“It’s an open market. You cannot stop the flow of surveillance equipment.” — Jerry Lucas, head of the Intelligence Support Systems conference showcasing technology that corrupt regimes around the world use to spy on, and censor, their citizens.
They shake hands using their left hands!
The Nest thermostat was designed by Tom Fadell, aka the “father of the iPod.” It will cost $250 and will be available next month….
Nest learns from your temperature adjustments, programs itself to keep you comfortable, and guides you to energy savings. You can control the thermostat from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, and Nest never stops learning, even as your life and the seasons change.
Robert Venditti and Mike Huddleston’s stand-alone graphic novel The Homeland Directiveis a tight, suspenseful technothriller (in Bruce Sterling’s definition of the term: “a science fiction story with the president in it”). Mysterious government spooks are hunting a pair of CDC epidemiologists. One is murdered, the other, Dr Laura Regan, is framed for a variety of crimes and barely escapes in the company of rogue spooks who spirit her away to a safe house. The story that unfolds — a plot to terrorize America into accepting an otherwise unthinkable authoritarian rule in the name of fighting terrorism — is taut, filled with great spycraft and action sequences. A great, paranoid read for the modern age.
Samuel Cockedey created this lovely short, and explains…
This is a tribute to Ridley Scott and Vangelis, whose work on Blade Runner has been a huge source of inspiration in my shooting time lapses. Please watch in HD with sound on! Shot over a year in Tokyo with a Canon 5dmk2, mainly in the Shinjuku area. Music: “Main Titles” and “Blush Response” from the Blade Runner soundtrack. More information on the process here.? Selected sequences available for licensing here.
Internet pornography is creating a generation of young men who are hopeless in the bedroom, according to research.
The result is that impotence is no longer a problem associated with middle-aged men of poor health but is afflicting men in the prime of their lives.
According to a report in Psychology Today, a respected U.S. journal, the problem is now so common that men in their 20s consider their inability to perform to be ‘normal’.
Every time he tries to say “work” I burst into laughter.
In 1992, eight individuals entered the “Biosphere 2″ in the Arizona desert where they lived for two years. The point was to study interactions inside a closed ecological system. The success of the “planet in a bottle” experiment was, er, debatable. But there are a slew of fascinating stories of what happened inside. Christopher Turner, author of Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America, wrote a piece for Cabinet magazine all about what the Bionauts ate and the team medic Dr. Roy Walford’s “healthy starvation diet.” From Cabinet:
While his subjects pleaded with mission control for more supplies, Walford — who had been on the CRON-diet for years — maintained that their daily calorie intake was sufficient. “I think if there had been any other nutritionist or physician, they would have freaked out and said, ‘We’re starving,’” Walford said, “but I knew we were actually on a program of health enhancement.” Every two weeks he would give them all a full medical checkup. He discovered that their blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol counts did indeed drop to healthier levels—which he presumed would retard aging and extend maximal lifespan as it seemed to in mice—though an unanticipated side effect of this was that their blood was awash with the toxins that had been stored in their rapidly dissolving body fat.
In their 1993 book Life Under Glass: The Inside Story of Biosphere 2, crew members Abigail Alling and Mark Nelson note: “Each biospherian responded differently to the diet. Initially, over the first six months or so, we lost between eighteen and fifty-eight pounds each. … Roy continued to assure us not to worry when we commented on our baggy pants and loose shirts because our overall health was actually improved by the combination of our diet and the superb freshness and quality of the organically grown food.” They acknowledged that their natural diet was incredibly healthy: “The only problem was that there never seemed to be enough of it.”
The Real Role Of Anonymous In Occupy Wall Street: “Anonymous has caught the attention of the media–and even Homeland Security–with its biggest contribution to Occupy Wall Street: hype. But, so far, the amorphous, leaderless hacktivist movement has disappointed anyone expecting full-on revolution from a Guy Fawkes-masked army or a massive cyber attack.”
Live from BlackBerry DevCon 2011 in San Francisco, where RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has the stage, and he’s just revealed the company’s latest operating system: BBX.
“It’ll be for phones, it’ll be for tablets, and it’ll be for embedded devices,” says QNX founder Dan Dodge. The “whole company is aligning behind a single platform and a single vision.” The company is showing off the Marmalade game engine, as well as talking up security (the PlayBook is apparently the first tablet certified for government use).
The BBX platform uses the same browser source code as on BB6 and BB7, meaning that HTML5 and WebWorks apps on either of those will work on BBX. The Cascades UI framework, designed by The Astonishing Tribe, has been demonstrated with a photo gallery app and with message visualization, a compressed visual stream of showing email, calls, BBM, SMS, Facebook, and Skype, with a dynamic tag cloud and multiple ways to graph. And since this is RIM, Enterprise is being emphasized here, with a “Work” tab being added to App World, letting your CIO add apps specific to your company.
When John F. Kennedy was asked how he became a war hero, he’s supposed to have replied: “It was involuntary. They sank my boat.” That’s how I became a self-published novelist: A large number of New York publishers rejected Thanks for Killing Me, my spiky little crime novel about the aftermath of a con gone wrong. They did so for an exquisitely heterogeneous variety of reasons. One liked the plot but not the characters; another liked the characters but not the plot. A couple thought it moved too fast, and a couple found it too leisurely. About the only consensus was that none of them felt optimistic about their chances of selling a caper novel, and a first novel at that, in a declining publishing market. Being the self-starter that I am, I took these rejections in stride and leapt into action, throwing the manuscript into a drawer and sulking for eighteen months.
Sometime around the start of this period I had lunch with an old friend who’d done some time as a publishing executive. I told him that I was beginning to kick around the idea of self-publishing. His advice was short and sweet. “Don’t,” he said. “It’s all the stuff you hate: Marketing, self-promotion, asking people for favors.” This was enough to discourage me for a while. A couple of months back we had lunch again and I told him, again, that I was giving the idea some thought. He asked me what I hoped to accomplish. My thinking had clarified some since our last lunch, and I was honest with him: I told him that I still wanted to attract the attention of a traditional publisher (the Grail of self-published novelists) and/or the movie business. This time, maybe sensing that he could no longer talk me out of it, his advice was a little more expansive. “Okay,” he said. “First, forget everything you know about traditional media; all your experience is worthless. Take all that time you spend screwing around on Twitter and put it into marketing your book. And, at least in the beginning, sell it as cheap as you can. In fact, you know what? Give it away.”
The publication of Walter Isaacson’s highly-anticipated, authorized bio of Steve Jobs, formerly titled iSteve (like iWoz?) and now titled, er, Steve Jobs, has been moved up to October 24 and Sony Pictures is reportedly buying the movie rights.
Computer scientist Dennis Ritchie is reported to have died at his home this past weekend, after a long battle against an unspecified illness. No further details are available at the time of this blog post.
He was the designer and original developer of the C programming language, and a central figure in the development of Unix. He spent much of his career at Bell Labs. He was awarded the Turing Award in 1983, and the National Medal of Technology in 1999.
“Ritchie’s influence rivals Jobs’s; it’s just less visible,” James Grimmelman observed on Twitter. “His pointer has been cast to void *; his process has terminated with exit code 0.”
Since the beginning of the year, Asus has announced four tablets, three running Google’s Android platform and one that uses Microsoft’s Windows software. The Transformer is the most popular one due to its unique design, which fits into a physical keyboard dock, affordable price (around $395) and quality specs, such as a dual-core processor (Nvidia’s Tegra 2) and a high-resolution IPS display. It has been the top-selling tablet on Amazon.com for the past two weeks, edging out Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, Motorola’s Xoom, Apple’s iPad 2, and HP’s TouchPad.
Now that’s damn impressive. I’m with the audience at 1:18 and again later when Kevin Lynch’s picture is unblurred. I just hope I kept all of those amazing but flawed pictures that I can now unblur.
Dopamine does a lot of things, but you’re probably most familiar with it as the chemical your brain uses as a sort-of system of in-game gold coins. You earn the reward for certain behaviors, usually “lizard-brain” type stuff… eating a bowl of pudding, for instance, or finally making out with that cute person you’ve had your eye on. And, as you’ve probably heard, there’s some evidence that we can get addicted to that burst of dopamine, and that’s how a nice dessert or an enjoyable crush turns into something like compulsive eating or sex addiction.
Snuff, Terry Pratchett’s latest Discworld novel is an absolute treat, as per usual. It’s a Sam Vimes book (there are many recurring characters in the Discworld series, whose life stories intermingle, braid and diverge — Sam Vimes is an ex-alcoholic police chief who has married into nobility) and that means that it’s going to be a story about class, about law, and about justice, and the fact that Pratchett can make a serious discourse on these subjects both funny and gripping and never trivial is as neat a summary of why we love him as much as we do.
In Snuff, Sam Vimes finds himself dragged off to the countryside for a first-in-his-life holiday, and of course, the holiday only lasts about ten seconds before Vimes is embroiled in local politics, which means local crime. The genteel countryside may be sleepy and backwards, but it is also seething with secrets, with privilege for the gentry, with class resentments, and with racism.
Goblins, you see, are universally reviled, thought incapable of rationality, and loathed for their weird religious habit of retaining all their snot, hair clippings, pus, fingernails and other castoffs (except urine, crap and teeth, strangely) in beautiful handmade pots that are buried with them. Also, they’ve been known to eat their young. Is it any wonder that they’re classed as vermin in law?