Teaching a banjo workshop while undergoing an EEG

Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "I had to go through a 25 hr EEG, but I didn't let the wires glued to my head stop me from posting my weekly frailing banjo workshop." Read the rest

Yale's most popular course ever: Happiness

When Yale psych professor Laurie Santos offered a course in how to be happy -- based on the latest peer-reviewed science -- she hoped that a reasonable number of students would sign up (after all, the literature suggested that there is an epidemic of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among US college students); the course was the most successful in Yale's history, with one in four students enrolling Read the rest

Homebiogas: easy, clean, climate-friendly way to heat and power your home with garbage

Yesterday, I saw a demo of the Homebiogas bioreactor: it's essentially an artificial stomach that uses colonies of microbes to digest your home food waste (it can do poop, too, but people tend to be squeamish about this), providing enough clean-burning biogas to cook your next meal, heat your house, or run a generator -- what's left behind is excellent fertilizer. Read the rest

The Internet of Shit: a godsend for abusers and stalkers

People who help domestic abuse survivors say that they are facing an epidemic of women whose abusers are torturing them by breaking into their home smart devices, gaslighting them by changing their thermostat settings, locking them out of their homes, spying on them through their cameras. Read the rest

Insecure internet security cameras and nannycams are actively exploited by voyeurs to spy on owners

Shenzhen Gwelltimes Technology Co., Ltd is the white-label vendor behind a whole constellation of Internet of Things networked home cameras sold as security cameras, baby monitors, pet monitors, and similar technologies; these cameras are designed to be monitored by their owners using an app, and because of farcically bad default passwords ("123") and other foolish security practices (such as sequentially numbering each camera, allowing attackers to enumerate vulnerable devices), the devices are trivial to locate and hijack over the internet. Read the rest

Googlers' ethical refusal to build airgap systems curtailed Google's ability to bid on sensitive military contracts

A group of elite Google Cloud engineers simply refused to put any work into an airgap system designed to let the company bid on sensitive military contracts, which undermined the company's ability to seek military work. Read the rest

Judge orders Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to go back to law school

Kris Kobach (previously) is a racist shitbag who engineered Red State America's voter suppression campaign; he is also (predictably enough) the Kansas Secretary of State, in which capacity he has been representing his office in a lawsuit over his unconstitutional voter ID law. Read the rest

Browser extension to fix the NYT's squeamishness about calling Trump a liar

The New York Times doesn't like to call Donald Trump (who is a compulsive liar) a liar; they deploy the squeamish euphemism "falsely claimed" in place of "lied" -- with Gabriel Gironda's NYT Speak Chrome extension (source code here), you can remedy this situation. (Thanks, Gabriel Gironda!) Read the rest

3D printed origami robots that crawl and grab when activated by magnets

A team at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have created a set of foldable, 3D printed robots that are doped with magnetic particles that are precisely aligned during printing; when triggered by a control-magnet they engage in precise movements: grabbing, jumping, rolling, squeezing, etc. Read the rest

Supreme Court: no government location tracking without a warrant

The Supreme Court has ruled in the closely watched Carpenter v. United States case, which questioned the constitutionality of warrantless location surveillance, a widespread practice among US law enforcement and surveillance agencies. Read the rest

Canadian border guards have secret access to a US "anti-terror" database of 680,000 names

Canadian border guards' terminals give them secret access to Tuscan, a database maintained by US spy agencies of suspected terrorists; the database has some 680,000 names in it and if you match one of those names, Canadian border and immigration officials are empowered to "detain, interrogate, arrest and deny entry" to you. Read the rest

This Wednesday, an EU committee voted to break the Internet: this Sunday, Berliners take to the streets to say NO!

On Wednesday, the Legislative Committee of the European Union narrowly voted to keep the two most controversial internet censorship and surveillance proposals in European history in the upcoming revision to the Copyright Directive -- as soon as July Fourth, the whole European Parliament could vote to make this the law of 28 EU member-states. Read the rest

The EU's new copyright filters will be catastrophic for the web, but they're going to be even worse for your favourite game

Wednesday's vote to press ahead with mandatory copyright filters for the European internet is catastrophic for the web: starting a new business just got $60-100 million more expensive, because building filters for every kind of copyrighted work ain't cheap. Read the rest

Kickstarting an open digital microscope kit for public-spirited citizen science

The Community Microscope is a fully-funded, crowdfunded open source microscope hardware kit built around a digital camera: it costs $39 and snaps together in 15 minutes. Read the rest

Remember when conservatives were terrified of Big Government violently interfering with families?

Remember when conservatives were into "family values" and defending their families from Big Government intrusions, like breaking up families over refusal to obey the law on education, vaccination, corporal punishment, etc? Funny, that: "Here, their paranoid fantasy has become a real nightmare—not an ideological or religious separation, but the physical removal of children from their parents by force, an actual destruction of families by the federal government." (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Architect of Charlottesville receives preliminary approval for a "white civil rights rally" in DC

Jason Kessler, organizer of last summer's violent, murderous "unite the right" rally in Charlottesville, has received preliminary National Parks Service approval to stage a "white civil rights rally" in Washington, DC, on Aug 11-12. He anticipates 400 attendees. Read the rest

White House source: Stephen Miller revels in the misery and terror of separated children, "He’s Waffen-SS"

An "outside White House adviser" told Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman that Stephen Miller, the architect of the ICE child kidnapping program actively enjoys the photos of terrified, miserable children in cages: "Stephen actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border. He’s a twisted guy, the way he was raised and picked on. There’s always been a way he’s gone about this. He’s Waffen-SS." (Image: TJ Hawk, CC-BY-SA); via JWZ) Read the rest

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