JBL reissues their classic 1970s speakers with the fantastic space-age grills

In 1970, JBL introduced the L-100 home hi-fi speakers based on the company's popular 4310 Pro Studio monitors. With their fantastic sound quality for the price, particularly for rock music, and their killer Quadrex foam grille available in black, blue, or orange, the L-100 speakers became the best-selling loudspeaker of the era. And now JBL has revived them in modern form, the JBL L100 Classic. They're $4,000 a pair and I'd be curious to hear them up against a pair of restored originals that can be had for a fourth of that price.

If you have that opportunity, please roll a number, cue up David Crosby's "If I Could Only Remember My Name" on the turntable, and let us know how it goes.

Main Features

Retro design with iconic JBL styling and vintage Quadrex foam grille in a choice of three colors: black, orange or blue

Genuine satin walnut wood veneer enclosure with black painted front and rear panels

12-inch white cone, pure pulp woofer with cast frame

5-inch pure pulp cone midrange

1-inch titanium dome tweeter

Bass-reflex design with front-firing port

High-frequency and mid-frequency L-pad attenuators

(Thanks, David Hyman!) Read the rest

Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black rights activist on the front lines of the surveillance wars

For its 25th anniversary, Wired Magazine asked numerous luminaries to pick a figure from the digital world to celebrate; Edward Snowden chose EFF Pioneer Award Winner Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and cofounder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, who is one of the leaders in teaching grassroots activists to resist government surveillance. Read the rest

The BioLite HeadLamp is lightweight, bright, and very comfortable

I'm a big fan of BioLite products, because they're well-designed and the company develops low-cost lighting and cooking tools for low-income markets in regions that don't have access to clean affordable household energy. BioLite sent me an early release model of its new HeadLamp and it is radically different from the typical headlamps you've seen before. It is so lightweight that I hardly notice it on my head. It spreads a wide circle of bright light. It charges via USB. The Kickstarter campaign started today with a goal of $40k and it's already at $144k. You can pre-order one for $49. Read the rest

WWWBasic: code web-pages in BASIC

Google's WWWBasic project allows you to write web-page interactivity using a BASIC-like syntax that will be recognizable to anyone who grew up with early personal computers in the late 1970s and 1980s (it can be imported within Node.js, too, so you can mix Javascript and BASIC). Read the rest

Evidence of NSO Group surveillance products found in 45 countries, including notorious human-rights abusers

Researchers from the University of Toronto's outstanding Citizen Lab (previously) have published their latest research on the notorious and prolific Israeli cyber-arms-dealer The NSO Group (previously), one of the world's go-to suppliers for tools used by despots to spy on dissidents and opposition figures, often as a prelude to their imprisonment, torture and murder. Read the rest

A Nest doorbell locks a man out of his own house when it confuses him with his Batman shirt

When a man tried to enter his own house, his Nest doorbell got suspicious and locked him out. Nest's facial recognition feature confused the man, B.J. May, with the Batman T-shirt he was wearing, and apparently even Batman isn't allowed through the front door without the owner's consent.

Nest was just following orders, and May didn't hold a grudge. In a later tweet he said, "To answer some questions: Yes, the door was unlocked. My family was home, and my son was in/out the front door playing. I unlocked the door using my pin. I also could have used the phone app. It was no biggie, I just thought the face recognition fail was funny."

Via Mashable

Image: Max Pixel/Creative Commons Zero - CC0 Read the rest

Seattle can't afford to fund arts, housing or tourism, but it can find $135 million to repair the Mariners stadium

King County Council was ambushed by a series of surprise amendments to its meeting on Monday that resulted in $135,000,000 being diverted from hotel lodging tax funds earmarked for affordable housing, arts, and tourism boosting, to effect repairs to the Mariners stadium, despite the team being valued at nearly $1.5 billion. Read the rest

Bob McAllister sings "Kids Are People Too"

Woke up with this in my head. Wonderama was a wonderful show. Read the rest

As "porn for women" tops search terms, a porn site offers cash grants for female pornographers

"Porn for women" was Pornhub's "top trending" search term for 2017; across the pornosphere, the number of women viewers continues its meteoric rise and rise, up to 25% now -- for the porn industry woman viewers represent a huge opportunity for growth. Read the rest

The scent of sandalwood may cure baldness according to a new study

People with certain types of baldness might be able to sniff their way back to a head of hair. In a study that was published in Nature Communications, researchers found that the scent of synthetic sandalwood, found in perfumes and cosmetics, can stimulate hair growth.

According to Inverse:

The study, sponsored in part by Giuliani Pharma S.p.A. — an Italian pharmaceutical company that sells the synthetic sandalwood treatments — showed that the cells surrounding the root of every hair can “smell” synthetic sandalwood and, more importantly, respond to the smell...

Hair follicles, the small cluster of cells that surround the root of every hair, contain a molecule sensor called OR2AT4, which is found all over the body but is best known for its role in the nose. Usually, it gets stimulated by scent molecules in the nose and goes on to trigger a chain reaction that results in the perception of smell. But as it turns out, OR2AT4 receptors still get excited by scent even when they’re on your head...

In this study, Paus found that exposing the hair follicles (and their OR2AT4 receptors) to synthetic sandalwood prolonged the growing phase of the hair cycle by mediating a key molecule that drives the hair cycle forward: a protein called IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1). He posits that exposing OR2AT4 to Sandalore creates more IGF-1, which in turn tends to stop the cells from dying in phase two, theoretically keeping them growing in phase one.

Interestingly, it's the synthetic version of sandalwood (Sandalore), and not natural sandalwood, that does the trick. Read the rest

Watch: 85-year-old man fights off burglars carrying hammers and a sawed-off shotgun

When three masked burglars tear through a betting office in Ireland, threatening people with hammers and a sawed off shotgun, an 85-year-old great grandfather comes to the rescue. Watch how he fearlessly tackles one of them, and then chases them out with a chair. When it was all over he refused to be interviewed, preferring to spend his morning playing pitch and putt.

Via BBC Read the rest

Myers-Briggs too complicated? Scientists identify four personality clusters

People are so boring! A new study shows there are only four clusters of personality. Why bother talking to folks?

Via Ars Technica:

People love taking online quizzes; just ask Buzzfeed and Facebook. A new study has sifted through some of the largest online data sets of personality quizzes and identified four distinct "types" therein. The new methodology used for this study—described in detail in a new paper in Nature Human Behavior—is rigorous and replicable, which could help move personality typing analysis out of the dubious self-help section in your local bookstore and into serious scientific journals.

Frankly, personality "type" is not the ideal nomenclature here; personality "clusters" might be more accurate. Paper co-author William Revelle (Northwestern University) bristles a bit at the very notion of distinct personality types, like those espoused by the hugely popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Revelle is an adamant "anti-fan" of the Myers-Briggs, and he is not alone. Most scientists who study personality prefer to think of it as a set of continuous dimensions, in which people shift where they fall on the spectrum of various traits as they mature.

What's new here is the identification of four dominant clusters in the overall distribution of traits. Revelle prefers to think of them as "lumps in the batter" and suggests that a good analogy would be how people tend to concentrate in cities in the United States.

I have always felt four letters were three too many. Read the rest

Russian agents allegedly tried to hack lab associated with Skirpal poisoning investigation

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been elbows-deep in the investigation of the Novichok nerve agent attack on Sergei and Yulia Skirpal. As part of their investigation into where the nerve agent may have originated, the OPCW sent samples of the chemical weapon to a number of independent labs.

Using multiple labs provides a fail safe against false positive results and bias – two things you'd want to avoid considering the fact that the results of the tests could trigger a significant international incident. One of the labs that the OPCW may have used (I mean, they're not going to come right out and say that this is where they're sending dangerous shit) was Switzerland's Spiez Laboratory. Since Russia has denied that it had any role in the poisoning of the Skirpals and the other collateral victims of the Novichok attack, it's really really surprising to be surprised by the surprise expulsion of two Russian intelligence agents (surprise!) from The Hague, where OPCW is based. Apparently, they were trying to tinker with Spiez Laboratory's computers.

From NPR:

Swiss and Dutch authorities did not immediately respond to NPR's request for comment. Andreas Bucher, a spokesperson for Spiez Laboratory, also declined to comment on the deportations. However, he confirms the laboratory's computer systems have been probed by unknown hackers in recent months.

"We've had indications that we were in the crosshairs," Bucher says. No data has been stolen from the lab, he adds.

Although Spiez Laboratory has not officially acknowledged receiving a sample, it is widely believed to have done so, according to Jean Pascal Zanders, an independent chemical weapons expert based in France.

Read the rest

Vintage logos and motion graphics for today's Internet companies

Future Punk created retro logos and motion graphics for today's Internet companies if they existed decades ago. The artist was "inspired by great work of Sullivan & Marks, Robert Abel & Associates, Computer Image Corporation and various other early CG/Scanimate companies."

And if you're not hip to Scanimate:

Scanimate is the name for an analog computer animation (video synthesizer) system developed from the late 1960s to the 1980s by Computer Image Corporation of Denver, Colorado.

The 8 Scanimate systems were used to produce much of the video-based animation seen on television between most of the 1970s and early 1980s in commercials, promotions, and show openings. One of the major advantages the Scanimate system had over film-based animation and computer animation was the ability to create animations in real time. The speed with which animation could be produced on the system because of this, as well as its range of possible effects, helped it to supersede film-based animation techniques for television graphics. By the mid-1980s, it was superseded by digital computer animation, which produced sharper images and more sophisticated 3D imagery. (Wikipedia)

(Thanks, UPSO!) Read the rest

Rachid Taha has followed Joe Strummer to rock the casbah in the hereafter

Punk, Algerian chaabi music, Rai, rock and techno: Rachid Taha had it all going on. He drew inspiration from the music of North Africa, New Orleans jazz, delta blues, The Clash and Elvis Presley. He cut his teeth spinning albums as a DJ and playing in a number of bands as he came of age in France. He worked with famed producers like Don Was and Steve Hillage and traveled in the same circles as David Bowie. In his later years, he was slowed down by muscular dystrophy, but he continued to rock, nonetheless. You've very likely enjoyed his music used in films and video games without ever knowing it. It's beautiful, fire-filled stuff.

On September 12th, Rachid Taha passed away at the age of 59. Read the rest

My Wahoo Tickr and Cadence sensors need replacement batteries

I am proud of me. My heart rate tracker, and my cadence sensor, both need their CR2032 batteries replaced from actual USE! Read the rest

This shark has the face of SATAN!

Cage diving operator Calypso Star Charters or Port Lincoln, South Australia posted this startling photo of Satan disguised as a great white shark. (@calypsocharters) Read the rest

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:)