Inside China's 'Silicon Valley of Hardware,' Shenzhen, with hardware hacker Bunnie Huang

In the first of a series of documentary videos about 'Future Cities,' WIRED UK has released a wonderful short doc on Huaqiangbei, the vast market district in Shenzhen, China.

They picked the best host and guide imaginable for this project, hardware hacker and researcher Andrew "Bunnie" Huang. Read the rest

UK startup offers landlords continuous, deep surveillance of tenants' social media

Here's Source Assured's pitch: landlords, if you write a requirement for tenants (and prospective tenants) to let us access their social media accounts into your lease/application process, we'll scrape all that data, use an unaccountable system to analyze it, and produce libelous, life-destroying dossiers on them that you can use to discriminate against people who seek shelter, the most fundamental human need after sustenance. Read the rest

Scanners let Oklahoma cops seize funds from prepaid debit cards without criminal charges

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety has purchased several 'Electronic Recovery and Access to Data' devices to install in police cruisers for seizing funds from prepaid debit cards during roadside arrests. Read the rest

Uber launched their schedule-ahead service today

Today Uber rolled out their new Scheduled Rides option, allowing you to schedule a ride 30 minutes to 30 days in advance. This could be especially handy for people needing an early morning lift to the airport. One hitch is that for now, it's only in Seattle, although it'll be "followed by other top business travel cities."

Here's how it works, according to Uber:

Select uberX and tap “Schedule a Ride.” Set your pickup date, time, location, and destination. Confirm the details of your upcoming trip and tap “Schedule uberX.” You can cancel at anytime before your ride is on the way. We’ll send you reminders both 24 hours and 30 minutes in advance of your pickup. You’ll be notified after your ride is on the way, as well as whether surge pricing applies.

Just make sure you're on time for your scheduled ride – otherwise you'll be fined. And if you're not in Seattle, you can still sign up to be the first in your city to try it. For more details on Uber's Scheduled Rides click here. Read the rest

Why did 31 people suddenly die in a Pakistan village? A horrible mystery solved

In India and Pakistan, the variety of traditional sweets prepared for special occasions seems infinite. One popular treat is laddu (or ladoo), sweet little sugary carb balls. They're basically cookies, and they're munched at big celebrations--weddings, births, and the like. Read the rest

Obama endorses Clinton in online video, urges Democratic Party to unite

President Barack Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton for president today, in a video posted to the Clinton campaign's Facebook and YouTube accounts, instantly shared far and wide. Read the rest

Guess what caused a fire in a house on High Street

A house caught fire in a home on High Street in Walworth, New York. After extinguishing the fire that was contained in a single locked room, investigators found 40 to 50 marijuana plants under grow lights inside.

According to the AP, the fire is thought to have been caused by an electrical problem. One of the home's residents was charged with a misdemeanor for illegally growing weed.

Read the rest

Prospective jurors refuse to serve under rapist-friendly judge Aaron Persky

The East Bay Times reports that "at least 10 prospective jurors" refused to participate in Judge Aaron Persky's next trial in protest at the cozy 6-month sentence (out in 12 weeks) he gave Stanford rapist Brock Turner.

"I can't be here, I'm so upset," one juror told the judge while the lawyers were picking the jury in the misdemeanor receiving stolen property case, according to multiple sources.

Another prospective juror stood up and said, "I can't believe what you did," referring to the six-month county jail sentence Persky handed to Turner, who was convicted for sexually assaulting an unconscious intoxicated woman last year outside a Stanford University frat party.

In each case, the judge said, "I understand," thanked the prospective juror and excused her or him from duty.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden wrote an open letter to Turner's victim today, praising her willingness to speak out about her treatment by her attacker and by the legal system.

And I am filled with furious anger — both that this happened to you and that our culture is still so broken that you were ever put in the position of defending your own worth.

It must have been wrenching — to relive what he did to you all over again. But you did it anyway, in the hope that your strength might prevent this crime from happening to someone else. Your bravery is breathtaking.

You are a warrior — with a solid steel spine.

Read the rest

Interview with Brian Brushwood of Scam School

Brian Brushwood is is the creator and host of over 400 episodes of Discovery’s Scam School, with over one million subscribers on YouTube. In 2015, his first full season of Hacking the System debuted on the National Geographic Channel (now available on Netflix). Brian has performed thousands of live stage shows (appearing in every state in the continental US), headlined 3 years at Universal Orlando, and recorded two Billboard #1 comedy albums with his “Night Attack” co-host, Justin Robert Young. Read the rest

Suspect arrested after Target bathroom explosion

A "small" bomb exploded in a women's bathroom at the Target store in Evanston, Illinois Wednesday, and police said they thought the attack was related to the company's pro-transgender policies. They changed their mind, however, after taking a 44-year-old woman into custody, reports the Chicago Tribune.

"The detectives are not currently looking for any known additional suspects, and (at) this point there is no indication that the incident is related to any policies that the Target store has in place," the release reads.

Evanston police requested the help of the Cook County bomb squad late Wednesday afternoon after an explosion in a Target store restroom

WGNtv's Patrick Elwood reported that no-one was in the bathroom when the device exploded and that it caused minor damage. The bomb was housed in a plastic bottle and contained no shrapnel.

Target upset conservatives recently by announcing that transgender customers would be permitted to use the bathrooms that they are most comfortable using, and police at first suspected a connection. Read the rest

Recreational drug kratom hits the same brain receptors as strong opioids

Six US states have banned the sale and use of the Kratom, a psychoactive plant-derived drug from Southeast Asia that is available online and in head shops. Researchers studying kratom have found that it affects brain receptors for strong opioids.

From C&EN:

A new study provides some data to support those states’ concerns (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, DOI: 10.1021/jacs.6b00360). A team of researchers shows for the first time that kratom’s primary constituent, mitragynine, and four related alkaloids bind to and partially activate human µ-opioid receptors (MORs), the primary targets of strong opioids in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract.

Countdown to kratom landing on the list of federally controlled substances in 3... 2... 1... Read the rest

Anti-Vax fraud still showing his movie in the US

After being shamed out of the Tribeca Film Festival, Anti-Vax hoaxer Andrew Wakefield continues to spread his lies. Someone in Kansas City thought giving time to Vaxxed, his conspiracy flick, was a good idea.

Via The Kansas City Star:

The anti-vaccination documentary “Vaxxed” was set to be part of this spring’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York. But then the festival and one of the film’s defenders, actor Robert De Niro, came under fire and pulled the film.

Now Kansas City area audiences will have a chance to see the controversial film for themselves...

...Wakefield is the British gastroenterologist who claimed to link autism to the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella. (De Niro has an autistic child.) Since then, his research has been called “an elaborate fraud,” and Wakefield’s medical license was revoked.

Read the rest

12-year-old ukulele player wows judges on America's Got Talent

Grace VanderWaal, age 12, got a standing ovation for her ukulele performance of her original song on America's Got Talent. Read the rest

Shatner sells you a Commodore VIC-20

One of my favorite computers of the 8 bit era, hocked by one of my favorite technology sales people of any.

Pre-dating his fine work for Priceline, Shatner learns to sell us the future!

(Thanks, Hugh Pearson!) Read the rest

A $6 Oral thermometer, for most of the mammals in your house

I'm glad I bought a cheap oral thermometer, and not a fancy one. I called my vet, vet asked me take the dogs temperature. I thought "I can do that."

Don't tell Hannah, she'll want me to wash it!

Clinical Digital Thermometer by Medalli® via Amazon Read the rest

Individually-shrinkwrapped potatoes are why we must destroy capitalism

Read the rest

Gun control: no constitutional right to concealed carry

The Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has determined there is no second amendment right to concealed carry.

Via Mother Jones:

This morning, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a long-awaited opinion in a case challenging how concealed-weapon permits are issued in California. Writing on behalf of the seven-judge majority, Justice William Fletcher delivered a blow to pro-gun advocates, stating that "there is no Second Amendment right for members of the general public to carry concealed firearms in public."

The case's lead plaintiff, Edward Peruta, had argued that the state's current system for issuing concealed-weapons permits is arbitrary and unconstitutional, since it gives sheriffs and police chiefs broad discretion in determining who has the "moral character" and "good cause" to pack a hidden gun. In his finding that such regulations are constitutional, Fletcher cited the Supreme Court's 2008 Heller decision, which affirmed the right to keep guns for self-defense, but found that "the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited."

Read the rest

More posts