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Despite the hype, the CBD molecule is actually pretty amazeballs

CBD is definitely screaming up toward the peak of inflated expectations, but it's not pure grift: the actual molecule and the way it interacts with our bodies is pretty amazing. Read the rest

Collecting user data is a competitive disadvantage

Warren Buffet is famous for identifying the need for businesses to have "moats" and "walls" around their profit-centers to keep competitors out, and data-centric companies often cite their massive collections of user-data as "moats" that benefit from "network effects" to make their businesses good investments. Read the rest

Bipartisan groups call on Congress to reinstate the Office of Technology Assessment, which Gingrich killed in 1995

Back in 1995, Newt Gingrich defunded the Office of Technology Assessment, a low-cost, high-yield body that provided neutral, evidence-based assessments of technology to lawmakers so they could avoid making stupid blunders when it came to tech. Read the rest

Buried in Uber's IPO, an aggressive plan to destroy all public transit

Uber is a wildly unprofitable company with no conceivable path to profitability in any universe, under any circumstances, but the company's founders and early investors (having already taken massive write-downs on their investments) are hoping to get at least some of their money back through the time-honored "greater fool" methodology. Specifically, they're floating the company on the stock market and hoping that naive investors hoping to wring above-inflation gains out of their 401(k)s and avoid being made into dog-food in their old age (we're waaaaay past the era in which impoverished old people get to eat dog-food) take their shares off their hands. Read the rest

The new Creative Commons search engine is out of beta, with more than 300 million images!

I am totally, utterly reliant on Creative Commons images for Boing Boing, and mostly I use Google Image's mediocre search tool for this purpose, but no more! Creative Commons's new search engine is out of beta, and contains more than 300,000,000 images, along with tools to make attribution easier! (via Kottke) Read the rest

Notre Dame's new spire might be copyrighted and blocked by EU filters

There's a proposal in the works to replace Notre Dame's spire -- which was a relatively modern addition -- with a new, starchitect-designed "statement" spire, which will be copyrightable under the same French rules that prohibit commercial photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (and other French landmarks). Read the rest

Joe Biden kicks off his presidential bid with a fundraiser hosted by Comcast's chief lobbyist

Joe Biden, a colossal asshole, wants to be the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 and in the most on-brand move ever, he's launched his campaign with a fundraiser hosted by the chief lobbyist for Comcast, the most hated company in America. (Image: Ildar Sagdejev, CC-BY-SA) Read the rest

Heiress "Instagram influencer" whose parents are accused of paying a $500K bribe to get her into USC has trademark application rejected for punctuation errors

Olivia Jade Giannulli is the millionaire heiress of actor Lori Laughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, who are accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to the University of Southern California to secure her admission; Jade's university career was bound up with her other career as an "Instagram influencer," with sponsor deals for the decor in her dorm room and other collegiate trappings. Read the rest

After Notre Dame bailout Yellow Vests urge more Victor Hugo tributes, starting with "Les Miserables"

The Notre Dame fire is a global tragedy, and it's also raising complicated questions about our present moment, including trenchant inquiries into which church fires merit global outpourings and whose sacred sites get mourned when they are destroyed. Read the rest

TSA admits that its pornoscanners flag Black women and others with curly hair for humiliating, invasive searches

Black women have long complained that they get flagged for secondary screening at TSA checkpoints after passing through a full-body scanner; after years of complaints, the TSA has admitted that its scanners struggle to with curled hair, and are prone to flagging anyone wearing an afro, twists, locks, braids, or other hairstyles predominantly found among Black travelers (though white travelers with long curly hair have also reported being flagged for secondary screening). Read the rest

The sovereign nation of Iceland has finally invalidated the European trademark on "Iceland," formerly held by a British discount grocery chain

In 2014, the British discount grocers Iceland Foods (so named for their pioneering role in selling frozen food) was granted an EU-wide trademark on the word "Iceland" by the EU Intellectual Property Organisation, which apparently saw no risk in giving a British grocer a monopoly over the use of the name of a sovereign nation that was also a member of the European Economic Area. Read the rest

1% of England owns half of England

Guy Shrubsole is the author of Who Owns England? a forthcoming book that reports out a paintstaking researched data-set laying out, for the first time, a comprehensive view of the land ownership in England, finding that half of the country is owned by 1% of its people: a mere 25,000 aristocrats, oligarchs and corporations. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders outraised every other Democrat in North Carolina

One major tactical consideration for Democrats in selecting their candidate for the 2020 presidential election is whether that candidate can garner support in flippable red states, like North Carolina: that's why it's so important that Bernie Sanders outraised every other would-be Democrat nominee in NC this year, bringing in $48,000 (his nearest competitor, Pete Buttigieg, raised $32K, while Kamala Harris raised $29K and Elizabeth Warren raised $20K) (I am a donor to both the Sanders and Warren campaigns). Sanders also outraised every other Democrat nationally and leads in polls with key traditional Democrat voting groups, including Hispanics. (Image: Gage Skidmore< CC-BY-SA) (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

What it's like to watch someone you love fall down the Fox News rabbit-hole

Luke O'Neil put a call out for his readers' stories of their loved ones' capture by Fox News, being overtake by its paranoid, racist conspiracy mindset: he got back a heartbreaking collection of tales of "funny, compassionate" older relatives turning into someone who was "increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid" -- some people even found their older relatives dead in front of a TV playing Fox. Read the rest

Air tanker drops are often useless for fighting wildfires, but politicians order them because they make good TV

Firefighters call airdrops "CNN Drops" because they're often useless, but politicians order them in order to produce a TV-friendly spectacle that reassures voters that Something is Being Done. Read the rest

Florida man convinces Western Union clerk to insert a thumb drive, steals $32K, does it again, gets caught

Vasile Savu is accused of walking into a Western Union in Hollywood, Florida and asking the clerk to print out his flight itinerary, a pretense he used to get the clerk to insert a thumb-drive loaded with malicious software into his computers, which allegedly allowed Savu to steal $32k from the business. Read the rest

A new edition of Octavia Butler's classic postapocalyptic Afrofuturist novel "Parable of the Sower," with an introduction by Hugo winner NK Jemisin

Macarthur "genius prize" recipient Octavia Butler (previously) is one of science fiction's most important figures, an author who wrote cracking, crackling, accessible and fast-moving adventure stories shot through with trenchant and smart allegories about race, gender and power (I like to think of her as "woke Heinlein"). Read the rest

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