Supportive Burger Wife and Burger Heiress costumes

If you search Amazon for Linda Belcher from the animated TV show Bob's Burgers, you will find the "Supportive Burger Wife" costume. [via Nicole Zhu] Not to be left out, though, are members of the younger generation, who can dream of being a Burger Heiress. (Sadly, there does not appear to be a Burger Prince or gender-nonspecific Burger Scion) Read the rest

Quickly add the Google Play store to your new Amazon Fire 10HD

Last time I bought an Amazon tablet adding the Google store was a real pain! It takes about 3 minutes and one reboot on the new Amazon Fire HD 10.

In order to get the most out of my new 7th generation Amazon Tablet, I needed the Google Play store. GMail, Chrome and a few other apps were not available via Amazon's walled garden. Used to be Amazon made this hard. Now it is very easy!

To add the Google Play store follow these steps:

STEP THE FIRST

Enable apps from UNKNOWN SOURCES!

Settings > Security > Enable Apps from Unknown Sources

This will trigger a warning. Read it, then ignore it.

THE SECOND STEP

Download and install four Google apps in this specific order:

Google Account Manager Google Services Framework Google Play Services Google Play Store

STEP THREE

Reboot the device.

FOURTH

Open the Google Play app. Login and start installing apps.

It was that easy. I'm just getting into playing with the new tablet, but thus far it is great.

I'm pretty sure this'll work for all 7th generation tablets regardless of screen size.

All-New Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free, 10.1" 1080p Full HD Display, 32 GB via Amazon Read the rest

UK press doesn't understand chemistry or Amazon, launches bomb-making panic

UK public broadcaster Channel 4 sparked a presswide panic with a story: "Potentially deadly bomb ingredients are ‘frequently bought together’ on Amazon." Read the rest

Watch this beautiful visualization of the sounds of the Amazon rainforest

Multimedia artist Andy Thomas translated the soundscapes of the Amazon rainforest into a mesmerizing 3D animation titled the Visual Sounds of the Amazon. He and Reynier Omena Junior made their field recordings in 2016 around Presidente Figueiredo in the Brazilian state of Amazonas. The result, he says, is "a symbolic representation of nature’s collision with technology.”

"What I've realized is that people have compassion fatigue these days," Thomas says. "They hear about the destruction of rainforests and decimation of species across the world, and they become numb to it."

From Smithsonian:

Thomas uses the animation software Houdini to bring sounds into sight. Unlike Adobe Photoshop, which is a layer-based program (effects are applied to a background like a stack of pages), Houdini is a node-based software. This means that the final image is a product of the interaction of a network or web of effects.

Using this program, Thomas creates an abstract form for each creature and layers it with a series of effects—selected as he thinks about the birds' coloring, nests, habitat and even diet. Many of the animations focus on the male birds' coloring, since they are often the ones to sport the most outlandish tones and patterns. Then he feeds in the animal recording, which activates particular parts of this complicated framework, converting the sequence of sounds into a pulsing, writhing burst of color. Though the bird calls are clearly the featured sound, every tick and trill in the background of the recording influences the final shape...

Read the rest

The financial crisis created a precariat army of RV-nomad seniors who serve as Amazon's seasonal workers

The "Camperforce" is a 2000+ strong army of retirees in RVs, a choice most were forced into when the value of their homes and pensions was wiped out in the 2008 crisis -- as many of them neared literal starvation and destitution, they began to travel from Amazon warehouse to Amazon warehouse, serving as a seasonal workforce of elderly, frail but diligent workers who put their bodies in harm's way to pack our Christmas supplies. Read the rest

Whole Foods lowers some prices as much as 43% and starts selling Echo on first day under Amazon

“Whole Paycheck” no more. Today is Whole Foods' first day as an official part of Amazon.com, which bought the grocery chain for $13.7 billion. Around the country this week, prices at Whole Foods Markets are down a third or more on some of the more popular produce items like avocados and apples, no doubt part of Amazon's plan to rid the chain of its bad rep for high prices.

Read the rest

Amazon ads for mystery junk defy explanation

William Turton took note of the bizarre ads for inexplicable items — mysterious geometric forms, molded plastic thingies, confusing wooden components — and investigated. Thankfully, his investigation goes no-where, leaving us in the speculative realm of data-driven and maybe AI-curated advertising.

I would have bet the item above was one of those marbled salt slabs you cook food on instead of a baking tray, but it turns out to be a foam mattress topper.

P.S. I'm quite sure that the "bare image" aesthetic is part of the Amazon Interesting Finds thing, a frequently-updated grid of tchotchkes and oddities such as this $4 USB drive in the shape of a chocolate bar and these soup ladles in the shape of the Loch Ness Monster. Read the rest

Amazon scammers' new trick: shipping things to random widows in your town

Ziemowit Pierzycki bought a $1500 used lens from an Amazon seller who turned out to be a scammer with an ingenious trick: the crook researched a recently widowed person across town and sent them a parcel with a couple of baking mats addressed to the deceased "or current resident." Read the rest

Amazon's "fish antibiotics" are a way for uninsured people to buy medicine without paying for doctor's visits

Amazon has a ton of listings for "fish antibiotics" whose reviews reveal that the people who buy them are self-medicating because they can't afford a doctor's visit because they are uninsured or can't afford their insurance's co-payment. Read the rest

Hilarious video on speedy package shipping options

The fine folks behind the series CrapShots did this very funny short clip called The Shipping, on the inevitable outcome of the race for faster packing shipping speeds.

Read the rest

Amazon files for meal-kit trademarks, and Blue Apron shares shrivel in fearful anticipation

Everyone's favorite Internet monopoly Amazon looks like it's about to eat Blue Apron's lunch. Amazon just announced plans to boy high-end grocery chain Whole Foods last month in June, and has also recently filed for trademarks around prepped meal kit services-- that's Blue Apron's sole business.

Read the rest

Amazon Prime day just started but the only thing worth buying so far is this giant bag of penis-shaped candy

Amazon Prime Day kicks off at the hour, heralding what its hype claims is a better set of deals than the traditional November stampedes. I eagerly hit the previews in expectation of interesting tech bargains and whatnot, but the only things I could find worth buying are are these enormous bagfuls of colorful candy cocks.

That said, I can hardly say I'm disappointed. Read the rest

How big is the market for DRM-Free?

It's the Day Against DRM, and EFF is celebrating by publishing the first public look at How Much Do Consumers Value Interoperability? Evidence from the Price of DVD Players, a scholarly economics paper that uses clever techniques to reveal some eye-popping number on the strangled market for DRM-free gadgets. Read the rest

Guide to finding and erasing your online data doppelganger

The New York Times rounds up direct links to several services surveillance opt-out screens, including some I'd never thought to look for (Amazon), as well as instructions for installing tracking blockers and no-script extensions that will limit the data trail you exhaust behind yourself as you traverse the net. Read the rest

Why Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion

Amazon announced today it has agreed to buy the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.4 billion, as the internet retailer eyes a broader expansion of services.

Read the rest

The next iteration of Alexa is designed to watch you while you get dressed

The Echo Look is the next version of the Alexa appliance: it has an camera hooked up to a computer vision system, along with its always-on mic, and the first application for it is to watch you as you dress and give you fashion advice (that is, recommend clothes you can order from Amazon). Read the rest

Monkeys helped man who mysteriously vanished in the Bolivian Amazon

Tourist Maykool Coroseo Acuña, 25, was lost in the Bolivian Amazon for nine days. He says that he was only able to survive thanks to "a group of monkeys, who dropped him fruit and lead him to shelter and water every day." And that isn't even the strangest part of the story surrounding Acuña. From Elizabeth Unger's fascinating article in National Geographic:

(Tour organizer Feizar Nava) had invited the tourists at the lodge to participate in a Pachamama ceremony—a tradition involving coca leaves, candles, and cigarettes—to thank Pachamama, or Mother Earth, for giving them permission to enter the forest.

When Maykool was asked to join the ceremony alongside the group, he had refused, Feizar said. And when a guide had returned to his cabin to check on him, he was nowhere to be found. The amount of time that had passed between when Maykool was last seen and when someone went back for him was only five minutes.

Panicked, Feizar and his guides checked every inch of the lodge. Maykool wasn’t there. The group headed out into the rainforest with flashlights. They searched until five in the morning, to no avail. Maykool seemed to have completely vanished.

“It’s because he offended the Pachamama.” Feizar said. “He didn’t want to participate in the ceremony.”

"Lost Tourist Says Monkeys Saved Him in the Amazon" (Nat Geo) Read the rest

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