Argentine hacker mods Furby so it quotes Borges, creates a "Borgy"

Argentine hacker [Roni Bandini] modded a 1998 Furby so that it responds to stimulus by rattling off a random quote from Jorge Luis Borges. He calls it "Borgy." Read the rest

Videos from the University of Chicago "Censorship and Information Control" seminar

This year, I helped University of Chicago science fiction writer and renaissance scholar Ada Palmer and science historian Adrian Johns host a series of interdisciplinary seminars on "Censorship, Information Control, & Revolutions in Information Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet."

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Better Worlds: "a science fiction project about hope"

Boing Boing pal Laura Hudson is helming a new project at The Verge called "Better Worlds," an anthology of ten science fiction stories written by diverse authors; half of them have been adapted as animations and the other half have been turned into audiobooks; all are explicitly optimistic, inspired by anthologies like Hieroglyph (which featured my award-winning novella The Man Who Sold the Moon). Read the rest

Optician Sans: a font based on eye-charts

Since 1959, patients undergoing eye exams have stared at eye-charts whose limited set of characters was created by Louise Sloan; now, the typographer Fábio Duarte Martins has completed the font and released it for free: Optician Sans. (via Kottke) Read the rest

A 7-year-old boy was this year's highest paid YouTube star, making $22 million in one year

"Ryan ToysReview" is such a simple concept for a YouTube channel. A 7-year-old boy – Ryan – plays with his toys, commenting to the camera as he rolls trucks, squirts glue, pretends to fly airplanes, and whatever else kids do for fun at that age. And yet, he's raking in the bucks, making $22 million this past year, according to Forbes.

These short, simple videos have made Ryan one of the most popular influencers online, with 17.3 million followers and a total of nearly 26 billion views since he (and his parents) launched his main channel, Ryan ToysReview, in March 2015. For Ryan, this means not only an endless stream of toys to play with but also a seemingly endless stream of money: He was this year’s highest-paid YouTube star, earning $22 million in the 12 months leading up to June 1, 2018, Forbes estimates.

What's his secret? Why do so many young people watch his show? "Because I’m entertaining and I’m funny,” the confident little guy told NBC. Right to the point! Read the rest

Prince's entire catalog of obscure, hard-to-find music videos, collected and annotated

Prince's music videos are a lot more obscure than his catalog of 40 albums; he was ambivalent about the form and many of the videos he created were only released on VHS or interactive CD or as pop-up streams on his site; but recently Prince's estate released his whole video catalog in high-rez, prompting Prince superfan Anil Dash to write an appreciation that embeds the entire Prince video catalog. Read the rest

Before Youtube nukes annotations, take one last look at these amazing, creative projects that showed how much annotations could do

On January 15th, Google will disappear all Youtube annotations, which have lots of structural problems (spammy, don't work well on mobile or big screens), but which have been a font of creative inspiration that spawned whole genres of interactive Youtube projects, from games to interactive films to branching narrative adventures to musical experiments, to collaborative art projects to deep context and annotation. Read the rest

Meet John Horgan and the BC NDP - North America’s most progressive government

If you live outside province you likely haven’t heard much about our new government, but here in British Columbia changes are happening fast, and you should know about them. Read the rest

Make: a gingerbread house zoetrope

Andrew Salomone writes, "I work as a preparator for The George Eastman Museum at the Kodak founder's historic estate in Rochester, NY. It's the world's oldest photography museum and has an extensive collection of early photographic and moving image objects, like zoetropes. The house itself is a local landmark and has put on an annual gingerbread house display for decades. This year, a couple of my colleagues and I decided to make a gingerbread house zoetrope and then wrote a tutorial about it. Read the rest

Godot, the musical

Seth Kaufman sends his video for "Godot the Musical," saying: "It is, I venture, the funkiest promotional book video ever made. The script appears in my new book Metaphysical Graffiti: Rock 'n' Roll & the Meaning of Life. So I decided to shoot it as a video. It recasts Vladimir and Estragon as hype-men waiting for 'The Master G' to come and rap." Read the rest

Cranberry orange-bread, 50 years later

Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "My mom shares her recipe for cranberry orange bread with help from my dad. They have been married for fifty years and they are still crazy for each other. The full recipe is in the video description." Read the rest

New webseries by daily trivia newsletter 'Now I Know'

Dan Lewis' wildly-popular daily trivia Now I Know newsletter is expanding its presence to YouTube. Yup, he's bringing us a Now I Know webseries.

Dan himself is not an "on-air" kind of guy, so he brought on Matt Silverman to star in the videos.

I’ve written more than 1,000 surprising, strange, and interesting stories over the years and I’m always looking for other ways to spread the fun. Like the two books and even one of those fact-a-day calendar things. But video? That’s been a struggle. I’m not a video producer and in any case, it takes a ton of time to publish the email newsletter. So I can’t do this myself. I’ve talked to a lot of promising collaborators over the years, but those would-be channels all fizzled.

Except for this one -- if you help out. Here's a video about the channel, and you'll see that it isn't me hosting. That's Matt Silverman, a friend of mine who makes awesome videos on the Internet.

Now you know.

You can back this project: Read the rest

GPU-accelerated dismemberment demo: 10,000 zombies in a giant blender

Brilliant Game Studios follows up on their 2016 video that showed off a crowd-renderer by pitting 11,000 penguins against 4,000 Santas with a new video demoing "our new GPU accelerated dismemberment and procedural wounding system. Limbs can be cut off on a massive scale. Wound from getting hit appear as deep gouges which warp their mesh." I'm really glad that we're using GPUs to do sensible things again, rather than computing virtual Beanie Babies. (via JWZ) Read the rest

Illumipaper: paper that can selectively illuminate to provide interactivity

Illumipaper is a well-developed prototype from Interactive Media Lab Dresden; the researchers behind it used a variety of techniques to create regular-seeming paper with all the traditional characteristics (it can be crumpled, folded, written on with pen and ink, etc); but a wireless controller allows it to be selectively illuminated to provide interactivity (e.g. to provide tips on homework problems). Read the rest

Taiwan's "Pokemon Grandpa" has 15 phones arrayed around his bike handlebars

70 year old Taipei fengshui master Chen San-yuan is known locally as "Pokemon Grandpa," and is a viral sensation thanks to the 15 phones he's mounted on his handlebars to help him play the 2016 augmented reality game Pokemon Go; his rig cost about $4,000 and he spends another $300/month on virtual currency to help him level up in the game. He says that playing the game keeps him socially connected and delays the onset of Alzheimer's. (Image: Reuters) (via Kottke) Read the rest

Yanis Varoufakis on capitalism's incompatibility with democracy

It's a not-very-well-kept secret that elements of the libertarian right believe that democracy is incompatible with capitalism (tldr: if majorities get to vote, they'll vote to tax rich minorities and since rich people are in the minority they'll always lose that vote); and as this persuasive and fascinating lecture and Q&A with former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis (previously) shows, the feeling is mutual. Read the rest

Youtube CEO: it will be impossible to comply with the EU's new Copyright Directive (adios, Despacito!)

Under Article 13 of the new EU Copyright Directive, it will no longer be enough for online platforms to remove materials if someone claims they infringe copyright; instead, the platforms will have to prevent the display of any copyrighted material that has not been explicitly licensed for distribution. Read the rest

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