Gamer Geek News

Boing Boing

Brain candy for Happy Mutants

Meet the winner of the 2018 World's Ugliest Dog Contest

This is Zsa Zsa, the English bulldog who this weekend took home the top prize at the 30th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California.

"Nine years young with a swaggering tongue, Zsa Zsa delivered a shower of slobber as she claimed this year's title," said a news release.

From CNN:

A function of the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair, it seeks to demonstrate "the pedigree does not define the pet." By raising awareness about the benefits of adoption, "the contest speaks to the importance of advocating for the adoration of all animals," even those not blessed with Lassie's movie-star looks.

Many of the pups taking part in the contest were rescued from kill shelters or puppy mills, organizers say.

That includes Zsa Zsa, your 2018 queen, who spent five years at a puppy mill in Missouri before being purchased by the nonprofit Underdog Rescue.

Zsa Zsa resides in Anoka, Minnesota with her human Megan Brainard.

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 3:18 am

Would EPCOT have worked as a city?

Rob from Rob Plays takes an in-depth look at Walt Disney's grand plan to make an experimental prototype city of tomorrow. (more…)

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 3:06 am

Wheel reinvented to allow combat vehicles to easily traverse streets, corpses

Attention, comrades! A newsflash has this moment arrived. Engineers working with the Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program have improved the survivability and mobility of combat vehicles by reinventing the wheel. [via Task and Purpose]

The high-tech Reconfigurable Wheel-Track (RWT) upgrades “transition from a round wheel to a triangular track and back again while the vehicle is on the move” — in short, allowing Humvees to transform into tracked vehicles on the fly.

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:57 am

Adblocker for radio

Tomek Rękawek, irritated by ads on the radio, created an app that mutes them. Radio Adblock uses digital signal processing to detect distinctive audio patterns that signal the beginning and end of breaks. (via Hacker News)

I also prepared a simple standalone version of the analyzer, that connects to the Trójka stream on its own (without an external ffmpeg) and plays the result using javax.sound. The whole thing is a single JAR file and contains a basic start/stop UI. It can be downloaded here: radioblock.jar. If you feel uneasy about running a foreign JAR on your machine (like you should do), all the sources can be found on my GitHub. Apparently, it works :)

https://soundcloud.com/tomek-r-kawek/commercial-block-muted

To make it work universally, perhaps DSP could detect the use of extreme waveform compression. This makes ads sound as loud as possible without increasing the signal volume, and is a technique that advertisers and radio stations supposedly use to skirt the regulations that forbid them from doing just that. It would also have the bonus of silencing shitty pop songs.

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:44 am

With the number of people living under dictatorships up by a billion, a reminder of dictators' deceptively humanizing traits

Stalin was an incredibly devoted father; Saddam Hussein was fantastically charming; Hitler was a streetfighter who risked his personal safety in the fray; and a surprising number of dictators, monsters and autocrats have careers in the arts, and are described by their childhood friends are not exceptionally cruel or sociopathic. (more…)

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:42 am

Human civilization likely alone

The good news: it's all ours. The bad news: there's nothing to stop us. A new model of civilization, arrived by taking the Drake equation and plugging in models of chemical and genetic transitions on paths to the origin of life, predicts that humanity is the only advanced one in observable space.

As Dr. Sanberg told Universe Today via email:

“One can answer [the Fermi Paradox] by saying intelligence is very rare, but then it needs to be tremendously rare. Another possibility is that intelligence doesn’t last very long, but it is enough that one civilization survives for it to become visible. Attempts at explaining it by having all intelligences acting in the same way (staying quiet, avoiding contact with us, transcending) fail since they require every individual belonging to every society in every civilization to behave in the same way, the strongest sociological claim ever. Claiming long-range settlement or communication are impossible requires assuming a surprisingly low technology ceiling. Whatever the answer is, it more or less has to be strange.”

Photo: ESA/Gaia/DPAC

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:27 am

Make Facebook work for your business with this marketing course

Facebook is good for more than just keeping tabs on your high school friends. In fact, the platform has become an invaluable tool for marketers and entrepreneurs building their brands online. So, whether you're looking to launch your own venture or climb the ladder in your current operation, the Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Course can show you how to leverage Facebook to reach audiences, generate conversions, and build a presence online. It's available in the Boing Boing Store today for $9.99. Boasting more than 100 lectures across 11 hours of training, this collection is designed to show you the ropes with optimizing your ads on one of today's most important digital mediums. You'll discover how to create ads focused on increasing conversions, find new customers, and grow your page's following and engagement. Work toward pushing your business in the black with help from the Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing Mastery Course, available in the Boing Boing Store for $9.99.

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:00 am

Mars has blue-hued sand dunes

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter snapped this giant Martian sand dune that has a turquoise blue hue in enhanced color. (more…)

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 2:00 am

Watch this and you'll be humming about sexy pants all day

Bill Wurtz is back, this time with sexy pants. (more…)

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 1:00 am

Italian Chefs watch in horror as YouTube ruins Spaghetti Carbonara

In this video, three reputable Italian chefs are subjected to severe moral injury by being forced to watch the top five 'how to cook carbonara' videos on YouTube. Their emotions range between outrage, disappointment, dour amusement and absolute horror in under 13 minutes. Be sure to turn subtitles on for this one before settling in. The most interesting thing for me was how disappointed they were in the final video that they watched, which features Jamie Oliver showing off his carbonara chops. According to the chefs, they ain't great. Their chief complaint was that he failed to show the meat being properly sanitized before chopping it up and throwing it in a hot pan to fry. I'm sure the pig processing poop adds flavor, but Yuck. Image via Wikipedia  

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 12:30 am

Dev Tube: collection of videos for computer programmers

Dev Tube delivers exactly as promised: a selection of high-quality videos for developers. And it's not just about code, but craftsmanship and career.

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 12:12 am

Watch this delightful montage of dancing in movies

For Dancing in Movies, Casper Langbak took dancing scenes from over 300 movies and set them to some great retro hits.

YouTube gave it an instablock because of the music used, but he does have a channel over there with cool stuff like this tribute to cinematic evil:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOnc6l7hu-0

Dancing in Movies (Vimeo / CLS Videos)

Posted on 26 June 2018 | 12:01 am

Protest without strategy is performance

In times of trouble, people want to do something, but as activist Kat Calvin points out, make sure your time and resources are spent wisely. Otherwise you end up enriching grifters: (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 11:40 pm

Watch this beautiful tour of Manhattan's Classic Car Club

Mike Prichinello co-founded Classic Car Club in Manhattan, which recently moved into a beautiful new space. Mauricio Mochon shot some of the gorgeous cars on display. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 11:09 pm

For the best of reasons, The Slants won the right to trademark racially offensive slurs -- and now there's rather a lot of that

It's been a year since the Asian-American band The slants won their court case against the US Patent and Trademark office, which had refused to allow them to trademark their band-name because it was a racial slur. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 11:43 am

Wildbook: facial recognition for critters in the wild

The Wildbook project conducts wild animal population censuses by combining photos of animals taken by tourists, scientists, and volunteers and then using their distinctive features (zebra stripes, whale fluke shapes, leopard spots, etc) to identify individuals and produces unprecedented data that uses creepy facial recognition tools for non-creepy purposes. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 9:27 am

Teaching a banjo workshop while undergoing an EEG

Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "I had to go through a 25 hr EEG, but I didn't let the wires glued to my head stop me from posting my weekly frailing banjo workshop."

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 3:31 am

Yale's most popular course ever: Happiness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Rs1B8V4vx0

When Yale psych professor Laurie Santos offered a course in how to be happy -- based on the latest peer-reviewed science -- she hoped that a reasonable number of students would sign up (after all, the literature suggested that there is an epidemic of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation among US college students); the course was the most successful in Yale's history, with one in four students enrolling (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 3:28 am

Homebiogas: easy, clean, climate-friendly way to heat and power your home with garbage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20LY1316IM8

Yesterday, I saw a demo of the Homebiogas bioreactor: it's essentially an artificial stomach that uses colonies of microbes to digest your home food waste (it can do poop, too, but people tend to be squeamish about this), providing enough clean-burning biogas to cook your next meal, heat your house, or run a generator -- what's left behind is excellent fertilizer. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 3:21 am

The Internet of Shit: a godsend for abusers and stalkers

People who help domestic abuse survivors say that they are facing an epidemic of women whose abusers are torturing them by breaking into their home smart devices, gaslighting them by changing their thermostat settings, locking them out of their homes, spying on them through their cameras. (more…)

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 3:09 am

This 360-degree wireless security camera is $45

While it's fun to watch Hollywood action heroes hack into cameras to spy on their targets, the thought of an actual cybercriminal using our own security devices against us is chilling for most. That's what makes the iPM World HD 360 Degree 1080p Wireless IP Camera essential for anyone looking to deter digital and physical intruders alike, and it's available today for $44.99. Completely encrypted and capable of rotating 360 degrees, the IPM World Wireless Camera lets you monitor your living space while keeping your feed under lock and key. You can view footage from your smartphone via the WiFi client and rotate it remotely to get the perfect angle. Plus, with infrared night vision built in, you can keep tabs when the lights are off. The iPM World HD 360 Degree 1080p Wireless IP Camera is available in the Boing Boing Store today for $44.99.

Posted on 25 June 2018 | 2:00 am

Trump sends 1,000 immigrants to Mojave Desert prison, staff say it's unsafe & predict 'detainee deaths'

'Disease outbreaks and a lack of medical personnel await those imprisoned in Victorville, California.' Prison staff in Victorville say immigrant detainees are treated like 'cockroaches.' There's already an outbreak of scabies and a case of chicken pox among the detainees.

(more…)

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 6:18 am

Star Wars fans: You have to see this animated ASCII remake of Episode IV

It was 1997 when Simon Jansen started his remake of the first Star Wars film -- Episode IV - A New Hope -- as an ASCII animation (or "asciimation," as he coined it). (more…)

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 4:00 am

Insecure internet security cameras and nannycams are actively exploited by voyeurs to spy on owners

Shenzhen Gwelltimes Technology Co., Ltd is the white-label vendor behind a whole constellation of Internet of Things networked home cameras sold as security cameras, baby monitors, pet monitors, and similar technologies; these cameras are designed to be monitored by their owners using an app, and because of farcically bad default passwords ("123") and other foolish security practices (such as sequentially numbering each camera, allowing attackers to enumerate vulnerable devices), the devices are trivial to locate and hijack over the internet. (more…)

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 3:02 am

Look closely: These Hawaiian shirts depict our plastic-polluted oceans

A staggering eight million tons of plastic trash is dumped in our oceans each year, according to a 2015 Science report.

As a way of putting a spotlight on the issue, Spanish designer Adolfo Correa created the art for The Paradise? Shirt, a Hawaiian-style shirt that, at first glance, looks standard-issue. Look closer and you'll see he's put plastic waste -- like toothbrushes and six-pack rings -- into the design.

The shirt was a collaboration between Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, Corona and Parley for the Oceans, created for World Oceans Day (June 8). The limited-edition shirts were being sold at the World Surf League Store for $69/each but have already sold out. https://vimeo.com/274255636

images via Adolfo Correa

(Dezeen)

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 3:00 am

Googlers' ethical refusal to build airgap systems curtailed Google's ability to bid on sensitive military contracts

A group of elite Google Cloud engineers simply refused to put any work into an airgap system designed to let the company bid on sensitive military contracts, which undermined the company's ability to seek military work. (more…)

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 2:45 am

Would you buy a $28 bottle of "unfiltered Hot Dog Water"? Some people in Canada did

What's in the water in one Canadian city? Uncooked hot dogs, apparently.

Last weekend, a reality-hacking hero offered bottles of unfiltered, "keto-compatible" "Hot Dog Water" at a Vancouver street festival for CAN$37.99 (~US$28) a pop. The vendor, performance artist/"foodie-troller" Douglas Bevans, claimed his special water (which included a real hot dog inside each bottle) had health benefits.

"Several" people "bought-and-consumed" his expensive meat water though his hilarious venture didn't turn a profit, according to the blog Vancouver is Awesome. The blog also shared Bevans' reason for selling it in the first place, which appeared at the bottom of the health claim:

If you get all the way to the fine print, you’ll find this: “HOT DOG WATER IN ITS ABSURDITY HOPES TO ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING RELATED TO PRODUCT MARKETING AND THE SIGNIFICANT ROLE IT CAN PLAY IN OUR PURCHASING CHOICES.”

Bravo, well done! https://www.instagram.com/p/BkJrgGmFyL5/?taken-by=bernadettiums https://www.instagram.com/p/BkJHk7TlCVg/?utm_source=ig_embed

lead image by Bernadette Price, 2nd image by Franklin Sayre, both used with permission

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 2:40 am

This cordless Dyson vacuum helps you clean every corner of your living space

Spring came and went, but we're not here to judge if you didn't get around to cleaning up your living space. After all, taking the time to vacuum your floors can stretch out into a lengthy task when you're constantly switching between power outlets and trying to jam your machine into those tight corners. With the Dyson V6 Bagless Cordless Handheld Vacuum with HEPA Filter, you can sidestep the vacuum hassles and finally catch up on your spring cleaning. It's available today for $179.99. Powered by Dyson's digital V6 motor and armed with cyclonic technology, this bagless, cordless, handheld vacuum uses cyclonic technology to separate dirt from the air and deliver more than 3x the suction power. Its rinseable HEPA filter traps dust, pet dander, and pollen while you clean, preventing it from escaping back to the air. And, with the included crevice and combination tool, you can easily get dirt out of those troublesome corners. The Dyson V6 Bagless Cordless Handheld Vacuum with HEPA Filter is available in the Boing Boing Store for $179.99.

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 2:00 am

'Rolling Stone' gives an unflinching portrait of Johnny Depp and the financial mess he's in

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow After "a month and almost 200 e-mails," Rolling Stone writer Stephen Rodrick succumbed to an interview with Johnny Depp at his London home to discuss how the 55-year-old actor lost nearly all of his $650M fortune. The piece was devised by his lawyer in an effort to put Depp and his financial woes in a positive light, instead Rodrick compared Depp to a late-stage Marlon Brando and detailed the eccentricities he witnessed over a 72-hour period. The longform interview is a brutal portrait of a man who's suing the people who once handled his money.
It's estimated that Depp has made $650 million on films that netted $3.6 billion. Almost all of it is gone. He's suing The Management Group, run by his longtime business manager, Joel Mandel, and his brother Robert for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud...

The Mandels categorically deny all wrongdoing and are countersuing, alleging that Depp breached his oral contract with the company. The suit suggests that Depp has a $2-million-a-month compulsory-spending disorder, offering bons mots like "Wine is not an investment if you drink it as soon as you buy it."...

Rodrick's interview with Depp was published Wednesday and by Friday Deadline was reporting that it did him no favors in an article titled, Johnny Depp Loses Bid To Delay $25M Fraud Trial On Heels Of Train Wreck Rolling Stone Profile.

They describe Depp's legal troubles as so:

Now battling ex-bodyguards who claim drug abuse and owed pay and a countersuit from his former longtime attorney too, Depp first sued The Management Group back in January 2017.

At the time and since, the actor alleged that despite making hundreds of millions of dollars he was feeling the financial pinch because of having been swindled in the Hollywood accounting shell game by those trusted and the much respected TMG.

The Management Group swung back with a countersuit of their own on the last day of the first month of 2017 over unpaid commissions and tales of excess and irresponsibility, to put it very mildly, that proclaimed that the up tp $20 million a picture plus a share of profits actor’s spending habits were the real cause of his apparently emptying bank accounts. Among the various residences, dozens of vehicles, tens of thousands a month on wine, guitar collection, artwork, hangers-on, sibling provisions, security, acting assistants and other indulgences, TMG’s reaction revealed that the Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas star paid out $3 million to have Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes shoot out of a cannon in 2005 and forks out more $2-million in monthly expenses.

About that cannon, from the Rolling Stone article:

Depp says they got the Hunter S. Thompson cannon story wrong too. "By the way, it was not $3 million to shoot Hunter into the fucking sky," says Depp. "It was $5 million."
Oof. https://twitter.com/stephenrodrick/status/1009778406148325377

Read: Rolling Stone's The Trouble With Johnny Depp

Posted on 24 June 2018 | 1:40 am

Judge orders Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to go back to law school

Kris Kobach (previously) is a racist shitbag who engineered Red State America's voter suppression campaign; he is also (predictably enough) the Kansas Secretary of State, in which capacity he has been representing his office in a lawsuit over his unconstitutional voter ID law. (more…)

Posted on 23 June 2018 | 11:29 am