minor key

The Ikea Tarot

Akiva Leffert has designed an Ikea-themed tarot deck:

Ikea is a place of transition, a journey, a source of light and comfort, but also strife. Ikea contains the universe. Harness that power to understand your own life with these cleanly designed Ikea themed tarot cards. They'll go great sitting on your BILLY bookcase or on the table next to your MALM bedframe. The deck contains the four suits of the minor arcana: sofas, lamps, dowels, and allen keys as well as a full set of major arcana.

Available at Etsy.

(Via Brandon Sheffield.) Read the rest

Theme from Friends as a depressing, minor-key ballad

From "The One With the Theme That's Depressing As Hell."

(Chase Holfelder)

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You have the right to remain encrypted

“You have the right to remain silent.” We’ve heard the Miranda warning countless times on TV, but what good is the right to remain silent if our own cellphones testify against us? Imagine every incriminating and embarrassing secret our devices hold in the hands of prosecutors, simply because you’ve been accused of a minor crime. This is the brave new world that Attorney General Bill Barr advocated when he recently addressed the International Conference on Cyber Security and called for an end to encryption as we know it. Read the rest

Game key-selling platform assailed over stolen keys

G2A is a website where people can list and sell the codes that activate software, effectively functioning as an online pawn shop for video games. It was accused lately of allowing itself to act as a clearing house for stolen codes. Many reviewers, streamers and other influencer types are given them, such is the competition among developers to market their titles, but most codes remain unused -- and therefore valuable.

Devs hate reselling platforms so much, PC Gamer reports, that they "tell people to pirate their games instead of using G2A."

Things came to a head when indie game developer Mike Rose started a petition to convince G2A to delist specific games upon publishers' request: "G2A: Stop selling indie titles on your platform."

G2A responded to denounce the campaign and Rose himself. It claimed ethical values of honesty and transparency, offered generous remuneration in cases of proven fraud, and insisted that stolen codes were both rare and quickly acted upon when reported. It also asserted its prerogative to drive down the price of games as far as possible:

We believe that games can be cheaper. It’s the rule of thumb: the more sellers sell a particular product, the more competitive the prices become. People come to G2A because they know they can expect deals better than anywhere else.

Today, journalist and translator Thomas Faust exposed G2A as having asked him to publish an editoral under his own byline under the condition that he disclose neither the true author or its implied offer of payment. Read the rest

Former Trump advisor George Nader ordered jailed until his child porn trial

Witness in Mueller Trump-Russia probe arrested for child pornography

Read the full text of the Mueller report here, as redacted by Barr

Dems fight for unredacted report's release

Star Spangled Banner sounds Russian when played in a minor key

Bill Bailey, performing at the London Palladium, entertained the audience by playing major-key songs in a minor key, and vice versa. "Now some of the great national anthems are written in the major key," he said. "In fact most national anthems are in the major key -- celebratory, uplifting. I like to experiment with them and play them in a different key and the one I'm thinking of is the Star Spangled Banner -- the American national anthem, which i think -- appropriately now -- should be played in the minor key it. It takes on a totally different dynamic. Actually, it sounds a bit Russian." Read the rest

Bill Bailey demonstrates major and minor keys with Star Spangled Banner

The single best demonstration of the difference in emotional tenor between minor and major-key dominated variations of a tune -- and a great topical joke to boot, when it comes time to show the Star Spangled Banner in a different light. Read the rest

New iPad Pros are coming out of the box already bent

It hasn't been a good year for Apple. The company's had to confirm that they've been throttling speeds of older iPhones to maintain battery efficiency. They were caught throttling their latest MacBook Pros to well below their advertised base processor speeds in order to deal with the thermal demands of the chipset inside of them. iOS 11 was buggy as all get out. Worst of all, the keyboards that are baked into almost all of the laptop computers sold by Apple over the past few years are so delicate that dust or a crumb getting beneath a key cap could be cause for costly repair.

The problem was such that a class action lawsuit over it was launched and Apple, caught up in a PR nightmare, was forced to start offering free repairs for their faulty input devices to all comers. The release of the company's latest crop of iPad Pro tablets, unfortunately, seems to have fallen into line with this new quality control status quo.

A few days ago, The Verge contacted Apple over the online rumors, later reinforced with hands-on demonstrations, that the new iPad Pro was so thin that it proved hilariously easy to bend. Some owners of the tablet also complained that the tablet came to them ever-so-slightly warped, right out of the box. The Verge's Chris Welch was among the victims of the industrial design tomfoolery. He reported that he could personally vouch for the issue:

...my 11-inch iPad Pro showed a bit of a curve after two weeks.

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Steganographically hiding secret messages in fake fingerprints

In Towards Construction Based Data Hiding: From Secrets to Fingerprint Images , published in IEEE Transactions on Image Processing (Sci-Hub Mirror), two Fudan University computer scientists propose a fascinating method for hiding encrypted messages in fake fingerprints that are both visually and computationally difficult to distinguish from real ones, which could theoretically allow the use of fingerprint databases to convey secret messages. Read the rest

California Farm Bureau sells out farmers, hands John Deere a monopoly over tractor repair

Farmers are the vanguard of the Right to Repair movement; accustomed as they are to fixing their own equipment (you can't wait for a repair tech when the tractor doesn't work -- as the saying goes, you have to make hay while the sun shines), they were outraged when companies like John Deere started using DRM to pick their pockets, creating tractors whose engines wouldn't recognize a new part until they paid a tech a few hundred dollars to drive out in a day or two and key an unlock code into the tractor's keyboard. Read the rest

Review: Microsoft's Surface Go is almost everything I want in a travel computer

Every year, I wait for Apple to announce mouse support for the iPad. Every year, I am left unfulfilled. Apple's nailed the apps that I need to do my job on the go, but the lack of a mouse for interacting with text slows my workflow way the hell down. Tapping on my tablet's display and dragging words around is a poor substitute. As such, I'm constantly searching for a tablet that can give me what I need. Read the rest

Young thieves baffled by obsolete technology

Apparently a stick shift is the best theft deterrent. They would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for being bumbling kids!

Via KLTV:

Officers arrested a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old on an evening in early August following two separate alleged carjacking attempts, according to a police press release.

The suspects ran up to the first victim in a parking garage at 6:20 p.m. and opened the front doors on both the driver and passenger sides of her car, police say.

The victim screamed and blasted the car horn when the suspects allegedly attempted to pull her from her car. She sustained minor injuries.

The teenagers fled the scene on foot.

One hour later, police say the teenagers stole a woman’s keys out of her hand after she parked outside of a Kroger.

This time, the suspects made it inside the car, according to the press release.

But a few seconds later, they left the car and ran away. Police believe they didn't know how to use the victim’s manual transmission.

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Queen collapses, Stacy Peterson’s body found, Jennifer Aniston’s post-divorce hook-ups, and other news that never happened, in this week’s fact-challenged tabloids.

It’s the summer silly season, and this week’s dubious tabloids are more fact-free than ever.

“Drew Peterson’s Wife’s Body Found!” screams the cover of the National Enquirer.

No, it wasn’t. A sonar scan has supposedly spotted a body-shaped object in an Illinois canal. After 11 years, “killer cop” Peterson’s missing wife Stacy’s corpse would most likely have suffered extensive decomposition. It could be anyone who recently fell into the canal, but is more likely an abandoned store mannequin, which is why authorities haven’t dredged it up yet.

Jennifer Aniston is having secret “sleepovers” with estranged husband Justin Theroux, claims the Enquirer, noting several of his cars parked in her garage. How does that work? Every time Theroux comes over for some break-up sex he brings three cars with him? Or could it be he’s just parking them at her home because she has the garage space?

"Natalie Wood Death Yacht Ransacked,” reports the Enquirer, citing “multiple sources” who claim that Robert Wagner “is behind it,” deliberately “destroying critical evidence.” That only makes sense if Wagner believes that the boat's lanterns, a ladder and bilge pump somehow miraculously hold incriminating evidence 36 years after Wood’s death on the yacht she was aboard before her drowning death in 1981. Or could it perhaps just be vandals and thieves stripping the old yacht Splendour?

And when the Enquirer reports that Justin Bieber is planning an all-nude wedding to his fiancé, well, it feels as if they’ve just decided the weather’s too good to be stuck in the office and are making it up so they can flee their desks and rush out to the beach. Read the rest

Police reports show child sex abuse is rampant at immigrant detention facilities under Trump

ProPublica's Michael Grabell and Topher Sanders obtained police reports and call logs from more than 70 of the 100 shelters housing immigrant children.

What the documents reveal: “If you're a predator, it's a gold mine.” Read the rest

Girl, 6, sexually abused at 'Southwest Key' detention site for families separated under Trump

A 6-year old girl separated from her mom under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy was sexually abused inside a Southwest Key shelter in Arizona, reports The Nation. Read the rest

The Weird of Wendy Pini

How an an indie cartoonist faced down prudes, pain and the patriarchy.

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