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unicorn usb power banks in black and white / boing boing

loading... tim harford (previously) is an economist with a gift for explaining complex subjects in simple, accessible terms: his latest book, fifty inventions that shaped the modern economy, uses 50 short essays about technologies as varied as ikea’s billy bookcase, the plow, and ai to illustrate the ways that the human race has transformed itself, its relations, and the planet.anker’s powerhouse is the beefiest portable battery i’ve owned, with 120,000mah coming though four usb ports, 110v ac and 12v dc. at $500 and weighing in at 9 pounds, though, it’s also an big expensive box with a thin range of practical uses, aimed sharply at people willing to pay high premium for a user-friendly […]wood signifies tradition, solidity and natural beauty, but these qualities are comically absent from computer peripherals made of it. oree, a company out of france, set out to do better and have partially succeeded with their handsome keyboard and touchpad set. up close, the oree gear looks much nicer than cheapo amazon wooden keyboards. it’s […]shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





this ai trained on a million logos will now rate your logo / boing boing

if an artificial intelligence reviewed your favorite logo, how would that logo fare? now you can find out with logo rank, a nifty tool by the guy behind brandmark. as with any ai, the sensibilities of the programmer are baked into that learning, although he makes a case for the universality of the aestherics of a good logo: logo design is a creative field that's defined by constraints. a good logo is not only illustrative of the brand but simple enough to be legible from afar. it must also be unique enough to not be confused with the myriad of symbols and icons that surround us. logos are essentially abstract illustrations, but clearly not all illustrations make for good logos. in order to create logos systematically we need some notion of what makes a logo good in a visual sense. brandmark generated this boing boing logo, which is not too bad! creator jack qiao has a bunch of other cool projects cooking, so check it out. • logo rank (brandmark via taxi) loading...





check out this impressive firedancing performance / boing boing

shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





newly gerrymandered district conveniently includes senator's new house / boing boing

here’s mcsweeney’s ziyad gower, cannily stealing the voice of scottish actress louise linton, the wife of trump treasury secretary steven mnuchin and mocker of the poor. greetings #peasants, it’s me, louise linton, in a beautiful #hermesscarf and #tomford sunnies. you may know my husband, steve mnuchin, america’s secretary of treasure. or you may be familiar […]





tim harford's bite-sized "fifty inventions that shaped the modern economy" / boing boing

by cory doctorowtim harford (previously) is an economist with a gift for explaining complex subjects in simple, accessible terms: his latest book, fifty inventions that shaped the modern economy, uses 50 short essays about technologies as varied as ikea's billy bookcase, the plow, and ai to illustrate the ways that the human race has transformed itself, its relations, and the planet. the book builds on harford's excellent bbc podcast of the same name, which i've been enjoying ever since i heard about it on harford's longrunning bbc programme more or less, which looks at timely news stories with a sceptical, statistical eye, unpicking the numbers in the day's news to present a much-needed dose of technical rigour as well as an ongoing masterclass in the ways that statistics can illuminate or deceive. as you might expect from the critical nature of more or less, harford's looks into inventions are not mere cheerleading for innovation -- each of these crisp, short, eminently readable essays takes account of the good and the bad, the winners and the losers (see, for example the entry on "intellectual property"). popular economics writers have made a ted talk industry out of tracing improbable connections and telling just-so stories that elevate market orthodoxy to a moral virtue, but harford embodies the best of bayesian thinking, a way of approaching the subject that looks at more than one side of the story, but without landing in a kind of muddl...





watch how hard it is to make a traditional korean inlaid lacquer box / boing boing

shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





cool animal illustrations by maxim shkret / boing boing

shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





evolutionary psychologists are very butthurt about the new scientific american / boing boing

shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





getting caught with a plastic bag in kenya can land you in jail for 4 years / boing boing

if you're in kenya, don't be caught with a plastic bag. starting today, using a plastic bag, whether for groceries, lining a trash can, or anything else you can think of, will cost you the equivalent of a $38,000 fine or land you in jail for up to four years. but the new law is controversial. the kenyan association of manufacturers, which challenged the ban in court, said nearly 3 percent of all kenyans are directly employed by the 176 plastic manufacturers in the country. the ban, they argued, will cost cost kenya tens of thousands of jobs. then there is the issue of convenience. when i visited kibera in june to report on the proposed ban, residents overwhelmingly opposed it... kenneth okoth, a member of parliament who represents kibera, opposed the ban because he said it would affect his poor constituents the most. in kibera there is little running water, no toilets or outhouses, but the ban will affect the so-called flying toilets — plastic bags residents use to defecate and urinate in. "it may look very fashionable in international circles," he said. "but in reality, in a place like kibera, we still need those plastics."it's only been a day, but so far no one has been busted for using a bag.





'i will get putin on this… we will get donald elected,' emailed trump's mafia-linked ally felix sater in 2015 / boing boing

felix sater, a longtime business associate of donald trump with organized crime ties, promised in a 2015 email to “engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of russia, vladimir v. putin, that he said would help mr. trump win the presidency,” reports the new york times today. it's unclear what the emails may have led to, and how the discovery of communication may affect the ongoing federal investigation into russia's interference in the 2016 u.s. elections that trump won. the associate, felix sater, wrote a series of emails to mr. trump’s lawyer, michael cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to mr. putin and predicted that building a trump tower in moscow would highlight mr. trump’s savvy negotiating skills and be a political boon to his candidacy. “our boy can become president of the usa and we can engineer it,” mr. sater wrote in an email. “i will get all of putins team to buy in on this, i will manage this process.” mr. sater, a russian immigrant, said he had lined up financing for the trump tower deal with vtb bank, a russian bank that was under american sanctions for involvement in moscow’s efforts to undermine democracy in ukraine. in another email, mr. sater envisioned a ribbon-cutting ceremony in moscow. “i will get putin on this program and we will get donald elected,” mr. sater wrote. mr. sater said he was eager to show video clips to his russian contacts of instances of mr. trump...





fireside grown-up guide to the hangover / boing boing

shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





ted cruz squirms when asked why he voted no for sandy aid but now asks for harvey aid / boing boing

msnbc host katy tur asks senator ted cruz what he has to say about voting against relief aid for the catastrophic hurricane sandy back in 2012, but now asking for hurricane harvey relief aid, which happens to be in his own state of texas. cruz tries to swat away the question with a lame response: "there's time for political sniping later." but tur doesn't let it go. "it's not really political sniping, senator. these are people who needed money and who needed funding after that storm... many of those people, just like in houston, lost everything they owned." cruz then comes up with a whopper, saying he "enthusiastically" supported aid to sandy. funny, it sure didn't seem that way. fortunately the areas affected by sandy did get the relief aid they needed, just as we should hope and expect that those affected by harvey will get the relief aid that they need. loading...





psychology professor who researchers "vampires" reportedly caught licking student's blood in class / boing boing

psychology professor dr. emyr williams of glyndwr university in wales, uk researchers "real vampires" and often appears on television to discuss their blood-drinking lifestyle. “we are talking about a group of individuals who believe they have a psychological need to consume blood," williams has said. now an employment tribunal has revealed that after a female student somehow got a cut while in class, williams allegedly wiped up the blood with his fingers and then licked them. the young woman reported the unusual behavior to one of williams's phd student, helen coleman, who reported it to school officials. coleman alleges that the school didn't reprimand williams but instead punished her, kicking her out of the phd program. “this is an extraordinary case," said coleman's attorney. "we have never dealt with anything like this before.” "'extraordinary' claims glyndwr university student 'turned vampire'" (daily post via mysterious universe) loading...





unicorn usb power banks in black and white / boing boing

loading... anker’s powerhouse is the beefiest portable battery i’ve owned, with 120,000mah coming though four usb ports, 110v ac and 12v dc. at $500 and weighing in at 9 pounds, though, it’s also an big expensive box with a thin range of practical uses, aimed sharply at people willing to pay high premium for a user-friendly […]wood signifies tradition, solidity and natural beauty, but these qualities are comically absent from computer peripherals made of it. oree, a company out of france, set out to do better and have partially succeeded with their handsome keyboard and touchpad set. up close, the oree gear looks much nicer than cheapo amazon wooden keyboards. it’s […]peter biddle writes, “i get i myself into trouble. i don’t claim that bad stuff happens to me more often than others – it’s more that i find more ways to happen to bad stuff. i actually found a way to get severe hypothermia in 105°f heat.”shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]





this blind software developer's display is 450 word-a-minute speech synthesizer / boing boing

tuukka ojala is a blind software developer in finland. when he works, he keeps his laptop closed (it has an external keyboard attached to it). in this fascinating interview on vincit, he explains how he works: how do you use the computer?the computer i use is a perfectly normal laptop running windows 10. it's in the software where the "magic happens". i use a program called a screen reader to access the computer. a screen reader intercepts what's happening on the screen and presents that information via braille (through a separate braille display) or synthetic speech. and it's not the kind of synthetic speech you hear in today's smart assistants. i use a robotic-sounding voice which speaks at around 450 words per minute. for comparison, english is commonly spoken at around 120-150 words per minute. there's one additional quirk in my setup: since i need to read both finnish and english regularly i'm reading english with a finnish speech synthesizer. back in the old days screen readers weren't smart enough to switch between languages automatically, so this was what i got used to. here's a sample of this paragraph being read as i would read it:https://media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/mpsample.mp3and here's the same text spoken by an english speech synthesizer: https://media.boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/essample.mp3a mouse is naturally not very useful to me so i work exclusively at the keyboard. the commands i use should be fam...





whole foods lowers some prices as much as 43% and starts selling echo on first day under amazon / boing boing

“whole paycheck” no more. today is whole foods' first day as an official part of amazon.com, which bought the grocery chain for $13.7 billion. around the country this week, prices at whole foods markets are down a third or more on some of the more popular produce items like avocados and apples, no doubt part of amazon's plan to rid the chain of its bad rep for high prices. another change you'll see, starting today, are the presence of amazon devicesfor sale in whole foods stores. starting today, the alexa-enabled echo and the echo dot are on sale in whole foods stores for $99.99 and $44.99 respectively (same price as they are today on amazon). more changes and discounts are in the works, reports reuters. signs posted around the los angeles store announced the reductions. the price of hass avocados was slashed by 33 percent to $1.99 each, down from $2.99. fuji apples sell for $1.99 a pound, from $2.99 previously. meat and fish prices were also cut. new york strip steak and boneless rib eye prices dropped to $13.99 per pound from $16.99, a reduction of nearly 18 percent, while the price for “responsibly farmed” atlantic salmon filets fell to $9.99 per pound from $13.99, down almost 29 percent. the new whole foods prices, in some cases, were lower than those at a nearby ralphs grocery store. ralphs is owned by kroger co (kr.n), which has a reputation for competing aggressively on price. photo: customers leave the whole foo...





man catches explosive lightning strike that destroys his yard / boing boing

38-year-old daniel modøl norway happens to be filming the stormy sky from his backyard in norway when lightning suddenly crashes less than seven yards away. although we don't see the actual bolt, we do see a flashing pink sky, and it's loud (you've been warned!). modøl loses control of his camera for a moment. when he regains control we see that yard has been charred with debris and smoke everywhere. according to petapixel, "he immediately headed for cover indoors, where he found his ceiling fan off and burn marks around an electrical outlet where his modem was." he decided not to film the rest of the storm outside. good thinking. loading...





why homelessness in japan is different than in north america / boing boing

being homeless is different in japan than it is in north america. professor tom gill, a social anthropology professor who has lived in japan for 25 years cites several reasons why "it's a lot easier to deal with homelessness" in japan: less drug abuse, institutionalizing mentally-ill people rather than letting them suffer in the streets, and no traumatized war veterans. also he says that homeless people in japan rarely beg, and people in japan rarely give to the few people who do beg.this video is from "life where i'm from," a patreon-supported effort to create documentary videos about japan and the world. [via like cool] loading...





the guy who said a black man stabbed him because he has a neo-nazi haircut stabbed himself / boing boing

“soooooooo apparently i look like a neo-nazi and got stabbed for it,” wrote 26-year-old joshua witt on facebook. “luckily i put my hands up to stop it so he only stabbed my hand... please keep in mind there was no conversation between me and this dude i was literally just getting out of my car.” witt said his attacker was a black man. the alt-right went berserk over the story, but in a big surprise twist, it turns out that witt stabbed himself. witt’s story was first debunked by buzzfeed who contacted the police in sheridan, colorado for the full story. gizmodo reached out to the sheridan police department as well, who confirmed that witt actually stabbed himself. and on top of that, he originally told police that his attacker was a “black male” in his mid-20s. police checked surveillance footage near the steak n’ shake where he was allegedly attacked and couldn’t find anybody running from the scene like witt had claimed. what did they really find on the tapes? footage of witt buying a knife at a nearby store minutes before he was allegedly “attacked.” “on august 24, 2017 sheridan police, re-interviewed mr. witt where he was confronted with all the information listed above,” sheridan police chief mark campbell told gizmodo in a statement. “mr. witt subsequently admitted to accidentally cutting himself with the knife while parked in his car in front of the sporting goods store and admitted making up the story about being ...





24-pack for $8.52 / boing boing

loading... looking for a tiny pc that still has space for a gaming-quality video card? sff pc cases is a remarkably detailed spreadsheet listing dozens of models, complete with cost, dimensions, volume and even important build tips. the very smallest are not practical for powerful builds, but the critical “maximum gpu length” field is right there […]enjoy michael mullany’s review of the gartner hype cycle, with all the things tech predictors got right and all the things they got wrong: “we’re terrible at making predictions.” lesson 6: some technologies keep receding into the future there are some notable technologies that recur on the hype cycle and every time they appear they […]why we secretly love our cords. tamara warren: there’s a certain security in the cord. it’s the idea of connection, perhaps even dating back to our days in the womb. … a battery, no matter how sophisticated, is fleeting. when we have our cords with us, we are in constant pursuit of power, even when […]shooting better photos is often a matter of technique, but sometimes the tiny integrated optics on your device just won’t cut it. this 3-in-1 lens attachment can provide that camera some added versatility.this lens accessory gives your phone an easily detachable mounting bracket for its collection of lenses. it uses a simple clip mechanism, so it […]