Snap is developing drone for users to share overhead videos and photos: NYT report

One of the products that Snapchat owner Snap Inc. is developing as “a modern-day camera company” is a drone, reports the New York Times today.

Sources for this bold claim are “three people briefed on the project who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential.”

The drone would help users take videos and photographs from overhead, then share that visual data with Snap, and presumably, other users of the service.

Snap is scheduled to go public later this week in a long-anticipated IPO. Read the rest

Uber CEO snaps at driver complaining of pay rates, later vows to 'grow up,' get 'leadership help'

After Bloomberg News published a video of Travis Kalanick being a total dick to an Uber driver who complained about how poorly Uber drivers are paid, the Uber CEO and co-founder issued a sorry-ish, apology-ish public statement. Read the rest

Trump threatens to publicly release private data of immigrants and foreign visitors, ACLU responds

President Trump wants to dox all the brown people. Read the rest

Xenomorph tiki mugs

Mondo Tees has announced a line of Aliens xenomorph tiki mugs, ("in space, no one can hear you drink"), available for pre-order now with ship dates this summer (some glazes only available at Alamo Drafthouses). Read the rest

Update: The Future of HOME

Here's a brief audio update on the immediate future of HOME: Stories From L.A. The TL;DR version is, I'm slowing down the production schedule to make the project more sustainable over the long term. Give a listen for a little more background on the hows and whys of it all. The show returns this spring for Season 5, and in the meantime, the archive is a great way to load up your podcatcher. (Oh, also: I'm looking for a social media/publicity ninja; if that's you, drop me a line.)

HOME is a proud member of the Boing Boing Podcast Network

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If you're already a subscriber, many thanks. And if you have a minute to leave the show a short review at the iTunes Store it'd be much appreciated.  Read the rest

New secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross has ties to illicit Russian finance

Billionaire Wilbur Ross, 79, was sworn in today as secretary of commerce. According to DC Report, Ross' "role as Vice Chair and a leading investor in the Bank of Cyprus, the largest bank in Cyprus, one of the key offshore havens for illicit Russian finance," makes him a poor choice for this position. But the Senate voted 72-27 to confirm him anyway.

Ross’ involvement in the Bank of Cyprus raises many questions about his judgment, but also about the Trump Administration’s seemingly endless direct and indirect connections with friends and associates of Vladimir Putin, who all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies say conspired to interfere in the November 2016 U.S. election on behalf of Donald Trump.

Whether or not these connections involve any criminality, these are the kind of relationships that most American business people would not tolerate for 30 seconds.

After all, as discussed below, since the 1990s Cyprus has served as one the top three offshore destinations for Russian and former Soviet Union flight capital, most of it motivated by tax dodging, kleptocracy, and money laundering. As of 2013, just before the banking crisis, Russian deposits accounted for at least a third of all bank deposits in Cyprus. As one leading newspaper put it, “Russian money is in fact at the heart of the island’s economy.”

The Bank of Cyprus caters to the island nation’s large Russian population. Nor is Ross’ Bank of Cyprus in particular – now probably at least half owned by Russians, as we‘ll see -- any stranger to money laundering, tax dodging, or odious finance.

Read the rest

Best boxer briefs: Calvin Klein

My wife started giving me Calvin Klein boxer briefs for gifts a while ago, and now they are my favorite. No weird tags or seams to irritate my tender skin, and the elastic doesn't wear out and create the droopy drawers effect. Amazon has a sale on a 2-pack for $17. Read the rest

Inside the Cup Noodles museum

In Yokohama, Japan, there is a museum dedicated to Cup Noodles (カップヌードル), the iconic brand of instant ramen created in 1971 by Momofuku Ando. Just looking at photos of the place jacked up my sodium levels. From Sam Graham's trip report in Juxtapoz:

In Japan, there is a museum for everything: parasites, toto toilets and... ramen. We chose the latter and visited the Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama to explore the art and history behind this cheap and convenient meal. This included a life-sized silver sculpture of Nissin founder Momofuku Ando, numerous artistic interpretations on the Cup Noodles theme, and of course the historic wall of ramen through the years.

Read the rest

Live: Spewing eruption of Mount Etna in Italy

Here's a live video of fiery Mount Etna, on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. The tallest and most active volcano in Europe erupted Monday night, and its pulsing, spewing flames are stunning - and hypnotic. Who needs a lava lamp when you've got the real thing? Read the rest

Small dog fails to convince big dog she is big

Nemo barely has to move to fend off Zuul's most powerful attacks. Read the rest

1991 Radio Shack commercial for computers

Looks just like the Apple Store. Read the rest

Small-molecule cocktail could reverse hearing loss

Scientists conducting research into hearing loss have come across a compound the regenerates cochlear hair cells, which could lead to a cure for certain kinds of deafness.

From C&EN:

The snail-shell-shaped cochlea of the inner ear contains some 15,000 hair cells that are needed for humans to hear. Audiologist dogma holds that once these cells die off, they never grow back, leading to hearing loss.

But a new study suggests that hair cell death may not be as immutable as it seems. Scientists from Harvard, MIT, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary have discovered a mixture of molecules that can dramatically reverse hair cell loss in the cochleas of mice.

Read the rest

Watch: 'The Trump Song,' a parody of The Village People's 'YMCA'

Watch East India Comedy perform "The Trump Song" to the tune of The Village People's "YMCA." I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry! Read the rest

Watch these sea lions play volleyball (quite well)

You might say they have a nose for it.

Read the rest

Barry's tea is pretty great

When Nietzche suggested staring into the abyss, he meant an over-steeped cup of Barry's Gold Blend. Read the rest

Xeni passionately credits the ACA in helping her survive cancer

Our Xeni visited MSNBC's 'All in With Chris Hayes' to explain that the Affordable Care Act helped her survive cancer, and why a thoughtless repeal will kill thousands of fellow Americans. Read the rest

As anti-Semitic bomb threats continue, ADL office evacuated in San Francisco

The terror attacks against Jewish folks in America continue. No one seems to care. Read the rest

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