Rogue Print's inaugural tee design for 2020 is a mashup Iain Banks (previously, RIP)/Black Flag tribute available as a baseball tee or a regular one -- both ship with a set of writers as bands stickers. Read the rest
It's hard to find a web-based profession — or any profession, for that matter — that doesn't require you to deal with PDFs. They're universally recognized, they're used for tons of official documents, and they're stubbornly resistant to editing.
That's by design, of course. But technology always finds a workaround. And if you've got a Mac, your best hack, in this case, is PDF Expert.
With this award-winning software, PDFs become as malleable as a Word doc. You can easily edit any line of text, insert links or add signatures with a simple click or two. There's no longer the need to print out a file, sign your name, scan it and return it. This makes it invaluable for invoices, taxes and a host of other everyday documents.
it can even make longer PDFs infinitely more manageable by merging multiple pages into a single file that you can send across a range of devices. Even if the recipient doesn't own the software, they'll thank you for the time saver.
In New Jersey, a woman who apparently lost her temper over having to wait in a long line at a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office snapped into a violent rage, smashing computer equipment, assaulting two staffers, and kicking police officers when they tried to arrest her, authorities say. Read the rest
I just bought a copy of Sid Meier's Civilization VI for Nintendo Switch because it's selling for [amazon_link asins='B07HH8ZSMM' template='PriceLink' store='boingboing' marketplace='US' link_id='a046c09a-5dee-4d89-89fd-faa90c3f599e'], which is a lot less than it usually goes for. Read the rest
All 176 people on board died.
The Ukrainian airliner that went down just after liftoff in Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard, probably suffered a technical malfunction and was not brought down by a missile -- that's what various Western intelligence sources are now saying.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 dropped from about 8,000 feet to earth in a fireball shortly after take-off from Tehran. Read the rest
After successful treatment for pancreatic cancer this summer, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she’s 'cancer free.' Read the rest
What if you took Segway's standard self-balancing technology, but you didn't even have to stand on it?
That's basically the promise of the new Segway S-Pod, a "vision for the future of mobility" that the company announced at CES 2020. It was supposedly was inspired by the Gyrosphere from Jurassic World, but let's be real — we just got one step closer to the futuristic lethargy of Wall-E.
From the press release:
The Segway S-Pod is a first-class smart transporting pod for enclosed campuses such as airports, theme parks and malls. It is a safe, self-balancing vehicle that is operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel. With an adaptive center-of-gravity automatic control system, passengers can easily adjust the speed — up to 24 mph — by handling the knob to change the center of gravity in the pod. The S-Pod spins and rotates by the center smoothly for directional changes. The rider does not need to physically lean forward and back to accelerate or slow down.
I always figured that the Silicon Valley vision of the future would eventually bring us towards personalized robot car pods that are basically just trains with private seating. So at least this is a slight improvement on that?
No word on price yet.
By various reports, multiple (two or three) Katyusha rockets hit targets inside Baghdad's Green Zone in the past hour. Read the rest
Today is David Bowie's birthday (born Jan 8, 1947, died Jan 10, 2016). Here's a great example of our favorite leper messiah's sense of humor as he impersonates a number of fellow singers during the Absolute Beginner's recording sessions in 1985.
In the six-minute clip, you hear David doing his best impressions of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, Anthony Newley, Iggy Pop, and Neil Young. Some of them are quite good, especially Springsteen.
And, if you (like me) are going full Bowiemas this week (can I get an alien mullet amen?), check out this 19-hour Bowie playlist on Spotify:
"If you're going to be a fucking rockstar, go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on stage; they want to see a being from another planet." -Lemmy Kilmister
Happy Birthday, David. We miss you! Read the rest
In 2017, three people drilled 26 holes into a UNESCO world heritage protected landmark in China called Python Rock so they could climb the 420-foot natural rock spire and take drone footage. It turned out to be a costly excursion -- on December 30 a court ordered them to pay a $860,000 fine and one of the climbers received a prison sentence.
Image: YouTube/Live Leak Read the rest
A British man was sentenced to indefinite detention, according to the BBC, after having been caught on camera attempting to burn down a synagogue and instead burning down himself. [Via Charles Stross]
When police arrested him at his Alexander Terrace home he had burns to his hands, forehead and hair and was carrying two lock knives and two lighters. As he was put in a police van, Morgan said: "Please tell me that synagogue is burning to the ground. If not, it's poor preparation."
The court heard the attack on the building coincided with a Jewish feast[sic] day commemorating disasters, including the Holocaust. The repairs totalled more than £23,000. Judge Anthony Leonard QC handed Morgan a hospital order without limit of time, saying most people would feel "anger and revulsion" for what he did.
President of the synagogue, Mr Richard Halsey, thanked the police for their "brilliant response" and "support".
The video is like a Looney Tunes cartoon, a true "Instant Karma" classic. Read the rest
At the turn of the 20th century, a rogue tiger terrorized the villages of Nepal and northern India. By the time British hunter Jim Corbett was called in, it had killed 434 people. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll describe Corbett's pursuit of the elusive cat, and his enlightened efforts to address the source of the problem.
We'll also revisit a Confederate spy and puzzle over a bloody ship.
Back in December, ProPublica published a fascinating look into the snake-oil industry around Scientific Content Analysis or SCAN, a so-called "law enforcement tool" that purports to help investigators determine whether their suspects lying. This highly-profitable yet totally-dubious training method works through a rigid grammar analysis that relies entirely on the assumption that human brains only ever work in one completely uniform, logical, rational, conscious, and deliberate manner:
With SCAN, Sapir encourages the asking of a simple, open question: What happened? After the person writes a statement, the SCAN investigator looks for signs of deception, analyzing, among other things, pronouns used, changes in vocabulary, what’s left out and how much of a statement is devoted to what happened before, during and after an event. Indications of truthfulness include use of the past tense, first-person singular (“I went to the store”); pronouns, such as “my,” which signal commitment; and direct denials, the best being: “I did not do it.” Signs of deception include lack of memory, spontaneous corrections and swapping one word in for another — for example, writing “kids” in one place and “children” in another.
Sapir likens SCAN to Sudoku, only with words, not numbers, sentences, not squares: “Everything must fit — left to right, and top to bottom.”
And of course, there's no consideration for the possibility that someone might be, idunno, nervous or anxious or god forbid under-educated and therefore might respond to this "test" in ways that seem arbitrarily "suspicious."
Yet there are still tons of cops who swear by it anyway — even though, as ProPublica reveals through a comprehensive analysis of SCAN test results, the system has about a 50 percent likelihood of accurately predicting whether a suspect is lying, which is … no better than a random guess. Read the rest
Mistaking an open fishtank for a bench in a restaurant, a man on a phone takes a seat there to have a conversation. Unfortunately neither the surface tension of the water nor the man's natural buoyancy are sufficient to keep him from plunging in.
Image: LiveLeak Read the rest
Apparently there's been a rash of fraudulent text messages informing recipients that they have been drafted in the United States Army and they should call the recruiting office immediately. I'd bet that the phone number is actually an international toll call and most of the fees go to the scammer, like the common "one-ring call" scams. From the US Army Recruiting Command:
The decision to enact a draft is not made at or by U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The Selective Service System, a separate agency outside of the Department of Defense, is the organization that manages registration for the Selective Service.
"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual,” according to the Selective Service System’s official Facebook page. “In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft."
And of course that's highly unlikely, right? RIGHT?!?
Jimmy Kimmel started out last night's monologue by complaining how difficult it is to cancel a subscription to an app on the iPhone. He's right. There should be a menu option accessible from every subscription app that lets you cancel on the spot.
He moves on to talking about Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, a singularly unsavory Trump Chump who recently tweeted a realistic photo of Obama and the president of Iran together, even though the two never met. When he got called out for posting the fraudulent photo without disclosing it was fake, he had a peevish hissy fit about his right to artistic expression.
Here's Kimmel's take on Gosar (transcript courtesy The Daily Beast):
Read the rest
In response to the many reporters and others on Twitter who pointed out the error, Gosar tweeted, “No one said this wasn’t Photoshopped. No one said the president of Iran was dead. No one said Obama met with Rouhani in person.”
“Well, OK then!” Kimmel shot back “‘No one said this wasn’t Photoshopped?’ Is that the standard now? You can post whatever you want and leave it to us to figure out if it’s Photoshopped? Because if that’s the case I have a photo of Paul Gosar being spanked by Jared from Subway that I would like a lot of people to see.”
Then Kimmel shared another “real photo” of President Donald Trump “happily shaking tiny hands with the guy who ordered the murder of a reporter for the Washington Post.” He helpfully added, “That is not Photoshopped.”