Le Creuset announces a line of high-end Star Wars cookwear

French company Le Creuset has announced a line of its signature enameled cast-iron cookwear themed after the Star Wars franchise; it's expensive even by Le Creuset standards, and a few of the pieces are uninspired messes, but the Han Solo in Carbonite roaster ($450), the R2-D2 Mini Cocotte ($30) and the Porg Pie Bird ($25) are positively brilliant. I'm also fond of the Tattoine Dutch oven, but that one isn't even priced and the company is offering an "opportunity to purchase." (via Geekologie) Read the rest

Veterinary tech training video starring man as pissed-off, unruly, and frightened cat

The video is titled "Veterinary Technician Training: Handling a Fractious Cat."

After several viewings, it occurs to me that they mean "cat" as in "hepcat."

Read the rest

9th circuit: scraping publicly-accessible websites is fine

A company scraped information from public profiles on LinkedIn and LinkedIn sued it under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. LinkedIn lost, and now it loses again. Moreover, the court's opinion takes aim at the company's efforts to stop people from accessing information its users post publicly.

The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction forbidding the professional networking website LinkedIn Corp. from denying plaintiff hiQ, a data analytics company, access to publicly available LinkedIn member profiles. Using automated bots, hiQ scrapes information that LinkedIn users have included on public LinkedIn profiles. LinkedIn sent hiQ a cause-and-desist letter, demanding that hiQ stop accessing and copying data from LinkedIn’s server. HiQ filed suit, seeking injunctive relief based on California law and a declaratory judgment that LinkedIn could not lawfully invoke the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, California Penal Code § 502(c), or the common law of trespass against it.

Note that this wasn't a copyright infringement claim, as is easy to assume; LinkedIn wasn't claiming ownership of the material being scraped. So the moral of the story is not "finders keepers" but "if you don't want something to be publicly published, don't let your users publish it publicly on your website". Other ways of putting it may be "If you don't want people to hear what your customers are saying, don't be a pub." Or maybe "If you're the sleazest, spammiest, data-suckingest social network on the planet, get in the sea." Read the rest

Babies turn into hairy "werewolves" after mislabeled Rogaine sold as antacid

A pharmaceutical lab in Spain mislabeled minoxidil (a hair-loss drug sold in the U.S. as Rogaine) as omeprazole (an antacid marketed as Prilosec). Excess hair growth resulted after babies were prescribed the latter and consumed the former, reports the New York Times.

The children who took the mislabeled medicine, some of them babies, began growing hair all over their bodies, a rare condition known as hypertrichosis, Spain’s health minister said on Wednesday. ...

Ms. Carcedo, the health minister, told reporters that no pharmacy in Spain still had the mislabeled omeprazole.

“We have immobilized all the batches,” she said.

Do not drink Rogaine. Read the rest

Uber and Lyft gouge their drivers

I hear endless stories of grief from the friends I have who try to make ends meet working for these services.

Jalopnik's Dhruv Mehrotra and Aaron Gordon share the terrible economics:

But Dave, who was granted anonymity out of fear of being deactivated by the ride-hail giant for speaking to the press, had no real choice but to wait. The passenger had requested the stop through the app, so refusing to make it would have been contentious both with the customer and with Uber. The exact number varies by city, but drivers must maintain a high rating in order to work on their platform. And there’s widespread belief among drivers that the Uber algorithm punishes drivers for cancelling trips.

Ultimately, the rider paid $65 for the half-hour trip, according to a receipt viewed by Jalopnik. But Dave made only $15 (the fares have been rounded to anonymize the transaction).

Uber kept the rest, meaning the multibillion-dollar corporation kept more than 75 percent of the fare, more than triple the average so-called “take-rate” it claims in financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Had he known in advance how much he would have been paid for the ride relative to what the rider paid, Dave said he never would have accepted the fare.

“This is robbery,” Dave told Jalopnik over email. “This business is out of control.”

Read the rest

Teenager uses fridge to tweet after her mother takes her phone away

A teenage girl lost her phone privileges so she used her 3DS to go online. Her mother found out and confiscated it. The girl resumed tweeting on her Wii U. After her mother took that away, the girl started tweeting from the LG smart refrigerator in the kitchen. The girl said her mother has made plans to remove it.

[via New York Magazine]

Image: Twitter Read the rest

WordPress is buying Tumblr

Automattic (beloved parent company of WordPress) is buying Tumblr from Verizon (loathesome parent company of Oath, a division named because its users are generally angry enough to swear at it), at a price "well below" $20m (which is well below the $1.1b Yahoo paid in 2013). No word as to whether Automattic will get rid of Tumblr's world-beatingly-terrible pornography filter. (via Bruce Sterling's Tumblr) Read the rest

Watch the CBS broadcast of the moon landing, old school commercials and all

50 years ago this month, our species placed its first footprint on the moon... and we've been leaving space junk there ever since. I mostly kid: the limits of our technology at the time forced us to leave bits and pieces of what NASA's astronauts brought to the moon with them—I like to think of what's up there more as monuments to audacity than litter.

If you're so inclined, CBS is streaming their coverage of Apollo 11's 1969 mission to the moon right now, from soup to nuts. They've even left in the OG commercials that those keeping up with the mission's progress would have watched. It's a great way to grasp a better understanding of the risk, tension and wonder that our venturing beyond our home brought to the world.

Image via The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force Read the rest

Woman banned from Walmart for eating half a cake and then trying to pay half-price for it

Police banned a woman from a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas after she allegedly ate half a cake while shopping and then, at check-out, insisted that she should only pay half-price for what was left. This follows on another unusual Wichita Falls Walmart incident a few months back when a different woman spent several hours zipping around the store parking lot while gulping wine from a Pringles can. She, too, was banned.

(My9nj) Read the rest

GE is totally messing with customers who need help resetting a lightbulb

Holy cow! This How-To video sounds like a parody but is just GE being GE, I guess.

Who the fuck needs to reset a lightbulb?

How many GE engineers does it take to reset a lightbulb?

Reset a lightbulb.

(Thank you, BCC) Read the rest

Listen to what is likely the only voice recording of Frida Kahlo

The National Sound Library of Mexico has found an audio recording of what is most likely painter Frida Kahlo reading her essay "Portrait of Diego" in the early 1950s. It was recorded for the pilot episode of radio show El Bachiller. From The Guardian:

The episode featured a profile of Kahlo’s artist husband Diego Rivera. In it, she reads from her essay Portrait of Diego, which was taken from the catalogue of a 1949 exhibition at the Palace of Fine Arts, celebrating 50 years of Rivera’s work...

In the press release, Mexico’s secretary of culture, Alejandra Frausto, said if it is indeed Kahlo’s voice – a claim which authorities continue to investigate – it could be the only audio recording of the artist that exists...

“Frida’s voice has always been a great enigma, a never-ending search,” (library national director Pável) Granados told a press conference. “Until now, there had never been a recording of Frida Kahlo.”

Read the rest

Florida Governor says the FBI told him how the Russians hacked Florida voting machines, but swore him to secrecy

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says that after the Mueller Report was published, the FBI came to him to explain its conclusion that at least two Florida county's voting machines were hacked by Russians during the 2016 election, but that they swore him to secrecy so he can't reveal which counties and which machines were hacked. Read the rest

Watch: the premiere of Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone reboot

"The Comedian" is the first episode of Jordan Peele's long awaited, hotly anticipated reboot of "The Twilight Zone." Peele's reboot is perfect, absolutely faithful to Rod Serling's love of complexity, comeuppance, and ambiguity. Love this. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest

The wasabi you think you're eating isn't wasabi

Real wasabi, Wasabia japonica, is apparently one of the most expensive vegetables to grow. That green stuff you're eating? Ground horseradish, Chinese mustard, and, you guessed it, green food coloring. Yum.

According to The Atlantic, "Worldwide, experts believe that this imposter combination masquerades as wasabi about 99% of the time."

Above, meet Shigeo Iida, 75, whose family has grown real wasabi for eight generations.

(via NextDraft)

image: HK 北角 North Point 和田 Wada Japanese Restaurant 放題 Buffet dinner 山葵 green Wasabi Mar-2013 Read the rest

Insistent not-a-racist GOP Rep. Mark Meadows displays his racism

North Carolina's Rep. Mark Meadows was aghast that Rep. Rashida Tlaib found his parading HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, before congress as prop, to be racist. He insisted he is not a racist.

There is plenty of video of displaying Meadows smugly spreading racist "birther" theories about President Obama.

TPM:

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) was very indignant Thursday when Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) accused him of using HUD official Lynne Patton, a black woman, as a prop to counter Michael Cohen’s accusations of racism.

He retorted loudly, saying that her implication was racist and citing black people in his life.

Unfortunately for the self-righteous congressman, videos have surfaced since the fracas that show him espousing the thoroughly debunked “birther” theory about President Barack Obama.

Read the rest

Watch Spike Jonze commercial for weed retailer

Director Spike Jonze presents the history of the US's racist/classist war on marijuana in this commercial for MedMen, a cannabis retailer with shops in New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Read the rest

Yikes is over.

Seeing a slight resurgence online this week, perhaps due to issues related to the government shutdown, is the viral term "Yikes!" I humbly propose that this shopworn exclamation be replaced for the duration of 2019 with "Blimey!" This perfectly British alternative honors the derailed madness of Brexit and even comes with an optional intensifier — Cor Blimey! — though Americans would be advised to use it sparingly. Read the rest

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