Alan Turing will be on England's £50 note

Computer scientist Alan Turing, key to decoding Nazi communications during World War II, is to be the face of the new £50 banknote. The BBC:

The work of Alan Turing, who was educated in Sherborne, Dorset, helped accelerate Allied efforts to read German Naval messages enciphered with the Enigma machine.

Less celebrated is the pivotal role he played in the development of early computers, first at the National Physical Laboratory and later at the University of Manchester.

In 2013, he was given a posthumous royal pardon for his 1952 conviction for gross indecency following which he was chemically castrated. He had been arrested after having an affair with a 19-year-old Manchester man.

Also, artist Turner on the Twenty:

The Jane Austen tenner entered circulation in 2017. Churchill's on the fiver. Queen Liz is, of course, on all of them.

There hasn't been a £100 in circulation from the Bank of England for decades (The Bank of Scotland has one, with founder Archibald Campbell on it). They should do a run and put Ira Aldridge or Mary Seacole on it. Read the rest

Red Dwarf, legendary UK sci-fi sitcom, becomes auto-rescue ad

I loved Red Dwarf as a kid, sensed I should "stop immediately" upon seeing the previews for season 7 (or maybe 8?), and had relegated the whole thing to the palace of nostalgia by the end of the last century. But this ad is so charming it makes me think I should check out the recent series. Should I? I will blame you if this is a mistake. Read the rest

Nintendo announces Switch Lite, new handheld game console

The Switch Lite doesn't connect to a TV set, but it's otherwise a slim, pocketable version of Nintendo's popular portable game console.

The Switch Lite — the newly unveiled spinoff of the full-sized Switch console — doesn’t actually “switch.” Instead of the detachable controllers and TV dock that allows the standard Switch to shape-shift between a TV console, portable gamepad, and a mobile multiplayer machine, the Switch Lite has a much narrower focus on just one of those experiences — but that’s not a bad thing. Instead, it shows that the Switch’s audience and appeal extend to a different market than what the full-sized version currently serves.

It's a funny twist of brand-reality that the Switch Lite doesn't actually "switch". I feel that Nintendo has missed a fabulous opportunity to name its new hands-only console the Snatch.

Nintendo Switch Lite [Amazon] Read the rest

Random mansion generator

The Procgen Mansion Generator produces large three-dee dwellings to toy with your imagination, offering various architectural styles and other options. Each mansion even comes with floorplans:

Read the rest

Drug sub raided

Enjoy this video of drugrunners in a semi-submersible vehicle getting collared by the U.S. Coast Guard. How dangerous that thing must be!

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL-755) crew members board a self-propelled semi-submersible drug smuggling vessel (SPSS) June 18, 2019, while operating in international waters in the Pacific Ocean. SSPS vessels ride low in the water, half-submerged to evade detection.

Apparently newer models are fully submersible. Read the rest

Security camera shows Detroit cop causing serious road accident then detaining his victim

As Michigan State Police have it, 27-year old Carlos Martinez was at fault when his vehicle and one driven by an officer collided at a Detroit intersection. But security footage from a nearby porch has made a liar of the officer, showing him driving through a stop sign, causing the accident, then treating Martinez like a criminal.

The Drive:

"The police officer say [sic] 'you're 27 years old, you're old enough, you don't need no parents, and plus you don't have no rights right now.'"

Maria Martinez told the channel that her son is a U.S. citizen without any criminal history or involvement with gangs.

Fox News:

MSP says after reviewing both the black box from the officer's undercover vehicle, and security camera from a nearby homeowner, police confirm the officer failed to stop at the stop sign. MSP is currently investigating both the crash and the arrest the officer made.

Read the rest

Racist tirade filmed in grocery store

A woman in a grocery store directed a bigoted rant at another shopper, all captured on video. Read the rest

North Korea develops app to teach its ideology

An encyclopedic application will teach the Juche idea to a new generation of North Koreans, reports the BBC, which cites the state's official media organ thus: "People must try harder to learn the teachings of the founder Kim."

...this focus on doctrine seems to be part of a wider effort by the government to counter foreign influences that increasingly penetrate the isolated country through the proliferation of technology. The digitisation has seen a steady trickle of foreign news and entertainment entering North Korea on portable devices like USB memory sticks - something that presents a challenge for the authorities. North Korea's approach has been to embrace technology while making sure that it serves its purpose - to portray the state-sanctioned version of reality to the people.

Previously: Comrade Commodore Unicorn

Read the rest

Here's something you don't want to see happening to your plane's engine when you look out the window

A plane made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport earlier this week after "mechanical issues arose," according to reports.

“The flight crew of Delta flight 1425 from Atlanta to Baltimore elected to divert to Raleigh, N.C., out of an abundance of caution after receiving an indication of a possible issue with one of the aircraft’s engines,” a Delta spokesperson said in an email. “The flight landed without incident.”

A video of the incident posted to social media shows the engine's spinner loose and rattling around whatever is left of the turbofan. It's really quite alarming!

Read the rest

Guinea Pig tricks

There are 25 of them in this video -- tricks, that is, not guinea pigs -- but I was happy to lose count. Read the rest

American Airlines forces black doctor to wear blanket to cover up her "inappropriate" dress

Dr. Latisha Rowe, a family-medicine specialist, was on the way to Miami with her 8-year-old son. She says that an American Airlines flight crew publicly humiliated her by demanding she wrap herself in a blanket to conceal her dress, which they deemed "inappropriate".

Here is what i was wearing when @AmericanAir asked me to deplane for a talk. At which point I was asked to “cover up”. When defending my outfit I was threatened with not getting back on the flight unless I walked down the aisle wrapped in a blanket. #notsofriendlyskies

Buzzfeed News interviewed her.

Rowe told BuzzFeed News she and her 8-year-old son were guided outside the aircraft and she was asked if she had a jacket. Confused, Rowe replied, “No, I don’t.” After questioning Rowe further, the flight attendant made it clear that she could not board the plane as her romper was too revealing.

“I felt powerless,” Rowe said. “There was nothing I could do in that moment other than give up my money and my seat to defend my position that I was completely appropriate.”

Using a blanket that was provided by the crew, she covered up her waist and walked back to her seat feeling “humiliated.”

Business Insider adds:

After she wrapped the blanket around her waist, she said, another flight attendant came up and warned her not to make a scene, despite the fact that she was deliberately behaving calmly to avoid escalating the situation.

When they tell you not to "make as scene", that's a tell. Read the rest

Florida school principal unsure if Holocaust happened now certain to lose job

When asked how his school taught The Holocaust, Spanish River High School principal William Latson said that "I can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event" and that “you have your thoughts, but we are a public school and not all of our parents have the same beliefs.”

After a year of anger in Boca Raton, Florida, Latson was finally removed from the job, reports CBS News.

The school district did not initially punish Latson for his comments. Instead, he received counseling and was encouraged to expand his school's Holocaust curriculum, according to CBS West Palm Beach affiliate WPEC-TV. The district said Latson also visited the U.S. Holocaust Museum to increase his "personal knowledge" of the genocide. But the district announced Monday that Latson would be immediately reassigned because "his leadership has become a major distraction for the school community." ... The district said Latson had "made a grave error in judgment in the verbiage" of his email to the parent.

Read the rest

Cockatoo removes anti-bird spikes from building ledge

This bird is smarter than I am. The Independent:

In a video posted on social media, titled ‘Fuck the police”, the sulphur-crested cockatoo is seen patiently ripping out sections of metal spikes and dropping them on the pavement outside the Town Centre Arcade on Katoomba Street.

The camera later pans down to reveal the bird has torn out dozens of the sections across the entire length of the wall.

The footage, which was posted on Monday by Isaac Sherring-Tito, has been shared more than 34,000 times on Facebook.

Read the rest

Bluetooth cassette player

It being 2019, you may now buy a portable cassette player with Bluetooth functionality. Meet Its OK, a ~$65 gadget currently firing up Kickstarter.

Chaim Gartenberg:

the It’s OK does the usual tape things, like playing cassettes or letting you record to tapes, it also bills itself as the world’s first Bluetooth 5.0 portable cassette player (a claim of such niche specificity that it seems to be true). It allows you to listen to your favorite jams with wireless headphones or even link it to a Bluetooth speaker, should you wish.

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

The dark truth about mechanical keyboards and gaming

Eurogamer's Will Judd flirts with heresy: "Are mechanical keyboards really good for gaming?"

When it comes to PC gaming peripherals, stats and specs drive purchases. Gaming monitors became popular because they offered lower latency or higher refresh rates, while gaming mice boasted higher sensitivities and improved tracking accuracy. Yet this quantitative trend doesn't seem to apply to one peripheral in particular: mechanical keyboards. No single stat separates mechs from their non-mechanical counterparts, yet mechanical keyboards are routinely recommended over alternatives that cost a fraction of the price. Why is this the case? Are there genuine gaming advantages?

Thankfully, it's just a cunningly-titled top list of models Judd recommends; I have, therefore, titled my linkpost to his listpost with an even more shamelessly clickbaity title.

I do have an opinion, though, that might justify it: it doesn't really matter what mechanical keyboard you get so long as you don't get a cheap one. What's most important is learning which sort of switch suits you best -- linear, tactile, clicky -- and thenceforth completely ignoring the online cult of mechanical keyboards, because you got one to play games, not waste enormous sums of money on custom keycaps and bizarre, barely-functional niche layouts, like I do.

In fact, if you don't even want to think about all that stuff, and simply want to discover a mechanical keyboard that is good for playing games without further ado, allow me to commit fully to the most base and foul heresy and recommend that you just buy whatever Logitech is making right now [Amazon]. Read the rest

Nightmare footage of cruise ship emerging from fog in Venice near-collision

The Costa Deliziosa is a 92,700 tonne cruise ship, and holidaymakers along Venice's Giardini della Bienna got an up-close look at all 294 meters of its length on a foggy, sodden weekend. Too close.

Newsweek reports:

The huge vessel was being pulled along the canal by other tug boats in order to straighten itself out, narrowly avoiding hitting the dock's edge and other smaller boats near it.

During the clip, the Costa Deliziosa's emergency siren can be heard blasting as it desperately swerves to avoid a collision.

Authorities have now launched an investigation into the incident.

Pino Musolino, president of the Port Authority System for the northern Adriatic Sea, said in a statement: "We reserve the right to start a timely check to see if the ship has received the necessary permits. We also intend to evaluate the adoption of any further measures to ensure that ship traffic takes place in complete safety for the city."

A Costa Deliziosa spokesperson blamed "violent gusts". One of those cruise ships, then. Read the rest

More posts