Sadistic driver intentionally splashes people as he drives through puddles

"Black & McDonald is an integrated, multi-trade prime contractor serving government, institutions, industry and commerce across Canada, the US and overseas." Also, our drivers are huge assholes. [UPDATE 7/29/2018 - Driver got fired.)

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$1000 Oppo Find X phone fails bend test

Jerry of the excellent JerryRigEverything YouTube channel put the new Oppo Find X Android phone ($1000) to his custom stress test. Jerry's tested the durability of over 100 phones by scratching, burning, and bending them. When he tried bending this phone with his hands, Jerry discovered that it was very easy to bend, unlike 90% of the other phones he's tested. He has added the Oppo Find X to his shelf of shame. Read the rest

AI system looks at faces and rates them for responsibility, happiness, aggression, attractiveness, weirdness, and emotional stability

The Biometric Mirror scans people's faces and uses AI to compare their faces against a database of other faces to produce a personality profile of the scanned person. The reports include ratings for the individual's responsibility, happiness, aggression, attractiveness, weirdness, and emotional stability. The project lead is Dr Niels Wouters at the University of Melbourne's Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces. The project was created for the purpose of examining the ethics of such systems, not to commercialize it.

Facial recognition is already being used by police departments, most notably in China, which has announced plans to build an overarching surveillance network that is "omnipresent, completely connected, always on and fully controllable".

In Australia, legislation to create a national database of faces and other biometric markers is currently before parliament. For the recent Commonwealth Games, Queensland police matched drivers' licence photos with security footage.

City of Perth has deployed facial recognition cameras in the Perth CBD to identity what it calls "troublemakers" on a "Black Watchlist" that it controls. Critics say the local government is trying to be a shadow police force.

Aside from the dystopian scenario of an all-powerful government (Minority Report), there's the dystopian scenario of an all-powerful corporation (Bladerunner)

Facebook, already under scrutiny for data-mining practices, has rolled out facial recognition tools that consumer and privacy groups say violates user consent. The technology can be used to remotely identify people without their knowledge.

Jo Lauder of ABC (Australia) tried out the system and wrote about it. Her report is shown above. Read the rest

Shocker: lemon-powered batteries can't power an electric supercar

Even what's billed as the world's largest lemon battery can only generate enough juice to charge a small battery cell, so Mark Rober tries a few other fun power generators with a bunch of young scientists-to-be. Read the rest

Stainless steel and red wood Apple watch band

I am quite fond of this $29 Apple watch band. Read the rest

Pizzeria adds chairs to go with that little plastic table

In select locations, Canadian restaurant chain Boston Pizza has started adding 3D-printed chairs to surround that little plastic pizza-saver, aka the pizza table. They call it the Pizza Patio Set.


“Patio season is a big deal for Canadians,” says client senior director of marketing Adrian Fuoco. “This was all about creating something fun that was part of our larger patio season initiative. Ultimately, we found a way to bring together the two things we’re passionate about — patios and pizza.”

If you are not in their delivery zone but do have access to a 3D printer, you can create your own tiny pizza chairs.

(Foodiggity) Read the rest

Squirting superglue into a borax solution causes quite a reaction

Kids are going crazy making slime with borax and what-not after watching YouTube, but these household chemicals can have seriously powerful reactions that need to be done cautiously. Read the rest

At book tour stop, man accuses Sean Spicer of using racial slur; Spicer threatens to sue AP for reporting incident

At a Saturday bookstore signing, a black man "yelled at former White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a bookstore and accused Spicer of calling him a racial slur when they were students at a prep school decades ago," reports the AP. Spicer is now threatening to sue the AP for reporting Saturday's incident, which occurred in public and which was videotaped by local press.

Video of the encounter published by shows the man, identified as Alex Lombard, approaching Spicer at event.

"Sean, I was a day student at [Portsmouth] Abbey, too, with you,” Lombard said.

“Hey," Spicer replies. "Yes, how are you?”

You don’t remember that you tried to fight me?" Lombard said. "But you called me a [n-word] first."

The video then shows security escorting Lombard out of the event.

"I was 14 then. I was a scared kid then, Sean. I’m not scared to fight you now," Lombard can be heard yelling.

So much in American politics seems weirdly like kayfabe these days. Read the rest

There's a '9 to 5' sequel in the works

Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin are going to be back on the job in a sequel to their 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, as confirmed by Fonda.

Entertainment Weekly:

“My role is as an executive producer, and I’m working with the writers, with Lily, and talking to the writers,” Fonda told reporters at the Television Critics Association panel for her new HBO documentary, Jane Fonda in Five Acts. “Right now, Dolly, Lily and I are all intending to be in it.”

The film's original screenwriter Patricia Resnick will be co-writing the script with Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) under Fonda's executive production.


...They hope to make a story that tackles the work issues of 2018, including the wage gap, sexual harassment in the workplace, shifting technology, and outsourcing.

Dolly Parton also weighed in on on the storyline in a recent interview with ABC's Nightline, stating that with the current conversations around unequal pay and sexual harassment in the workplace, a sequel makes sense, and feels right to her and the other stars in a way it hadn’t before.

Can't. wait.

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Trump sours on Kushner, wishes his daughter married someone else

Evidently the Orange Menace is unimpressed by son-in-law Jared Kushner's attempts to bilk dollars out of his White House job, and longs for his daughter's purported ex-boyfriend.

Via Talking Points Memorandum:

The New York Times reported Saturday that President Donald Trump’s relationship with his son-in-law Jared Kushner has deteriorated over the past few months, and that the president now routinely complains that “Jared hasn’t been so good for me” and that he could have had NFL star Tom Brady as a son-in-law instead. (Short-lived White House communications direct Anthony Scaramucci has claimed that Ivanka Trump and Brady briefly dated.)

Trump has reportedly told his friends and aides that he wishes both Kushner and his daughter Ivanka would return to New York.

Yet the Times reports that because Kushner has outlasted many of his critics and rivals in an administration plagued by factionalism, infighting, and gossip, he isn’t likely to head for the exits anytime soon. On the contrary, he may soon take a more public role, especially now that his security clearance has been restored after months of suspension due to questions about his foreign contacts and financial ties.

Kushner and Ivanka, however, have made little-to-no progress on the policy areas assigned to them, including the Middle East peace process and paid family leave.

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Why Democratic Socialists aren't afraid to call themselves "Socialist" anymore

For generations, American mainstream politicians have smeared socialist movements by equating them with Stalinism and other forms of authoritarianism, but today, "socialism" is a label more and more people are embracing. Read the rest

David Garcia thinks he can become governor of Arizona by campaigning for progressive policies instead of against Republicans

Despite being home to millions of sensible people, including a large bloc of potentially progressive Latinx voters, Arizona keeps elevating billionaire-friendly (and billionaire backed) white supremacist authoritarians to high office. Read the rest

Why would a company give free tablets to prisons for inmate use?

Spoiler alert: to steal from prisoners and their families. Read the rest

Weekend Tunes: Oysterband--Here Comes the Flood

I was lucky enough to see Oysterband on this tour, back in 2009. With the shitstorm of lies, greed and hate that we've been enduring these past few years, Here Comes the Flood, from Oysterband's 2007 album Meet You There, has been on constant rotation in my home. Read the rest

Seattle passes America's most comprehensive labor protections for domestic workers

Domestic workers -- overwhelming female, overwhelmingly racialized -- have historically been exempted from traditional labor protections, from the minimum wage to workplace safety to recourse for harassment and worse. Read the rest

Experience the best of strategy gaming in Sid Meier's Civ VI

Winner of 15 E3 Awards, including Best PC Game and Best Strategy Game, Sid Meier's Civilization VI is a game that needs no introduction. But, in case you've been out of the loop for the last two decades, this franchise has consistently set the standard for addictive strategy gaming since its debut in 1991. Its latest installment continues to raise the bar, and you can get it, as well as the Rise and Fall expansion, on sale for more than 30% off today.

Putting you in charge of your own civilization, Sid Meier's Civilization VI tasks you with guiding your empire through the eras by waging war, conducting diplomacy, advancing your culture, and going head to head with history's greatest leaders. The Rise and Fall expansion takes the challenge further by adding more weight to your choices, as the right decisions can catapult your civilization into a Golden Age, while the wrong ones can send you back into a harrowing Dark Age.

You can get the Sid Meier's Civilization VI Bundle on sale today for $56.99, saving more than 30% off its usual price.


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