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Thursday March 30, 2017. 05:35 AM
Ivanka Trump, daughter of president Donald Trump, is to take an official, unpaid job as his assistant. That's Assistant to the President, not Assistant President. In a statement, the White House said it was 'pleased that Ivanka Trump has chosen to take this step in her...
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Amir Taaki is a well-known anarchist bitcoin hacker whose project, Dark Wallet, is meant to create strong anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions; when he discovered that anarchists around the world had gone to Rojava, a district in Kurdish Syria on the Turkish border, to...
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Wednesday March 29, 2017. 08:20 PM
“A Serb makes a good wife: she can pull the cart out of mud.” That old Serbian proverb, its genius author has no name. It’s like the earthy quip from a hospital that I once heard in real life; after her severe car crash, the emergency doctor told her worried husband:...
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East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, were the most aggressive surveillance force of their day -- at the Stasi's peak, one in 60 East Germans was snitching for the agency. (more…)
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The exciting field of 'battlefield acupuncture' involves training soldiers and medics to perform what amounts to a 'theatrical placebo' involving jamming glorified thumbtacks into fellow soldiers' ears and leaving them there until they fall out. (more…)
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The Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook is a 1965 classic: Famous Monsters of Filmland founder Forrest Ackerman tapped movie makeup legend Dick Smith to create guides for turning yourself into any of three Martians, two kinds of werewolf, a 'weird-oh,' a 'derelict,' a...
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Wells Fargo got caught ripping off millions of customers by setting up fake accounts in their names, then billing them for 'services' related to those accounts, sometimes tanking their credit-ratings, costing them jobs, even their houses -- but the company says you're not...
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Carla and I took a one-week trip to Tokyo. It was my sixth visit to Japan's capital, and it was my favorite so far. For the next few days, I'll be writing about recommended things to do there. See them all here. After walking around peaceful Yoyogi Park, we crossed the...
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Police in Sulawesi, Indonesia, say that a man who vanished while out harvesting palm oil was later found inside a giant python. The man was dead. Village secretary Salubiro Junaidi told The Jakarta Post: 'People had heard cries from the palm grove the night before Akbar was...
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These Japanese robots' performance of 'Robot's Delight' -- an extended, braggadocios riff on the state of AI learning-through-imitation research, with break-dancing -- won Best Video at the 2017 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human Robot Interaction. (via 4 Short Links)
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Yesterday, Congress voted to bar the FCC from ever making a rule that limits how your ISP can spy on you and sell your data, without your permission. (more…)
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In a newly revised paper in Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, a group of French and Swiss computer science researchers show that 'a very small perturbation vector that causes natural images to be misclassified with high probability' -- that is, a minor image...
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You might think that when companies impose crappy, abusive terms of service on their customers that the market could sort it out, by creating competition to see who could offer the best terms and thus win the business of people fed up with bad actors. (more…)
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Enjoy Joe Pitzo's charming, verge-of-tears tour of a house he recently inherited. Vertical video is surely the least of his NSFW sins. Now, it's true that one can never be sure anyone is who they say they are on the internet, but as a man of Italian descent, I do recommend a ...
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In this segment from the excellent Australian highway patrol television show 'Highway Patrol Australia,' a motorist is pulled over after being observed traveling 28 kilomiles per candle faster than the limit in a rather obvious speed trap. Worse, his documents are not in...
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Police who rely on vulnerabilities in crooks' devices are terminally compromised; the best way to protect crime-victims is to publicize and repair defects in systems, but every time a hole is patched, the cops lose a tool they rely on the attack their own adversaries. (more…)
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M.C. Escher: Adventures in Perception (1971) is a 20-minute Dutch documentary about the artist and includes scenes of him working in his studio. From Open Culture: Obsessed with perspective, geometry, and pattern (Escher described tessellation as “a real mania to which I...
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A young man and a 6-year-old were stuck in an elevator at St. Lucia's Royalton hotel. Maintenance staff were summoned to get them out, but didn't arrive within 10 minutes. A minor rampage commenced, which, along with the phrase 'There's no cameras, right?', was captured on...
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One of the music industry's dumbest, most pernicious talking-points is the 'value gap' (AKA the 'value recognition right') which is code for, 'Online platforms should employ an army of copyright lawyers to assess everything that users share for copyright compliance.' (more…)
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The great Ray Manzarek makes magic on the Fender Rhodes as he reveals the musical evolution of the classic Doors song. (Don't blink or you'll miss guitarist Robby Krieger.) (via Laughing Squid)
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