A paracord bracelet that contains firestarters and a fishing kit

The Outdoor Element Kodiak Survival Bracelet resembles the basic paracord bracelet, but when unwound, it reveals a strand that contains firelighting tinder (similar to jute) and a fishing line and hook; the buckle doubles as a fire-striker and reflector. (via Red Ferret) Read the rest

You've Got Crabs: a party-game from the creators of Exploding Kittens

Elan Lee and Matthew "The Oatmeal" Inman have run some of the world's most successful game Kickstarters, but for their latest, You've Got Crabs, they're just selling it the traditional way. Read the rest

The intrinsic comedy of a self-inflating airplane emergency escape slide

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AT&T's 1993 "You Will" ads, the rightest wrong things ever predicted about the internet

In 1993, AT&T ran a series of ads trumpeting the future of the internet, called "You Will." Read the rest

Amanda Palmer's #metoo song for Judy Blume

Judy Blume is Amanda Palmer's ballad in honor of the author's 80th birthday, celebrating her decades of service in helping young women to navigate a world that labels them as crazy and vain, the nagging sense that it's "just me": "The experiences of her teenage characters ― Deenie, Davey, Tony, Jill, Margaret ― are so thoroughly enmeshed with my own memories that the line between fact and fiction is deliciously thin. My memories of these characters, though I’d prefer to call them “people” ― of Deenie getting felt up in the dark locker room during the school dance; of Davey listlessly making and stirring a cup of tea that she has no intention of drinking; of Jill watching Linda, the fat girl in her class, being tormented by giggling bullies ― are all as vivid, if not more so, as my own memories of kissing Stephen Lee in our elementary school’s auditorium closet atop a pile of gymnastics mats (fourth grade), of being teased by Mike O’Curtin for being too flat-chested (all of sixth and seventh grades), or of discovering that an empty plastic ice pop sheath makes a pretty good dildo when filled with warm water (summer of eighth grade. And believe me, it was a truly great summer.)" Read the rest

Cable operator Fidelity Communications admits it that secretly created the fake-grassroots "Stop City-Funded Internet" campaign to kill Missouri municipal net

Isaac Protiva wanted to know who was behind the "Stop City-Funded Internet" campaign that was pouring a fortune into scuttling the plan to build a fast, efficient, low-cost city network in his hometown of West Plains, Missouri; after a lot of digging, he discovered that (naturally), the "collection of fiscally conservative Missourians" who were nominally behind the site was actually the local cable-monopoly, Fidelity Communications, who came clean (but never apologized). Read the rest

The myth of the "genius creator" requires that we ignore the people they build on, or insist they don't matter

The wonderful Copy Me project (previously) has revealed the first installment in its new three-part series on The Creativity Delusion, which takes aim at the "myth of genius," which picks a small subsection of creators, scientists and entrepreneurs and declares them to be "original" by ignoring all the work they plundered to create their own and erasing all the creators whose shoulders they stand upon. Read the rest

Reddit shuts down Deepfakes subreddit, home to faceswapped pornography (and some other stuff)

Reddit has shut down /r/deepfakes, the subreddit where people collaborate to produce incredibly disturbing faceswapped pornography that uses machine-learning to put the faces of famous people who aren't pornography performers onto the bodies of people having sex in pornographic videos. Read the rest

Everyone Creates: a website celebrating the creativity that the internet has unlocked for millions of people

When we debate copyright policy on the internet, the story is pitched as "creators vs technology," but that leaves out the millions of people who create, but who are not part of the traditional entertainment industry -- people whose self-expression, artistic fulfillment, and audiences matter every bit as much as the audiences for creators who sign on to the big labels, studios, publishers and news bureaux. Read the rest

Using Deepfakes for good

Deepfakes is the person credited with inventing faceswapped videos, the deeply NSFW subreddit mostly filled with faceswapped pornography starring famous non-porn performers, or generically, faceswapped videos, usually created with Fakeapp, a tool that vastly simplifies the creation of deepfakes. Read the rest

Hero bicyclist narrows streets near FCC and offers drivers $5 "Priority Access" so drivers can "choose the plan that best suits their needs"

An act of heroic trolling from Net Neutrality advocate Rob Bliss, who "throttled" access to DC's 12th Street by traffic-coning all but one lane, then cycled slowly up and down the remaining lane with a sign offering drivers "priority access" to his "fast lane" for $5/month. Read the rest

Documentary on the DRM-breaking farmers who just want to fix their tractors, even if they have to download bootleg Ukrainian firmware to do it

Motherboard's short documentary, "Tractor Hacking: The Farmers Breaking Big Tech's Repair Monopoly" is an excellent look at the absurd situation created by John Deere's position that you can't own your tractor because you only license the software inside it, meaning that only Deere can fix Deere's tractors, and the centuries-old tradition of farmers fixing their agricultural equipment should end because Deere's shareholders would prefer it that way. Read the rest

Floating 1,600dpi 3D projections made by pushing around flecks of cellulose and hitting them with a laser

Physicists at BYU have demonstrated a volumetric projection system that works by using a laser to unevenly heat single cellulose molecules in order to shove them around in 3D space, then painting the positioned molecules with lasers that cause them to glow; by choreographic both sets of lasers, extremely high-resolution moving images can be attained. Read the rest

Burger King's Net Neutrality/Whopper Neutrality video is surprisingly excellent and says something about mainstreaming of net policy

Burger King's video on "Whopper Neutrality" (see Carla's earlier post) -- an analogy to explain Net Neutrality that's also obviously a marketing campaign for Burger King -- is a surprisingly great explainer, but even more importantly, it's an important bellwether for corporate America's perception of public support for Net Neutrality. Read the rest

TWANG! A one-dimensional dungeon-crawler that uses a springy doorstop as a controller

Robin Baumgarten's Line Wobbler is an incredibly clever dungeon crawler game based on a single, one-dimensional line of lights, traditionally implemented as large-scale, high-priced public art installations. Read the rest

Social scientists have warned Zuck all along that the Facebook theory of interaction would make people angry and miserable

Since the earliest days of Facebook, social scientists have sent up warnings saying that the ability to maintain separate "contexts" (where you reveal different aspects of yourself to different people) was key to creating and maintaining meaningful relationships, but Mark Zuckerberg ignored this advice, insisting that everyone be identified only by their real names and present a single identity to everyone in their lives, because anything else was "two-faced." Read the rest

Sears Canada execs paid hundreds of millions in dividends before declaring bankruptcy and leaving 16,000 workers' pensions unfunded

Sears Canada has been in serious financial trouble since 2013, when workers wrote to the CEO and regulators and senior politicians to ask that their pensions be safeguarded. They were ignored, as they had been since 2009, when they first started asking for greater scrutiny of the pension fund. Read the rest

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