How to Win Friends and Convince People to Watch Eurovision

If you don't know what I mean when I say the word Eurovision -- Greetings, fellow American! Much like the World Cup and universal health care, it is hard for many of our countrymen to grasp just how big a deal this thing few here have heard of or care about has become outside our borders, and how popular it really is.

See in the Dark: a machine learning technique for producing astoundingly sharp photos in very low light

A group of scientists from Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign have published a paper called Learning to See in the Dark detailing a powerful machine-learning based image processing technique that allows regular cameras to take super-sharp pictures in very low light, without long exposures or the kinds of graininess associated with low-light photography. Read the rest

The BBC on Afrofuturism

The BBC has published a long and welcome feature on Afrofuturism, the term coined by former Boing Boing guestblogger Mark Dery to describe (in the words of Steve Barnes) "science fiction, fantasy and horror created by or featuring the children of the African diaspora (people of African origin living outside of the continent)." Read the rest

Simone Giertz, queen of the shitty robots, has a brain tumor

Simone Giertz (previously), a roboticist/satirist/artist/youtuber, has announced that she has a brain tumor the size of a golf-ball behind one of her eyes; it is operable but she could experience longterm vision-loss, paralysis, or cognitive impairment. Her video announcement is brave and funny and moving, and as one of her ardent admirers, I am certainly pulling for her. (via Four Short Links) Read the rest

Right wing snowflakes moaning about Michelle Wolf's hilarious White House Press Corps monologue show us real "PC"

Michelle Wolf delivered the best White House Press Corps monologue since Colbert's amazing 2006 performance, and it has made the right (as well as establishment handwringers) really angry! Read the rest

Congressional candidate Brianna Wu explains Net Neutrality with cookies

Frank Wu writes, "Brianna Wu, progressive Democrat and cybersecurity expert, is running for Congress in Massachusetts District 8. She has just released a set of three short videos to explain three complex technical issues." Read the rest

US military unveils experimental HERF gun that can immobilize cars, boats

The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program has demonstrated the Radio Frequency Vehicle Stopper, an experimental "direct energy weapon" that causes car and boats' electronic engine control units to enter into an endless cycle of rebooting, immobilizing the vehicles until the weapon is switched off. Read the rest

Kickstarting a metal, reusable, self-extracting straw

The "Final Straw" is a cleverly named, cleverly engineered reusable drinking straw that folds down into a package small enough to use as a keyfob (including a little squeegee for cleaning the straw after use). Read the rest

In 60 seconds, security researchers can clone the master hotel-room keys for 140,000 hotels in 160 countries

The Vingcard Vision locks are RFID-based hotel locks; at this week's Infiltrate conference in Miami, Tomi Tuominen and Timo Hirvonen from F-Secure will present a method for combining a $300 Proxmark RFID tool with any discarded key from a given hotel to derive the master keys that allow them to unlock every room in the hotel, a process that takes less than 60 seconds. Read the rest

Pepsico launches a K-Cup for juice

Pepsico is the low-key -- some might say deliberately hidden -- backer of the Drinkfinity system. As Jaiksmith says, "it's a proprietary bottle that uses proprietary "pods" that are a mix of dry and liquid ingredients, no artificial sweeteners. For $35 you can get a bottle and 16 pods...about twice the cost (per oz) of their other product, Tropicana Orange Juice." Read the rest

Youtube channel mundane yet quite weird

In the spirit of The Dullest Blog comes this YouTube channel -- same mundanity, but somewhat more surreal -- with videos such as kicking a tree, not measuring anything, holding a bottle of mustard, and the viral hit waffle falling over, for which an official T-shirt is available. Read the rest

Cities' emergency sirens will play anything you send them over an unencrypted radio protocol

It's been a year since someone hacked all 156 of Dallas's emergency tornado sirens, setting them off in the middle of the night, and the security picture for cities' emergency PA systems keeps getting uglier. Read the rest

Make: a crawling, Arduino-controlled scrap cardboard spiderbot

Raz85's Instructable for a Cardboard Spider Quadruped offers a nice demonstration of the surprisingly durable material properties of humble cardboard, replacing the more familiar milled metal or plastic limbs for a quadruped robot with scrap cardboard. Read the rest

Hockey Noir: The Opera

A bunch of years ago, I was sitting at a LA Kings Hockey game, noticing the music the game made. The skates on the ice. The slap of the sticks. The puck being handled and passed around. The grunts. The whistles. The roar of the crowd. The bursts of music clips. The Zamboni. And in that moment, I knew that I had come up with the idea that for my new opera it would have something to do with Hockey.

John Oliver on America's immigration courts, where families are torn apart and young children represent themselves

John Oliver is in very good form in this 18-minute explainer on America's ghastly immigration courts, where "we try death penalty cases like it was traffic court," forcing refugee claimants (even children as young as three years old) to represent themselves in deportation proceedings where their very lives are at stake. Read the rest

Help crowdfund the Harlem Cryptoparty and 100 unlimited, privacy-protecting wifi hotspots for Puerto Rico

Calyx is an amazing nonprofit, privacy-oriented activist ISP (they were the first ISP to successfully resist a secret Patriot Act warrant); they are notable for offering an unlimited, unfiltered, unthrottled 4G/wifi hotspot for a tax-deductible $400 year (mine has repeatedly saved my bacon). Read the rest

Watch this Pakistani boy's WWE fan videos with his action figures wrestling in a homemade ring

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Monday Night Rock. [cue heavy metal theme music] Hosted by Asad Vlogs.” Read the rest

More posts