All Quiet on the Martian Front

It's not easy designing a fair and playable game of asymmetrical warfare. But that's what we have here as lumbering tripods armed with devastating heat rays take on puny human forces.

Apps bring new possibilities to board games

Matt M. Casey on Golem Arcana, one of the new offerings whose gameplay leaps from tabletop to tablet.

CBS runs free ad for "magic" energy box

We know that the the mainstream media's pursuit of 'objectivity' lends credibility to incredible political positions. CBS's write-up of the Bloom Box, a 'power plant-in-a-box,' shows the flip side of the same coin: seemingly incredible claims reported as fact without any serious discussion of the science involved. The fact that it's just one of many seemingly similar technologies, oft-used to part investors from their money, is hardly mentioned in 60 Minutes' breathless story.

The Bloom Box is a fuel cell, and the concepts behind it are well-understood. But it's hard to see if it's marketing it like woo because that's what turns on venture captialists, or if CBS is simply so stupid that this is the only terminology it can muster to describe complex green energy tech. Read the rest

Boing Boing's Moderation Policy (Archived)

Our moderation policy was revised in October 2009. Read the new version. This version is deprecated.

Q. Why does Boing Boing have to have a moderator?

A. First answer: Because every general-interest online forum that's worth reading has some kind of moderation system in force.

Second answer: Because four years ago, Boing Boing's first, unmoderated comment system went so septic that it had to be shut down. The Boingers want to never go through that again.

Third answer: Because Boing Boing gets enough traffic to attract non-automated scams.

Q. All the vowels have disappeared from a paragraph I wrote! What's going on?

A. We did it. Someone (a moderator, one of the Boingers) was expressing displeasure at your remarks. The technique is called disemvowelling. It deprecates but does not delete the remark. With work, the disemvowelled text should still be readable.

Q. You disemvowelled a very polite comment of mine that happened to mention a current presidential candidate. That means you're biased against that candidate, right?

A. Wrong. It means you shouldn't throw in mentions of presidential candidates unless they're mentioned in the main entry or are highly relevant to it. This rule will apply until the next president is elected.

Q. Something has happened to the link back to my website that I put at the bottom of my comment.

A. There's an answer to this problem: please don't put links in your comments that aren't relevant to the entry. We'll just have to remove them. Instead, put a link to your site in your user profile.

Read the rest

Jasmina Tesanovic: Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade

Milosevic Arrives in Belgrade Jasmina Tesanovic Belgrade, March 15, 2006

Wrapped in a Serbian flag, the coffin was received by a few party members, who kissed it as if it were his hand. Some thousand followers were scattered during his last drive through town.

That's pretty much how he left Belgrade five years ago, in half secrecy, half embarrassment. He was alive then, technically. It was a June night instead of this snowy gloomy March afternoon.

"He didn’t even pay for a return ticket from Hague," as Serbian black humor has it. His family still owns a lot of embezzled money, too much of it to dare to come to Belgrade and answer to the court subpoena. The government and court, every hour, are giving new announcements as to whether the family will be arrested if they step onto Serbian and Montenegro territory.

It is a small war between official institutions and personality cults. Even the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church gave his opinion on humanity and post-humanity. It seems nobody much cares for Dead Slobo as a man. He is simply a hot dead potato, a Big International Deal, for what he has done cannot be undone. Convicted or not, his deeds have transformed too many lives and traced out new maps and countries.

Somehow he was left without a homeland even for his own grave. Crime has no nationality, time, or border. Read the rest