Ah, the sound of a dot matrix printer!

One of my first jobs, back in the late 80s, stuck me in a room with an IBM /36, a gigantic floppy drive, and a printer the size of a Volkswagen Scirocco. I think I woke up today still hearing this... Read the rest

Shoulder tattoo of wrong Mars rover

Someone took the awesome last words of Mars Opportunity and got a tattoo of Mars Curiosity. Twitter was not kind.

Keep it clean and out of the sun! Read the rest

YouTube's algorithms demonitizes piano tutorial site for "Repetitious content"

When you're learning to play a musical instrument, you have to play the same songs and scales over and over again. YouTube's algorithm doesn't seem to know this, and so it demonetized a piano tutorial channel for "Repetitious content."

We just found out that our channel was demonetised for "Repetitious content" and we believe that this is an error, possibly decided by an algorithm, and now the biggest part of our livelihood has been taken away. Please help us by discussing this (tweeting and posting) if possible. We need to be heard by YouTube. It's a risk for the piano and synthesia community as we all have similar-looking videos.

I hope they get this sorted out soon! Read the rest

The 'Carlton Dance' is not eligible for registration, Fortnite boogies on

Alfonso Ribeiro sure can move, but the Copyright office doesn't see anything registerable about it. This ruling further imperils Ribeiro's claim that Epic Games 'Fortnite' has stolen from him.

The Verge:

The US Copyright Office refused to register The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro’s “Carlton dance” routine, likely weakening lawsuits against two game studios that copied the dance. In new legal filings, Take-Two Interactive produced letters and emails from the Copyright Office, showing serious concern over whether the dance qualified for copyright protection and, if it could, whether Ribeiro even owned the rights.

Ribeiro sued Take-Two for copying the Carlton dance, which he created while playing Fresh Prince character Carlton Banks, for a celebratory dance gesture in NBA 2K. He’s also filed a lawsuit against Epic Games, which used a version of the Carlton dance in Fortnite. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Take-Two filed a defense earlier this week, asking a judge to dismiss the case. It argues that Banks’ dance is too basic to be protected by copyright, which only covers more complex “choreography.”

A letter from the Copyright Office backs up that argument — at least, for one of three dance variations that Ribeiro submitted. The letter calls his submission “a simple routine made up of three dance steps” and refuses registration. “The fact that a dance or movement may contain more than a trivial amount of original authorship is irrelevant,” it reads. In other words, even if Ribeiro’s dance was unique and distinctive, it’s not protected by copyright.

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Ja Rule has plans for to Fyre up another music festival. Seriously.

Ja Rule, who claims he hasn't watched either of the Fyre festival documentaries, is ready to rise like a phoenix from the, er, flames:

"(Fyre is) the most iconiq festival that never was," he says. "So I have plans to create the iconic music festival." Read the rest

Watch a bus do a u-turn on a busy highway

According to Digg, this bus driver in China realized he wouldn't make it through a toll plaza so he pulled a u-ey. I think he actually wanted to grab a killer parking spot on the other side of the road.

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Trump says he's "most excited" about the death penalty for drug dealers

During Trump's address this morning where he declared a National Emergency in order to get funding for the wall that Mexico didn't pay for, he also mentioned how excited he was about the idea of a death penalty for people who traffic drugs.

He talked about a meeting he had with China's President Xi Jinping, in which Xi attributed China's low drug crimes to the punishment of death. "That's frankly one of the things I'm most excited about in our trade deal," Trump said, referring to the death penalty given to drug dealers.

"If we want to get smart...you can end the drug problem, a lot faster than people think." Read the rest

An "e-ink typewriter" that can only do one thing

Lucian's SPUDwriter (Single Purpose User Device) was designed to help him focus on creative writing after a long day of staring at a screen in his engineering job: it uses an e-ink screen and a keyboard, and only outputs via SD card or thermal printer.

As a person who does all of their engineering work on or adjacent to a computer, the idea of coming home and spending even MORE time on the computer for creative writing isn’t super appealing. So I made an e-paper typewriter – no browser, no games, just you and your word count. It has a character LCD at the bottom for the current line you’re typing, to make up for how slow E-paper updates, and when you’re finished you can save your file to an SD card or print it all out with the internal thermal receipt printer for redline editing. I call it the SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device), hopefully the first of a couple of SPUDs. It’s built on MBED and the STM32F401 Cortex M4.

The SPUDwrite (Single Purpose User Device) for creating writing made with E-paper, MBED, and STM32F401 Cortex M4 [Adafruit]

(Thanks, PT!)

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How to deal with getting fired

Brilliant culture critic Rob Walker, author of the forthcoming book The Art of Noticing, just launched a new column at Lifehacker about "navigating the modern workplace," a continuation in some ways of his long-running New York Times column "The Workologist." Naturally, Rob's first column in the new series is about getting fired:

...What I’m suggesting is that you should not wait for a major crisis (getting fired, a horrible reorg, your worst rival becomes your boss) to start thinking about other objects. It’s better to always have a kind of low-grade, ambient awareness of and openness to other professional opportunities. That’s true even if you’re ecstatic with whatever you’re doing. Always take the lunch or have the meeting or go on the informational interview that pops up on your radar...

The absolute flat-out most irritating piece of career advice is this: Reframe challenges, failures, slap-downs, and humiliations as exciting opportunities.

Yes, we all get the logic. In fact we all get it so well that we don’t need to hear this advice anymore. Particularly right after we just got fired and it doesn’t feel exciting at all!

So let me try to offer a slightly different reframing. As noted, it totally sucks to lose your gig. But take a deep breath and try to keep an open mind about what might come next. This, in a way, is just a restatement of the “permanent job search” idea, with a little panglossian polish.

"How To Get Fired" (Lifehacker) Read the rest

An edible "second skin" to preserve fruits and vegetables

Founded with a grant from the from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Apeel Sciences is a California-based startup that's developed a thin "second skin" for fruits and vegetables to preserve them for longer periods. Avocados coated with Apeel will soon hit shelves in Europe. From Technology Review:

The thin coating is made from the pulp, peels, and seeds of other fruit and vegetables. These are turned into powder, which gets mixed with water and then applied to produce by spraying, dipping, or brushing. It's then left to dry. This “second skin” acts like a barrier, slowing down loss of water and exposure to air, the main factors that lead to food spoiling. A lemon that might stay fresh for one month could stay fresh for two or more once it’s been treated with Apeel. And because it’s just made from fruits and other plants, it’s also edible.

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How to make an origami winged heart

All you need is love, love / Love and paper is all you need

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Corgi secretly rides pony at night

The original local news story seems to have vanished, so maybe all was not as it seems, but I prefer to believe that this corgi was caught secretly riding the neighbor's pony at night. Read the rest

Man enjoys unexpected slide down own icy path

The composition of the shot is perfect. You know it's going to happen. And when it does, it's delightful rather than horrible. I'd spend at least an hour sliding down again and again, and might even install a rope and traffic barriers to expedite and ensafen the joy. Read the rest

Weezer's video for "Take On Me" cover stars Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard and his band Calpurnia

The video for Weezer's cover of A-ha's "Take On Me" stars Calpurnia, the rather wonderful indie rock band fronted by Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike on Stranger Things. The song is included on Weezer's new "Teal Album," a collection of 1980s cover songs including their acclaimed version of Toto's "Africa."

And just for kicks, here's Calpurnia's "Greyhound":

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Hulu reanimates 'Howard the Duck'

Hulu is bringing back Howard the Duck. People may laugh at this new master of Quack-Fu as Kevin Smith has signed up to write for him.

Variety:

“Howard the Duck” will be written and executive produced by Kevin Smith and Dave Willis. Smith is known for his Askewniverse films, including “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” and “Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back.” Smith has also written for Marvel Comics in the past, writing for popular characters like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Willis previously co-created popular animated shows like “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Squidbillies” for Adult Swim in addition to his work as a voice actor.

Smith is repped by WME. Willis is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

In the series, Howard the Duck is trapped in a world he never made, but America’s favorite fighting fowl hopes to return home with the help of his unstoppable gal pal Beverly before the evil Dr. Bong can turn him the crispiest dish on the menu.

He shot an arrow straight into her heart. Read the rest

Disney's Frozen 2 teaser trailer

Get ready to sing "Let it go" a few thousand times. Read the rest

This is a real African black panther and it's incredibly rare

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A post shared by Will Burrard-Lucas | Wildlife (@willbl) on Feb 13, 2019 at 3:05am PST

In central Kenya, biologists and wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured footage of a fantastically rare melanistic leopard, sometimes known as an African "black panther." There are only two known prior photos of an African black leopard, from 1909 and 2007. From National Geographic:

"Almost everyone has a story about seeing one, it's such a mythical thing," says Pilfold, of San Diego Zoo Global's Institute for Conservation Research.

"Even when you talk to the older guys that were guides in Kenya many years ago, back when hunting was legal [in the 1950s and ‘60s], there was a known thing that you didn't hunt black leopards. If you saw them, you didn't take it..."

Pilfold adds it’s curious that the fictional country of Wakanda, home of the superhero Black Panther, is located in East Africa, fairly close to Kenya.

"It's a unique coincidence," says Pilfold. "The only place where we have black leopards is where this place in the Marvel Universe appears to exist."

"Black leopard spotted in Africa for first time in 100 years" (National Geographic)

Black Leopard: My quest to photograph the most elusive cat in Africa (Camtraptions)

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