

Help wanted: Simply Secure is hiring an ops person!

Simply Secure is a nonprofit whose advisory board I volunteer for; they're devoted to making usable, human-centered interfaces to privacy tools that anyone can use, and they're hiring. Read the rest

Canada's next bank notes will feature portraits of women

...instead of Spock's great-great-great-grandfather. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Twitter on International Women's Day, and invited the public to nominate women to appear on the new notes. Read the rest

Andrew Lang's classic Blue Fairy Book free -- Kindle edition and audiobook

A first edition of Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book (1889) will run you about $(removed) for a copy in good condition. Amazon has a free Kindle edition.

You can also download a free audiobook version.

From Abe Books:

Andrew Lang (1844-1912) was a Scottish poet, novelist and literary critic, but his enduring legacy is not his prodigious writing. Lang is best remembered for his contribution to folklore and storytelling thanks to his 12-volume ‘Fairy Books’ collection.

Many people in the late Victorian era considered traditional fairytales to be unfit for children because of their brutal and violent themes, so English collections of fairytales were rare during this period. Lang, on the other hand, grew up reading classic fairy tales during his childhood in the rural Scottish Borders and he believed that the next generation of children should not be subjected to the dreamy, gentle, flower-orientated fairy tales that were popular at the time.

The first of his collections was the Blue Fairy Book (1889), for which Lang pulled together tales from the Brothers Grimm, Madame d’Aulnoy, the Arabian Nights, and many other sources. The first edition had 5,000 copies, which sold for six shillings each. The book did reasonably well and led to the release of the Red (1890) and Green Fairy Books (1892), in the preface of the latter Lang predicted that this third volume would be his last. However, Lang underestimated the appeal of these tales culled from all corners of the earth including Africa, Norway, North America and China.

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7-pack of disposable fountain pens in assorted colors for $12

I got this set of 7 fountain pens for my daughter, who is studying art in college. The pens have a stainless steel nib and come in seven different ink colors. The turquoise is my favorite, but I wish it had a pen with Brady Bunch Kitchen orange. Read the rest

MOS: Selected Works – A collection of the playful architect company's unusual and eccentric work

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

If the enormous hairy solar chimneys that these architects once built in the middle of Long Island City don’t make you smile, then your sense of play might need renovation. The fun-loving, aggressively eccentric work of MOS Architects includes some recurring motifs: canopies, unusual materials, solar chimneys, shaft lighting, and buildings that look like blocks tumbled to earth. Engaging for architects and non-architects alike, this is a book that I keep picking up: to look through the illustrations, to wonder at, to think about how to work creatively, to show something weird and wild to a friend. While there is some discussion of theory in the included essays, this is a book refreshingly light on architectural jargon.

The architectural historian Lucia Allais suggests in an included essay that one of the primary questions that the work of MOS poses is, “Is this simple or complex?” While the works presented are often simple, the reactions they provoked for me were complex, ranging from confusion to glee to disbelief. Crammed with 300 images, the just-released MOS: Selected Works demonstrates the firm’s unusual range of having produced buildings, installations, furniture, software, films, and pavilions, along with smaller works (like this book).

MOS, as a firm, is on a very serious mission to advance the limits of architecture, but without taking themselves too seriously. Their hilarious office manual is included in the book and will inspire glee in anyone who has ever worked in a corporate office, advising, “You will arrive at the Office when you are awake and ready to work. Read the rest


A short story about self-satisfaction, nerdcrime, and the 2008 economic meltdown. [5 min read]

Snowden director Oliver Stone on concerns about the NSA

On Sunday, Oliver Stone showed his Snowden film, due out this Christmas, to a group at the Sun Valley Film Festival with a Q&A following. From the Hollywood Reporter:

“We moved (filming) to Germany, because we did not feel comfortable in the U.S, (Stone said.) "We felt like we were at risk here. We didn’t know what the NSA might do, so we ended up in Munich, which was a beautiful experience...."

Despite the director’s involvement in the movie, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Snowden and Shailene Woodley as Mills, “No studio would support it,” he said. “It was extremely difficult to finance, extremely difficult to cast. We were doing another one of these numbers I had done before, where pre-production is paid for by essentially the producer and myself, where you’re living on a credit card.”

Eventually, financing came through from France and Germany. “The contracts were signed, like eight days before we started,” he noted. “It’s a very strange thing to do [a story about] an American man, and not be able to finance this movie in America. And that’s very disturbing, if you think about its implications on any subject that is not overtly pro-American. They say we have freedom of expression; but thought is financed, and thought is controlled, and the media is controlled. This country is very tight on that, and there’s no criticism allowed at a certain level. You can make movies about civil rights leaders who are dead, but it’s not easy to make one about a current man.”

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Video: "A History of Rock in 15 Minutes"

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Ostrich chases bicyclists

Here's an ostrich chasing after two bicyclists. Is the bird mad at them? There's no description on the YouTube page, but I was surprised to learn that ostriches can run fast and for a long time. Read the rest

What the presidential candidates would look like with beards

Redditor Cakeflourz photoshopped beards onto the 2016 presidential candidates.

Bernie look great with that Mitch Miller beard!

[via] Read the rest

Vintage demo reel from computer graphics firm behind the original Tron lightcycles

Marvel at this computer graphics demo reel created c.1980 by the company Mathematical Applications Group (MAGI). More specifically, you're seeing the work of the firm's MAGI/SynthaVision group, one of the main outfits that created the CGI for Tron, including the light cycles (clip below)! From Wikipedia:

In 1981, MAGI was hired by Disney to create half of the majority of the 20 minutes of CGI needed for the film Tron. Twenty minutes of CGI animation, in the early 1980s, was extremely gutsy, and so MAGI was a portion of the CGI animation, while other companies were hired to do the other animation shots. Since Synthavision was easy to animate and could create fluid motion and movement, MAGI was assigned with most of Tron's action sequences. These classic scenes include the light cycle sequence and Clu's tank and recognizer pursuit scene. Despite the high quality images that Synthavision was able to create, the CSG solids modeling could not create anything with complex shapes and multiple curves, so simpler objects like the light cycles and tanks were assigned to MAGI. MAGI was given $1.2 million to finance the animation needed for Tron. MAGI needed more R&D and many other engineers who were working in government contacts at MAGI were assigned back into MAGI's "Synthavision" division.

MAGI sped up the process of supplying its work to Disney Studios in Burbank by a transcontinental computer hook-up. Before each scene was finalized in MAGI's lab in Elmsford, New York, it was previewed on a computer monitor at Disney.

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Claimdog - a site that finds and collects your unclaimed money

Claimdog is a new online service that tracks down money owed to you. I tried it this morning and found out that my wife was owed some kind of settlement check for $103.60 from an insurance company from over 20 years ago. They charged me $10 for the service, which seems reasonable for how easy it was to claim the money. (Missing Money is a free site, which you can use if you are willing to file a claim yourself.)

Try it yourself, and if you strike it rich, let us know in the comments! Read the rest

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