I got one of these RAVPower portable chargers for my nephew a couple of years ago, and he told me it was great to use with his Nintendo Switch, because he could play the Switch with the charger connected and the battery charge would increase at the same time. This newer version is available at a discount when you use the promo code LKWZQ4C3. Read the rest “Good deal on USB C portable charger that can charge a MacBook and a Switch”
John Oliver shows how innocent people's lives can be destroyed by unwarranted public shaming. As an example, he gives the example of the woman who "sued her nephew" for injuring her by hugging her too hard.? The real story is more complicated - the woman was forced to sue her nephew to get the insurance company to pay her bills (and her nephew and her parents were happy about it). As a result of the public shaming online, no one would hire her, and she had to change her identity.
He also interviewed Monica Lewinsky about her thoughts on public shaming, having been a victim of it for years. Read the rest “John Oliver looks at public shaming on the internet”
After reading this NY Times review of Citizen, which seems to be a Next Door on steroids,? I downloaded the app to see what's happening in the part of LA I live in:
FLAMING TRASH TRUCK ROLLED DOWN STREET
MAN VANDALIZING MARKET, THREATENING STAFF
PERSON CHOKED BY ARMED ATTACKER
WOMAN THROWING METAL INTO THE STREET
INDECENT EXPOSURE IN BACKYARD
It looks like I'm living in the movie, Children of Men.
From the review:
Read the rest “NYT reviews Citizen, a live map of crimes in your city”
It is not clear, at first, where Citizen’s reports come from or how they’re selected. But they arrive constantly, in an authoritative voice, providing the app’s signature ambient sense of alarm and disorder.
Under the hood, Citizen is essentially a transcription service for emergency radio. The company employs teams of people to listen to police, fire and emergency radio transmissions and to submit certain categories of incident for including in the app. (“Citizen has a detailed editorial guide about what goes into the app and why,” Mr. Donald said. “Citizen does not include, for example, suicides inside a private residence, suspicious people, or vague suspect descriptions.”)
The funny folks at Squirrel Monkey made a fantasy promotional video for a computer that never existed, called the DC 640. It had a number of cutting edge features, including a built-in LED alarm clock, an FM transmitter (for data and voice communication), and a solderless breadboard. Read the rest “Imaginary dream computer from 1984”
On March 13, the driver of a Ryder truck missed multiple warnings signs and ran into infamous "can-opener" bridge in Durham, NC. People have been offering solutions for this problematic bridge for years, but there doesn't seem to one that will take care of the problem.
What about some kind of system that senses the height of the truck and unfurls a banner from the bridge that reads STOP! in red letters? Here's a mock-up of what I'm thinking:
Images: YouTube Read the rest “Truck-eating bridge claims a new victim”
I-Wei Huang (aka Crabfu) makes all sorts of cool steam-powered mini-robots. In this video, he explains how he made a walking robot. Read the rest “How this cute little steam-powered walker works”
Canton Becker, an electronic music composer and programmer, composed a procedurally generated song that uses the first billion digits of pi as its input.
I haven't listened to all 114 years of the song yet, but I like what I have heard so far.
From his statement:
Becker programmed — or composed — an algorithm to generate music using the first one billion digits of pi (π). These digits supply the "turn signals" used to determine every musical expression in the song. Each digit (3.1415...) is responsible for orchestrating approximately four seconds of music. The electronic instruments and sound samples were prepared by Becker in advance.
Because the numbers in pi never repeat, each one of the million hours in "Shepard's Pi” is in fact unique. Listeners who fast forward to some distant moment in the song are virtually guaranteed to find themselves listening to something that nobody else – including the composer himself – has ever heard before.
Becker told me "here’s one of my favorite 20 minutes so far, from around hour 10,470." Read the rest “Cool project: "I used pi to compose a song that lasts for 999,999 hours"”
The binoculars I bought at a very steep discount are on sale again, and this time they are even cheaper. Use code 63U3YPBN to get them at the sale price. I bought a second pair so Carla and I will each have one for the upcoming Rolling Stones concert. Read the rest “These prism binoculars are cheaper than ever”
From Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada comes this devilish prank. A woman noticed that her sister was selling a porcelain doll through Facebook's marketplace so she secretly bought it and sneaked it back into her sister's basement. She then lured her sister into the basement. "I thought that her reaction would be confusion," said the woman in the YouTube description, "but then she screamed and ran, scaring my daughter too. She did get really mad at me, but she does think it's funny now." Read the rest “Excellent prank featuring a creepy porcelain doll”
I've been using Photoshop for years, but I don't know what I'm doing. When I get stuck, I often turn to the YouTube channel Phlearn to learn how to do something. In this easy-to-understand 10-minute video, I learned how to use adjustment layers to make changes to all colors in an image and how to use layer masks to changes the colors of certain areas of an image. I wish I'd learned about these a long time ago. Read the rest “Learn about adjustment layers and layer masks in Photoshop”
Denver experienced a "bomb cyclone" snowstorm on Wednesday, with hurricane winds that shut down the runways at Denver International Airport, and parts of the freeway system. CBS news is calling it "the strongest storm in decades." Areas around the city received between 6 and 8 inches of heavy snow. Governor Jared Polis declared a state emergency and dispatched the Colorado National Guard to help people caught in the storm.
Image: YouTube Read the rest “"Bomb cyclone" snowstorm hits Denver”
If you haven't yet read Neal Stephenson's 880-page science fiction novel Seveneves, here's your chance to get it at a fraction of the regular price. Read the rest “Neal Stephenson's Seveneves Kindle edition at a steep discount”
Jane Buckingham is the founder of a boutique marketing agency called Trendera, which counts Target, Nickelodeon, Hearst, Stubhub, and Hilton Worldwide among its clients.
On May 8, 2018?Buckingham posted a graphic that said DONT CHEAT (sic) to her Instagram account, along with the comment: "Apply it to all aspects of life and you’ll probably be ok."
In June of 2018, Buckingham was recorded by the FBI making arrangements to pay someone to pretend to be her son and take a college entrance exam in his name.
According to the San Jose Mercury News:
Read the rest “A righteous mother charged in the college cheating scandal scolded others about cheating on Instragram”
Last June, Buckingham agreed to make a “donation” to KWF of $50,000, in exchange for someone taking a college entrance test on her son’s behalf the following month, authorities say.
The FBI secretly recorded Buckingham talking to one of the people arranging the test for her son. On the tape, according to the complaint, Buckingham talks about the complicated logistics of cheating on the test and said, “I know this is craziness, I know it is. And then I need you to get him into USC, and then I need you to cure cancer and [make peace] in the Middle East.”
In today's stunning news of a college bribery scandal alleging that ultrawealthy, well-connected, privileged elites conspired with a college preparatory business to falsify their children's test scores and bribe university officials to get them into the country's top schools, is this bit of high-weirdness, reported in CNN:
In one case, [Rick Singer, founder of the college prep firm called The Key] even worked with parents to take staged photos of their child engaged in particular sports. In another example, they used stock photos of a person playing a sport and then put the face of a student onto that of an athlete via Photoshop, prosecutors said.
The two most famous parents of those indicted are actresses Lori Loughman and Felicity Huffman, but the full list also includes a number of Silicon Valley and LA power players, including investor William "Bill" McGlashan, who co-founded a social impact fund called The Rise Fund with U2's Bono and eBay co-founder Jeff Skoll, and Jane Buckingham, CEO of Trendera, a boutique marketing firm in LA. Read the rest “Parents and college prep agent allegedly deepfaked photos of kids to make them look athletic”
"My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop ??," tweeted the son of the proprietor of Billy's Donuts in Missouri City, Texas. The brilliant marketing move resulted in a sell-out of donuts and kolaches.
By Sunday afternoon his tweet was retweeted more than 150,000 times. By Monday morning? More than 260,000 times. To put that in perspective, the 30th most retweeted tweet in Twitter history (by South Korean boy band BTS) has about 630,000 retweets.
On Monday morning, Billy was being interviewed by other local news stations and working on a potential CNN spot, while representatives from Twitter were on hand greeting customers. Yes, Twitter. They bought out the store for the morning, meaning everyone’s order was on them. (Representatives wouldn’t comment on the record about their presence at the shop.) And while Billy played gracious host, Satharith kept busy in the back, and an aunt worked the cash register. It all seemed surreal that within 48 hours, this family-owned Cambodian donut shop in Missouri City had become something of an epicenter of social media
Image: Twitter Read the rest “Man tweets that his dad's new donut shop has no customers, response is overwhelmimg”
The Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop feels good in your hand. The scoop is designed to bite into hard ice cream and roll the ice cream onto the scoop. It has some kind of heat conductive liquid inside the handle that's supposed to make it easier to scoop out the ice cream, but I never bother to heat up the handle before using it, as it works fine straight out of the kitchen drawer. Right now Amazon has the 40z scoop at a lower price than the 2oz scoop. Read the rest “My favorite ice cream scoop is on sale today”
Six-year-old Avett Ray knows how to play the piano and can really belt out a song. Here he is practicing "Bohemian Rhapsody." Read the rest “Visually impaired 6-year-old practices Bohemian Rhapsody”