Collection of old digital cameras

Old Digital Cameras is a collection of, well, old digital cameras. Models go back to 1996; pictured here is Leica's 2006 digital M3, which was obsolete within months and is now worth about a tenth of the film original.

Feel free to contact me if you wish :
- To part with your old model and give it a second life in my collection and this web site,
- Add or modify any information, or add your own comment about a model,
- Upload a user manual or a driver.

Man cleans filthy bathroom at national park, then sends Trump $28 bill

Although many national parks are still open during the longest government shutdown in US history, there is no one around to clean the increasingly filthy bathrooms. Except, perhaps, for one man, Dan Little, who found the bathroom at Mt. Hood National Forest Sno-Park in Oregon to be so disgusting, he cleaned it himself. He then sent a $28 bill to Trump. That's the spirit!

Of course, with Trump's disgraceful reputation of not paying his employees for their work, it's highly doubtful Mr. Little will get a pat on the back from the president, let alone a paycheck.

Via Mashable

Image: S.Schön/Pexels

Measles warning in Los Angeles, New York outbreak surges

Anti-vaxxers are winning the war on life. Measles outbreaks are happening with increasing frequency.

US News and World Report:

In late December, one person who was sick with the highly contagious viral infection visited several stores and restaurants in Malibu, Pasadena and Santa Monica while contagious, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said there is no remaining risk in those areas, but people who may have been near the infected person should watch for any symptoms of the illness, which is spread through cough or sneeze and causes fever, red eyes and a rash. Most people who haven't been immunized will get measles if they are exposed to the virus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

"If you think that you or someone you know has been exposed to or has measles, contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before going in," Dr. Muntu Davis, the county's health officer, said in a statement.

The alert comes amid a slew of measles outbreaks in recent months, nearly two decades after the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S.

New York, for example, has seen more than 160 cases since September and is experiencing what Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, called "the largest measles outbreak that New York state has had in recent history," CNN reported.

In 2018, a total of 349 cases in 26 states and the District of Columbia were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 120 cases in 2017. A 2015 Disneyland-linked outbreak resulted in 147 cases and prompted California to strengthen its vaccine laws for school-age children.

Health experts say roughly 95 percent of people should be vaccinated to create "herd immunity" against a contagious disease like measles, and the CDC recommends children receive their first vaccination against measles between 12 and 15 months old. In 2017, measles vaccination coverage among children 19 to 35 months old was below 90 percent in 15 states, according to the CDC.


Globally, an uptick in cases, largely due to immunization gaps, "is of serious concern," Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, a World Health Organization official, said in a statement in November. While the measles vaccine has saved 21 million lives since the turn of the century, reported cases rose more than 30 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the WHO.

Without increased efforts to improve vaccination rates around the world, "we risk losing decades of progress in protecting children and communities against this devastating, but entirely preventable disease," Swaminathan said.

Watch: this spectacular gymnastics performance by UCLA's Katelyn Ohashi is a perfect 10

I don't usually pay much attention to gymnastics, but this routine by 21-year-old UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi is mind blowing.

Via Uproxx:

Katelyn Ohashi is about to become a household name. The 21-year-old UCLA gymnast wowed spectators with an absolutely flawless routine at the Anaheim Arena over the weekend, which subsequently went viral when the UCLA Gymnastics ‏Twitter account tweeted video after her performance. Gymnastics ‏Twitter account tweeted video after her performance. “A 10 isn’t enough for this floor routine by Katelyn Ohashi,” the tweet correctly expressed.

Steve Albini, legendary Big Black guitarist and Nirvana engineer, is also a poker champion

If you played poker with Steve Albini -- esteemed guitarist for Big Black, Rapeman, and Shellac, recording engineer for Nirvana, Pixies, and PJ Harvey -- he would take all your money. I was surprised to learn that last year Albini won gold in the World Series of Poker. Above, a short documentary about Albini's poker prowess.

(Poker Central via Uncrate)

Hulu appears poised to win the Fyre Festival documentary race

Looks like Hulu is going to beat Netflix to market with their Fyre Festival documentary.

Two documentaries on a festival that didn't happen. I was not one-documentary interested, but Mark is making popcorn.

Hollywood Reporter:

Fyre Fraud, a documentary chronicling the lead-up and aftermath of 2017’s disastrous Fyre Festival, is airing on Hulu.

Hulu dropped the documentary, produced and distributed by The Cinemart, Hulu, Billboard and Mic, Monday morning, with no advance notice. Netflix’s competing documentary, Fyre, comes out Jan. 18.

The 96-minute Hulu doc features an exclusive, extensive post-festival interview with 25-year-old entrepreneur and Fyre Festival mastermind Billy McFarland, who is serving a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges. By turns repentant and defensive, he seldom takes direct responsibility for allegedly defrauding investors out of more than $26 million, nor does he admit wrongdoing.

Dark markets have evolved to use encrypted messengers and dead-drops

Cryptocurrencies and Tor hidden services ushered in a new golden age for markets in illegal goods, especially banned or circumscribed drugs: Bitcoin was widely (and incorrectly) viewed as intrinsically anonymous, while the marketplaces themselves were significantly safer and more reliable than traditional criminal markets, and as sellers realized real savings in losses due to law enforcement and related risks, the prices of their merchandise plummeted, while their profits soared. (more…)

David Bowie's 11th studio album, "Low," is 42 today

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the release of David Bowie's mid-70s masterpiece, Low, the first album of his so-called Berlin Trilogy (later joined by "Heroes" and Lodger). Working with the increasingly experimental Brian Eno, this album was a dramatic departure for Bowie and much has been made over the music, the strange (and strangely inspiring) milieu of the West Berlin recording studio up against the Berlin wall, Bowie's continuing battles with the coke monster, the highly experimental nature of the sessions, and the studio use of Eno's Oblique Strategies cards.

To celebrate this happy day, and some of the strangeness around this record, here is a hilarious animated piece done in 2014 by The Brothers McLeod. The McLeod piece is actually an animation for a radio bit done by UK comedian Adam Buxton. It is a loving lampoon of Bowie, Eno, and long-time Bowie collaborator and co-producer, Tony Visconti, in the studio recording "Warszawa," one of the more haunting and inscrutable tracks on the album. You can hear Buxton's original here (though most of it ended up in the McLeod Bros animation).

This video mini-doc, done several years ago by the Polish culture portal, Cultural.pl, retraces the train trip that Bowie took through Poland, with a stop-over in Warsaw, that inspired the song. On their website, you can read more about the trip, the song, and the Polish folk tune (Helokanie) that inspired some of the vocalization on the track.

Below is Bowie performing Warszawa in Tokyo, Japan on Dec 12, 1978.

In the The Brothers McLeod/Adam Buxton piece, the David character tells Brian how much he loves doing the Derek and Clive voices. This refers to a bit that beloved British comedians Dudley Moore and Peter Cook used to do. Bowie and Eno really did love that routine and would allegedly do it whenever they were together (a great reminder of what a nerdy goofball David Bowie really was). They would also take on characters in their emails to each other, Bowie signing his letters with names like Mr. Showbiz, The Duke of Ear, Milton Keynes, and Rhoda Borrocks. In the early hours of January 2016, Brian got a letter from David. Eno recounts it was as "funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did." It ended with: "Thank you for our good times, Brian. They will never rot." The message was signed "Dawn." Seven days later, Bowie was gone.

And, for a little bit more Low goodness, check out this instrumental outtake from the album, called "All Saints." Tres Throbbing Gristle, Batman!

Mobile app for detecting opioid overdose

Second Chance is a smartphone app developed by University of Washington engineers to detect an opioid overdose. The researchers tested the app at a public supervised injection facility in Vancouver, Canada with encouraging results. From Science News:

Second Chance, described online January 9 in Science Translational Medicine, converts a smartphone’s speaker and microphone into a sonar system that works within about a meter of a user’s body. When the app is running, the phone continuously emits sound waves at frequencies too high to hear, which bounce off a user’s chest. Tracking when these echoes reach the phone allows the app to detect two possible signs of an impending overdose: slow breathing or no breathing at all...

For real-world use, the researchers envision the app notifying a user if it detects breathing problems and sending for help only if the user doesn’t respond to that notification, says study coauthor and computer scientist Shyam Gollakota. The scientists still need to ensure that this setup could reliably alert emergency contacts or medical personnel in time to resuscitate a person.

Google Walkout meets #MeToo in a new anti-arbitration campaign

When outraged googlers walked off the job last year to protest the company's practice of secretly paying off serial sexual assaulters and harassers, while denying employees the right to sue over harassment through arbitration clauses in their contracts, Google CEO Sundar Pichai promised revise Google employment contracts to remove mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment claims. (more…)

Man with a gun in his carry-on bag slips by TSA and flies from Georgia to Tokyo

A man carrying a firearm in his carry-on luggage got past the TSA screeners at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flew with it to Narita International Airport on January 3. This occurred during the government shutdown, after "hundreds of TSA agents from at least four major airports had called in sick," according to CNN.

The man, flying on Delta Airlines, had apparently forgotten that the gun was in his bag. Once he remembered he was carrying it, he informed Delta, who then reported it to TSA. It's not clear when the passenger disclosed this information to Delta.

Via CNN:

"TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the morning of January 3," the release states.

The security breach came two weeks into the government shutdown, during which TSA agents have been required to work but have not received paychecks. CNN first reported on January 4 -- a day after the breach -- that hundreds of TSA agents from at least four major airports had called in sick.

TSA, however, denies that the shutdown had anything to do with their security lapse, claims that they were completely staffed that day, and states that they will "hold those responsible appropriately accountable."

Image: US Department of Homeland Security/Flickr

Why you definitely want to be on Star Trek: The Cruise IV

I've just returned home from Star Trek: The Cruise, a truly extraordinary fan event for lovers of Science, Science Fiction, and the future.

You really want to be on the next one.

Longtime Boing Boing friend Wil Wheaton headlined the third annual cruise, which this year featured stars from every series of Star Trek from The Next Generation onwards. They, along with thousands of die-hard Star Trek fans took over an entire cruise ship for a week (flying the flag of the United Federated of Planets no less), Taking part in everything from photo and autograph sessions, Science Lectures from experts in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Game Shows, Q&A sessions, and even a narrated performance of the Scopes Monkey Trial transcript.

But the real reason you should go isn't one of those events.

There's a unique culture behind Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a utopian future attracts a certain type of fan, and there's something special about putting thousands of like-minded people and the actors who portrayed their most beloved Star Trek characters on a ship for a week. Wil Wheaton put it best in his initial address during our sendoff:

"I have been a fan of Star Trek my entire life. [...] I learned everything that was important to me from the values that Star Trek taught me: I learned to be honest, I learned to be honourable, I learned to be kind. My whole life I've wanted to live in that world that we imagined when we worked on Next Generation, and that I loved to watch when I was a little boy. We came close to it working on Next Gen, we got to pretend that we were in that world, but we have got this great opportunity over the next six days to *actually* create the world that Star Trek promises, because we all have the same influences. I think we have an opportunity for the next six days to get away from the worst person on the planet, and I'm really excited about that!"

Regardless of your views on Discovery's Klingons, who was the better captain, or insert-your-favourite-trek-argument-here, you'll find like-minded folks on the cruise. There are also several cosplay-friendly events hosted throughout the voyage. If you've ever wanted to be on a ship surrounded by folks in Starfleet uniforms and insignias, this is the place for you.

Next year, for the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager, the cruise is going to be headed up by Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), and currently has representation from every TV version of Trek from The Original Series to Discovery - more than 20 cast members are slated to attend.

Here are some shots and video I took from Cruise III. See you next year!

(more…)

Photo of egg becomes Instagram's most-liked

Following a publicity campaign to make it the most popular photo on Instagram, a photo of an egg became the most popular photo on Instagram.

The campaign started off slowly, with under 10,000 likes by Tuesday. Then, the egg gained momentum. The anonymous person behind it said they were still trying to work out how, exactly, the egg achieved its dream. The egg’s Instagram story also contains a brief statement.

“This is madness, What a time to be alive.” The Egg Gang also promises this isn’t the last you will hear of Egg.

This screw is impossible

The "impossible screw" will "drive you nuts." It appears to turn only clockwise -- even when you turn it around.

It's a small project you can do in your home shop even if you don't have a milling machine or lathe. A hacksaw and a file will do. It also makes a nice last minute present.

Billionaire Beach Villain Vinod Khosla has a thought concerning Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Vinod Khosla is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who chose to define his legacy through a spectacular legal battle to block access to the public part of a beach area he owns in California.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, whose openly progressive positions (especially a proposal to tax rich people's incomes at 70% after the first $10,000,000 a year) have shocked conservatives into an all-consuming hysteria. Moreover, she's very good at Twitter.

Political analyst Anand Giridharadas remarked, this weekend, that the right's condescension and sneering at "AOC" threatened to expose its parochial instincts:

"If you think a freshman congresswoman who actually connects with people and actually understands new technology is the problem with America," Giridharadas wrote, "it may be that you are the problem with America."

Vinod Khosla, however, doubled down on the condescension.

"That is assuming she understands basic economics, actual humans and technology. I doubt if any of those are true."

This would be an unremarkable sentiment if its author had 22 followers and an 8-digit number in their Twitter handle. But in this case it's one of America's richest men. It's so wrong at each turn it only illustrates the hapless self-regard for which The New York Times mocked him as the "beach villain" this generation deserves—and an obvious proxy for the Valley's broader culture.

That is assuming she understands basic economics

Ocasio-Cortez holds a degree in Economics from Boston University and worked 18 hours a day to fend off a bank's attempt to foreclose on her family home. Khosla has a plan to 3D-print little houses for homeless people.

, actual humans

Ocasio-Cortez deposed the leader-in-waiting of the Democratic Party, was elected the youngest congresswoman in history, and instantly became America's second-most discussed politician. Khosla struggles to understand why blocking access to a popular public beach has made him unpopular.

, technology

Khosla is a successful tech investor, but his public endgame encompasses Twitter rants about the Times, defending his trade's record on sexual harassment, and saying mean things about women and "liberal bigots". AOC quotes Alan Moore to the men who say she should be reined in and crafts the laws that govern us. In this is a generational distiction – technology as a road, technology as abode. Who, here, lives with technology?

I doubt if any of those are true.

“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
— William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

Photo: Shutterstock

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